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11 Things we learned this Summer

It’s been one hell of a Summer. Now that it’s nearly over, though, we’ve come over all nostalgic, so we thought we’d take a look at some of the highlights.

OK, fine.”highlights” might be the wrong word. Maybe “Learning opportunities” is slightly more appropriate. There have been an awful lot of educational moments in the past couple of months:

  1. Just when it looks like the weather can’t get any grimmer, the weatherman will invent a thing called a ‘Spanish Plume’ and we’ll all bask in glorious sunshine for, like, 36 hours.
  2. Just when it looks like the mood of the entire world can’t get any grimmer, an app gets released that instantly becomes a craze and makes everybody forget all of the terrible events of a bleak year in a blaze of anime glory.
  3. High Street Kensington has a crazy number of Pokestops. That one might just be benefitting us, but it’s good for you all to know.
  4. The political climate of your entire country can be turned upside down, but you might just manage to muddle through.
  5. You can create an insane mess, and then quit your job if you want to avoid any consequences (this only works if you are a politician).
  6. English footballers are not great. Some people still seemed to think they were.
  7. A surprising number of people can find a tenuous link to some Welsh ancestry if they try hard enough.
  8. The olympics are brilliant, and we are all world experts on everything from BMX to high-diving, none of which we’ve ever tried. But that doesn’t stop us from calling someone’s slightly-splashy dive ‘shit’ even though we’d die if we had to show them how it’s done.
  9. Sometimes the internet trolls are wrong and new, all-female versions of old films are actually incredibly funny and just all-around great.
  10. Just when we thought Kanye West and Taylor Swift had no more feud left in them, they restored our faith in their ability to create gossip column inches and make us click on articles we didn’t realise we cared about.
  11. Face swapping is never not funny. Was that even just a Summer thing? Whatever, it also happened in the Summer.

What were your Summer highlights? Or lowlights, for that matter? Let us know by tweeting us at @Wonderush, and if you’re suddenly feeling the need to make a few more memories before Autumn takes hold don’t forget to check out Wonderush for awesome things to do.

Break Your Routine, Live More Awesome, Spotlight, Things To Do, Try Something New

The Wonderush Spotlight: China Exchange

Sometimes there are days when we all need a little bit of inspiration, and there are only so many motivational quotes you can read, before you start to get a tiny bit bored. So what else can you do? You could stalk the people you admire online (we strongly discourage you from doing that in real life) or by up half of the ‘self help’ section of the nearest bookshop. Or, you can get yourself to China Exchange. As part of their Prudential series of speakers they invite people with “extraordinary lives and achievements” to take to the stage, talk about their experiences, and to answer questions. We’re talking people like Gwyneth Paltrow, Tessa Jowell, and Jude Law in their most recent season. With other activities like Orchestral Concerts and their upcoming wire rabbit making workshop they’re also offering you the chance to step out of your comfort zone and expand your horizons. Or, to put it another way, China Exchange are great, and we love what they’re setting out to do. As such, we couldn’t resist catching up with Becca, their co-ordinator, to find out more.

What’s the story behind China Exchange?

China Exchange had a royal opening in February 2015. Set up by Sir David Tang in the old BT Telephone Exchange building, China Exchange is a Chinese cultural exchange charity in the heart of Chinatown. Our aim is to host activities and events that stimulate a greater understanding of, and curiosity about China’s impact on the world. Hopefully I don’t need to explain why China is important (it’s the second largest economy, stupid!) and we think that having access to a better understanding of the country and culture is a positive thing. We don’t shove China down anyone’s throat – instead, we hold dance, concerts, exhibitions, pop-ups, talks and lectures, some focused completely on China and some not. We keep what we do accessible – most of our tickets are £10 and under. It’s a wonderful environment to be in!

Who is the best guest you’ve had for your Prudential Talks?

That’s a tough question! I’ve had 3 favourites so far: Alain De Botton, Gwyneth Paltrow and Cherie Blair. Each very different, and each incredibly inspirational, empowering, funny and warm. We get such a wide variety of speakers for the Prudential Series that there really is something for everyone.

Why would you recommend your activity?

I would recommend our activities because they offer an affordable way to experience new things and hear from extraordinary people.

Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?

I can whistle and hum at the same time!

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not at work?

I like to try different beers (I’m definitely a ‘craft beer’ head), watch live music and try new things. As it’s summer now, I’m making the most of beer gardens!

 What’s your favourite part of London? Any places you’d recommend there?

I love my local area, Peckham Rye. There’s a brilliant brewery called Brick Brewery and you can get the best burgers in London there (honest!) from Slow Richies.

If you could try any experience in the world, what would it be, and why?

To go to india and stay in a national park and see a wild tiger! And then eat all the food.

What does the future have in store for China Exchange?

We’ve got an exciting summer and autumn of events coming up! The Prudential Series will take a break for August, but will be in back in September with the likes of Joanna Lumley and Sarah Ferguson. We’ll host The Battle of the Noodles – team Italy (AA Gill and Giorgio Locatelli) Vs team China (Ken Hom and Sir David Tang). In September it’s the Chinese Mid-Autumn festival, which we’ll be celebrating with music and classes. Don’t miss our wire rabbit making workshop on Saturday 17 September, too!

Break Your Routine, Live More Awesome, Spotlight, Things To Do, Try Something New

The Wonderush Spotlight: Disco Yoga

We’ll come clean right now- it can sometimes be difficult to get Team Wonderush to exercise. Put us in an aerobic workout context and the shocking extent of our unfitness becomes depressingly clear. Get us into something low-impact like yoga, and we turn into giggling children. But then we met Disco Yoga. It is so much fun. We had to catch up with Sarah Hunt and find out more about how this awesome class came into being:

How did you get into what you do?

I went to my first yoga class by mistake. I had just moved to a new area in Vancouver and there was a gym across the road. I had never been drawn to gyms but I decided to sign up for a pass. I used to walk around the weight room, not knowing what to do. One day, I decided to leave shortly after I had arrived and the receptionist caught me. He laughed and suggested a yoga class that was just about to start. I was reluctant but went anyway. I fell in love with yoga instantly!  Within a short time, I signed up for a yoga teacher training course.

How would you describe your teaching style?

Energising sequences to stretch and strengthen our bodies mixed with calming and restorative poses to relax and nourish our minds. My teaching style is light hearted, upbeat and playful, but also relaxing and balancing.

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Lifestyle, Live More Awesome, Things To Do, Try Something New

6 Things anyone can do to impress their friends

Saving face is very important in this day and age. As young people in a big city we constantly feel the need to impress everyone. And, yes. That’s not great. But Team Wonderush have decided that it is what it is. If everyone else is out to impress then we should be looking to join in – even if it’s just for the purposes of appearances. As such, we’ve come up with a list of ways we plan to dazzle everyone at our next meeting and/or social event. Get ready to be amazed:

Do some magic

Picture the scene: You owe your friend some money. Your friend asks you for the money. You hand over the money. Except that, instead of just handing it over, you pull it out of their ear. Because that isn’t annoying at all. Or maybe instead of that you learn actually-good tricks from an actually-good magician like Jerry Sadowitz, and really impress your friends, rather than just being a bit annoying.

Show off your physical prowess

You know how everybody loves a bragger? Impress your friends by telling them exactly how many press ups and squats you did last night. Maybe you could also keep them updated about the number of calories you’ve burned. Or, instead of being a total show-off, you can just casually mention the fact that you were at bootcamp training with actual Team GB athletes last night and let their imaginations do the rest of the work. They don’t need to know that you actually thought you were going to throw up a little bit.

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The Wonderush Roundup: May

As Justin Timberlake has pointed on so many of our Facebook timelines recently, it’s gonna be May. In fact, it already is. We’d make lots of puns about the new month, but they MAY not be everybody’s cup of tea. But the point is, there’s a whole new month beginning, which means it’s time for another Wonderush roundup of the coolest events happening in London in the next few weeks.

Chelsea Flower Show

There’s nothing like flowers to make everyone remember that Summer’s just around the corner, and when you’re out and about in Chelsea in May there’s nothing like super-stressed landscape gardeners and horticulturalists running around everywhere to make you remember the exact same thing. It’s super pretty, though, and while you might not be able to get in there are also displays outside local businesses.

Covent Garden May Fayre

You can tell that anything where they spell ‘fair’ with a ‘y’ is going to be old-fashioned and that’s exactly what this traditional May celebration is. There’ll be may pole dancing, clowns, and Punch and Judy shows galore, as well as a toast to Mr Punch to elebrates the first time Samuel Pepys encountered the puppet 354 years ago. That’s pretty old school as far as we’re concerned.

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Break Your Routine, Lifestyle, Live More Awesome, Things To Do, Try Something New

5 Ways to update your look for Summer

Summer is nearly here and that’s kind of a big deal in terms of fashion. There are new collections (We’re looking at you, Alexa) and the chance to get more creative with the outfits we choose. Not that we didn’t love the ‘jeans and jumper with a thermal vest underneath all day, every day’ look. It’s just time to branch out. We feel like we’re qualified to discuss this having watched The Devil Wears Prada three and a half times. So, in our capacity as experts, here is our list of ways to update your look for the new season ahead:

Get some new jewellery

Jewellery is probably, in our professional fashion opinion, one of the easiest ways to update any outfit, and it’s also something a lot of people notice and comment on. Just think how smug you’ll feel the next time someone says ‘Ooh, I like your necklace’ and you can say ‘thanks, I made it myself’, and then they go away thinking you’re amazing.

Upgrade your accessories

Picture the scene: It’s rush hour and you’re making your way through the station. Ahead of you is a wall of commuters who couldn’t care less. But that all changes when you pull out your stylish, handmade, monogrammed card holder. People turn. They’re dazzled by your stylishness. You are a fashion leader.

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Stereotypically English ways to celebrate St George’s Day

It St George’s day on Saturday. That, coupled with the fact that it’s also the Queen’s ninetieth birthday (which, let’s be honest, was always going to involve lots of pomp and ceremony), means that things have suddenly become a bit patriotic at Wonderush HQ. In fact, we want to celebrate in truly stereotypically English fashion, and this is our shortlist:

Historic Pub Tour

Pub EnglishIt has come to our attention that the English, as a nation, really like pubs. We can’t imagine why. Is it something they’re selling? Anyway, with so many pubs standing for centuries there’s a lot of history in everybody’s favourite watering holes, and there’s finally a tour that offers the chance to learn all about it. There’s even a cheeky half at the end.

Tea and Cheese Tasting

Tea EnglishWhether we’re chasing it as it rolls down a hill or slicing it three times as thick as the cracker we’re about to put it on, it’s safe to say that the English love a bit of cheese. It’s nearly too obvious to even mention tea, which is our go-to in times of crisis, celebration and, indeed, any hour on any clock anywhere. Basically, mixing the two together is an amazing idea and the perfect way to celebrate anything.

Having a Laugh

laugh EnglishThe Brits are renowned for their sense of humour, so some form of laughing was always going to make the list. Laughter yoga is a great way to loosen up and relax, which is something the English have occasionally needed to learn to do better (What? Who said that? How dare they?). The ability to laugh at ourselves is a huge part of the English identity and if standing on the South Bank with a group of people you’ve only just met doesn’t encourage you to do that then nothing will.

Referendum tasting

chooseIt might be a new national pastime in the general scheme of things, but that doesn’t make it any less significant. We are, or course, talking about talking about the referendum. Everybody’s doing it, from the people who’s opinions you don’t really care about on Question Time, to the people who’s opinions you don’t really care about in your own home. Referendum wine tasting, though? That’s something we will talk about until the cows come home.

Jeremy Clarkson Talk

Clarkson EnglishWhat better way to celebrate all things stereotypically English than spending an hour in the company of Jeremy Clarkson. He might be an acquired taste, but for those who’ve already acquired it this is the perfect evening. And for those who haven’t this might be the start of a wonderful love affair. Helmets will be provided to those seated the first three rows.

GB Active Bootcamp

Bootcamp EnglishYou know what we bloody love in England? Sport. And fine, it might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but Team Wonderush caught olympic fever in 2012 and it has never let up. So while running around a park and sweating may not initially sound like a celebration, the chance to meet (and very briefly train with) a GB athlete is definitely something we’re excited about.

If we’ve whet your appetite you can find tickets to these events and loads more in the Wonderush Marketplace. If you’d like the chance to try as many as you feel like every single month for £29 don’t forget to check out Wonderush Unlimited!

Break Your Routine, Lifestyle, Live More Awesome, Popular, Things To Do, Try Something New

8 Reasons to celebrate summer

We’ve mentioned it a few times now, but it’s nearly Summer. As far as we’re concerned that is more than enough reason to celebrate in itself. In fact, we believe that so strongly we’re holding our own  However, for anyone still looking for a reason, we put together a few because we’re very nice people, and also the sun has gone to our heads, and also we’re all about bringing you joy:

Reason to celebrate #1: The days are longer

celebrate evenings There’s so much more daytime to go round now! There’s a big mental difference between winter, when you might arrive at work before it gets light and leave once it’s dark again, and summer, where that just doesn’t happen. Once it starts getting dark at nine or even ten o’clock at night, you might as well just be leaving the office at midday, with loads more time stretching ahead of you. Even though the difference is mainly mental, it is a big difference.

Reason to celebrate #2: Sunlit selfies just look better

celebrate selfieSunshine can hide a multitude of sins. And even though we don’t think anyone has anything to hide because we’re very nice and also very diplomatic, it still feels like everyone prefers pictures of themselves looking happy in the sunshine over pictures where they’re huddled under umbrellas or looking really cold.

Reason to celebrate #3: Drinking outside

celebrate drinkingNothing says ‘it’s summer’ like that first glass of Pimms at a picnic where everyone pretends that Pimms isn’t kind of gross (just us?). Or, failing that, nothing says ‘it’s summer’ like the first trip to your local pub’s beer garden or the first gin in a tin while you walk your friends’ children round a packed-out zoo. Basically, outdoors-y stuff is better with alcohol and we can finally make the most of it.

Reason to celebrate #4: Eating outside

celebrate eatingAlong the same lines as drinking outside is eating outside, which is something to truly be appreciated if you’ve ever tried to eat something from a food truck on a rainy day. It just doesn’t work. So much soggy cardboard. But no longer – now we can see nothing but picnics and barbecues and Mr Whippy in our future. It’s beautiful.

Reason to celebrate #5: Doing everything else outside

celebrate outsideUltimately it’s just nice to be able to get outside really quickly without having to put on every single item of knitwear that you own. Maybe you’ll read a book in a park, or people watch outside a cafe, or spend some time working in the garden, if you’re lucky enough to have such things available to you. Actually, can we come?

Reason to celebrate #6: Good moods

celebrate Good moodSunlight increases levels of Serotonin in the body, which is a chemical that makes us happier. Therefore, science basically agrees that we should be on sunny holidays all the time. But until we can afford that we can just hold onto our hats and wait for summer to rear it’s beautiful, warm, Vitamin D-filled head.

Reason to celebrate #7: Parties

celebrate partyWe don’t really need an excuse for a party (in fact, we’re throwing one next week), but the aforementioned good moods definitely make it even more likely to happen. After all, who wants to go to a party when they’re going to get rained on all the way there and then meet up with grumpy people? Exactly. Nobody. But when everyone’s happy and a little bit tanned the whole thing makes a lot more sense.

Reason to celebrate #8: The seaside suddenly isn’t the worst place in the world

celebrate beachesIt’s no secret that the beaches in England aren’t always ideal. Don’t get us wrong, they’re not terrible. It’s just that they don’t quite live up to the music-video-worthy image of a beach that we have in our hearts. The sand is questionable, the sea is freezing, and everything’s a different shade of grey. But add a bit of summer to the mix and things just got a lot more fun.

If we’ve just whet your appetite for the next couple of months then good news! We’re hosting our Summer Social on April 28th where you’ll be able to get together with the rest of the Wonderush community and celebrate the fact that best time of the year is nearly upon us. Sign up today to reserve your space!

Live More Awesome, Popular, Things To Do, Try Something New

Getting ready for World Poetry Day!

Monday 21st March is World Poetry Day, and we’re really excited about it. In fact, we’re so excited that we’re giving people the opportunity to try a month of Wonderush in exchange for a poem. We’ll also showcase our favourite original works (we’re all poets now, so we’re legally obliged to call them ‘works’) on the Wonderush blog. We’d love to see what you can come up with, so submit your poems any time from now to actual World Poetry Day itself. And just so that there’s no double standards, we’ve also written a poem of our very own.

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Break Your Routine, Lifestyle, Live More Awesome, Try Something New

Five ways to get your creative juices flowing

We’ve all been there. You’re working on a creative project and suddenly inspiration runs dry. Or maybe you have every intention of starting a creative project but all that’s happening is that you keep flicking through Instagram to see what everyone else is up to. Once you’ve ground to a halt it can be difficult to get going again. Fortunately for you, we’ve come up with a list of ways you can get out of the rut and get the wheels turning again:

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