Editor: Imogen Palmer lifestyle@ epigram.org.uk
Behind closed doors: n o i s s e s b o g n i g g o l My b I have a secret. It’s Sunday morning, eight thirty. I’m getting ready to go out. Neither my housemates nor my friends know my plans; I haven’t told them. They’re all in the dark about my second life. No, I don’t disappear into phone booths and come out ready to fight the forces of evil. I blog: about pastry, mostly. You may be wondering why I have the compulsion to send poorly-phrased rants, musings on the importance of butter, and ill-cropped photos out into the universe. Or that’s what I am afraid you’re thinking and the reason why I haven’t confided in you. This Sunday, however, I’m off to find the best croissant in Bristol. It’s a process, and, I have to admit, I haven’t been too lucky so far. I’ll spend at least five minutes taking a photo of it, smelling it looking for that brilliant buttery aroma and contemplate the best way to describe it on my blog. You could join me if you wanted to, but I’d probably bore you with tales of laminated dough and—see I’m losing you already.
It can be difficult to keep these two worlds apart. There are times when I must fight the urge to take a dozen photos of that coffee we grabbed on the way to lectures. When offering brownies to friends I’m met with blank stares as I ask them which part they would like. ‘Um, doesn’t every bit taste the same?’
morning, when my course mate asks me what I did this weekend, I bite my tongue to avoid saying, ‘Oh, I tried a chocolate chip cookie recipe out. It had to chill for twenty-four hours before baking.’ Instead, I default to the traditional, ‘Nothing much - work. You?’ It’s just so much easier.
‘They are no words, just an odd glance as they retreat to their room and away from the crazy girl.’ Oh, no, no! The outer-edges have a crumbly crust, whilst the inner parts are much denser. I stop mid-tirade and my friend asks incredulously, ‘are you a brownie connoisseur or something?’ I want to describe at length the different brownie recipes I’ve blogged about, but catch myself. During that first lecture on Monday
Can you keep a secret?
e2 can’t but that’s probably for the best.
Deputy: Imogen Rowley irowley@ epigram.org.uk
Deputy: Mariah Hedges deputylifestyle@ epigram.org.uk
We scoured Bristol to bring together your greatest secrets and your biggest lies. You’d be amazed at some of the stuff your fellow students get up to. From sniffing pants to sniffing pastries, Bristol is full of people with interesting habits. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t trust your course or flatmates but just have a think next time, what is that guy hiding under that beard?
There are times, however, when I am a little less lucky. Take the tray of cookies I spent an inordinately long amount of time photographing the other day. I’m eagerly snapping away, possibly verbalizing my future laudatory post, when my housemate walks in. My camera is about fifteen centimetres away from the cookies. There are no words, just an odd glance as they retreat
to their room and away from the crazy girl. Aside from these moments, I’m generally quite good at keeping the blogging-maniac within subdued. But here I am, basking in the glow of writing a perfectly worded post and left to wonder: why is it so imperative to me that I keep this passion hidden? Is it because I fear it’s unworthy? Am I afraid what my friends will say? Simply put, my blog is too important to me. I don’t want someone teasing me for smelling my croissant, taking blurry photos of cookies or spending hours figuring out the perfect way to describe chocolate-chip muffins. Yes, blogging is about participation, but divulging my passion for pastry to strangers is immeasurably easier than revealing this crazed aspect of my personality to the people I know. Now, you must excuse me, but I have to go and blog about this.
e2 is brought to you by Lifestyle : Imogen Palmer, Mariah Hedges and Imogen Rowley who will meet 15th March at 1.15pm in The White Bear What’s On : Olivia Stephany Fashion : Francesca Clayton and Lizzy Bullock who will meet 13th March at 1.15pm in The White Bear Travel : Verity Stockdale
with e2 editor : Matthew McCrory illustrator : Sophie Sladen
cover illustration : Charlotte Parke
‘The most devastatingly sneaky article you’ll read this issue’ ‘I had to pretend to be reading something else’
n o i t p e c e d f o starring: Emily Cawse
‘It’s my hen/stag night!’ The average wedding costs £21,000. The average student debt is (currently) £23,000. Students cannot afford to get married. Soon-to-beweds, however, are loaded, and they spend fortunes in bars on their hen/stag nights. Clubs love them!
Did your mum ever tell you that honesty is the best policy? … Well, your mum’s a boring bloody square! Honesty will get you nothing in this life, believe me. When was the last time your mum blagged her way into an exclusive VIP club night and raved her way til dawn? Thought not. Luckily for you, I was born and brought up in the Epigram office, and if there’s one thing my feral childhood taught me, it was how to lie to get stuff for free. (If it taught me another, it was how to fashion a trendy waterproof kagoul from old back issues and Domino’s pizza boxes, but that’s another Lifestyle article for another day.)
‘It’s my birthday!’
‘That was my twin’ It doesn’t get better than free food, right? WRONG. Think again, newbie. You haven’t won unless you’ve munched your way through an entire meal’s worth of gratis grub. Feel satisfied that you’ve eaten all you could possibly eat? WEAK. You haven’t won until you have a week’s shopping secreted in napkins, hidden in every pocket.
So load yourself up with fluffy handcuffs and ‘L’plates, giggle your way past the velvet rope – then pour your home-brought Basics Vodka into cheap lemonade.
Here’s how to get more for your (no) money: 1) Always take two samples at a time – an easy way to double your haul. 2) Thread your arm underneath the armpit of the person in front, and use them as a human shield to disguise your blatant grabbing. 3) Always carry a selection of hats. They will never recognise you in a different hat.
‘I’m with the Daily Gazette Times Tribune...’ The editor of Epigram has not paid for a meal since 1991. Local restaurants just love feeding journalists! I am sure it is just a sign of their undying support for this noble profession.
This move is to blagging what boiling an egg is to cooking – completely basic, but you’d be surprised how many people can’t do it. (Also, Delia taught me this waaay back in the 90s.) I always carry a birthday badge in my bag, just in case I fancy some complimentary dough balls or a free bag of pick’n’mix. Simply drop the faux-fact into casual conversation with your waiter.
In honour of the famous honesty and integrity of journalism, you should ruthlessly lie for free food. Invent a fictional publication and email your favourite eatery posing as their restaurant critic.
The more friends you have in on the hustle, the more convincing you will be, but do not underestimate the power of a sad loner in a party hat.
Not only will you be fed their finest fayre for free, but you will be personally pampered by the owner and manager.
‘I’m in Skins’ Everybody knows that ludicrous teen drama Skins in filmed in Bristol. Don’t expect to be invited to their crazy, mid-teen, drug-fuelled parties, as these don’t exist. Even I can’t tell you how to crash a fictional rave. You can recreate the effect yourself by dancing around in your underwear to pretentious indie music while the sun rises over Bedminster. Over here in the real world, however, the cast have been spotted stumbling into Pam Pam (formerly Joe Public’s), and nomming down in Nando’s. Don your skimpiest neon dress or kookiest knitted tank top or indeed both, and claim to be in the latest generation of the melodrama that refuses to die. Guaranteed access to Bristol’s most exclusive nightlife.
Deputy: Mariah Hedges deputylifestyle@ epigram.org.uk
Deputy: Imogen Rowley irowley@ epigram.org.uk
Editor: Imogen Palmer lifestyle@ epigram.org.uk
s t e r c e S r o Lies?ide
Dear Pandora, I’m in a bit of a sticky situation thanks to the recent student elections. A close friend of mine ran for a position and I was unable to support them. They’re a lovely person and all that (I need to keep this gender neutral to keep my cover) but I just didn’t know if they were up to the job. To be completely honest with you, I’m not sure if any of the candidates were but that’s another matter. I feel like none of the manifestos I read really spoke to me.
s ’ a r o d n Pa Box
Anyway, I don’t really know what to do about my friend. Apparently I didn’t act surprised enough when they didn’t win and now they’re pissed off. What can I do?
I am confident that you are exaggerating the importance of this ‘issue’. Do you honestly think anyone cares? Did you honestly think that I would care? This isn’t what I signed up for, helping feckless students with their inane complaints. On the plus side we have one thing in common: we clearly both think little of the students of the University of Bristol. I know very little of this year’s candidates but I’m sure it’s the same old story. A sea of students that claim to care about what you think. ‘What do you think could be done to improve the union?’ and ‘What do you want me to do?’ they ask as their brain disengages. It’s really a rather beautiful idea when you think about it. This means that whenever everything goes wrong, or when nothing happens at all, that the blame falls back on you, the voters. This is the sign of a real politician in action. As for your friend, I’m not sure what to recommend. You both sound like thoroughly horrible people so in some respect you deserve each other. On the other hand I can’t help but be reminded of the opening scene of Macbeth. Those ‘two spent swimmers that do cling together and choke their art’ definitely come to mind. I hope that’s clear enough for you but I imagine that, unfortunately, isn’t. To put it in layman’s terms, you’re both ‘going down’.
Society Slut The Society Slut likes to think she’s pretty cool. You know what I mean: sly like an urban fox, slicker than an oil spill, Coolique Inglasias. But there’s no point in making empty imagery without backing it up with a solid demonstration of my skills. When I heard of DJ Soc, I thought, that’s where the cool kids will go. To make sick beats and talk about ‘drops’ and the such-like. So, in an endeavour to test my cool-osity in the most hostile environment possible, I attended a DJ Soc lecture on the computer program ‘Tracktor’. Misconception one: they would be too cool for school. That’s right. You don’t need to read back, I’ll just repeat myself: DJ Soc ran a lecture. These guys get together and watch one of them explain the ins and outs of a DJ computer program, complete with a projector screen and demonstrations. I learnt a lot about DJ-ing, and myself, that day. I learnt that ‘Tracktor’ is so much more than a farmyard vehicle, it has a lot of buttons and impressive effects. I learnt that the word ‘flanger’ is not to be laughed at if you’re trying not to stand out as a DJ noob. I also learnt that while DJs aren’t too cool to listen to a lecture, they are too cool to take notes. I had to stop myself from getting my notebook out as, amazingly, everyone else could just sit there and absorb the information. Saying that, one did film it to put on the internet later, they have a series of tutorials you can use to catch up on what you’ve missed. Misconception two: they would be pretentious and intimidating. Technically, it was what is known as a ‘sausage fest’ and everyone looked distinctively hipster. I struggled to separate one pierced ear, dyed/partially shaved hair, edgy bro from another – but! They were so surprisingly nice. The guy doing the lecture was ridiculously sweet, making jokes and skipping around the stage to point things out on the screen. At one point he got nervous that the music was too loud and disturbing others. I just wanted to smoosh him in my lunchbox and keep him there all day. Sorry, that was not a euphemism. Basically, he was really cute, like a gummy bear. Not at all like the angry DJs you find in clubs who for some reason have never heard of ‘Baby got Back’ by Sir Mix-a-lot and refuse to play it, no matter how strong your arguments are. Truly, an education. Misconception three: I would get to show off my DJ skills at some point. Humiliating as it would have been to some people, I sort of thought there would be an interactive part where I would show the world what I was capable of, dropping beats like pints in an overcrowded room.
Pandora, I’ve been thinking recently that I might be interested in taking my life in a different direction. After years of being bullied for my lanky frame and ‘albino visage’ (my friend’s words, not mine) I’ve concluded that I’d be a pretty damn fine model. I’ve looked through my flatmate’s magazines and I’ve realised something; models are an odd looking bunch. If those guys with big ears and tiny arms can get paid to walk in a straight line then I want in on the action. I couldn’t help but notice your striking facial features and general presence. I also remember hearing that you’d modelled before so I thought you’d be the perfect person to ask. What can I do to break into the industry?
You’ve assumed correctly that I’ve had my fair share of modelling experience. With cheekbones like this it would be a crime if I didn’t take advantage of them. These ‘bad boys’ have seen me walk in the major Fashion Weeks. London, Paris, Milan, I’ve done them all but I grew bored. There are only so many illicit substances you can consume with up and coming designers before you’re ousted for the next big thing. I’m always happy to help a fellow beautiful person into the industry so my advice is as follows: look as interesting as you can. When I was modelling I bleached my body hair from head to toe to keep my look editorial enough. Nothing says model quite like a girl with no eyebrows. Your diet will need to change. You want to make sure that you look as pained and emaciated as possible. Sole consumption of Diet Coke will soon sort this out. That expression of simultaneous anger and emptiness will never go out of fashion, use it to your advantage. It won’t hurt to become ‘close friends’ with a model booker. I know a guy that might give you a hand. You might have to give him one first though.
I would have relished the opportunity to audaciously blend the prowess of Sir Mix-a-lot with the more subtle work of Cheryl Cole. Not at the lecture apparently, but the DJs there do a bit of ‘networking’ and give their bros the opportunity to do sets at various clubs and nights. So, if you ever hear ‘We gotta fight, fight, fight, fight, fight for big butts’ booming out of a club on the triangle, you know the Slut has finally made it. What a dream.
DJ So c
SICKn Sausa ess: 6/10 Soun ge : 10/10 ds : 8. 5/10
Editor: Imogen Palmer lifestyle@ epigram.org.uk
Deputy: Mariah Hedges deputylifestyle@ epigram.org.uk
Deputy: Imogen Rowley irowley@ epigram.org.uk
The Secret Lives of Social Media It’s 9.30 on a Friday night and I’m sat in my Primark flannel pyjamas, hair in a top-knot, spooning Nutella from the jar. I’m flicking through a Facebook photo album of ‘MAGALUF 2010’ that belongs to a friend of a friend of a neighbour of a cousin of a guy-I-once-met-in-thepub, when suddenly I see one of my friends has ‘checked in’ with 4 others at Thekla. Then someone else, lovin’ life apparently, checks in at Dojo’s. I begin to question what I’m doing with my life – ‘forever alone’ doesn’t cut it. It’s like Bridget Jones, except in a dingy student terrace in Clifton rather than a swanky West London loft apartment, and without Hugh Grant and Colin Firth fighting for my affections in the street outside. Since when did social media have the power to make me question the validity of my very existence!? Up until 5 minutes ago I was quite enjoying life as a 21st century hermit. Why am I now comparing my own miserable, sorry excuse for a Friday evening to that of someone who I don’t really care about anyway?! Facebook is the digital equivalent of rose-tinted spectacles. It’s a hall of mirrors – never quite showing the full truth but just enough to make it believable. It’s easy for us to imagine that everyone else’s lives are so much more amazing than ours, because no-one updates their status with ‘Got
a spot on my chin today!’ or, ‘Just Facebook-stalked the shit out of that hot guy from Sainsbury’s! Creepy or wot lolz!’ Of course, there’s the chronic over-sharers who think that they’re just SO great that we want to know what they just made for lunch, or how sadface they are about the fact it’s raining, but generally Facebook offers a very skewed judgment on how interesting someone actually is. We can airbrush our existence and portray ourselves as the coolest kid on campus, when really, we’re all human and we all suck in slightly different ways. It’s unhealthy to compare your own reality to your news feed, but nowadays it’s almost as if if it’s not on Facebook, it didn’t happen. If a tree falls in a forest, and no-one is around to hear it, does it make a noise? You’ve just
walked into the ASS, but you haven’t ‘checked-in’, are you really there? Checking-in is the ultimate cardinal sin of Facebook, and hand-in-hand with detagging embarrassing photos, it is the definitive sign of the arrogance and insecurity that undermines all of social media. Why do you think I, or indeed the rest of the world, want to know that you’ve just arrived at a nightclub? Is it just one big, attention-seeking, ‘By the way guys, right now I have a life. I am with other people and I am out of my house.’? How much fun are you actually having if you feel the need to whip out the smartphone and let everyone know? I wonder if people lived at all before the days of status updates and Tweets. What was the POINT in enjoying themselves if they couldn’t TELL everyone!?
I’d love to be one of those defiant, strong-willed individuals who do the Unthinkable and deactivate their Facebooks, but the truth is I’m just too nosey. Aside from the endless procrastination possibilities, Facebook is entertaining simply because the glamorous caricatures painted by dull human beings sat behind their computer screens or smartphones are so much more interesting than the real thing. As for actual interesting people? Well, they just don’t have time to check in.
Things you only know when... you have an obsession I’m Rachel, and I’m a One Direction-aholic. It all started back in 2010 on The X Factor: their five cherub-like little faces popped up on my TV screen, and I knew in that moment: it was love. The trouble is, that not everyone understands my unrequited and unconditional love. Believe me, I’ve tried to explain myself when people say, “They’re just little boys”, but sometimes, love can’t be explained, can it? For the record, Louis is actually older than me, so I’m not a complete paedo. The same cannot be said for Cougarline Flack though. What a perv. After realising that other people just don’t understand, I decided to keep my love under wraps. That is, I took down my second calendar, only kept up half the 20 posters I’d brought to uni, started listening to their songs through headphones, and restrained my fandom - not stalking - to the confines of my laptop. I can, without a doubt, tell you that sugarscape.com (yes, the website for pre-teen girls) is the best place to go for your hourly fix of 1D goss. But you didn’t hear it from me. Because my One Direction love is top-secret. Sure, I know all their birthdays, could tell you where each member is most of the time, and know all the lyrics to every song on their album, but compared to some of the One Direction fangirls- we call ourselves ‘Directioners’, I’m nothing. No, seriously. These girls are really quite scary: they camp outside their houses, chase down the tour bus, and engage in fierce Twitter battles with Beliebers (Justin Bieber’s fans). Quite frankly, if I was a member of One Direction, I’d be bloody terrified. And Caroline Flack’s (for
Directioners go to. Boybands have always had hoards of teenage girl fans (think about your mum and Take That), but it’s interesting to see how a new generation boyband has unleashed a new style of fangirl. Any time Harry, Niall, Louis, Liam or Zayn tweet anything; they are immediately bombarded with replies, retweets and spam messages from girls just begging to be noticed. Naturally, I am above this sort of nonsense. Alright, maybe I have done on the odd occasion. But who are you to judge?
‘Harry’s curls along with my freckles are going to make for one cute baby anyone who’s been living under a rock for the past few months, she’s the 32 year old TV presenter who went out with 18 year old Harry Styles), recieved death threats from Directioners, and that is definitely too extreme, even in my mind. One Direction always say they love their fans (I’m sure they mean me in particular), but I wonder if they do ever get scared by the extremes some of their
Twitter feeds our celeb worshipping culture, giving us glimpses into their seemingly glamorous, exclusive lives. A fellow Bristol student with a vast Twitter following has actually been tweeted and is followed by none other than Lady Gaga, which makes him something of a celebrity in himself. Gaga’s 19,978,258 followers, makes my 500 seem a little feeble. But how much should we know about these celebs? The more they tweet, the more we love them, and thus the more obsessed we become. It’s from Twitter that I know that Niall loves Nando’s almost more than life itself, Liam is afraid of spoons and Harry’s favourite pizza toppings are chicken and sweetcorn - they are mine too. He also speaks French and German, which just happens to be the degree I am currently studying. Convenient, huh? Seriously Harry, if you’re reading this, get in touch. His curls along with my freckles are going to make for one cute baby someday.
Dirty Little Secrets Thinking back, I don’t think anything - least of all 7 years of all-girls grammar school education - could have prepared me for the intrigue of first year accommodation. The closest thing I can compare it to would be the last time I had a serious relationship, which resulted in my two best friends getting into relationships with my boyfriend’s two best friends: everyone knew something but no one knew everything and no one quite knew who knew what. But the difference was, no-one cared about who used the last sheet of toilet paper. Knowing the ins-and-outs of your two closest friends’ sex lives is one thing; knowing that Sarah from flat 13 left a pube in the shower is quite another. As someone who’s spent seven years dealing with gossip exclusively on love lives, sex, and friendships, how the hell was I meant to handle the suspicion that Nathan wasn’t really lactose intolerant?
To make life stranger, I’d also ended up in what
appeared to be the dumping grounds of University-owned accommodation; I know of only three people who’d actually voluntarily applied to be part of our 120-strong community. The rest of us had ended up there, either as rejects from the more popular halls (think Wills and Goldney), or because we couldn’t even dream of affording them. Naturally tensions were going to arise, and fast. So here’s my sliding scale of the secrets and lies that dictated my freshers existence. Some of them are funny, some of them strange, but are any of them true? Sorryif I told you I’d have to kill you.
‘SPLINTER POO’ About three months into term a male friend dropped the bombshell on a crowded room that he’d done the business in every single one of our flats (we spanned at least 8). Mixed reactions followed.
‘TOILET ROLL WARS’ The flat opposite mine realised it was relatively easy to steal our loo roll, and decided to never buy their
own ever again. Little did they know we were stealing it back (with interest) every other night.
‘IT’S NOT REALLY GARDENING’ It took me two months to realise why the flat across from me had been calling emptying their food waste bins ‘composting’- they were emptying them out of the window. From the top floor. Into the communal garden. We got rats.
‘COMMUNISM ONLY WORKS IN THEORY’
After my whole flat entered into a pact of trust to share all our kitchenware and washing up, we soon discovered a pile of pans and crockery in our friend’s room, still with the shop labels on. He’d never even bothered to unpack it in the kitchen and had been exclusively using other people’s stuff the whole time. He tried to claim this was simply because he ‘hadn’t got round’ to unpacking it - in two months? Really? But when he finally did move his shining new utensils into the kitchen, we all realised a new level of trust and mutual understanding had been achieved. Then we scratched the shit out of his non-stick pan, just to teach him a lesson.
Pseudoguilty pleasure s Regular-pleasure: sticking gum under a seat Guilty-pleasure: sticking gum in someones hair Regular-pleasure: pissing in a pool Guilty-pleasure: watching someone swim into it Regular-pleasure: listening to Beyonce Guilty-pleasure: sending her messages written with your own blood Regular-pleasure: stealing from Boots Guilty-pleasure: stealing your girlfriend’s boots (and stockings) Regular-pleasure: porn Guilty-pleasure: midget porn Regular-pleasure: missing a 9am lecture Guilty-pleasure: staying up till 9am bidding on pokemon merchandise on ebay. Regular-pleasure: picking your nose Guilty-pleasure: eating it Regular-pleasure: wearing yesterday’s underwear Guilty-pleasure: sniffing yesterday’s underwear
Zara Choc Kletz
Editor: Olivia Stephany email@example.com
Best of Bristol
1. The Wardrobe, St. Michael’s Hill Given that I am a legendary lad, I’ve only ever been to the White Bear to drain pint upon pint of ale, mead and stout. However, above this merry abode, exists a place unbeknown to the average red-faced punter. It is a place of immense architectural achievement and profound thespian expression: it is a little theatre called The Wardrobe. Its warm, convivial atmosphere is an intimate and powerful place of performance, so get yourself down to the White Bear to see an unbelievable range of secret playwrights putting on their secret plays.
2. The Little Black Box, Chandos Road Hidden away on Chandos Road, amongst the pretentious little coffee shops and the Bristol students clad in Christmas jumpers and obnoxiously coloured air-max trainers, is a theatre the size of a spacious boudoir. My bearded compatriot Thomas Brada and I put on a play there last term, an extract of Blithe Spirit. We were aggrieved to find that the room was paramount to an especially claustrophobic broom cupboard, so only a select few were lucky enough to see it. Those that did were enchanted by both the performance and that they had actually managed to fit into this squalid hole. A great little space nonetheless.
3. Alma Vale Tavern, Alma Vale Road Again above a pub, the treacherous climb up the stairs to the secret stage is reminiscent of an ascent towards some kind of theatrical Nirvana. The peeling asbestos and muddied lino combine to form an atmosphere which is a sparkling combination of Ancient Greek arena and a thoroughly despicable student house party, in which its attendees have done little other than laughing gas. I saw a great play here however, called Joe Egg, which was a moving experience, heightened by the intense feeling that we had been locked in the dungeon of an Austrian felon.
4. Goldney Grounds, Lower Clifton Hill I have been to the Goldney Gardens on many occasions. The fountains, the sculptures, the blooming flowers: they are all quite dull. However, I did always think that the place had great potential as a secret acting space. The fresh air and the fertile soil, the blazing sun and the glistening grass – this Edenic space is an incredible, open air opportunity for amazing performances: I am excited to go and see Alice and Wonderland from the 8-10 May in these gardens, as my aspirations for this secret land seem to have been coincidentally fulfilled.
5. City Museum and Art Gallery, Queen’s Road The arrival of Macbeth at Bristol City Museum is sure to be one of the most unorthodox productions of the Shakespeare play: it promises to be an intriguing blurring of the boundaries between art and fiction which leaves me trembling with excitement at the mere thought of Lady Macbeth prancing around, in front of an anonymous, thoroughly irrelevant, artefact on display. This isn’t the first time that there has been a Shakespearean performance in a prominent Bristol building with Romeo and Juliet having been performed in Bristol Catherdral in 2010. Patrick Baker
The secret comedians? Russell Howard, Justin Lee Collins, Lee Evans, Stephen Merchant - the list goes on. These are the famous comedians who call Bristol their home, having hit the big time and made it in the comedy scene. But where, I hear you cry, are our generation’s funny people? Did jokes die out for people our age? The truth is, anyone you know could secretly be a comedian. Your brother. Your best friend. That person you always sit behind in lectures and never speak to. Anyone of them could actually be featuring in one of Bristol’s many comedy nights, and you just don’t know it yet: but What’s On is here to help and give you a quick tour of Bristol’s secret comedy scene to keep you informed! Let’s start with the two bigger names, in case the Comedy Police are listening. You may have heard of the comedy club Jongleurs if you live in London, or Edinburgh, or well, a lot of other places, and Bristol has its own venue. Less student-orientated than other entries on this tour, Jongleurs can be found on Baldwin Street in the very heart of Bristol. The other big name you may have heard of is the Oppo, a comedy club that appears in the basement of the Channings Hotel and features local comedian Mark Olver as a headline act from time to time. Both fairly successful venues, if you haven’t heard of them, you’ll know somebody who has.
All right - checked outside - pretty sure the Comedy Police are busy stopping fun somewhere else. Or a figment of my over-active imagination. Either way, let’s get even more secretive and discuss some of the lesser known shows. One is a weekly improvisational show is ran by a troupe known as Only Humour. With a cast of six improvisers, they perform a combination of short and long form improv and come up with a half-hour play on the spot based on one word. Their hideout is every Wednesday, upstairs in the Lansdown. Not so secret now are we? Ha. If spontaneous fun isn’t really your thing and you prefer comedy of the stand-up variety, then you should seek out the Secret Comedians when they next crop up. Although they’re taking a hiatus at the moment for a couple of months, the show’s been a success, blending first-time student comics with
big names like Joey Page from Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, and a busy room for every show. If you’d like a combination of the two, why not check out regular student-run comedy night, Hill-arity? Appearing in The Hill on Cotham Hill on the first and third Sunday of every term-time month, the night is ran by Bristol University Improv Society. A friendly atmosphere for acts just trying comedy out, Hill-arity is a great show to ease you into Bristol’s comedy scene, with the headlining act of Bristol Improv’s own assembled team of improvisers. All right, that was a whistle-stop tour through five of Bristol’s secret comedy shows. But keep your eyes open, faithful readers! Comedy in Bristol is like oxygen in the air: everywhere, and you’d probably all die without it. So remember, anybody around you could be a comedian even YOU. Although I would hope you’d know that already. Stephen Hartill
19.03.2012 ONLY HUMOUR
MTB presents Anything Goes for its Easter musical slot. Come aboard the SS America and be transported back to the age of jazz, where skirts were long and spirits were high. With its catchy tunes and fast paced script you’ll soon agree that ‘Anything Goes’ when it comes to love.
Join Only Humour, a Bristolbased Improv troupe, for an hour of comedy storytelling. With no script, no rehearsals and no chance to prepare, each night they will weave together tales on stage using only audience suggestions and their own dramatic imagination.
Better Than Nothing are an independent theatre company comprised of students from Bristol University. The play is set in a Victorian world where the powers of state are intertwined with those of the clergy. It is an attempt at a bold and exciting take on the original classic.
21st- 24th March Winston Theatre, Students Union £4/£5/£7
21st March The Lansdown Free
22 March St Paul’s Church £5 concessions
THE ADVENTURES OF WOUND MAN AND SHIRLEY This play tells a funny and touching story about two unlikely friends and the adventures they share. ‘There is something so unguarded about this show that you can’t help but fall in love with it.’ (The Guardian)
27 – 31 March Bristol Old Vic £8 concessions
INTO THE ABYSS
INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL
Werner Herzog guides us on a typically fascinating (yet unbearably sad) look at capital punishment in the USA. What is powerfully clear is that violent death of any kind - criminal or state-sanctioned has a devastating effect on everyone involved.
This programme brings together some of the best works in the International Competition, including distinguished films such as Sans-titre by Neil Beloufa and Principal Prize-winner Mercurio by Sandro Aguilar.
19 – 21 March The Cube £4 concessions
30 March – 5 April Watershed £5.60 student
31 March Arnolfini £3 concessions
RUSKO ALBUM LAUNCH
Head down to Thekla for this intimate gig. Supported by Tall Ships, Los Campesinos will be performing some of their indie-pop inspired tunes from their recent album Hello Sadness.
Yet another big night comes to Motion, this time featuring Rusko alongside other huge djs such as Brookes Brothers and Arsequake. There’s no need to say anything more. Just be there.
Join Matt Cardle on the Bristol leg of his first ever live tour after winning The X Factor back in 2010. Since then he has released a chart-topping album Letters alongside various other songs. This is your perfect opportunity to see this cheeky chappy do his thing!
21 March Thekla £10 adv
24 March Motion £16.50
A TASTE OF HOME
Spring Dynasty Dishes range from £6.80 - £12.80
LOVE FOOD SPRING FESTIVAL
Contestants are invited from all and sundry to bedeck themselves in fantastical finery to best represent the area of Bristol they feel most connection with. The stage is yours for an evening of glitter and glamour, queer beer and straight shooters. Brilliant party fun.
This festival has something for everyone. With over 70 market stalls showcasing local produce from sushi to charcuterie, food lovers will not be disappointed. Don’t forget your student card though!
24 March The Cube £4 adv
31 March – 1 April Brunel’s Old Station £1.50 concessions
25 March Colston Hall £26.50
Head down to Dynasty on St Thomas Street this month to experience their special menu which consists of a range of regional dishes at reasonable, studentfriendly prices. It’s aimed at attracting all the Chinese students at Bristol.
ALTERNATIVE MISS BRISTOL
If you thought you had missed it at the cinema, you were wrong. The Artist is a gloriously executed love letter to the silent era of Hollywood and an undeniable homage to the glitz and glamour of 1920s and 30s cinema.
Editor: Francesca Clayton fashion@ epigram.org.uk
he way we navigate the constant influx of seasonal trends has always been influenced by an elite group from the upper echelons of the fashion industry. These dictators of taste include magazine editors, fashion designers and the buyers who choose what actually arrives in the shops, however, within the last 5 years, a new and highly influential character has slipped into the sartorial ring: the fashion blogger. The modern figure of the blogger comes in a variety of guises and each invariably focuses on a different area of fashion. To begin with there are those who focus on the high end designers and catwalk fashions. Popular bloggers such as Bryanboy and Disneyrollergirl tend to concentrate on established brands, whilst Susie Lau aka Susie Bubble is devoted to publicising innovative new designers and collections. Bargainista Fashionista meanwhile has –as her pseudonym suggests – founded her blog on a ‘More Dash Than Cash’ philosophy, focusing on the unparalleled creative quality of the British high street.
Another modern phenomenon is the Street Style blog. Perhaps the most well known of these is Scott Schuman’s The Sartorialist, which features photos of achingly well dressed people from around the globe with very little commentary.
the ability the shape how many people dress. It is now frequently remarked that the real fashion weeks happen as much off the catwalks as on, with the street style of bloggers and off-duty models now as important as that of the magazine editors and celebrity attendees of the shows.
Although The Sartorialist immortalises the style of others, there are also blogs cataloguing the personal style of the author themselves. Of those already mentioned, both Susie Bubble and Bargainista Fashionista (Susie Wong) frequently use themselves to model the clothes being discussed and their sites are accordingly shaped by their personal tastes. Another person to follow this pattern has been Tavi Gevinson who caused excitement within the mainstream press by providing some of the most witty and imaginative writing on fashion in existence, despite beginning only 13 years old. Now also running the online magazine Rookie, her original blog contains many photos of Gevinson sporting her very own ‘The Virgin Suicides meets Courtney Love’ look. Bryanboy.com
Fashion’s secret agents
Deputy: Lizzy Bullock deputyfashion@ epigram.org.uk
Elle’s most recent biannual Collections magazine for S/S 12 had a specific section of photographs of bloggers between shows, including Garance Doré, girlfriend of Schuman and herself a member of the profession. Vogue likewise paid homage with a photo story based on an imaginary blogger hectically dressing in a hotel room in their February 2012 issue. This recognition has lead to designers frequently loaning or gifting items to bloggers as a means of publicising them. With blogs like Style Bubble getting around 30,000 hits per day it’s no wonder brands want their products to feature. And while only a minority of readers will be able to afford the true item, the potential to start a trend very much exists: high street items mentioned by Bargainista Fashionista frequently sell out at a rapid pace.
Bralet, Project by Miss Selfridge, £18
Jumper, Topshop Unique, £50
Given the continued rise in status of bloggers and the increasing employment of web resources in fashion, for instance the live streaming of shows, the influence of these undercover detectives of style seems unlikely to wane. In short – this is one style bubble that isn’t going to pop anytime soon.
What these disparate bloggers have in common are massive audiences and
Earrings, River Island, £16
Our favourite fashion blogs
Style Bubble - Susie Lau’s smart writing and
Fashion Toast - The gorgeous photography on model Rumi Neely’s blog has helped her win the Bloglovin award for Best Personal Style two years in a row. She’s also best friends with super-blogger Bryanboy. fashiontoast.com
Bag, Mango, £49.99
The Sartorialist - Scott Schuman’s blog has to be the first port of call for anyone after impeccable street style photography from around the world. thesartorialist.com Ring My Bell - The fashion team are obsessed with
British actress Ashley Madekwe’s stories of life in LA. It doesn’t hurt that she rocks some amazing outfits either! ashley-ringmybell.blogspot.com
quirky outfit posts have made her a favourite with the e2 fashion team, as well as one of the top fashion bloggers in the UK. stylebubble.co.uk
Wedges, Topshop, £50
Secret Weapon V
Similarly, Yves Saint Laurent’s Paris show featured dark colours in chainmail-inspired fabrics, while Stefano Pilati kept the feminine element alive with searing red lips and waistclinching pencil skirts.
To achieve the perfect Secret Weapon style, shiny, statement jewellery is a must. Stacked rings are right on trend at the moment and are an easy way to polish off an outfit. ASOS do a great range of multipack rings or, if you want to take it one step further, they also stock an impressive selection of knuckle dusters.
For a gunmetal look that will last until autumn, All Saints’ understated leathers are your first port of call. Don’t stop at a jacket – experiment with fitted trousers and dresses to up the levels of intensity. For a daytime look, team with a soft silk tee in grey or silver.
Alternatively, a chunky metallic necklace will add attitude to any outfit - especially if you want to add some drama to a monochrome look. Topshop do some great statement pieces, or try a gold collar from high street favourite Mango.
Chainmail may be a little more difficult to pull off around summertime, so mix it up with metallic lace, checks and prints that give the appearance of metal. Topshop Boutique has some great pieces that do this in neutral colours that will look chic even past 2012.
Last but not least, statement footwear is simple way to work the trend. Prepare for next winter and pick up some chunky Chelsea boots with a plated heel, or even better, invest in some metallic wedges.
For an evening look, think elegant androgyny – a statement black jumpsuit with interesting texture will encapsulate this perfectly, especially when teamed with a metallic envelope clutch.
Finish off with slick hair pulled back into a sleek ponytail, jet black liquid eyeliner and lots of face-sculpting bronzer for a stylish, ‘Lara Croft goes to Fashion Week’ look. Katie Deighton
inding information about Meadham Kirchhoff is like panning for gold. The design duo Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff are notoriously reclusive, despite storming the catwalk for the last two seasons with their irreverent and eccentric style.
Marni for H&M
‘He looks like he’s wearing his sister’s playsuit.’ Tom, Geology, third year ‘He looks like an optical illusion’ Rose, Drama, third year
sexy and sweet. That said, the clothes in no way shy away from femininity - in fact, they embrace it. The designers consider what it means to be a girl in different contexts and situations and base their collections around this, producing wonderfully eccentric and unique results.
The pair graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2002 having studied menswear. After first starting a menswear label named ‘Kirchhoff’, they began their collaborative effort to challenge the stereotypical ideas of how women should dress in 2006. Despite an initially poor commercial reaction, the brand achieved the recognition it deserved at the British Fashion Awards in 2010, winning the emerging talent award in the ready-to-wear category. Despite their new found success, the reclusive brains behind the brand remain extremely private about their work. Until recently their team comprised of only four people doing everything from covering each individual design in paint splatters to choosing the models for the shows – they don’t even have a website or Wikipedia page. Meadham Kirchhoff describe their perfect customer as Courtney Love and their collections are designed to protest at the way in which women are often hemmed in by society’s expectations to be pretty and
dolly motifs, with the models wearing white puffy wigs plastered in pastel paint and neon coloured lipstick. Emerging onto the catwalk to the refrains of Meadham’s beloved Hole and Courtney Love, schoolgirl ballerinas danced around a giant tiered wedding cake on which the models posed, while glitter suffused everything with sparkles. The recent Autumn/Winter show played with the idea of Seventies disco and offered a rainbow of chiffon dresses and multicoloured furs, while models had their ears coated in glitter. Coloured lights under the catwalk turned it into a disco extravaganza, with Kirchhoff describing the collection as being inspired by the club he wants to go to, but doesn’t exist.
Meadham Kirchoff A/W 12
‘From the neck up he looks just fine, but all the rest- especially socks with sandalsis, in the nicest way possible, just plain vile.’ Katie, Drama and German, fourth year
Clockwise from above: Coat, Topshop, £120. Necklace, Mango, £19.99. Silver clutch, ASOS, £20. Jumpsuit, River Island, £60. Wedges, Topshop, £75. Gold clutch, Mango, £19.99. Rings, Oasis, £9.50.
The secret world of Meadham Kirchhoff F
Hot on the heels of the Mary Katrantzou/ Topshop collaboration, Marni for H&M hit stores across the country this month. It sold out within just a few hours of launching, but what did you think of the print-tastic line?
Versace Atelier 12
ersace, purveyor of the fiercest models and razor sharp styling, is back to doing what it does best – cold, hard, shiny metal. The looks Donatella and co. showed on the runway at Milan Fashion Week conjured up visions of 21st Century Amazonian warriors in metal-plated dresses and leather so shiny it could have passed as steel.
The Spring/Summer 12 show left hundreds of fans gushing uncontrollably over their blogs and Tumblr. The collection featured pompom feather dresses, rhinestone knickers and cardigans with heart and
Although this gives the impression of their shows being suffused with feminine fripperies and glitter (which is true), there is much more to the brand than just showing off. The looks are theatrical but well made: the Spring/Summer collection featured laser-cut fabrics and miniature ballerinas stitched onto the skirts of the models, so that when the models twirled so did the ballerinas on their outfits. Combining technical skill with the ability to wow a crowd, Meadham Kirchhoff is one brand that won’t be staying a secret for long. Alice Johnston
Deputy: Lizzy Bullock deputyfashion@ epigram.org.uk
Editor: Francesca Clayton fashion@ epigram.org.uk
fashion gets floral for Spring/Summer 2012
Beauty The best kept beauty secrets Super shiny hair The trick to fabulously glossy locks is remarkably simple: after rinsing out your shampoo, turn the shower cold for a quick blast. The cold water seals the follicles and smoothes the hair, resulting in instantly sleeker locks. Try VO5 Gloss Me Smoothly Shampoo for just £3.49.
Long lasting mascara Increase the life-expectancy of your mascara by avoiding pumping the brush in the tube, as this dries it out. Instead, swirl the brush – this is much more effective at coating it too. Maybelline’s new Falsies Flared Mascara (£5.99 at Superdrug) has an innovative spoon-flare brush designed to create the false lash effect without all the tricky gluing and effort.
Fast-drying nail varnish
Photographer: Zoe Nash Styling: Francesca Clayton Hair & Makeup: Rosalind Russell Model: Arabella Langley
Apparently it takes 24 hours for nail varnish to be fully set - but who has time to sit still for that long? A handy trick is to give your nails a blast under the cold water tap when they seem dry, to help to seal them. To be extra certain your manicure won’t be accidentally ruined, apply a quick-dry topcoat, like Andrea Fulerton Quick Dry Oil, £4.99.
Clothes provided by Motel. motelrocks.com 0117 934 9173 24 Park Street, Bristol DIY unique lipstick
Shoes and floral tee (right), stylist’s own. Jewellery, model’s own.
If you’re bored of your current lipsticks, simply melt together the remaining stubs in a little pot using the microwave, and voilà: your very own one-of-a-kind lipstick. If you don’t trust your DIY skills, Kate Moss has launched the Lasting Finish Lipstick for Rimmel (£5.49), specially designed to reflect light for an irresistible pout.
Editor: Verity Stockdale travel@ epigram.org.uk
The rain-battered ‘Royal Trail’ in northern Sweden In the hundred years since Sweden marked out the Kungsleden (the ‘Royal Trail’), it’s unlikely that there have been many autumns as rain-battered as that of September 2011. For all the unspoilt beauty found along the isolated 430km trail, it can certainly be an inclement place. Nonetheless, by winding through vast, mountainous expanses of northern Lapland, the Kungsleden is Western Europe’s last remaining wilderness, giving hardy and resolute youngsters the chance of a truly remote adventure. With an unparalleled draw like this on the doorstep of the UK, 11 members of the University of Bristol Expedition Society (UBES) took up the challenge of walking the entirety of the trail in 24 days. The time came to depart and in late August, after riding in sleeper carriages on an overnight train from Stockholm to Abisko, we were at the trail head. The first few days of walking took us past skeletons of old Lavvu (shelters that resemble tipis, once used by native Sámi) littering the banks of azure lakes. By arriving in autumn, we avoided the hiker’s worst adversaries - brutal plagues of mosquitoes. Instead, flurries of milky butterflies fluttered through the birch forests. Beyond the Tjäktja pass - the highest point of the Kungsleden - we took a day off from walking the main trail to climb Kebnekaise, Sweden’s highest mountain at 2106m. Towering above the local massif, with clouds occasionally parting to
afford us snippets of panoramic views, the slopes felt like the perfectly untamed place to sound barbaric yawps across the rooftops of Scandinavia (to paraphrase Walt Whitman).
we were greeted by blanch sunlight that illuminated gorges where the land lay in the lakes as a sparse, patchy mosaic. It was as if the skin of the Earth had been stretched too thinly this far north.
coated in pelts and carrying a somewhat daunting array of hand crafted knives drove up to greet us, but the finer details of our friendly exchange were lost in translation.
Meanwhile, back on the trail, the wildlife pattered around us in abundance. Reindeer may provide the livelihood for locals at seasonal culls, but herds are mainly left to roam freely across the mountains and are only deterred from their daily business by the ungainly sight of sodden hikers. Lemmings riddle every pore of the land and scuttle around under the trail’s duckboards, cheeping away. At Kaitumjaure, we spotted Elk visiting a watering spot at dawn, though the mighty beasts were mere specks down the valley. Elusive wolverine skirted warily around our camping spots, leaving prints in the mud of the trail, while equally coy Eurasian bears left piles of more odious evidence to show that they shared the wilderness with us.
Weather-wise, our luck improved as we moved nearer to Vuonatjviken, through a 150km stretch with no manned huts en route to get supplies. The trees bed down for winter early in the Arctic Circle, and we came off the mountains to views of foliage already rusting into great swathes of autumnal shades. We also encountered the Sámi who herd reams of migrating
Although we stormed on at a smart pace, after 300km of walking and three weeks of wild camping, attrition led to brittle limbs full of aches. Despite provisions being available at several huts on the trail, after weeks of instant mash and soya mince, we were only halfjoking when comparing the nutritional variety of our diets to that of Elizabethan-era sailors. Reaching Ammarnäs after 350km was a major milestone, significantly boosting group morale before we saw out the trail in fine, crisp conditions. On the penultimate night wild camping, a trickle of the Northern Lights emerged, and a little while later we sat in awe as the lights blossomed into a billowing skyline of pallid green ribbons.
We continued walking - keeping to our average of 20km per day - and crossed harrowing, fog-drenched plains to reach the fringes of Sarek national park. Its gateway is the Rapa delta, a stunning network of pulpy marshland, which lay under a miserable blanket of rainclouds. With much strife, we rowed across the mouth of Rapa as a gale shook the valley, and as we approached the old silver mining village of Kvikkjokk,
‘We were only halfjoking when comparing the nutritional variety of our diets to that of Elizabethan-era sailors.’ reindeer using quad bikes and helicopters these days. The herders usually stay at the fringes of the Kungsleden, but this section was so rarely hiked (especially in September) that we were fortunate enough to encounter their beautifully co-ordinated work funnelling the animals across the valleys. A sharp-eyed, haggard old herder
Braving the Kungsleden
On our 24th day of walking (right on schedule, may I add), we marched into Hemavan with bandaged feet and blue skies above us, finally finishing the trail. Taking on the entirety of the Kungsleden may be an unforgiving task, but the wild solitude it provides is cathartic. Passing through unconstrained plains alongside unchecked wildlife, with occasional auroras streaming overhead, is a rapturous gift for even the most fatigued of hikers. We want to thank the Knowlson Trust (along with the Alumni Foundation) for their kind support given to six members of our expedition. Dylan Williams
A Balinese secret
The town buzzes; a thriving market selling everything from silver arm-cuffs shaped like snakes to dishes made of shells - is situated in the heart of the city at the top of a road which leads all the way down to Monkey Forest. Given my irrational, inexplicable, uncontainable fear of all primate-type creatures (they are just too humanlike, aren’t they?), I persuaded my friends that we should wander in the other direction and see what secrets Ubud was hiding. Walking along a bustling road, crammed with shops selling modern art, ornate sculptures and colourful sarongs, with the aroma of strong black coffee filling the hot, sticky air, we took a footpath running along a large wall, enticed by the colourful works of art mounted upon the stone. As the path wove its way behind the wall it opened up into a paddy field, bordered by small cottages. Intrigued, we continued, expecting to find
another typical, busy street. To the contrary, the view opened up and we were met with miles of paddy fields; green with flashes of muddy brown where the rice was flooded
Away from the hedonistic atmosphere of Kuta lies the real gem in Bali’s crown. Ubud, unlike the majority of the other popular destinations on this Indonesian island, is nestled away from the sea, meaning that the crowd that it attracts is perhaps less interested in sun, surf and partying, and more interested in the cultural delights on offer.
with water, men pushing ploughs as the water splashed all over their clothes, and women with conical, woven hats shielding their necks from the blistering sun as they arched their backs whilst pounding the ground with their scythes. Continuing, a small warung became visible in the distance, situated in the middle of the fields. Named Bodag Maliah, meaning overflowing basket, this organic farm allows you to pick your own vegetables, which can then be turned into fruit juices or salads.
Photo of the fortnight
This, having eaten at a street café exclusively serving suckling pig for numerous days, was a welcome detox. The building was made of bamboo, with stilts propelling it up above the paddy fields. No walls obstructed the views and hanging red, yellow and orange canopies shielded us from the scorching sun. The low-lying seating, made of woven reeds, was adorned with purple pillows. It was the perfect place to while away the hours. We returned each day, craving the delicious drinks - personal favourites included Pink Treat, a rather bizarre combination of pineapple, apple, mango, mint, beet, sweet potato, lemon and honey, and Trimus, a broccoli, celery, orange and rosella tea concoction. On our final evening in Ubud, trying to absorb all the fresh air of the city before returning to the craziness of Kuta, we returned for the last time, arriving just as the sun began to set. The bright white sun burst through the dark grey clouds, and was reflected, along with the gigantic palm trees, in the water-soaked paddy fields. It was a gorgeous site and one that you would expect to find on a desert island, far away from civilisation; not behind one wall in the middle of this bustling Indonesian town. Emma Brown
‘Sun, sea & strength’
“ The idea that French women are the best dressed in the world is an outrageous feckin’ lie.”
“Oh my God, French women are so chic. They’re, like, the most stylish people in the whole world. Oh my God…’ Wait, what’s that I can hear? I think those might be the tolling bells of inaccuracy! The idea that French women are the best dressed in the world is a myth. Actually, ‘myth’ is giving them too much credit, so I’m going to settle on something a little more suitable; the idea that French women are the best dressed in the world is an outrageous feckin’ lie. There’s no doubt that on at least one occasion you have heard somebody express this (for some reason) universally accepted opinion. That person probably thinks it is also appropriate to use the most pretentious and offensive of all adjectives in this context - chic. However, I promise you now that this notion is a lie. A LIE. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the majority of French people dress like they were vomited out of the early 1990s after it ate a really bad oyster. I find it greatly upsetting that upon typing ‘French women’ into Bing, two of the search suggestions that appear are ‘French women style’ and ‘French women chic’. I would like to have talked about the actual search results, but I was too dang angry to read on any further. What Bing should really suggest is ‘French women what the hell is that that you’re wearing where did you even get that I didn’t know Tammy Girl was still open for business oh and sweet scrunchie btw’. Back to my point. The French aren’t exactly helping themselves, Morgan being one of the most prominent shops in Toulouse’s city centre where I was living. I, perhaps foolishly, believed that the last items from Morgan that I would ever see were the glittery bags that those less dapperly dressed used to have at school. Why shouldn’t it be surprising that it is popular with the French? Because they are in fact not all as suave as we thought they were. I mean, Morgan is filled with polyester, lace and broken dreams… a bit like France itself. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all cruel criticism because French women do do one thing spectacularly well - they’re hot. They are hot, intimidating and aloof - a combination that sits just on the right side of dominatrix - while appearing totally impervious to weight gain. When I think about it, I didn’t really see any fat people at all during my time in France, which is unexpected because their diet seems to consist mainly of pain and vin. There is clearly some national secret that they guard from their fat neighbours across the channel, and I want to know it. However, people who claim French style to be superior to any other are not to be trusted. They should put on their beige cardigan, pick up their navy Longchamp bag and get the hell out.
Kate Toner Foreign Correspondent - France
Rosanna West: La Guajira, Colombia
A woman is at work, selling her handicrafts up and down the virtually untouched beaches. She sat next to me, refusing to hear the words ‘no, gracias’, until I bought one after the other of her beautifully hand-woven bracelets. That woman’s Wayuu strength, along with the sky-blue sea, is what makes this photograph special.
Editor: Verity Stockdale travel@ epigram.org.uk
Paris, oh Paris…known by many as the City of Love, the City of Light and increasingly, the city of expense. It’s the most visited city in the world, with 15.2m foreign tourists gracing its streets every year. However, with the Euro exchange rate still at a painfully low level, many young Brits are frequently being put off visiting. This needn’t be the case though. In this article I hope to show you a secret side of Paris that you never knew existed; one where, actually, it can be remarkably cheap. The first thing many people do in the French capital is the pilgrimage to the Eiffel Tower, bien sûr; but, believe it or not, it has an often-neglected secret - the steps. Look for the shorter queue for the stairs, show your student card and you can climb one of the world’s most iconic landmarks for less than £3. Not only are you saving quite a few quid, you’re also going to be taking in the views all the way up and you’re not squashed into a lift like a tinned sardine – that’s got to be a bonus. After your foray up the Eiffel
Tower, if it’s a nice day, passing the time and eating a baguette on the lawns at its base is a great way to soak up the atmosphere. Alternatively, you can pick up sticks of bread and walk opposite the tower to the Place de Trocadéro and get yourself a trademark shot of you and the tower. This is also a great place to buy souvenirs; don’t bother with any official gift shops – buy your touristy tat off the street vendors and you’ll often get a bargain. Barter like crazy (they expect it!) and you’ll be
walking off with all you want - and more - for a lot less than you’d think.
and you’ll get to the Latin Quarter, the cultural hub of the city and, for lovers, arguably the most romantic area. However, if penny-pinching is more important, you’ll find some bargains at the restaurants here – steak and a crêpe for 9€? I’ll take that! After filling up your stomach here, cross the river to Notre Dame and explore the cathedral – again, it’s free and a spectacular sight.
For me, what makes tourism exciting is discovering the secret places in a city. One such place in Paris is the Museum of the Arab World (L’Institute du Monde Arabe). It’s free to enter and not only does it have some fascinating exhibitions, but, surprisingly, it’s one of the best places to snap a stunning Parisian panorama. Walk along the Seine for a little while longer
Paris is a place where you can’t get bored; there’s something for everyone. You can party ‘til dawn in areas such as Le Marais and Pigalle (complete with copious amounts of sex shops, strip clubs and the Moulin Rouge, if that floats your boat), feel like you’re in an idyllic village in the quiet streets of Montmartre, feel all cultured and artsy in the dozens of art galleries (the Louvre is free on Friday nights for students) or shop ‘til you drop around the Centre Pompidou. However, it really doesn’t need to break the bank. Bon voyage and, if you’ve never been before, I challenge you not to love Paris - c’est magnifique. Alex Bradbrook
The world’s... jazziest lavatories Living in luxury generally equates to expensive shoes, expensive bags, expensive clothes, expensive....toilets? It sounds a little crazy, but these 5 rather luxurious toilets prove that they deserve a category of their own. The most expensive toilet in the world is, quite actually, ‘out of this world’. It’s the Russian international space station toilet, worth a whopping $19m! The toilet, which was sent to NASA in November 2008, comes with leg braces to position astronauts and has a threestep filtration process which converts all waste-water to pure drinking water. Given that sending water to space is a very expensive undertaking, NASA, therefore, seem to be actually ‘saving’ money thanks to this jazzy, multimillion pound water closet. Next in line is the Hang Fung Gold Toilet owned by a famous jewellery company in Hong Kong. Gold has long been regarded as a luxurious symbol of wealth. The Hang Fung Gold Technology Group features a ‘Hall of Gold’ in their showroom, showcasing handcrafted, gleaming, golden
A secret, cheaper Paris
Pas cher, chérie
‘The toilet is said to be decorated like a grotto for those who fancy a bit of artistic relief – ahem.’ products including a golden telephone - adding some bllling-bllling to your brrrring-brrrring. However, the show-stealer in the showroom is the 24-carat gold toilet worth nearly $6 million! Golden jewellery is evidently so passé. Following these is the Moon River Art Park toilet in
Shanghai. Though there are numerous toilets in the park, this one is so famous amongst the public that people wait for hours in queues just to catch a glimpse of it; and for a good reason. After all, anybody would be curious to know on what exactly $ 750,000 was spent. Built in a man-made cave, the toilet is said to be decorated like a grotto with stalactite-like water faucets, for those who fancy a bit of artistic relief – ahem. At number 4 is the medieval-themed “Dagobert” wooden toilet throne. Inspired by the 8th century French ruler, Dogobert, this commode is made entirely from solid ash and is exclusively hand-painted with Moustier polychrome designs, which supposedly justify its cost of $14,123. The musical chime, ‘Le Bon Roi Dagobert’, starts playing when the lid is raised, truly making the experience of using this toilet a royal one. It also includes both a candle-holder and an ashtray which is pretty handy for those rare few of us who, it would appear, like 8th century monarchs, like to smoke while they go about their business. The last in the list is the Toto Neorest 600 at a market price of nearly $6,000. It’s sleek design, motiondetecting sensors, smart chips to check cholesterol levels and for illnesses, hands-free opening lid, targeted spray-wash and warm air dryer are just a few of its exceptional features. Travelling is all about experiencing different cultures; perhaps it is time to consider a tour of the mighty toilets of this world. Anvi Midrul