A hundred and twenty years ago, Swami Vivekananda was a famous Hindu monk, who had toured America and was giving a series of lectures around the UK about his beliefs. By openly discussing his own particular philosophy, Swami is credited with raising interfaith awareness and introducing Indian philosophy, including Yoga, to the western world.

Here are some great quotes I have discovered:

“Whatever you think, that you will be.
If you think yourself weak, weak you will be;
if you think yourself strong, you will be.” 

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life; dream of it; think of it; live on that idea. Let the brain, the body, muscles, nerves, every part of your body be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success…”

“The essence of Vedanta (the form of Hinduism that Swami practiced) is that there is but one Being and that every soul is that Being in full, not a part of that Being”. He also said: “The greatest religion is to be true to your own nature. Have faith in yourselves.”


Crammed into Cassie’s Citroen C4 on the M1 (northbound), I had no clear idea what the next ten days would have in store. I’d only heard about this trip t’north, minus my own immersion into the ‘close-knit’ C4 community, about a week or two previously – Cassie having mentioned that the National Student Drama Festival (NSDF) in Scarborough had reopened applications for its technical team. Not owning any previous experience with theatre ‘tech’, I could have responded with polite, restrained curiosity towards this news, thereby ensuring healthy blood flow to my lower limbs, which were now fighting for space with Beth, James, rucksacks and Caitlin’s premier front seat. Alas, this wasn’t to be. Instead (after circulation won out) I spent hour-after-hour wheeling large, ambiguous metal cases, carrying obtrusively long metal poles, awkwardly climbing tall metal ladders, and ‘focusing’ lots of oddly-named metal lamps, which made me pretty grateful for a comfortable bunk bed (first floor) at the end of the day. On top of that, I learned a thousand new things, helped facilitate some incredible theatre from around the country, and spent time with some of the most welcoming and enthusiastic people I’ve ever met. In fact, I enjoyed it so much I’m now interested in careers in the theatre industry and aim to become more involved with the tech crew at Sheffield Uni.

Whilst at NSDF I got the chance to help out with two shows created by students and graduates from Sheffield. Daniel by Footprint Theatre, and Departures: A Song Cycle by Joe Bunce and Matt Malone, both of which left lasting impressions on me and together picked up around 8 Judge’s awards at the end of the festival. Set on a station platform, Departures highlights the diminished sense of community in our modern lives through the awkward conversations of passengers waiting for a delayed train. We know strong communities are a crucial part of a fulfilled life and ‘7 Reasons Why Theatre Makes Our Lives Better‘ talks about how theatre (shocker) can help build them, by bringing communities together and evoking valuable new perspectives. Both these shows were first performed at the Theatre Delicatessen on Moor Street, and, this being a Sheffield-based blog, I’d like to encourage people to go and see shows there, as well as at other theatres around the city.

The first paragraph was designed to encourage people to take opportunities, even if it might make more sense to decline them. One opportunity I took at NSDF that was especially out of my comfort zone, was attending a workshop called ‘Writing For Performance’. To my dread, Chris Thorpe who was leading the session announced we would use the last 30 minutes to write something of our own… and then read it to everyone. With “why do you do this to yourself?” on a self-conscious loop around my reluctant brain, I seriously considered sneaking out. Yet I went through with it and it turned out to be quite a positive experience. I managed a short poemy-prose thing inspired by a moment in Departures that I loved, namely when 8 of the characters sit in a circle on the platform and extol, in magical harmony, humble ingredients of daily life. This is what I came up with:

The windows and walls, ceilings and floors

Drop.

Drop away, evaporate, diss-apparate

Leaving us all naked on raised epiphanic velvet.

Frantically fleeting, yet oh so fulfilling,

I want it to become myself,

Hold my-self in this community of minds.

This is why we come to these dim places –

To explore where no external light can reach.

For something primal to be evoked

Not some prison to be preached.

Freedom from our enforced identities

Flowing through each other’s entities.

At last.


These are some thoughts and ideas i have gained from from personal experiences, and things i have found to be useful when feeling low, down or negative.

When you feel down, finding joy in things is hard, but i think the trick is to start small, every small victory counts and is important to your overall happiness.

In no order.. take from this whatever may help you.

Make A Plan

Whether it be a plan for your day or a plan for the future, planning will remind you of your goals and aspirations, however small. Planning gives you something to work towards, to focus on. Make a list, a mind map, visualise where you want to be. Make time for things you enjoy and that will benefit you mentally, physically, spiritually.

Start Something

Start a project, start reading a book, start learning a skill, practice something you love, anything, whatever it is you want to do, just start. This can be the hardest part, but try thinking about the positive impact this will have on future you; starting something you want to do, now rather than the instant gratification of deciding to do it later. This ‘something’ doesn’t have to be life changing, but feeling like you are achieving something, and actively working towards something will make you feel more positive.

Positive Affirmations

Tell yourself positive things about yourself. When you constantly tell yourself something, you will begin to believe it. When you continually tell yourself ‘I am sad’ or ‘I am bad at -‘ you will continue to feel this way. If you start telling yourself ‘I am confident/happy/beautiful’, this is what you will become in your mind, and therefore what you will radiate.

Treat Yourself Better: Get Active

Get up (I know this can be the hardest part)

Go on a walk, run or bike ride, practice yoga, attend a class, start a sport; find something you enjoy. Moving your body, breathing fresh air, being around other people, or taking time for yourself, will give you an energy boost, and your body and mind will thank you.  Endorphins! – Scientifically proven to make you happy.

Treat Yourself Better: Eat Better

You really are what you eat. What you put in to your body will ultimately affect your physical and mental well-being. When you feel good internally you are able to feel good externally too, so treat your body well and you will feel mentally better and healthier.

A good idea would be to set up a routine of what you consume, drink water when you wake up, hot water with lemon, or green tea; take this time for yourself. Plan and prepare your meals, and think about this when you are purchasing food, this way you wont be tempted to just snack on anything. Again, make each meal an important part of your day, make time to prepare and enjoy your food. Eat with intention.

Mental health and physical health often go hand in hand.

Environment

Sometimes your environment can have a massive impact on your mental health and mind. If your environment is cluttered, often your mind can be too, if you are in an environment which is not benefiting you mentally, change it. It could be something as simple as changing, clearing out or tidying your personal space, this change in physical space can have a big impact on your mental space. Remove the clutter from your life. If it is an environment which is out of your control, either leave, because it is not making you happy, or try and change this space in your mind. You decide how you view a situation or environment, you decide your reaction. This links back to positive affirmations; if you are telling yourself you are unhappy, you will be. It is easy to dwell on negative emotions towards a place, person or situation. However, if you come in to an environment or situation with acceptance and openness, think about how it is benefiting you, think of this as a phase in your life, what are you learning? Then it is easier to accept and see the positive and beneficial aspects.

Another important tip is to realise where you find your energy, is it being around people? or being alone? Think about where you need to be to recharge, go there.

Gratitude

Personally i have found this to be one of the most important revelations for my own happiness. It seems obvious, but i think feeling gratitude for the simple things, the basis of life, is something which really helps you become a more positive person.

Firstly, gratitude for your body – look at all your body is capable of, your body is so strong and precious, it is what gives you freedom, how can you feel negatively towards something that gives you life? Secondly, gratitude for the earth and this life – watch a sunrise or sun set, experience the elements, be. I think when you stop and look at the beauty of this earth you will be overwhelmed.

To live gratefully is a skill you learn over time, but it is something which will change your life.

Let Yourself Feel

When you are feeling down or negative your instinct is usually to try and push it away and ignore it, but instead, try being in the present moment.

Your feelings are valid, they are part of what makes you human. Let yourself feel everything fully, do not try to push it away; acknowledge and experience it, accept it for what it is, then move on. Dwelling on feelings is useless to your personal growth, accept the emotion or situation for what it is and let go.

Take time to reflect, this might also help you find or pin point the root of the negative emotions, and therefore help you let go.

Let Go

This is again one of the most important things i have found for finding happiness within myself. Letting go of negative emotions, towards myself and others, honestly changed my life in such a positive way.

Sometimes you will revel in your negative emotions. You feel stuck in a rut, stuck on negative thoughts and feelings.

Try letting go of the emotions which are not serving you. When certain emotions become useless or even hindering to your growth, realise that you are only causing yourself harm by holding on to them. I realised this once i read these words – ‘Holding on to anger is like holding on to a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else, you are the one who gets burned’ – This applies to all negativity, when you are holding on to something negative within yourself, you are only hurting yourself. When you let go, the weight will lift and you will be free.

Be Mindful.

Be in the present moment. Let your mind be still. Feel your breath, feel your heart beat, feel your eyes in your sockets, your skin on skin, feel your body existing right now, concentrate on what you are doing, be. When you focus on experiencing your present moment, your fears of the future and anxieties of the past will leave you, being in the present is where you will find your true happiness.

You Are In Control

Realise you are in control of your mind and emotions.

What you think; the emotions you feed; you become, you radiate, you receive.

Everything you need in order to find your happiness is inside of you.

Honestly, i still have to continually remind myself of these things, i am still learning and growing, as we all are. Hopefully these ideas and practices can help you on your journey in some way.


Bloody Hell, a zine all about menstruation, bleeding and general period anecdotes, was created by graphic designer Soofia Andry.  Last Saturday, she held a Period Party to mark its launch, attracting many feminists, bleeding-enthusiasts and period-curious folks.  The corresponding Facebook event was aptly named “It’s My Party and I’ll Menstruate If I Want To”; the wordplay on Drake lyrics alone proved inviting.  Armed with red velvet cakes and a pricey bottle of sour cherry and grape cordial, my friends and I headed towards The Feminist Library for some bloody action.

Tables were adorned with badges, necklaces, zines of sorts, and of course, copies of Bloody Hell.  You might have thought Tracey Emin came to decorate the place, but the artist was nowhere to be seen; she would have definitely approved of tampons drenched in food colour and glitter hanging around.

IMG_0802[1]

The event operated using a safe space policy.  Name labels were used, which also indicated our preferred pronouns when being addressed and photography permissions.  As someone who do not frequent events where this level of consideration is the norm, it took me by surprise.  Pronouns and photography may be miniscule factors that shape our commitment to events and social gatherings, but they remain to be daily struggles for many.

Soofia Andry started the formalities with a few thanks, an introduction to the Bloody Hell zine project and her polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) journey.  Hannah Daisy, a PCOS and endometriosis sufferer, followed Andry with her tales of period woes.  Daisy beautifully highlighted the ill-treatment of some sufferers under the health system, which led to her 14-year battle to obtain a formal diagnosis and eventual treatment.  The Q and A portion had the health system and the questionable actions taken by many doctors under fire.  It was brilliantly eye-opening and inspiring to listen to these women talk about their bleeding experiences – and lack of thereof – so hauntingly honest and graphic.

IMG_0803[1]

Shortly after, #periodpositive campaigner and STAINS™ founder Chella Quint delivered an enthusiastic and interactive talk where guests were encouraged to be more open about their menstrual cycles.  We were talked through the advertisement industry’s ridiculous marketing ploys for sanitary products, including ‘whisper’ pads and false promises of a rebirth if we use X tampon and Y pad.

Chella also touched on the topics of synchronisation – a subject which has never been allocated a dedicated and comprehensive scientific study – and anxiety felt by many young girls on the fear of leakage whilst on their period; Chella founded STAINS™ to help break the negative connotations surrounding the latter.  The #periodpositive campaign was brought to light shortly which emphasises the somewhat socially-accepted hushed notion towards menstruation.

IMG_0801[1]

After a demonstration of the menstrual mambo dance – a choreography designed to teach people of all ages about the sanitary products available to modern bleeders – Chella Quint handed a STAINS™ removable stain to each guest as a parting gift.  A fashion accessory that is “leak chic,” used as an instrument to exploit the unnecessary visceral reaction towards bleeding.

My friends and I descended out of The Feminist Library brimming with radical zines about menstruation and female body hair, some new fun facts about sanitary products and their history within the advertisement industry, and, lastly, the newfound willingness to be honest and raw about periods.

IMG_0804[1]

As I waited for my friend Georgia to board the half past four train to St. Alban’s, we exchanged period anecdotes in Waterloo Station.  Granted, there were a few uncomfortable faces around, but we did not care.  Because menstruation is not blush-worthy; it’s not shameful.  Talking about our monthly cycles may help shorten the ridiculous long diagnosis periods associated with conditions such as PCOS and endometriosis.

To highlight the importance of being period positive, Lena Dunham, a long-time sufferer of endometriosis, dedicated the one of the more recent issues of her newsletter, Lenny, to the subject.  Personal stories, diary entries, interviews and abstract art all feature, embodying many aspects of the Period Party in digital format for those who missed the action over at The Feminist Library a couple of weeks back.

 

Written by: julia Anduiza


For those that don’t know, Toddla T is a Sheffield institution. Born and bred within these 7 hills, he has been at the forefront of an underground musical scene in Sheffield, which is still going strong. Through international DJ sets and his prime time Radio 1Xtra radio show, he is now able to spread those Steel City vibes across the UK and around the world! We caught up with him ahead of his headline show at The Tuesday Club next week.

 

  • You’re Sheffield born and raised, and I read that you began DJ’ing in local bars at the age of 14?!

 

Kinda, I’ve been DJ’ing since I was about 10 or 11, just putting records together in my bedroom etc. Then started doing house parties for friends at around 14. I think I was about 15/16 when I started DJ’ing out, so like not even old enough to be in the rave which was kind of mad.

 

  • How has the music scene in Sheffield changed from when you were growing up? Are there clubs or bars still going that you went to?

 

Umm, I think the scene has got even more healthy since I left which is to be expected… only joking! Yeah man, when I was growing up there wasn’t a great amount of venues or places you could DJ or perform, it was pretty dead out in terms of outlets for people to share their art which is why we’ve always had an amazing and intricate underground and forward scene. There wasn’t really a club to do a party in, so we’d do it in a warehouse or a shop or whatever. I feel like now the outlet is very organised and strong. But yeah I mean, as far as clubs and bars still going, I raved at Tuesday Club a couple times, used to rave at DQ a bit. My favourite parties were always the ones like kabal, etc that were in unconventional places. For me at that time, that’s where the most interesting music was being played. But there’s people who are still very much instrumental in the sound of Sheffield from when I was there you know, Pipes, Duckenfield, Winston Hazel, J Rugged, these are all people that always provided a heartbeat of music for the city even when the venues have changed.

 

  • How does it feel 16 years on going from small Sheffield bars to headlining one of the city’s biggest clubs?

 

Well, when I first started getting bookings outside the city it was a bit overwhelming to be honest. I was used to playing in dingy basements in Sheffield to you know, hundred friends, to being put on flights to flippin’ Europe and America and stuff to play bigger clubs and I couldn’t really get my head round it. It was quite overwhelming and quite intimidating but you know, been doing this for about 10 years and like anything the more you do the more you get used to it, and I do have a few moments where you know, I think WOW… REALLY?! Like look up at a crowd or whatever. I’m very much used to it now but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it anymore, it’s just more part of my life, but yeah at first it was a bit nuts.

 

 

  • Many people know you best from your Radio 1 shows, but you’re also a respected producer with original tracks like “Worst Enemy” and more recently your remix of KDA’s “Rumble”. Do you see yourself as a DJ first or a producer?

 

Umm, well, I’m a DJ first, because I picked up turntables and vinyl before any of this. But yeah, producing is a massive part of my thing; I’m in my studio every spare minute I can, makin’ records for myself, and others. A lot of people don’t realise that, they all think I just do radio but yeah, I thoroughly enjoy it. You know, its pure escapism, its pure therapy, its pure creativity, there’s no boundaries, it’s just, I love it so much and I’d be doing it regardless if people were listening to my music or not. It’s just something that I need to do as well as love doing. It’s the best man!

 

  • You’ve played at The Tuesday Club many times before, but have you got anything special planned for your set as it’s their 17th birthday?

 

Yeah, I think I played at their 10th birthday yano, if I remember correctly, with Mary Anne Hobbs, how time flies. Well, just going to do the usual Toddla T steel city style, party style yano’. But err, I’ve got to come back straight after the gig back to London, so I can’t even stop at my Mum’s cuz I’ve got radio in the morning so, I’ll be there, party hard, and then get out. But yeah man, usual vibes.

 

12250341_10156405491130647_46493422_o

12243984_10156405491110647_1907698849_n

12200977_10156405491105647_1899750010_n

 

  • What are your top three go to tracks that always go off?

 

Well a guaranteed banger that generally seems to get a reaction is “Candle in the Wind” by Elton John. That does alright man. Umm, what else does well in this business, oh, “Agadoo”, depending on the crowd, older crowds like that one. Also, dependant on the time of the year, “Auld Lang Syne” that can get a few gunshots in the dance. Few gun fingers and that.

 

  • Finally, some advice for your fellow Sheffield producers. What would be your one top tip for getting your work featured on Radio 1?

 

Well, I mean the thing nowadays with music is its independent; the ball is in the independent artist’s park you know. With the outlet of music now obviously Soundcloud, YouTube, Snapchat etc. You can showcase your music to people that you never could like 10/15 years ago where you relied on labels. Labels are becoming more marketing tools than A&R’s or developing artists so, I think that is an amazing thing and I think if people make really honest, fearless, great music then the rest will just happen. Make your music, don’t be shy about it, try and be as fearless as possible, as creative as possible, don’t think, “Oh people might not like this.” F*** that man do your ting. If it’s heartfelt and original then it’ll cut through and before you know it people will be trying to find your music and labels will want to help you market it and stuff like that. It’s all down to the art, a good song will go, it doesn’t matter who’s behind it these days. You don’t need to rely on some big Babylon label to fire in £100,000 on marketing; that comes later, if needed. Just make brilliant music and you will win.

 

Catch Toddla T at The Tuesday Club 17th Birthday on Tuesday 17th November!

EVENT PAGE

TICKETS 

 

Words by David Bissett for The Tuesday Club x Hantu Blog

Photos by Lanty Zhang Studio

 


 

Memories. That psychological way in which our brains stores and retrieves aspects of our lives and the general movement of the human race. Memory makes us. It creates and defines our personality and characteristics through what we remember subconsciously and what we choose to remember. As a person with a chaotic, hectic schedule, I can choose to remember important dates and deadlines and appointments. Alongside this I migh12087232_10206830119344783_4601373229488027015_ot not think I’m going to remember that morning that seemed average at the time, waking up, breakfast, university, and work. But it can turn into something my head can’t quite let go of. We remember faces, every face you see in a dream is a face you’ve seen before, memory is fleeting and memory is in the background. There’s no escaping memories, only ways of submerging them under the strains of day to day life.

Rachel Clarke & Hayley Graham present Memory Box as a part of Bish, Bash, Bosh at Yorkshire Dance for Light Night 2015. Featuring a performance installation made from childhood memories, this piece allowed spectators to drop in as they wish and explore at their own free will.

As you enter the back room of the second floor at Yorkshire Dance, having been there many times before, it can be said honestly that there was no able preparation for what I would see as I entered Memory Box. You are instantly bombarded with elements of colour, light, and of youthfulness. The piece is displayed like an exhibition, were audience members can wander around the space, taking in the detailed displays of the walls and the cluster of objects filling the room. I was instantly drawn to the childhood photos that were placed on the corner of the wall almost immediately after you enter. Here are photographs of the dancers from when they were young, all living very different lives in different areas of the country with different upbringings, but besides this there is one reoccurring element, joy.

It was refreshing to see a physical dance performance based around moments of happiness. Too often choreographers get caught in the negativity and troubled world that we12132436_10206830115904697_916111927141611818_o live in, but in this case these two graduates focused on a universal point of contentment. The dancers: Hayley Graham, Edenamiuki Aiguobasinmwin, Beth Ellis and Alexandra Mettam all demonstrated eternal smiles and movement which practically bounced from phrase to phrase.

There was one aspect of the piece that really struck me as point of creativity and imagination that begins in all young children. Against one side of the room there stood two tall fabric displays of a pirate and a princess. You were able to put your head through their head hole and it would appear as if you had their body. As a child this is an extremely important aspect of the pinnacle of imagination. You take your own life and let your mind wander into the wonder of fairytale. Of fighting bad guys and being rescued, of glitter and of excitement. It is those points of creativity that channel thoughts into creating such work as what I viewed tonight.

Towards the back section of the room, in a slightly more darkened corner there is a table set with party food, paper plates and party hats. Looking at this table in the context of a child’s party, you think of the frantic scrabble of children fighting for their place, fighting for their favourite colour party hat and then eating so much until the point of nausea.  But when looking at this beautifully set table surrounded by dancers who are well on their way to professional careers, you see the nostalgia of when things were this easy for them. When food was free, when plates were unbreakable and a simple coloured party hat could compliment any outfit. You see the wistfulness, longing and flicker of loved memories in their eyes. As I watch on, like a parent from the distance I think of the parties I went to as a child, and suddenly realizing the effect this piece of work has had upon me. Looking around this room I see my own childhood flicking over my eyes like a cinematic lens.

As a conclusion to my time in the Memory Box, I am left with scattered memories and thoughts of things that were seemingly evident in most childhoods across our Western Culture. It made me think about the wonderful things that I did have growing up, and even ponder the very idea of photographs, allowing us to glance back over the frozen smiles and fleeting moments. The instruments, the sound of children, the lights and how they flicker as bright as a young child’s future, are all something that resonate somewhere deep inside of ourselves.

Writing credits

Emily snow 

Young minds matter


Every journey you take in life happens for a reason & sometimes takes you to what you are meant to do. Kat exudes the passion for Hummus. In the year that she’s been in England she’s gone from being homeless to setting up her own business in what she’s passionate in. Her journey shows that persistence does pay off & kindness are everywhere. Have a read of a little about her journey in the interview.

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Kat and I am currently a fresh hummus manufacturer. hummusija

How did your journey start?

I’m Polish and I’ve spent most of my life in Poland. I always loved food and ahummusijat the age of 15 I started my own little business as a food photographer. It went quite well, however at one point I decided that I wanted to learn to cook, and go to university. In my first year of journalism I began writing articles for a well-known chef’s website in Poland. One of the chefs offered me job at his hotel, and through him I got my experience and eventually thought I am ready to open a bigger business. What can I say now… I failed, quite badly. Lost all my money and became homeless. Without much prospects and a hurt ego I decided to go travelling without money, hitchhiking everywhere in Europe. I spent three months like that.

hummusija

How did being homeless impact on you?

It was hard in the beginning but I met so many lovely people who helped me out. I started enjoying my life, learning and trying to find my own way for the future. Trying to change.

 

What inspired you to do that?

Somehow I came to Sheffield to visit people I didn’t really know. I fell in love with the city straight away. My new friend, who was so kind to me, offered me a room for the summer time at his house. hummusijaHis kindness gave me the motivation to try harder. I found out by accident about the princes trust and they help me to organise my business structure and money. They were really great. Now, a year later, my business is still running and people seem to love hummus!
File 29-09-2015 16 25 24Sounds great! But what is hummus? And is it healthy?

Hummus is a Levantine and Egyptian food dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. In my product I do not use any additives or preservatives. It is the first product like that on the market. It costs little bit more to manufacture but it’s worth it. I can sleep well knowing my customers are giving a perfectly healthy and nutritious product to their children, which is also good for them. Hummus is a very interesting food; low in calories and sugar and high in protein. It is also vegan and gluten free so almost anyone can enjoy it and benefit from it as well. I think that’s why I’ve been so interested in learning more about it. Hummus is still definitely underestimated in England.
hummusija
Find Kat’s business Hummusija on Facebook


I was sat the other day remembering the dark days of my past. The days that still haunt me, where I missed out on so much. There was so much opportunity for joy and I actively shrunk away like a violet in winter. Never will I live with such blinkered vision again, never will I deny myself the overwhelming joy that is Veg.
Veg are great, aren’t they? They come in all shapes, colours and sizes. Colleague Holly loves all things green, Housemate likes the rooty variety, Carpenter likes them raw, Granny likes them slightly overcooked and Brother likes them as long as they’re covered in truffle oil and shavings of parmesan three times baked.
Personally my champion is Broccoli. Broccoli is amazing isn’t it? Super healthy and versatile. Blanch it, roast it, stir fry it, pan fry it, eat it raw. I do all of the above on a nearly daily basis.
One of my favourite forms of broccoli is tender stem. I blanch it in chicken stock for a couple of minutes then take it out and pan fry it in garlic, butter and chilli, oh my gosh it’s…..Sorry had to stop as I was disturbingly close to drooling all over my keyboard.

I like most veg (except fennel. It shouldn’t exist), which means I eat a lot of it. This also means my bank balance takes a huge hit every time I go to Tesco as it’s not exactly the cheapest item going.
Also, as discussed in earlier blogs I’ve become much more aware of food waste recently and the adverse effect it has on the environment, although I haven’t quite gone back to throwing myself into bins yet. One of the big things I’ve also starting thinking about is plastic. *Insert Darth Vader music here*. Plastic is a dreaded substance that supermarkets love to wrap everything in. For example broccoli. Those little trees don’t need covering over, does it really make that much of a difference? It’s wasteful and you throw it away as soon as you open it anyway.
I started to think about other options to source my greens, I mean I try and use local producers such as Sharrow Marrow and Mr Pickles as much as I can, however, currently I live in the depths of Hillsborough which boasts a banging Morrisons but not a lot else. The local producers are all half way across the city for me; hardly on my route home when I’m searching for what to cook for tea tonight, so I end up with plastic covered veg more often than I’d like to admit.
I found a solution though. What a lovely, organic solution it is. Veg boxes. It started after I visited the Nether Edge market, whilst it was a tad crazy (you couldn’t move for cable knit jumpers and real ale lovers) it did make me realise just how many organic producers there are out there.
Sheffield is full of them and they’re great!!!!! Who doesn’t love those super ugly carrots that no-one else wants, the funky marrows and squashes that to me symbolise the excitement of Autumnal flavours, wild mushrooms foraged from soily homes, the list goes on. However, I do think Carpenter who accompanied me became mildly infuriated after the fourth time I squealed, shoved our loaf of spelt at him and galloped (like a nimble footed mountain goat) towards a pile of pumpkins.
After this I became determined to lay my hands on a veg box. There’s a few major appeals in having one:
1. Tonnes of veg. You get loads of veg. Yay
2. Eating Seasonally. Strawberries in summer (where they belong), Squashes in Autumn (where they belong), Salsa Verde whenever (who knows where that belongs)
3. The Surprise. The idea that I have a whole new week of cooking challenges. Roasted my first pumpkin this week. Didn’t carve it. Roasted it
So I picked carefully, shopped around and I chose Regather. They’re a lovely lovely group of people, super nice and they make a great box. Their mission is ‘to give people the choice and opportunity to live, work and play co-operatively and create a mutual local economy.’ Now, I’m pretty big into the community love so it felt like the right group for me.
I placed my order online, got to pick things I didn’t want AND tailor the box to exactly what I did want (Never fennel. Never. Ever. Fennel). It was great! The scheme was dead easy to set up and I got to pick whether it was delivered to me (the way forward) or if I went to pick it up. I chose to pick it up as I was curious about their shop which is near Porter Brook.

The lady I met there was lovely and didn’t mind me getting horrifically over excited about the curly kale I found. After sprinting home I discovered a smorgasbord of delights. Curly kale, tomatoes, carrots, salad leaves, edible flowers, onions, beans, a lot of chard, maybe too much chard, beetroot, spinach, of course the pumpkin, the list goes on (see picture above). I immediately roasted the pumpkin and beetroot, made some crispy onions and roasted the kale and loved every bite.
I do worry that I might have an excess of chard so some friends may have to help me out. I also didn’t move the box quick enough to avoid a near death accident where housemate discovered said box at the top of the cellar stairs, she’s fine. However, I’m definitely going to order again. The surprise of not knowing what veggies I’m going to get is vaguely intoxicating. Plus obviously the community spirit is a massive draw for me. These guys are creating a proper feeling of spirit in enterprise, events and food. Social impact and food what could be better.
If anyone has any particularly great rainbow chard recipes that would be lovely though.


What makes a good cafe?

Is it the ambience? The range of cakes? The offering of single origin beans, obviously nicaraguan is the bean of the moment. Obviously.
Cafe culture is an interesting phenomenon. It’s something that’s been going in other countries for years. In Europe it’s always been acceptable to soak up the sun in the Paris plaza’s and Italian piazza’s. In Australia and New Zealand it’s a huge deal, families, friends and workmates will sit for hours in cafe’s working, chilling out, gossiping.
Yet this relaxed nature just somehow doesn’t seem quite. British.
When I was younger we never went to cafes. They weren’t really a ‘thing’, there were greasy spoons that called themselves cafe’s. My town’s equivalent was a terrifying place called ‘Sweet Vienna’. The women in there were the stuff of nightmares and let’s not even talk about the food.
Or cafes were places that we took my Nana when we didn’t know what to do with her. We went to Ruskington garden centre and ate scones that pretended they were freshly made and drank tea.

However this has all changed. Cafes are this strange mix between restaurant and coffee bar. They’re expected to have it all, they need to have the relaxed feel of your lounge, the food of a michelin star restaurant and the coffee hand delivered and ground by wood nymphs who picked the beans under a blue moon.

As someone who spent years in the service industry and worked for a few of Sheffield’s most well respected establishments I know the pressure of creating such an environment. You have to look and be cool but not too cool. Dress trendily, but nothing offensive. Be polite and charming but know when to step away.
It feels like a never ending battle of finding the balance.
However, whilst it may sound like I’m belittling the cafe culture. I’m not. I love it. Absolutely love it, I’m a self professed hipster coffee grinding lover. I know the difference between my Kenyan’s and my Ethiopians, I refuse to go anywhere without my aeropress and tut at places that don’t have at least two gluten free options on the menu. Horrendously pretentious I know.

I am aware that not everyone is as vaguely pretentious as me however, so when compiling this list I did try to bear that in mind. Whilst there are hundreds of these articles everywhere, we as team Deliverd have decided to create our own. So, here we go, a dictionary of cafes according to us

 

  • The Bhaji Shop/Thali Cafe
    Still not hugely well known this cafe is an absolute winner. Authentic Indian cuisine served with love and a smile.
    I am also a huge fan of BYOB. Not sure why but I think it’s great.
    The Thali plates are ridiculous, I’m still talking about the first one I ever had, which was a seafood biryani. As someone who always goes for fish curries this still has to be one of my best ever. All served with their famous onion Bhajis as well. Who doesn’t love a good onion Bhaji!?
  • Tamper: The Battle
    Ok. So yes I’m biased. Really biased. Anyone who knows me knows that I worked for Tamper for quite a while, but you know what. So what. I’m proud to have worked for Tamper. Their coffee is great, as is the food. Plus I know how much work goes into running it. Whilst there might be a wait to get in sometimes you all know that their hollandaise sauce is worth it.
    Plus their coffee is to die for. Yes. It’s not supposed to be boiling hot. That means it’s burnt.
    However, I still can never decide if I prefer the cosiness and serenity of Westfield Terrace which means I can chat to Chris about his fantastic beard, or the hustle and bustle of Sellers Wheel where I spent many many days serving flat whites.
  • Bragazzis
    Bragazzis is a bit like a hug in a mug for me. I spent a fun filled summer living above Bardwells Electronics which meant that Bragazzis was a stone’s throw away for me. Coffee and Croissants were a morning fixture.
    Their coffee is undeniably good, but what’s also lovely is sitting in the leather chairs with a paper, a perfect americano and one of their sandwiches. Made on salty rosemary focaccia with authentic italian ingredients you could easily be in Verona and not bat an eyelid.
    The staff are lovely and it’s been going forever. They must be doing something right
  • Forge
    I don’t want to be one of those people. However, I remember when Forge opened. Way before the bigger cafe, when they were a tiny shop on Abbeydale road right near Brigazzis. I would purposely leave for work ten minutes early so that I would have time to grab a croissant to scoff on the bus.
    It’s all just got so much better since they opened their proper cafe. Have you been for breakfast yet? No?! What’s wrong with you!? Sort your life out and get down there. Now.
    Oh, and don’t miss out on their pizza nights, the arancini are to die for.
  • Steam Yard Coffee
    I’m thinking I might be a tad biased towards coffee. However, Steam Yard is lush. Very small so easily feels packed but the service is always attentive enough that it doesn’t matter. Coffee is great and they serve some of my favourite doughnuts going. Housemate is addicted to the apple and cinnamon one. The eclectic furniture and style feels cosy and comforting and the atmosphere is always creative and buzzing.