Woman practicing yoga on the beach at sunset in Koh Chang, Thailand

Brighton Yoga Festival is here!

Fancy some free zen? Well then – fling yourself gleefully in the direction of the Corn Exchange tomorrow, for Brighton Yoga Festival is back in town.

Festival founder and chair of trustees Davy Jones said:

“The aim of Brighton Yoga Festival is to bring yoga’s mental and physical health benefits to everyone, free of charge, and to introduce yoga to people who’ve maybe never considered it.”

That’s a pretty sexy idea and there’s so much more to gain from yoga than a flexible bod. So even if you’ve never before sat upon a yoga mat and you feel like you’re ‘not really into that‘, mosey on down between 10am and 6pm and give it a try, it won’t cost a thing.

The day will include yoga taster session, workshop and talks, as well as free meditation and nutritional advice.

There will also be food from the Real Junk Project, a fantastic initiative with a pay as you feel policy.

 

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Striving for a work/life balance in Brighton

I woke up at 5.30 this morning to water my garden and gaze out across Hanover on the other side of the valley. The rising sun made the view appear captured in an over-exposed photograph – a different kind of beautiful.

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I was awake that early not to catch my long commute to the office but because, like a virtuous mistress of long sought vitamin D, I was heading to yoga on the beach, followed by a sea swim, followed by my usual 9-5.30.

This, the hottest day of the year and me, not stuck in someone’s armpit on a tube but doing sun salutations to the English Channel with a group of fierce female goddesses on a jetty out to sea (that last bit isn’t exactly true but that it was like a jetty in my head).

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And I got thinking about how truly fortunate my life is here. How I can work only ten minutes from my beautiful home, how I have time to go to an hour-long yoga class, and have a swim in the sea, and still make work in time to get changed and presentable. How after work I can walk straight to the beach and sit while the waves waltz with the seagulls and the sun comes down in its own sweet, slow way.

As you will know from reading our blog, we are very much fans of Brighton. And I often feel lucky. But this morning I felt extra so. And I think that’s something worth sharing. For gratitude doesn’t cost a thing.

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If you’re looking for a very reasonable (cost wise), very amazing way to start the day, head down to About Balance tomorrow at 7.15am and join us for sun salutations and sea swims.

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Join the Bluebird partea

What if I told you that you could drink tea AND bring your own cheeky bottle of something stronger AND listen to some acoustic sounds? Would you be like ‘what uuuup?’

Well feast your peepers upon this offering from Bluebird tea company. Kicking off this evening at 7pm and back by popular demand, everybody’s favourite teaery is bringing you a night of acoustic sessions, showcasing some of Brighton’s most tantalising talent with a side of tasty tea. Occasionally (although not often these days) it pays to be British.

So take your poison, mix it with a spot of Britain’s best and  enjoy the show.

RSVPing is recommended.

 

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Free and Fanciful: The People’s Festival

Zumba, Lindy Hop with Bulgarian Dance routines, the twang of jazz and blues, Bunty Loops and moonlight poetry under an absent moon.

This is Brighton, the UK’s Brightest City. Full of colourful characters that have no place further inland – there the water is spiked with fear and distrust of the stranger; and it’s definitely much greyer, the further North you venture.

So Brighton, what whimsical wonder will this weekend find?

The People’s Festival will cartwheel onto Hove Lawns on Sunday 17th July, showcasing any and every local act that could be found.

Organised by the people, for the people, the free festival will bring you a selection of Brighton’s brightest talent, from singers to theatrical performers, dancers and spoken word wrappers.

Showing that community isn’t dead and there can still be a colourful life post-Brexit, the People’s Festival kicks off at 12pm and will carry you all the way through till 7. Then you can enjoy the setting sun over the English Channel and thank your lucky stars you’re here right now.

Get involved.

 

Pokémon Go continues its worldwide march, now live in the UK — TechCrunch

One of the more interesting side effects from the explosion of new mobile AR game Pokémon Go is physical movement: a lot of people are finding themselves walking miles and miles (and miles) more than they normally would as they search for PokéStops, load up on PokéBalls, and (of course) track down more Pokémon. Now the game itself…

via Pokémon Go continues its worldwide march, now live in the UK — TechCrunch

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Artists’ Open Houses – a retrospect

Brighton lives and breathes the arts in its many glorious forms. From wearable paintings to £20,000 art installations, we’re a creative hub of the weird, wonderful and wacky.

The epitome of the cities love affair with art has to be the Artist Open Houses, held every weekend in May. This event lets artsy types turn their houses into galleries with predominantly local artists selling and displaying their wares.

All around the city you can purchase sculptures, paintings, jewellery and much more as Brighton comes alive to facilitate your art adoration. There are 196 houses this year acting as galleries on 14 separate trails inhabited with the work of over 1200 artists.

This event is particularly special as you will not only discover inspiring local work but peak down streets you never knew existed and explore some impressive abodes dotted around our fair city.

Take for example Breezier No. 46, a personal favourite of mine on The West Hove Trail, which I visit every year. This gorgeous three story home, owned by Silversmith and Jewellery Designer Jane Cross, is a work of art in and of itself but throw in the work of 14 artists and it becomes an elegant explosion on the senses.

You’ll be greeted by the scent of home cooked food (the lemon and blueberry cake is to die for and very reasonably priced), friendly faces and more mixed media than you can shake a stick at! The house is expansive yet intimate and often supports a local charity. This year they’re supporting Brighton and Seaford-based St. John’s School and College, a charity that supports over 100 young people with learning disabilities. St. John’s also has a slot as an artist and is selling textiles and homeware created by their young people!

Breezier No. 46 features workshops, has a landscaped children-friendly garden and is one of the best on the trail, if not the whole dang event… in fact please vote for them to win best house they bloody deserve it and I’m sure the same 2 houses suspiciously win each year!

Anyway conspiracy theories aside, AOH is unlike any arts event I have ever had the pleasure of attending and will continue to so long as there’s air in my lungs, blood in my veins and a general interest in art/noiseying round people’s kitchens!

 

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The Secret of Great Love

Two of our bffs got married recently – a very Brighton wedding, ceremony in the Pavilion and party in the Sealife Centre. They asked me to write something to read after the vows. This is what I came up with…

Great love grows together, learns lessons it never knew it needed. It doesn’t happen when you want it, but instead, creeps in like sleep – slowly and then all at once.

Great love travels as two parallels, complimenting each other, enjoying the presence of another but ultimately, standing alone. Great love does not seek to control.

The secret of great love is laughter.

It is teamwork through sleepless nights and disobedient kids; holding each other up in the kitchen, pouring coffee and mixing milk. Great love sees the essence of another when they are at their very worst. It pushes hair off sweaty foreheads, pours baths filled with bubbles – it is felt in the smallest acts of kindness through the dark times. It is the laughter that plumps out the edges.

Great love is snotty noses and farting in bed. It changes every day, weaving in and out of the mundane, forming structure again and again. Great love harmonizes, never attempts to drown out or silence. Occasionally it screams in safe spaces. Great love forgives.

And in those dark times, when the walls drop away and all that is left is a great expanse of air, great love is silently there. It is the thread that keeps you spinning but stops the fall. It isn’t the brightest star in the sky. It won’t sweep you off your feet. It will hold your wrinkled hand and walk with you slowly down the beach.

The secret of great love is laughter.

Great love responds. It seeks passion in small spaces. Private glaces and jokes that make no sense to those around. Making an effort once in a while, despite the tiredness and the busyness and the plethora of excuses that could be found – great love goes on dates.

Great love tells silly jokes and secrets that will go no further.

It grows old disgracefully, dances in the kitchen and waltzes down the street. It loves without expectation, and when asked the reason why, it is the small things, the habits most would pass on by, that form its fabric. It is a crazy, colourful pattern, not always easy. It is vulnerable, delicate, strong – exactly how it should be. Deliciously complex.

And the whole while. Through it all. During the inevitable rise and fall. Great love is laughing.