Vegan Voodoo!

Whoever came up with vegan pulled pork is some kind of evil genius.

Today I decided to try out a pulled jackfruit recipe. It’s really important you get young green jackfruit for this meal. You can get jackfruit in every chinese supermarket. It’s in cans and it’s not expensive.

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The jackfruit itself doesn’t have a lot of flavour…maybe slightly tangy, if i had to describe it. But…when cooked, it pulls apart like pork would do (not that I’ve ever had pulled pork!).

I simply drained the jackfruit. Dried it thoroughly and coated it in BBQ rub (I used a pre made one from tiger store, but it would be easy to make!). After 10 mins of marinating I added it to the frying pan, with a teaspoon of oil and some water and cooked on a very low heat for approximately 30 minutes.

I served it on a wholemeal wrap and made a gorgeous slaw to go with it. The slaw was made by shredding half a red cabbage, two carrots and one avocado.

I mashed the avocado with some seasoning and water…then added the cabbage and carrots. Tossed it around and added some lemon to taste.

The result…was glorious….

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Coconut cream topped the deliciousness!

I’d give this a ten out of ten for taste. It would also be amazing with rice and beans as a burrito!

If you’ve never tried jackfruit I highly recommend you get out and buy a can….and leave wee Peppa pig alone!!!

✌

Father’s Day…and he did it vegan!

Today was Father’s Day….if you didn’t know that (and you’re in the UK) then you’ve missed it….and your poor Dad is probably heart broken! πŸ˜‰

I am in the fortunate position (unfortunate when you need to buy presents) of having two Dads in my life. My own Daddy (Rab) and my step Dad (Michael).

Today Bette and I met my Dad at the market at silly o’clock πŸ˜ͺ. He loves a good pruch (those of you who aren’t Scottish will have to google that) round the many stalls at the market. He buys all sorts of rubbish, but insists one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure!

After visiting two markets, I managed to talk him into a vegan lunch! My Daddy does not understand why anyone would be vegan or vegetarian. He just doesn’t get it and I’m tired of trying to explain it. So, he cooks and buys vegan for us….but eats whatever he likes otherwise and we’re all fine with that. Btw….he is the biggest softy ever when it comes to animals too. He stopped today for 10 mins to give water to a dog tied up outside the supermarket. He stood pouring water into his hand for a full ten minutes whilst the dug drank. He feeds a family of foxes and has done for YEARS….but….vegans are mental! πŸ˜‚

Despite this, he accompanied us to mono today. Mono is a gorgeous little vegan bar/cafe in Glasgow.

We enjoyed jackfruit burritos, mac and cheese and their gorgeous chips….followed by a banana split and warm apple pie with ice cream. I didn’t manage any pics, which is a poor show for a blogger….but, I was too busy in the moment. 😊 However, I did manage a snowball to take away!!

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My Daddy Bear & my wain in Mono.

In my usual fashion I forgot to post the cards to the men in my life, so i wrote my Dad’s as he strapped B in her carseat and posted Michael’s on the way home.

Michael spent the day climbing or walking his dugs, I’d imagine. I did however see a startrek tattie at the fruitmarket and sent him it….he’s a big fan (of startrek, no tatties!). I considered buying it, but it wouldn’t have lasted until I next seen him!! 🀣🀣

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After a play on Glasgow Green for a few hours, Bette and I headed home for dinner.

Tonight, if I do say so myself, I made an amazing curry. Dead simple….sweet tattie, mushroom, onion, peppers and frys chicken strips in a lovely coconut curry sauce.

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Behold…my fantoosh fabulous curry, with bulgar wheat.

The heat today haa been exhausting, and I’m no doubt burnt….being ginger and scottish does that to you!

Tonight…I’ll leave you with this….

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Do folk carry aboot their own lavvy roll?? πŸ€”

N’night….😘

D.I.Whyyy????

I’ve not been posting a lot in the last few days. Please forgive me, but I do have a very valid reason…promise!

D.I.Y!

We’ve very recently decided it’s time to relocate and as we’ll be doing this in our usual rushed way….we have had to start tarting up our faithful wee cottage to sell.

I’m on annual leave this week and ALL I have done is paint…paint…Oh, and shop for paint! I’ll be glad to get back to work for a well earned rest! (Ok…maybe that’s an exaggeration…but you get my meaning!)

Due to the fact our kitchen has been in a state of disrepair for a few days, we’ve eaten out mostly. Not good for the wallet….or our health…but needs must.

Today, however…I managed to escape the painting to pop into the shop for a couple of things….

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I got carried away!

A recent discovery to me is Morrison’s Wonky range. They sell big bags of sweet potatoes, maris piper tatties, carrots, avocado (!!!!), etc for crazy silly cheap prices….all because they’re ‘wonky. I don’t get how anyone could say an avocado is wonky…it’s green and avocado shaped! But…I’m not complaining as I got 10 for 2.80! To a vegan, this avocado and sweet tattie find is as good as a lottery win! Well, 4 numbers, a scratch card or the likes….not quite 5 and a bonus ball!

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Bulk buying cashews and avocado. Pure give away you’re a vegan!

Today we finished our kitchen and first coated our bathroom. I was sceptical how a lick of paint would increase value, but now we’ve done it I can fully appreciate how it does. Even I’m falling in love with our wee cottage again.

Because we worked late, tonights dinner was vegan fast food….a peppered steak pie, chips and peas.

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It’s shit being a vegan. You can’t eat anything….πŸ˜‚

The pie was delicious! We very rarely eat any ready made oveny (made that word up!) dinners, but sometimes you just have to…and this was very good.

Tomorrow it will all start again….but for now, I’ll leave you with the present the cat got me last week….

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No birds were hurt. The lovely magpie obliged and hopped right out the window without a fuss.

Peace out! ✌

Ask Italian.

We went out for dinner tonight, mainly because I’m shattered and could not be bothered to cook….or do a shop to facilitate cooking. We decided to try Ask…as Liz had read they had a vegan menu.

They weren’t lying…the definitely have a decent vegan menu…

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They even had a FULL KID’S VEGAN menu! Now THAT is unheard of!!

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Because despite what most food establishments believe….kids can be vegan too!

The menu made me laugh in parts….for example: vegan plum tomatoes and vegan broccoli. Is there really any need for the word vegan before a bloody plum tomato or bit of broccoli. Surely these things are vegan by default….is there any other non vegan tomato or broccoli?? 🀣

Anyway, despite this we are overjoyed to be seeing more vegan options appearing in chain restaurants.

For starters we ordered the dough balls and bruschetta. By the way….we have a taste card so everything we had was two for one…

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Bette has the vegan cucumber and vegan carrot 🀣🀣 and bread sticks. It was served with a side of tomato sauce…not some fancy chef sauce…no, Just Heinz tomato sauce. That was a bit of a fail for me, but it IS vegan!

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For mains we all had the same. A vegan pizza, with olives and caramelized onions with mushroom. They were lovely pizzas. My ONLY criticism is that it could have done with more vegan cheese. It was definitely lacking in creamy cheese….

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For dessert Liz and I opted for the chocolate and blood orange torte….OH MY GOOD GOD!

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This truly was delicious. The orange was amazing and the chocolate was so rich and creamy! The base was to die for…and the sorbet was delish! Ten out of ten for the pudding.

Overall it was a gorgeous meal…the service was very disjointed and slower than a week in the jail towards the end. But this was down to poor management rather than a lack of effort. To us it appeared that one waiter was serving the entire floor…as well as preparing the sweets behind the scenes. Too much for one poor guy…no wonder he only weighed 2 stone wet through!

I’d give Ask 9/10 for their menu. They’ve tried…and they’re doing more than many places.

Thanks for a lovely meal Ask!

Chia give me….strength…and healthy skin…and good heart health….

Hands up if you like chia seeds!

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Chia seeds have become one of the most popular ‘super foods’ of the 21st century. The fact their popular almost puts me off them, I’m much more comfortable swimming against the tide. But…nevertheless…the wealth of benefits are too irresistible to me.

Chia literally translates to strength. Β These tiny little seeds originate from Mexico, where they were used as currency (believe it or not) as they were famed for their medicinal properties. If only I could use them as currency now, I’d be a millionaire!!! 🀣

It’s reported that Aztec warriors regularly ate chia seeds to give them energy and endurance. Apparently 1tsp gave them elevated energy levels for 24 hours!! That’s quite a claim, isn’t it?

Truth is….I wasn’t around when the Aztec warriors were devouring their chia, so I cannot confirm these claims…but, I have done a shit load of reading around current claims and can say with some certainty that there is a good evidence base for the health benefits of these tiny little seeds!!

So, what do these things do….I hear you ask! Well, let me tell you….they have a whole host of health benefits.

Including;

  • Promotion of healthy skin.
  • Reducing signs of aging.
  • Supporting heart health.
  • Regulated digestive system.
  • Helps build strong bones & muscles.
  • Halt/reverse diabetes!

Considering chia seeds are almost microscopic, they pack a punch when it comes to nutrients. They’re rich in fibre, with a whopping 42% of your recommended daily intake in every ounce!

They’re also crazy full of omega-3, you know the good stuff that reduces inflammation, lowers bad cholesterol and blood pressure. Chia seeds contain more omega-3 than salmon!!! Can you believe that? So, you can get omega-3 from a seed and nobody has to die for it?? Wowza! Surely that’s all you need to hear….shift to chia….your heart will literally thank you! πŸ’ž

The humble chia seed is rich in protein, with 4.4g (9% of your daily allowance) from one portion.

They’re also full of vitamins (A, B, E & D) and minerals also. And…get this…they have 77mg of calcium per portion, 18% of your daily allowance. Which btw….isn’t much different from the amazing and necessary (sarcasm) dairy milk. 100mls of whole milk has 113mg…and considering chia seeds are TINY and cruelty free, whereas milk is literally the work of Satan (too severe?)….I don’t even think milk stands a chance here.

Let’s explore specific claims a wee bit more. Let’s start with one all of us will find beneficial; effect on skin and aging.

So, a recent study in Mexico showed that the levels of antioxidant in chia can stop up to 70% of free radicals. (The easiest way to think of free radicals is to image they’re the evil villain and Antioxidants are the body’s super hero of choice to deal with them!) Antioxidants are responsible for skin repair and play an essential role in preventing further skin damage. So….double bonus….loads of antioxidants = less free radicals and reduction in skin damage with speedy repairs! Win win!

These little beuts are also very fibre rich. We know fibre is essential for good gut health. Fibre assists the body to balance insulin levels. They also have a unique little trick – when ingested they begin to produce a gelatin like substance which works to promote the growth of probotics in the guy = healthy gut and healthy jobbies! (Yup, the world stool would have been more grown up there, but I’d have let the side down if, when presented with an opportunity to crowbar the word jobbie in, I didn’t!)

I could go on and on about these seeds. But….I’ll end on the great diabetes topic. Diabetes is a huge public health issue at present. The levels of diabetes in our population is incredible. Yes, lots of it is type 2 and related to poor diet, lifestyle, etc. However, the disease itself is prevalent at present and we should all be doing out bit to reduce the incidence of developing the disease. There are lots of ways of doing this, of course, but I’m particularly fascinated by the impact the chia seed can have on this disease.

A recent study in Argentina found some interested data when they researched this a little more deeply. To cut a very long story short, they fed a group of test rats a diet rich in sucrose with the addition of Chia seeds as fat. The results for these subjects was rather astounding….their blood didn’t alter. These animals didn’t show any signs of morbidity despite their diet consisting of 65% sugar! 😲

The second group of rats were fed a diet high in sucrose to create insulin resistance. These rats were then fed chia seeds for a further 8 weeks…and….yup, you guessed it…they recovered!!! They actually recovered.

So, from this can we go as far as saying chia can halt diabetes and perhaps even reverse it?? I don’t honestly know if we can claim that, as of yet, but what we can say is that they are having some impact. And…quite possibly…they are beneficial in the fight against diabetes.

Btw, use of rats for this study is in no way vegan, but I am simply discussing the study in its entirety. This does not mean I agree with it.

There is a ton more information out there on the chia seed. I could literally write all night! Do some research, see what you think.

They recommend you begin your chia journey with 15g per day of the seed. I have mine on my toast, in sandwiches, smoothies and even sprinkled on my dinner. But you can soak them, have them in tea or make puddings from them. The possibilities are endless.

In Chia I most definitely Β trust!

πŸ₯„

 

 

 

Friday! My second favourite F word. πŸ˜‰

TGI Friday, right?

That shit doesn’t fly with me. I don’t work Monday – Friday 9-5. So, your Friday feeling today is my Tuesday feeling. I have another 6 days at work to go before I get a single day off. πŸ™ˆ

Anyway, enough about my off duty.

Today has been a pretty good day. I haven’t had a chance to take a lot of photos of food, mainly because I’ve been working.

I started the day off with a slice of rye bread, with some peanut butter and chia seeds. Absolutely gorgeous, highly recommend it.

Lunch was the sandwich I posted about last night…with the addition of an apple, banana and a TREK bar.

But dinner….dinner was a new one for me. Tonight I made scrambled tofu!!

Now…tofu is never going to be scrambled egg, let’s get that clear from the onset. But…it’s got similar features. The texture is the same and if you pop it on a bit of toast or bread with a wee dollop (that’s a great word….dollop!) of ketchup it’s a bit of a mind twister. My brain was VERY confused!

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Scrambled tofu, rosemary & red onion sausages, grilled mushrooms and tomatoes.Β 

We served it all with a slice of carrot and pumpkin seed bread. It was absolutely gorgeous.

I’d definitely say that scrambled tofu will not be everyone’s idea of heaven, but I enjoyed it.

If you’re brave….and feel ready….have a go!

Let me know how you get on and if you enjoyed it.

Oh, ye cannae fling pieces oot a twenty story flat…

I’m fond of a piece….are you?

Just in case you were unlucky enough not to be born and raised in Scotland πŸ˜‰…a ‘piece’ is another name for a sandwich.

I love making my piece for work. I get excited deciding what to fill it with, cutting it, wrapping it. I literally build my entire working day around getting to eat the wonderful creation that is my piece! 🍞

When I first became vegan I couldn’t really think what I’d want in a sandwich. I felt panic! No egg mayonnaise; no cheese savoury; no quorn ham with lettuce and salad cream.

How naive I was!

I go through phases with all my food, but at present, my sandwich of choice will always include houmous. I use wholemeal or rye bread…smother it in a good dollop of houmous before topping with seeds. I LOVE seeds!

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Then, if you’re making the dream sandwich, you’re going to need avocado. I can’t get enough avocado. I would guess I eat 7 or 8 a week. 😲

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Once I have my avocado in place I drench the whole lot in freshly squeezed lemon juice. You can’t beat the contrast between the creamy houmous and avocado with the sharpness of lemon. Any self respecting piece has to have tomato…that’s just common sense!!!

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I finish the lot with a big handful of fresh rocket, which adds a lovely peppery taste at the end.

Anyone who believes vegans struggle to eat anything must be insane. Plants are so versatile…and there’s just so much choice!!!

What’s your favourite sandwich fillings?? I’m always looking for new ideas!

Tomorrow I’m planning a blog post about the wonders of Chia seeds. They’re my little wonder seeds…with a wealth of health benefits!

Over the next few days I’ll be blogging about all things chicken related. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and thinking about our feathered friends since watching an emotive vegan video that I very much disagreed with.

Peace and out! ✌

The Tudor, Ayr.

Tonight we invited ourselves to a family meal. We obviously had to go to the restaurant they picked, so really weren’t very hopeful of a decent vegan meal.

We called the restaurant prior to going to enquire about any vegan choices they may have. Sadly, for us…they had NO VEGAN OPTIONS on the menu!

However, all was not lost…because the staff were super friendly and were more than happy to alter dishes to make them vegan.

After a brief chat with our waitress we agreed on vegetable tempura with chilli sauce as our starter. It was absolutely gorgeous….big chunks of broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms and pepper rings. It wasn’t at all greasy and tasted really fresh, with lovely crunchy veg. I forgot to take a picture as I was too busy laughing and yapping with my uncles.

For the main we established that the vegetarian fajitas could be veganised if we left off the sour cream and cheeses. We added extra guacamole and took our own coconut cream (as you do!) to use as sour cream.

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Gorgeous crunchy vegetables in a sticky hoi sin like sauce.

The fajitas were absolutely gorgeous. They had peppers, onions, mushrooms, broccoli and potatoes. Never would I have thought to include tatties in fajitas, but they REALLY worked!

Overall, considering the Tudor didn’t have a single vegan option on their menu, I’d give them 10/10 for our delicious meal!

I’d suggest they don’t sell themselves short and add a little sentence to their menu saying dish X, Y and Z can be veganised. Because, they pulled it out the bag tonight.

No puddings for us, as you’d expect, but that’s a tiny little criticism of an overall lovely meal.

Thanks for being so helpful and going to the effort of making a dish, or two, for us. We greatly appreciate it.

✌

If God didn’t intend for us to eat animals, why did he make them out of meat? πŸ™ˆπŸ™‰πŸ™Š

As most of you already know, I am not an extremist vegan. I very much live my life the wayΒ I feel comfortable with and strive toΒ do no harm along the way. For me, the most compassionate way to do this is to live life as a vegan. I live a compassionate life, to lessen the impact of my existence on fellow earthlings, the planet and the future of this world.

I do post about different topics….some of which can be disturbing to some, such as the dairy industry and animal testing. I do this to inform people and share knoweldge. I don’t do it to scare people or make them feel guilty for their choices. I simply want to provide information to allow people to makeΒ informed decisions.

Something that has been tickling me for the last few days is the strange phenomenon of omnivires, usually men, feeling the need to comment on anything vegetarian/vegan/animal related. I read hundreds Β (ok…ok…probably thousands) of blogs/forums etc and see the same behaviour over and over again .

For example…there is quite a big push social media wide for trialling a 7 day meat free diet. On several of these posts I’ve witnessed loads of men saying stuff like “take out the kale and add steak and you’re onto a winner”….”this puts me in the mood for a big steak”….”Oh man, I’m now craving a hamburger!!”.

Why do people feel the need to do this?? Why do, in my experience, men need to post about devouring meat at every opportunity. Does meat equal masculinity??

I mean, I dont spend my life going onto videos and recipes for steak/chicken or pork and write “If you took out the chicken and added broccoli or broad beans you’d be on to a winner!”….or….”all this talk of steak is putting me right in the mood for scrambled tofu”.

Why do folk go onto pages they clearly have zero interest in to post an inane comment like the ones above?? 🀣🀣

I also notice it happens when people post videos or pictures of farm animals, such as cows, chickens or pigs. The same folk say shit like…”I love steak!!”….”Heading straight down to KFC”. Or, for me…the worst one I’ve heard was someone describing piglets as “yummy slabs of bacon”. I mean, really??? Looking at a living, breathing newborn animal and just seeing meat? That’s not normal to me! It’s one thing liking meat, but devaluing a living creature to the point of not even recognising it as a life is psychotic to me!

Don’t get me wrong. There are many many mental vegans out there. Vegans who forget this lifestyle is about compassion…to ALL living creatures, which of course includes other humans.

I’ve heard every point of view surrounding eating animals….

“God created animals for us to eat!” 🀣

“It’s the food chain. We’re at the top. It’s just how nature intended it.” πŸ€”

“You’ll be infertile if you don’t consume animal protein…thats a fact!” πŸ€”πŸ€“πŸ˜‚

“If you walked through a field with a lion….he’d eat you. That’s the natural order.” (This one confused me, as the same person provided we’re at the top of the food chain quote!) πŸ˜‚

“If we didn’t eat cows and sheep they’d become extinct.”Β (Yeah! Because we don’t ever see cats, dogs, hamsters, etc any more!)

“If we didn’t cull to eat them they’d take over the world….”Β I’ll just leave you to ponder this cracker!

I’m sure you could add a hundred more reasons that you’ve heard (and feel free to leave them in the comments, I love a laugh!). But…truth is…there is no need to farm animals the way we do, or to consume the quantities of meat we currently do. It’s not healthy for the planet or for our body! With so many plant based alternatives available to us, we should all strive to reduce the consumption of animals and discourage the practice of factory farming.

End of rant….😁

Some people are so poor all they have is money…

Nobody said it was cheap being a vegan. We don’t eat processed food (as a general rule), we use fresh plant based ingredients for every meal. Our shopping usually consists of 80% fruit and vegetables, 10% grains/pasta etc and 10% other items (coffee, sauces, etc). Today….we went equipped with a VERY detailed list and we came home with Β£105 worth of delicious vegan goodies.

In fairness, this haul will last us for 10-12 days. So it’s not a huge amount per day, but I did watch people go through the checkout with trolleys packed with frozen, processed rubbish; loads of animal proteins/products; alcohol and their trolley came to less than ours!

There is something fundamentally wrong with this! It should not be cheaper to buy rubbish and flesh of a being, than it is to buy plant based fresh food.

I’m forever impressed with Aldi. As well as having fab veg at fab prices, it has now started doing some powders and supplements to add into your diet. I normally buy all of these things from Holland and Barrett, but decided I’d give these a go. They were super cheap, so I’ll use them in my smoothies and let you all know how the fair with their extortionate counterparts.

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Dinner tonight was a new dish for me. I decided to try a West African Peanut ‘soup’.

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Very few ingredients required.

This recipe was super easy to follow. You literally just throw everything into the stock and let it cook down. (I’ll post a separate recipe later, for those interested).

The end result was DELICIOUS!

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West African Peanut ‘soup’ with kale and sweet potatoes. Served with bulgar wheat and roasted cauliflower.

I’d say this has shot to the top of my favourite meals list. It’s actually heaven in a bowl!!! And to think people actually believe vegans have a boring diet and struggle to eat ‘anything’. Pffftttt!! 🀣

Before we left today we had a real lunch of champions. I skipped breakfast, which is rare, but made up for it with an extra half of bagel.

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Bagel with houmous, avocado, tomato and seeds. πŸ’—

Liz is in to marmite in a HUGE way right now, so she swapped the houmous for vegan cream cheese and the seeds for marmite.

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Marmite, do you love it or hate it?

Plan for tonight is to relax (perhaps enjoy a wee coconut cappuccino and some alpro chocolate over fruit later) and watch a movie.

We have been trying to watch more movies recently. If you haven’t seen ‘I, Daniel Blake…’ I urge you all to watch it before you go down to cast your vote. It really is an emotive and informative movie, about the reality of our benefits system. Referring to state assistance as ‘benefits’ is absurd. They make it sound like a luxury, like you’re really hitting the big-time if you’re lucky enough to be in receipt of it. 🀣

Hope you’ve had a good day, whatever you’ve been up to. ✌