Everyday life Life

April 2022

I will start this month with a short-ish rant about the war. As there are problems in Moldova (I’m Romanian, we have the same language, traditions, and for a while the same national anthem too), I am closely monitoring what is happening in Ukraine. I finished Winter Is Coming by Garry Kasparov and reviewed it on my book blog, so have a look if you are curious. It’s a must read, so interesting and very well written too. In the book review I mentioned Russian skier Veronika Stepanova, a winner of the Beijing Olympics, who said that she supports Putin and the war.

This month I see that the nonsense of “Putin’s war” has stopped, more or less. Russians are killing civilians, raping women and children, stealing from people’s homes, not Putin. This is Russia’s war as much as it’s his. It’s heart-warming to see what officials from US and UK are saying and doing (albeit more can be done), when compared to other countries like Germany and France.

Germany exported military equipment €122 million to Russia, after 2014, and opposed the ban on gas and oil. But, then again, Gerhard Schröder pushed for Nord Stream and got a job at Gazprom after stepping down as chancellor. Now he is defending Putin. On top of that, the new one from SPD, Olaf Scholz, is opposing bans on gas&oil because they would not work?! He opposed sending arms to Ukraine, but approved 100 billion euros in aid for German companies (reuters) who are getting some EU help too.
Amazingly, at Sky News, I saw a German dude from a plastic company saying that they survived WWII so they will get over this too…. they also started WWII and a genocide, but the one taking the interview said nothing for some reason. It seems they are happy with the latest genocide if they can keep making plastic stuff without being bothered.
As for France, they are on top as arms exporters to Russia, after the sanctions of 2014 (telegraph). As someone from EU I’m appalled and furious and disappointed by their disgusting behaviour. So much for European values… or any kind of moral values in general.

Turkey shot down a Russian airplane (bbc) and WWIII did not start, so NATO should be able to do more, only if there was a bit more courage.

fish and chips

Now, about my month, besides reading constantly about the war, I went for vegan fish&chips twice, as you can see in the pictures above, amazingly delicious both of them.

Easter Jousting Tournament

For Easter we went to Leeds for the Jousting Tournament, check the post if you want to see more. It was so nice, we had a wonderful time and I fully recommend visiting it next year. It’s great for kids too, as many had their children with them. Next year we might do more than 1 day, as the sessions are different and I’m curious what happens in the other sessions too.


While in Leeds, we visited 2 vegan restaurants, and we loved the food. I would gladly eat there again without any doubt.

formula E

Besides the trip to Leeds, we went to Chester for a day and it was lovely. We also went back to London for a night, stayed in a hotel which was strange after living in London for 6 months, until the beginning of this month. We went to an event at excel and saw the Formula E car. I am tempted to get tickets for the event, but we will see what we’ll do closer to the day.

Office Decorations

I shared my newly installed office decorations, 9 puzzles made by us and mounted. See here all of them.


1. Last day in London. 2. Back home (an older picture). 3. Oxford won the Boat race (the men’s team). 4. Lovely tulip. 5. Another puzzle. 6. Had someone over, so that meant cookies. These from Asda are really nice (the vegan ones). 7. Long walk. 8. Frost Burgers. 9. Walk in the park. 10. Liverpool. 11. Finished the book. 12. Puzzle in the making. 13. Cocktails. 14. Reading a book, in French. 15. Fish & Chips. 16. New plants for the garden, veggie. 17. Mersey. 18. Jousting Tournament in Leeds. 19. Last essays uploaded, time for cocktails. 20. French debate. 21. Chester. 22. Dogs, graffiti art. 23. Bird feeding in Birkenhead park. 24. Vegan food at a fair. 25. Studying for an exam at the library. 26. Dinner at Pastan. 27. London. 28. Decorated the office. 29. Beautiful flowers. 30. Books in April.


This month I finished 6 books and I enjoyed all of them. For anyone visiting London, the guide is really good, I would recommend it. Mr Briggs’ Hat is about the first murder on the railways in Victorian times, it’s a non-fiction book, but readable and interesting. Unsurprisingly I also read a book on jigsaws, just after finishing the decorations for the office. There are only 2 books left, the Emotions in a Crusading Context is a scholarly book, not mass market, and the Art of Sword Combat is a 16th century manuscript, recently translated, so, again, not exactly with mass market appeal, although I found it fascinating.

Books I read in April:
Emotions in a Crusading Context, 1095-1291 by Stephen Spencer – 5 stars
The Art of Sword Combat by Joachim Meyer – 5 stars
Mr Briggs’ Hat by Kate Colquhoun – 4.5 stars
Joy of Jigsaws by Holly Lambert – 5 stars
Winter Is Coming by Garry Kasparov – 5 stars
The Architecture Lover’s Guide to London by Sian Lye – 5 stars

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12 Comment

  1. what is the vegan fish made from? I’m impressed with the wide range of vegan foods available, I do wish they’d do more Gluten Free foods though, it’s getting harder for me to eat out. I fully support any ranting about the war in the Ukraine

    1. These two dishes were made with banana blossom, the flower of the banana trees. It has a flaky texture and, with the right spices, it is similar to fish. If you want to give it a try, there are cans in many supermarkets. It’s quite interesting to cook it, especially as it is a flower.

  2. I love jigsaws but didn’t know there was a book about them. I may have to look that up.

    I didn’t realise that France/Germany weren’t on the same page at US/UK. I can’t believe it’s gone on so long already, with no sign of pushing Russia back yet.

  3. Well said about the war. People are choosing to fight and maim and rape and that is on them as well as Putin. Your vegan fish and chips looks amazing (as does that other Vegan meal with all the pickles and the fries and things in batter- what WERE those dishes?!?! I am salivating over them!
    The jousting sounded brilliant.
    You’ve done well on the books. I am intrigued by the Mr Briggs one.

  4. I always appreciate getting your thoughts and input on events like this. I’ve marked Kasparov’s TED talk to listen to when I have some spare time.

    All the food looks amazing, as always. I made myself a great vegan fish sandwich yesterday with jalapeño “mayo” and should have posted a photo on Instagram for you. You might be the only one who’d appreciate it!
    Kelly recently posted…A puzzle, a death, and BloggerMy Profile

    1. I had recently a vegan fish sandwich and it was amazing. I would have appreciated the photo indeed. 🙂

  5. I always enjoy your wrap up posts. So, you are back in Liverpool to stay or just until a new semester or session begins? Are you through? I was a little confused there. But it sounds like an interesting month.

    I appreciate your rant. Your personal history and also your location in Europe brings additional perspective. We were just saying this morning that Putin is running this as Hitler did WWII — starting with the “reclaiming what is ours and was lost” (Sudetenland or in this case, Donbas region) and then moving on and taking far beyond that. Apart from supporting worthy causes and letting our voices heard to those in decision-making power, I’m not sure what we as individuals can do. I just know this is headed for a serious collision — if it can be more so. And it scares the heck out of me.

    1. Back home for the summer. I still have exams, but both of them are online.

      There are so many comparisons to be made between Putin&Russia and Hitler&Germany, from their involvement in Syria – Spain, bombardments, annexing territories without the rest of the world saying anything (anything relevant anyway), even the propaganda message is similar to what happened before. Although Putin is a communist and he used what Lenin and Stalin said (and did) before him.

      I am avoiding brands that are still operating in Russia, if possible. The only exception is a hotel, part of a chain, who said that they are keeping the hotels open for journalists and I booked it a long time ago. I wouldn’t have booked it now, but I can’t do anything about that at this point. We can all make choices with our wallets, when possible, and that’s all we can do.

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