The Uncanny Valley of Fake Food…

DVDOMPSsmallIn switching from carnist to vegan, the easiest option to us seemed to just swap out the animal ingredient with a fake food equivalent. An easy way to transition, right? Eh. Not so much for us. Skimming through forums and blogs, we found plenty of vegans enthusing about certain alternative foods. I don’t know how long they were vegan, but it must have been quite a while for them to think that some of these foods are replacements for meat and dairy. Milk was fine, but meat and cheese would seem to be a greater challenge. It’s only when we tried something that claimed to be like a certain food, we appreciated how much goes into the identity of food–look, texture, smell, taste–and that just any one of these being amiss makes for an uneasy experience. It’s the food equivalent of the dead eyes of one of those robots made to look as close to a human as possible–and not quite succeeding.

Image result for creepy looking android

Here are some of our experiences, starting with the bad, the ugly, but thankfully ending on the few examples we’ve tried of the good stuff. Now, these are just our opinions, and you might LOVE some or all of these, so it’s always worth trying them yourselves. A lot of these are recommended and successful brands, so they’re certainly doing something right for their customers. We’re just sharing our experience of them because we found this process a little disheartening, and wanted to show that while it can be a trial, we found some things we liked for us, and it helped us to some conclusions around what type of vegan food we want to be eating…

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Muse & Views: Whyborne & Griffin Book Series…

BEYOND THE WRITING DESK_opt (1)When I started writing this blog, I wanted to share interests and opinions, and in doing so I started reviewing things. Unfortunately, I stumbled across a lot of things I didn’t like, and I didn’t want this to become a negative space, so I decided I would only write about things I like. Then, with work and studying, I just didn’t have time to write much in the way of blog posts at all. Now that things have calmed the f*** down I want to share my enjoyment of a few favourite things. First off is a book series I stumbled across last year…

Image result for whyborne and griffinWhyborne and Griffin by Jordan L. Hawk, is a supernatural horror series set in the late 18th century, turn of the 19th century, following the titular characters as they are drawn into Lovecraftian mysteries. My enjoyment of Whyborne and Griffin’s is largely down to these two central characters. Whyborne starts of painfully insecure thanks to an oppressive father and spiteful brother, and is hiding within his work studying ancient languages within the Widdershins museum. He is both sympathetic through his experiences, and frustrating with his pervasive negative twist on the positive. I suspect he would’ve withered away if it wasn’t for a chance encounter with the confident, dashing Griffin. Yet, Griffin, a private detective, is damaged in his own way, and despite his self-confidence and charm, he is more broken than Whyborne through experiences much darker and more haunting than Whyborne’s.

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Doctor Who Season 9… (proof that the Doctor hated Adric too)

Doctor Who 8‘Doctor Who’ should be my go to show, I’ve loved it from my days of watching the original series and for a good few years into the new series, but since mid-way through Matt Smith’s run I began to lose interest. Peter Capaldi tempted me back in, and despite his Doctor I haven’t been fully invested in it since. Did season 9 change that? It came close. So close. The first two stories were pretty good, and I liked the two part format giving us more time in each story. I shared my thoughts on them through this blog. I planned to do the same with the others. But I didn’t like them. Not only did I not want to invest my time in watching them, I didn’t want to use more of that time to write about them, and who enjoys bashing a show they once loved?!

Spoilers ahoy.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens (SPOILER FREE)…


I will keep this simple. I loved this film. Within the first 20 minutes I was swept up by the continuation of Star Wars. I had fallen in love with a droid, found the First Order menacing, was on board with the fun, enjoying the action and rooting for the heroes who had been introduced to us.

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Fluxx The Card Game…


Fluxx is a card game far removed from the heavy theme board games I normally get excited over, but after seeing it played on the tabletop show I thought I’d give it a go as it would be nice to have something to play which didn’t involve any setting up and tear down. I also thought it might be something my board game wary husband might actually like–and a gateway game to some other card games I want to play like Coup and Love Letter. Sneaky.

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Arrow Dark Archer / League of Assassins Cosplay Costume


Did you know Jawas are in the League of Assassins?

Another comic con is behind us. Our second in costume. Again, with little in the way of props or dressed areas laid on by the convention, and talks being rammed, I still say the geek merch and the attendees in costume are the best part of going.

We did our bit. This time, I had been able to buy a costume to go along with my other half as the DC TV series’ ‘Arrow’. It would’ve been cool to go in the cosplaysky ‘Arsenal’ costume, but it was a bit more than I wanted to pay out for. Saw a few at comic con and have costume regret–it looks awesome. Plus, I’m not sure I can pull off Abercrombie youth Colton Haynes (phrasing), but can be a passable mature gay as a villain. When I saw they had a more affordable ‘Dark Archer’ or ‘League of Assassins’ I had been a bit unsure about my costume, but when it arrived (from China in a little under a week!) I quickly chucked it on and instantly felt assassiny. So, what could a grown 3# year old do, but wait for his husband to come home so I can fake assassinate him…

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