I have to laugh at myself for fitting the stereotype of my generation. In my defence, my collection of succulents is quite small and only takes up a tiny corner of one room of my home. I can also put them out on the balcony when it’s warm. I never thought I’d be interested in houseplants – chuckling at the couple who live opposite and have blocked their entire window and all natural light in their flat with a collection of huge plants – but I found myself craving something green while both botanical gardens were shut during the first wave of the pandemic, and so here we are.
Let me preface this by saying that I am not a vet and I have no medical background in humans or animals. I am simply the human companion of an elderly Siamese cat who was diagnosed with pancreatitis, kidney disease and suspected IBD at the age of fifteen. I know how upsetting it can be when your cat is so unwell, and I wanted to share my experience and things that have helped me to look after my cat, Minou, in case they might be of benefit to you and your cat if you find yourself in a similar position. Please talk to your vet and seek proper veterinary advice and support in the first instance. Minou wouldn’t still be alive if it weren’t for the wonderful support and care that our veterinary practice have given her over the years since her initial diagnosis. In this blog post I share the ways we have managed to keep Minou eating and drinking, and how we have helped her with the other symptoms of chronic pancreatitis and kidney disease she has experienced each time she has a flare-up.
Saturday is treat day, and so yesterday afternoon I made a strawberry cheesecake. I’ve made a raw vegan strawberry cheesecake before, but I couldn’t find the recipe for it and so I looked online for some ideas. I found this recipe on the Sainsbury’s website, and loosely followed it to get an idea for proportions. The final cheesecake is very different to the Sainsbury’s recipe though, so I thought I would write it down and share it here on my blog so that I can remember the changes I made next time I want to make one. It’s a very simple recipe and you can’t go too far wrong. I’ve also included suggestions for ingredient swaps if you don’t have something on the list. The basic idea for this cake is a smoothie poured over a pressed almond and date base, and then frozen to set. You don’t have to use strawberries, you could also make it with blueberries, peaches, blackberries, or any other soft fruit you have to hand.
Today is the first day of the sixth week of the strict physical distancing measures we have been asked to live with in the UK to bring the coronavirus outbreak under control. I don’t like calling it ‘lockdown’ because it’s not. We’re allowed out of our homes to exercise and to go to the shops, many businesses have already reopened, and it’s not really being policed. I live in Birmingham city centre and although there have been police helicopters overhead and the police have been patrolling in their vehicles, it’s all been fairly relaxed. The situation in the UK is very different to the situation in Spain, Italy and France, where the restrictions are much tighter and more strongly policed.