About Me

I’m now also writing about all things pregnancy & baby at my new blog The Happy Baby Project – please take a look!

I’m a 30-something Scot living in Brixton and working centrally.  Some of the happiest times of my life have been abroad – I’ve lived in France, Belgium and the Czech Republic, and just before moving here I travelled round Asia, Central America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.  However, I’m now pretty settled in London, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

Although I sometimes work long hours, my free time is incredibly precious to me, and since 2006 I have made a big effort to do all the things I want to do – dance, music, taking photos, great food and wine, visiting markets, art, theatre, yoga, cycling.  London is full to bursting with fantastic things to do and I want to try everything I can – why else would I choose to live here and why wait until I’ve retired?

I would never say I’m the first to find new things, but I try to follow what’s going on in London and organise nights out.  I’m interested in everything and anything which means I’m open to new things.  I love recommendations from friends and passing information on.  Which is why doing this blog is so appealing.

So what do I do in London?  I love long conversations in cosy restaurants or old boozers with good food and fine wine.  I like going to talks and exhibitions – particularly photography and portraits and Mexican art like Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.  I like the theatre, mostly modern, experimental groups at smaller theatres like Soho Theatre and the Barbican Centre.  I play piano, guitar and trombone, all badly and mostly when drunk, and try to see live music when I can.  I reckon going to see live comedy is one of the best nights out you can have. I do what I can to donate to local charities and have done a couple of events to raise money for St Mungo’s. I’m not ashamed to admit I love gardening and enjoy making my tiny flat look as nice as I can. I want to learn more – about art and how to make jewellery and languages. When I lived in Prague I went to classical concerts and opera, but its too expensive for me here. I play hockey sometimes, have started cycling to work, go to the gym and do yoga – and I’m dying to swim at Brockwell Lido.  I love taking photos, but I need to practice more. I’m interested in psychology and exploring what makes us happy (the talk I went to at The School of Life gave me lots of things to work on).

I’m not a typical food blogger and I’m also not a harsh critic – I am doing this blog to promote happiness in London – so if I go to a restaurant or exhibition and don’t like it, I won’t do a review. I will only post things that I recommend you do, that made me happy and I think will do the same to you 🙂

I’ve been writing this blog since October 2009 and it follows my quest for what makes me happy which so far includes eating out, doing yoga, appreciating the small things in life and being kind to strangers.  I write anonymously as my happy alter-ego Sasha – she’s far nicer, more enthusiastic and kinder than I am in real life (I’m actually a bit of a grumpy cow at times) – but by focusing on the positive, her love of London is definitely rubbing off on me. Since writing the blog, I have become more content, made new friends and gained 5 pounds.

UPDATE: for more information about me, look at:

  • this guest post I did on the How To Get A Grip blog on “How To Be Happy”
  • this interview I did on Hayley Cull’s Slow Guide to London blog
  • this interview I did on the Little London Observationist blog
  • this interview I did for Steve Slack’s Happiness Project
  • this interview I did for Dulwich OnView about how to be happy in South London.

46 responses to “About Me

  1. The body at the beach looks appealing!
    What beach? LJ

  2. Hi Sasha
    Great site you have here! I am keen to get in touch with you to see if we could arrange some writing work with our company MyVillage.com, a network of localised listing websites.
    Please send me a mail when you have a moment.

    Many thanks,

    Tom Cole
    myvillage.com
    020 7461 9294

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    Come and join me on http://www.myvillage.com
    http://www.myvillage.com/profile/TomCole

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  3. Pingback: The Avalon, 16 Balham Hill, London, SW12 9EB « The Happiness Project London

  4. Hi Sasha,
    As a fellow Brixtonite, I thought you may be interested in this:
    http://www.caroleevans.co.uk/brixtonpeople.html
    A pop up photography studio and exhibition in the newly revamped Granville Arcade – would be great to see you!
    Carole
    x

  5. Hi Sasha,

    Love what you’re doing here! This is a great blog. I’ve linked it to mine. This city needs a good dose of optimism!

    Just wondered if you’d maybe be interested in a project I’m doing on my blog – Q&A sessions posted every Sat. It’s called Listen to a Londoner and I’m just trying to capture some of the cool things about the city.

    Either that, or I’d love a guest post from you (linked back to here of course) on London’s need for more happiness! 🙂

    Let me know.

    Cheers,
    Steph

    littlelondonobservationist@hotmail.co.uk

  6. nice project, and I’m happy to see that somebodyelse is into Mexican art. went to see Frida’s house in Coyoacan, it is gorgeous.
    do you know any place in London where the have mexican artisanry? I tried the flower market on sun near Brick Lane but found very little.
    Thanks!Paolo

    • Hi Paolo and thanks very much! There have been a few Mexican art exhibitions in London – the Tate did an exhibition on Frida Kahlo a while back, and the British Museum recently did a huge Mexican exhibition, including Mexican music events. I’m not sure of anything on at the moment but I’ll have a look and get back to you!

      Thanks again for reading! Sasha

  7. Thanks Sasha

  8. Hi Scot,

    We’re organising a FREE event (for 1,200 people).

    Pause. Think. Act. l Tuesday 25 May l Savoy Theatre

    If possible, can you post the details of the event on your site? Any help to spread the word will be much appreciated.

    http://www.innerspace.org.uk/event.asp?event=29878&is=6388

    Thanks

  9. Hi Sasha,
    Firstly, great site – I love the concept of the happiness project. And I also love the amazing champagne button in Bob Bob Ricard!
    Secondly, I wanted to say hi as I thought I paths might cross one day. I also live in south London and I’m a writer. I’m currently working on a project about happiness and I wondered if you’d be interested in sparing me a few moments to get involved. I’m interviewing as many different people from as many different walks of life as possible and asking them a series of really simple questions about happiness. I’m then editing them all together into a website (and the idea is then a book) with the aim of unpicking what happiness means to us today. Big topic, I know, but it’s an interesting one. You can view progress of the project online here: http://steveslack.co.uk/happiness-project/ (just click on the contemporary bit at the bottom of the page to see some of the many people I’ve interview already).
    It’d be great to have you involved – and I’d provide links back to your site, of course.
    I also write for a local blog about interesting people who live in and around Dulwich and we’d love to feature you on there as well.
    Do give me a shout if you’re interested: steve@steveslack.co.uk

    Yours,
    Steve

  10. Hi Sasha – LOVE your blog. Very inspiring.. I have recently set up a small website celebrating lovely local independent people, places and produce.. We are always on the look out for passionate locals who are keen to contribute (sadly only on a voluntary basis at the mo!) – do get in touch if you fancy getting involved – we would of course credit you with a link to your blog and a brief bio.

    thanks
    Hannah

  11. If one can’t be happy in London, where CAN s/he be happy?! I love that you are not a harsh critic, that you only want to report on the things that make you happy. That’s the sort of blogger I am as well.

  12. Ciao Sasha, I found your great blog after visiting Steve’s site. It is astonishing to see how many of us are researching and writing about happiness, one of these days I’ll add one “happiness blog directory” to our blog so it makes easier for people to enter the joyblogosphere.

    For now, I’d like to invite you to check our free eBook titled “Happiness Formulas: How to assess our subjective well-being? How to live joyfully in the 21st century?” which is available on http://www.amareway.org/ And especially to let us know what you think about it.

    I lived in London for about 2 years, I’d say that is one great location to facilitate the flourishing of our happiness from within, great that you write about it! Peace and metta,

    frank

    • Hi Frank thats for your comments and I’ll definitely check out Amareway and get back to you! I thought I was special when I started out, but yes I agree I keep finding more and more similar blogs/books – obviously a 21st century fascination!

      Have you read Alain de Botton btw?

      Sasha

  13. Hi Sasha – great blog! I’m a Brixtonite as well (via elsewhere), and thought I’d pass on a note that I’ve recently updated and refurbed the original “Brixton as a Tree” map that I’d done for londonist.com in April. I’ve got it up on my Folksy site at http://caprimaps.folksy.com if you’re interested in taking a peek. Keep up the good work!

  14. catrionacampbell

    Hello Sasha
    Great blog. Like you I love London and lived there for over 20 years and still like to visit regularly. I read that you’d like to learn to make jewellery and I wondered if you’d be interested in what I’m organising in Whitstable next week http://www.createinwhitstable.co.uk
    If not maybe see you in Whitstable another time – it’s just 1hr 20 mins from Victoria – v convenient for Brixton. Good luck with your project.
    Catriona

  15. Great blog! Would you ever consider guest blogging for Dulwich OnView, a local community blog which, contrary to what the name implies, covers South London? It supports Dulwich Picture Gallery in a subtle way, giving the staff a blogging platform.
    Steve Slack writes a lot for us!

  16. Oops, yes, sorry about that. Its a great post! Steve said he had invited you, it should be a great afternoon, quite an entertainment line-up! http://bit.ly/9dRulJ You could write up the afternoon, if it made you happy!

  17. Hi Sasha, I just wanted to introduce myself and congratulate you on an inspired idea for a blog. I’m a fellow Brixtonite, a blow-in from down under. I stumbled across your Twitter account when I set up my own and your project really resonated with me. I love London and find it endlessly stimulating. My blog is an exercise in discipline (OK, and an outlet for my outrage!) as I try to fashion that stimulation into some sort of creative output. I look forward to reading your posts. Robyn (aka Siren of Brixton)

  18. Can I simply say what a reduction to search out someone who really is aware of what theyre talking about on the internet. You positively know find out how to carry an issue to gentle and make it important. Extra people need to learn this and perceive this side of the story. I cant consider youre no more in style because you undoubtedly have the gift.

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  20. Hi Sasha

    Came across your website while searching for best coffee shop in London ( I’m an exiled East End espresso addict) . Great blog.

    Your blog on The Happiness Project and seeing the videos on the project’s website has really perked me up (sorry, I can’t avoid a pun).

    I’m currently leafing through 59 seconds by Richard Wiseman which covers the same subject and offers similar plus more things to do.

  21. This is a really lovely site, Sasha. I was searching for a Spanish mayo recipe and there you were. Thank you!

    I also love your happiness songs, especially – Don´t Worry, Be Happy. This saw me through a major family crisis years ago, which, thankfully, came to a good end, so, when I hear it now, I just have to smile and sing along, very badly.

    I live in Spain now, but often think about London, which is where I´m from, and am very pleased to see that you are spreading the happiness bug in a city that, quite frankly, has to be the best in the world.

    I´ll keep watching your site and wish you all the best with your endeavours.

    Good luck to you – Karin.

    p.s. I love languages too, and am studying Spanish, but it´s a very slow process for me!!

  22. (Hi!.. ok, I couldn’t send this letter to you by intern, I don’t have outlook and when I trying send you by mail didn’t work also, I’m not good with computers.. but I really wanted that you know what I have to say for you.. and I found this space.. so here we go.. by the way.. maybe you are gonna find some mistake in the grammar so sorry for that hehe:))

    Hello! Hello! Sasha, how are you?? I hope that everything is going good for you, well you don’t know me but some time ago I found your blog and since few weeks I wanted to tell you THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! Possibly if you were in front of me I would give you a big hug!! :0)

    Why?? because your blog and the things that you post help me a lot! few months ago I was so depressed and just was spending the time crying and my life was like the winter completely grey, I had on mind lot of things that I wanted to do.. but I didn’t find the enough energy to do them, so every day I was going deeper and deeper, I didn’t like my job, the people just started to be boring, I didn’t want to see any of them, thoughts in my mind were rise about being useless, stupid, not good enough etc.. and I just forgot how to smile, and how to enjoy a conversation, simples things on life, a book or just the silence.. because everything was wrong and I was starting to convince myself that, this it it! That is me, that is life… I was feeling so miserable and I had this feeling of hopeless about everything, I stopped to trust in people in general.

    Then One day, I was sitting on my sofa, feeling sad and I was surfing the web when I found you.. and your blog caught my attention.. I was thinking to get into yoga before.. and I found a lot of yoga studios around clapham (where I live).. then I found HOT POWER YOGA, I was quite reluctant at the beginning cause I just didn’t believe in people or institutions anymore, everything was about business and money and actually people don’t care about people just money … and first I found a cyber community that believe in something better, about life and joy, actually were your words that made me take the decision of start to do Yoga with Dylan… and didn’t realize till now that that moment on my sofa, that decision, changed my life!!.. Always I’ve believed that in life we receive little signals that help us to direct our lives, like signals from God were He/She put in front of us people, circumstances or moments that save us from going deeper in a bad situation or from the uncertainty, when I arrive to London happened to me, I found some incredible people, most of them strangers but when life was becoming too hard and your reaction is keep trying, trying on things, using your last cartridges of “sparkling life” that you can have, I felt so silly and stupid, like if I were living in a bubble full of lies that I had created about people, love, God and hope.

    Now things have changed, I’m going to yoga almost every day, I took a program there, I started to clean my heart, my soul, mi life, taking decisions was fundamental for me, I learned a lot about myself, my feelings and emotions, most important I re-learnt to say NO!, and say No to people of situations that were affecting my mental and emotional health, I re-learnt also to show love, I found amazing, caring and nice people over there, I was complicating everything, I feel that I was blind and now I can see, I breathe, I taste my food, I see my body not as before now we communicate!! And that is quite weird actually! Haha it’s like: hey mate!! What do you wanna do today? Do you fancy go to the park and feel the sun or maybe a “skinny” hot chocolate in our way to back home?? :0)

    I changed my job, because yoga is becoming a serious and important part in my life, and I love it! I think that things will be better, I really hope so!! :0)

    And everything started from that day in my home surfing your blog, you gave me the decision.
    And I’m not religious to death or something like that, but I believe in God, back home we say “Dios sabe como hace las cosas” “God knows how to do the things”… that means consciously you never know in your journey, through your life how the things are gonna end up or in which way and how you and other’s actions are connected.. just God knows and you realize when you see the results.. it’s and idea of faith, that everything is gonna be better cause God will sort it out… And maybe I’m boring you hehe so I will finish with this.. if you hadn’t had the initiative of your project years ago, and if you hand’t focused your blog in positive things and love/joy to others, maybe this letter never would had existed cause I had been still in my dark hole.. and maybe I had to go through all this to realize what is important in life ….. in my life :0) you know what I trying to say.. right?? So It’s kind of connexion between everything!!

    Well, I hope that you have a really nice day!! And Keep smiling eh! :0)
    A big hug and kisses

    Valquiria

  23. Dear Sasha,
    I have been reading your blog/site for only a few minutes and briefly read your own experiences; which were similar to mine; ( music, dance, food, wine, travel, meeting old and new friends, exploring the new etc ) during which I was inspired to write to introduce you to ( if it is new to you ) “Biodanza”.
    A music and movement experience of reawakening oneself to self and others. The one and half hour experience is a facilitator led journey through a reconnecting with our senses, our aliveness and joy with others.
    There are classes within London and outside, and if your search encourages you to go further maybe you might want to connect to know some more detailed information. I have been a pupil at a Dorset school although living in Kent.
    In anticipation of a chance to spread the JOY
    Nisimo

  24. Hi Sasha
    I’m doing my dissertation at Goldsmiths about subjective well being, and would like to reference your blog. What’s your surname?
    Well done for doing all this.
    Best
    Lior

    PS I’m a design student, will send you images of what I’ve designed at the end of the year if you’re interested!

  25. glad to have found your blog. looks like we have lots in common – @robinonawire.

  26. Fantastic blog and love the project. If its not too cheeky I would really appreciate your expert feedback on our concept to create a place for people to share their findings in London and help small traders and businesses get exposure. Created it with a friend to uncover more of London for us to explore. Please take a look and if you would like to help that would be greatly appreciated. http://liferoxx.com you can reach me at alex@liferoxx.com

  27. Just found this blog and LOVE IT ! So informative and uplifting 🙂

  28. Hello Sasha,

    Nice you project you have! Please, take a look at our attempt 🙂
    http://happybarometer.com
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/10408844/Happy-Barometer-app-rates-your-happiness-levels.html

    Would be interesting to chat!

    best regards,

    Arturas

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