A Plymothian Brunch at Rocksalt

Recently my friend Lizzie and I went for breakfast at Rocksalt Café and Brasserie in Plymouth, it’s a little known spot in Millbay nestled amongst the regeneration of the area and some beautiful old houses. I’ve really started to fall for areas west of the city centre lately, discovering some real gems in and around Millbay, Stonehouse and Devonport.

I’m a big fan of Rocksalt, it’s cute without being twee, and it’s rustic whilst retaining the lightness that comes from being near the sea. It has a great ambience, and thankfully, the food is fantastic too. I’m yet to try them for lunch or dinner but I can certainly vouch for their breakfasts; they’re really good.

The food at Rocksalt is locally sourced where possible, and the team are so friendly and helpful. Lizzie and I didn’t want eggs in our vegetarian cooked breakfast (which was delicious I might add) and we were kindly offered guacamole instead (um yes please!). We then topped it off with a plate of warm banana and date loaf with toasted walnuts and sour cream. It was divine. We had such a lovely, chilled morning together and it was so fun to relax from exam stress in such a light and calm environment. I love supporting local businesses, and Plymouth has a lot of really wonderful, unique small businesses that definitely need more attention.

Where have you been discovering lately near you? Anywhere in Plymouth I should visit next? Let me know!

MJ x

Rocksalt is open from 10am til late every day and can be found at 31 Stonehouse Street, Plymouth, Devon PL1 3PE; plenty of parking in the surrounding streets, brillo. 

Native Makers Summer Market

I’m pretty excited to be writing this blog. This Saturday, an incredible collection of Native Makers are going to be gathering together at Devonport Guildhall in Plymouth and sharing their creativity with you, with me and with one another.

The wonders that are Rosie Drake-Knight and Emily Dymond (both gifted creators and talented coordinators) have handpicked artisans from across the board. From baked goods to bicycles, flowers to framed prints, musicians to all sorts of makers, there is something for everyone.

This is the second Native Makers market. The debut market was held at Radiant and Rumpus Cosy in Plymouth before Christmas; fuelled with mulled cider and giddy at the twinkling lights of the Christmas grotto, I found that just visiting the space was an experience in itself. It was amazing to witness such a gathering of creators, likeminded but unique people with the physical manifestations of their creativity on display and available to take home. I have no doubt that this Native Makers Summer Market will be just as much an experience and entirely worthy of an hour or two of your time.

I’m also thrilled to say that this time I get to be a little part of it – did you see my name in the video?! I’m going to be performing a few of my own songs on the day at 1pm and I would love to see some friends there. It’s been a while since I’ve performed and I’m nervous but glad to be ready to share again.

So here are the deets: the event opens at 10am, if you cycle to the event you get a free bike MOT from The Bike Space, live music throughout the day, bring cash (you will not want to leave empty handed) and it all ends at 4pm. See you there!

MJ out x

The Road to Running

I’m rather into my running these days. When I think back to a year ago, I could barely run 3km without a severe stitch and feeling like I was going to die. An old friend leant me a copy of an amazing book called Born to Run by Christopher McDougall when I was in France last year which I read twice because it was so good. While my first forays into barefoot running weren’t overly successful – let’s not talk about it – it really ignited in me some curiosity about running. There’s some amazing stories in that book that really opened my eyes to the human body and what it is capable of, and from there the internet did a good job of filling in the gaps.

Last April I went to Holland to visit a good friend who is living out there, we agreed to run what I thought was going to be a 3km fun run (so yeah fine, maybe a stitch but we’ll cope) but on the day I discovered that the Leiden Singelloop was actually a 7.2km circuit around the town, I was bricking it but we managed it. We finished together, got a medal and a big slice of orange at the end. I even smiled my way along the route, which it turns out is now a weird habit I have when I run…

In October last year I joined with a load of lovely girls from my hockey club to run the Plymouth 10k – it was such a good event and although I hadn’t trained I was thrilled to finish with a reasonable time and a big smile …and a blister. After that I decided that training was probably a good idea and I jumped on the half marathon bandwagon with the hockey girls. Lots of running, plus an armband and a running app later (surprisingly useful… I use Strava) I decided that I was quite into this running thing and slowly got into the swing of training.

In January, after a difficult day of fear and sadness my housemate and I got talking about the future (maybe unwise on one of those days…) and I think we wanted to ask more of ourselves. Beth suggested the Athens marathon, I’d been posting it all over Facebook before Christmas as something the hockey girls might be keen for but hadn’t ever considered that I might be capable or interested. Something sparked my imagination that day, I think I just desperately needed something tangible to work towards, some kind of hope to work me out of the strange rut I was in at the time. So we signed up.

During this time I’d started reading more about the benefits of a plant based wholefood diet for runners, promoting natural fuel for your body and faster recovery times. Eat and Run by Scott Jurek was particularly helpful in learning more about this, and a really enjoyable and inspiring story to read as well. He’s an ultramarathon runner and I’d read a bit about him before in Born to Run and online. Ultras are anything more than the marathon distance and a real test of endurance in both body and spirit… the idea is certainly tempting. I’ve been learning about plant based diets and they certainly seem like a supremely healthy, energising and effective way to fuel your body to run long distances. I didn’t eat much meat before anyway so I’ve cut it from my diet and I’m not having dairy really except for when I fancy some cake… so we’re working on that. I’ve been really inspired by my friend Laura from church who just released a book (it’s in Waterstones!) called the Alkaline 5 Diet, definitely worth checking out. She’s been researching for many years and really knows her stuff.

Last week I ran my furthest distance in the Plymouth Half Marathon at a comfortable pace and finished in 1:58:04. I was happy to get a time under 2 hours and I’m excited to train more and hopefully run that distance faster. The outrageous number of hills in Plymouth provide excellent practice for Athens which is basically all uphill except for the final 6 miles or so.

That’s my running story so far, I’m so excited to see where it gets me. Athens, then an ultra? Or maybe a triathlon? …Or maybe both! I’d love to hear from any other runners out there, do you use training regimes? Eat in a particular way? Have any tips? Know any good routes in Devon and Cornwall? Let me know!

See you next time! MJ x

P.S Please forgive me for posting Amazon links, I’d encourage you to buy from your local bookshop if possible. We have a great independent one in Plymouth called University Bookseller on North Hill and Waterstones is great too.

P.P.S I should definitely thank Rob and Jess – super couple who run lots and inspire me loads, they run beautiful tracks in Cornwall and document them on Instagram using the hashtag #shootmyrun – good stuff.

…And one more thing. I’m raising money for a charity called Hope for Children with the Athens marathon, I’ve got quite a big fundraising target to meet of £1200. I’ve raised almost a third so far but there’s still a lot to go, any donations would mean so much to me and make an amazing difference in the lives of children in the UK and across Africa. Please click here to donate if you would like to. 

An Ethical Adventure

When choosing a dissertation topic two years ago my advisor at the time gave me a piece of advice that stuck with me: study something you’re genuinely interested in. I took him seriously and chose the ethics of consumption, specifically within fashion.

I think that the clothes we wear are important, I don’t believe they define us but I believe they say something about us. Identity and fashion is so intrinsically linked and I think it’s vital that we ask ourselves what we want to say with the clothes that we wear. I’m a regular reader of Vogue, I’m up to date on LFW and the thought of not making my regular trip to Topshop gives me the shakes. I’d say I care about my clothes and I care about what I wear. If you were to look into my wardrobe you would find a carefully curated collection of clothes that I’m pleased to say work for me and aren’t overwhelming in quantity. I suppose I’m more minimalist than the majority but the idea that ‘less is more’ is something that permeates all aspects of my life.

Continue reading “An Ethical Adventure”

Away

In the past few months I’ve taken a sort of blogging hiatus. In actual fact I’ve just been away so to speak. Away in my own head, away with life, away with myself.

So here’s a round up of what I’ve been up to in the past months…
I worked an obscene amount over the summer. Waitressing is fun but maybe not that fun…
I did a bit of sailing with some of my favourite people to be on a boat with.
I went to Asia for a month, it was stunning and interesting and hard work all at the same time.
In September I moved into a house with some amazing girls. They make me laugh and teach me lessons about life, serving and loving others.
I became a godmother to the most beautiful little girl in the world.
I’ve spent a lot of time in front of my laptop, and a lot of time playing hockey (really practising my hit).
I’ve been back with my amazing church community after my year abroad.
And last week I cut my long hair off into a bob.

Continue reading “Away”