29 April 2017

Written by Amanda Bootes

I love London for so many different reasons.
The hustle and bustle of a busy city, the diversity with not only the food but the people and cultures too - and it’s even more exciting as a blogger. 

With Instagrammable spots at every corner, funky and quirky pubs, bars and restaurants with crazy cocktails and tasting menus and constant events it’s definitely the place to be in the midst of the blogosphere with its ever-growing trends and style.

But it can be a lonely place. New stats from the BBC emerged earlier this year have shown that even though there are over 9 million people living and working in London, it has been dubbed one of the loneliest cities in Europe, with a massive 33% of the inhabitants regularly spending weekends and nights on their own.

So what can we do?!

Download Clikd:
Lucky for us, clikd - a new app that offers friendship and dating have announced that they are looking for a new employee to not only gain valuable and paid work experience, and further their blogging portfolio but they are guaranteed to find a relationship be that friendship or something more romantically involved.
(I have already applied, what are you waiting for?)

This 1 day a week job, means that you can easily work it around your current priorities and schedule and still be able to enjoy free nights out in the best-loved capital, dating and mating your way around London, in exchange for blogging about your experiences.

The job is open now and you can apply through the link at the bottom of the page.

About the role:
The role is part time and only requires the minimum of one full day in the office so it can be done around other jobs. The placement will be at Clikd HQ in Old Street- although you will be required to go on (FREE) dates, nights out and events with people you actively meet through the app once a week.

Following that event, the employee will be required to come into the office to share their experience on the clikd blog.

You must be:
London Based and over 18. 
Have a passion for meeting new people.
Be creative and enjoy writing and capturing moments.
Be open to trying new events and experiences.

The employee will be paid the fair London Living Wage plus all expenses.

The closing date for applications is 19th May 2017. For further information on the role see: and for full job specifications see:


28 April 2017

Written by Lauren Francis
for Daily Focal

April marks a whole month focusing on stress awareness. We all differ in how much stress we can handle and what coping mechanisms we use, we all view stress differently but what unites us all is we all experience it in varying degrees. Stress can lead to a number of health issues including anxiety and depression to the more severe of heart attacks, and it is vital that we try and keep our stress levels in check, which is easier said than done. Here are my 8 stress busting tips to try and help. 

  1. Find Something You Love. Whether this be going for a run or for a swim, taking a class, dancing, colouring in, writing, reading, you name it if you enjoy it and it has the ability to take your mind off things go for it. 

  1. Take Time For You. With our busy lives it is easy for the months to slip by and for us to get caught up in things. Planning regular activities, a cinema trip, dinner with friends, a manicure, a game of football, it gives you something to focus on. For me it is always a massage, I ensure I book a new appointment before I leave so I have something in the diary, and when times are pretty shitty and stressful I know there is something just for me to look forward to. 

  1. Make a Change. This could be big or small. Something simple as tidying up your desk or decluttering and having a spring clean can work wonders in making a big difference to stress levels. 

  1. What is the Root Cause? Sounds obvious doesn’t it but finding what is causing stress is half the battle in improving your stress levels. Take time to figure out what is worrying you and try and make a change that will help alleviate it, and accept the things that you cannot change.

  1. Being Mindful. Evidence suggests that mindfulness not only helps lower stress but also helps to build inner strength and coping mechanisms for the future. There are many mindfulness tips, techniques and even apps out there to help find something that suits you. 

  1. Focus on the Positives. We spend an awful amount of time taking on the glass half empty approach and it is time to take stock of some of those positives that get overlooked. There are books and happiness journals that can really help you focus, but simply writing down five happy or good things that happened that day for the next 30 days can work wonders.

  1. Get Out There. I am the first to admit I love nothing more than coming home popping on those PJs and snuggling up on the sofa, #NetflixandChill and all that. It is easy to fall into the same routine but getting out there and enjoying life is key. Don't cancel those plans or make excuses, go out and you may be surprised by how much fun you have. 

  1. Ask for Help. Please don't be afraid to ask for help. Talk to someone and share your feelings, or ask someone how they are. If talking to loved ones isn’t something you want to do speak with your GP and or search for support services in your area. There are plenty of avenues.


12 April 2017

Written by Nafisha Atcha
for Daily Focal

You know when you read a book and it makes you feel every single emotion possible? That is what I felt when I read And Then We Ran by Katy Cannon.

And Then We Ran centres around Megan and Elliott who live in a small English Town where everyone knows each others business and cannot wait to give their two pennies worth. Both Megan and Elliott are about to make the next moves in their lives and as with all big decisions teenagers have to make, it comes with a lot of questions which need answers.

 Megan has finally figured out exactly what she wants she do in life. She is also trying to cope with the grief of her sister. Elliot on the other hand has is own family troubles which in a small town, leaves him feeling quite isolated. Both of them have felt the pain of growing up quickly compared to others their age. 

Cannon brings them together and we watch them embark on a joint journey of self-discovery. We see them laugh, cry, hide and even get angry. What is beautiful about Cannon and her writing is that we are meant to feel every single one of those emotions. From the crazy ideas Megan comes up with to the surprising ending I was hoping for but was not sure was going to happen. 

As I was reading it, I fell wholeheartedly into the world Cannon created from the seaside town to crying with the character as they embark on their journeys. I felt I was living in the town created by Cannon with Megan and Elliott standing by them as the story unfolds. 

And Then We Ran is a beautiful coming of age story written by a wonderful author. If you love an emotional Young Adult book this is one which will tick the box. And Then We Ran is available to pre-order from Amazon and hits the shelves on the 7th April.


07 April 2017

Written by Kirsty Hanson
for Daily Focal

I’ve wanted a dog for as long as I can remember. I aways used to get so excited when my parents would offer to look after my Grandma’s dog when she would go on holiday for the weekend; I loved the feeling of looking after them and playing with them. But we never had a dog of our own - up until two years ago.

It was just so random. One day, my Mom came home and asked whether we wanted a dog. My cousin is in charge of a rescue centre for cats and dogs and there was a King Charles Cavalier that was looking for a home after being abused - she was used as a breeding dog her whole life. I saw the picture of her and I instantly fell in love. She had these eyes that were wide and gorgeous and she looked so sweet. Fast forward a few weeks and loads of paperwork and we welcomed Luna into our home. Two years later and she is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. 

At first, Luna was quiet and all she did was stay in her bed. It was understandable - she hadn’t been shown any love in her whole life and now here she was, in a strangers home, probably worrying if she would get abused all over again. I loved her with every ounce of my being. 

At the time of writing, she is currently lying on my arm and snoring her head off and making it incredibly difficult for me to type this, but I don’t care, because I would stop the world for her.

I think the moment I realised how much she actually meant to me was when I was going through a break up last year. It was the one of the hardest times in my life and words cannot describe how down I felt; it was just awful. I wouldn’t leave the house, I had completely forgot how to look after myself and even though my parents and my best friend was there for me 24/7, Luna would always come up to me and snuggle into my arms. She knew that I was feeling like I had had enough. I remember a very specific day where I just cried into her fur. I was painting the living room walls whilst my parents and my sister had gone out, and I suddenly just burst out crying and fell to floor. I was a mess. I was in a heap, shaking and crying. And then I suddenly had a panic attack. I couldn’t breathe, I felt the walls closing in and I was going dizzy. Luna found me shaking on the floor, nuzzled herself in my chest and looked up at me. I don’t know what happened but I could suddenly breathe again. I gave her a massive hug and cried into her fur and just spoke to her about how shit I was feeling and throughout it all, she just looked at me and listened. I have never been so grateful. She probably saved my life. 

Some people don’t understand how pets can do that. How they can mean so much to someone. I used to be one of those people. My best friend used to talk about her dogs and how much she loved them, but I could never really understand what she meant - until Luna came into my life. 

I just - ugh - I’m getting emotional now… I really don’t know what I would do without her. 
She saved my life. She’s my best friend. And I really couldn’t ask for a better dog to share my life with.


05 April 2017

Written by Marc Lamberts

for Daily Focal

Finally, I can write about this. I’ve literally waited since my 15th birthday – that was the first time I saw Trainspotting – for the sequel. For years it wasn’t sure if there would be one, but I saw Trainspotting over and over again. I read Trainspotting and Porno over and over again, begging Irvine Welsh to push things forward. Then it happened, the sequel in cinemas end of January.

I’m such a stupid person sometimes. I got all hyped about the film being released at January 27th, that I didn’t pay attention. It wasn’t released here in the Netherlands till the 16th of February. It’s safe to say I was actually devastated when I walked into the cinema and they started laughing at me. I could actually cry tears to be honest. Might have done it too.

I’m not going to lie, I had massive concerns about it the film. Trainspotting has some sort of cult status within British cinematography. It was so pure, so raw, so real. It was a film that not only gave you a sense of identification, to a certain degree. Don’t worry, I don’t do heroine. But it also let people see the struggles of young folk in their twenties, dealing (no pun intended) with love, football (for all the Hibs out there), friendship, career choices and trying to be better than the previous generation. This all made the film from 1996 brilliant in my opinion.

So 20 years later, I watch the trailers and I’m even more worried about it. I’m scared it got too much American. There’s nothing wrong with being American or the way they make films, but what I personally love about British cinema is that they focus on the quality of conversation in their productions. At least that’s what I hope. I was so afraid of the film being all about events, too much events. About violence and not about storylines or conversation. I’m so happy to say that I was completely wrong.

Yes, I will start talking about the actual film right now. I saw the first film over 50 times, I’m not going to pretend I didn’t and it’s good to watch the first film before you go see T2 Trainspotting. I guess you can understand everything that’s going on without it, but the thing that makes this second film better, is the continuity. I would say the biggest thing that makes this film good, is the character development. It’s a coming of age 2.0 as you will. We get insight into the past 20 years of every main character in the film – I love it that they have got the original cast, it made me so happy.

I think the main part of the storyline is that there’s unfinished business when Renton gets back to Edinburgh. Spud, Begsby and Sick boy all have different lives because of the event that occurred at the end of the first film. They all react in a different manner, but there’s one vital difference. Spud and Sick boy, keep their friendship with Renton, but the situation with Begsby escalated over the years as we can see from his prison sentence and his family situation.

For me, the film deals with two very important aspect of day to day life. It’s not as fun as you want, it’s no Disney. It deals with the relation between friendship and individuality. It shows the dilemma people have with keeping up friendships and doing what’s best for themselves. This balance changes over the film, as the main character value friendship more and more, except Begsby who can be described as doing thing solely for his own purpose.

Further more it also deal with something very real like deception and betrayal. These themes are themes mentioned and played out in the first film. This film continues on that path and it’s talked about more and more by Spud and the deceiving lady. It’s something that breaks the bond between certain actors in the film, but also brings together. Which is very interesting to see.

Of course we ask ourselves the question: Is this going to be such a brilliant film in British film history that will be remembered as its predecessor. No. It’s so much more different. Where as the first film is very raw, this film is much more sophisticated. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good because it gives the complete story it’s completeness. But it isn’t as cult, as the first film.

Although the film has an epic soundtrack again – especially Prodigy’s mix of Iggy Pop’s Lust for life, oh my word. – the visual effect and the music is of less importance to the film. That’s because not only have the actors developed over the years, it’s also director Danny Boyle who has developed as a filmmaker. 

I think the message of this film is that real friendships can last for a very long time. Even when you’ve grown apart and don’t see each other for 20 years. This film is an intelligent film, it tells you a story. A story of group of friends who still have the same habits, but have become wiser in the process.

God, I loved this film.

Marc's Film Review Ranking:


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