I found a new vegan cookbook today. When I first went vegan they were hard to find but they started breeding a few years ago and now you can find them everywhere. This particular one appealed to me because the author does not exactly fill the weedy hippie vegan stereotype. Indeed, there’s nothing sexier than a vegan man.
Matt Pritchard is better known as a stuntman and pro-skateboarder, appearing on Dirty Sanchez, Wrecked, and Balls of Steel. When he started running half marathons and competing in ironman competitions he became aware of the athletic advantage of a vegan diet and became vegan. He’d studied as a chef when he first left school but abandoned it as a young man. His veganism enlightenment reignited this passion for cooking and The Dirty Vegan cookbook was born.
One of the reasons I bought it, separately of the man covered in tatts on the cover, is because it includes a recipe for vegan Victoria sponge. Elizabeth loves Victoria sponge and I’ve always struggled to make a good vegan one. But this recipe looks like it might have hit the nail on the head. It’s also a funny contrast to the tough tattoo-covered author. We haven’t eaten it yet but it looks perfect.
I’m listening to the government’s daily press briefing right now and it feels like Christmas. The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, is making some momentous announcements to promote cycling. There’s a £2 billion package to boost walking and cycling including £250 million for swift emergency measures like popup bike lanes and wider pavements. They will fast-track statutory guidance for English councils to cater significantly more for pedestrians. There will be a voucher scheme for bike repairs and maintenance and they’re going to boost fixing facilities across the country.
There will be tough new standards for cycling infrastructure, GPs will prescribe cycling, there will be legal changes to protect vulnerable road users, a national cycling champion, and a long-term cycling program.
Specific mention was given to making the national recovery a green recovery and preserving the clean air we’ve created as a result of the lockdown. They’re also planning to fast-track e-scooter trials starting next month and for every region in the country that wants them. They’re also going to accelerate the filling of potholes and roll out additional charging spots for electric cars.
I am speechless. It’s truly amazing. I only hope Scotland follows suit. Transport is devolved in the UK which means Scotland has its own policies on this. The Scottish government did announce £10 million in funding for pop-up active travel infrastructure last month but the Westminster announcement goes much further.