1. Ebony playing with the toys at the museum. 2. Relaxing at the museum. 3. A beautiful old till at the museum. 4. Laurie picking out songs on the museum's jukebox.
I celebrated (commiserated?) my birthday over the weekend, I am now the grand old age of 28. Ok, not old perhaps, but I’m not feeling at my most youthful. Over the past week I’ve been having a slight life crisis, and feeling pretty bloody aged. Not aged by my 28 years, more rather aged for them.
As I look across my spectrum of friends, and see people planning weddings, seeing the world and casually discussing the possibility of future babies, I cannot help but feel old. Here I am, haggard and exhausted after two long years of relentless sleep deprivation, and it is hard to summon up the pretence of youth.
Last week I was genuinely excited to see the washing machine repair man, and it is very hard to write that sentence, because this is not what I imagined would excite me at 28. I was hoping we would have moved house by my birthday, and that I would be able to invite some friends over to celebrate. But alas, we have not moved, and our tiny house is piled high with boxes, so there isn’t really much room for celebration. Instead, we decided to make the most of Ebony’s now early bedtime, and have a nice meal together once she was asleep.
Morrisons kindly offered me £80 worth of vouchers to celebrate the launch of their new lower prices, so we headed there in search of ingredients on Saturday morning. Our nearest store is in Bredbury, and though we pop in every so often, it’s not our go-to shop. As we entered the store, we went straight to the fresh produce, and filled our trolley. The new prices are much lower than I expected - a full cucumber cost just 50p, which is much lower than where we normally shop. There were plenty of bargains to be had, so we stocked up on fruit and salad.
My one issue with Morrisons is that they don’t label any of their products as vegan, which is one of the reasons why we don’t usually shop there. I hadn’t really considered how annoying it would be to have to keep stopping to google things in store. They don’t produce a vegan list, so it’s actually pretty difficult to find out whether some things are even suitable for vegans. They did have quite a few vegan products, from millionaire shortbread to prosecco, sage and onion slices to yoghurts, which I thought was good, but I wish the own brand products had been labelled as vegan.
We made the most of the drinks offers, of course, and managed to find a vegan friendly prosecco on the shelves. And I bought a bottle of amaretto, obviously, to be honest it was a struggle to not spend all of the vouchers on amaretto. But we bought ingredients for our fancy meal, and Laurie also picked up some bits and pieces for my birthday cake. I think we got a lot for our money, and our trolley was overflowing by the end (with beer, ahem). Lots of products had the ‘I’m cheaper’ stickers on, meaning the prices have been permanently reduced, and there were lots of bargains to be had.
For my birthday, Laurie and Ebony gave me a new camera lens that I’ve been eyeing up for months. I love the photos it can take, it’s completely different to my usual lens. When asked what I wanted to do for my birthday, I said I wanted to go to see the 150 Years of the Cooperative exhibition at the People’s History Museum, saying this aloud did not help my life crisis. But we went, and it was really good. It was really interesting to walk round the museum, and they had lots of things to keep little ones entertained.
Once Ebony was tucked up in bed, Laurie started on dinner. We decided to have battered tofu, homemade chips and mushy peas, and it was so good. We used part of a recipe from the Terre a Terre cookbook, but added in a tofu marinade found online (because the Terre a Terre recipe uses halloumi instead of tofu). While Laurie was cooking, I made us some prosecco cocktails with the ingredients bought in Morrisons, again using recipes from the Terre a Terre cookbook.
For our slap-up meal, we bought a block of firm tofu, a bag of frozen peas, some lose potatoes, some fresh parsley, some fresh mint and some soya milk. In total, we spent about £1.75 per portion, and it was delicious (and easy to make, so I’m told). We also used a few ingredients we already had including plain flour, salt and oil.
For the prosecco cocktails, we bought a bottle of prosecco, some strawberries and some Fairtrade sugar. I estimate this set us back about £1.60 per glass. We also used some creme de cassis from home.
Disclaimer: I was offered some Morrisons vouchers in exchange for writing about their service, but all words and thoughts are my own.