No bread is an island

...entire of itself. (With apologies to John Donne!)
I live and breathe breadmaking. I’m an evangelist who would like everyone to make his or her own bread. I want to demystify breadmaking and show it as the easy everyday craft that it is. To this end I endeavour to make my recipes as simple and as foolproof as I possibly can.

I call my blog 'No bread is an island' because every bread is connected to another bread. So a spicy fruit bun with a cross on top is a hot cross bun. This fruit dough will also make a fruit loaf - or Chelsea buns or a Swedish tea ring...
I'm also a vegan, so I have lots of vegan recipes on here - and I'm adding more all the time.

Thursday, 20 June 2019


I was highly honoured to be asked to speak at the Bristol March for the Animals 2019 - even more so when I found out I was to be the last speaker. Not only that, I was on the same 'platform as Juliet Gellatley, founder of Viva.

Have to say I was very flattered when Juliet asked if she could have her picture taken with me. It was a wonderful day - and this was the highlight!

Here's my speech in full;

"My name’s Paul; I’m 81; I’ve been vegan for 15 years - and I’m on a mission!

A mission to prove that, on a vegan diet, you can be fit, healthy and strong, well into old age - should I ever get there!

More about that in a moment - a little about me, and how I became vegan. I gave up meat in the early 2000’s, because I wanted to avoid Mad Cow Disease - and it took me 2 years before I realised the truth behind the dairy and egg industries, and all the blinkers came off, and I went vegan - or should I say plant-based, for it was another 14 years before I became fully vegan. 

Fast forward to April last year. On the 28th of that month I attended my first Cube of Truth, organised by my good friend, Steve Clout - and on that day, my life changed forever! I’ve been a regular attender at Cubes all over the SW ever since - and I became an AV organiser a couple of months ago.

Now, I want to make up for lost time and do as much as I can. Not only that, I feel tremendously guilty about the animals that suffered on my behalf in the years before I gave up animal products. We here are all aware of the absolute torture and suffering that farmed - and other animals - go through, but of course not everybody does. So it’s incumbent on us, not just to go vegan, but to become a vegan activist. As Einstein said, “Those who have the privilege to know have the duty to act.” It’s often said that being vegan is the least anyone can do - I would argue that being a vegan activist is the least anyone can do.

In my opinion, standing behind a mask in a Cube of Truth is one of the easiest way into activism. Whilst standing there you will hear the conversations going on around you, and you’ll begin to think to yourself - “I could have said that,” and it’s not long before you’re engaging with the public yourself. People will tell you that there are two parts to a Cube - there’s standing in the Cube - very important, this is what makes people curious and brings them in - and there’s the outreach, where other activists will generally educate people on the ways of veganism. But there’s a third, I think vital, component which comes after the Cube is finished - that’s the social bit, where you wind down, swap stories with like-minded folk, and generally get to know each other better. - and make lifelong friends. I would urge anyone to join us in a Cube of Truth - you’ll find us on Facebook. If you’re nervous about joining the Cube - and everyone is nervous to begin with - why not just come along to the after-Cube get-together? You’ll be welcomed with open arms by people you will grow to love and respect - I can guarantee it. I happen to be the oldest AV organiser in the world and my friend Mira Lubin, who is 14, is the youngest. It doesn’t matter what age you are - I’m living proof of this. It’s never too late to become a vegan activist! So you need to ask yourself, “What’s stopping YOU from becoming active?

My good friend, Alan Hutchison, Senior Lecturer in Happiness at Winchester University - yes, there is such a subject - maintains that I am the happiest bloke he knows. And I ask myself - just why is it that I feel so happy almost all of the time? Well I think it’s down to two reasons: Firstly, it’s the complete fulfilment I get from being an Animal Rights Activist, and the difference I feel I’m making ; Secondly,  I get to hang out with the most amazing group of people, whom I call my 2nd family. I now have friends all over the South West, from Plymouth and Barnstable to Cheltenham and Swindon - committed, caring, dedicated friends, and I consider myself so fortunate to have met them. I reckon I’ve had more hugs in the last 14 months than I had in the 80 years before that. So my message again, is: It’s not just, “It’s never too late to go vegan” - it’s never too late to become a vegan activist. 

Back to my mission - which is to prove that, as a vegan, you can be fit, healthy and strong, well into old age: A  couple of years ago, I raised some money for a couple  of local charities in Taunton by doing 1000 press ups in an hour. (It’s a lot easier than swimming the channel, or riding from Land’s End to John O’Groats!) Wanting to maintain the level of fitness I’d reached, I set myself the challenge of doing 1 million press ups between the ages of 80 and 90. I figured 100,000 a year, or roughly 8000 every month would do it. But, wanting to get ahead of the game, in case of ill-health, or holidays, I started doing sets of 1000, 2 or 3 times a week. It takes me roughly 40 minutes to do each set - 25 press ups every minute, and so far I’ve done over 200,000, 21 months into my challenge. At this rate, I’ll finish the 1 million 2 or 3 years early - then I’ll have to look around for another challenge. Maybe I’ll take up marathon running or something.

My name’s Paul; I’m 81; I’ve been vegan for 15 years - and I’m on a mission!"

I decided to leave this out of my speech:

[A word about my encounter with arthritis: Before I gave up meat, dairy and eggs, I suffered from osteoarthritis, which went into remission when I went plant-based. However, after several years, when my mantra then was ‘I don’t want another animal to die so that I can live’, I ate a couple of chicken breasts which were about to be thrown away. Immediately, my arthritis flared up again, and it took a couple of months for it to die back down again.]

More on my story here in Vegetarian for Life.

Here's an interview I did .with Michael Green, after the March