20.8.18

RISE AND ALIGN: EARLY MORNING ROOFTOP YOGA IN LONDON

Image c/o Fat Buddha Yoga


"Getting high before work isn't the usual protocol, but here I am..." 

Read the the full article for tmrw magazine here.
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Getting high before work isn't the usual protocol but here I am, in downward dog, 17 floors up. It's 8am on a Wednesday and Fat Buddha Yoga's rooftop class is well underway. 

With fast-paced sun salutations and a beat to match, the Morning Flow session quickly banishes any bleary eyes in the house. We stretch and flex our way through the next 45 minutes, invigorated by the nippy outdoors and city views. Arched over in a way I'd rarely find myself at this hour feels unexpectedly great. 

The White Collar Factory's terrace makes for an impressive location: I stare into the distance for balance and St Paul's stares back. With the Shard in my periphery and London's iconic skyline beyond, I feel centred in the city’s centre, unrushed in rush hour.

As the class comes to an end we take a moment to lay down, palms up. Shoreditch sounds uncharacteristically tranquil below and it's easy to relax, contemplating the day ahead. I welcome the stillness, often rare when you're busy living your best life.  

Old Street station is very literally a hop, skip and jump away, and after grabbing a complimentary cappuccino on the way out I bounce onto the tube, marvelling at all this convenience. I arrive at work feeling spritely and zen.

Scientists say it takes 3 weeks to make or break a habit. Having reaped the benefits of early morning yoga I vow to conquer my daily desire to stay in bed for as long as possible. With a bundle of bookings made, I'm confident about breaking my morning mould to become a bendier, more productive me. 

11.7.18

VISIT VEGAN NIGHTS

The "steak" sandwich I devoured in the name of research


Last week I trotted off to Vegan Nights – London’s meat-free foodie festival rapidly earning itself cult status.
 

I indulged in some food porn and wrote about it for tmrw magazine: click here to read my review.
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Back with an "Americana" twist, this month's Vegan Nights event celebrated all things stateside - bar Trump. The hedonistic hub, hailed "Las Vegan", surpassed any expectations of a generic foodie festival with its balmy summer vibe.

Held at The Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, stalls, bars (and buses) serving sweet and savoury lined the courtyard - leaving plenty of space for revellers to laze on the Astroturf and devour their food. The open-air venue was strewn with lights and studded with American tributes, including a miniature Statue of Liberty clutching a carrot to add the finishing touch.


The game-changing gastronomy would make even the most dedicated carnivores question why they still eat meat. Leading the pack was CookDaily - an established name in London's vegan scene - serving sticky teriyaki "chickn" bites. Wow. Succulent and blissfully gristle-free, the Asian flavours stood out among the hot dawgs and cheese fries.

After chowing down on some "steak" that was peculiar but moreishly spongy, it was time for dessert. Froconut's plant-based ice cream caught our attention served in a coconut half with a glorious hunk of honeycomb. Refreshing and moosey, it satisfied our taste buds and Instagram feeds simultaneously.

From hipster to high street, veganism has gone mainstream - and beyond. A-listers including Daniel Kaluuya OBE, Ben Whishaw and 
One Direction's Liam Payne were amongst yesterday’s Vegan Nighters, showing their support for cruelty-free food.

BBC 1Xtra’s Melody Kane, Benj + Teaboyz and Becky Tong headlined the DJs and were dotted around keeping the vibe alive. Besides the music and meat-free madness, event organisers were also considerate enough to provide a Hollywood-worthy pink carpet and coordinating backdrop for photo ops. And with that, Vegan Nights evoked every aspect of a millennial’s summer night dream.

10.3.18

TINDER, I’M TURNED OFF

It's a well known fact that you can (more or less) find anything online, and relationships aren't an exception.


With over 7500 dating sites and apps to choose from there's an endless selection of people literally at our fingertips - so what's not to like? Whether you're after a casual bang or the father of your kids, the internet has it all. Or maybe like me, you're just bloody bored.

It's been a couple of weeks since I got back to the U.K. after travelling, and the novelty of sleeping in a bed that isn't mouldy has worn off. I am underwhelmed. After catching up with my nearest and dearest, job hunting and walking the pooch, the monotony of my grey home town has driven me to something I said I'd never go back to: dating apps.

Admittedly I dabbled with Tinder while I was away. A mixture of curiosity and a lot of free time led to hours of entertainment with my friends as we swiped absent-mindedly. I went on a few dates, which proved my original theory that I will not find the love of my life online... Or perhaps I am too picky.

Having a swipe in Nicaragua

Back in London with a spring in my step, I vowed to stop wasting time swiping through distasteful men with their pecks out. 


Then the week of blizzards and nipple-shrivelling temperatures happened, and I caved. As another house-bound day passed I sheepishly downloaded Bumble with my tail between my legs, hoping for some amusement that wasn't my Dad doing circuits in the front room.

You might be thinking, what's with this girl's dating app shame? I'm sure you can tell that I'm a little reluctant, bordering on sneery. But the fact is I'm not judging anyone but myself. The notion of swiping people based on their looks is all fun and games until you meet up with someone who has the personality of a fish. (Don't get me wrong, I have met some goodens, but there's never been a real "spark".) Trawling through the likes of Rodger, 28, who is clearly in his 50's becomes depressing surprisingly quickly and I am back to square one.  

I'm not doubting that dating apps can lead to love, because a lot of my friends are evidence of this. But I can't help but wonder what Tinder/Bumble/Bristlr (an app for beard lovers) etc. says about us as a society. It seems odd that we have progressed so much in certain aspects - see the body positivity movement or growing acknowledgement of non-binary genders for example - and yet recent research says 50 million of us are still active on Tinder and therefore judging people on the way they look.

Incognito in London. Photo by Serge Kabanda

A profile picture can't condense character. This week I'm going on a date with someone who I've already met in real life, who I might not have swiped yes for on an app. At the rate that I flick through and disregard people online, it's a split-second change of destiny that could cost me my soulmate! 

I think it's time to hang up my dating app shoes as quickly as I put them on. While browsing the human catalogue of online profiles is undoubtedly fun, I've realised that subjective attraction doesn't necessarily equal chemistry.