Stranger Things, video tapes and the fluttering nature of nostalgia

Every generation has a way of accessing their childhood entertainment that ends up being wholly redundant. Technology drags us forward at breakneck speed, yet those moments in time carry such satisfyingly plump nostalgic weight, they stay important to us long after their method of delivery turns naff. VCRs have been flung into local council skips for years. Last week, the very final unit was manufactured. For those of us whose childhoods bled between the late 70s and the 1980s, the video … Read More

What I’m learning from 1880 letters

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  WANT AN AUDIO VERSION OF THIS POST? SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE. A few months ago, buoyed by the reminder that I’d always wanted to start a collection of vintage and antique ephemera, I bought a bundle of letters on Etsy. They were a punt of a purchase. I knew the 50+ letters and postcards had been penned during the late 1870s and early 1880s by a woman living in Pennsylvania, whose husband was working away in … Read More

Why we should let teachers keep their regional accents

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According to a report by linguistics expert Dr Alex Baratta at the University of Manchester, student teachers from the North of England feel pressured into relinquishing their regional accents for one more clipped. Mentors have suggested to some during training that their original accents weren’t clear enough to be understood by pupils, some have been ridiculed for their accents and were made to feel inferior, while in one case a participant reported that an interviewer contemplated stopping an interview due … Read More

Beyoncé’s Lemonade – equal parts empowerment and vulnerability

When Beyoncé unexpectedly released her self-titled album in December of 2013, it exploded into a fireball of new-found and unapologetic ownership of her sexuality. Without any indication that it was coming nor any pre-emptive promotion, there it was: the rebirth of an ailing link between cinematography and music in the form of the Visual Album, told with the tale of sexual awakening destined to empower other women into instigating their own and spawning seemingly eternal pop culture catchphrases. This past … Read More

When Divas Become Superstars – WWE’s New Era

When I accidentally became a professional wrestling fan in the late 90s, I freely admit that initially I came and stayed for the men. As a girl entering womanhood, charismatic and infinitely good-looking guys in lumpy Lycra were impossible to resist. The beefy testosterone flying through the screen from across the Atlantic as they cruised to be bruised and fought for a cause made returning every week an easy sell. Even if that cause happened simply to be the preservation … Read More

On Warpaint, Chanel No.5 and Attacking Life

An illness that also happens to be invisible is a double-edged sword. Some days there’s a desperate ache for everyone who crosses your path to acknowledge you’re not okay, just trying your hardest not to admit defeat; so much so you could happily drag the sickness out of your body, scribble over it with a yellow highlighter pen and wear it as the kind of avant-garde millinery that raises quizzical eyebrows at Ascot. On other days, the absence of outward symptoms can … Read More

Decluttering Tips for Messy People

It was mid-December. I looked ahead misty-eyed to what would be two weeks at home with which I could do whatever I chose. “Think of all the productive things you could do around the house,” I said. I thought about all the stuff I’m just too tired to do in the evening. “Imagine the cupboards you could clear out and the overstuffed drawers of rubbish you could empty!” Clean space, clear mind and all that. I had lists of useful … Read More

Impostor Syndrome and How to Talk Yourself Out Of It

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Want an audio version of this post? Scroll to the bottom of this page and start the video. I’m good at school. At least, as an adult I’m good at school. When I was younger I had the ability, I just drove without taking the handbrake off for all but the few topics that really grabbed me. Feigning interest has always been a chore I’ve suffered inelegantly. I love research. I like being posed with a question and then being … Read More

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