Editor’s Letter: About Time Magazine Turns 6 MonthsBy Angelica Malin
‘Time is how you spend your love’ – Zadie Smith, On Beauty
I’m often asked for the inspiration behind About Time Magazine. Sometimes I say it’s one big quest to find the ultimate Eggs Benedict in London. Other times I joke about my reputation for getting fired, or my belief that taking a photo of food makes it taste better.
But the truth is, that I think that we’ve lost the art of spending time. With this constant buzz that surrounds us in the 21st century, with software updating, product launching, people, parties, it seems we never just slow down. We’ve developed this nasty habit of seeing time as something that needs to be filled, rather than something that can just hang; pregnant, luxurious, empty. And social media doesn’t help; allowing us to see how everyone else is spending their time, constantly.
‘Time is how you spend your love’ is the inspiration behind our name. It’s a quote that’s followed me around most of my adult life. There’s something so powerful, so quiet about it. The idea that time isn’t a currency of consumption, but one of love.
And beautiful editorial takes time, too. Like a perfectly made Red Velvet cake, or the process of turning a bowl of porridge over a stove until it has the creamy consistency you crave, the act of creating editorial is, also, a process of love.
I didn’t expect the last 6 months to be like they have. In the last 168 days, we’ve shared our views with almost 400,000 readers in 34 countries, travelled to 15 countries, almost doubled in size (editorial, not dress), eaten in over 100 restaurants and tried 20 varieties of alcoholic milkshakes. Who even knew that many existed.
So, in the spirit of our half birthday, we’d thought we’d bring you a few life lessons we’ve learnt along the way. It’s given us great hope, joy and fun to create stories for your enjoyment, and we hope you stay with us over the next 6 months for even more deliciousness. Here’s 6 things we’ve learnt from our 6 most popular features:
We went viral once. It was exciting. But we also weren’t sure what to do with ourselves, so we ordered a Chinese takeaway to the office.
Our most popular feature to date had over 75,000 thousand views in 24 hours with over 1k Facebook shares. The topic? Why it’s about time we banned yoga selfies. The feature was written by one of Tri-Yoga’s most popular teachers, who was tired of seeing her Instagram feed clogged up with downward dogs with sunset backdrops. Turns out the world just doesn’t want to see your Shavashna.
Photo by Bill Tipper. Read it here
One of our most popular food features is our guide to the Top 5 Avocado on Toast in London. We ate 25 avocado on toast dishes around London for this feature; to this day, the sight of the stuff makes our Food Editor feel a bit funny. The final verdict: Riding House Cafe’s side pot of balsamic and sprinkle of chilli makes all the difference.
One of our consistently most popular columns is Fat Gay Vegan, who every month explores a different area in London and its best vegan offerings. The first one showed us that Camden is not just about novelty t-shirts and fake ear piercings, and the recent investigation on Brixton‘s offerings showed off all the great vegan cakemakers in London. You can also vote for Sean in the Best Vegan Blogger category at VegfestUK Awards 2014 here.
#4 Bossy is fine
Sometimes people want to be told what to do. One of our most popular regular features is 5 Things You Need to Eat This Week, which explores the 5 best special dishes and menus every week. The idea was to scale down the seemingly endless list of London dining options and find things that are really, really worth your time. We’ve explored everything from beetroot cocktails to oyster burgers on double decker buses. We try everything the week before, which means we have to hit the gym. A lot.
Social media trends can be a nasty beast. If we’re honest, we’re a bit scared that people blindly accept them, without questioning whether or not they are healthy for society as a whole. Two of our most popular THINK features explore social media trends that we believe are damaging to women’s self-esteem: #fitspo and #eatclean. Think next time you hashtag that bad boy.Read about #fitspo here Read about #eatclean here Read about guilt-free food here
#6 Time isn’t always about being filled
People want to slow down. Despite everything that Apple makes us think – moving faster doesn’t always moving better. Some of our most popular content has been focused on slow down, not speeding up – such as writing a postcard to a loved one, finding some headspace and allowing ourselves to discuss anxiety. We also like to think this slowing down allow us to think more clearly about the everyday, such as whether it’s normal we’re sold packaging that claims to be ‘guilt-free’. Take a moment today, just for you.Read about 60 Postcards here Read about anxiety here
To celebrate our 6-month birthday, we’re giving away 12 birthday cupcakes from the amazing Hummingbird Bakery. Simply simply follow us on Twitter and tell us your favourite feature on the site and why with the hashtag #AboutTimeBirthday to win.