the nostalgic vegan

Featuredthe nostalgic vegan

I love being vegan, and I love cooking and eating.

I also love sharing food with framily (that’s close friends you consider family), family + friends.

Sometimes though, I miss eating those meals I grew up on, ones Mum and Dad made which were tasty, fresh and comforting.

Over the past 18 months I‚Äôve been testing and tasting different ways to ‚Äėveganise‚Äô a heap of these meals to soothe the nostalgia I get when I think about the dinner table of my childhood.

And now I’ve started an Instagram account to be a virtual recipe book of sorts, to share these recipes with you all, as well as other things I come across which inspire me to keep living a cruelty-free lifestyle, away from the consumption of animals and animal products.

Join me @thenostalgicvegan and let me know how you go if you prepare and share any of my recipes.


Marina and Luke

Marina and Luke

It started with breathing,

then opening of colours,

the energy moving us both.


We stared at our bridges,

then over we crossed,

into each others’ bared souls.


I heard the words,

‘you are stronger than fear’,

and then I watched you grow old.


You saw a white light

surrounding my head,

my shoulders, my breast, my torso.


The tears started flowing,

we shared an embrace

as each our journeys we told.


Now, my hands, cold, and clammy

as I walk to the sea,

the water bringing me home.

Entitled and lazy

Entitled and lazy

I’m not sure at what point I started feeling entitled as far as my career went but I do remember the point at which I realised it. It was after what I believed to be a set back, when I found I was comparing myself to Charlotte York, in an early episode of Sex and The City, asking myself,  ‘I’ve been working above my pay grade for 6 years, I’m exhausted, where’s my recognition?’

When Carrie wisely states, ‘Charlotte, honey, did you ever think that maybe we’re the White Knights, and we’re the ones that have to save ourselves?’ my penny dropped.

I had been acting entitled, like I should have been noticed by now. Like someone should have hand-picked me for something by now. Like someone should have just intuitively known about my skills, knowledge, and experience.

But what have I done to make these things known? What have I done to educate myself further, to gain new skills, to share my successes? And when did I develop the belief that my workplace had the responsibility to plan my career for me, and then take all the steps to ensure that this worked out for me?

As an adamant atheist on the dogma of 5 Year Plans (John Krumboltz‚Äôs Happenstance Learning Theory is more my thing) I have spent the last few years winging my way through my career waiting for a ‘White Knight’.  And I’m not sure why, as I’m a leader who doesn’t like to follow so chances are I wouldn’t blindly grab onto a White Knight if one happened to show up anyway. (Jon Snow maybe but not a White Knight.)

And as I’ve been considering all this, I’ve felt quite confronted. I’ve been looking at myself critically, and what I see is someone lazy, with potential that hasn’t been realised, and energy that needs a focus…and suddenly this is starting to sound like a high school report card.

I’ve also been confronted with the thought that the mould I am trying to fit in to will never accommodate me, and that if I were to squeeze myself into it, that I would be uncomfortable, my hair would hurt, and I would then be looking for a different mould to pour myself into. And I guess that’s my next challenge.

(Unconditional) love

(Unconditional) love

When we are children, we receive love when we do something ‘right’ – when we clean our bedroom, when we share with our siblings, when we use our manners.

Fast-forward 20 years into adulthood, how does this lesson in love translate? At what point are we taught what unconditional love is?

For me, that point was thirty three; a period of complete upheaval, where I threw everything in the air and pressed ‘pause’.

And when I pressed ‘play’, I began catching the things I wanted, and let the rest fall away.

The first thing I caught was me. 

I realized that if I couldn’t love and accept myself, how could I possibly expect anyone else to? 

If I couldn’t stand for myself, and my values, how could I stand for anything, or anyone, else? 

And the first thing I let fall away, was fear. 

I realized that I was sick of hiding parts of me that I thought people wouldn’t like, or couldn’t handle. 

It made me question who it was that people say they love when they say they love me. They didn’t even know me. I didn’t know me. 

Unconditional love takes courage. It starts within, and it’s not an easy path. But it is a rewarding adventure, especially when you see that people love the parts of you that you were fearful of them ever seeing. 



Trigger Warning: This post contains content relating to suicide. If you, or anyone you know, needs assistance call Lifeline on 13 11 14. In the case of an emergency, dial 000. 


I’ve never seen that before.

I’ve never seen you before.

I’ve never felt such calm resolution in someone before.

Yet the fear.

Your eyes were closed. You were waiting for the moment.


They were so focused.

They spoke to you softly.

He threaded his arms through yours, held your chest.

Nurtured you.

Drew you back.

To safety.

To life.

Carrie Fisher: My solution to being overwhelmed

Carrie Fisher: My solution to being overwhelmed

When I’m feeling overwhelmed by choice, paralyzed by indecision, or helpless in the face of a problem bigger than I can comprehend*, I go into Readings.

For the uninitiated, Readings is a Melbourne bookstore, in business since 1969.

It has a comprehensive catalogue, which covers every genre, and an ambience which lends to complete immersion; where time seems to tick (or not) like a Dalí clock would (or would not).

Here, within the walls of this iconic bookstore, I wander the aisles, inhale the paper dust, and stare through the spines of old and new titles.

And at some point, and without fail, one of these titles will pop out at me – an answer to my being overwhelmed by them all.

Tonight’s answer was Carrie Fisher’s novel, Postcards from the Edge.¬†

These random (or not) book purchases offer me a type of proof: that in amongst all my feelings of being overwhelmed by the problems I see, answers are there, popping out at people all the time. As are mine.

So when I walk out the door, with Carrie in my bag, I head to the tram hopeful. Hopeful that others will buy a book too, and that the selection they make is a catalyst for an answer they need to solve part of a bigger problem they see.

And if everyone buys a book and gets their answers this may compound into knowledge that will nourish the collective consciousness beyond the spines of books.


*I just watched the film A Plastic Ocean. The enormity of the problem of plastic pollution in our oceans, and the rate at which it’s growing, really hit me hard. It can’t be unseen, and it can’t be ignored.¬†

In the beginning there was Courtney

In the beginning there was Courtney

This house has a history of inanimate objects developing consciousness and functionality, indicating life. And it all began with Courtney.

Courtney was (is) a porcelain doll, dressed in mint green satin and lace, with blue glass eyes that moved. Blue glass eyes that moved.

Her eyes followed people (me) around the room, inciting fear, and thus¬†causing one of my sisters to take particular delight in¬†creeping into my bedroom at night, holding Courtney, crouching at the end of my bed, and slowly lifting her up¬†so she was all I could see¬†when I woke up to my name being called¬†in a long¬†whisper…

Before she left us for greener pastures (landfill*), Courtney imparted her ability to animate with a few other items in the house, most notably, the clothes horse.

The clothes horse tried to enter my bedroom on one occasion, and would have been successful had the door not been fully closed. This occurrence was documented photographically and is presented as evidence in the feature image on the far right.

A conspiracy theorist may argue that it was placed there so I would run into it, loudly, after being out, so as to alert the other members of the household of my approximate arrival time home.

Other places the clothes horse has been observed is in the room where my nieces and nephews sleep when they stay over, covered in a red sheet – very discreet, in the general living area, and hiding behind the ironing board in the laundry.

I’m not too concerned about that last one, but its presence in the kids’ room does raise some alarm bells regarding intent.

The tissue box has had at least four moves in as many months, and mum insists that the movement of utensil jar was her doing; she moved it into a cupboard to prevent flies landing on the spoons and tongs.


*Of which I have no doubt she has clawed her way out of and is currently hitchhiking back to Mulgrave on the Monash Freeway.




‘The caffettiera is a cultural icon’*

‘The caffettiera is a cultural icon’*

There are two boxes on the dining room table. In one, a vintage tea set, and a random assortment of old mugs.

In the other, which happens to be an El Toro hard and soft taco kit box from Aldi, is a plastic cup full of swizzle sticks, a shower timer, souvenir coasters from New Zealand, a small Thermos, and, the caffettiera.

The caffettiera.

Once more, the caffettiera.


Me: Mum, what’s all this stuff in these boxes?

Mum: I’m getting rid of it all!

Me (confused): Why is the caffettiera in here then?

Mum: We never use it, and it only makes one cup of coffee.

Me (bewildered): It makes four cups.¬†It’s a four cup caffettiera. Little cups, espresso cups.

Mum: It’s going.

Me: Dad!



The caffettiera has now resumed pride of place on the top shelf in my wardrobe.

It’s a well worn-in caffettiera; it’s the caffettiera I was taught how to make Italian coffee in my by Auntie Ianuzza when I was a teenager**.

And now it’s going to accompany me to my next stovetop, and the one after that, and the one after that.

Safe and sound.


*Credit to my cuz, Luciano, for inspiring the title of this blog post.

**Apparently, I used to pack the coffee in too tightly which didn’t¬†then allow for the correct level of filtration to occur…


Bingeing on Girls

Bingeing on Girls

I have almost finished watching Season 2 of Girls*.

On my iPhone. In my bed. With my headphones in.

So no, not that kind of bingeing. And not on real-life girls (though I think my mother believes otherwise given I’ve recently cut my hair short**, moved back in with my parents, and headed off to Midsumma last month).

My iPhone screen is shattered from an accident last weekend, and whilst this makes viewing slightly obstructed, the few bits of glass that chip off into in my bed and onto my hands are a cheaper price to pay than getting the screen replaced***.

There’s something going on with my speaker jack too. Every so often the sound crackles. It cuts in, and it cuts out. I have to twist the plug, and then pull on the cord, contort it in circles, until finally the sound returns to normal.

And when the sound does come back, it blasts into my ears because as I’ve been playing this battle-of-the-wills game with the cord, I’ve also been turning up the volume thinking that somehow this would help, despite knowing full well that the real issue is with the connection.

But I know what’s going on in Season 2 of Girls. I know who the main characters are. And I know what they’re getting up to. And I even have a favourite.


*Lena, if you’re reading, I’d love to collaborate. You’re a total genius, and I love you. And I have some material that I think you’d find useful

**My hairdresser blames himself entirely for the shift my life has taken since turning thirty three, as it all started when he cut my 30cm curls off.

***Apple, if you’re reading this, a replacement phone would be oh-so amazing, as would a one-on-one intensive on how the hell to use iTunes. In 7 years I haven’t been able to work this program out. And, if you’re feeling generous, the logicboard on my MacBook is dead and needs replacing…xo



She’s rushing around the house, loading containers with food for grandkids, looking for where she moved the tea towels to¬†in¬†the kitchen clean up of¬†yesterday, and calling out¬†to him what time¬†they need to be at¬†Chadstone.

He’s asking when are they going to go get coffee? It’s their ritual. It’s their time. In between committments to others.

It’s manic. It’s a whirlwind he can’t calm.

He says he just doesn’t matter anymore. He picks up his guitar and plays quitely. It’s out of tune, but he doesn’t notice. Or he doesn’t care.

I observe,¬†filling out the crossword in yesterday’s newspaper,¬†scribbling on the comics¬†in between thinking and waiting for the revelation of the right word.

I’m like him. I never realised how much so until these last three months. He scribbles too. He draws and doodles whenever there’s pen and paper¬†lying around.

She’s ready to leave.

The garage door closes. I exhale; silence. Except for the hum of the dishwasher.