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Ramadan Support for Students in Residences

Ramadan Mubarak! Happy Ramadan!

Muslim Prayer rooms are still open to King’s staff and students, but due to COVID-19 it is for private prayer. Dedicated Muslim prayer facilities can be found at:

  • Guy’s Campus: the basement of the Hodgkin Building
  • Strand Campus: the first basement at the Strand (S-1.03)
  • Waterloo Campus: the first floor of Franklin Wilkins building at Waterloo, opposite the Prayer and Quiet room
  • Denmark Hill Campus: Room W1.07, Main Building, Institute of Psychiatry

FRIDAY PRAYERS: Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the usual places which hold Friday Jumma prayers are not open to the general public due to pressures of space.

King’s College London Students Union has several faith-related student societies who book centrally timetabled rooms for prayer, worship, and regular activities. They may also book chaplaincy facilities. Please email chaplaincy@kcl.ac.uk

Please see the Ramadan newsletter from Abdul Choudhury (Muslim Chaplain)

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/aboutkings-assets-deans/dean-docs/ramadhan-newsletter-2021.pdf

Pineapple Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

• 50g softened butter
• 50g light soft brown sugar
• 7 pineapple rings in syrup, drained and syrup reserved
• 7 glacé cherries
For the cake
• 100g softened butter
• 100g golden caster sugar
• 100g self-raising flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 2 eggs

Method:

• Heat oven to 180C
• For the topping, beat softened butter and light soft brown sugar together until creamy.
Spread over the base and a quarter of the way up the sides of a round cake tin. Arrange
7 pineapple rings on top (reserving the syrup for later), then place glacé cherries in the
centres of the rings.
• Place softened butter, golden caster sugar, self-raising flour, baking powder, vanilla
extract and eggs in a bowl along with of the reserved pineapple syrup. Using an electric
whisk, beat to a soft consistency.
• Spoon into the tin on top of the pineapple and smooth it out so it’s level. Bake for 35
mins. Leave to stand for 5 mins, then turn out onto a plate. Serve warm with a scoop of
ice cream

Top 5 Attractions at Kew Gardens

1. The Japanese Landscape

Composed of three garden areas, the Japanese Landscape provides an unique sense of relaxation during your visit to Kew gardens. Reminiscent of a traditional Japanese tea garden, the Garden of Peace, featuring stone lanterns and a dripping water basin.

Raked gravel and large rocks in the sloped garden of Activity represent the movement of the flowing water. The garden of harmony unites thee two. All three gardens combine to form a peaceful, manicured oasis.

At the centre of the Japanese Landscape is the Chokushi-Mon, or Gateway of the Imperial Messenger. It was created for the Japan-British Exhibition of 1910 and is a replica of the Gate of Nishi Hongan-ji (Western Temple of the Original Vow) in Kyoto, Japan. Its finely carved wooden panels feature stylized flowers and animals that depict an ancient legend.

2. The Temperate House

The Temperate House, originally opened in 1863, is the world’s largest Victorian glasshouse. It has been an iconic landmark of Kew for more than 250 years. The Temperate House reopened in 2018 after a five-year renovation project.

Filled with 10,000 individual plants, it is home to 1,500 species from Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Americas, Asia, and the Pacific Islands, including some of the world’s rarest and most threatened temperate plants. All of the species require conditions above 50 degrees to survive.

3. The Treetop Walkway

You’ll find 14,000 trees in Kew Gardens. The walkway provides an opportunity to get closer to those trees and offers views of the garden and the city beyond.

Made of weathered steel that blends into the natural environment, the walkway stands 59 feet tall. It is 656 feet long and loops through the upper branches of beech, sweet chestnut, horse chestnut, and oak trees.

The walkway offers a unique, ethereal perspective of nature. You’ll love watching bird and insect behaviour at this height and hearing the breeze rustling the branches.

The 188 steps to the walkway are a manageable climb, since the steps are broken up into several flights and there’s a landing at the end of each flight. There is room on each landing to step out of the path of oncoming climbers to rest or simply take a few moments to admire the view. The walkway itself has chest-high railings, and several circular jut-outs along the way provide additional viewpoints. There is an elevator, but it was out of service on the day I visited. If you plan to use the elevator, check the Kew Gardens website for information about the elevator’s status. As I write this, the site says that the elevator is currently out of service.

There is no additional charge to access the Treetop Walkway. It closes an hour before the whole garden closes.

4. The Palm House

The Palm House, which opened in 1848, was the first glasshouse to be built at Kew Gardens. Inside, you’ll find lush vegetation and dense, moist air. Many of the plants in the collection are endangered in the wild, and some are even extinct.

Rainforest plants cover only 2 percent of the world’s surface but make up 50 percent of plant species. Look for the Madagascar periwinkle, now used to treat a number of different types of cancer; the rubber tree; the cocoa tree; and the cycads, or palm-like plants that were widespread more than 250 million years ago.

5. The Princess of Wales Conservatory

This conservatory is the newest glasshouse at Kew Gardens. It opened in 1987, and its 10 computer-controlled climate zones showcase a variety of ecosystems. In the carnivorous plant zone, you’ll find predatory plants such as Venus flytraps and pitcher plants.

There are cacti and succulents in the dry tropical zone, orchids and bromeliads in the steamy zones, and a giant water lily in the wet tropical zone, making this conservatory a diverse one to explore.

Things to do in Post-Lockdown London

Hello everyone! I hope you’re having a wonderful week! My name is Rad and I’m one of your Digital Community Facilitators. As lockdowns lift around the world and the vaccine rollout trudges forward, we have a lot of things to be grateful for, one of them being the great outdoors! The lockdown-lifting coincides perfectly with the beginning of spring, an event celebrated across many different cultures. So for my April blog, I thought it would be most appropriate to give our readers a list of activities they can (safely) do in the London outdoors, and make the best of the pleasant weather!

1.      Discover London on foot

With parks and monuments once again becoming safe to traverse, there is no better time to explore more of the city while the sun is shining! London is famous for it’s self-guided walks, and the best thing about them is that they’re absolutely free! This is your chance to visit peaceful parks, hidden canals, and the oddly placed historical site too! No matter where you live in the city, there is always a self-guided tour to be found around you- here is a list of the best walks in London. My personal favourite is definitely South Bank!

2.      Visit Covent Garden

Sometimes considered the heart of the West End, Covent Garden is most famous for its many eateries and designer showrooms. However, if you’re looking for a simple outdoor hang, the venue is also famous for its street artists and performers- you can listen to a melodic instrumental symphony or watch magicians performing some tricks! Grab a coffee from one of the cafés nearby and spend a day in the sun treating yourself to this simple activity, after all, it’s fun to sometimes be a tourist in your own city!

3.      Shop at an outdoor market

Having historically been the cornerstone of community-living in London, outdoor markets are once again making a comeback as we become more aware of the benefits of shopping from small local businesses. Thankfully, London has an array of these markets which are opening up once again, from farmers markets to vintage and antique ones. Click here for a guide to London’s best outdoor markets and what all they offer!

4.      Go boating

Boating is a seasonal activity that kicks off in April, weather permitting. While you may have spotted ferries and cruise boats on the Thames, pleasure boating actually takes place in London’s many lakes! Boats can also be hired for a small group of people, making it the perfect activity to do safely with your flatmates. Boating runs until the end of October, but the best time to take to the water is arguably the spring or summer season. The most famous boating lake is the Serpentine in Hyde Park, which is home to the UK’s first SolarShuttle, a pleasure boat powered by the sun!

I hope you enjoy filling your weekends with these interesting activities! As always, do remember to wear your mask to all these places and follow social distancing guidelines. For more ideas on what to explore in London, come for our Explore Nights with Jiashu every Sunday at 7:30 PM!

Grace’s Good News

Hi, me again, bringing to you another slice of sunshine on a rainy day – in the form of good news. This past year has been rough for everyone, but we made it! Congratulations everybody! I don’t think any of us thought we would get to this point, but somehow we’ve done it and the future is looking bright. As always, we at ResiLife are here to support you and if you need to get in touch please follow us on @kingsresilife or join our events on Microsoft Teams by clicking HERE.

 

  1. The end is in sight!!!!!!

As the weather changes, so do the lockdown restrictions as we can finally meet 6 friends outside from the 29th March 2021. Get your sunnies and cap out because you WILL be sat in the park with 6 others, totally legally, and living your best lives. Lockdown will soon be a distant memory and a thing of the past.

  1. South London Comprehensive gets more Oxbridge offers than Eton for the first time.

It is really positive to see an engrained trend change and that Oxbridge is becoming more accessible to those individuals who wish to pursue this education avenue. Nicola Woolcock (Education Editor from The Times) powerfully states ‘One school has a strict uniform policy, exceptionally high expectations, famous people desperate to get their children a place and record numbers of Oxbridge offers. The other is Eton’.

 

 

  1. The Grammy’s defied odds and went ahead!

The Grammy’s have been running annual since 1958 and have never been cancelled. Despite being postponed initially, they went ahead. Not even Miss Corona can stop the Grammy’s! A moment of silence for the icon that is Lizzo (pictured above left) and another outstanding look was worn by Chika who wore a matching face mask and custom made pastel-toned Nike athleisure suit (above right).

Why I Chose Julian Markham

Post contributed by CF Jacky

Hi everyone,

I live in Julian Markham House and I want to take you through the best places and my favorites around the area. First of all I want to say that I love JM because of its location, situated in a very dynamic area of London where you can travel anywhere with the bus, metro or train. But you don’t really need to travel for necessities like food or shopping, because Elephant and castle has it all!

There are many restaurants in Walworth road, which is the road the accommodation is situated in, and there are as many around elephant and castle including Sayer Street which is around 30 seconds from JM! My favorite restaurants are “chatkara” and “Lebanese grill” both within a 10 minutes walk distance.

For shopping there is an extensive choice of shops in Walworth road and many Sainsbury’s and Tesco like groceries where you can get great deals and food for the week

The area also has a lot of gyms each unique in its type so you can choose the one that fits your needs the most. I used to go to The Castle gym because it had a very good weights room and was only a few minutes walk from JM.

I would totally recommend choosing JM as your next residence 😊

The Best Places to go in Lockdown

Post contributed by CF Jiashu

While we all take a causal stretch along London’s abounding numbers of gardens and outdoor spaces, many gardens may be current closed, or may exhaust you from seeing too many analogous sights. Here is a list of many of London’s best gardens that are still open, ranging from the wetlands and woodlands of National Trust, to more petite yet equally alluring gardens.

Chelsea Physic Garden, Chelsea
Monday-Friday and Sunday 10am-3pm
Book ahead: £8.50 (free to members)

Chiswick House and Gardens, Chiswick
Daily, 7am-dusk
No booking required: free to enter

Eltham Palace and Gardens, Eltham
Sat-Sun, 10am-4pm
Book ahead: free

Ham House and Gardens, Richmond
Daily, 10am-4pm,
Book ahead: £5 (free to National Trust members)

Kenwood House, Hampstead
Daily, 7am-7.30pm.
No booking required: free to enter

Marble Hill House and Gardens, Twickenham
Daily, 7am-4.30pm
No booking required: free to enter

Morden Hall Park, Morden
Daily, 9am-5pm
No booking required: free to enter

Osterley Park, Isleworth
Daily, garden 10am-4pm; park 9am-5pm
Book ahead: £5 (free to National Trust members)

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Daily, 10am–4.15pm
Book ahead: £10 (free to members)

Syon Park, Brentford
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 10.30am-4pm
Book ahead: £6.40

How to Stay Sustainable in Lockdown

Post contributed by CF Rad

Hi everyone! This is CF Rad and I hope you are had a great Sustainability Month in February! In light of Sustainability Month, I am writing this to give you some helpful tips on living sustainably during lockdown.

Lockdown is, as has been said many times before, an unprecedented time. Our daily routines have changed, and the new restrictions in place for our safety have also caused a change in our lifestyles.  Amidst all of this, we have seen a new rise in the phenomenon of takeout food and package deliveries, necessitated by the requirement to stay at home- inevitably leading to more plastic waste. In the article, I hope to give you some tips on how to keep being sustainable during this time, in a way that benefits both you and the planet!

1.      Avoid getting food deliveries to your house.

A simple way to reduce the plastic waste we generate is to cut down on ordering in. If you still want to treat yourself to some food from your favourite restaurant, try visiting them and asking if they can give you your order in reusable boxes- these are easily available at Sainsbury’s, Tesco or any other local supermarket. Making your own food is always great, because knowing what goes into your food is always beneficial. If you must order in, opt for the “No cutlery” option if you have reusable cutlery on you. This also helps reduce plastic waste! Another tip would be to support local businesses as much as you can, as these are the ones suffering most due to lockdown and are more likely to be flexible with delivery options or takeaway needs.

2.      Responsible retail therapy

With all the time I’ve had on my hands over the past months of quarantine, I would be lying if I said that I haven’t indulged in some retail therapy to combat the lockdown blues. If you do this as well, it is advisable to opt for the Standard Delivery option wherever possible, as this way your package is likely to be packed using less plastic and the delivery will be more fuel-efficient. When you opt for next-day delivery, your package is likely being sent out to you separately rather than being delivered as part of the delivery company’s area-wise rota, hence wasting more fuel. Another useful tip for shopping during lockdown is to use websites like Depop and Vinted, on which small businesses sell pre-loved or handmade goods, and where you’re also likely to grab some rare vintage finds to stay on trend while staying sustainable! Because these platforms allow you to connect directly with the sellers, you can request them for low-plastic packaging or meet up at a pre-decided area to collect your package too.

3.      Re-fill instead of buying new

Visit your local zero-waste to get refills on sanitisers, hand soap or even foodstuff. Now that we know that sanitising and social-distancing are a way of life, why not find ways to make them sustainable too? Take your cleaning or food containers to these zero-waste refill stores and get them refilled instead of buying new. Once again, this is another way to reduce your plastic waste!

4.      Handle your waste correctly

While a zero-waste lifestyle is ideal for the environment, it is not feasible for many of us. However, there are ways by which you can reduce your carbon footprint regardless- an easy way to do so is to start composting your food waste, either in your own garden if you have one or at a local composting bin. Compost is great for the ecology of your surroundings and has many benefits for plants if you’re trying to grow them! For non-food waste, you can always sort your waste correctly to help waste and sanitisation workers- who are also essential workers- do their job more easily.

5.      DIY more!

The world of DIY is taking over platforms like TikTok, and there’s no reason why we can’t learn from the community! DIY-ing is a great way to save money, learn new skills and reduce waste by using what you already have- it’s a win-win situation and I personally find it really gratifying to make something by myself, start to finish! DIY products have a place in all aspects of our home lives, from the kitchen to the bathroom. The internet is filled with DIY solutions to almost any problem, and if not something home-related, you can certainly make something personal like easy jewellery for yourself or to gift to your loved ones, or perhaps re-usable masks from an old T-shirt you find hard to put away!

I hope these tips were helpful! Do remember to tag #kingsresilife if you try any of these things, we’d love to see your take on these!

Grace’s Good News

Post contributed by Senior CF Grace

We are now a decent amount of time into 2021 and things are still very ‘pandemic-y’. Most of us are feeling tired and fed up – understandably so as we approach the anniversary of the beginning of this utter shambles. With this in mind, it is my pleasure to bring you some good news and a gentle reminder that despite what it feels like, the world isn’t ending (not yet anyway).

  1. Touchdown on Mars!!!

A new rover has landed on Mars after a 292 million mile journey from Earth. The rover, named Perseverance, has been sent to Mars to look for evidence of past life. This will be done by drilling into the terrain where there has been water because scientists believe life may also have existed around here.

(BBC news)

  1. One really good doggo!

Max is a therapy dog who looks after his owner Kerry. He has been awarded an Order of Merit for Outstanding devotion for saving his owners’ life. Go Max!

https://youtu.be/sCK18A3Roo0

 

  1. Dogs really ARE a man’s best friend…

Dogs are now being trained to sniff out prostate cancer. I have no idea the science behind this, but this could be a very successful and non-invasive way to detect prostate cancer!

https://www.medicaldetectiondogs.org.uk/

 

  1. I’m a social vegan, I avoid meet.

This years Veganuary has broken records with over half a million people signing up to take part. Supermarkets are also stocking more vegetarian and vegan products than ever before. Good news for the environment! If you want to find out more about sustainability, join our ResiLife Sustainable Living Community events – check out the calendar for more details!

 

As always, the ResiLife team are here for you. You are NOT alone and hopefully we will be out the other side of this nightmare soon enough. Tune in to our events if you’d like to see a friendly face, meet some new people, or just entertain yourself for the evening – we have events for everyone!

Our Top Vegan Food Places

Post contributed by CF Rad

Mooshies

Location: Brick lane

Price range: ££

Opening time: Mon-Wed 12:00-21:30, Thu 12:00-22:30, Fri-Sat 12:00-23:00, Sun 12:00-21:30. Kitchen stops 30 minutes before closing.

Plant based burger and fried restaurant since 2016. Specialises in burgers, with signature being the fillet-om-phish made from aubergine served with vegan cheese & tar tar sauce; ‘beef’ burger made from black beans & quinoa; and pulled jackfruit burger. Side of sweet potato fries, loaded fries, cheese sticks, chick balls, guacamole and plantain chips are available. For dessert try the vegan brownie or a thick chocolate shake.

The Vurger Co

Location: Shoreditch

Price range: ££

Opening Time: Mon-Sun 11.30am-10.30pm (Fri-Sat -11pm, Sun -10pm)

An intimate, if sparse space, with walnut chairs and grey walls, while the menu is equally as concise, consisting solely of burgers, shakes and sides. Unlike other meat-free joints, Vurger Co swaps out quorn or seitan for patties made up entirely of veg. Take the Auburger, which is sandwiched between a fluffy brioche bun and combines a tightly-packed aubergine, chickpea and caramelised red onion patty with hints of fiery Tabasco and a slightly bitter cumin mayo dressing.

There’s the option to enjoy your meal sans bun as a ‘burger bowl’, while sides include crisp, lightly-salted fries and a velvety mac ‘n’ cheese. Drinks wise, a caramel and banana shake swaps out cow’s milk for the almond variety, along with a soy bean base which results in a sweet and satisfyingly slurp-able treat, while there are beers and wine for proper grownups. Slick counter service and reasonable prices are further pluses, and it’s nice to see Vurger Co back up its credentials with compostable packaging, including paper straws.

Rudy’s Dirty Vegan Diner

Location: Camden

Price range: ££

Opening hours: Monday-Sunday 12pm-9pm

Serving up mouth-watering American comfort foods, vegan style. You’ll spot classic Americana dishes reaching from The Dirty Burger to the Mac’n’Cheez, without forgetting their staple (and highly recommended) Reuben Sandwich.

At their bigger and better location, only a couple leg stretches from their old home includes more seating and best of all, vegan sugar-filled milkshakes. Make sure to wear your stretchy trousers for this cheeky one!

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