My very own website!!! Yikes!

#GlobalBlogging 95

Happy Monday everyone and welcome to Global Blogging!
Wherever you are in the world, come and join me and Heather at Shank You Very Much! You can link up any 2 posts then please comment on both host posts and the one in front of yours.
Please encourage your friends to join us by sharing on social media (or send them a DM and insist)! Linkies are a great way to discover new blogs and blogging friends as well as promote your own posts and raise your DA so please visit us each week!
Pop over and get friendly in our Facebook group! Add your post to the weekly thread and get sharing! https://www.facebook.com/groups/2041178179277587/
Here is our gorgeous badge to add to your linked up post, any problems let us know! 🙂
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So why should you use this linky? We have fascinating bloggers join us every week, Heather has an amazing sense of humour and every week we pick our favourite post so link up now to get the chance to earn our featured blogger badge and a precious backlink.
My favourite from last week’s posts was Bellissimamma, a reminder of all the things to consider when planning childcare options. Heather has chosen Daddy Poppins about the lack of sleep that children inflict on their parents (something that Zach has become a master of since Christmas, zzzzz). Please add your featured blogger badge! :
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Bloggers from all around the world are invited to link up their posts: come and join us!
As usual for a linky there are a few rules:
  • If you need any help linking up, tweet one of us (@HeatherKeet, @musingstiredmum), we are happy to help!
  • Please add #globalblogging to any comment so we know you came from here!
  • If the post before yours does not have our badge or a backlink then please do not comment but pick another that takes your fancy
  • You may link up to 2 posts between 6am on Monday and 11pm on Tuesday (GMT!). All subjects welcome!
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  • We can share your post on Facebook too! Just mention us on your FB post and we will share it on our pages @loopyloulaura @ShankYouHeather
Please follow the rules! Last week we had someone link up 4 posts and several had no badge or backlink so sadly had no comments or tweets 🙁
I look forward to reading your posts and getting social! Have a great week everyone!


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Should I make my children vegetarian or vegan?

I’m now two thirds of the way through my first month as a vegan and am all set to continue, hopefully for the rest of my life.

This week I have hit a new dilemma as preparing meat for the children to eat made me feel physically sick to the point of retching.
I always said that lifestyle choice should be down to the individual and I never had any intention of forcing my views onto my children.
Veganism is not about food. It is a way of life, a philosophy that underpins our existence.

As such, it cannot be imposed but must be accepted as rational truth by each person who dedicates themselves to ending the slavery of animals for the benefit of humanity.
Being humane, being human.
I have no wish to indoctrinate others but I would ask readers of my blog to educate yourselves and make informed choices.
There are practical reasons for wanting my children to be vegetarian as a minimum. We throw an awful lot of food away. If the children became vegan or vegetarian then we could use up leftovers and do more batch cooking.
My children have eaten several vegan meals in the last few weeks and I think they would easily be able to get the right nutirents to support their growth. My fears are that I don’t want to enforce a choice on them. I don’t want to make their lives awkward when others are tucking into sausages at parties or school.
Veganism is still seen as different and unusual. Food brands and restaurants are making an effort to be more inclusive but choosing to be a vegan in our current society is life limiting. Labelling is grossly inadequate and inconsistent. Opinion is the media is unflattering at its kindest.


In the news this week, they have been discussing the planetary diet which significantly reduces the amount of meat and food that we eat for the sustainability of the planet and human race.
I am fully aware that there are controversies and problems associated with veganism in terms of farming methods and the militant actions that some take. I have written before that as humans we should be kind to ourselves just as we should to animals.
Thinking of the harm we cause to animals is not a pleasant topic. I thought that 20 years of vegetarianism had made a difference but by continuing to consume animal products I was still perpetuating the killing process.
My dilemma is that if I showed my children the images and videos which haunt me, they would choose veganism, or at least vegetarianism, instantly. However, I believe they are too young to see the cruelty that we inflict and want to protect them. At the same time, I want to protect their future health and that of the planet by reducing their meat intake. Yet my children are individuals with the freedom to choose their own way in life, to find their own happiness.
But don’t all children of all species deserve the same…?


#Project365 week 3

Day 13: a special treat for us and our first attempt at eating out as vegans. We have discovered a newly opened burger restaurant and takeaway, Miami Burger in Reading, where EVERYTHING is vegan, woohoo!!!

Day 14: Zach’s version of hide and seek. Basically if he can’t see you then you can’t see him. I seem to win this game all the time… 🙂

Day 15: surprise extra swim for Matt. Chris has started giving him lessons to build confidence before a Cubs trip to the pool next month

Day 16: someone was awake at 5am. Someone fell asleep on the morning school run. Someone’s mum did not get a rest…

Day 17: Anya wanted extra freckles and make up

Day 18: ice ice baby! Anya draws on my car whenever she can!

Day 19: Chris has made a guitar! Here is Anya trying it out!

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Next Victim by Helen H Durrant



Rachel King has already lost her marriage due to her police career, now her children are in danger as well and a lover from her past threatens the career she loves.
A killer is on the loose, leaving a trail of red herrings to distract the police. We see part of the plot from his viewpoint and learn a little about his past.
Meanwhile a young woman is convinced that she once had a twin brother but her father denies it. Is she imagining her twin or did he disappear at the same time as her mother?
Rachel must discover the links between her former lover, who happens to be a notorious criminal, and the murder case, and how the twin query features in the story.
I really enjoyed this book and had no idea of the identitiy of the killer. The loose ends were tied up nicely and there is plenty of scope for developing the police characters and their relationships in later books (I’m hoping for sequels!)
The descriptions of the violence, murder ands and post mortems are not particularly graphic. There is a good balance between the viewpoint of the murderer and that of Rachel and her colleagues.
Rachel is a good lead character and her past mistakes and difficult present make her a more believeable and relatable person so she appeals to the reader.

NEXT VICTIM by Helen H. Durrant



A young man’s body is found burnt and tortured by a Manchester canal.

Detective Rachel King investigates. But she has a secret, the love of her life is a well-known villain. He has recently come back on the scene. But what does he really want?

A brutal serial killer with a taste for good-looking young blonde men.

A student who believes she has a lost brother. But even her own father doesn’t believe her. She was involved with the first victim.

As the murders continue, can Rachel keep her family together and stop the killer?

DCI Rachel King. Thirty-nine year-old mother of two teenage daughters. Divorced from Alan.  She lives in the Cheshire village of Poynton – about ten miles from central Manchester. She is good at her job, gets results but does make mistakes. One of them was getting involved with a budding villain in her teens. No one, family, friends or colleagues know anything about this.
OVER 700,000 books sold of her Calladine & Bayliss and DI Greco Series
I’m one of the ‘baby boomer’ generation. I was born in Edinburgh to an English father and Scottish mother. My father was from the North West of England and this was where the family settled.
I know the area well, both the good and the bad, and so I set my books here. Sitting between two counties, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and between the city and the hills, it offers a rich mix of the industrial and the countryside and all the character therein. I always planned to write crime novels — to create the characters in my books. Since my retirement from a busy teaching job in FE, this is what I’ve done — almost to exclusion of anything else!
I have a grown-up family and five grandchildren. They see me as something of an eccentric — always on my laptop writing away. Writing is something of a second career and, despite having a bus pass, keeps me busy, young and tuned in the world as it currently is.
Twitter @hhdurrant
Facebook       https://www.facebook.com/helen.durrant.12
Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Calladine-Bayliss-Detective-Novels/614047648616619?ref=hl
Website  https://www.helenhdurrant.co.uk/

Diary of a vegan day 11-15


I’m really loving batch cooking and leftovers.
Day 11’s lunch was thai green tofu curry from the day before. For tea I was a little bit uninspired and underwhelmed. Chris was away for the night so I wanted something quick and easy and decided to try the CoOp tomato soup. It was just like a bowl of tinned tomatoes (which I would quite happily eat!) but I expected more (at 3 times the price!) so was disappointed.

Day 12 I got experimental with some vegan cream cheese and made a creamy pasta sauce which was really rather good. Chris was home in time for tea and we dirty wedges and a brand of pizza that I hadn’t tried before.

Sunday was a super treat! Miami Burger, a new vegan burger restaurant and takeaway had opened in Reading at the start of the year and we were invited to go and try their menu. Mega happy smiles all round. The food was amazing (read more here)

Tea was leftovers. Still loving the corn cakes and oat cakes but cheese still not getting me excited.

I love it when products I already eat turn out to be vegan! Ilumi noodles are labelled as vegetarian on the pot but described as vegan on their website: why no consistency??? They taste good 🙂

Got my baking mojo going and made some vegan biscuits. I used my shortbread recipe and used block Stork instead of butter. It is missing the richness of my usual shortbread but thinking of them as biscuits instead makes them much more acceptable!

Also loving a meal that I can make for all 5 of us and everyone eats every scrap! Yay for my Italian heritage and spaghetti bolognese. Not as good as my dad’s but he has been making it for 40 years!

Another try at cheese on toast, this time using sliced Violife and jalopenos. It was a slight improvement on my previous attempt but it still gets an odd texture when melted.

Another leftover meal for all of us: using the bolognese I made a cottage pie.

Half of the first month gone and things are going from strength to strength. Cheese remains an issue but the cream cheese is good and versatile. Next step: try baking a cake…