Creative Fitness Instructors Bring You Inspiring Workouts That Are Nothing Like That Brutal Gym Routine You Dread

It’s that time again, the start of a new year when we make a long list of resolutions that after a month feel like restrictions. Don’t be so hard on yourselves, there are ways to make these resolutions become little improvements in your life that are positive and fun that eventually make a huge difference in the bigger picture.

I for one am not motivated at all by the run of the mill gym culture. So mundane, cold and uninspiring. You can pay for all the sessions in advance or as you go along without the risk of bill collectors ruining your credit or stalking your peaceful life.

Lately there has been an influx of exciting new classes developed around more creative themes such as acrobatic work outs, hula-hooping to rock n roll, and even one that involves a shot of sacred cacao and dancing with your eyes closed without restriction. So I have put together a fun little list of classes to get you active, make new friends and promote self-love. Dare I say they are the coolest fitness classes I have come across ever! Keep on top of these studios as they have a very interesting rotation of classes throughout the year. They are so very morish.

The meme below is the outcome of what a cold hard gym with instructors shouting rehearsed motivational blurbs does to me. These instructors are brilliant and friendly.

gym

The Wild Chocolate Club 

We will guide you on a journey into your body and hold a beautiful sacred cacao ceremony to flood your body with active ingredients to help open up your hearts. There are no steps to learn, no right or wrong way to move, eyes closed, you can dance like nobody’s watching because nobody is! We warm up, shake it loose and dance until we drop with a most beautiful crystal bowl sound bath.

Next event held on December 7 and 21st at the Birch Hall, Steiner Academy, Hereford, Much Dewchurch HR2 2DL

£10 a session 19:30-22:30 pm A healthy and positive option for your Saturday night shenanigans. 

To buy tickets go to http://www.wildchocolateclub.com/#events

Continue reading “Creative Fitness Instructors Bring You Inspiring Workouts That Are Nothing Like That Brutal Gym Routine You Dread”

2016: The Year Hereford Culture Blossomed

“The scene is starting to settle now (in a nice way). People are beginning to ask what music is on this coming weekend, rather than ‘Is there anything on?’ which is a massive change and a great reflection on the venues, the quality of the acts and the local promoters who have taken the risk in time and money to have a go this year. 2017 I hope will continue with that support from music lovers. I also hope people will take the plunge more and go to see acts they’ve not heard of before. After all, live music is a great night out whether or not you can sing along” – The Underground Revolution Music Director, Rich Lovell

From the day I set foot on Hereford turf I felt a special magnetism to its quiet green fields, open air city centre unobstructed by big heavy concrete monsters you find in places like Birmingham, its proximity to Wales and a view of the Black Mountains in the distance that at times seems like a mirage. There were perks like its reputation for cider making – witness the many orchards around the county – a magnificent Cathedral and history that just keeps on giving, such as, the remains of a Saxon child discovered in a lottery-funded Cathedral excavation project that unearthed many ancient artefacts revealing even further details of its war-torn past and how people lived all those years ago.

Pink Elephant Circus, Sin Palace and The Booth Hall Circus Performers and Masquerade Ball

pink elephant circus, the booth hall hereford, sin palace, masquerade ball

Continue reading “2016: The Year Hereford Culture Blossomed”

Building Festive Childhood Memories at the Hereford River Carnival 2016

Hereford River Carnival 2016

As a child growing up in Pasadena, California I attended the annual Rose Parade New Year’s Day celebrations without falter.  It began as a child and carried on until my later years when I was able to camp out on the street during New Year’s Eve so that I could have the best view of the parade in the morning, and party like a rock star all night long whilst nearly freezing during my mere 2 hours of sleep. Nonetheless, I was able to watch the parade in all its majestic glory, even if it was with one eye open and one eye shut. People generally wake up in a tent full of friends they don’t recognise, yet partied with the night before…it is just how it is. I have never forgotten this grand event that as a Pasadena native I am extremely proud of and support any time I am there.

The tradition carries on with my oldest daughter, and so and so forth. Here’s to hoping that Hereford adapts this same enthusiasm for our unique local carnival that kicks off the Wye Valley River Festival and is buzzing with entertainment for our children and adults alike. Certainly a family affair in a gem of a location. There are puppet foot processions, float competitions on the river that people genuinely pour their heart and souls into to create, a children’s carnival section, lots of live music, stalls selling food and crafts…and the usual Carnival festivities.

I took my daughter along and asked her what she thought. Here is what she said:

“I enjoyed it…it was fun, I would like to go again.  The Fun house was my favourite and the floats were my second favourite. I would like to be a cheerleader in the parade next year”

And there you have it.  As simple and straightforward as they come.

 

 

There were two live music stages being hosted by the Music Pool Charity and The Underground Revolution in the beautiful river view courtyard between the Dutch-inspired De Koffie Pot and The Left Bank Venue which was holding another Hereford Rocks featuring Deborah Bonham, and had a surprise visit by Robert Plant.  Here we capture some of the acoustic acts which included Tobion, Mark Stevenson, Shannon Walker, Kaptive 8, The Boondogz, DJ ‘Jus Jay, Nick Davis and Robin Shaw.

Birthdays, Hereford Rocks, Life & Rock n’ roll with Raptor

Last Saturday resulted in hanging around and taking in the acts playing the acoustic stage at the Left Bank’s Hereford Rocks event put on by John Steven Hales, Founder of Porkbelly Promotions and Clare Foster who is one of the founders of Clear Cut Promotions.

The weather showed little mercy as onlookers sat around the fire pits lit up in the vast beer garden between The Left Bank and De Koffie Pot where the acts were playing. Yet everyone seemed happy to be there, as if the sun were shining, and it most certainly warmed up my mood when I met up with the Raptor boys for a bit of banter inside De Koffie Pot before they played the Hereford Rocks Stage.

It was Adam Fletcher’s birthday – Let’s just say his wit was certainly in good form. Why not? It was his special day and his brother Kurt, Front man of the band, was up from Bristol where he is a student at Bristol Institute of Modern Music, and his band was playing a really cool gig with a pretty cool line up that included head liners, Mick Ralphs Blues Band. Hope it ended well Adam, and I do hope shenanigans ensued.

Kurt Fletcher Lead guitarist and vocals for Raptor on the Hereford Rocks Stage.
Kurt Fletcher, Lead guitarist and vocals for Raptor on the Hereford Rocks Stage. Photography by Jonathon Paul

Continue reading “Birthdays, Hereford Rocks, Life & Rock n’ roll with Raptor”

Gravity Zine Says Farewell with a Special Cinema Edition and Feature Film ‘Lorem Ipsum’

Bulbous Sores, Johnny Burrage, Gravity zine issue 8
Bulbous Sores by Johnny Burrage
“Omar Majeed has had a long lasting interest in writing, design and photography that formed working on the school newspaper and crystallized at art college.  Having a creative outlet is important to him and comes in several guises, from poetry to painting.  He has studied photography and graphic design and is currently on the portfolio course learning how to use new techniques and materials.  He has worked sporadically as a copywriter, recently on an art blog.”
gravity zine Omar Majeed. Film Lorem Ipsum
Omar Majeed Creator of Gravity Zine and man of many creative hats.

Gravity zine is a DIY publication based in Hereford.  It has its origins in a title called Gravity Serpent which came about as a result of a late night conversation with my housemate Stu when I was living in Kingston, Surrey.

We had been watching The Baader Meinhof Complex and were somehow stirred into creating something.  We didn’t know if we wanted to make an experimental film, or write a collaborate novel.
 When we thought of making a zine, that was it.  The title was his idea, appropriated from a Medusa Cyclone track.  Mike from Medusa Cyclone would later contribute photography to the zine.
I have made zines on and off since my first time at art college in 2003.  I like the immediacy and accessibility of the format.  I like my zines to be collaborative, showcasing artists and creatives whose work I admire.  It becomes something of a community.
collage art work 'At The Drive-In in Colour John Rose
At The Drive In In Colour by John Rose
When I moved back to Hereford, I wanted to shorten the name to Gravity.  The first 3 issues were purely photocopied and stapled.  After that we started letterpressing the covers under stewardship of Liam Bromage.  It was refreshing to have a bit of colour on the front and the printing process gave a cleaner impression that was still handmade.  We also started hand binding the pages with coloured thread.

Continue reading “Gravity Zine Says Farewell with a Special Cinema Edition and Feature Film ‘Lorem Ipsum’”

The City of Hereford’s latest Riverfront Attraction

A favorite location where local Herefordians love to relax and socialize with the beautiful River Wye as the backdrop.

De Koffie Pot Coffee Shop River Wye Hereford
Quality and warm service at De Koffie Pot on the River Wye.

There seems to be a renaissance happening in the river quarter located in Hereford’s city centre, which I recently discovered one very chilled and somber morning wandering the streets of Hereford with a mind full of thoughts. Walking along Bridge Street, I paused at the Wye Bridge to greedily soak in the River Wye’s commanding presence in my usual manner. This year’s mild autumn had spoiled me rendering my body sensitive to the cooler weather, so upon noticing from the corner of my eye, the converted coach house now known as De Koffe Pot alongside the magnificent Left Bank Event and Wedding Venue, I instantly was drawn in that direction hoping for the comfort of a hot cup of coffee in a beautiful setting.

Pop Up food bar Hereford
Rayeesa’s Indian Kitchen Pop Up Curry Bar At The Left Bank

The City of Hereford’s prime piece of waterfront real estate consists of the newly revived Left Bank, which is also home to the Charles Bar a rooftop level cocktail and wine bar with sweeping views of the river, a vast outdoor seating area hosting a variety of Pop-up eateries, which includes the World Famous Beefy Boys, live music and, of course, a Dutch-inspired coffee house previously mentioned and set inside a charming converted coach house with an interior that has Herefordshire old world appeal stamped all over it fused with a minimalist vintage touch.

This business venture offers plenty of outdoor and indoor seating, including hay bales, a heated marquis seating area and fire pits ensuring their customers won’t freeze their little toes off; it also boasts a proximity to the River Wye available to few businesses in the City of Hereford.

De Koffie Pot Left Bank Hereford River Wye
Old World Vintage Character

As little as 2 years ago, the Left Bank Village stood empty, looming over the River Wye, a haunting reminder that there are many failed ventures and successes in Hereford’s fragile economy. The brainchild of an ambitious Dutch inventor and entrepreneur, Dr.Albert Heijn – the Left Bank was born.  Fortunately, a new set of owners are pumping a new lease of life into the area and creating the regeneration of what Hereford City Centric has adapted into its vocabulary as the River quarter.

The Left Bank Fire Pit outdoor seating Hereford
Enjoy the firepit while laughing and drinking with friends.

The friendly barista in the De Koffie Pot was enthusiastic and passionate about her place of employment, a theme you will often notice Hereford City Centric give high marks for. I was graciously given a tour of the first level which is currently under refurbishment.  They are converting this level into meeting rooms that will feature many inspiring pursuits to look out for such as yoga. No space will be wasted in this unique business venture that Herefordians are keen to enjoy.  We appreciate their effort and hard work to make a once forgotten landmark into something great again.

Outdoor seating river wye coffee shop
Enjoy a cup of tea and some delicious cake after a long day of shopping.