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31 Aug 2018

THRIFTING IN ALICANTE

If you've ever wondered where to go vintage shopping in Alicante, I'm here to tell you.


While Spain probably isn't a first-choice shopping destination, shedloads of us head there to summer vacay. Sometimes a break from the beach can feel necessary, unless you're a solid sun-worshipper like my sister who lays for hours in reclining bound angle pose - please Google it.

Anyway, back in June after several days of frolicking in the sand myself, I hop on the tram from our spot by the sea and venture into Alicante City. Wherever I am in the world I like to sniff out the second-hand clothes shops, thrift stores and flea markets. Rummaging through all the crud to find a €3 gem can feel more rewarding than my degree. Thrifting is my jam.

With a short but promising list of vintage shops to find we go on our way (I manage to prise Claire away from her offensive sunbathing situation.) All but one store seems to have closed down. Fricking recession.

Elefante Vintage, Alicante

Elefante Vintage is somewhat inconspicuous, on a random corner in a rundown residential area. After trawling the streets for an hour with little success it's our last stop, and instantly worth it. Inside is a cave of colour and chaos. Rows upon rows UPON ROWS of genuine vintage is crammed into this little shop, with clothes, shoes and accessories literally hanging off the walls to utilise the space.

I find a maroon leather dress, several designer shirts (Armani, Hilfiger, Versace) and a silk Victoria's Secret robe straight from the 80s. Everything is in mint condition and doesn't smell of mothballs. There's more Ralph Lauren than at a Marbs pool party and the impressive selection of menswear is possibly better than the women's, which is excellent if like me, you enjoy dressing as a boy.

On the way out I spend 10 inevitable minutes poring over a glass case of sunglasses at the till. We meander back towards the city centre and have dinner in a plaza. Sitting back with a glass of Rioja (all very Spanish) I feel pleased with my new garments that, for once, don't cost a small fortune. Alicante is definitely not the best place to go thrifting, but if you are there and fancy it, Elefante Vintage is the one - and only.

20 Aug 2018

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..." 

Intrigued? Read the rest of my article for tmrw magazine here.

11 Jul 2018

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.
_

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 One Direction's Liam Payne, Daniel Kaluuya OBE and Ben Whishaw 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 Mar 2018

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, with a cracking personality, 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. 

6 Oct 2017

UPROOTING, REBOOTING

I’ve quit my job and booked a flight to Costa Rica. In a couple of weeks my comfy little life as I know it will be upturned, but the uncertainty of what’s ahead is (for the most part) exhilarating!


I have questioned myself a few times – am I really sacking it all off to fly 11 hours away on my larry? But 2017 has been an itch I can’t quite scratch. It’s been so good, and so bad. A lot has happened, changed but also stayed the same this year, and with this my perspective has shifted. Plodding along stopped being an option, and since I’ve always said I want to do a proper “gap yah”, it became obvious that the time was now.

Corcovado National Park, via costarica.org

I chose Costa Rica within the hour. As the most indecisive person on earth it was a first to make such a swift decision, but something drew me to this country almost instantly. Of the little knowledge that I had, in my mind Costa Rica equaled nature. Your idyllic, white-sand beaches are nice and all, but what I really wanted was wildlife and greenery. Since doing more research, I’ve found out that Costa Rica really is the epitome of these 2 things in particular: nearly a quarter of the country is protected jungle and it’s inhabited by more than half a million species. Woah mama.

Inspired by a successful trip through Workaway last year, I logged on again to see what opportunities I could find in Costa Rica. Here I found Dreamsea, who were looking for a social media co-ordinator. I applied there and then – who wouldn’t want to create content at a surfing and yoga retreat in the jungle? After going back and forth via email they offered me the position, and it felt like everything had fallen into place. I booked my flight back in July and haven’t looked back since.

Accommodation at Dreamsea, via dreamseacostarica.com

Apart from knowing that I’ll be at Dreamsea to begin with, I really have no idea where the next few months will take me – both physically and mentally. I want to shake things up to see where the dust resettles. While it’s played on my mind that I’m leaving some good things at home, I’ve learnt to relax and just trust the way of the world.  

18 Oct 2013

POOR VS PIMPIN


Options for both the paupers and the prosperous among us.

Above: Stella McCartney's Lug Platforms - £550 
Lookalikes below by Jeffrey Campbell - £95