2017 started with a great opportunity for me – I covered travel stories for The Independent and one got a coveted spot on the homepage.
Kevin English, who has reviewed more than 400 reviews of airline food to date, told me why he’s so passionate about airline meals, and revealed his favourite so far (all 17 courses of it).
Duncan Welsh, the head of events at The View from The Shard, told me how he organised an improbable 154 private wedding proposals on the viewing platforms of Britain’s tallest building – and he claims a 100 per cent success rate. (He also told me about the time he built an igloo on the 72nd floor).
Dale Philip travelled to more than 50 countries after quitting his IT job to play poker full-time, winning up to £10,000 in a single month – he explained why he was now going to jack it in.
And Dr Mike Townend talked me through half a dozen ways a 16-hour flight wreaks havoc on your body – including the reason why some people get worse gas at altitude.
All those stories are here in The Independent’s Travel section.
I was lucky enough to be given some excellent copywriting opportunities this year with the Telegraph.
First of all, I interviewed Insta-famous photographers from around the world to get their advice on getting a really brilliant photo of sunset. You know how when you’re on holiday, the sunsets are better? Here’s how to translate beautiful moments into Instagram gold.
There were loads of great pointers from the pros – for example, it turns out the ‘cloudy’ phone camera setting usually yields better results than auto. Who knew? Photographers also recommended you shoot from a high point, get started early, and to look for nice ways to frame a shot. All their tips and more in the feature.
Then The Telegraph introduced me to a clued-up Roman hotel manager who gave me half a dozen insider tips about making the most of Rome in a weekend. He told me when to avoid the Vatican, the city’s best foodie tour and the best deli for gifts, which film to watch before travelling, and a delicious arancini-like snack that’s not actually arancini to look out for at the market.
Both of those features were sponsored content for American Express.
Interested in this work? I’ve also worked on:
- Working with Guardian Labs on a VisitBritain mini-site, ‘UK Home of Amazing’
- Highlighting some cool London events for a Time Out/Martini feature
- Writing about unusual global festivals for the Clydesdale Bank
Contact me to read clips and find out more.
Ever wondered about the links between cardiovascular diseases and other conditions?
Vascular disease, diabetes, life-threatening events like heart attacks and stroke, and bad habits like over-eating and smoking… We know they’re linked, but to what extent to be understand that?
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is an umbrella term for diseases of the heart and circulatory system, but what doctors don’t often have the time to explain is how any existing conditions, lifestyle and genetic profile interact with the disease. This article makes the links, and summarises the mortality statistics and risk factors for the key diseases that lead to or arise from CVD.
Being physically active reduces your risk of developing CVD and diabetes. Eating well also protects you, even if you already have started to develop CVD. Cutting down on how much saturated fat you eat keeps cholesterol low. Reducing salt in your diet keeps your blood pressure low, and eating fibre, fruit and vegetables makes you less susceptible to CVD. Keeping your alcohol consumption low is also better for your CVD risk. If you have diabetes, you can reduce your risk of developing CVD by controlling your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Statins keep your cholesterol levels low which reduces your risk of developing CVD or, if you have diabetes or CVD, the drug can treat the disease and prevent it from rapidly worsening.
My latest feature – an infographic – was part of a supplement in the times on 29 September. Click here to read it on the Raconteur site.
Just a quick message to say I’m putting my East London bars blog on hold this month. I have covered the launches of many a bar recently – from secret garden rooftops to true speakeasies, Japanese theme bars and grimy basement clubs – but, moving house next year, I’ll probably have to hang up my hat for a bit. Thanks for reading.
My story about a new bar opening in Stoke Newington made the cover of the borough’s hyperlocal newspaper, the Hackney Citizen, in February. You can read more about Baby Bathhouse, and Hackney’s homegrown stories, on the website.