Friday, 14 April 2017

Herbwormwood has a new home, please update your bookmarks

Herbwormwood has a new home, please update your bookmarks and check out for irregular posts of photos and writings on all the topics you have enjoyed here. Blogger has been fun... it will be great to see readers in our new home.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Leazes Park

Leazes Park, from the Terrace, which is a popular place for military fitness classes as well as Tai Chi, also showing St James Park, abandoned Park House and looking towards Newcastle Civic Centre and Haymarket area.

Abandoned Park House, Leazes Park

The abandoned house in Leazes Park, unfortunately no one seems to want it... a Freedom of Information Request (read it here) was submitted to reveal the reasons why.

Receipts from Frugal Lent

Some great prices on fruit and veg at Aldi, the red peppers are sold loose and they are very good. I will be making a rice dish with sauteed vegetables and brown rice later.
The tofu is earmarked for tofu baked in breadcrumbs done the same way as a couple of weeks ago. It was too good.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Tofu in Breadcrumbs

Yesterday we made the tofu in breadcrumbs, which was served with chips, mushy peas, vinegar and tomato sauce. Very delicious and will hopefully make again soon.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Paintings by John Stark

I added a link on the right to paintings by John Stark, which I learned about recently...

Lovely Folk Songs

Aldi, Sainsbury and HI YOU! Frugal Lent continues

A weeks shopping at Aldi. The fruit and veg made some curries and traditional dinners.

Aldi doesn't sell Tofu, so I called in to HI YOU which is near Debenhams on Newgate Street. I like that they have a big choice of Tofu, even organic tofu, as well as selling Tempeh.

You will notice on the list some Zheng Feng Dried Ning Xia, which we know as Goji Berries, these are nice in porridge.
Put a tablespoon oatmeal aka Porridge Oats in a bowl, add some dried raisins, any dried fruit like Goji berries, dates and soya or almond milk, leave it overnight and in the morning microwave it for 2 minutes, then add some more milk and some sunflower seeds or nuts of your choice.

I am planning on making some Tofu Breaded (in breadcrumbs) Fingers or Steaks tomorrow for Sunday Dinner.

The last receipt was from Sainsbury, which was convenient for last week's shopping for having to be in High Heaton for a large part of the day last Thursday. There are a couple of vegan cheeses here. I have already tried the soft cheese with a hot curry, I made a vegetable curry with a jar of Patak's Sag Masala sauce

It is very easy to make curries with the jars of sauce. I chopped 4 large carrots, some broccoli and potatoes, and steamed them for 9 minutes in the microwave.
Whilst they were steaming I added the sauce and a carton of chick peas to a large pot, then drained and added the potatoes and vegetables, and simmered for about an hour.
There will be some leftovers of that for dinner tonight.

Buddhist Altar At Home

This is how the altar works at the moment.
There is a small Thai Buddha which was a gift from a family member. The actual cabinet itself is an Ercol Sideboard inherited from a deceased ancestor.
In front of the Buddha is a small vase of water, which symbolises the refreshment of training and offering help to Buddha.
The red triangle fabric in front of Buddha was a gift from the meditation group and originally from China. The leaf pattern textile covers a cardboard shoe box, the textile was also a gift from a Time Exchange member.
The small green bowl, which was given by a friend, in front of the Buddha, is used for burning incense, which we do before meditation. On the left is a saucer with a tea light, on the right is a wooden bowl, which came with the Ercol, and has some artificial fruit in.

Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary

Redevelopment of Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary is continuing, at the moment the old buildings near Peacock Hall are being guttted, whether for retrofitting or demolition

Looking across the lake from Leazes Park, towards Richardson Road, you can see the buildings which are currently being worked on.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Frugal Lent at Aldi

As part of the Vegetarian and Vegan Frugal Lent, this weeks main shop was at Aldi, a choice mainly due to the low cost and good quality of the fruit and veg, there is an offer called Super 6, which is ridiculously low priced fruit and veg...

I have had a hard time recently getting decent fruit and in particular citrus fruit. Vegetarians and vegans need a lot of Vitamin C in order to absorb iron from food, a point which is not well known, so the aim is to have citrus fruit every day.

The bag of carrots was essential for the carrot coconut and lentil curry on the meal plan, which was very tasty, served yesterday with potatoes and Pataks Lime pickle, also the soya milk is very good at 59 p. The oranges were very good, sweet and juicy, also the easy peelers are good, better than some of the dry and tasteless stuff I have had in recent weeks from other shops.

Diesel Vehicles, Convert, Keep, or Scrap?

Recently a government minister here in the UK suggested people who were buying a new car consider a low emission vehicle rather than a Diesel.

In "the great car economy" buying new things is encouraged. Cars and roads top the list, although now its new buildings....

There is also a push to introduce a scrappage scheme for Diesel vehicles.

Unfortunately there are a lot of vehicles on the roads pumping out very bad exhaust, anyone living in a city has had the experience of chocking on fumes from buses.
However the cost of making new cars is very bad for the environment... so where possible, converting engines or upgrading them is better.
For example converting to natural gas

Diesel vehicles can also be converted to run on LPG.

The best solution for out of warranty Diesel vehicles is running Diesel vehicles on used biodiesel aka chip fat.

I know someone who has been running a Peugeot Diesel saloon on this for many years, as long as you have a source of used chip fat it and your car is out of warranty.

More on that here

It also solves the problem of disposal of the used cooking oil. There are serious problems when cooking oil gets into drains, as it solidifies once in the drains and blocks them. causing another set of environmental problems.

We are getting into the age of the disposable everything, disposable clothes, disposable cars,
disposable technology, disposable cups, disposable planet... so lets think about where our polluting Diesel vehicle goes when we scrap it. Does it go "away"? And where is "away"?

Saturday, 25 February 2017


A few of the changes I am making into habits:
Using Washing Powder from Ecover, instead of laundry liquid, its in a cardboard box and I'm getting better results with it as well
Using Pit Rok Crystal deoderant, also very effective and lasts for years!
Glass jars and bottles or tins instead of plastic ones for many foods
Lush solid shampoo and conditioner for hair
Refuse to accept ("no thanks I've got a bag here") plastic bags when out shopping

Frugal Lent 2017

I have done Frugal Lent before, and found it very useful in being more mindful about what I am eating and buying. The plan is to restrict shopping by home delivery, and use up store cupboard items. By only buying what I really need, which should be fresh fruit and veg and soya milk.
Cook at least twice a week using healthy ingredients

There are some resources on the internet about going vegan for Lent

and here

I am also trying to reduce purchasing items which come in plastic containers, because plastic is not environmentally sustainable.

I'm adding a few links about this on the right

Vegan Meal Plan using iCal

I have been interested in doing a meal plan for some time now, and I found that it was quite easy to create one using my computer's calendar.

There are options to add repeating event, such as having Lentil Curry on Tuesdays, traditional Meat-free Sunday Dinner, also add photos or links to recipes.
By using the date function it is easy to swap meals around, as I was planning Thai Green Curry today but I realised Lentil Soup would be a better choice as I need to use up some celery which is in the fridge. I haven't done Breakfasts or Lunches as I don't really have a plan yet for them, breakfaat is nearly always Porridge and Lunch nearly always some kind of bread based thing.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Photographs Of Newcastle: Newgate Street Closure - Storm Damage to Roofs - J...

Photographs Of Newcastle: Newgate Street Closure - Storm Damage to Roofs - J...: Gusts of up to 65mph wreaked havoc as Newgate Street in Newcastle city centre had to be closed after a roof collapsed leaving debris on the...

Corporation Street and Science City

Corporation Street, in Newcastle's Inner West, near Westgate Road and Westgate Hill, an area also known as Big Lamp

At the top of Corporation Street we can see the Sience City building site and views towards Gateshead and the centre of Newcastle

Sunday, 5 February 2017

vegan Dairy Free Cheese Savoury

I made vegan cheese savoury yesterday

A couple of ingredients can be found available in larger supermarkets or health food stores...
Dairy free salad cream or mayonnise,
Dairy free hard cheese,
You will also need 1 small brown onion,
1 carrot

Grate the cheese and put it in a container,
Peel and grate the carrot and add to the cheese,
Peel and finely chop the onion,
Add as much mayonnaise as you like, bearing in mind the more you add the more sloppy the result!

The cheese savory can be used in any sandwich filler capacity, or even in wraps or as a topping for baked potatoes, curries or whenever you fancy a cheesy accompaniment. Legend has it that Cheese Savoury originates in the North of England particularly in the North West, as a cheap way to make cheese last longer.

Fungus Foray, Ponteland Road

Found on an old tree stump

Friday, 20 January 2017

Leazes Park

Some welcome colour in Leazes Park, near Richardson Road

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Discovery Museum

Yesterday Benni and I went to the Discovery Museum. I haven't been able to walk much recently as I badly injured my foot. Some gentle exercise was prescribed so the Discovery Museum seemed like a good idea.

There is an exhibition about the history of local manufacturing. Lots of things used to be made locally.
We could only think of a few currently
Cars at Nissan Sunderland,
Offshore Platforms at Wallsend
Wind Turbines at Blyth?

Decluttering people's furniture

To achieve the minimalist look, the furniture had to go... plenty of light coming in and space to sit and meditate!
A local charity collected it all and took it away in their van



If you want to sell or donate furniture, make sure it has the fire safety labels on, don't cut them off!

Victoriana.. Lace antimacassars

Recently helped find a home for some heirloom Victorian antimacassars

Recycled Paper Products

The cheapest recycled paper toilet roll is currently in Poundland, guess how much!


ERCOL sideboard and victorian Lace crochet runner, with Thai Buddha and fruit...

Leazes Park

Evening in Leazes Park, early December 2016 Please visit there for latest news from Herbwormwood