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Showing posts from 2017

Small changes make a world of difference

Move over ‘hygge’; it’s time for ‘live lagom’. I’ve been chosen to participate in the Live Lagom project in Norwich, led by sustainability charity Hubbub and IKEA, to help create an active community of ‘lagomers’, and to learn and share ways to be sustainable at home. It’s a Swedish philosophy that means ‘just the right amount’. I’ll be looking at ways that our family of 3 (plus 1 grumpy cat) can #LiveLAGOM in our 3-bed terraced house.
Our kitchen is without doubt the place we spend the most time. It’s not because I love slaving over a hot stove; HELL no, it’s so that myself and daughter can sample the culinary masterpieces of our in-house chef (aka shoulder-to-cry-on/daddy). When he’s not designing something cool, Neil (@typographic) can almost certainly be found at the stove, throwing together some delicious street food-inspired dish.
Whether it’s energy, food or packaging; the kitchen is where our family uses the most and where we can definitely be doing more to reduce waste and re-u…

The case for the Oud-West

Quite by chance I recently found myself residing in the Oud-West district of Amsterdam in a wonderful Airbnb, owned by a Dutch writer with a penchant for colour-coded bookshelves. Pitched as a quiet residential area, in an area known as De Baarsjes, I had low expectations yet little did I know that Amsterdam West is having a bit of a moment.
Once dubbed an industrial badland, the area is now thriving with students and young professional attracted to the area’s cheap rents; you only have to walk along the streets of Jan Pieter Heijestraat and Admiraal the Ruijterweg to find an interesting mix of independent stores and foodie hotspots housed in stunning examples of Amsterdam School architecture. 
Perhaps one of the most diverse neighbourhoods in Amsterdam, organic delis and trendy concept stores fraternise with Turkish mini-marts and Surinamese takeaways. It’s got a community-orientated laid-back vibe that’s hard to beat. There’s plenty a terrace to sit out on and watch stylish Amsterdamm…

How to eat street food and live to tell the story

Admit it – room service is for wimps. We’ve all been there – straight off the red-eye with a rumbling belly yet too jet-lagged to speak in proper English let alone the local dialect – we reach for the room service menu and hit 3. Really what we should be doing is hot footing it to the nearest street food stall for your first taste of paradise. 
Squatted on a tiny plastic stool on a random street corner slurping steaming noodles; there’s no better way to immerse yourself in local life and get to the heart of a country’s cuisine. Quite often it’s the food I recall most vividly from a trip, and an experience I search out time and again.
From Thai moo ping to Mexican elote, whichever itinerant cook you visit, what you are guaranteed is simple, authentic food cooked to perfection right in front of you. And as they are cooking it day after day, for hours on end, they know what they are doing.
But for the wary or uninitiated traveller, knowing where to go and what to eat can be a daunting task.…

Point taken

I wish more people knew that acupuncture doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective. As a migraineur and chronic headache sufferer, discovering acupuncture in my mid 30s was a real game changer. While treatment rarely keeps me pain-free for more than 10 days, regular sessions give me welcome relief from constant low level pain. But witha private acupuncture session costing up to £60 per hour, it was never going to be an affordable long term option for me. It’s thanks to community acupuncture that I can continue to have treatment on a regular basis.
At a multi-bed clinic you’re treated at the same time as other clients in an open plan treatment room. While you don’t get the undivided attention of your practitioner, in terms of treatment it’s really no different to a private consultation. Arrive at your allotted time slot,  jump on the bed, briefly talk over your ailments and the acupuncturist gets to work sorting them out. Once the needles are in, you’re left to relax for 30-40 minute…