Category: Living


Londoners should be used to noise- traffic and police sirens are pretty normal if you live in zones 1-4. But what happens when your usual baby sleep turns into turmoil and fretful nights?

With new research appearing that sleeping pills can up your risk of things like dementia by up to 50% it's time to try some other trusty techniques to get your sleep pattern back when it's messed up by stress in the workplace, noisy flatmates and neighbours or an over active brain.

For worry and stress related sleeping

You need to get thoughts out of your head to let your mind shut down and turn to sleep. Try keeping a note pad by your bed if worrying thoughts keep popping into your mind. Jot them down on the notepad and then let them go - they'll be there, ready and waiting for you in the morning to worry about then - when you can actually do something about them.

Alternatively keep a note book or post it pad by your desk if it's work stressing you out. Write everything down for the next day - things you need to do, things you need to think about, things you must avoid - then mentally close the door on those notes as well as your office - or if working at home - the lid of your laptop.

If you are a general worrier and it's life or a given situation that's making things tough then remind yourself that everything seems worse at night - for many reasons- it's dark, there are no distractions and you can't put anything into action are just a few. So tell yourself - out loud if needs be - that this won't seem nearly as bad in the morning and in the morning, after a decent nights sleep you can tackle it properly but for now there is nothing you can do therefore let the thoughts go.

For noise and general nuisance

unnamedThere is a great app called White Noise. This uses very little battery on your phone and plays continuos noise like rain or static or the sound of being on an aircraft. It is thought that having a continuous low level noise whilst you go to sleep and are asleep will stop your brain picking up on other, more unpredictable noise that would otherwise wake you up. Your new flatmate coming home at 5 in the morning with friends for example.

Earplugs! It seems so obvious doesn't it but earplugs are a Godsend. Many people avoid them because they think it's unsafe to wear earplugs whilst sleeping but so long as you get the right kind (that are safe for sleeping in as they are softer and have slightly less density that others) then you are fine and dandy and ready to have a peaceful, silent sleep!





For those that find it hard to turn off or be tired at all

It's all about routine. Get a bedtime routine. Whether that's getting into PJs and brushing your teeth before watching one final episode of a boxset or turning down covers and reading a chapter of a book or whatever you might like to do before bed - start doing it early and in a considered fashion rather than in a rush. It should begin to seep into your body that this is what happens when you are ready to shut down for the night and your brain should become more prepared as a result.

Also don't bring that ipad/phone/laptop to bed with you. Phones are forgiven for alarm clocks and White Noise apps but that's all. Looking at these screens stimulates your brain rather than allowing it to start to shut down. You also don't want to see a shitty email from work just before you are about to fall asleep - that can wait until tomorrow. It is generally advised that you should turn all screens and tech off at least half an hour before you plan to go to sleep.

Finally - exercise more - whether you start taking the steps instead of the lift, whether you get off the bus a couple of stops early or whether you join a new class - if you're not tired by the time bedtime comes around then you're not doing enough.


groping - hands offThe Women’s Safety Charter has been introduced in London's Southwark to combat sexual harassment in this busy south London nightspot.

The Women’s Safety Charter is a list of commitments that venues in the area have agreed to abide by in order to help women if they feel vulnerable, in danger and or violated in any way.

Licensed premises in Borough, Bankside, Camberwell and Peckham can agree to sign up to the charter which focuses on harassment.

Councillor Radha Burgess, deputy cabinet member for women’s safety, said: “Typically, harassment is seen as 'normal' and goes without being reported or even spoken about. As a council we believe it is time this trend was reversed and that women are made to feel confident enough to speak out against incidents that make them feel uncomfortable, intimidated or threatened.

"The consultation will introduce the idea of a Women’s Safety Charter to residents and licensees, and guide our plans for a formal agreement to tackle harassment. If supported, this is just one of the initiatives we hope will make Southwark a safer place to be."

Image: Standard


A golf club might not be your first idea when thinking about a Leaving London break but we urge you to make sure it crosses your mind.

Anyone looking for a few nights away in indulgent accommodation after not too long a drive should look up Menzies in the Shakespearian town of Stratford Upon Avon.

Maybe you can't play golf and maybe you feel as though you would be a bit out of place hanging around a golf club full of older men playing the holes but your feelings would be wrong. Full of amazing rooms, both a cosy and spacious bar with fire (the evenings are drawing in now you know) as well as a spa- you can book in for just two nights here and feel as though you have been a world away.

Couple this with a visit to the centre of Stratford Upon Avon - Shakespeare's birth place - and place of rest - and you will not only be having a break but reminding yourself why every school has this mans works on the curriculum.

Not only is the town lovely to walk around and far more chilled than London with extra trees, space and things you can afford but there is a wealth of history too. Wonder around Shakespeare's daughters house, the house in which Shakespeare would have run around as a little boy and the church where he was both married and buried and get some serious inspiration from one of the greatest wordsmiths ever.


Stratford Upon Avon also has cosy pubs come evening with some lovely food on offer and welcoming staff - we visited a couple on our stay and found the standard top notch in all of them.

Back to Menzies, which is only a very short drive away from the town centre (about £7 in a cab if you're not driving) and you will find a dining room with an excellent a la carte as well as an excellent cream tea - if you need to fill a gap over your stay. Both the bar and the kitchen is open all night to guests which is a novelty in your little bubble away from home. You can really push the boat out and feel like you're worlds away from being up for work in the morning or contemplating the smells and characters you might encounter on your night bus home.


There really is no differentiation between those of an older generation at Menzies there for golf and business and the (and there were more than you would think) younger generation there for a little bit of luxury and relaxation. Everyone is there to soak up the views and the atmosphere and have a wonderful time and that atmosphere is one of sheer relaxation and indulgence.

It's worth mentioning that we popped down in a Peugeot 208 GTi - a wonderful, wonderful car for both town and city but more about that in a separate post.

For more information on the area please visit


deep-tissue-massageUrban Massage is here to answer all your massage related needs.

An on-demand wellness service, delivering massages to homes, offices and hotels within 60 mins. Urban Massage is built on a strong tech base, where all their therapists have a GPS smartphone app enabling customers to be connected with the nearest, qualified and insured therapists within a few clicks.

Since launching in London (Feb 14), they've received investment from London’s leading investment fund (Passion Capital – Techcrunch, and are expanding rapidly across London and soon other UK cities.

So if your boss is feeling particularly nice this Friday maybe you'll get a few massages delivered to the office.

Doesn't hurt to ask now does it.

small bathrooms for city living

Houses are expensive commodities and many people today find it difficult to even get a foot on the property ladder, let alone climb it! It’s no wonder then that many first-time buyers settle for a modest city apartment. After all, it’s somewhere to call home and city-based properties benefit from being close to employment opportunities and are often nicely designed with a modern feel.

However when space is at a premium, like in the case of a city apartment, it is often the bathroom that takes the hit. Even ’spacious’ apartments don’t usually boast a decent-sized bathroom.

But how can you make the most of a bathroom that is quite frankly, tiny?

Well, you’ll be pleased to know that there are ways it can be done. You’ll be even more delighted to hear that you needn’t break the bank turning your tiny bathroom into an area that feels a lot more spacious than it actually is.


Here are a few tips:

Swap your bath tub for a power shower

Okay, so showers might not afford the relaxation that baths do, but by removing your tub and installing a power shower, you’ll free up a surprising amount of space.

The reason we said ‘power shower’ is because you’ll want to retain some luxury when you remove your bath tub and power showers are as good as you’re going to get. Consider investing in a well-known brand such as a Mira power shower as it will inevitably stand you in better stead for the future than a cheaper alternative.