Lifestyle

Desert Island Picks: Meet the Lifestyle Editors!

The new Lifestyle editorial team has been set up for the Summer Vac and Michaelmas term. We’re all very eager to continue getting to know The Oxford Blue writing community as we work with you over the upcoming months!

To introduce ourselves, we’d thought we would do a spin on the ‘Desert Island’ format by discussing our ideal ‘Day in the Life on a Desert Island’.

To join The Oxford Blue writing community, join the Facebook Lifestyle writer’s group here. We love hearing your pitches for articles so please do get in touch with any of us with your ideas!

SARINA CHANDARIA – Senior Editor

Illustrator: Catherine Cibulskis

Christ Church, Geography

Hiya! I’m Sarina and I’m so excited to be leading the Lifestyle section for the next few months. I was previously the Travel editor and so have a great love of reading about places both far-flung and nearby. I hope to use this section to help people build in big ideas into their daily life from sustainable lifestyle choices to discussions about mental health!

Ideal Daily Routine

Waking up naturally and having a massive bowl of Maggi curry ramen noodles with a fried egg (this assumes a limitless supply of eggs, instant noodles and a gas stove but hey, it’s my fantasy). Followed by a long snorkel or scuba dive off the shore and an afternoon spent swaying in a hammock with a fresh young coconut to drink.

Favourite Way to Relax

Reading or by having long, most likely nonsensical, conversations with my friends.

Best part of being stuck on a tropical island?

The fruit! I hope that I’ll finally reach plant mum status and grow everything I love from mangos to dragonfuits to passionfruits. Rather different to the current me, as I can just about keep my cacti, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, alive.

What would you miss most about the real world?

Coffee and dark chocolate, my two daily must-haves…I might have to build a little test kitchen and attempt to bring these to the island. I will also very much miss watching videos of baby pandas at 2am.

5 Things you’d have to bring with you

My portable solar powered charger (yes I do own this, no I have not used it in over a year), a kindle loaded with my entire TBR list, a hammock, a machete (for opening all those coconuts) and my trusty pair of red sunglasses.

MAYA BERGLIN – Travel Editor

Illustrator: Catherine Cibulskis

St Catz, English Language and Literature

Hi I’m Maya and I’m really looking forward to working on this section. My interests range from repeatedly bingeing a Netflix show like Gossip Girl, to a night out at Fever or Park End with my friends, and I love all things travel. I really want to use the section to show off the amazing writing and stories of our reporters and writers, and continue the travel section’s place as both an escape and an homage to the many amazing places around the world.

Ideal Daily Routine

Sleep in, have a big brunch, then explore the island, but ideally with lots of food and naps! 

Favourite Way to Relax

I would usually say a big bag of salted popcorn and a Netflix binge, but since we’re on a desert island, I think a nap on the beach, a swim, and some good food would also do the trick.

Best part of being stuck on a tropical island?

It’s the perfect setting for me to live out my best life as Donna from Mamma Mia, especially if it’s near Greece. 

What would you miss most about the real world?

Big cities and the ability to explore a variety of places.

Top 3 Islands I’d love to be stuck on

Naxos (a beautiful Greek island with great beaches and food, and ideally located for island hopping), Cuba (a vibrant Caribbean Island that offers both city and beach life, and plenty of culture), and Koh Chang (an up and coming island in the Gulf of Thailand).

Packing Essentials for a Tropical Island

A good book, plenty of nice outfits, and a notepad to take down everything you experience.

ELLIE THOMPSON – Green Living & Health and Wellbeing Editor

Illustrator: Catherine Cibulskis

Christ Church, Fine Art

Hi! I’m very excited to be part of the Lifestyle team, and enthusiastic to contribute to its creativity and dynamism. I am currently studying Fine Art at the Ruskin; I really love my degree, and will spend a lot of time stitching and sketching. I also enjoy listening to music; even though The Cure is my favourite band, I think Fascination by Alphabeat is definitely the best song ever written. 

Ideal Daily Routine

I would let the sun wake me, ditching the jarring iPhone alarm. I love going on long walks with my dogs to explore new places – I’m sure they’d appreciate a change in scene from the many fields near where I live.

Favourite Way to Relax

I’d blast Fleetwood Mac across the island and lounge about in a newly crafted hammock. No matter how warm it is, I’d need my big fluffy blanket in order to relax properly. 

Best part of being stuck on a tropical island?

‘Art block’ would be impossible with so much around me to draw! I could sit all day sketching exotic birds and plants. Also, I wouldn’t have to worry about the embarrassment of somebody overseeing my doodling.

What would you miss most about the real world?

My mum makes an excellent coffee, which would be sorely missed. Day trips to galleries would be tricky to live without, however the biggest loss of all would be my toastie maker.

Top tips for the best island activities

I can imagine snorkelling would be incredible, without the risk of swimming head-first into a fellow snorkeler’s feet! Provided the waves are choppy enough and I can find a sturdy enough piece of driftwood, I’d love to go body boarding too. 

Tropical Arts and Crafts Ideas

You could whittle down fallen trunks, swipe some thick strands of seaweed and knit all kinds of chunky jumpers and scarves. Pressing flowers would be a must also, or carving some kind of lino-print out of driftwood. 

OSIAN WILLIAMS – Relationships, Internet Culture & Fashion Editor

Illustrator: Catherine Cibulskis

Trinity, English Language and Literature

Hello! I’m going into my second year, studying English Language and Literature (but I’ve chucked the Language. You can only learn about syntax for so long). During my tenure I hope to awaken a sartorial consciousness in The Blue’s readership.

Ideal Daily Routine

I would find a beach as fast as I could and set up camp where there’s some shade. I’d then alternate for the rest of the day between reading and cooling down in the azure waters. 

Favourite Way to Relax

Meeting the local poets and having literary discussions with them.

Best part of being stuck on a tropical island?

Probably the sunsets. I’d imagine they would be very painterly. It would also give me time to learn how to paint!

What would you miss most about the real world?

Shibboleth Identity Provider. Whenever you need it most, it’s there for you. Rad Cam closed? No problem! Sit in one of the nooks and tap into that sweet, sweet Ssssshibboleth. 

What one item of clothing would you banish from the island?

Button-Down collars… I just don’t like ‘em. It looks like they’re trying to be smart when they’re not. Too casual with the top button undone, weird with a tie. 

DARA SANWAL – Food & Money Editor

Illustrator: Catherine Cibulskis

St John’s, PPE

Hey! I’m Dara, I’ve been writing for the Blue since it was founded, was on the business team last term, and have been wanting to get involved with the editorial side for some time, which is why I’m absolutely delighted to be part of such an amazing lifestyle team this term.

Ideal Daily Routine

Wake up, read a few articles on Jstor (yes I’m a bit nerdy), check my social media, go cycling and then settle down with a cup of tea and some homemade Pakistani snacks to binge watch Netflix.

Favourite Way to Relax

Cycling around the island (if I have a bike there) followed by a siesta at the beach. Cycling and sleep are my two favourite pastimes (not necessarily in that order), and the island would provide me the perfect opportunity to do so.

Best part of being stuck on a tropical island?

The weather! Living in London means that days with sunshine and warmth are unfortunately quite rare. It would also allow me to cook in more innovative ways, with the lovely local ingredients that I’d find on the island.

What would you miss most about the real world?

London! Despite the weather, it is still in my view the best city in the world (sorry Oxford) – there’s so much to do, it’s incredibly diverse and the people there are amazing.