Vegetarian Okonomiyaki in Hiroshima

When heading to the Osaka and Hiroshima based areas of Japan, you’ll often hear the advice that you must try Okonomiyaki.

Okonomiyaki is a savoury pancake, consisting of batter (or noodles), cabbage, pork and a variety of toppings to add. It’s cooked on a hot surface, and flipped a number of times until to begins to take the shape of a pancake.


One of the traditional ingredients is otafuku sauce, which is made with meat extract. And this is fairly hard to avoid when trying to order Okonomiyaki in a traditional restaurant. You can order without pork, but generally it will still come with the sauce, which if you’re a strict vegetarian is obviously a problem.

However, if you’re visiting Hiroshima, you do have an excellent alternative. A restaurant called Nagataya Hiroshima, just stepping stones from Peace Park.


They have two menus – one traditional and one vegetarian/vegan. The veggie menu has a number of options, and varies from pescatarian to full vegan. They are careful to use different utensils for veggie dishes to avoid contamination. And they have developed their own vegetarian otafuku sauce.

Due to the nature of the preparing the dish, it is cooked on the same hot surface as meat dishes. But they cleaned it thoroughly between eat dish. For extra reassurance opt to sit at the counter where you can see it being made, which is an interesting experience in itself.


I would definitely recommend a visit to Nagataya Hiroshima. I made to sure to make a return trip, and was not disappointed!

The Kitten Went Out The Window!

We’ve had little Momo home for around 2 months now, and there have been a number of learning curves. How to cope with him climbing our legs, remembering to hide all the toilet roll, and constantly checking our feet while walking down the stairs.

There have been a number of minor ailments, including a sticky eye and a paw under the muscle roller. But thankfully nothing serious.


Anyway, our little boy loves the fresh air and can’t go out yet (as he’s awaiting his personal operation). And he’d taken to sitting by the window in our bedroom (on the first floor). At first I got extremely anxious and made numerous efforts to keep him away from the window (to no avail – he’s much faster than me!)

My boyfriend was less risk averse, and let him sit up there under close supervision. Time went on and we were more and more confident he wasn’t about to leap out. He just liked the breeze on his face, and nosing on the neighbours.


It got to the point we were fairly happy to have him near the window as long as we were in the room too. This worked for about a month, until the fateful night in mid August.

He fell out the window!

All I heard was a scrabbling noise, followed by a thud. We rushed downstairs and couldn’t find him anywhere. I was absolutely distraught.

Unfortunately it was 9pm and completely dark outside, so we struggled to look for him. He wasn’t responding to his name, the food tin or his favourite toy. After searching up and down the road, we finally found him hiding behind the wheelie bin close to the house.


It was such a relief to find him, and he seemed remarkably well considering his serious tumble. He had one limpy paw, a scuffed nose, and was rather shaken up.

Despite seeming okay we rushed him to the out of hours vets nonetheless. They checked him over and said he should be fine, but offered to keep him in for observation in case he developed a head injury. Of course we wanted what was best for him, and he was admitted overnight.

After a terrible, sleepless night we were back at the vets to collect our Momo in the morning. Thankfully he was still okay, and the vet said he’d be absolutely fine. Such a relief!


Needless to say we’re now the proud owners of FlatCats – mesh window barriers which Velcro on and off. For £50 a pair, these allow Momo to have his breeze, but no further mishaps.

Momo has completely bounced back, and is totally unfazed by his experience. Still as bouncy and bright as ever. In fact it’s been rather difficult to get him to rest his paw. But even so it’s improved substantially.

A week on I’m still fairly shaken, and sometimes still hear the scrabble and thud. Almost like a flashback. But I give him a cuddle and remind myself he’s okay. Thank goodness kitties have 9 lives!


Can you travel long term with a mortgage?

A lot of people advocate for “travelling while you’re young”, and often this is associated with a lack of responsibilities. For example, it’s best to go before you’ve settled down, bought a house, started a career, had a family etc.

I won’t deny that travel is probably in many ways easier before all these commitments. But there is another side to the debate.
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What Occupational Therapists Really Do

I went out for dinner with two close friends last night, and when talking about work one said “you’re a bit like Chandler from Friends.. No one really knows what your job is!”

I’ve been a qualified Occupational Therapist for over three years (and a MSc OT student for two years before that), and sometimes I still stumble when trying to explain what I do.

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Travel Budget – New Zealand

Prior to arriving in New Zealand my budget for this country was one of the big unknowns in preparing for the trip. This is because we were planning to buy a campervan (rather than rent), and had no guarantees how much money we’d get back when it came to selling. Additionally New Zealand is renowned for being a fairly expensive country to travel in, which given the amazing adventure sports on offer its not surprising costs add up.

Over the 72 days I spent in New Zealand the costs amounted to $5,336 total. And averaged out at $74.11 per day. (All costs are in NZ dollars btw not USD!)

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The Day I Decided To Run A Marathon

It was two days before my 28th birthday, and I sat in a hotel room in Wellington (NZ) thinking ‘bloody heck I’m nearly thirty!’

I started to think about all the things I was sure I would have achieved before thirty, and realised the time was slowly running out.

Despite never having run a day in my life, I had always been sure I would run a marathon before turning thirty. No idea why I assumed this life event would happen with no intervention from me, I just thought it would. Continue reading