And so, as with all things, it is only right we begin with a welcome, and a touch of gratitude for your time. Smoke & Tales is a collection of reflections and stories about a city, and how those crazy enough choose to live within it.

The city this journal calls home is London. To inhabit this jungle is to know that you will constantly face a set of creative and peculiar challenges and joys on a daily basis. However, going by many publications, you would think that to live in a city was to constantly be stuck in the great philosophical cycle that is eat, sleep, rave, and repeat. We believe London, and city life in general, is more than a list of must-do events. Our chapters will attempt to portray a realistic and unique take on what life is really like living in a place that seems unwilling to slow down for anybody. A place as thrilling as it is truly exhausting, packed full of experiences forced upon you without as much as a conscious thought.

As you gracefully meander through our pages, you will find Issue One split into two sections, Thoughts and Tales. Contained within our Thoughts section are a mixture of personal perspectives and contemplations about how the city has affected its author and those around them. Amongst other things, we tangle with the dreaded Fear of Missing Out; Trilby Rajna explores what it means to call a place home; and Doyin Ajiboye speaks of the Tottenham she knows.

Our Tales section provides an avenue for creation and imagination. Within its walls you will find short stories and photo essays. For the first time, you will meet Adam Chociemski; go on a journey with an urban fox, and aboard a night bus; you’ll discover folklore and rumours through the poetic pen of Lavinia Singer; and see the city through the lenses of Folaju Oyegbesan and Amandine Powell.

We hope Issue One provides you with at least one feature that brings to life a city that you know, and hopefully, like us, you love.

Dipo Faloyin and Tom Owen