The basic principle is to select the opposing colour to the shade you’re trying to tone down. In my case, a reddish orange, but I picked up turquoise, green and blue-violet just to let me play around with the the mix a bit.

Rhiarti's Ramblings - using colour theory to fix a bad dye job

If your hair is long enough to hide it, a two minute undiluted strand test can give you a good idea which colour you want to focus on. The green barely showed, so I used that as my main base, then mixed in a hint of the others and a ton of conditioner to dilute the colour down.

Rhiarti's Ramblings - using colour theory to fix a bad dye job

I used Punky dye. Directions and Manic Panic are great, too. Start cautiously – you can always use a stronger mix next time!

I left mine on for about 15-20 minutes before rinsing thoroughly and washing etc as normal.

Spaghetti squash

Oh man, you have no idea how excited we were to spot spaghetti squash in a grocery shop on Commercial Drive! For anyone wondering where the paleo posts have gone, one way or another, something I’ve done precious little of since we moved is cooking.

But, having hunted high and low for spaghetti squash in Guildford and somehow never found it, there was no way I was walking on by and waiting for a more convenient time to give them a try!

Of course, I had absolutely no clue how to cook them! Hurrah for Google… and hurrah for ridiculously easy, ridiculously tasty food!

There are several ways to make this, but the way I chose meant cutting the squash lengthways, scooping out the pulp and seeds (you can toast the seeds in a low oven if you’ve a mind to), then baking them face down on a roasting pan for about an hour at… oh, wait, new country means new temperature scale! I’m going to say it was about 375ºF or 290ºC. For probably around an hour. I kind of lost track of time making the sauce.

Either way, this is how it looked when it came out of the oven. Poke a fork in it and you’ll instantly know whether it’s ready or not.

Rhiarti's Ramblings - spaghetti squashNow comes the fun bit! Take the aforementioned fork, and work your way along the long sides towards the middle. The guide I read said to go top to toe, but my way seemed way easier and got more flesh out overall, so… whatever works for you, I guess?

Rhiarti's Ramblings - spaghetti squash

Voila! One perfect serving of noodles. The skin could easily double as a bowl, if you wanted to try these on a barbecue. Given I’ve unexpectedly found myself in very unfamiliar territory when it comes to grocery shopping over here, I was pretty damn pleased with the bolognese sauce I made to go with it, too.

I assumed it’d need a bit of butter to flavour the noodles, but I really needn’t have bothered – they taste glorious just as they are. Definitely going to become a household staple once we’ve moved!

Rhiarti's Ramblings - spaghetti squash

Cauliflower mash

  • Butter or coconut oil
  • Cauliflower
  • Creamed coconut
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The creamed coconut really does make a world of difference to this dish! Much nicer texture and more filling overall. Quick and easy to make, too – personally, I use a cheese grater to roughly grate the cauliflower head, then fry it in a little butter or coconut oil until it starts to soften and colour. Season to taste, and add in as much solid creamed coconut as seems to work for the amount of cauliflower used – for a standard medium head I use about half a block.

Let it melt and whisk it in with a fork. Add water splash by splash until it’s about the right consistency, then cover and cook on a low heat for 5-10 minutes until it’s cooked through.

Cauliflower mash - a Rhiarti's Ramblings paleo recipe

Totnes and Dartmouth

One of these days I’ll manage to spend a long, leisurely day in Totnes, just me and Angus. Maybe meet up with old friends, and generally just really get to introduce him my Totnes. Today was not that day! However, I at least managed a better show of it than last time we visited, and actually learned a few new things about the town myself, which was a pleasant surprise!

First up, having told him about the leechwells, I was determined to show him the site. Like many Totnesians I had grown up with the story about the leechwells being the place lepers were brought for healing. Thank you, Wikipedia, for debunking that one – or at least putting a large question mark over it! Instead, more interestingly to me, I discovered it has long been the site of a healing spring.

Kudos for actually getting to see it goes entirely to Angus! For various reasons not worth dwelling on, I was having something of a sense of humour failure trying to recall their exact location. Following “one last try”, just as we were about to turn back, there was hope!

Rhiarti's Ramblings - Angus finds the way to the leechwells in Totnes

It was worth it, too. Sadly they’ve cut away the foliage that used to grow overhead, but it was lovely to see the old leechwells as visited as ever. Apparently they’re also building (or maybe have built – there were signs of it across the way, but no time to investigate) – an additional area upon discovery of a further well.

Rhiarti's Ramblings - The Leechwells, Totnes

That desire sated, we had a saunter down the High Street, where Angus found the perfect antidote to my previous humour failure, courtesy of Salago, a gorgeous shop which has been a stalwart of Totnes High Street for as long as I can remember.

Rhiarti's Ramblings - trying on a woolly panda hat in Salago, Totnes

Further down the High Street is the Brutus Stone, which I later discovered Geoffrey of Monmouth claimed to be the landing point of his mythical founder of Britain: Brutus of Troy. I knew it as an orating stone, so this extra bit of lore was another treat for me!

Rhiarti's Ramblings - The Brutus Stone, Totnes

Of course, another important bit of local lore is the assertion by locals that, never mind Vire, Totnes is in fact twinned with Narnia. Far more fitting, I’ll grant you, and the t-shirts made me chuckle!

Rhiarti's Ramblings - Totnes, twinned with Narnia

We walked right down to Vire Island, before heading back up the other side of the High Street, past the unmistakable and utterly delicious aroma of the handmade fudge shop…

Rhiarti's Ramblings - fudge shop, Totnes, Devon

We stopped for lunch at La Fourchette. I… wouldn’t recommend making the same mistake! Crap-awful service and a 40 minute wait for inedibly bad food. Terrible shame, especially considering the huge number of absolutely excellent places to eat in Totnes! Still, with that, our parking ticket had run out. To Dartmouth!

We were stuck behind a small convoy of military trucks for a fair bit of the way there. It wasn’t until I noticed the left hand drive sign that we realised they weren’t official military trucks, but re-enactors off to a big thing at Slapton Ley!

Rhiarti's Ramblings - military re-enactors en route to Slapton Ley

It was a perfect sunny afternoon for visiting Dartmouth – always glorious in this kind of weather! Again, one day I’ll take Angus there just him and me, but we still managed to see a fair bit of it.

Rhiarti's Ramblings - Dartmouth

Including the castle where, having mentioned feeling like he really ought to have a cream tea seeing as he was in Devon, I was only too happy to oblige! Unfortunately pretty bad scones, it must be said, but a cream tea in the sunshine by a castle overlooking the sea? I’d say that’s not bad as experiences go!


To complete this leg of the whistlestop tour, we drove back via Blackpool Sands…

Rhiarti's Ramblings - Blackpool Sands

…and Slapton Ley, which is particularly notable for the road running between two bodies of water: salt water ocean on one side, and fresh water on the other. Also seagulls. Hello, seagulls! One of those quintessential sounds that instantly transport me back to childhood.

Rhiarti's Ramblings - Seagulls at Slapton Ley, Devon

Oestre cupcakes!

I almost exactly copied the PaleOMG carrot cupcake recipe for the actual cake. It never turns out anything like hers, but tastes pretty damn good, and that’s the main thing!

For the icing, another recipe that doesn’t turn out anything like the pictures promise – the Carrots ‘n’ Cake fudge cookies! Minus the cocoa and honey, plus a small wedge (about 40g) of creamed coconut. I was going for a kind of bird’s nest thing, so scraped it over with a fork to add some texture.

I topped each “nest” off with some homemade marzipan made into mini eggs, dusted with a little ground cinnamon. Heaven!

Eastre cupcakes - Rhiarti's Ramblings


Making your own marzipan couldn’t be easier, and tastes so much better than the sugary confection most people think of, I was a convert to it long before I’d ever heard of paleo! All you need to make it is:

  • Ground almonds
  • Honey
  • Vanilla and/or almond extract

No real need for measurements here! Measure out as much ground almonds as looks about right for the quantity of marzipan you need. Put these into a high-sided bowl, add a few drops of extract to taste, then add honey a bit at a time and mix with a fork until you have the right consistency. It never needs as much honey as you think, so mix thoroughly each time before deciding if you need to add more!

That’s literally all there is to it. In this case, to be used as little cinnamon-sprinkled marzipan eggs on top of some Eastre cupcakes.

Homemade paleo marzipan recipe - Rhiarti's Ramblings

Chocolate truffles

Ohhh these are wicked, gooey heaven! Very quick and simple to make, although keep an eye on your blender motor if, like me, you don’t bother softening the dates first! Just take it in short bursts with time in between to cool down and it should be fine.

  • 12 medjool dates
  • 50-100g creamed coconut
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

The slightly vague creamed coconut quantity is down to preferred truffle texture. The less you use, the more gooey the truffle, so adjust to your own tastes!

Warm the creamed coconut to soften it, then mix everything together with a blender. I left a few coarser pieces of dates, but in all honesty that was as much because I feared for my hand blander as it was for texture!

Leave the mixture in the fridge to cool, then roll into small balls, and dust with your choice of coating. I used dessicated coconut for this batch, but cocoa powder, cinnamon, or chopped nuts would have worked nicely too.

Quick and easy paleo chocolate truffles recipe - Rhiarti's Ramblings


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