hector and the search for happiness

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it’s always difficult writing about films on here because i don’t wanna give too much away. But lets just say, the last couple of days I wasn’t feeling my greatest and last night by some absurd miracle, Netflix produced some goods, finally! hooray! woo woo!

Anyway, ‘Hector and the Search for Happiness’ brightened my somewhat nauseating last couple of days and i completely  recommend it.

If you’re going to watch the film, don’t read on, because I’m going to reveal his secrets to happiness. If you’re not going to watch it, read on, duh.

  1. Making comparisons can ruin you’re happiness
  2. A lot of people thinks happiness is being richer or ‘more important’
  3. Many people only see happiness in their future
  4. Happiness could be the freedom to love more than one woman at the same time
  5. Sometimes happiness is not knowing the whole story
  6. Avoiding unhappiness is not the road to happiness
  7. Does the person bring you predominantly A) UP or B) DOWN
  8. Happiness is answering you’re calling
  9. Happiness is being loved for who you are
  10. Sweet Potato Pie
  11. Fear is an impediment to happiness
  12. Happiness is feeling completely alive
  13. Listening is loving
  14. Nostalgia is not what it used to be

Number 3 and 6 are my favourite and my most relatable.

I also really want to make sweet potato pie.

bye.

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Copenhagen, Denmark.

Copenhagen is cool. Way cooler than I would have expected, but maybe you expect it to be really cool, in which case it is as cool as you expect, probably. Anyway, me and a few friends and my big bro headed to Copenhagen for the weekend and we had endless funs. I recommend it muchly. The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is amazing. Christiania is weird.

Here you go

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stay alkaline my friends ❤

Antwerp + Brussels, Belgium.

I’d like you to listen to this song while you read this. Its naice.

Belgium was incred.

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I didn’t think it would be. I think this was mainly because I thought I was getting anxiety over the prospect of a ‘school trip’, but it turned out the reason I felt like being sick all over my new Ikea home-built furniture was because I had eaten too much granola before my morning swim. ANYWAY, it was incred.

Brussels is B-E-A-YOO-TIFUL and Antwerp is surprisingly groovy with a huge selection of healthy cafes and restaurants (kind of surprising, no?)

If I were to narrow it down to my favourite moments on my trip it would be:

  • When I discovered ‘Robuust’ – The Zero Waste shop. Where I purchased my two kilo’s of cashew nuts that i wrongly assumed would last me more than 24 hours.
  • When I ordered ‘two mojitos’ for my friend at a bar in Brussels and received the response ‘two metres of what?’
  • The Dries Van Noten Inspiration exhibition at MOMU in Antwerp (this room was scented)

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  • Discovering Hunting and Collecting in Brussels – my new favourite shop, separate post on this later.
  • When my friend Lucy was sick on the train on the way home from eating too many chocolates and waffles
  • The flea market in Brussels

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  • Possibly the entire trip.

If you had sent me on this trip a year ago I would have been too crippled by my anxiety that I highly doubt I would have been able to make it. Making good friends, in under a year, who you can trust enough to spend time with in a foreign country is a BLESSING. I love all the people I have met on my post-school endeavours. Well done guys. Good stuff. (Still love y’all back home though).

bye

BEST and WORST this week.

BEST: Turtle necks. Its my birthday next week and for the love of god if I get some cashola granola this is going to be the first thing I purCHASE. Winter is coming. I’m not talking weird tight american apparel turtle neck though, I’m talking yum-yum-wrap-me-up-in-a-burrito-and-squeeze-me-cashmere-yumness turtleneck. Audrey Hepburn nailed it back in the day and now Céline and the Olsen Twins’ ‘The Row’ is KILLING it. gimme.

WORST: Shellac! – ask me a month ago and this would have been on my favourites but at the risk of sounding frighteningly like a (probably too familiar) character from a movie ‘my nail beds suck’. I know loads of people swear by it and if it works for you then I’m very jealous but its COMPLETELY ruined my nails. I’ve never been one to care how my nails look (as in paint) but they are so brittle and unhealthy from having shellac that I’ve been having to use a treatment every few days. Naht fresh.

BEST AND WORST: Grapefruit seed extract – Ask any of my friends and they will tell you its the worst and it really does taste like poison… but ooh aah it is my LIFESAVER. The combination of grapefruit seed, pulp and white membranes act as a natural microbial and I kid you not it is a miracle worker. A good friend of myself and my family, Vicky Vlachonis http://www.vickyvlachonis.com,  told me about it and my grandpa (80 going on 40) uses it every day. Whenever you feel slightly under tha weather put some drops in water and DRINK. It couldn’t taste worse but you’ll be fighting fit within a day. There are NO need for antibiotics.

BEST: A weekend in the week. Two nights in Norfolk last week was exactly what i needed. West Lexham (http://www.westlexham.org) is a “dream made reality, living with a deeper connection to nature, to ourselves and to each other.” The ‘glamping’ ground consists of luxury tree houses, tree temples, bell tents and cottages and is run completely sustainably. It was an absolute dreaam being able to escape from the city for a ‘weekend in the week’ last week. week.

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BEST: St Tropez for a day. On Wednesday I was invited to St Tropez for the day. Living in Europe definitely has its pros. It was insane I couldn’t believe my luck.

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WORST: I have a dangerous obsession/addiction to my new ‘Sterling Super Salad.’ Im sorry for the instagram spam. IMG_5022

This Year – Errywhere

Heyo,

I’ve been getting quite a lot of emails and instagram comments etc. regarding what I’m actually doing with my life at the moment… it can seem a little confusing when looking at my instagram. Basically i finished school in November last year and spent the rest of the year recovering from glandular fever. I’m currently doing a summer intensive course at Parsons in NYC and in September i’m going to be starting at Central Saint Martins in London. Since now I’ve just been travelling around (UK, Spain, Vietnam, trek in Australia).

So far my favourite thing has been trekking in the Australian outback with some close friends closely followed what I’m currently doing in New York. I’m doing photography at Parsons and everyday i go to uni from 9 until 4. I love my teacher and my class they’re all so interesting in their own ways and all produce very different work which is so nice to see.

I’ve been exploring New York City and producing some work of my own that i will be posting soon (a lot of my photography is analog which means ill have to scan all my prints together) However my course is VERY intense which means that its hard for me to be so consistent with my blog posting but i AM trying my best.

New York is amazing and i love it here. I have found some AMAZING healthy food places and will tell you plenty more about that soon. For now, here a few photos from my time so far…. MUCH more to come.

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Hanoi Cooking School – Vietnam

Hello Hello, It was a while ago now, which makes this even harder to write (my rice paper roll and pho withdrawals are only getting worse), but during my time in Vietnam my dad and I did a one-day cooking course with the SWEEETEST little vietnamese man in the entire world. We made loads of delicious deliciousness and ended up eating it all despite BOTH feeling a little yuck that morning. We made: – Banana Blossom Salad – Fresh Rice Paper Rolls – Pork ‘Bun Cha’ – Grilled pork with rice noodles and loads of yummy herbs and sauces.

Recipes:

Banana Blossom Salad –

– 1 Young banana blossom, finely cut (hoa chuoi)

– 500ml Iced water (nuoc da)

– 1 Tablespoon lime juice (nuoc cot chanh)

– 300 gram Duck breasts or chicken breasts (uc vit hoac uc ga)

– 125 ml Dip (fish sauce) (Nuroc tron nom)

– 1 Teaspoon finely polygonum (Ram hung)

– 1 Tablespoon ground peanuts (lac rang)

– 1 Tablespoon fried shallots (hanh phi)

– 1 Tablespoon coriander leaves (hanh phi)

– 1 Cucumber (Dura Chuot)

– 1 Carrot (ca rot)

– 50g Bean sprouts (Gia do)

1. Place the sliced banana blossom in cold water with like juice and let soak for ONE HOUR

2. Boil (or steam) the duck or chicken in a shallow sauce pan with a little water until tender. Let cool, remove skin and cut into thin slices

3. Drain the banana blossom and toss in a large bowl with fish sauce dip, polygonum, ginger, peanuts and the slices duck

4. Arrange on a platter. And sprinkled with fried shallot, garnish with cilantro

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Fresh Spring Rolls:

– 150g Pork loin (thit than)

– 200g Medium prawns (tom)

– 50g Fresh cucumber (dua chuot)

– 15g Carrot (ca rot)

– 30g Onion (Hanh tay)

– 10 Pieces rice paper (hem cuon)

– 3 tablespoons fish sauce (nuoc man)

– 20g fresh coriander (rau mui)

– 30g Vietnamese herbs (rau thom cac loai)

– 50g Peanuts ground (lac)

– 20g chives (he)

– 50g Fresh rice noodles (bun)

– 50g Fried shallot (hanh phi)

lemon, sugar*, salt and pepper to taste (chanh, duong muoi, tieu nem vua an)

1. Boil the pork and prawn and combine fresh cucumber, carrot, onion and mix sugar, lemon fish sauce pepper and coriander for sauce

2. Roll rice paper with all the ingredients

3. Serve

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‘Little Ha Noi “Bun Cha” with BBQ pork’

– 300g Pork bacon or pork shoulder (thit ba chi hoac nac vai)

– 300g Minced pork or pork shoulder cut 0.5cm sliced (vai xay)

– 100g chopped shallot (hanh kho bam nho)

– 30g chopped garlic (toi bam nho)

– 100g finely chopped spring onion (hanh tay)

– 5 table spoons caramel sauce (nuoc duong caramen)

– 3 table spoons fish sauce (mo nuoc)

– 2 table spoons of sugar* (duong)

– 2 table spoons salt and pepper to taste (muoi, hat tieu vua nem)

– 2 pieces of lemon grass (cu sa)

Dipping sauce:

– 500g fresh rice noodles (bun)

– 300g Carrot, kohlrabi and green papaya (ca rot, su hao, du du)

– 150g xanh

– 150g Vietnamese herbs: basil, perilla, marjoram, lettuce (rau thom, mui, tia to, kinh gioi, xa lach, rau che)

– 100ml water boiling (nuoc dun)

– 50ml sugar* (duong)

– 50ml caramel sauce* (nuoc hang)

– Salt to taste

Fish sauce:

– 5 pieces of garlic, chopped. (toi bam)

– 30g chopped red chilli (ot bam)

– 1 spoon of lemon juice (chanh qua)

– 3 tablespoons vinegar (dam)

– 1 tablespoon caramel sauce* (nuoc hang)

– 1 tablespoon sugar* (duong)

– 5 tablespoons water (nuoc loc)

– 2 tablespoons fish sauce (nuoc mam)

1. Combine the marinated pork bacon for 15 minutes and grill over charcoal until golden brown

2. Mix minced pork and marinated pork into small balls and grill until golden brown

3. Serve with garnish

Dipping Sauce:

1. Boil chicken or pork stock, coconut juice, sugar*, caramel sauce*, salt and keep cool and combine fish sauce, chopped garlic, red chilli, lemon juice, vinegar, minced pepper, ground pepper.

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* All vietnamese recipes use a lot of sugar… I had to brave the sugar for the trip and I’m not proud of it! But seriously a little bit of sugar on a special occasion is not going to kill you. Just make sure you make lots of ginger, lemon and green leafy vegetable based smoothies after!

Clem 🙂