Raw, Divas & DJs

Musings on a raw food fast, stropping and the 2014 Island DJ awards.

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This month my Synth Lover and I decided not to go to the Cotswolds. Last August we had two gorgeous weeks in England’s beautiful countryside, which was wonderful. Our stay at Barnsley House in the little cottage, the Potting Shed, included herds of cows passing by the gate in the morning and some of the best Spa treatments I have had (and I’ve had a few!). However, this year we chose our ‘home’ as the destination and are spending the budget on Gourmet Raw Food from down the road. With magnificent results. Weight loss and more energy for him and teenage acne and weight fluctuation for me! We both have the symptoms of ‘cleansing of mucus inducing cheese and energy robbing wheat’. The fresh, uncooked and yummy food we are eating is giving our bodies the energy (normally used in digestion) to do some serious ‘limpio profundo’, deep cleaning.

Average Days Food on an 80% raw ratio.

Breakfast         Lemon water, ginger tea (him), coffee (me), oat cakes

Snacks            Fresh fruit/nuts, smoothie/shake (him). Raw cheesecake/cookies (me!).

Dinner            Something from the Gourmet Menu.

Example         A starter and entrée ie. a warm soup followed by raw Quesedilla.

Plenty of fresh water and herbal teas.

Want to try making something really easy and totally delicious, then try this…….

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Raw Vegan Walnut Cream Pie

By Kathy Patalsky of http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com

I love this blog, her recipes (vegan) and pictures are amazing (esp. the ones of the cat!)

       Ingredients

  • filling:
  • 2-3 Tbsp maple syrup, grade B
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 11oz coconut cream, chilled
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup raw walnuts
  • crust:
  • 2 1/2 cups raw walnuts
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup, grade B
  • chocolate:
  • 1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips (or use cacao powder for raw)

     Instructions

  1. In a blender or food processor, blend the walnuts and oats until a fine crumbly mixture forms. Pour this mixture into a large mixing bowl.
  2. To the bowl, add the remaining crust ingredients: coconut oil, salt, cinnamon and maple syrup. Fold until the mixture becomes thick and pliable, like a dry cookie dough.
  3. Grease an 8″ pie dish with coconut oil. Then spread the crust along the bottom of the pie dish. Set aside.
  4. In a blender, add all the filling ingredients and blend until silky smooth. It is ok if the chilled coconut cream melts a bit, it will just re-firm up when chilled. Pour the mixture into the pie dish.
  5. For the chocolate, malt the chocolate chips and the coconut oil together and stir until silky smooth. Use a microwave for easiest melting. Stovetop is your next option.
  6. Swirl the chocolate over top the walnut cream filling in one big spiral. Then using a toothpick or a butter knife, glide from the center of the spiral outwards, continue all the way around. You can swirl a second time by going in the reverse direction with the toothpick or knife.
  7. Place the pie in the freezer for about 30-45 minutes. Or until the pie is soft and fluffy, yet chilled enough to slice. The key to the texture is to chill it to the perfect amount. If you over-chill and it is too hard, simply leave it out at room temperature until softened.

Yield: 1 pie   Prep Time: 00 hrs. 20 mins.

 

djaLast Monday was the DJ Awards ceremony, with all it’s usual tralala. Dressing up and drinking! I managed to wangle an invite via someone (who is a DJ) and was due to be presenting an award (to another DJ).

Like a teenager about to go to a dance, I fussed with choice of clothing. As so much of the Mega Club Scene seems to involve dressing like a hooker, I decided to go for understated elegance instead! But then, I got another damn outbreak of ‘detox’ – all over my chin! Now aware that the colour of my jewellery would be highlighting the imperfections on my chin, I was in a complete quandary. HILFE!

Whilst I was rooting around my make-up bag for some ‘schminke’ foundation, the phone rang. I heard a one sided conversation….

“Hi, shall we all meet for dinner before the Awards?”

“Really, with who? When?”

“Ok, well seeing as we were only going to see him, I guess we don’t need to go” (said with relief)

“Never mind, we’ll catch up soon, bye”

Then, to me (note, I was looking forward to it, my Synth Lover not),

“We don’t have to go to the ceremony, we can stay at home and chill out eating lovely food”

Me “what, but, why, but I want to go” (said in a petulant voice, whilst stomping foot)

This was followed by a bit of stropping from myself at the DJ divas and ensuing egos that led to my staying home with Kelp Noodles. A schism, harsh words and everyone believing that their version of life is the correct one, humbug. Well, I did get told by a manager, once that ‘you don’t usually get more than a couple of DJ’s at dinner table together because of the egos involved’. Ever read any of the hotel Babylon series? Well, I think DJ Babylon would be a best seller, of course there are the good, the bad and the really rotten, but I still think it would be a hoot!hugs

I put it to you, was it divine intervention so I could ‘detox’ in peace (spotty chin and all) or just a bit of bad behaviour from big boys? Or was it a bit of both? They should all hug more!

I’ll leave you with this from a very lovely young man (sans ego) whom I had the pleasure of meeting a couple of times. Enjoy……

Last night a DJ…

gave me his Superfood Salad Recipe!

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Having hosted a fair few dinners over the past several months (Ibiza in full swing), it was with great delight that I joined my Synth Lover (hubby) and a few of his DJ buddies (and Sarah) for dinner at the recently opened Wild Beet Restaurant in Santa Gertrudis before waving my hands in the air (literally) to their delightful sounds at Pike’s Hotel till the wee hours.

What do you call a ‘group’ of DJs, surely they should have a collective noun in honour of them – a gaggle, nope, a flock, mmh, a collective. Yep . The collective of DJs were amassed around the table ready to order. A collective of DJs were gathered together to sup before play(ing) was due to commence.

Anyway, I digress, it was a hot summer night on the white isle. The moon was nearly full and the stars were twinkling just for us. A real treat was in store for our little ‘collective’. We had decided to go for the degustation menu and were blown away by the delicious, varied and oh so tasty yet healthy vegan and raw food we ate. Well if you are going to try this kinda stuff it really should be in the right setting, no point in eating gaspachio on a wet winters day, eh!

From lime and lentil soup, to beetroot ravioli, raw sushi, through to raw baby sunburgers and finishing off with raw cheesecake and almond pralines, all washed down with organic cava. It was a filling yet energising meal.

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Over dinner one of the collective of DJs, leaned over and reminded me of the meal I’d made for him on his last visit (yep, it was vegan and pretty ‘raw’). He said he had felt inspired to search the web for more healthy recipes. His new favourite being Kale and Quinoa salad with maple syrup and cranberry dressing. It sounded great, but the best bit was his description of how much better he felt after eating all that yummy goodness and the delight and appreciation his ‘lady’ showed upon being served it. He promised to send me the recipe and here is the link:

http://www.thefirstmess.com/2013/09/12/the-everyday-superfood-salad/

All the men at the table would be taking it in turns to play my favourite music in one of the most atmospheric places on Ibiza – the Freddy Mercury Suite at Pikes Hotel! That is apart from Brett, wearing the drinks band for our rider. With humour and grace he acted as ‘compere’ and waiter!

On Pike’s Hotel a quote from The White Island Book by Stephen Armstrong (Bantam Press);

“In reception photos of the fabulous festooned the walls: Freddy Mercury, Kylie, Sade, Naomi Campbell, Jon Bon Jovi, Grace Jones, Van Damme – all in family album holiday snap poses, grinning by the pool, or in the bar. In one corner there was a young George Michael. Tanned and topless, sharing a joke with a man sporting a huge moustache (the hotels owner).

Tony Pike is probably the closest thing to royalty Ibiza has. It was his hotels ability to entertain that kept the rich and famous coming to the island after Sandy’s acting set had fled. Pike himself arrived on Ibiza in 1978 after a nineteen year adventure that involved shipwrecks, bobsleigh accidents, military service, hard dinking and three marriages.”

Having put down roots for the first time in his life. He proceeded to build a hotel out of a derelict old finca (farmhouse). He designed it himself, with the help of his wife and the locals.

“When Pike’s Hotel was just about ready to open, the goddess (Tanit ancient love goddess of Ibiza) must have smiled upon him. Pike’s first guest was an American by the name of Bo Palk – the managing director of MGM Studios. Palk was supposed to be with a house party near Santa Eulalia, but the house was full when he arrived and he needed somewhere to stay. And pronto. Pike’s wasn’t quite ready, but Palk showed up anyway. Tony was just finishing the bathroom when Palk checked in, so they asked him where he wanted his toilet.

Palk clearly knew a few people because the next thing Tony knew a guy called Andrew Napier Bell came out to his place scouting for a video shoot. Bell loved Tony’s hotel and decided to film the whole thing there. His band was an up and coming English duo called Wham! and the video was for their single ‘Club Tropicana’.”

pikes

The other most famous, of the many famous, regulars was of course Freddy Mercury, who first sang ‘Barcelona’ at Pike’s on his birthday, in his suite. Today Pike’s Hotel hosts a Freddy Mercury night on his birthday each year. Needless to say dressing up is obligatory!

Pike himself has retired now and the hotel is run by some of the old Manumission crew, who organise ‘Ibiza Rocks’.

We arrived just before midnight and were immediately enveloped in the atmosphere. The hot summer night and such a magical beautiful bohemian setting. After having snuck to the famous pool for look around and being shooed off as it was closed for a private party, I proceeded to dance like no-one was watching! The DJ ‘collective’ spun 6 hours of magnificent tunes, interspersed with a live set by up and coming artists from the UK (what a gig!), every moment and beat much appreciated by the eclectic audience.

In stark contrast to the huge mega clubs with the thousands of punters, we were treated to what felt like a private party with friends old and new. As if we had, indeed, stumbled across a happening whilst wandering around soaking up that very special magical feel of Ibiza (perhaps from Es Vedra 3rd most magnetic place on Earth just off the southerly coast).

A good night out has to have many factors contributing to the whole. This one had the right tunes, vibe, décor, ambience and people.I had a grand time and certainly waved my hands in the air, thank you all who made it possible.

What Service!

Normally I place a Fair Trade Sweety on the pillows when guests come to stay, a few weeks ago I was leaving for a few days away and managed to capture this picture of what my Synth Lover placed on the pillow for a fellow Synth Porn’er!IMG_6214

SeJUICEd

2nd Article

13 August 2013

Se’juice’ing The Help

A few weeks ago our house nearly collapsed (figuratively speaking). It took two weeks and the mobilisation of technical help from Mac to Ableton, forums and some very angry calls to technical (un)help(ful) lines to rescue the situation.

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It all began when my beloveds MBP/laptop took ages to come on. A naturally cautious man (he always backs up!), he did not just ignore the situation and hope it was a momentary glip but went online to forums to see if there was a thread on the problem. During this time the Mac had started playing up all the time, HILFE. We use our computers for lots and lots of stuff (technical term) and simply put – need them, daily.

By now the 2011 MBP/laptop was taking over an hour to restart. Shoulders became hunched, faces strained due to the many hours on that one thread with thousands of comments. Do this, try that – all to no avail. Then a lead from Australia, people with the same problems were taking their computers to the Apple Store and getting them replaced. The UK stores would not do this, offering a new logic board, though it is the discreet graphics chip which has been attached to the logic board with unleaded solder (which degrades over time) that had been causing the problem, thus solving the situation for only a month or two. Apparently the new European regulations mean only the army can use thermal leaded solder. No good results, despite a magnificently eloquent call to a senior Apple executive, asking for the ‘free’ thinking of Mr Jobs original values, the computer ‘could’ not to be replaced.

Drastic action was called for, with the computer being used sparingly, a replacement was bought and shipped, its journey vigilantly tracked on every plane and through each country along the way. With the arrival of the new computer came the technical ‘call guys’. As I am not that challenging with the demands I place on my computer I have never had need of a technician. As eloquently shown when Mr Mac arrived and I asked him to figure out why I could not access facebook after 1st of July – he simply ‘updated’ me (which I have not done since getting the computer as a hand me down several years ago)!

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Anyway, it was smooth data transferring from there on in. Three days later and several thousand pounds (sterling) lighter the new Mac was ready to receive its musical input. For this, the services of an Able-ton Man were required. Who duly arrived and was enthusiastically welcomed – to the studio! At this point the boys/men lost me. What they did in the many hours they were huddled over those computers I know not. Nor do I wish to know (bought another synthesizer for one, I later found out!!!!!!!). For the synth lovers reading this – there was a lot of turning of knobs and rearranging and showing one another pictures of studios and synths – the rest I leave to your imagination.

Whenever guests, workmen or friends are at our house I love to give them freshly prepared fruit and vegetable juices, usually containing superfoods of one form or another. It gives me immense pleasure to see someone drinking ‘Blood’ (carrot, apple, beetroot, tumeric and ginger), being ‘SeJUICEd’ (banana, honey, oat milk, cinnamon, walnut) or going ‘Green’ (spinach, almond milk, cacao, goji berries, banana, chilli).

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Just as the programmes one chooses to use and which synth sounds to inject into the music being made, what you put into your mouth is 100% your decision. That being said (please note I make NO judgement on any style of eating) it is a personal choice. So, personally, I eat ‘nothing that had a mother’. Having been shunned at school for eating rabbit food, it amuses me no end, to find that I am now in demand for my wide variety of tasty, beautiful and healthy vegetable dishes. It is currently fashionable and that suits me fine! Not only that but I enjoy excellent health and wish others to do so too. If I get the opportunity to feed someone a zuccini oat muffin and it broadens their taste horizons, then I’ll make raw Banoffi Pie for desert. The visitors seem to enjoy it and so it is a win-win experience all round.

Our guests, once they have felt the Zen tranquillity of our set up, been placed on the chi machine, fed correctly combined food and learned handy hints tips for saving health and money, have been known to write thank you emails containing praise such as “you could charge a fucking fortune for an all round health injection weekend like that” and my culinary skills have even been mentioned and complimented in the press by one guest who happened to be a journalist. Synth Lovers, their co-dependents, music industry persons or indeed plumber or gardener all getting ‘seJUICEd’ with a little bit of green (spirulina, chlorella, spinach or kale), lovely jubbly.

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As we are not in the actual business of running health retreats (it is all about the music!) here are three of the hints that constitute my favourites for you to add to your ‘studio’ life. All are natural, cheap (as they are giving you prevention from disease), easy and most of all, effective. Give them at least 21 days before you quit the new habit to see how much better they make you feel. Enjoy…….

Note 1 Drink Apple Cider Vinegar in water every day.

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Note 2 Walk barefoot on grass/sand or use a grounding mat every day.

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Note 3 Drink plenty of pure water.

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Introducing Myself

Welcome Synth Lovers and SWAGZ!

(Synth Widows and Girlfriends)

My name is Virginia and after 16 years with my Synth Lover I have decided to share some memories, tips and tricks gleamed over time. I hope you enjoy my musings and find the handy hints helpful.

By way of introduction here is an article I wrote for a wine and music blog (subsequently never emailed to them!) that inspired me to begin this blog…………………………..

Lets begin with a wee pic of a part of the ‘studio’ 

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Synth Addict Codependency! ­

By  The Synth-Porn Widow

I once received a postcard from Berlin that said “Hilfe, Mein Man ist Kuenstler” (help, my husband is an artist). It made me smile. Mine is one and I often feel the need to scream ‘HILFE’. I dabbled with the idea of becoming an artist myself once, but gave that up upon discovering the only sort I was good at was being a piss artist’. At which I could have become expert. I sure tried hard enough for a while.

During the first flush of our courtship it was all tour bus foreplay, champagne and weed on the rider and post gig coitus in sensational locations such as Cheskny Prod, Brussels, Brandenburg and Ireland to name but a few. Then, for a while, long distance dating with the telephone as our aid. This was before the days of skype and iphones. When my husband (the Kuenstler), at that time new boyfriend, was persuaded to leave his home-town in the British Isles (somewhere ‘grim up North’) and join me in the ‘broke but sexy’, cheap, hip and musically inspiring Berlin (no brainer, duh!) I was busy, busy, busy, having lived there for a couple of years already. Too busy to notice the hours, calls and twiddling that are the tell tale signs of a Synth-Porn Addict (so obvious to me now, 15yrs on). Did you know there are Postcards with knobs on and I have seen pictures with – well – lets not get into that right now. Justification for all that fiddling about comes in the form of royalties. These dutifully arrive every quarter when the PRS statements brighten a morning (that is, in our household at least and I truly sympathise with those SP Widows whose other half just does it for fun). Luckily for my Kuenstler and his peccadillo (should that be plural as he is a collector?) the fiscal reward for his twiddling always manages to make me more amiable towards having to chase the UPS driver around the island the moment he has tracked another synthesizer purchase has having landed (Hilfe!).

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Yes, yes – if you twiddle my bits I’ll probably make some quiet, appreciative and throaty noises but no wav’s, pitch forms or indeed royalties forthcoming, just simple gratification (for both parties, hopefully at least). I grant you, a song can only be inspired by me not played or recorded upon me. Although he did once use my voice (through a vocoder as apparently I simply can’t sing) on a track that still plays on a Cuban drinks advert. However this should not rule out pressing my buttons, every now and then. In fact it is necessary to health and wellbeing – mine. These days I shoulder my synth-porn widowhood well. It is after all a creative outlet and synth-porn eats time, money and space in my exercise room but it ain’t ‘cheating’. Even though it sounds dirty and smutty sometimes! In my case it brings many rewards, financial only being one of them. So, when he’s talking ‘master and slave’ with an Ableton geek, I bake oatees  and sip on something biodynamic.

Having survived two decades of rave culture (we are talking underground parties in London Churches and Brixton railway arches before the Criminal Justice Bill came in, to the clubs on the Spree around Verein des Visionaires pre Panorama Bar in Berlin a decade later), when wine was just another part of the cornucopia of goodies in our arsenal of ‘recreational drugs’.

These days we favour minimalism to excess (pun intended). Ditching anything that has been unused for many months or years. For me this is many pairs of shoes from wedges (uncomfortable) to old sandals that are falling apart (average cost £20)! For my Synth Lover bye, bye to the two huge black boxes (Roland something or other) that arrived faulty and with American plugs, the mobile machine professor, the baby DT200, the MC-202 micro compressor and an Arturia Microbrute – I keep imagining this as a Roman action figure! All gone via e-bay. Yes sunth purchasers, I undertand ‘a synth is an investement’, so are my shoes – I get pleasure from them and then recycle them.

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Please note no synths were harmed during the taking of this picture!

Finding ourselves at a stage in life’s journey where contemplation and mindfulness are a joy to be practiced daily (I jest not, inner calm and peace are underrated). I don’t want to start a debate on ageing, getting on, growing up, moving on as we believe it is just one aspect of living life.    We eat clean and organic foods, not because we want to be trendy, but because it tastes good. We buy local because that is what is available here (we live on an island with an organic farm 2km away). Therefore, would you accompany all that goodness with a Rioja containing rennet? I think not!

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The other day, I was down the Rabbit Hole getting supplies to make a spectacular feast for some musicy people (no modesty required, I rustle up a great dinner!). The meal would not have been complete without wine, about which I know only that after a couple of glasses I get silly. Luckily for me, at that moment the wine merchant was dropping off some supplies of locally sourced, ethical, organic and biodynamic varieties. A most charming man, who was interested in the menu I was preparing and had some suggestions as to the accompanying vinos – a fine feat seeing as the meal contained no fish, meat or fowl.

The sale completed, I contentedly took the Hare and Badger home. Both were delightful, easy and un ostentatious. They will definitely be gracing our table again. Dinner was a great success. The guests thoroughly enjoyed the meal, the wines and the music on a beautiful Balearic night.

Menu
Starters oatee zucchini muffins with red wine chutney topped by cashew nut cheese on a bed of rocket with balsamic vinegar
Main kamut spaghetti with ‘feaux’ meatballs in tomato and mushroom sauce
Desert individual raw mango cheesecakes
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