Category Archives: Life & Style

Books for vaccines charity campaign begins

Thriller writer and editorial director at HarpersCollins, Phoebe Morgan, has set up a charity auction called “Books for Vaccines”. The writer is trying to accrue financial donations and prizes for the charity, and she has organised 50 prizes so far.

According to Morgan, “auction lots can be signed books, book bundles, 1-2-1s from literary agents for aspiring writers, Zoom mentoring sessions or phone calls from anyone in the industry who has time to spare to help someone trying to get a foot in the door, particularly tricky at the moment and basically anything of value that is book related.”

The auction will raise money for the global charity Care International which works with 104 countries. The money raised will go to places like India where the pandemic crisis is raining tragically in full swing.

This page is a simple guide to help you get involved.

The auction goes live today and will run until the 21st of May.

Will Spain be the right holiday destination this summer?

With the lifting of the state of emergency on Sunday 9 May, it seems that the situation in Spain is gradually improving, reopening the possibilities of a near future with more and more travel and tourists.

Approaching the figure of 5.7 million vaccinated people who are now fully vaccinated, i.e. 12 % of the population so far, the restrictions imposed up to now throughout Spain may start to change, giving way to a new season of novelties both for the citizens of the country and for tourists from different parts of the world.

Pending the travel plans imposed by the UK on 17 May, countries will be divided into three categories, green, amber or red, depending on how the health emergency situation is developing within their borders.

Due to the high flow of British tourism to Spain every summer, it is expected that Spain will be one of the countries accepted for travel to from the end of May.

Therefore, if travel between the two countries is given the green light, or even if it is relegated to amber class, we can hopefully expect a summer of sun, surf and sand for all those interested in making the trip.

Video courtesy of
Mallorca – under the sun

Guangzhou: the disappearing old city

The game between commerce, history and culture

#1,A place in Liwan District, Guangzhou. On the right is the new building, and on the left is the old building in Guangzhou.

Nowadays, photos, videos and recordings allow people to keep their memories, but they do nothing but help them to make memories.
The world is developing so fast that more and more tall buildings are being built and replaced by the old buildings that people used to live in, which are not only a symbol of the end of the era, but also a reminder of that time. Today, more and more old houses are disappearing all over the world….

Recently, with the consent of the municipal government, Guangzhou Development and Reform Commission and the people’s Government of Liwan district jointly issued the development plan of baiyetan district (2020-2035).

#2,Outline of urban renewal special plan of Baiyun District, Guangzhou City.
Photo source (authorized) 广州市白云区城市更新专项规划大纲 (2020-2035年) (law168.com.cn)

The planning scheme of the project covers an area of 381.2 hectares, the regulatory detailed planning adjustment part covers an area of 213 hectares, and the updated implementation scheme covers an area of 84.8 hectares. Its main purpose is to demolish the old houses and build new high-rise buildings, office buildings, schools, squares and other public facilities.

#3These photos show pictures of a village in the city of Guangzhou (authorized) by Hunk

Why does the government want to change the city?

On January 27, 2021, the Guangzhou Municipal People’s government first proposed the requirements of introducing industry, education and medical treatment into urban village reconstruction enterprises. Its main aim is to improve people’s living conditions.

According to the previous renovation plan, it can bring a lot of benefits to the residents:

(1) Change of environment: planning and construction of urban villages with high starting point and high standard to realize the compatibility of residence and commercial office
(2) Changes in housing conditions: the old house is replaced by a new house with sufficient lighting, good ventilation, reasonable structure, complete water, electricity, gas, heating, cable TV and other living facilities.
(3) The change of real estate value: the residential houses are transformed into commercial houses with complete certificates. These properties can be self occupied, leased or sold to increase economic income.

Where is Guangzhou ?

Guangzhou is located in the north of the Pearl River Delta, adjacent to the South China Sea. It is one of the first batch of famous historical and cultural cities in China and the birthplace of Guangfu culture. It is rated as the world’s first tier city by GaWC, a global authority.

#3,GUANGZHOU

Despite the rapid development of society, new things emerge one after another. The history of Guangzhou, which has been cherished by the older generation for a long time, is fading away. The emotion endowed by time is so complex and extensive. Nostalgia always affects the souls of millions of people inexplicably. However, in the era of mechanization, especially in today’s digital era, with the continuous improvement of the quality of life, they can not escape the fate of extinction.

Different voices appear: “I don’t want them to disappear, they have the meaning of their existence… Records of people’s memory, youth”

巫小寒(Xiaohan Wu) is a photographer and grew up near the Redtory art design factory.

It used to be a cannery in Guangzhou. It had come to an end ten years ago, but later it transformed into a creative park through artistic transformation. The booming machines in the past have become an ornamental. The rusty walls of the old factory buildings have attracted many people to take photos.

#4. These are photos taken by Wu Xiaohan in redory art design factory (authorized)

However, it did not escape the fate of being torn down
Our city is getting bigger and bigger, but there is no real land left for artists.

#4,But in the end, it was demolished
Video source(Authorized):再见了,红砖厂!这一次真的要拆了…_广州 (sohu.com)

At the same time,Some buildings have disappeared in London

#5,Image by Secret London, under creative commons licence.

The much loved nightclub on Charing Cross Road closed forever in 2009. It was demolished soon after, the most high profile casualty of the Crossrail construction works.

Many local people in London miss the demolition of London Astoria

Architecture is the most unique part of each country’s culture, and it is the symbol and symbol of national culture. But with the development of the times, although people’s buildings are more and more close to the direction of modernisation, in the process of development, they gradually lose their own unique architectural culture, and those large residential buildings that use stone to varying degrees are gradually disappearing. These historic buildings, stone blocks and beams, seem to tell moving stories of the nation and family.

The game between commerce and history and culture continues to grow, which one do you think is most important?

FUNDING FOR ART COURSES PLANS TO BE HALVED

The art students across the UK have shown their concern over the Government’s plan to halve the funding for the “less-prioritized” Art courses in Universities i.e. from almost £36m to £19m. Sources also suggest that this is being done to make way for apparently “more-prioritized” courses ranging from medicine to IT.

Source: University of the Arts, London

Despite the fact that the number of students entering undergraduate courses in art and design keeps rising each year with the arts and culture industry growing by £390million in a year (as of April 2019) and contributing almost £209 billion a year to the UK economy, the Government has made this decision which is considered “destructive” and “short-sighted” by university heads speaking to Design Week. UK’s plan to “Build Back Better” to support economic growth through significant investment in infrastructure, skills and innovation not only contradicts with this bold step, but also completely rules out the industry that already contributes to UK designs being exported outside. Successful UK businesses and iconic brands such as Virgin, Jaguar Land Rover, O2, Dyson and Diageo all regard design as essential to innovation and market expansion. Considering the value of the design industry in some of the largest multi-national companies, it is almost extremely sad to come across this news.

Source: University of Bristol

In order to understand what it is like to come across such news whilst being an Arts student here in the UK, I conducted a small focus group wherein Arts students from University of Westminster came forward and spoke about it. Anjali Dalal, an MA Multimedia Journalism student who runs an Instagram Page to showcase some of her phenomenal street photography series (https://www.instagram.com/anjaliidalal/) says that 50% is too much of an amount to deduct and that stealing from ART is not a good move considering the struggles of the art students and artists who are already seen commonly starting random fundraisers to complete their projects. Marie, a first year Contemporary Media Practices student (https://www.instagram.com/throughmarieslens/) feels it’s extremely wrong of the Government to make these plans and ruin people’s dreams and passions. The agitation that these art students have shown sure calls for an increasing concern over this matter.

“I already feel that I don’t get the quality of the hands-on experience I applied for, and they want to reduce the support even more.”

Anna Miram Halasz, final year BA Film Student

Thisisintern on Instagram is already taking an initiative in raising its voice by stating “This is an attack on the future of UK arts, the creative potential of the next generation, and the people who deliver our world-leading arts courses.”. They have also recently started a petition for the same: https://www.campaignforthearts.org/petitions/stop-the-50-percent-funding-cut-to-arts-subjects-in-higher-education/ and expects people to take a stand for the potential artists.

I think it’s time for the art students to come together and save a profession that has given them a chance to be who they are and embrace their livelihood. SAVE THE ART!

Fun things to do in London this weekend

With at least one sunny day coming up this weekend, it’s time to go out and celebrate our new freedom from certain lockdown restrictions.

Whether you’re a fan of thrifting in vintage markets or are looking to find some of the most peaceful parks to escape into, our interactive map should be your go-to guide.

As of April 12, pub gardens, outdoor attractions and gyms are now open, and London has some of the best to offer. Here are some of the highlights…

Greenwich Market

Fancy a bite to eat? Greenwich Market has loads of tasty options: from pizza to sushi, everyone’s tastes are met. Check out what this TikTok user got up to…

@theresriceathome

FOLLOW IG: @theres_rice_at_home for the specific food reviews 💛 #foryou #foryoupage #fyp #food #london #greenwich #greenwichmarket

♬ Food – Densky9

Hyde Park

What’s better than chilling with friends in a park now that the rule of six is back? When there’s parakeets! Who knew these birds would eat straight out of your hand! Check out Ariane Hine’s TikTok below…

Check out our interactive map below

From outdoor swimming to drive-in cinemas, you won’t run out of things to do

Now you know what’s in store for this weekend, we want to hear what you’re most excited for. Let us know by voting in the poll below…

Featured image credit to Lucas Peng on Unsplash

How restaurants and cafes in England are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic

Covid-19 pandemic made restaurants to stop their activities for a long time globally. Here you will find out how the catering services had been impacted in England.

According to the official government’s website, since the 12 of April, restaurants, pubs and bars can operate outside.

Laura, 24, who works at the 108 Brasserie restaurant of the Marylebone hotel in London as a waitress, said that crowds of people are constantly visiting the restaurant.

According to Laura, at the moment clients can only book tables to eat outside of the restaurant.

A waitress Laura pointed out that the 108 Brasserie had to change their drink options, as suppliers do not have their beverages, for example, beer or wine.

Another 108 Brasserie restaurant’s issue is that some products, such as food and drinks like wines have expired and had to be thrown away.

“A lot of food and drinks wastage as the date of packed products has expired.”

Food navigator revealed at the end of 2019, before the pandemic, restaurants wasted 9% of all food they bought, which cost individual businesses £111 every week, according to data collected by the Sustainable Restaurant Association and Just Eat.

“This cost the entire sector a ‘staggering’ £16.7 million during lockdown, the report said.”

Laura has also shared some of her personal struggles at the workplace.

“Some days we have a work of two or three people, since we don’t have big team anymore,” she tells me. “But the demand of being professional is still here, we can’t show to guests that we can’t keep up with it.”

The restaurant Magnolia Cafe, located in Scunthorpe, did not agree to reveal how their business has been affected by the pandemic.

Magnolia Cafe restaurant. Personal picture

Two women, Lauren and Heidi shared their opinions about the pandemic.

“It’s a nightmare, I don’t know how we are gonna recover,” says Lauren. “It’s just… messing with people’s lives,” says Heidi.

However, women feel happy that the restaurants are working again as they used to before the lockdowns.

“I’m excited, as pubs function again,” says Lauren. “I think it’s good, as businesses need get back to normal,” tells Heidi.

Larger scale food chains also have experienced a tough time. One of them is Pizza Hut, which in 2020 closed 1,745 restaurants worldwide, according to QSR magazine.

Pizza Hut ended 2020 with 17,639 stores, representing a unit decline of 6 percent—it’s the lowest global number since Q3 2018.

A person who works at the King Kebab in Scunthorpe, also did not reveal anything, and said “come later, now I’m busy.”

King Kebab Scunthorpe. Personal picture

Garry, who is a manager of Scunthorpe’s Costa Cafe, said that his job personally has not been impacted by the pandemic, but his employees experienced changes.

“My team, employees, went on furlough.”

Costa Cafe Scunthorpe. Personal picture

According to the Guardian, Office for National Statistics discovered that 8 in 10 employees in the UK who worked in accommodation and food services, were put on furlough.

Even though the pandemic had been a challenging time for restaurants, catering industry is slowly going back to normal. Both employees and clients cannot wait to have fantastic experiences.

Want to read more global COVID-19 news? Check out our interactive map.

Featured image belongs to Rod Long on Unsplash

How has the pandemic affected teachers’ mental health?

For over a year now, the only way for most students to learn has been through a screen. This unusual event in any pupil’s life has taken its toll not only on their mental health, but also on that of their teachers.

According to a survey carried out by one of the largest teachers’ organisations in the UK (NASUWT), out of 4,700 respondents, 79% of teachers said that their work has had a very negative impact on their mental health, with precariousness and insecurity in the classrooms being one of the main factors. More than 80% of the participants have suffered an exponential increase in stress due to the large rise in workload, affecting 48% of them in their physical health.

This huge escalation in teachers’ mental health problems has led many teachers to take medication to handle the heavy workload and stress that has grown dramatically over the past year.

Among these findings, the NASUWT survey indicates other important data on the impact of the pandemic on teachers’ mental health, stating that 87% of teachers have experienced anxiety, 79% have experienced sleep loss and 30% have increased their normal use of alcoholic beverages.

The general secretary of the NASUWT, Dr Patrick Roach, is alarmed by these findings. He explains that the pandemic can be seen to have resulted in an immense workload for teachers, who although having coped remarkably well with the stressful situation, “Covid-19 and the impacts on working have had a detrimental effect on teachers’ physical and mental health”.

Many people have expressed their concerns and talked about the education system, supporting teachers and students and calling for more help and respect for the mental health of these educators.

In light of the abrupt change in the notion of lessons in March last year, one might consider these results to be expected, knowing that teachers have had to change everything previously known to them to deliver their content via a computer screen, with many of their pupils learning from their bedroom.

We can only hope that sooner rather than later, the situation for both teachers and pupils may start to improve, and that the general atmosphere of stress and fatigue in the education system will be reduced.

And even if the pandemic has taken its toll on the mental health of teachers all over the world, there are some of them who wanted to make the situation a bit more comical. This is why we want to wrap things up on a positive note, but always bearing in mind that mental health is a serious issue to be treated as such, and whenever help is needed, it should be sought.

@gabby_roma

This post was from a few weeks ago on my insta, but I thought I’d share it with my TikTok fam✨

♬ original sound – Gabby Roma

Featured Image by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Beatfreeks prove that Gen Z is not reckless and cares about the future

“They want wider society to reflect the positive democratic potential the Internet has unlocked,” says the founder of Beatfreeks agency Anisa Morridadi about Generation Z in a report published in March 2021.

In the report Institutions of the Future, Beatfreeks is defined as “an engagement and insight agency with a growing community of young creatives.” To determine the core values of Gen Z, also recognised as Zoomers, this agency conducted research on 1,803 participants aged between sixteen to twenty-five and based within the UK.

People born in 1995 or 1996 to 2010 or 2011 belong to Gen Z’s squad. The most significant difference between the young and older generations is that Generation Z usually spends more time on social media. According to Beatfreeks, currently, 99 per cent of the people in the UK, aged between sixteen to twenty-four, are involved in social media.

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Obviously, most often, the young generation spends online-time by catching up to the latest trends and having conversations with peers.However, some Zoomers are building their online careers, which often leads to more valuable benefits, such as highly advanced tech skills and a deeper understanding of the power of advertising and public relations.

Younger people view social media as a portal of opportunities that helps bring up social issues and spread ideas also personal creations globally. Besides, 98 per cent of participants actually are concerned about the worldwide problems.

Those who tend to mock the shopping decisions of Gen Z should change their minds. Beatfreeks found out that 50 per cent of respondents see quality as a priority in purchasing. 87 per cent of the young people care about the brand’s ethics, including concern of cruelty-free products or if the company has gender bias when buying their supplies.

Moreover, 95 per cent of respondents said that organisations should engage in social problems.

According to a report, the top ten preferable brands of the young people are Nike, ASOS, Apple, Lush, Adidas, Vans, Lucy&Yak, Dr Martens, Primark and H&M.

When it comes to career aspirations, 44 per cent of Zoomers want to “do something they love,” 14 per cent want to keep a balance between work and life. Only 20 per cent revealed that they are driven by money.

The report Institutions of the Future conducted by the Beatfreeks proves that Gen Z makes thoughtful decisions lead by a genuine concern about the world’s future. For young people, social media is a tool to share thoughts and ideas, establish a career, and inspire others to make positive changes globally.  

The featured image belongs to Austin Distel on Unsplash

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