Writing on the wall for East End’s Canvas ‘happy café’ after solar eclipse

PUBLISHED: 09:31 20 March 2015 | UPDATED: 13:29 20 March 2015

Scribbler... customer pens her thoughts on wall at The Canvas

Scribbler... customer pens her thoughts on wall at The Canvas

Melodie Rouloud

You can have a right laugh all day today in London’s East End at a “happy café” with a coffee and massage and a scribble on the wall.

Scribbles of wall at The Canvas 'happy café'Scribbles of wall at The Canvas 'happy café'

The Canvas is serving up coffee and massages to celebrate International Day of Happiness to “make the planet a happier place” on the day the sun was eclipsed and plunged Britain into semi-darkness for a moment.

The Spitalfields social enterprise venue in Hanbury Street is pouring out free coffee from 11am to 12pm, when Xhilarate Massages starts free 10-minute massages until 4pm.

The not-for-profit eatery was opened in October by actress and puppeteer Ruth Rogers, founder of Body Gossip body image charity.

Ruth Rogers at her Canvas 'happy café'Ruth Rogers at her Canvas 'happy café'

“I had one aim—to make people feel better about themselves,” Ruth explained. “We encourage self-expression and human connection.

“Human connections and kindness are the true sources of happiness.”

She even has a ‘laughter coach’ on her team, Melanie Bloch, who is holding a free laughter workshop at 6pm.

Melanie insists that laughing “allows creativity, interplay and communication beyond language.” It also promotes “compassion, love and kindness,” she tells you.

The Canvas offers daily events to inspire self-expression and positive thinking including a drop-in choir, weekly yoga classes, body confidence sessions and relaxation workshops.

Customers become part of an ever-evolving live art by scribbling their thoughts on the walls.

The Canvas earlier this month joined the Happy Café Network, set up by Action for Happiness charity aimed at social change.

The drop-in venue is backed by a programme run by the Bromley-by-Bow centre that helps launch social enterprises by east London’s budding entrepreneurs.

Today’s ‘happy’ events are aimed at “lifting the clouds” to make everyone happier on the planet, after this morning’s dramatic solar eclipse was hidden from view by an overcast sky across east London.

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