Incredible India

Saturday, 20 August 2016

When I was younger, I found going into shops on my own daunting. It's only in the last couple years I've really found my independence and this summer I leaped out of my comfort zone and set off for India. 

   I'm in my final year at vet school so I went to do a surgical course, neutering street dogs to help control the population and control the rabies problem over there. You can read about the charity and the different trips they offer here. I highly recommend them if you're an animal lover :)

 I knew people said it was a culture shock, but my goodness was it!! The driving was absolutely manic! There was no way I was getting any sleep on the mini bus. 

There was so much to see as we crossed southern India; people selling coconuts on the side of the road, men chopping up raw pieces of meat swarming in flies, cages of live chickens, stalls selling spices, sweets and other goodies...and lucky for us, our drive over meant driving through the Mudumalai tiger reserve where we saw so many wild jungle elephants, monkeys, bison, wild boar and  deer!

After 10 hours on a plane, a 6 hours wait at the airport and another 9 and a half hours on the mini bus, I arrived at the training centre. Our hot water wasn't working and all we had was a bucket so my 'shower' was basically the ice bucket challenge. The toilets were those dreaded squat toilets you find abroad. Electricity came and went throughout the day. It was a bit overwhelming, especially as I hadn't slept for 48 hours but by the end of the trip, I embraced this way of living! It really does make you appreciate how lucky we are! 

I did two surgeries and two anaesthesias a day which included lots of puppy cuddling too! It was an amazing opportunity to build on my (basically non-existent) surgical skills and confidence. 

My favourite day was when we visited the local villages to vaccinate the dogs against rabies. The houses were made out of all kinds of materials, a mix of beautiful colours and there was lots of climbing up and down ladders to get to them! 

Can we all just take a moment to take in the cuteness of this little fella'!

We stopped for breakfast halfway through...and yes that is curry! Something I grew to love first thing in the morning and actually miss. Over there, they eat it with their hands so of course, do as the locals do!

On our day off, we got up super early and headed to the local tiger reserve. A huge bison walked right past the window of our mini bus! We also had a bit of an encounter with a's a good idea to close car windows when near monkeys, just a little tip. 

We also did a spot of shopping in Ooty where I bought sooo many shawls. I'm obsessed with them. I don't even wear shawls but anything with a colourful pattern will steal my heart. I have reluctantly given a few away as gifts to my family (love them for me please if you're reading this). 

I've never tasted a samosa as good as this!

They know their stuff!

As well as chocolate, Ooty is famous for its tea. We ventured up into the tea fields and found ourselves looking down into a valley where there were lots of wild bison scattered throughout the trees. A local man had to guide us back to safety as it turned out we'd explored our way into a bear's habitat who had already killed two people!! Who'd have thought a little stroll could turn into an adrenaline filled experience!

I still get emotional now thinking back to how amazing the trip was!!! On the way back to the airport we stopped at Mysore to see the beautiful palace. We even went inside, and did the whole taking off your shoes to show respect thing. 

The best part was of course meeting everyone in my group! I've definitely made some friends for life there :)

India. You are smelly, dirty and amazingly beautiful. You can't help but fall for the place. 

Anyone thinking about travelling or doing anything outside of their comfort zone, I'm yelling at you now to do it!! You won't regret it!

p.s. I now have a facebook page which you can find here

Banana, Blueberry and Cinnamon Pancakes

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Every pancake day I wonder why we all don't eat pancakes more often? They're soooo easy to make and you can mix it up filling wise, whether you want sweet or savoury!

Some might argue they're not the healthiest option,...BUT what if I told you I have the solution for you?

Banana pancakes are made from food that's good for you and are gluten free - bye bye bloating!

To make these guilt-free pancakes you will need:

2 Bananas
1 Egg
Handful of Blueberries
Coconut Oil 
Fat Free Plain Yogurt (optional)

(1) Chop up your bananas and mash them up till they're as smooth as possible

(2) Crack in your egg and mix it in till the mixture in nice and smooth with minimal lumps and then sprinkle in as much cinnamon as you like 

(3) Heat your oil in a frying pan and put a ladel full of mixture to fry - as you would a normal pancake. I find the thicker and smaller ones are easier to keep in pancake shape!

(4) Fry for a couple minutes then attempt to flip it without making a mess (little tricky with these, not going to lie to you!)

(5) Once they look cooked, serve with yogurt and a good handful of blueberries :)

This recipe will make about 3 small pancakes or 2 big ones so basically enough for one!!!

Enjoy xx

A few things you may not know about me..

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

1. I play 'white noise' from my phone to help me sleep at night

2. I hate wrists..they just freak me out..keep your tendons to yourself please

3. If I'm buying a bottle of shampoo or something similar, I'll never take the one from the front of the shelf - oh no!

4. I love Sean Paul, Pitbull and Fuse ODG and have no shame - the sound of summer

5. I am part french, scottish, italian, german, swiss and irish..shall we just say European?

6. It's not the most exciting of choices but my favourite animal is the dog

7. Before wanting to be a vet, I wanted to be an astronaut

8. Sometimes I cry for what appears to be absolutely no reason

9. I love weird twisted films like 'Knock Knock' and 'Misery'

10. If I turn down a big social event then it's probably because I'm too anxious to go

11. I would love a pet chicken purely so I can call her Nando...and well free eggs too

12. I think capers are the most disgusting food out there

13. I don't really have a favourite colour, but I like when there's a colour scheme in rooms

14. My Aunty used to call me 'Emma-Jane' when I was little and I hated middle name is Jane

15. Eating out at restaurants is one of my absolute favourite things to do

16. If I have a disappointing meal out then I genuinely will feel sad

17. If you've upset me in my dreams then I'll be holding a grudge against you in real life the next day..I'll just try not to let you know it

18. I wish I read more books but honestly, I just go through the odd reading phase here and then

19. I love buying new PJs and will put them on as early as is sociably acceptable after a day out

20. Baths > Showers (sorry environment)

21. I never watched Fresh Prince of Bel Air so I just kinda dance awkwardly whenever everyone starts singing the theme tune on nights out

22. I used to fancy TJ from Recess

23. My hands are almost always freezing

24. I used to drink Sunny D with a spoon

Animals Inside Out

Thursday, 16 June 2016

The Animals Inside Out Exhibition is at the Centre For Life in Newcastle up until the 3rd January 2017 and you just have to go. There, I got straight to the point. 

Thanks to Dr Gunther von Hagens, who invented plastination, we are now able to preserve the anatomy of animals (and humans) so we can see what's really going on under the skin! Body fluids and fats are removed and replaced with synthetic materials.  

*Please note there are some spoilers, so don't scroll any further if you'd rather keep it all a surprise*

Come on, lets have a peek at what's in there shall we?

The sheer size of this bear was basically. I would not want to be attacked by it, that's for sure. Well done Leo for surviving the bear attack in the Revenant!!

The Gorilla - another animal I'd like to avoid being attacked by. Walking around all of the exhibits and seeing their size and adaptations for attack up close was pretty scary stuff! It is amazing how human like Gorillas are. There was a human exhibit just next to this one for comparison which was really interesting.

It must have taken a looooong time preparing this fella for preserving. Just look at him!

This exhibit fascinated me the most believe it or not. Just the huge amount of capillaries in the head was mind blowing to see! I honestly had no idea.

You'll never guess what this is...

Go on, have a closer look..

It is fact a Liver!!! Well the blood vessels in the Liver and it belongs to this guy...

He is a Blue Shark and his liver makes up a whopping 40% of his total body volume. Come on, you can't say you're not impressed!

I don't think you need to be particularly  interested in animals or a science geek to be fascinated by this exhibition. There's a great range of creatures great and small to see - some more unusual than others!

It's about £14 for adults and £11 for students and gives you access to the whole of the life centre which has lots of fun science experiments to try out, a planetarium and a 4D experience that shouldn't be missed!!

Just a quick note to put those worried minds at rest that no animals were killed or harmed for the making of this exhibition :)

Design by | SweetElectric