Postcards From Abroad: Edinburgh

As we were deciding on a summer holiday, Edinburgh initially felt like an odd choice when my boyfriend and I booked our tickets. However, both of us burn within ten minutes of being in direct sunlight, so we decided on the northern city for a long weekend away. In hindsight, we probably should have looked…

Postcards From Abroad: St Petersburg

When I told people I was going to St Petersburg, in Russia the general response seemed to be “Is it safe?” (Generally the follow-up was whether I was going for the World Cup, which, considering I didn’t realise the World Cup was even happening this year, made me laugh). I’ve been staying in St Petersburg…

Reflecting on the University Experience

Waiting at the side of the stage in the Great Hall to walk up to accept my Bachelor of Arts degree, most of my mental power was focused on not tripping and face planting in front of the dean. Standing in front of one of my lecturers, Pascale Aebischer, as she read out my name however, a wave of emotions hit me and I walked across the stage smiling and close to tears, suddenly overcome with an enormous sense of pride in my achievement. Though over in seconds, this moment was without a doubt one of the best of my 22-year existence. Observing the other students as they walked up, it was easy to tell that everyone was experiencing their own unique blend of nerves, pride, even exhilaration. Some appeared strangely calm and laid back, perhaps finding the whole ceremony to be quite a surreal, out of body experience. In truth I found that to be the case for most of grad week.

Holiday from Hell! – A Short Story

Last summer, four of my best friends and I went to the seaside town of Paignton for our summer holiday, hoping it would be the perfect way to recover from the stress of our recent A Levels. Organising it all months in advance meant we had nothing to think about; we were renting a beautiful…

On Valuing Friendships as Much as Romantic Relationships

University provides the optimal conditions for intimate friendships. When you’re sharing an ant-infested student house – living, eating, sleeping and breathing within a hair’s breadth of one another – emotional closeness is an organic by-product of physical closeness. It’s easy, largely sub-conscious, and almost default. Without making any real effort to find out, you become tacitly aware of the most intricate minutiae of your friends’ everyday thoughts and habits. By week two you can recount with pinpoint accuracy Sally’s rationale for not endorsing the crushed avocado fad, know how much milk everyone takes in their tea to the nearest millilitre, and recognise with absolute certainty who has just walked past your room by nothing but the pace of their footsteps. It is an intimacy that otherwise takes years to achieve formed in a finger snap, and it is magic.

Review: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

While ordering the cinema snacks, I noticed a group of mothers and daughters enter the screening of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again that I was about to see. It made me chuckle, thinking about the power of the first Mamma Mia! that led to Wine Moms™ taking over the box office in 2008. The group rushed past, itching with apprehension over how the film could follow a now modern classic. Along with the other women in the cinema, I hoped that we wouldn’t be disappointed.

Perfect Playlist: Chilling on the Beach

Stuck on what to listen to for those long days in the sun? Here are 21 chilled tunes that you’ll be playing on repeat! Loving Is Easy (ft Benny Sings) – Rex Orange County: If you haven’t heard of Rex Orange County by now, what have you been doing? The Surrey-born 20 year old was…

Netflix’s Best Binges for Summer

If you, like me, are sick of the heatwave and have resorted to sitting inside trying to stay cool, then never fear! Razz has rounded up six of Netflix’s most bingeable shows for you to watch until the weather calms down and we can all safely wear jeans again.  The Good Place Simply put, The…

Postcards From Abroad: Signapore

It’s hard to describe Singapore. This is partly because it was nothing like I imagined, and partly because I feel like you need to go there to understand. I’m not one to be impressed by man-made attractions and skylines made up of skyscrapers as far as the eye can see, but there was something about Singapore that made my jaw drop. This city-state was spotless, sophisticated and dynamic. Sparkling sky-high buildings with gardens bursting from the upper floors, enormous shopping malls that felt like cities in themselves, Chinese and Indian neighbourhoods that seemed to transport you to a different country; this is Singapore. The mix of Malaysian, Indian and Chinese residents also adds a whole new depth to the city. Although it is an expensive place to visit, I was surprised at how easy it was to stick to my budget. Travelling solo as a woman can be scary, but at no point during my visit did I feel unsafe or vulnerable. I would recommend Singapore to all!

It’s Debatable: The Ethics of Love Island

Love Island is dominating television and social media this summer. The concept behind it is simple: place a group of good looking 20-somethings in a villa, where they have to couple up or dump each other depending on who they fancy, with the winning couple awarded £50,000. In this environment, drama and controversy are unavoidable. How can I not become heavily invested in the nation’s favourites, Dani Dyer and Jack Fincham, or seethe at ‘Muggy’ Megan Barton’s every action? Despite being an avid fan, I can’t help but question what the programme is actually portraying. Are programmes like Love Island healthy in their representation of love and relationships?

Review: Ocean’s 8

When I found out that a whole host of talented women were coming together for the Ocean’s 8 cast, I was thrilled. Then I was overcome with dread. A female spin-off is always under the microscope, meaning that they must work twice as hard to gain half the recognition. The film was worth the watch, but that microscopic lens was a gaze that, at times, sadly overpowered the film.

Obviously, Ocean’s 8 had to pay respects to its predecessors. The film handled this well with a sprinkling of cameos and allusions to Debbie Ocean’s (Sandra Bullock) late brother Danny. The film’s awareness of its surrounding franchise also proved to be its downfall though. The previous Ocean’s films had charm due to their own style of dry humour that was uttered by heartthrobs like George Clooney and Brad Pitt. The first quarter of Ocean’s 8, however, tried to replicate this but fell flat. I didn’t get why at first – Sandra Bullock is usually hilarious? She can do wry and cheeky, never failing on comic delivery. I then realised that the problem was that it sounded like she was saying someone else’s punchlines. At the beginning, her lines seemed to be the verbatim of Danny Ocean’s, leading to a struggle to appreciate what Debbie Ocean had to bring to the table. This is one of the reasons why I always get the fear when an all-women spinoff is announced.

Postcards from Abroad: Norway

I started this summer by flying with my friend Jacob to his home country for two eagerly anticipated weeks of perfecting my Norwegian, soaking up the cultural and instagramable sights, and enjoying more fish dishes than my pescatarian self could wish for. After stumbling across the hugely popular web series Skam a few years ago, I fell head first in love with the country and spent more than an acceptable amount of time researching my “future home” (job success dependant because, wow, is Norway expensive).

Norway, however, was everything and nothing like I expected it to be. No matter how much Jacob reassured me before departure that ‘Norway does have summers too!’, I wasn’t prepared for the 30 degree heat the country was enduring from a rare but persistent heatwave. Nor was I to perfect any of the basic Norwegian I already knew. You were much more likely to see me tight lipped and silent, refusing my receipt with a shake of the head because apparently even the way I said ‘nei’ was amusing to my friend, tour guide, and native speaker. Nonetheless, prepared to return all but bankrupt and thoroughly exercised (because it turns out everything in Norway is a hill), we were off.