Page 1

Relationships Issue, no.180, November 2020

photography by: Sahina Sherchan front cover by: Shafia Motaleb


Throughout lockdown, we’ve all had an abundance of time to evaluate what is most important to us. For many of us, that is each other. Which is why, we’ve chosen ‘relationships’ as the theme for this issue. This theme encompasses relationships in myriad forms, from the relationships we have with ourselves to the perhaps unrealistic relationships we develop with fictional characters. Despite not being able to physically print Quench this year, our newfound online presence has meant we have more space than ever before for new content. A benefit of this is that we are now able to incorporate our new section ‘Spotlight’ into our magazine issues. Their first article on pages 73-74 is entitled Relationship Lessons and is beautifully written by Laura Dazon and Kate Waldock who give a personal account of their relationships and what they’ve taken away from them. Within the pages of issue 180, the influence that the changing of the seasons shines through. At this time of year, moving on from the past is reflected in both the leaves falling outside our windows and our descent into the new academic year. Moving past months tainted by isolation, we hold onto the hope that new beginnings bring.

Our new Columnists both consider their ties to those from their hometown who helped to form who they are today. Isabel Brewster writes about moving on after a love that had lasted a quarter of her life on pages 17-18, whilst Craig Strachan’s talks about navigating those difficult conversations with old friends who have picked up problematic ideas about the world during your time apart on pages 19-20. On pages 9-10 our Features team turn to the wellness realm, contemplating the rise of manifestation and what this reflects about our current reality. For the escapism of a light-hearted rant, turn to pages 63-64 to read about our Food Section Editor Indigo’s feelings towards her arch nemesis: the pumpkin-spiced latte. As the season changes, so does our team. We’re sadly saying goodbye to Rebecca Astill, Natalie Graham and Mike O’Brien this Autumn. However, we’re also welcoming a few new members: Caitlin Parr, Shaniece O’Keefe, Rowan Davies, Craig Strachan and Isabel Brewster. As well as an old friend, Emily Jade Ricalton. Furthermore, as always, a big thank you to the team. We’re so proud of how everyone is blossoming and this issue is really a reflection of the beautiful relationships we’ve begun to develop with one another.

Editor-in-Chief and Deputy Editor


Meet The Team Editor-in-Chief: Jasmine Snow

Second Deputy Editor: Josh Ong

Deputy Editor: Elly Savva

Columnist: Craig Strachan and Isabel Brewster

Features: Caitlin Parr, Indi Scott Whitehouse and Rebecca HurrenMyers

Culture: Amy King, Megan Evans and Sarah Griffiths

Music: Alex Payne and Daisy Gaunt

Film & TV: Borte Tsogbadrah, Pui Kuah Cheah and Fin Stockting


Literature: Nicole Rees Williams, Ona Ojo and Neus Forner

Fashion: Henry Bell and Rachel Citron Download: Lewis Empson and Marcus Yeatman-Crouch

Clebar: Dafydd Wyn Orritt and Sian Jones

Travel: Katherine Mallet and Alice Clifford

Food: Indigo Jones, Hannah Penwright and Sarah Nugara

Spotlight: Laura Dazon and Kate Waldock

Social Media Team: Maja Metera, Manon Jones and Ebony Clent

Copy Editors: Sarah Belger and Rowan Davies


H EN QUENC C N E U Q N N G I G I S S N E G I D S H E D C H EN C H N C E N U E Q U Q N G N SI G I S N E G I D S E H D C H EN H C C N N E E U U Q Q N G N I G S I N S G E I D S E H D C N H C E C N N E E U U Q Q N G N I G S I N S G E I D S E H D C N H E C C N N E E U U Q Q N Head of Design: Madeline Howell

Deputy Head of Design: May Collins

Photographer: Sahina Sherchan

Illustrator: Shafia Motaleb

Illustrator: Amelia Field

Illustrator: Sian Hopkins

Illustrator: Prity Chatterjee

Illustrator: Shubhangi Dua



E H D C H N C E N U E Q U Q U Q N G I N S G I E S D E H D E H D C H N C E N E QU U Q U Q N G I N S G I E S D E D H E H D C H N C E N E QU U Q Q N G N I G S I E S D E D D CH H H C C N N E E U U Q Q Q N G N I G S I E S D E D D CH NCH H C N E E U QU Page Designer: Alessio Grain

Page Designer: Priyansha Kamdar

Page Designer: Kacey Keane

Page Designer: Sandra Mbula Nzioki

Page Designer: Polly Denny

Page Designer: Anna Kerslake

Page Designer: Sebastian Jose

Events Manager: Shaniece O’Keefe

Page Designer: Ersila Bushi



09-10. The Dawn of Manifestation 11-12. Stop Looking Down on Non-Stem Subjects 13-14. The Death of the Highstreet


15-16 We’re Loving...


17-18. A Quarter of My Life 19-20. Problematic Pals

culture 7

21-22. Third Culture Kids 23-24. Photography Project 25-26. Keith Haring & The LGBTQ+

film & TV

27-28. The Softboy on Screen 29-30. Love Knows No Borders 31-32. Disney Live Action Remakes


33-34. The Relationship Between a Musician and their Producer 35-36. Rap Collectives 37-38. The Man who Sold the World: Lou Reed and Iggy Pop


39-40. Famous Love Letters 41-42. LBTQ+ Relationships 43-44. Fictional Characters that Ruined Our Dating Expectations



45-46. An Exploration into Dating Simulators 47-48. The End of an Era: A History of the Last Console Generation 49-50. The Perfect (Love) Life... In The Sims


51-52. Student Fashion Profile 53-54. Fashionable Male Instagram Icons 55-56. Softboy Fashion


57-58. Leaving Loved Ones Behind 59-60. Travelling With a Partner


61-62. Quench Food Festival 63-64. The Pumpkin Spice Life 65-66. Unusual Relationships Between Foods 67-68. Winter Warmers


69-70. Small Town Meddylfryd Tref Fach 71-72. Protest yw Pride, nid Parti


73-74. Our Biggest Relationship Lessons 75-56. Playlist of the Issue



THE DAWN OF MANiFESTATiON Over lockdown, I think it’s safe to say that most people went a bit stir-crazy. We all started picking up random hobbies we had never previously shown any interest in or would have dreamt of doing in our previous day-to-day lives. From relentless baking and family hikes, to zoom quizzes and painting. Bored out of my mind, what did I take up? Tarot cards and manifestation. Some of you may be wondering, what actually is manifestation and does it work? Is ‘WitchTok’ to blame for the popularisation of manifestation amongst Gen Z? Can anyone actually practice it?

words by: Phoebe Bowers design by: May Collins

What is the Difference Between Manifestation and the ‘Law of Attraction’? ‘What’ manifestation actually is, is quite simple. ‘Manifestation’ is making something intangible, tangible. It is the belief that through positive concentration you can attract something you want that does not already exist. You are manifesting the physicality of whatever it is you want. Whereas, the ‘Law of Attraction’ is attracting something towards you in the world that already exists. If anything, manifestation seems to be harder work - and perhaps more closely aligned with ‘wishful thinking.’ But it seems that manifesting £1,000,000 physically in cash is not how manifestation works. It is not some form of telekinetic superpower. Manifestation

is instead about creating a certain circumstance or environment for yourself. It’s about making your goals more achievable through positive thinking. What is the History of Manifestation? The origins of the art of manifestation and the ‘Law of Attraction’ are not concrete, but for the most part it is agreed that they originate from ancient Eastern philosophies. Manifestation pops up in Buddhist thinking, Christianity, and Hinduism. Over the turn of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, manifestation again seems to weave itself into our literature. Without getting too entangled in the philosophy of our metaphysical reality, figures such as Michael Dummett and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel in the modern era spearheaded arguments for manifestation in a Westernised sense, under the umbrella of anti-realist philosophy. In short, these figures doubted the independence of our perceptions from concrete objects or physical entities, meaning that our thoughts and our material reality are very much interconnected. Hence, our supposed ability to ‘manifest.’


Why the Sudden Urge of Interest - is it Tik Tok? For sure, TikTok has certainly popularised manifestation, particularly with the ‘WitchTok’ sub-category of the app, where young adults appear to be lighting candles, purchasing crystals, practicing tarot spreads, or even manifesting a ‘femboy’

features or Timothée Chalamet himself. TikTok has definitely played a part. However, I can’t help but feel that manifestation becoming a ‘new trend’ is a reflection of the psyche of our generation. I think we desire control. We are a generation of young adults birthed into a world that is literally on fire in parts and drowning in others, and it wasn’t our doing. In the UK at least, we are a generation of young adults witnessing the aftermath of a referendum we didn’t even get to vote in, yet we will be the ones living in the said aftermath. Better yet, we are now living in a pandemic which some scientists have linked to the effects of deforestation and overpopulation. Now, we are being blamed for spreading the virus further. I think our new dependence on having to manifest is a way of trying to feel or gain some form of control. This does not mean that I am discouraging this new desire to manifest. If manifestation can help people feel more confident in going out into the real world and changing it, by all means please do. How Do You Practice It? When practicing manifestation it seems that your intent must be pure. You should first and foremost focus on whatever it is that you want, but also assess why you want whatever it is for yourself. Once you have assessed your desires, from then on it is just a case of creating a positive mindset and environment for yourself. Get rid of any negative thoughts - mindfulness may be a good way to achieve this. If you feel that you don’t have the support you need to accomplish your goal, make sure that the people you are surrounded by in your day-to-day life do not have a negative impact on you. Once you are of clear mind, you can then begin to fully visualize your desired end result. Some people even go all the way and tap into their senses; they think about the tactile reality about what it is they want - remember manifestation is about your thoughts being interconnected to the material world. Once you have tried to manifest something, don’t keep thinking about it. From then on it is only a matter of time.


Money words by: Amy Louise Growing up atheist, I started looking into spiritualism after being gifted Tarot Cards, and stumbled upon the concept of manifesting through social media, particularly falling down the TikTok rabbit-hole. I’ve found that, whether you do or do not believe in the power of the universe, or in a higher-self, even just saying positive phrases out loud such as “I am Happy”, or “I am Beautiful”, can have a huge impact on your self-worth. For people looking for more materialistic results, I recently started a money-specific manifestation mantra, and I’ve found that since saying “I spend money wisely”, my bank account has been looking a little less stressed. While subscribing to the idea that there is a karmic force guiding you down the right path in life can be comforting, you don’t have to whole-heartedly believe to benefit from manifesting every once in a while. I think Relationships words by: Meg Evans I can happily say that I’ve had a huge turnaround in terms of what my idealisations were of being in a fully-fledged relationship. I tried so hard to find solace within myself so that I could enter a relationship without the fears I had already endured within my previous efforts. Once I started to feel good within myself and my own achievements, the initial build of a new budding relationship wasn’t as daunting as I had first thought. It was, in fact, very enjoyable. One day I decided ‘I need to love myself first’, which gave extremely positive results. It gave me an opportunity to reinvest my time better, so another person could love exactly what I never saw in the first place. This change has impacted me so much more than I could ever have thought. The fact that people around me have picked up on my positivity, shows that it has worked wonders. Travel words by: Annabelle Ingram Only recently did I begin to properly explore manifestation. One of the first things I focused on was traveling to Australia; this is something that I have been dreaming about since Year 6. When reflecting on this, I realised that I had subconsciously been manifesting this for the past 7 years – before I even knew that manifestation and the law of attraction existed! I had concentrated my energy on visiting Australia for such a long time that I began to bring myself closer to actually getting there. When looking for universities I was consciously choosing options that offered international study abroad and had partner universities in Australia. Now that I am at Cardiff I have been nominated to go to the University of Sydney to complete my second semester of second year there! It may be dependent on current circumstances (namely a global pandemic), but regardless, I wholeheartedly believe that one day soon I will be living out one of my biggest dreams and manifestations!



It's 2020: Stop Slating Non-Stem Subjects The STEM versus Humanities war is as old as time. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, and Humanities cover anything which refers to some form of human culture from law, religion or art. It’s not often I bite back to annoying tweets, so when I say I replied to one a couple of days ago, I can assure you it was particularly annoying. The tweet suggested that the UK was in crisis because considerably more people took the Media Studies A-Level this year than French. I bit back, arguing that I took both and have used the skills I gained from my Media A-Level every day, but my French about twice. I have since received a first-class degree in Journalism, Media and English Literature, to which many of my friends’ favourite joke is that I’m ‘unemployable’ because I did a ‘fake degree’. Ha ha. Good humour. Do their courses teach them to analyse the world around them? Can they pick up on fake news and governmental influence? I’m sure some of them do, but I’m also sure most don’t. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way skating over the importance of numerical fluency or scientific knowledge, which are also two invaluable skills. All I’m saying is that we live in a world where every individual sector contributes to make the world flow as it does. Without the creativity of arts students there would be no entertainment. Without the pragmatism of science students there would be no progress and without the logic of law students, we would live in an uncivilised society. Yesterday I heard that all postgraduate teaching bursaries have been wiped by our government for Arts, English and Humanities subjects, without consultation. Recently, the government’s ‘Fatima’ campaign, which encourages artists and performers to retrain emerged on social media and faced intense backlash. The captain was ‘Fatima’s next job should be in cyber (she just doesn’t know it yet)’ and to ‘Rethink. Reskill. Reboot.’ The ads were promptly scrapped after severe backlash and ironic memes made in response, but the principle will remain in the minds of those affected – that their job in the arts industry is not good enough for our government. If lockdown has taught us anything, it’s surely the human need for the entertainment industry, the majority of which is run by English Literature, Film, Media and


Music students. Behind everyone’s favourite Netflix show is a multiplicity of people who studied non-STEM subjects. Every science buff’s favourite comedy is the Big Bang Theory. I hate to stereotype, but this one is true. I’m afraid, STEM studiers, that you would not have this questionably unfunny show without the creatives behind the scenes, who went to the same institutions as you in order to gain knowledge in their chosen areas, to produce the shows you enjoy. We live in a society obsessed with change. Maybe the problem is that the arts hark back to a simplicity of the past and tradition. Studying the arts doesn’t guarantee you a sure-fire career path. It is risky. Those who study Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths have more chance of entering the job market and earning more. If you study law, you’re likely to become a lawyer. If you study English, everyone assumes you want to be a teacher. What else could you possibly want to do? Teaching seems to be tarnished with the same brush as humanities subjects. ‘If you can’t, teach.’ If you’re academically challenged, study the arts. This link between the arts and lack of academic attainment is dangerous and damaging. Was Picasso not clever? Mozart? Kahlo? Hemingway? Curie? According to The Conversation, playing an instrument has been proven to boost creativity, spatial-temporal ability, IQ scores, reading and language. Plus – it just makes a lot of people happy, which is something that should always be encouraged. So, where do we go from here? We need to advocate and champion a well-rounded education system which values the arts on a parallel with STEM subjects. The recent announcements from the government concerning the little funding for the arts during coronavirus is disheartening and shows clearly where their priorities lie. If people are passionate about their studies and careers in arts, encourage and support them. The notion that studying humanities is pointless feeds into a capitalist view that everyone should be fed straight into contributing to the economy in an office job or the like. Leave people be, you do you and don’t hate on something you don’t understand. PSA: humanities are bloody hard.


words by: Rebecca Astill art by: Canva design by: Maja Metera


words by: Rhianna Hurren-Myers & Rebecca Astill design by: Alessio Philip Grain


The “death of the high-street” has long been discussed as the inevitable result of the ease of online shopping. In interviews with three of Cardiff’s best independent shops, Quench Features unpacks the true implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on our shops, and the unaffordable costs associated with losing six months worth of business.


A vintage and reworked clothing company 31 Royal Arcade, Cardiff CF10 1AE Interview with: Paige Hughes, Manager of the Cardiff store

A sustainability-focused plant and retail shop, and vegetarian cafe 213 City Rd, Cardiff CF24 3JD Interview with: Stephen Peckham, Owner

How did you cope with reopening the shop following national lockdown, and what changes have you made to ensure your staff and customers are as safe as possible? It was surprisingly easier to cope with than I thought it was going to be. I personally thought that we would get no customers in whatsoever, but it was, if anything, busier than we were beforehand which was nice. We didn’t have to make too many changes, but we are following government guidelines. We have added a one-way system to the store, and tape to separate the distance of two metres. We’ve got hand sanitiser for our staff and our customers, our staff have masks and gloves, and we’ve got more cleaning products as well. Have you changed any of your marketing methods, and how is Sobeys coping with more people shopping online during the pandemic? We have been posting a little bit more on socials just to let people know that we are still here. Online shopping hasn’t been hugely affected. As we’re vintage fashion, people really want to see what they’re buying in person. So in that sense we still get a lot of people coming into the store to see what we have to offer. Our Depop is now up and running again, so that’s quite helpful! [@ sobeysvintage] Do you think the high street still has a place in today’s world? I do, yeah. I don’t think anything can really compare to physically going shopping. It is definitely convenient to shop online, but it is just not as fun as going into a store and having a little look around in person.

How did you cope with reopening the shop following national lockdown, and what changes have you made to ensure your staff and customers are as safe as possible? My lockdown experience was actually three months of refurbishing the whole shop, trying to create a community hub for when people could leave their house again. It was quite scary launching at this time and not really knowing whether it was going to be worth it, but we’ve been busy every week which is amazing. We’re sticking to the rules, so indoors we only allow people from the same household. We’re wearing masks inside, unless you’re sat down eating or having a drink. Sanitiser is also around the space, and we do track and trace. We’ve just started to open in the evenings, so for students in a shared household you can come here for some drinks or to buy plants up until 8 o’clock, Thursday to Saturday. How are you coping with marketing during the pandemic? Do you have any form of online shop? My Instagram following was already pretty good after two years, but then with COVID-19 I think things just seemed to be under a microscope. Just the fact that I was doing something seemed to garner a lot more followers, and really helped to market the business to people who would benefit from it. We don’t have an online shop, because I think the beauty is going out and seeing the plants and having someone guide you through how to look after them as well. I also think in terms of sustainability and carbon footprint, it goes against our ethos if we start putting loads of cardboard and plastic into the environment.


photograph by: Alessio Philip Grain

Do you think the high street still has a place in today’s world? Yes, but it’s a tough one. I can see why you would shop online rather than go out to purchase, especially in this climate where people are less inclined to go out to public spaces because of their own safety concerns. I think what we’ve seen in Cardiff is that there has been a real push to support independents, and a lot of independents have done better during the crisis which is really fascinating. I think people have realised that those are the spaces that we want to keep alive because they prevent the city from being homogeneous, or just like any other city in the UK or Europe. So I think it’s going to be tough for everyone, but hopefully with this surge of support for independents we can survive.

A small group of cafe/kitchens across the city 1 Central Square, CF10 1FS; Eastern Business Park, St. Mellons, CF3 5EA Interview with: Tim Corrigan, Owner How did you cope with reopening the shop following national lockdown? Have you made any further changes now that Cardiff has moved into local lockdown? Coping with reopening was more about putting the people that we see on a daily basis at ease. People’s confidence had been shattered - they’d been stuck in their houses and homes for months on end. It wasn’t necessarily about us and the business, as we’ve been

looked after by the government and we were okay. It was about showing our customers that they could sit and relax and have a cup of coffee and some food in a safe environment. Collectively, we need to do what’s right and that involves keeping away from each other, washing our hands, sanitising surfaces and one-way systems. It comes down to confidence in our industry, so that people can use us and other independents and feel safe. How are you coping with people shopping or ordering online during the pandemic - do you have any form of online shop? We chose not to use Deliveroo, Uber Eats or even open during the pandemic because I just didn’t want to put my staff at risk. Some businesses did really well out of it, but for others it was a lot of pressure on top of dealing with COVID. Although, we have just signed up for Indie Eats and we now deliver within a mile of the city centre. Do you think the high street still has a place in today’s world? I do, I just feel that the hospitality sector is struggling. I feel that customers have become quite numb to bad business, which ultimately doesn’t really allow for smaller, stronger independent businesses to grow. That’s the problem - on most high streets now, the shops are boarded up. But why are they boarded up? For me, our high street is not particularly interesting. Cardiff has some amazing arcades; I think at the moment that’s what holds Cardiff up really. It’s really easy to point the blame at landlords and councils and people like that, but we could do so many more interesting things with our high streets.



words by: Jasmine Snow and Elly Savva design by: Jasmine Snow

Elly and I are back again with another instalment of our What We’re Loving series. This year has been tough to say the very least, but there have been small things which have made everything a little easier. In this article we’re going to chat a little bit about the small moments that have brightened our day and lockdown in the hopes that it brings you a little comfort too.


What We’re Loving The Changing of the Seasons: I know this may sound cheesy and cliche, but the seasons have been a godsend to me. Normally, I’m so busy that days just pass me by and then I realise “Hey, I missed bonfire night last night”. However, in lockdown with little to do but work, I’ve been living for the little things - I think we all have. I’m not hugging trees or documenting different leaves yet, but I am carving out space in my schedule to simply appreciate the passing of time. On Bonfire Night - a night I normally pay very little attention to - my housemates and I baked an array of treats before making hot chocolate, wrapping up warm and going outside to catch our neighbours firework display (thank you neighbours). It was one of the loveliest nights I’ve ever had and it’s very unlikely it ever would have happened without COVID-19. Making Fun at Home: Another gift our girl Rona has given us is our creativity back. Yes, we still have our abundance of technology to keep us company, but there are only so many TikTok videos you can watch before you start going stir crazy. We’ve had to make our own fun again, kind of like we did when we were kids before we had phones, or Netflix and our mums would tell us to “use our imagination”. One day in lockdown, my roommate Henry had just about had it with his monotonous daily routine and he begged us to let him organise a murder mystery night. We begrudgingly agreed, not being the theatrical types but to give him credit, it was so much fun. The murder mystery game itself was very simple, we got it for free from BBC Good Food. Even so, just putting on an outfit, assuming a different persona and eating food together lifted us out of our funk. Sometimes you need to yank yourself out of your comfort zone so if you don’t have a Henry of your own, do it for yourself. Work that Side Hustle: On the subject of creativity, it has been a joy to see my friends and family start their own businesses in their newfound free time. I’ve always wanted to sell my art, but the prospect of production, packaging and marketing always overwhelmed me. You need a logo, header, products, mock-ups and attractive graphics to establish a good brand. On top of that, you have to have confidence. Setting up a business means that you believe your service, or product etc is good enough for people to buy and that realisation always ended up in me throwing away the idea. However, through seeing my friends and family have the courage to put themselves and their work out there, I finally did it. I created an Etsy shop, called Snowdrop Designs @snowdropdesign and I’ve loved every minute I’ve spent working on it. It’s not even open yet and it’s already slowly becoming one of my favourite things in life.


My Favourite Log: When lockdowns stop you from running back to the comfort of family hugs and childhood bedrooms, it’s easy to feel disconnected from the feeling of ‘home’. To counteract this, I’ve been making regular outings to a particular log in Bute Park. Each time I arrive back there, I breathe a sigh of relief knowing that for at least a few moments I can hide from the realities of life. In between visits, there have been seismic changes in the world. The Presidential election saw the end of Trump’s reign over America, and the announcement of an effective vaccine for covid was made. Both events marked drastic changes in our human futures. Meanwhile, nothing much changes at this spot in the park, aside from the gradual flow of the changing seasons. It’s an unremarkable place – just a fallen tree off the main path that’s surrounded by a few inquisitive squirrels and the oaky smell of wet leaves. For the moment, it’s my quiet place I can return to that has become the closest equivalent to the comfort of my mum’s arms. Personality Quizzes: I’ve been hooked on all kinds of online tests about your inner self. Whether it’s attachment styles, what your love language is, or the Myers-Briggs 16 personality test (anybody else an ISFP?), you name it and I have probably wasted my time doing it. If you’re not the type of person who’s whittled endless hours away finding out which meal deal you would be according to BuzzFeed, you might not see the appeal. But, it’s worth it alone for the dopamine hit you get when your result flashes up on the screen. After what often feels like a personal attack, impulse drives you to send your answers to friends and family and demand that they do it right away so you can compare. I guess you could say that it gives you the reassurance of a suggested logic for understanding yourself, others and your relationship patterns. Alternatively, you could admit that it’s just a really rewarding way to waste your time. Sweater Vests: Whilst you might have previously associated the sweater vest with your grandpa or your history teacher, 2020 has decided that the knitwear item is no longer a reserve for the over-50s. In theory, it should be completely unsexy, but somehow in practice, it’s the opposite. If you don’t believe me, please take a look at Harry Styles’ sheep vest and try to argue otherwise. It shouldn’t work, but it does. It’s safe to say that the item has been fiercely reclaimed as a style favourite of the season, as it has snuck its way into the wardrobes of many. Jasmine and I are no exceptions to this, as we’ve both fallen victim to this trend. A few weeks ago, houndstooth-patterned vests made their way into both of our online shopping baskets. Perfect for layering and a great pair with chunky boots, they’ve become a comfortable favourite of Autumn fashion that we can definitely get behind.




words by: Isabel Brewster design by: May Collins

I wondered where I would put the love I had for him - whether it would sit in my stomach By the time I was 20, I had forever, heavy with the weight spent 5 years in a relationship. of the loss I felt. I wondered We had gotten together a how we would navigate our month after I turned 15, in the shared friendships, and summer of 2014, after meeting whether his parents, who had at school and becoming friends. supported and encouraged me We stayed together throughout for so many years, would still our GCSE’s, A-Level’s, an Art have time for me. But perhaps Foundation, and my first year most crucially, I wondered who of university. We broke up a I was without him. month before I turned 20. I didn’t feel that I knew myself I had a distinct feeling of - we shared hobbies, interests, apprehension just before I left friends, holidays. What was my hometown in Somerset mine and what was his? for university. I perhaps knew We had grown up together, that the physical distance celebrated Christmases and would highlight the differences birthdays, had favourite books between us, and force me to and favourite films. Our break reexamine how much space in up became a way for my my life my relationship took up. interest in the world outside of I didn’t feel ready to let go of my hometown, and the world my old life, and, potentially, my outside of my relationship, to relationship in the process. grow. I began to envision what I wanted my future to look like. We broke up at the end of first I thought of what I wanted for year, when we could no longer myself, over what I wanted for move forward in our lives him, and us. together. We were on different paths now, and wanted I fantasised about a lifestyle different things. It became too filled with travelling, of teaching much of a burden, required too English in France and Japan, much of a sacrifice, and we of writing in Barcelona. The needed to focus on ourselves people I would meet, the as individuals rather than as a relationships I would have, couple. the friendships I would make. I wanted to be a journalist, a


translator, a teacher. I invested time into myself like I had never before - I read, I drew, I watched films and went on holidays. I visited family and spent more time with my friends. There were moments where it still felt painful, where the nostalgia caught in my throat, making my chest tight. But I held onto the lessons I had learnt from him, and from the time we had spent together. Our relationship taught me the meaning of home, of comfort and security. He was kind, funny and smart. He was gentle and patient. I could think of a hundred adjectives to describe him, but when it came to myself, I felt lost. The person I was throughout our relationship feels like a shadow of the person I am now. She is with me still, but detached from me, a soft presence who reminds me to be grateful for the times I have had and excited for the times to come. Relationships can be difficult to reflect on, because it requires us to look deeper into ourselves than we may feel comfortable with. But there’s power to be found in rediscovering who you are, and who you want to be.

column ?



? ?



? ?



? ?


? ?

? ?

? ?





? ?


? ?



? ?




‘I could think of a hundred adjectives to describe him, but when it came to myself, I felt lost.’

? ? 18


Problematic Pals H

igh school and sixth form friendships; they string together the visceral, formative experiences that we often like to hold close to our hearts to remind us of our adolescence. It’s always the case that these times are littered with anecdotes that we all swear could’ve come straight out of The Inbetweeners or Skins. It must’ve been something about the formal setting of it all. The full-time education combined with the brutal immaturity of our teenage years. A partnership that just had an amazing knack for turning out pure gold when it came to stories. For many of us, it won’t matter how many VK-fuelled Wednesday nights at the SU we have, it can’t compare to the utter carnage of our after-proms when we were 16 or 18. If you’ve known these friends for a long time too, some almost two decades, it becomes even funnier still. I remember seeing somebody who used to get his PE teacher to do his tie for him, getting carried around on a strangers’ shoulders in a pub garden somewhere during the 2018 World Cup. That’s another thing.

For me, and I do not doubt many others, the summer of 2018 is the pinnacle of nostalgia for our pre-university lives. I finished my A-levels on my 18th birthday and that night initiated what was to be an immaculate summer before university. And as the years start going past, I got into a habit of seeing those times through an increasingly clouded lens.

This lens that we now put on those summers, and more importantly our friends at the time, can often set ourselves up for a fall. In the words of Echo and the Bunnymen, “nothing lasts forever”. You and your friends will go your separate ways and to your different universities. But now I’m in the third year of university, and as others will tell you, this doesn’t mean the end for those friendships. Every student falls into the same pattern: term time is for university but then in the holidays you parade back to your old home, your old local, and of course, your old friends. You then proceed to sit around like old men chatting rubbish about “the good old days”, sounding about 80 to the 18-year-


olds knocking about who you “swear are like 12”. However, once you’ve done this for a few years, seeing old friends this way on and off, a divide between you will often emerge. The further away we inevitably get from that last day of A-levels, the wider that split becomes between you as people. You might have been very similar people in sixth form, with similar interests and ideals, but after all, you have to remember it’s no longer 2017, it’s 2020, and the last three years have bred an intensely divisive and sometimes ugly atmosphere politically.

This atmosphere can often split us down the middle, and even pit old friends against each other whilst they’re sat down over a pint. Many of us will try and cling on to those old friendships, chasing them like a four-year old who has lost a balloon. This isn’t a bad thing and many of you will be able to pass off these debates as insignificant and continue on reminiscing. However, what can happen is a line can get crossed where your old friend might say something problematic or downright offensive. This is where it gets awkward. This is where we might start wondering if chasing after that balloon is the right thing to do. I have had pretty brutal conversations with friends about issues such as the Climate Emergency, the Black Lives Matter Movement, and of course everyone’s favourite angry uncle, Brexit. I think for some of us, the coronavirus pandemic might have extended this rift further. So, hopefully this article can help you or other people navigate how awful those conversations can be and show you my mistakes, so you don’t have to make them.

Firstly, when you go into an awkward conversation about any loaded topic, know what you hope to achieve from it. This can vary a huge amount from person to person because only you know how far these people have crossed the line. If it has reached a grotesque level, you may want to cut ties immediately. But in the majority of cases, people will say problematic things without even knowing or understanding that they are. Therefore, you’ve got to go in hoping to help them understand or change their minds. To do this, hostility has to be kept to a minimum, and this can be hard. I know it is very easy to get heated and start going full

column Jeremy Kyle on the whole situation, especially after a couple of Jäger bombs. Keep your cool and your point stays intact. If you lose it they just won’t listen, no matter how right you are (trust me I’ve been there). Secondly, know the clichés and the taglines. I think we all know the ones. Those snappy little phrases you see typed up in full capitals all over Twitter or shared on Facebook by elderly relatives. Most conversations of this type will include some of these phrases. When you hear them, break them down. This can be as simple as taking your friend to one side, putting a pint of lager in their hands, preventing escalation, and just appealing to them personally. More likely or not you will know that person, you’ll know their families and their background. Appeal to those, don’t just shun them.

Lastly, let them know that it’s okay to be wrong. This is difficult as human beings, since being wrong is seen as not only embarrassing but also as a sign of weakness. It’s your job to change that. Often you’ll have to make the first step, apologise if you got ratty or if you startedgetting personal in the wrong way. Usually, if you don’t get too awkward in it all, they’ll understand your meaning. Hopefully, that means you get to tether the balloon. words by: Craig Strachan design by: Madeline Howell



By now I’m able to perfectly recite my answer to the inevitable question of ‘Where are you from?’. I’m English, born in Watford, and raised anywhere but. By the time I started university I had lived in my home country, Germany, Cyprus, Colombia and South Africa. My experience in each place was incredibly different and equally definitive for who I am today. I’ve got a British passport, I support England in sports and I grew up with distinctly ‘English’ mannerisms. But these have inevitably been diluted and adapted to the varied cultures I have lived in. Even though I claim this home identity, when I arrived back in the UK in 2018, I quickly felt like a pretender as flatmates, new friends and even extended family members made my own experience of my ‘original’ culture seem like a tourist’s rose-tinted view. There are some clear benefits to growing up abroad. I learnt two new languages, experienced daily life in vastly different cultures and got to travel to places I never could have if I had just stayed in one place. 15 years of living outside my home country gave me a multi-faceted view of the world and allowed me to forge strong connections with friends from so many different backgrounds, some of them similarly considered ‘third culture kids’ whose friendship groups span multiple countries. Living abroad means foreign culture will shape part of your identity and when you embrace it in each country you live in it’s hard to consider any one place ‘home’. As a third culture kid, I don’t really subscribe to one specific culture or set of traditions. I have adopted different customs from the countries I have lived in and each experience contributes to a kind of global identity. This is probably the main benefit of being considered a third culture kid, as each new place I go allows me to start with a clean slate, ready to absorb fresh ideas and mix them with what I already have. With globalisation, this form of adaptation to new cultures is something that I believe we’ll all develop naturally, as it has become so much easier to encounter different cultures. Nonetheless, living abroad definitely accelerated this mindset and by the time I arrived in South Africa I was finding it easy to take in the new landscape and add it to what I had learned from everywhere else I lived.


Naturally, there are negatives. When I finally settled back in the UK in 2018, I realised when speaking with new friends that I knew about as much of my home culture as I did of Colombia’s, or Cyprus’. Abroad, I was always ‘the English boy’. In an international school setting where nationalities were the most distinguishing trait in a person,

Third Cult that meant something. At ‘home’ in the UK, I received the same quizzing on my hometown, accent and travels. Questions I had become used to but hadn’t expected in my home country. In a group of British people, I still often feel foreign because it can be difficult to relate to their childhood experiences. I’m not as in-tune with British culture and the daily goings-on as I’d like to be. I found myself relating more to foreign students, as I realised that I can understand their stories of coming to the UK and delving into a new culture. On the whole, I can’t say that being considered a third culture kid is a bad thing. I enjoy having knowledge and experience with so many different cultures. Living abroad has given me friends across the world and I’m able to feel at home in a multitude of foreign environments. I’m thankful I had such experiences early in my life. I’ll never not have a convoluted answer to ‘where are you from?’, but it’s a conversation starter and I’m getting used to being an ‘outsider’. words by: Marcus Yeatman-Crouch artwork by: Shubhangi Dua


ture Kids I can confidently say that I am a third culture kid and I think it’s important for me to break down what exactly that means for me. To me, being a third culture kid means that I have grown up surrounded by a plethora of cultures, whether that be from moving countries, studying in international schools or even just being exposed to many different types of people. I don’t think that this definition is set in stone by any means because I feel like the whole point of being a third culture kid is to be open to this idea changing due to the multiple experiences that are yet to come. Our connection to the world usually stems from our connection with others and I will be exploring my experience as a third culture kid through a social lens. I feel like a third culture kid’s social life is a fascination that should be explored because most third culture kids end up creating friendships that consider distance as a variable from the very beginning even though the two people involved might initially be in the same place. I grew up in Qatar, but I am not originally from there. I spent my whole life in international schools, exposed to many other students of the same expatriate status as me, which meant that we weren’t ever sure whether Qatar is where we would settle. Qatar’s summers would get really lonely because all of the international students went home, but this also meant that distance never really bothered me because I had to face it in some way every year. Another element to a third culture kid’s social life that may seem surprising it that it can be really lonely

depending on the context. I am originally Palestinian but hold a Jordanian citizenship and as every expat does, I visit Jordan every summer to get to spend time with my extended family. Since I never went to school in Jordan or spent more than two months there in any given year, I never had the opportunity to make friends. This varies depending on a person’s situation - I’m fortunate enough to have cousins that are my age that could change that - but it’s important to understand that it’s something that can be the root cause of loneliness; this usually comes through in places where your purpose may not feel so clear. I’ve moved to the UK recently to study in Cardiff University as my main purpose, so fitting in and trying to find my social footing just comes naturally because I’ve experienced similar situations due to my upbringing. Moreover, after some time feeling lost will render into a profound understanding of your own third culture and all the attachments that come along with it. As a third culture kid it pains me to feel like I have to categorise us all in this article, but this is just a personal commentary and opinion. Whether it be willingly or not, a third culture kid must be more open minded than the average kid. The main reason for this is that we are constantly exposed to new cultures that we don’t know a lot about out. The biggest misconception about being open minded is thinking that you have to change what you believe in, but I think that being open minded means you’re willing to accept differences and even learn from them. words by: Lafan Hasan design by: Sebastian Jose


culture sad


photography by: Sarah Anne Griffiths (@sarahandtheblog) / design by: Sebastian Jose (

culture The city of Cardiff is a melting pot of diversity perfectly mixed together by the people that live here. This photography project came about from a desire to make the engraved cultural diversity of Wales’ capital known, to showcase the everyday rhythms of life that people from various backgrounds live out. These photographs show the hubs and hotspots of our little city from Cardiff City Centre, to Cathays and Roath - specifically the renowned City Road. All of these places have their charm, beauty and mess, all of which continually draw people from around the world to experience Cardiff’s beauty both seen and unseen.



In an upcoming charity auction, the Keith Haring Foundation is set to auction nearly 140 artworks from the late Keith Haring’s private collection, by cultural dignitaries such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein to raise money for ‘the Center’, an LGBTQ+ community organisation in New York’s West Village. Keith Haring was a popular street artist and activist who was a very prominent character in New York’s 1980s art scene, with it not being very long before his instantly recognisable pop style art became famous worldwide. He had a vision to make powerful art accessible to everyone, and took his advocacy for gay rights, the ending of Apartheid, awareness of the New York 80s crack epidemic, and awareness of HIV and AIDS (to name a few) to the streets and subways of New York City. Following his passing due to HIV related complications, The Keith Haring Foundation has released the artist’s personal art collection to be auctioned off for charity. It is predicted that these sales could raise almost 1 million dollars for New York LGBTQ+ nonprofit charity Center. Haring’s career was unfortunately very short-lived, as he died from AIDS aged 31 in 1990, following his huge success as a graffiti artist in the 80s. The auction commemorates the 30th anniversary of his death. Each year more than 400 groups visit the Center to meet new people, make connections and find support alongside other members of the LGBTQ+ community and their families. Open every single day, the Center provides a constantly welcoming environment to ensure members of the community are supported, comfortable and celebrated for who they are all year round.


Keith Haring and The Keith Haring Foundation The Keith Haring Foundation seeks to “sustain, expand, and protect the legacy of Keith Haring, his art, and his ideals”. The Foundation has been established to support two areas: one to support other non-profit organisations that work in education, prevention and care related to HIV and AIDS; and the other to provide grants to organisations that work with underprivileged children and young people.

HIV and AIDS is one of the most serious public health challenges in the world, and has taken the lives of 33 million people worldwide since the beginning of the HIV and AIDS epidemic. With the WHO estimating that 38 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2019, raising awareness of the virus and its catastrophic effects is still as important as ever. Due to its prevalence within

the LGBTQ+ and African regions, a historical stigma surrounding the HIV virus and AIDS still prevails today - which is extremely disappointing for 2020. Haring would often donate his art to charitable causes and paint murals for multiple hospitals and orphanages to attract donations and attention to the institutions and their work. Before his death, Haring also chose the Foundation to protect not only his legacy as an artist and advocate, but also maintain his personal art collection. By auctioning the pieces now, the Foundation will be fulfilling this wish by

culture using the donations to provide further financial support to their chosen organisations. Lasting Relationship with the LGBTQ+ Community In an interview with The New York Times journalist Glennda Testone, the Executive Director of the Center, reflected on how “Keith Haring fostered hope and resilience during difficult times,” and also told of how he painted his 1989 mural, Once Upon a Time, on our walls to “celebrate sexual liberation and envision a world without AIDS, in direct opposition to the fear and stigma that fueled that pandemic.” The cultural impact of art can change perceptions and assist in de-stigmatising things like HIV and AIDS, and thanks to this fundraiser, The Keith Haring Foundation will be using art to continue this legacy by helping to fund the liberation and support of the community at the LGBTQ+ Community Center. Haring’s iconography at the time made New York take notice of the surging epidemic, and discuss his illness through his line drawings that often personified the virus and emotions

surrounding a diagnosis.

identity. His work also mirrored his own struggle with HIV and acceptance. This led to him transforming his artwork into specifically HIV awareness and safe sex campaigns that would be seen by the whole city. As Keith Haring once said “art is nothing if you don’t reach every segment of the people ‘’, and he strongly believed that art was for everybody, regardless of their sexuality, sexual identity, HIV status or community. These infamous designs became extremely prominent in pop culture and fashion, as mixing his advocacy with commercialism was a perfect way to burst into mainstream film and media at the time. As a new celebrity and icon, Haring became friends with the likes of Andy Warhol and even Madonna, with the ‘Queen of Pop’ donating all proceeds from the opening night of her 1990 Blonde Ambitions tour to a charity of the Foundations choice following Keith Haring’s death. The money raised from the auction will undoubtedly change the lives of many young people and LGBTQ+ communities forever and continues the phenomenally impactful legacy that Keith Haring has left behind. Whilst his work has shown many street artists and members of marginalised communities that mainstream success can be achieved, Haring has also paved the way for artists who wish to mix activism, advocacy, politics and creativity in one, without having their success hindered. Without his courageous moves in a time of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, advocacy for gay rights, safe sex and inclusivity may never have been so bold or prominent. Homophobia and prejudice could not prevail as much as some intended it to when figures such as Haring used this fuel to fill the City with colour and art that successfully campaigned for the exact opposite. words by: Caitlin Parr design by: May Collins

Haring decorated New York with messages of acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community, safe sex and inclusivity, whilst embracing his iconic bold style to make even bolder moves towards freedom of sexuality and sexual


film & tv

THE SOFTBOY ON SCREEN Softboy (n) - A less masculine boy who is

Victorian Woman! The 24-year-old star of films such

described as ‘cute’ based on their soft or gentle

as Call Me by Your Name and Little Women really is


the ultimate softboy. He portrays gentle, sometimes effeminate characters who seem genuinely in love.

Gone are the days when Zac Efron and Ryan Gosling were the teen heartthrobs that we craved.

Chalamet is not the only softboy on screen. The

Muscles and a tough guy attitude no longer hold

softboy scene is varied and growing ever more

the appeal that they once did, now we seem to be

popular. Asa Butterfield’s Otis in Sex Education

looking for a more emotionally intelligent man. The

brings a more awkward softboy into the limelight,

posters on our walls depict men with flowing locks

whereas Paul Mescal’s Connell in Normal People

who aren’t afraid to show their emotions.

seems to portray a softboy in the making. The softboy possibilities are endless.

Leading the softboy revolution in recent years is none other than Harry Styles. His evolution from

However, is the softboy stereotype breaking down

f*ckboy to softboy is the kind of development that

toxic masculinity as it claims to do? Do Timotée

we love to see. Honestly, we’d love Harry Styles

Chalamet and co. really dismantle negative male

no matter what, but his new androgynous look and

stereotypes, or do they just come off as pretentious

caring demeanour has made him the celebrity face

and patronising? The softboy is arguably the new

of softboy culture and inspired other young men to

f*ckboy, so the tropes share some of the same

own their emotions and vulnerabilities.


However, when it comes to cinema’s top softboys,

character does seem to portray a sense of entitlement

there’s one name that springs to mind - Timothée

to Jo’s love. The term ‘emotional intelligence’ could

Chalamet. Many of us are unable to resist his curly

easily be misinterpreted as perceived emotional

locks, dreamy looks and heart-warming character






portrayals. On top of all that, he speaks French.


Don’t mind us while we faint onto the sofa like a

The popularity of the softboy begs the question:

film & tv are men playing up to these newly popular characteristics just to get the girl? If this is the case, then softboys aren’t so different from f*ckboys at all. There is a falseness to their vulnerability, as a means to an end, so can this really be classed as vulnerability? Does dressing in a more feminine style and growing out your hair mean that you don’t subscribe to traditionally toxic masculine views? I don’t think so.

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. Nobody could argue that Otis in Sex Education is putting on an awkward act in order to seduce Maeve. We all know such a pure character wouldn’t have it in him. Then we have Connell in Normal People, who honestly seems so confused about who he is and what he wants that he wouldn’t have the capacity to be so calculating.

A true softboy should be emotionally intelligent, caring and have an androgynous dress sense that makes us weak at the knees. Who wouldn’t want that? But next time you spot a potential softboy, be careful, he might just be a f*ckboy in disguise.

words by: Summer Griffin design by: Amelia Field


film & tv


Blind Date / Un Peu, Beaucoup, Aveuglément (France)

Dilwale Dhulania Le Jaenge (India)

Blind Date isn’t your usual romcom. Upon moving into a Parisian apartment, a woman discovers she can hear every move her neighbour makes, through their adjoining wall. The man next door is not happy to have a neighbour and does everything in his power to drive her out, but this woman isn’t like his past neighbours. She won’t be gotten rid of easily.

Bollywood has always been known for its dramatic story lines. One film, which has not only won the hearts of millions but was also shown in Mumbai for almost twenty-five years, is Dilwale Dhulania Le Jaenge. An iconic film full of sunflowers, love and ukuleles, the movie laid the foundation for every onscreen love story which followed.

The story that follows is unexpected, refreshing and very funny: from a sound war to blind dates, this film takes us through all the stages of a very unusual, blossoming romance. The relationship between the film’s lead characters develops through the wall of their apartments, without them seeing each other face to face, giving the film the heart-warming moral that love really is blind. Backed up by hilarious side characters and unorthodox direction, this sometimes slapstick, romantic comedy sets itself apart from everyday Hollywood romcoms, but don’t let its slapstick nature fool you.

The story begins with rich and spoiled boy Raj, who bluffs a supermarket owner to grab some drinks and sets off on a trip to Europe. On the other hand, obedient girl Simran, who loves her family, dearly convinces her father to send her on a trip to Europe with her friends. That’s where the story kicks off, and the two meet on a train and instantly have a spark. They fall in love while travelling around Europe, and upon returning to India, Simran tells her father about Raj, and they set up a meeting. When Raj visits Simran, he instantly identifies her father as the owner of the supermarket he had bluffed. Simran’s father disapproves of Raj as he has a tainted character. Raj promises to prove his worthiness of Simran’s love. This marks the onset of the second half of the movie, where he tries to impress Simran’s family.

Director Clovis Cornillac creates rich backstories for his unnamed main characters, earning it the Best First Film award at the 2015 Cabourg Film Festival. You’ll grow to love Who’s it and What’s it, as they affectionately call each other, through learning about the struggles they have each faced. As the characters connect with each other through the wall that separates them, the chemistry is clear, so get ready to feel all the feels. Bitter arguments become wholesome heart-to-hearts, and hate turns to love. You’ll be rooting for them to break down the wall in no time. words by: Summer Griffin

Gradually things turn in favour of Raj, and the end showcases the most iconic scene where Raj boards the train and Simran’s father isn’t ready to leave her hand. Simran wails, begging her father to let her go, and the train starts moving. Simran’s father lets her hand go, and she runs to board the train with Raj. This movie is unlike any Hollywood movie as it has plenty of drama, a peppy soundtrack and a beautifully directed and produced plot. The movie gives a glimpse into Indian Culture and Bollywood Cinema! words by: Muskan Arora


film & tv

A Moment in the Reeds (Finland)

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (India)

Two men - a student coming home from studying abroad, and an immigrant looking for some cash, in a cottage by a Finnish lake. Days filled with hard work and secrecy.

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, starring the most attractive and most loved combination of all time, Deepika Padukone and Ranbeer Kapoor, enticed the watchers and left the audience captivated.

Leevi and Tareq seem to have nothing in common - either in the way they look, work and show love. It gives out a lot of Brokeback Mountain vibes. In the same way it observes men in the “wild” engaging in physical labour who do not know how to be together despite a tone of sexual tension between them.

The protagonist, Naina Talwar (Padukone), and Kabir Thapar famously referred to as ‘Bunny’ (Kapoor) meet on a trekking trip to Manali in Himachal Pradesh in India.

Is it a romantic comedy? Well, technically no. Watching this piece is a very frustrating experience. First and foremost, it is unpredictable - unlike most Hollywood productions that tend to follow a certain scheme. At almost two hours long, it makes the audience wait for what seems to be forever for the characters to resolve the built up tension - just so they can start accumulating it again. It makes you sad and angry at them both, as well as the world that refuses to become a home to everyone without division. However, at the same time, I could not stop laughing at the clumsiness and awkwardness which made both men so relatable. Someone might think that since Finland is a very progressive country, Leevi would not have any problems with coming out. Well, the truth is that in every culture conservative, harmful points of view are introduced to young people. Thus, this film shows that we all are on our way to find personalised versions of freedom and that no matter where you are from - you can struggle with internalised homophobia. It’s parents’ duty to make their kids feel loved. A Moment in the Reeds is a calm and intimate film with aesthetically pleasing shots which will fulfil your desire for an emotional rollercoaster.

Naina is a simple girl pursuing a medical degree, while Bunny is an ambitious young man who wants to travel the world and experience as many adventures as he can. Naina and Bunny are polar opposites in personality and yet gel well together. The two have known each other since school but got close during the the trek years later, where Naina fell in love with him but did not express it because she wanted to settle down and be a doctor. She was selfless in her decision to not express her true feelings. Their romance is rekindled years later after reuniting at their mutual best friend’s big fat Indian wedding. One of my favourite scenes is when Naina and Bunny climb the mountain at dawn, where Kabir finally confides his ambitions, dreams and desires. He says, “Main udna chahta hun, daudna chahta hun, girna bhi chahta hun, Bas rukna nahi chahta.” It translates to, “I want to fly, I want to run, I want to fall too, but I never want to stop.” This shows that he never wants to stop chasing his dreams. If you like beautiful sceneries and locations, along with some fun filled moments with your buddies and quirky, witty but meaningful dialogues, believe me, this is the movie for you. This movie has truly inspired me for the last seven years and I’ll never get tired of watching it over and over again. words by: Shubhangi Dua

words by: Maja Metera


film & tv

Disney and Live-Ac Remakes: A Match

One of Disney’s most recent ventures is churning out live-action remakes of their original animated films. As a business decision it’s fairly easy to see why, nostalgia sells and seeing everyone’s favourite childhood cartoons brought to life with state-of-the-art technology is a winning formula that has brought millions to Disney; ensuring that they’re going to keep making more in the future. With that being said, most of these films, whilst they’re not completely terrible, feel more like the quick cash grabs Disney obviously intended them to be, lacking the heart or passion of the original versions. It feels like Disney made these films on a conveyor belt, checking off the memorable songs and fights they needed to recreate while also attempting to fix problematic elements of the originals to appeal to a mass audience. While there are undoubtedly some offensive elements of old Disney films, the remakes feel so safe and sterilised, that they feel outright soulless. This can be seen throughout all their main characters: they’re more or less all the same template. A diverse range of expressive characters are now bland, sassy, wide-eyed dreamers, held down by their cranky old authority figures, who don’t share the same visions. They’re also all geniuses now, who never feel negative emotions. The best example of this is Mulan. The original Mulan was awkward, clumsy but also determined


and loyal. The original movie gave ample time to show her insecurities but also resolved these with the song “Reflection” and cutting her hair to symbolise that she couldn’t turn back from the army; both scenes are cut from the new version. Instead Mulan has superpowers from birth and her only struggle is to learn to show them off. The relatable underdog story is completely gone and all we’re left with is an emotionless kung fu robot. Belle and Mowgli likewise go from quiet, bookworm and curious, naïve child to expert inventors, who can make washing machines and weed whackers much to the chagrin of their simple-minded society around them that doesn’t appreciate their talents. By trying too hard to make these characters empowering, Disney actually just removes their relatability. As a result, the message of these films seems less about ordinary people, achieving happiness/greatness through hard work and perseverance and is instead replaced with the idea that some people are just born prodigies and thus flawless. This is a very superficial idea of empowerment. Making the characters stronger or more defiant doesn’t mean much if they’re more two dimensional than the cartoons they’re based on. The same problem extends to side characters. Comic reliefs in the animated features, like the Sultan in Aladdin or Mushu (who has been changed to a phoenix),

film & tv

ction Made In... were changed into more serious supporting cast and yet they’re so dull, I can barely remember them compared to the gags of the originals. The villains are likewise weak. Two of Disney’s most memorable villains, Scar and Jafar, not only lose their charisma in an attempt to be less cartoony but also both of their villain songs. This is detrimental since we’re not only missing out on fantastic numbers, but the character’s song is usually where they throw all their emotions on to the screen. Now, they just feel half-baked and not helped by weak acting performances. Allegedly Scar’s ‘Be Prepared’ song was cut because the dark shadows cast upon the walls, with the army of hyenas below marching in perfect formation as Scar looms over them has been compared to Nazi propaganda films like Triumph of the Will many times over the years. This comparison should not be disregarded, however, Disney are still missing the crucial point that they do not need to completely erase history. They should reflect upon their past mistakes, create better storylines and give Scar a song which demonstrates his evil in a way which benefits the story and the audience watching. Even when they attempt to add new things to seem more ‘woke’, it’s still often misguided. Disney really emphasised that the Beauty and The Beast character Le Fou (whose name translates to ‘the idiot’ or ‘the insane’) was now gay. This resulted in two seconds of him dancing with another guy before the film ended, not to mention the fact that they are still perpetuating the idea that homosexuality isn’t normal by giving

this storyline to ‘the insane’ character. I also love that they created a brand-new song in Aladdin for Jasmine about how she “won’t be silenced”, only for her to get captured right after, not the best advocation for female empowerment I’ve ever seen. I’m not disagreeing with Disney’s attempts to make a positive change, it’s more like with every decision made to update these classics, I can almost hear the marketing department in the background altering the story based on what they’ve been told is good PR. These remakes aren’t made because someone wanted to retell these stories, instead it’s because Disney knows they’re easy money with little concept since the originals were greatly loved by many to begin with.

words by: Alex Daud Briggs design by: Alessio Philip Grain 32


The Relationship Between a Musician and their Producer

If you have chosen to read this article, it is pretty obvious to assume you have an interest in music: finding new tracks, artists and songs that fit perfectly into that playlist you have been updating every month since you were fifteen. I bet you, like me, listen to music every single day. Your playlist is the soundtrack to your entire life, and the songs you played at specific points in your life are enough to transport you back to moments from yesteryear. Despite such huge portions of our lives revolving around music, we hardly ever scratch the surface of what actually goes into making the tracks we all know and love. We all have artists that we cling to, yet we don’t often acknowledge that without legions of workers, that artist and their music would cease to exist. It is incredibly rare for a musician to go rogue and do it alone. The pandemic has given rise to ‘bedroom-pop’ artists writing, pro33

ducing and releasing music entirely of their own accord (see Nina Nesbitt’s comedic Instagram series). Yet, as we slowly begin to regain normality, musicians return to a reliance on their teams, without whom they wouldn’t be able to achieve their success. The artist, for examples sake, is like the idea. It has an outline and potential to be something beautiful. Yet it lacks resources; it needs various tools to bring it to fruition. An artist is just the surface of what goes into actually making a record. Behind every artist is a producer, creative directors, managers, entire record labels that go into creating a singular hit. The relationships between an artist and their team have the potential to be really beautiful, creative love affairs. Yet the power dynamics at play can often go sour when creative visions are in opposition. A musical marriage at harmony, as rare as it is, is often the backbone of a successful artist.

music The nurturing of musicians in the midst of their fame is imperative and at the crux of their journey as a creative. Knowledge of this is what lead London-based Jamie Oborne to create ‘Dirty Hit’ in 2009. At the top of his agenda was ‘a more inclusive music business’ dedicated to artist support. This controversially unorthodox approach is perhaps what has led Oborne to dominate the UK indie-music scene, with artists like the 1975, Wolf Alice, Pale Waves, The Japanese House and Rina Sawayama under his belt. His dedication to supporting his musicians is evident; after developing an opiate addiction in 2017, Matty Healy, of the 1975, checked himself into a rehab facility in Barbados with the full support of his label. Healy has now made it a year without anything harder than weed and is back to creating music and nurturing the musical acceleration of his proteges, No Rome and Beabadoobee. Another match made in musical heaven was that of Amy Winehouse and Salaam Remi. Remi worked with Nas, Estelle, Fergie and Miguel to name a few; some of the biggest names of the early noughties. Amy and Remi first connected when she was an innocent young girl from Southgate, North London, just dipping her toe into the music industry. After working on her debut album ‘Frank’ (2003), they became firm friends and musical accomplices. Remi did for Winehouse what all producers should do for their artists: nurture their talent and hone their creativity, giving them room to flourish. Alas, it can be tricky to find the happy medium between artist guidance and the artist becoming purely a puppet. This can easily occur when already well-established producers work with lesser-known musicians; they are almost guaranteed their track will reach the charts, but it will not necessarily be their own work. For example, watch any festival performance with Mark Ronson in it, and you’ll see him - not the performing artist - dominate the coverage. Fame is a funny thing. Most people, given their chance, would do anything to attain it, or even sell themselves short. Often, fame-hungry, starry-eyed teenagers who are lucky enough to have the talent to get them noticed can be

picked up and exploited by the music industry. Their vulnerability and innocent zest for life are used by companies put in place to nurture them. More often than not, they are left damaged. Yes, they have amassed great fortune for themselves and their producers and achieved worldwide success and notoriety, but often for more trouble than it was worth. Everyone remembers the summer of 2009 when you couldn’t turn on the radio, go into a shop or turn on any music channel without Kesha’s ‘Tik Tok’ blasting out of every orifice imaginable. Despite not having heard it in a good eight years, I can still sing every line without fail - that’s how often I heard that song. For all intents and purposes, Kesha made it. She was producing hit after hit after hit. This continued for a good few years- her albums ‘Animal’ (2010) and ‘Warrior’ (2012) were both issued in very quick succession, with multiple world tours, television appearances, festivals and award ceremonies. Kesha, who was only eighteen- younger than the majority of this article’s readership- literally did not stop for years. It is hardly surprising then, after her chaotic initiation into adulthood, that she went into a hiatus. It came to light in 2014 that her producer Dr Luke “sexually, physically, verbally and emotionally abused her to the point where she nearly lost her life,” according to Rolling Stone. Dr Luke executively produced both of Kesha’s albums and her multiple singles. Kesha spoke of how he repeatedly told her to lose weight, calling her “the refrigerator”, which contributed to her admission into an eating disorder facility in 2013. Thankfully, she was able to gain enough courage to speak out against her abuser and file a lawsuit in October 2014. The stories of Kesha and so many others are a testament to how the relationships between artists and their teams can be toxic, money-driven and hit-mechanisms. So much so that it can be forgotten that the artist is actually a human being. Yet, it is evident that when an artist is nurtured and their producers see them as equal, it can be a relationship of true beauty. words by: Daisy Gaunt design by: May Collins



Over the 2010’s we have witnessed the resurrection of the rap collective, from A$AP Mob, Black Hippy, BROCKHAMPTON, Odd Future to Raider Klan and many others. Whether this resurgence is continuing or paralleling the seminal and influential hip-hop collectives of the 90s (such as Wu-Tang Clan, N.W.A., Native Tongues) is to be debated; paradoxically I believe it’s both. What makes these modern collectives unique is that they seem to be used as a springboard for more successful and abundant solo rap careers. However, ultimately what unifies the old and the new is the means of collective resistance against uncertain political and anthropic landscapes. First of all, the appeal of the rap collective should be acknowledged. Ironically, the fan appeal of the rap collective is often to do with the multiple individual personalities within said collective. The contrasting lyricism, styles and flows of each individual member creates conversation amongst fans; fans therefore debate over their ‘fan favourite’ and a ‘cult of personality’ forms around each member. In a sense each member becomes a caricature, with individuated monikers. Crucially, the modern rap collective appears to thrive in the technological environment of the modern day, as fans now have easy access to a new drop or project. Social media seems to be the perfect incubator for these collectives, the group having their own platform as well as each member. An example of a group who utilised a heavy social media/ online presence in order to trampoline into the mainstream is Odd Future. Creating their own merch, the iconic doughnut logo, quirky and outlandish clothing, and their own meta


music hashtags on their posts such as #OFWGKTA #GOLFWANG, the collective has really made their own mark. The infamous group even had their own television series for Adult Swim under the name ‘Loiter Squad.’ I suppose the collective gives fans the opportunity to witness more of the rappers’ playful personalities via watching member-member interaction. Odd Future, in terms of being a collective of the modern variety, additionally seems to be somewhat of a phenomenon in terms of the booming success of each member’s solo career, having birthed the likes of Tyler, the Creator, Frank Ocean, Earl Sweatshirt, Hodgy Beats and Syd, of The Internet fame. Strategically, the modern collective grants each solo artist a higher chance of survival within the industry. Melissa Pandika and Rob Carpenter for OZY commenting: ‘It’s half-mentorship, halfprotection in a savage market full of oversized egos.’ The ‘half-protection’ in the form of cult followings of various group dynamics and relationships. With OF, the friendship between Tyler and Frank Ocean is hugely followed, with several archive accounts on Instagram dedicated to these two as well as fan art. Tyler and Frank have not just benefitted from each other in terms of following either - the two members of OF have been deeply involved with each other’s solo careers. The artists have had several musical collaborations with each other; Tyler’s deep, gravely, and angry sound being the perfect antithesis sonically to Frank’s soothing and emotional vocals - especially on the fan favourite track ‘She.’ These beneficiary relations also occur outside the group and with different collectives. Tyler, the Creator and A$AP Rocky (from A$AP Mob) being another iconic pair on social media as well as the recording studio. The modern rap or hip-hop collective today may separate itself from the traditional collective as the group is used as a precursor for an abundant solo career, and we expect the group to branch away from each other. However, in many ways the modern collective continues the legacy of groups from the past. Hip-hop has always largely

centralised around community, vocalising local concerns and making them global. According to Lesley Faracho, an academic who has written extensively about Hip-hop culture, “The hiphop golden era of the 90s was a ‘musical space [which] provided a voice for a collective reality not addressed on a mainstream and political level’”. The act of forming these rap collectives in the 90s was a sign of unity, the explicit lyricism surrounding social concerns of black communities being essential and a real turning point. In this sense the influential precedent of what rap collectives of the 90s set, cannot be matched. For example, N.W.A were renowned for their activist stance, to the extent of which they received threats from the FBI for calling out the police. It is the likes of groups like this why collectives such as Black Hippy exist today. The group’s most recent project, titled “Two”, dropped in April 2020 and features tracks such as ‘My People’, which highlights division both between races in America, and within the black community. There’s a visible parallel occurring where politically concerned collectives produce some of the most important activists to date. Kendrick Lamar, a member of the group, has been awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his brutal and honest lyricism. Precisely making local issues in his community global and breaking into an award sphere that has been historically white at the same time. It would seem that the original hip-hop collective set a political tradition, that today artists continue solo rather than in their respective collective - but the group is needed in the first place for a chance of survival in the music industry. The representation illustrated by a unity, by a collective, is vital. In these politically divided times, it makes perfect sense why this resurgence is reoccurring. Hopefully we can see these representations taking new leaps and bounds. 88rising, a hybrid between a rap collective and a record label, are bringing a new generation of Asian hip-hop artists to the forefront of mainstream Western music. Personally, with the popularisation of female rappers trending, especially on TikTok, I’d love to see more female rap collectives emerge soon. words by: Phoebe Bowers design by: Ersila Bushi





Though Lou Reed’s Velvet Underground had earned a plethora of critical acclaims, the band never saw commercial success. Brian Eno famously stated; “The first Velvet Underground album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band”. The radio friendly sound of what would be the final album with Lou Reed as frontman, Loaded, was created out of record company pressure to produce hits. Loaded wasn’t a hit. Lou Reed’s divorce from the Velvet Underground came in 1970, after which we saw Reed embrace a solo career that again struggled to speak to mainstream audiences. Reed’s prospects were far from promising; walking away from what would become one of the most influential bands in rock history, he was penniless, exhausted, and had accumulated four commercial failures to his name. However, retirement was not on the cards. With rejected songs from his time in the band and an RCA record deal in hand, Reed arrived in London to record his 1972 eponymous debut album. To put it bluntly, this was commercial failure number five. The album was confused, overproduced and sat limply at 189 on the Billboard 200. Reed’s career was over, dead before even getting started, another victim to mainstream close-mindedness. Or, so we thought. This is the part of the story where the glam rock hero rides in to save the day. In Britain, the era of glam rock dawned, with platforms, sequins and imposing hair. It was the first mainstream rock movement to openly acknowledge the influence of the Velvet Underground. Of course, David Bowie is the glam rock hero aforementioned, a Reed protégé and Velvet Underground devotee. 37 Lou Reed,

in turn, was drawn to Bowie’s music. Bowie included Velvet songs such as White Light/ White Heat in his set lists, and referenced the Velvet Underground in his album Hunky Dory. Riding high on the success of the chart-topping The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Bowie and guitarist Mick Ronson offered to produce and play on Reed’s second solo album. What came next was one of glam rock and Reed’s most illustrious musical offerings. The record was a radio hit and would become a template for most of Reed’s solo work. There was a nod to the glam rock scene that had its grip around London, but in Transformer Bowie diverged from Ziggy, swapping glitter for grit and a realistic subject matter. The songs on the album depict the downtown streets of New York City, Walk on the Wild Side is a simple tale of New York gender-bending. It is a curious diversion from the work of the Velvet Underground: where they had embodied the avant-garde, it took hold of the strong pop undercurrent that ran throughout their records. It sounds curiously natural, much to the credit of Bowie and Ronson whose ornate musical arrangement help bring Reed’s astonishingly focused songs to life. Bowie took Lou Reed and turned him into a pop-culture icon. The Transformer album is an incarnation of Reed at his most tuneful and accessible. When asked about Bowie’s contribution to the album on the TV series ‘Classic Albums’, Reed is uncharacteristically deferential to Bowie’s backing vocals on Satellite of Love. Reed plays with the soundboard stripping back the sound, leaving Bowie’s unique voice. “Ain’t that great?” Reed drawled. The record was ranked 29th on NME’s list of Greatest Albums of All Time in 2013.

music IGGY POP First meeting in 1971, David Bowie produced Raw Power, the third album released by Iggy Pop’s band The Stooges. By 1976 The Stooges collapsed under the weight of Pop’s heroin addiction, which resulted in his institutionalisation. Bowie invited Pop to join his 1976 Station to Station tour, marking the beginning of a close working relationship and friendship that would span until Bowie’s death in 2016. Speaking to Rolling Stone Magazine Iggy Pop stated: “The friendship was basically that this guy salvaged me from certain professional and maybe personal annihilation- simple as that”

Pop explained in a later interview “See, Bowie’s a hell of a fast guy. I realized I had to be quicker than him- otherwise whose album was it gonna be?”. Lust for Life was released just five months after The Idiot, with Pop making full use of the title Bowie had gifted him. Iggy Pop was the William Wordsworth of Punk Rock, and Bowie redirected this talent to an unexplored corner of the genre. The pair created a winning formula of Glam Rock shine and punk rock grit. Four decades later and both The Idiot and Lust For Life have become classic albums in their own right. words by: Natalie Graham design by: Amelia Field

The two musicians lived together in Berlin in 1977, with Bowie helping Pop write The Idiot and Lust For Life, his first two solo albums following the end of The Stooges. Bowie also played keyboard in Pop’s live performances during this period, in exchange for Pop’s backing vocals on Bowie’s record Low. The first album recorded with Bowie’s expertise was The Idiot at the renowned Hansa Studios in Berlin, Bowie would later admit the album stood as an opportune moment for musical creativity. This was mainly due to the fact Iggy Pop’s solo career was devoid, so could afford to take the risk of experimentation. The album was a success and went on to influence Joy Division and Souxsie and the Banshees, foreshadowing the post punk sound that would dominate the end of the decade. With a reinvigorated career, Iggy made his long-awaited live return, backed by a band that included Bowie on piano and backing vocals. Iggy’s performance on that tour is spoken about in complete adoration, especially the Lust for Life live show in Manchester 1977. Iggy Pop wasted no time, having gained depth and knowledge from production of The Idiot, he took his touring band straight into Hansa writing his second album Lust for Life in just eight days.


litrature literature litrature

F Fa am mo ou us s

L Lo ov ve e

L Le et tt te er rs s

words words by: by: Molly Molly Govus Govus design design by: by: May May Collins Collins

performance performance in in London, London, Ontario. Ontario. Published Published as as the the greatest greatest love love letter letter of of all all time time by by readers readers of of the the Daily Daily Mail, Mail, Cash’s Cash’s letter letter to to June June on on her her 65th 65th birthdayhas hasgone gonedown downin inhistory historyand andmade madethem them In Inthis thisday dayand andage, age,there thereis isan anever-growing ever-growinglack lackof of birthday one of of country country music’s music’s most most influential influential couples. couples. need needfor foraatraditional traditionalletter. letter.We Wevery veryrarely rarelyput putour our one own ownwords wordsinto intowriting writinganymore, anymore,due dueto toelectronic electronic and and technological technological advancements. advancements. There There is is now now ‘You ‘Y‘Yououstill still stillfascinate fascinate fascinate and and and inspire inspire inspire meme me . . .You’ . . . You’ You’ rerthe ree thetheobject objobjeectctof ofofmy my my ease ease of of communication communication and and aa growing growing sense sense of of the desire,one thethe one Earthly one Earthly Earthlyreason reason reason forforformy my my existence. existence. existence. ’’ ’ time timeurgency urgencyto toconvey conveyaamessage. message.ItItis isaashame, shame, desire,desire, really. really. There There is is something something wonderfully wonderfully intimate intimate The pair pair continued continued to to perform perform together together for for the the about about putting putting pen pen to to paper: paper: the the time time itit takes, takes, the the The rest of of their their musical musical careers, careers, including including amazing amazing thought thought processes processes behind behind itit and and the the shadow shadow of of rest songslike likeJackson, Jackson,ItItAin’t Ain’tMe MeBabe Babeand andIfIfIIWere Were personality personality behind behind the the handwriting. handwriting. When When we we songs Carpenter. They They stayed stayed together together performing performing consider consider all all these these things things about about letters, letters, there there is is aa Carpenter. and in in love love until until June’s June’s death death in in May May 2003. 2003. Even Even no no wonder wonder why why the the following following love love letters letters continue continue and then, after after her her death, death, Cash Cash continued continued to to write write to to tug tug on on our our heartstrings heartstrings even even years years after after being being then, letters letters to to June: June: written. written. Johnny Johnny Cash Cash was was one one of of the the most most influential influential country country and and blues blues singers singers of of the the 20th 20th century. century. Born Born to to poor poor cotton cotton farmers farmers in in Arkansas Arkansas and and building building his his way way up, up, his his ‘Hello, ‘Hello, I’m I’m Johnny Johnny Cash’ Cash’ to to introduce introduce himself himself in in front front of of audiences audiences of of thousands thousands has has become become aa well-known well-known trademark. trademark. His His love love story story with with June June Carter Carter is is one one that that only only fairy fairy tales tales can can describe; describe; both both being being singers, singers, they they met met backstage backstage and and he he proposed proposed during during aa live live

‘B‘B‘But ututnow now now she’ she’ she’ss sanan an angel angel angeland and andI’m I’I’mmnot. not. not.Now Now Now she’ she’ she’sssan ananangel angel angeland and and I’I’mmnot. not. not.’ ’ ’ I’m In In 2003, 2003, Cash Cash reminisced reminisced on on the the fact fact that that June June and and his his music music were were the the only only reason reason to to stay stay alive. alive. Johnny Johnny Cash Cash died died shortly shortly after after June’s June’s death death at at age age 71 71 in in September September 2003, 2003, just just four four months months after after his hislate latewife. wife.Whilst Whilstthis thisis isheart-breaking, heart-breaking,one onecan can find find comfort comfort in in the the fact fact that that they they found found each each other other again, again, and and that that this this is is truly truly aa love love story story for for the the ages. ages. We We should should count count ourselves ourselves lucky lucky that that we we have have evidence evidence of of this this brilliant brilliant love. love. For For example, example, when when Cash Cash was was asked asked what what his his definition definition of of paradise, paradise, he he answered: answered:

‘This morning, ‘Th‘Thisis morning, morning, with with with her, her, her, having having having coffee. coffee.’ ’ coffee.’ II think think that that says says itit all. all. the 1920s 1920s and and 30s, 30s, Zelda Zelda and and F. F. Throughout Throughout the Scott Fitzgerald Fitzgerald wrote wrote aa great great deal deal of of love love letters letters Scott to each each other. other. From From both both novelists, novelists, their their literary literary to wit and and tumultuous tumultuous relationship relationship shine shine through through the the wit pages even even to to this this day. day. Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald, widely widely known known pages for his his writing writing of of The The Great Great Gatsby, Gatsby, alludes alludes to to for the ups-and-downs ups-and-downs of of their their chaotic chaotic relationship. relationship. the WhilstFitzgerald Fitzgeraldwas waswriting writingthe thenovel, novel,Zelda Zeldahad had Whilst become infatuated infatuated with with another another man. man. This This rings rings become true to to the the sexual sexual infidelity, infidelity, inherent inherent jealousy, jealousy, and and true passion within within one one of of the the world’s world’s best best novels. novels. passion Despite this, this, whilst whilst chaotic, chaotic, their their relationship relationship Despite remains strong strong through through their their ability ability to to write. write. For For remains example, Zelda’s Zelda’s letters letters to to Fitzgerald Fitzgerald explore explore example, intense intense metaphors metaphors and and figurative figurative language, language,

39 39

g n i v a h , r e h th i w , g n i n r o m s i ‘Th coffee.’

literature litrature

II tthhiinnkk tthhaatt ssaayyss iitt aallll.. describing describing how how she she wishes wishes to to feel feel their their ‘water-weighted ‘water-weighted hair hair flow flow behind behind us us from from aa dive.’ dive.’Adding Adding to to this, this, Zelda’s Zelda’s eccentric eccentric personality personality shines shines through through in in one one particular particular letter: letter:

‘Ilove ‘I love youyou most mostininthe theeternal eternal classic classic halfhalflightswhere where ititblends blends with the full lights withday dayororininthe rel religious igiousfan-fare fan-fareofofmimid-night d-nightororperhaps perhapsininthe the noon.’ ’ luxluxofofnoon. ItIt doesn’t doesn’t take take much much to to note note the the symbolism symbolism present present within within her her letters letters to to Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald, with with the the blatant blatant imagery imagery of of half-light. half-light. ItIt connotes connotes the the inevitable inevitable good good and and bad bad in in their their relationship, relationship, especially especially mentioning mentioning her her love love for for another another man. man. Regardless, Regardless, II think think the the ‘half-light’ ‘half-light’ signifies signifies aa love love always always being being there there between between the the two, two, and and always always being being present. present. One One of of the the most most beautiful beautiful lines lines of of her her letters, letters, in in collection from from Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury, The The aa collection Love Letters Letters of of F. F. Scott Scott and and Zelda Zelda Love Fitzgerald: Fitzgerald:

‘wal I ‘I walked kedonthose on those teletelephone phonewiwires resforfortwo twohours hours after afterholding holdingyour your love love like likeaa parasol parasol toto balance balance me. me. ’ ’

like and and hope hope itit will will carry carry us us through through like for for the the foreseeable foreseeable future, future, in in any any relationship. relationship. This This may may have have changed changed from from love love letters letters to to texts texts and and phone phone calls, calls, but but the the sentiment sentiment remains remains true. true. As As much much as as Zelda Zelda and and Fitzgerald’s Fitzgerald’s relationship relationship may may have have been been difficult, difficult, there there is is clear clear love love written written between between the the lines lines of of these these letters, letters, to to the the point point where where Zelda Zelda can can only only describe describe the the love love in in figurative figurative language. language. The The two two love love letters letters I’ve I’ve explored explored are are extremely extremely different different –– we we have have Cash’s Cash’s love love letter letter that that screams screams normalcy normalcy and and ‘perfect ‘perfect love’. love’. II feel feel like like this this is is represented represented through through the the casualness casualness of of their their letters; letters; there there is is no no figurative figurative language, language, no no metaphors metaphors or or symbolism. symbolism. Cash Cash says says how how itit is is in in his his relationship relationship with with June. June. Arguably, Arguably, because because itit isn’t isn’t needed. needed. Alternatively, Alternatively, The TheFitzgerald’s Fitzgerald’sdisplay displayletters lettersfilled filledto to the the brim brim of of metaphor metaphor and and symbolism. symbolism. This This may may be be due due to to their their literary literary backgrounds, backgrounds, or or maybe maybe because because Zelda Zelda felt felt she she had had more more to to show show for, for, due due to to their their past past as as aa couple. couple.

Regardless Regardless of of this, this, love love letters letters saved saved throughout throughout history history have have provided provided us us with with aa brilliant brilliant insight insight into into past past relationships. relationships. Regardless, Regardless, of of what what This This metaphor metaphor and and this this imagery imagery say say aa their their relationship relationship was was truly truly like, like, the the lot lot about about love love and and still still ring ring true true to to the the love love letters letters are are timelessly timelessly beautiful. beautiful. modern modern age. age. We We hold hold on on to to what what we we

40 40












REPRESENTATiON i words by: Summer Griffin design by: May Collins

any LGBTQ+ characters. To many, whether the mums and dads shown in these books with their children are When we read novels, we inevitably gay or straight might not matter. Some search for pieces of ourselves in the might disagree with the representation characters on the page. Ian McEwan’s of LGBTQ+ relationships in children’s Sweet Tooth protagonist sums it up books, if it does not fit with their views well: “I was the basest of readers. All I of traditional family dynamics. However, wanted was my own world, and myself in this representation could not be more it, given back to me in artful shapes and important for LGBTQ+ parents and accessible form.” An important part of our their children. Children growing up with world, is the relationships we form with LGBTQ+ parents deserve to see families others around us. Therefore, if novels like their own in the stories we tell them. repeatedly only represent heterosexual relationships, then this is what we will However, things are changing. Throughout grow to believe we should be looking for. my teenage years, I gradually discovered Sadly, this has always been the truth for more and more young adult authors LGBTQ+ readers. releasing novels focusing on young LGBTQ+ characters and relationships. As a bisexual woman in my twenties, I found stories showing the lives and I grew up reading love stories about struggles of a large variety of teenagers straight couples. There was every kind who were trans, gay, and lesbian. The of straight couple imaginable ready Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson to tell their story, but when it came to tells the story of David Piper, a young the representation of gay and lesbian transgender girl and her experience of relationships, it was few and far between. summoning up the courage to come out to It may not seem particularly important to her family. The Miseducation of Cameron be able to relate to a character in a story, Post follows the story of a young girl in however, when you notice the absence of Montana, whose family discover that she representation you begin to feel as if you is in a relationship with another girl and are not normal and that relationships like send her to a gay conversion camp. In the ones that you imagine for yourself Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda never really happen. by Becky Albertalli, we explore the anonymous email relationship between The fairy tales and picture books that I Simon, a closeted gay teenager, and a would read as a child would never feature second unknown closeted student. The





















latter two books have now been made into feature films. Simon Vs. became Love, Simon, produced by Fox 2000 Pictures, and Cameron Post, produced by Beachwood films, became a winner at the Sundance Film Festival. Although an exciting development, the success of these few LGBTQ+ focused novels cannot compare to the large-scale success of numerous cisgender, heterosexual love stories that we see released in bookstores and cinemas every week.

The stories must be out there, but they are yet to see the same level of success as those focusing on heterosexual, cisgender lives. One rare exception to this rule is the work of Sarah Waters. This Welsh author tells the stories of lesbian couples in various situations and historical settings. For sapphic readers, this set of historical fiction is an exciting opportunity to read about women in relationships like theirs, throughout history and in much more engaging situations than the coming out stories we commonly see. Even so, a disappointing aspect of Of course, there are many exciting and the novels which represent LGBTQ+ beautiful LGBTQ+ novels out there to characters is the constant focus on find, but you will have to search hard to coming out. Although this is unfortunately find them. a common experience for many young LGBTQ+ people and so should be The representation of LGBTQ+ represented in the literature that we relationships in literature has never been read, it can create a reductive image better than it is in 2020. However, there of the community. We are told that this is still a long way to go before literature is our only story that is worth telling. reflects the huge variety of experiences Our minority identity is always drawn that the community faces in the modernattention to, rather than being treated day. It’s about time we had the opportunity as normal. Where are the wholesome to get stuck into a fairy tale romance that romantic comedies about young lesbian truly represents the romance that we are couples? Where is the story about the looking for in our own lives. ambitious trans businesswoman making her way in the world? Where are the stories about LGBTQ+ people flourishing in their identities, rather than struggling with them? In adult fiction, I have come across even less representation than as a teenager.








Fictional Characters that Ruined Our Dating Expectations You’ve probably fallen in love with many characters over the years, but how have they been affecting your dating life? Our contributors discuss which fictional characters made their dating expectations so high, and why non-fictional people just don’t compare.

Connell Waldron - Normal People words by: Francesca Ionescu

Reading Normal People, you feel a strange familiarity. The book focuses on two Irish teens who are constantly pulled to each other, with intertwined lives growing up. Marianne and Connell are one of the most heartbreaking love stories, as Sally Rooney’s way of writing turns the characters into ‘normal’ relatable people. They make a lot of mistakes because they’re young and troubled, and that feels real. When the BBC adaptation of the novel came out, a lot of people became infatuated with Connell. There are a lot of things that make the character attractive; his chain, his aloofness and the way he genuinely grows over the years. But, I believe Connell’s charm comes from how real he feels. Reading his dialogue feels like hearing a friend talk over tea, or a stranger chat at a party. The feeling that this character exists outside the fictional world, with both his good side and flaws, truly raises your expectations for the people you let into your life.

Mr Darcy - Pride and Prejudice words by: Hanna Pluck

Mr. Darcy was the first man in literature to mess up what I expected from romance. Representing “pride” in the title, he arrogantly flaunts his title and wealth over the poorer and less respectable Bennet family until, woe betide, he falls in love with protagonist Elizabeth. He provides a force for Lizzie to fight against as she matures, realising her own flaws and the lies that live at the centre of her romantic ideals. In the novel, Darcy is not only dreamy, he’s revolutionary. His function is to reward Lizzie’s determination to prioritise her happiness in an age where women were all but objects owned by their fathers or husbands. Darcy bends to Lizzie’s wishes, not the other way around, and in a novel where Lizzie has to seriously consider marrying the odious Mr. Collins for the good of her family, the depth of Darcy’s gestures are breathtaking. Darcy has ruined mediocre romances for me. How am I meant to know if a guy likes me if he doesn’t save my sister from certain disgrace? Yes, he’s got a car, but can I go hunting in his forests? Maybe he thinks I’m cute, but does he yearn for me? Does he struggle to admit to the strength of his feelings


literature towards me? Does he thrill at the touch of my hand? Because if not - no thanks.

Samwise Gamgee - The Lord of the Rings words by: Harriet Lowbridge

Many of us dream about being swept off our feet by someone ‘tall, dark and mysterious,’ but when was the last time you considered dating a three-foot-tall gardener? Despite not being a conventional heartthrob figure, Samwise Gamgee from Tolkien’s has blown dating expectations out of the water. His love and amazement of the world around him sets him apart from the other hobbits, while his dependability, loyalty and bravery set him into our hearts. Samwise is the kind of guy who will never let you walk alone in danger. He’ll lift you up no matter how many Nazguls or terrors you face in life. Samwise would nearly drown himself to ensure you’re safe and that he fulfils his promises. He would carry your burdens, as well as his own, all the while staring certain death in the face. This spirited little gardener isn’t just a knight in shining armour; he is a hobbit who isn’t afraid to convey his emotions. Whether it’s tears of joy or loss, you can depend on him to support you emotionally and mentally. Samwise, you have ruined the dating expectations of thousands around the world with your charm, charisma, dependability and pure joy at the world around you.

Julian Blackthorn - The Shadowhunter Chronicles words by: Katie Waits

In books, there are many wonderful characters that are far too fantastic to ever exist in real life. Their unfaltering kindness, their magical abilities, and their bravery, are all very fictional. I’ve never dated anyone, so I fear that if I ever do the bar will be incredibly high as I compare them to these characters. I’ve been reading the Shadowhunter Chronicles since my mid-teens, and there are a great deal of characters that have contributed to my high expectations. This summer I finished Queen of Air and Darkness, the final book in The Dark Artifices trilogy. The Blackthorns and their friends fight against corruption from not only warlocks, fae and curses, but their own Shadowhunter kind. As I love

these books, I’ve picked out Julian Blackthorn as a character that’s ruined my dating expectations. As a Shadowhunter – a human with angelic blood – someone like Julian is unattainable to begin with. Tragically, Shadowhunters aren’t real, so it’s extremely unlikely that anyone would ever be able to date one. However, besides this, Julian is exceptional. His kind-hearted nature, and his willingness to protect his loved ones through anything, even with his responsibilities, is something I particularly love. Also, despite the fact that his love for his best friend Emma comes with immense risk, he fights to be with her nonetheless. Their love could change the strict structure of their world and the lives they know. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be with someone willing to challenge everything to be with you?

Noah Calhoun - The Notebook words by: Muskan Arora

All of us remember reading or watching The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. The book revolves around how Noah and Allie meet in a fair and eventually fall in love until Allie leaves with her family, promising to write to Noah. Allie’s family is strictly against the idea of the two of being together. Time passes and Noah and Allie never meet again, but Noah never stops loving Allie. The moon of his sky is Allie and on every full moon, he would stare at it and remember the love of his life. Noah is a tall, charming, gorgeous guy with the most infectious smile. He loved Allie at sixteen and continued to do so even when she got married. When we look around today, it is rare to find such a man who will love you through all the ups and downs. One trait that makes Noah so exceptional is his honesty; he is honest to himself, his father, and the girl he loves. And, despite everything bad that love brings along, he never budges from his statement. It is difficult to find somebody with the same honesty in a relationship in today’s time, especially among young people, with many people being more committed to lust more than love. Amongst everyone, there is the exceptional character of Noah Calhoun. I will never look at dating the same way. design by: Priyansha Kamdar


download Quench

An Exploration into Dating Simulators Dating simulators have always been an anomaly in the gaming world. In an industry that boasts first-person shooters and well-known franchises such as The Legend of Zelda and GTA, it’s hard to believe choice-led stories that result in you potentially dating your favourite character attract so many players. The genre began in Japan and has since become increasingly popular. This genre eventually gained worldwide attention, and dating simulators have gradually appeared on more and more consoles, and even phones and tablets such as the app Mystic Messenger. Why has this genre grown so popular among gamers? One answer to this question is just how out of control the games have become. Tokimeki Memorial, one of the first dating simulators released in 1994, stuck to a high school setting with the goal of the player finding

a girl to date. However, while more and more games were released with the same objective, gaming developers began having some fun with the genre. Soon dating simulators went from games where you can only date women to games that didn’t even require you to date actual humans, such as Monster Prom and Hatoful Boyfriend, a game where you attend a school for pigeons and eventually date one. Dating simulators eventually began exploring other genres to include as well, such as Team Salvato’s Doki Doki Literature Club¸ a psychological horror game disguised as a regular dating simulator. With so many options for players, it’s no wonder the genre soon became immensely popular, and this was only aided further by the streaming platform YouTube. Gaming channels such as Markiplier and Jacksepticeye streamed playthroughs of many now popular dating simulators. Another channel called Game Grumps even had a role in developing a dating simulator of their own called Dream Daddy, a game where you play as a dad and date other dads. The genre grew with the help of YouTube, and the increasingly bizarre interpretations of the genre attracted both YouTubers and players. I decided to buy a dating simulator on my PS4 to see what it was like to play one. I had seen many YouTubers play them, but I had never actually tried one myself. I chose Hatoful Boyfriend, as the game was so bizarre. I was too curious to not play it, and was not disappointed. The main objective of the story is to choose from eight birds, including your childhood best friend, a shy bookworm, and a snobby aristocrat. You also have the option to have multiple save files, meaning you can easily complete the

Shiori Asks...

Do you wanna’ be my <3 (✿◠



game by pursuing all the birds. On my first playthrough, I was laughing constantly at the stupidity. I appreciated the constant selfaware jokes and bird puns. But something strange happened on my second playthrough; I became quite invested in the story. One of the strengths of the genre is the goal of pursuing a love interest allows you to learn more about them, meaning the story can be quite entertaining and complex. I found myself eager to learn more about the characters, and the storylines were quite interesting. At this point I often found myself forgetting that I was playing a game about dating pigeons, and when I did remember it made it even funnier. Who knew that a game that combined stupidity and a complex story would work so well?

that remains; as the games are simulations, are they designed to help the player find love in real life? The answer to that question is difficult to say, but ultimately the core of any game is to provide entertainment to the player. I think that original dating simulators like Tokimeki Memorial that relied on a basic setting with female characters were designed to help the player in their love life to some degree, while remaining entertaining at the same time. However, the dating simulators of today like Hatoful Pigeon and Doki Doki Literature Club are designed to test the genre in weird and wonderful ways, whether it be to make the player cry with laughter over the absurdity of dating pigeons or to make the player terrified of the horror hidden in a seemingly tame dating simulator. I believe dating simulators are no longer meant to be taken seriously, and if I’m honest I think I prefer it that way. Who knows what type of dating simulator will be made next? With all the bizarre ones made so far, I’m both scared and excited to see what the genre has instore for gamers!

It’s been established that these games are incredibly fun to play, but there is one question


words by: Molly Allen design by: Madeline Howell




A History of the Last Console Generation 2014 Notable Titles: Grand Theft Auto V (Enhanced Edition), Dragon Age Inquisition, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Alien Isolation, Infamous: Second Son (PS4).

words by: Marcus Yeatman-Crouch design by: Sahina Sherchan This console generation will end with the release of the PS5 on November 19th, so we’ve compiled a timeline of big events and notable games from the 7 year tenure of the PS4 and Xbox One. 2013 Notable Titles (PS4/Xbox One): Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Battlefield 4, Forza Motorsport 5 (Xbox), Killzone: Shadowfall (PS4). 2013 is where we begin our journey. June’s E3 conferences is where we first laid eyes on the marvelous, mystical, wondrous Playstation 4 and Xbox… One? Yeah “Xbox One” was not what gamers expected and was met with a major focus on watching television and playing Kinect (RIP) games; safe to say it did not go down well. Sony on the other hand came out swinging with promises of ambitious continuations of fan-favourite franchises like Killzone, Infamous and Gran Turismo. So there they were, the next-gen; powerful, futuristic and ugly. I still remember to this day looking at the launch Xbox One and laughing because of how it looked like a VHS player spent a romantic night with a house brick, although I won’t let Sony off the hook here because the launch PS4 was a little too sharp and edgy for its own good too. When the consoles finally released in November 2013, they were met with solid praise of beautiful new graphics and ambitious games, frankly just a solid upgrade from the PS3 and Xbox 360. However, issues soon arose from both consoles surrounding their disc drives. The Xbox had an issue of chewing up discs leading to a concerning grinding noise whilst the PS4 kept spitting them out thanks to an issue with the touch sensor resulting in accidental disc ejections - these were resolved through hardware revisions thankfully. Overall though these consoles saw pretty solid launches, there was no major drama and gamers were ready to embark on a new generation of gaming.


The extensive list of titles shows that this was the year that the Xbox One and PS4 really found their feet. Gamers were clinging on to the last gen thanks to the online powerhouse GTA Online; however as soon as Rockstar dropped the trailer for GTA V Enhanced Edition in June 2014, the Xbox 360 and PS3’s days were numbered. 2014 also saw one of the biggest controversies within the generation. When millions of gamers were ready to log on to PSN and Xbox Live on Christmas 2014 they were met with disappointment as all online servers were down thanks to a group of now infamous hackers named “Lizard Squad”. This was detrimental for players on both consoles as many gamers had waited until this Christmas to make the move to next gen due to the expanded game library and more accessible price. This was soon resolved and the next generation was back on track. 2015 Notable Titles: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Rainbow Six: Siege, Fallout 4, Batman: Arkham Knight, Bloodborne (PS4 Exclusive), Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox Exclusive). This year seemed to be the end of the more experimental next-gen phase as many big publishers got past the cautious first year and embraced it as the ‘current-gen’. As you can tell from the notable titles, many are sequels to beloved games with entries into the Halo, Fallout and Batman Arkham franchises which really signifies how the big gaming companies embraced the PS4 and Xbox One as the home of gaming for the foreseeable future. Any gamer that was holding out for a truly stand out game library for next-gen had no reason not to commit to the PS4 and Xbox One at this point, as they both received some of the best received games ever in the forms of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, although Sony took the edge with Bloodborne, which was also met with critical acclaim.

download 2016 Notable Titles: Overwatch, Dark Souls 3, DOOM, Battlefield 1, FInal Fantasy XV, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (PS4), Gears 4 (Xbox). Another pretty solid if not fairly standard year for the consoles now entering the middle of their lifecycle. All the notable titles bar two are entries in fan favourite franchises, Overwatch began its worldwide domination of the esports scene on console and No Man’s Sky, well… we all know what happened there. 2016 also saw the long awaited hardware refreshes for the PS4 with a quieter and more affordable slim model and the PS4 Pro which was capable of 4K HDR graphics and a boost in performance. 2017 Notable Titles: Destiny 2, Fortnite, Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4) 2017 was a quiet year for the PS4. The Pro console was released the year before, so there were few hardware announcements from Sony, even more so because of the highly anticipated release of the Nintendo Switch, which dominated news for most of the year. Xbox had a big year, with the release of the Xbox One X contesting the PS4 Pro on the market in late 2017. Despite this big hardware upgrade there were few titles to speak of from Microsoft, giving Playstation the advantage in exclusives for yet another year thanks to the acclaimed release of a new IP, Horizon: Zero Dawn. Possibly the biggest gaming event of 2017 was, predictably, Fortnite. The massive battle royale game dropped and amassed millions of players in a craze that is still going 3 years later. It absolutely changed the landscape for accessible gaming as a quickly established crossplay feature led to matches between PS4, Xbox, and PC, uniting the cross-platform playerbase like no other game before it. 2018 Notable Titles: Red Dead Redemption 2, God of War (PS4), Spider-Man (PSas4)

2019 Notable Titles: Control, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Days Gone (PS4), Gears 5 (Xbox) Xbox managed to steal the console spotlight in 2019 with the announcement of the Series X, pipping Playstation to the post in revealing the next generation. They also ended their exclusive run strongly with Gears 5, the latest in the beloved franchise. It was a good year for exclusives, as the PS4 added another great story-based game to its repertoire with Days Gone, while both consoles were spoiled with some big releases like Control and the Souls-like Sekiro, which had gamers throwing their controllers into walls yet again. 2020 Notable Titles: The Last of Us 2, Ghost of Tsushima (Both PS4) The age of the PS4 ends with two incredible titles - Ghost of Tsushima and the much anticipated, controversial The Last of Us 2. Both games are met with critical acclaim and their release in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic provides the perfect platform for people to engage with these immersive, story-driven games. Shortly after these final exclusives are released, chaos erupts. PS5 pre-orders are sprung onto an unwitting public who scramble to get their purchase in, resulting in hundreds of websites crashing and massive in-person queues to place an order. It was a similar situation for the Xbox Series X, with sites crashing despite their 2 week’s forewarning of the preorder day. So, the PS4 and Xbox One generation ends with chaos, much like how it began. It was a good seven years, though, with some of the best games of all time, massive controversies, and huge shifts within the industry that saw both consoles never stray too far from the spotlight. The new generation is uncharted waters, with advanced tech and new exclusives awaiting those willing to wait patiently after the bedlam of release day. Things will change, but the console war looks like it will stay the same for now. Oh, and GTA V is releasing on its third console generation. Some things never change.

Possibly one of the best years for PS4 exclusives, 2018 gave Playstation gamers a rush with both the new God of War game in April and a first virtual web-sling in years for Spider-Man. Both games were massively popular, hence both have upcoming sequels for the PS5, and they headlined what was a dominant year for Playstation exclusives. We can’t talk about 2018 without mentioning Red Dead Redemption 2, which released on consoles a year before PC, meaning PS4 and Xbox owners could explore this highly anticipated western sequel nice and early. The game pushed both consoles to their limits, with a gorgeous open world and incredible story that netted it a deserved award for best story at the Game Awards.



words by: Megan Evans

design by: Sandra Mbula Nzioki


The Sims and Finding Your Identity Have you ever wanted to make decisions in life that you know are irrational, wild or unacceptable? Well, say no more. The Sims is the game for you. I found this game in my youth as many others did, which allowed you to make a character who resembled yourself but at the same time was wildly different from your own reality. I often created characters who were supposed to look like me but then I would get carried away and start altering the Sim’s features to what I wish my features resembled. During adolescence, a time where anxiety is in abundance, I found myself comparing myself to the women I made in The Sims and thinking: when am I ever going to resemble this kind of perfection? My Sims character became a kind of safe haven, a chance to manifest a potential future Megan who dates handsome 20-something year old men with a nice beard, a ‘six-pack’ and the most toned physique you have ever see. The Sims was a chance for me to live a virtual life, without any consequences. I could build my house, but actually skip the years and years of debt that real life couples have to endure. I could use the ‘motherlode’ hack to receive a massive paycheque in seconds. It’s funny to think how exciting I used to find living an adult life in The Sims when I was younger, but back then it was like all my dreams coming true. Through The Sims I could experience all of the luxuries and downfalls of adult life and if anything went horrifically wrong I could start all over again. The characters become a part of you, an embodiment or your desires and darkest curiosities. I had the choice to allow my anxious younger self to embody this powerful, sassy and courageous woman in the game that detracted from my real life worries.


the perfec t (love) life ... in the sims The Sims and G rowing Up words by: Hannah Penwright From the original The Sims, to The Sims 4 with as many expansion packs as I can afford - I’ve been playing some version of Sims for as long as I can remember. The opportunity to design the exact people I want to play as, right down to the smallest details like their posture and eye colour, and then make them do exactly what I want might be why people think I’m a control-freak. Over the years, I’ve created too many alternate realities to count. Whenever I became obsessed with a new TV series (anything from M I High to The Big Bang Theory), I’d take fake ‘real life’ to the next level by making my own version of the cast and playing out my own storylines. My favourite version of life to create has always been making myself the main character. Call me self-centred, but I’ve always loved planning my own future. If I could, there’s about 15 different careers I’d like to have, with different relationships in my life depending on how full on my job was. I could try and live like that in real life, but I’d probably end up overwhelmed and alone, so I’ll stick to playing it out through The Sims instead. Growing up playing The Sims means I’ve now been through a lot of the things I loved to make my Sims characters do, like finishing school, being in a relationship, and moving out. But it comes as no surprise that I soon discovered these milestones are a lot more complicated in real life. Flirting is much more cringey and difficult than pressing a few buttons, and you can’t make people fall in love with you. And, you can’t just click fast-forward when life gets boring, or quit without saving if you accidentally set yourself on fire. Real life’s never going to be as simple as getting a job, falling in love, having two children, and living in the perfect house for anybody. But I don’t think that’s a bad thing. The complications, the surprises, the real people we meet with real stories to share, and the mistakes we make are what make life worth living. And no, that won’t stop me from getting obsessed for two weeks straight with the game once every six months or so. But it won’t stop me from living real life to the full either.


The Sims and a Harsh Reality words by: Catarina Vicente The Sims was one of the first video games I ever owned. I was hooked from the first time I played it, and I zoned out for hours creating towns of original characters with their own backstories and plot lines. Eventually bored by the limits of the original game, I spent most of my own pocket money on expansion packs to give me as much liberty in the game as possible, but the more you play the more you realise how limited it is. The novelty of new expansion packs fades out, and you’re stuck with the same repetitive features, leading to a cycle of buying, boredom, and more buying. I spent endless hours creating characters and stories, and living as these fictional selves, that I never paid mind to the possibility of playing as oneself in the game. All Sims players have played as themselves at some point, including myself, but it had been a one-time thing, that I had quickly grown bored of. The first time, with The Sims 3, I became embarrassed and went back to killing my characters to fuel angst for their tragic backstories. The second and most recent time, with The Sims 4, I spent hours creating my Sim-self as accurately as possibly, working to make the perfect job, house and life, but ended up with a feeling of unwelcome dread over the cyclical nature of her life, and by extension my own. To what extent could I really have my dream life in The Sims? As I mentioned before, the Sims games are limited, if you play them for long enough: eventually you run out of things to aspire to, and the perfect life you create for your ‘simself’ seems empty. Sadly, it’s the same for relationships, and there is no expansion pack (yet) that widens the variety of interactions at our use. The escapist element and total control are addictive, but until we have platonic and romantic interactions that give us more freedom to craft our dream lives, The Sims series will leave much to our imagination.



words by: Henry Bell design by: May Collins How would you describe your style or aesthetic? My style and aesthetic is best described in one word: flexible. I would say that my fashion choices definitely have a solid foundation in that I am influenced by the 90s grunge movement and 70s and 80s culture, however I am always looking to try new styles and open to investigating other areas of fashion.


Who is your biggest fashion icon? It is impossible for me to pick just one icon, there are so many individuals that influence the different parts of my fashion. I particularly like those who defy the gender binary, David Bowie and Grace Jones immediately come to mind. I am also influenced by literature and artists, notably Tennessee Williams and Susan Sontag whose analysis of the camp aesthetic has encouraged me to look to further into culture for inspiration. With regards to contemporary art I find it rather difficult to pinpoint individuals who stand out since a large majority of my influences have either stopped creating art or have passed on. However, I am currently infatuated by Miley Cyrusâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s image.

What does fashion mean to you? It is the third dimensional characteristic of fashion that attracts me. Fashion is a vital part of my life as it provides me with endless opportunities to present myself in a manner of different ways. I often find myself waking each morning with one thought circling my mind; who do I want to be today? And with fashion, I have the ability to alter that persona and become a universal individual. Where are your favourite places to shop? Recently I have been dabbling in secondhand purchasing, which I hope becomes a frequent shopping habit. I have a strong opinion that vintage pieces are more visually appealing and outstanding than contemporary clothing trends. However, when I am not scrolling through Depop or attempting to

fashion scout charity shops, I am always online looking at Topman, Urban Outfitters, and Zara, just to name a few. What is your favourite item of clothing? It is not necessarily a clothing item but more of an accessory, I cannot survive without a pair of sunglasses. There is no other piece of clothing, accessory or jewellery that makes me feel as confident and empowered as a pair of round sunglasses. With that comes an element of mystery as passers-by wonder who lurks behind the shades. What is your favourite colour to wear? To be frank there is not one specific colour that I find myself wearing more than another, I like to experiment with colour some days and switch to the opposite end of the spectrum and wear darker tones the next. Although, recently I have noticed that I have taken a liking to purples and greens when browsing for new finds.

Talk us through one of your outfits: So the outfit I will take you through is the orange corduroy moment. This I decided to pair with a mustard tee and black jeans which I purchased second-hand and bleached myself, and I of course had to include my signature piece, the shades. The jacket I had purchased a little under three years ago, before I started my university studies, and it has remained in my wardrobe ever since. It is probably the most loyal piece of

clothing I have ever owned! The T-shirt I purchased this summer after I came to the conclusion that I needed more basic pieces as opposed to graphic and patterned tops. This made room for the complexity of the jeans, which I have to say I am quite proud of given it was my first time bleaching any item of clothing!

What is a fashion trend you love and a fashion trend you hate? A fashion trend I love? A lot to choose from! I guess I have always appreciated that many people are attracted to all kinds of trends for their own individual reasons, so on that note I would have to say I am a big supporter of individuality as without distinct fashion consciences, society would be rather monotonous. With regards to a fashion trend I dislike my answer is minimalism, especially in menswear. It is the 21st century, we have endless options and opportunities. If you are not exploring and experimenting, can you truly call yourself a fashion enthusiast? What influences your style and the way you dress? My style as I have previously noted is largely influenced by my admiration for figures within music, film, and literature. Style for me is inspired by established people who do not just present themselves in a fashionable manner but those who have made cultural impacts through their art. Personally, style has manifested itself in the way I approach my work, my art, and my purpose. What is your number one fashion tip? The most valuable fashion tip I can offer is to be optimistic! I cannot stress this enough. Push yourself out of your usual fashion sphere and experiment in areas which you would not necessarily feel comfortable. You never know what you will discover along the way.





Male Fashion Icons words by: Muskan Arora design by: Jasmine Snow There are an inescapable number of stereotypes revolving around men’s fashion in modern society. Expectations regarding men’s use of makeup and their fashion statements are now being challenged by the growing phenomenon of male influencers. These Instagram icons are set to break the norms, establish their own personal identity and continuing to connect with their loyal following. While this discussion only allows me to select a few standout examples, this trend is growing all over the world and it is more realistic to view every country as offering icons whose work is beyond commendable. Being an Indian, I am naturally inclined towards highlighting the influencers who are burning down the stereotypes to ashes in a country where men who take care of their skin are considered to be unmanly. My personal favourite is @trevor_stuurman. This absolutely gorgeous influencer has attracted 100,000 followers on Instagram with his subtle, yet playful style. He experiments with colours through patterns on his outfits and the effect is a fabulous look. He is particularly known for his style with prints, whether on his pants, shirt or even shoes, he is known for his trademark style. His look is mesmerising and achieves a “can’t take your eyes off” effect. He has gained recognition from Forbes and is a man who believes in himself; you can see the fire and confidence in every aspect of his fashion sense. Another very talented upcoming Indian fashion influencer is @siddharth93batra who is phenomenal and has been breaking the norms surrounding men and beauty since the day he stepped on Instagram. He makes fashion videos for men and produces content featuring skincare and personal hygiene. He has been brave enough to endure all the nasty comments through his clothing and slays the world of Instagram men’s fashion today. He has faced a lot of hate but is slowly being recognised as people are acknowledging the importance of selfcare and men’s fashion. He has influenced uncountable males in India and is taking the mindset of the country to the greener side. We cannot talk about men’s fashion without mentioning @theebillyporter, who is an actor, writer, singer and director with a flawless fashion sense. He is an angel on this planet who experiments with stripes, funky patterns and all types of materials. Hollywood cannot stereotype its superheroes because we have the very talented Billy to break them to the ground. He doesn’t shy away from mix matching outfits and his famous tuxedo dress won the hearts of millions and set some major fashion goals

for men. He is also known to have the most iconic looks in pride parades. Be it dressing up as a golden bird with metallic wings or wearing frills, he has been an inspiration for us all. The most prominent aspect of his clothing is that his clothes have drama. The colour combinations, the materials chosen, his makeup and ability to accessorise drop a dramatic effect and have a mesmerising vibe. Just looking at his profile, you feel transported into a magical planet with all the best fabrics of the world. Next is the heartthrob Instagrammer of India, @ ranveerallahbadia! He is a youtuber, an entrepreneur and is extremely humble. His style is the quintessentially classic, perfect for those first impressions such as a first date or those all-important interviews and meetings. One can also admire his journey with fashion, when in college, he used to dress perhaps like most boys do, think a classic simple t-shirt with a pair of shorts or jeans and sneakers, even though that style can be pulled off exceptionally, he has arguably reinvented the world of sleek men’s fashion in India and now also has a wider Asian Audience. His ability to accessorise any outfit is also something to admire, proving that with the perfect accessories anyone can ace their desired outfit and create something memorable. Although he perhaps differs from other popular male influencers who desire to break and challenge the stereotypes of men’s fashion through experimenting with their clothing, he is undeniably setting some serious fashion goals. Last, but not least, is a universal favourite with numerous hugely successful hits form Adore You to the sensational Watermelon Sugar. Once in none other than One Direction this artist’s music videos are hugely unique and artistic making him one of the most loved male artists there is. This is none other than the one and only Harry Styles. Every new video brings in a new persona and a mind- blowing style. One of the videos where I absolutely adored him was for the song Falling. The way he was dressed and his beautifully done makeup, not only inspired both males and females alike. His looks on every award show and his stellar Instagram presence makes it difficult for anyone to take their eyes off him. One very prominent feature of his style is that every outfit reflects an emotion which makes his outfits more relatable and meaningful for us. His makeup and accessories complement his outfit, with his personality shining through clearly reflecting the emotions behind the song or his album. Men’s fashion icons are now pervading Instagram and have a huge positive effect on male fashion. Barriers to individual expression are being eroded and the influencers offer a great platform to advance the value of men’s fashion.



The softboy aesthetic has become a growing trend both in the terms of fashion and pop culture. It isn’t merely a fashion trend but a new movement of a more sensitive, gentle and creative type of guy. Regardless of the perceptions of what or who a softboy is, there has grown a very notable style to the ‘aesthetic’. Outfits don’t set out to evoke one’s masculinity or toughness but a more subdued, gentle and almost bookish presentation of themselves. Outfit colours are often subdued, with pastels being a popular choice. Many elements of the style obviously draw from the e-boy and skater boy aesthetics but neither arguably have such defining elements and personalities attached to them compared to the softboy.

For bottoms, jeans are often the favourite choice, with spray-on skinny jeans banished for options such as the slightly baggier slim fit or more fitted skater trousers. Rolled up jeans are a defining feature, accompanied with white long socks. However, jeans are not the only option, with chinos and baggy suit trousers also being a popular choice for the softboy style. Looser fitting bottoms are secured with a prominent belt, often bringing in the waist whilst also serving as a fashionable accessory.


fashion There is a lot of diversity with tops, though oversized sweaters and t-shirts are often the most popular choice. Vintage is often preferred, with older brands and styles being shown off. However, unbranded tops can still successfully encapsulate the style, though often will still have a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;vintageâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; look. Striped tops and shirts are also very common. Tops can be allowed to hang loosely, though tucking them into the trousers does cement the softboy look. Denim jackets and vintage windbreakers too are a successful addition, as well as a classic corduroy jacket.

Accessories are by no means the main focus of the aesthetic but can be used to elevate the look. Subtlety is key when making additions, only a few accessories should be worn to prevent overpowering the outfit. Options could include a rounded pair of glasses, a neck chain, a couple understated rings or a pair of groovy high socks.

Finally, shoes are often a classic style with popular choices including Converses, Nike AirMax and the classic Vans. White, black and chequered are often the most popular colours but any is suitable if they complement the outfit.

words by: Henry Bell design by: Anna Kerslake 56



d e v o L Ones As a famous Tumblr quote once said, “Being apart teaches us to be together.” Therefore, it is no surprise that spending time away from loved ones provides us with the space we need to not only concentrate on ourselves, but also cherish the ones we left behind. After all, it is not until we truly know ourselves, that we can honestly know another. Flashback to 2018, when I was a meagre 19-year old. I had never been away from home for an extended period of time and the mere thought of it absolutely terrified me. Despite this, a childhood friend and I somehow managed to book a six week tour of the Eastern coast of Australia. It wasn’t until I was at the departures gate of Heathrow airport that the reality of leaving my family, friends and boyfriend for the first time really hit me. After two planes and twenty-two hours of travelling, I was totally exhausted and slightly emotional. Nonetheless, just a few days into our trip I felt amazing, as I had beaten jet lag and was soaking in the Queensland sun. Although the ten hour time difference made it difficult to contact home, I ensured that I woke up early or stayed up late to fit in a Facetime call (or two). For me, Facetime, Skype or any form of video chatting platform is the key to staying in touch and maintaining healthy relationships at a distance. Once you get over having to see yourself on screen, from some of the most unflattering angles, you realise Facetime is a true gift. It gives you the ability to chat, catch-up and hear the voice of a loved one, all from the comfort of your bed – or in my case a not so comfortable bunkbed in a shared hostel room.


The 5-week expedition down the East Coast of Aus was just the


first of many “relationship tests”. It wasn’t long after I got back from my travels that I found myself packing once more. This time it was a bit more permanent, as I was moving COUNTRY to attend university (only Wales, but still!). The idea of moving so far from home for many people in a relationship is difficult, or even unfathomable. Although there’s no denying that moving away for three years will have its challenges, I believe that it can be important. Moving away from home teaches you how to be independent. When in a relationship, it can be easy to get caught in the motions and forget to be your own person. Being apart has taught me not to rely on my boyfriend and has allowed us to build two separate lives, that in turn compliment one another. However, despite this, there will always be some challenges that a relationship might face when living a long distance apart. Personally, the most note-worthy test of a long-distance relationship is communication and contact. It can be difficult at times to find the moment or means to contact your partner, or even family, when you are away from them. From my own experiences, I recognise that it is easy to get consumed by the drama and dilemmas in your own life and thus neglect keeping in contact with loved ones. In order to try combat such a breakdown in communication, it could be constructive to plan a time or day on which you will FaceTime or Skype your boyfriend/girlfriend. In doing so, you are demonstrating that you care

and are committed to making the relationship work, and it creates a structure that is a lot easier to keep to. Also, we are living in the 21st century and social media exists! Instagram, Facebook and all the other apps allow you to send messages, pictures, gifs and memes (basically anything) instantly to the other side of the world. There’s practically no excuse to not share a selfie or a quick update of your day when you’re far away from home. As well as video calling, there are other more traditional and arguably romantic ways to keep in touch with loved ones. Writing a letter/postcard or sending a care package is a different but fun way to show that you care. Sending a letter can give a more intimate and slightly more detailed insight into your life abroad or at uni, and who doesn’t love receiving post; especially when it’s unexpected. When leaving loved ones behind it is essential that you remember that it is not permanent, and like everything in life, the distance is only temporary. There will inevitably be highs and lows, but if you are dedicated and develop a routine to maintain contact it will help you stay connected and close. As Theodore Roosevelt once said “Nothing worth having comes easy”- it’s a relationship article, it would be rude not to. words by: Katherine Mallett design by: Priyansha Kamdar



words by: Eve Davies design by: Sandra Mbula Nzioki

some pointers that should be considered before you travel with a partner, or even a friend. So, you’ve (hopefully) got past the first date and ‘talking stage’, or the first few weeks of living with your new flat mates, and you are ready to book your first trip away. You’re first challenge will be deciding where to go. Immediately, this poses a ton of questions – are you city dwellers or sandy beach worshippers? Urban-istas, rural-lites or coastal-lovers? Do you crave vitamin-D or cosy log fires? Beach or pool? Bars or shops? The decisions are endless, and although they do say opposites attract, I’m not so sure in this context. Once you’ve selected your destination (preferably with minimal disagreements), it is important to consider the ins-n-outs of travelling together. I advise doing this before finalising any bookings, as it can be quite a task getting your money back from some travel companies in our money-hugging world. Despite providing once in a lifetime opportunities and filling what will be some of the best days of your life travelling can, at times, be a mighty scary and taxing experience. Therefore, having good company at your side can be vital to getting the most out of exploring the world and all it has to offer. I started seeing my boyfriend in October last year. By December we were ‘together’ despite the fact we had both, coincidently, planned to go away for three months as soon as the new year hit. He was going to Thailand and I was going to Australia. By January we had plans to meet in Melbourne mid-February, spend two weeks in a campervan together, then spend another two weeks in Thailand – brave, I know. Although our trip couldn’t have been better, I do have


Although an ambiguous question, it is important to ask; what kind of people are you? What do you both enjoy doing day-to-day? Do you itch to fill every waking minute with productivity, or are you happy to pass time lounging around? If you are opposites in this sense a clash is almost guaranteed. But to minimise that risk make sure your itinerary fits the interests of both and be prepared to give a little to your partner’s wishes. Perhaps fill the morning with an activity and take the afternoon to chill, or vice versa. That way neither can complain! Accommodation is another fundamental aspect to your travel experience. After all, we all need a safe place to rest overnight. Now is it


time to question whether you are the fivestar hotel kind of couple, or if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re content in a fifteen-pound-a-night twin hostel room, sleeping on fish-finger single beds. Though, inevitably, your budget will have an influence here. Furthermore, it is crucial to think about all things consumable. Travelling often revolves around dining out and trying out new foods, so travelling with someone with a similar taste palate is always an advantage. Are you enthusiastic about local cuisine, or accustomed to seeking out global chain restaurants? I encourage the former. It is paramount that you at least try local delicacies and dishes. After all, without sounding like a grandma, you can get a McDs at home. Cuisine is such a central aspect to many cultures that they use it to welcome their visitors; if you reject what they have to offer they often take offence. Other factors to consider are whether you are likely to order a pint, or a coffee come mid-day. Are you a boozer or a snoozer? Will you be partying hard and rolling into bed just before sunrise, or will you have an early night, waking up fresh to catch the sunrise? Passing ships in a hotel room every morning of the trip could become awkward!

Are you the type to opt for a half-hour walk to a destination or insist on paying for a taxi? If on a budget, I highly recommend walking. In fact, I advise walking in all circumstances. Some of the best spots you will find when exploring new countries will be unexpected hubs found only on foot. No doubt you will pass quirky gift shops, speciality coffee shops and restaurants, that would merge into a blur through a moving taxi window. Even better, you will have a chance to browse their menus on route, collecting a list of potential places for dinner. Getting some steps in is also a great way to avoid feeling sluggish after indulging on local treats. With luck, after dissecting the foundations of your relationship, you will have booked your trip, had the best time on your travels, and, all being well as your adventures draw to a close, you will be heading home to book your next trip away.



The Quench Food Festival In this issue, we are continuing our exploration into the variety of cultures and backgrounds that inspire the culinary decisions of the Quench team. Here we present our second Quench Food Festival, where we focus on Korean cinema’s influence on Film and TV editor Borte’s food habits and a pie inspired by the King of Pop and brought to us by Music editor Alex.

Bibimbap words by: Borte Tsogbadrakh As an avid lover of Korean cinema as well as K-Drama, it only felt fitting to include a recipe for bibimbap, a traditional rice dish and staple in every Korean restaurant. This year at Film and TV, we’re trying to focus more on international cinema, so it truly felt like this dish also perfectly represents our section.

Method: 1. Start by marinating the beef or tofu with 2tbsp of soy sauce, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tbsp sesame oil, some MSG and pepper. Try to let it sit for at least 30 minutes. 2. Cook the spinach for a few minutes in boiling water until it wilts. Drain the spinach and mix with garlic and 3 tbsp sesame oil. Put this to the side and let it sit. 3. Slice the carrots, mushrooms and cucumber into thin sticks. Then fry the carrots, mushrooms and soy sprouts for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 4. After letting the beef/tofu marinate, fry it for a few minutes. 5. For the topping sauce, mix 2 tbsp sesame oil, 2 tbsp soy sauce, ½ tsp brown sugar and 2 tbsp gochujang (you can add more/less depending on what your spice level is).

- 4 tbsp vegetable oil - 5-7 tbsp sesame oil - 4 tbsp soy sauce - 1 ½ tbsp brown sugar - 2 tbsp gochujang - 2 cups cooked rice - 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped - 500g minced beef (can be replaced with tofu) - 1 carrot - ½ cucumber - 300g mushrooms - 300g soy sprouts - 300g spinach - Salt, pepper and ideally some MSG

6. Fry your eggs and chop some spring onions to garnish.

To Serve:

7. Now assemble everything in a bowl, starting with the rice. Add the beef, vegetables and spinach on top and top it off with the fried egg and spring onions. Finally, add the gochujang sauce and sprinkle some sesame seeds.

- Sesame seeds

8. Mix everything together in your bowl and enjoy your bibimbap, perhaps in front of a Korean film or some K-Drama to get the full experience!



- Chopped spring onions - 2-3 fried eggs (yolk should be runny) to put on top


Michael Jackson’s Sweet Potato Pie words by: Alex Payne Celebrities, they’re just like us. He may have been one of the most eccentric stars ever to grace this earth, but deep down Michael Jackson (allegedly) had a penchant for pie. Not only is this delicious dessert perfect for autumn, but we feel like it captures the humanity of rockstars - the real them, behind the glamour and gossip; that’s exactly what we’re trying to do here at Music this year.



1. Start by beating the eggs with the sugar, and then add the melted

- 3 eggs

butter, salt, milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg.

- 65g white sugar

2. Incorporate the mixture with the mashed sweet potatoes and the

- 35g melted butter

lemon juice before pouring into the pie shell.

- 70ml milk

3. Place the pie in a 400-degree oven for 10 minutes, reduce the

- 1 tsp vanilla extract

heat to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 40 minutes or until

- 1 tsp ground cinnamon

it’s golden brown on top.

- 1 tsp ground nutmeg

4. Add pecan nuts to garnish.

- 300g mashed sweet potatoes (canned is

5. Enjoy whilst listening to a bit of Thriller.

best if you can find it!)

To Serve: - Handful of halved pecan nuts

- 2 tbsp lemon juice - 1 ready-made, unbaked sweet pie shell (they sell them in the baking aisle in Tesco!) - Pinch of salt design by: Kacey Keane



The Pumpkin Spice Of Life Let me set the scene, it’s the middle of September and my friend and I approach the window of the Starbucks drive through, when all of a sudden, she lets out a scream. Panicked, I obviously ask what’s wrong and whether everything is alright. To which she replied after seeing a notice in the window, “Indi, the pumpkin spiced lattes are coming out in 10 days!”. Everything was not alright, as a sense of anger rushed over me and the thought of being overwhelmed by the smell of cinnamon from now until January became increasingly apparent. Pumpkin spiced season was approaching, and frankly I had no way of escaping it. I have always considered myself rather basic.


I enjoy basic television shows like Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl, I’ve always had a crush on Zac Efron, I carry a tube of Carmex everywhere with me, I think listening to indie music makes me unique, and I love an iced drink from Starbucks as much as the next basic bitch of this generation. This overrated beverage is used to define the stereotypical Fiat 500 girl who lives in leggings, baggy jumpers and Ugg boots whilst pumpkin spiced lattes pump through their veins. It screams 2013 Tumblr and Pinterest boards, and personally I thought we were past that. However, one thing I pride myself on is the fact that I am not basic enough to like pumpkin spiced lattes! I love all the usual things that go

food hand in hand with autumn; the pumpkin carving for Halloween, the big woolly jumpers and the nights in watching a film sipping on warm drinks, so you would think that I’d be a fan of the one thing that marks the beginning of the autumnal season. One thing I have failed to mention thus far is that I have never tried a pumpkin spiced latte. I know I can’t really comment and rant about a drink I have never tried, but it contains my worst nightmare cinnamon. I find the smell and taste of cinnamon so physically repulsive that I almost have a sixth sense for it at this point, where I can point it out in almost anything no matter how much or how little it contains. As soon as summer ends and autumn begins, stores are flooded with cinnamon scented things, including the bane of my life: the cinnamon scented candle. That being said, anything labelled “spiced” is often riddled with cinnamon, and therefore automatically put into my bad books. My intolerance for the spice is so bad that I usually tell people I’m allergic just to ensure anything I eat will not contain it, and that still doesn’t always work! You are probably thinking to yourself, “wow, what has she got against cinnamon? She feels awfully passionate about something she has never tried” to which you are correct. But I still don’t understand why it is so popular. I believe it is completely overrated, especially in comparison to other hot beverages. For example, there is nothing better than a hot chocolate during the autumn/winter months. In the UK we idolise a good cup of tea, but for these seasons we almost Americanise our taste buds through welcoming the flavours of Thanksgiving, alongside the pumpkin spiced latte. There are many better items that we could adapt and take away from American Thanksgiving traditions, including candied yams, which personally I have always liked the idea of. I would suggest pumpkin pie, but you just know that it will have ridiculous amounts of cinnamon in and that will be another thing crossed off my list. What

is it with Americans and adding copious amounts of cinnamon into everything? I’d love to say that this is the end of my pumpkin spiced rant for this year, but you and I both know that this isn’t the case. I will not stop until cinnamon scented candles are banished everywhere, including my home where my parents enjoy burning them to torture me. I will not stop until cinnamon is removed from my favourite foods, so I can yet again enjoy the comforts of an apple pie without feeling sick at the smell or taste of that devilish spice. I will not stop until the world is free from the clutches of the one thing that ruins the autumn and winter period. Let’s get rid of the pumpkin spiced latte before basic bitches take over the world, or worse before they make this vile beverage available year-round! Put it this way, 2020 has been a pretty bad year worldwide, but as pumpkin spiced season approaches the worst is yet to come. words by: Indigo Jones design by: Madeline Howell







O o Ds

words by: Sasha Nugara design by: Priyansha Kamdar The world of food is an extremely complicated one, full of ridiculous mixtures that don’t belong together at all. Sweet and sour, chilli and chocolate, pineapple and cheese; the list is endless. Although the flavours are at the complete opposite ends of the spectrum, for some reason, they just work. At Quench, we wanted to know what everyone’s favourite unusual food combinations were and thanks to Lisa, Muskan and Alex, we were able to get to the bottom of what made them work so well together.

Ham and Pineapple words by: Lisa Levytska

Food is a truly unique, unusual, but beautiful phenomenon. It evokes emotions, triggers sensations, and helps to make lasting memories. There are so many wonderful yet bizarre food combinations that, although seem too odd to even think about, work when put together. For example: chocolate and chili, hot sauce on brownies, cold pizza dipped in soda. Straight away, at the first look at this list, anyone would be right to think… how much worse can it get?But there is also a much simpler but similarly extraordinary example – ham & pineapple. Everyone loves pizza. It’s a delicious necessity that many couldn’t imagine their lives without. Some like it thick and crusty, others like it soft and thin. And of course, the toppings are just as important. Everyone has their favorite toppings, but why does ham & pineapple cause so much controversy? Ham & pineapple is a win-win combination for many passionate foodies. Why does it work out, despite being an extremely strange one? Well, the most straight-forward answer is because of ham’s and pineapple’s contrast. The relationship between these two makes up a perfectly imperfect pair. The different tastes of meat and fruit intertwine to create something peculiar, but remarkably tasty. It’s impossible to express the feelings that this combination arises or associate the outcome of this match with anything. The best way to find out is simply to try. It may not become a favourite or leave the best impression, but the experience is worth it.



Bread, Malaai and Sugar words by: Muskan Arora

Over the years, different generations have invented wacky combinations of food which aren’t understood by many people. Being born raised in India, there is one weird combination which I never liked earlier, but have recently grown to enjoy. It is a weird combination from our parent’s generation which they initially force fed us. I am sure what you’re about to read will blow your mind or make you frown and cringe. It is, a combination of bread, malaai (used to make butter, thick coating on the top after the milk is boiled) and sugar as the final coating. I’ll elaborate on how it is prepared. Take a piece of toast and then slightly cut through and slide off the malaai from the top of the pan in which you boiled; the longer you boil, the thicker it’ll be. Spread the malaai on top of the bread and coat it with either finely grated or thick sugar crystals. This beautiful, tasty and yet frowned upon combination is regularly consumed in my household and most households in India.The aspect of wacky combinations which I absolutely adore is how they are so relative and how one is unable to settle on the middle ground, either you love it or completely hate it. I have definitely been on both sides of the scale.

Unusual Bread Combinations words by: Alex Channing

It’s a great moment when you stumble across a strange, yet tasty food combination that would never normally be considered. One of my personal favourites that I’ve recently come to love is marmite on toast with cheese. The pungency of the marmite combined with some mature cheddar really makes for a powerful taste that I think is great for some breakfast inspiration, and I would highly recommend it to all marmite lovers – although I think marmite haters would have a particular distaste for it. A friend also convinced me to try a cheese and jam toastie a while ago which sounds incredibly odd, but the sweet and sharp together actually made it really enjoyable. Something else I loved when I was younger and still occasionally have is white bread and butter with sprinkles. This one always sounds really weird to friends, but the sweetness that the sprinkles add to the bread and butter almost makes for a little makeshift slice of cake that I always enjoy. Experimenting with food and making ‘unusual’ combinations can often make for delicious outcomes, so get creative!



Winter Warmers As the Christmas season approaches, we find ourselves reaching for those much-loved winter recipes to warm us up and remind us of home. Here at the food team, we wanted to get together and share our favourite winter warmers to help all of you welcome in the cold weather. Whether it be an unhealthy chocolate brownie that warms you up, or a vegetable pot pie, we’ve got a nice little selection to help you get creative in the kitchen.


words by: Sasha Nugara When first thinking of a warming dish, hot stews and soups often come to mind as the ultimate winter companion. However, I don’t think there’s anything better to warm you up than chocolate! It’s the ultimate comfort food and undeniably makes you feel good. Scientists have found that there are ingredients in chocolate that release endorphins; what warms you up better than a feeling of happiness? My brother’s brownie recipe is famous amongst my family and friends, so I thought I would give out some winter love and share it! These rich chocolate brownies can be warmed up and served with chocolate sauce and ice cream to create the perfect accompaniment to Christmas movie.



· 125g dark chocolate (broken up) · 175g butter · 3 large eggs · 275 caster sugar · 75g plain flour · 1 tsp baking powder · ¼ tsp salt

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius 2. First put the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan containing 5cm of simmering water, without the bowl touching the water. When it’s melted, take it off the heat. 3. Whisk the eggs and sugar lightly together – do not overdo this. 4. Stir the egg mixture and all other mixtures into the chocolate. 5. Pour the mixture into a 20x26cm tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 35-40 minutes until springy in the middle (stick a skewer in to check its fully cooked) 6. Leave to cool in the tin to cool completely before dividing into squares. 7. To warm you up on a cold winters evening, heat in the microwave for 30 seconds and serve with a chocolate sauce!

Vegan Banana Bread words by: Indigo Jones

Home cooking and family recipes are the foundations of the winter season. When you think of Christmas you think of traditions and cooking in the kitchen with your loved ones, so what better than a comforting recipe from my father. In our house there has always been a variety of dietary requirements, and over lockdown my mother and I took the big leap to become vegan. Luckily, in this time my father adapted his traditional banana bread recipe and made it vegan. This recipe is perfect for a quick breakfast or perhaps a nice accompaniment to a hot beverage when watching a film. Either way, banana bread is both hearty and comforting and is easy to make on these cold Winter days.





· 3 large black bananas · 75ml vegetable oil or sunflower oil · 100g brown sugar · 225g plain flour (or use self-raising flour and reduce the baking powder to 2 heaped tsp) · 3 heaped tsp baking powder Optional ingredients: · Dried fruit · Nuts · Dark Chocolate · Cinnamon/mixed spice

1. Pre heat the oven to 200C degrees. Then Mash the peeled bananas with a fork, then mix with your choice of oil and the brown sugar. 2. Add the plain flour followed by 3 heaped tsp baking powder and combine well. Now is the time to put your own twist on the recipe, add in your choice of ingredients, whether that be dark chocolate, nuts or fruit. My personal favourite combination is both dark chocolate and walnuts. 3. Upon finishing the mixture, bake in an oiled, lined loaf tin for 20 minutes. 4. After checking the status of the banana bread, bake for another 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. 5. Allow to cool before cutting into slices. It has a tendency to go quite moist and stodgy, but that’s what makes it so comforting. 6. Enjoy with a cuppa!

Pot Pie

words by: Hannah Penwright Winter dishes have got to be warming, comforting, and filling to satisfy, and a pot pie is guaranteed to tick all those boxes. Using shop bought puff pastry is much quicker and simpler than making the pastry from scratch, so you’ll have dinner ready in no time at all and it’ll still taste amazing (don’t worry- we won’t tell if you don’t). It’s really easy to make the pies vegan: simply use plant-based milk and make sure the puff pastry is dairy-free. If you do fancy some meat, fry a couple of boneless chicken thighs until fully cooked and add to the filling before baking. I like to serve the pot pies with roasted seasonal vegetables, bought locally if possible. In the winter months, parsnips and squash are delicious options.


(Serves four people) · 1 tbsp olive oil · 1 leek · 1 onion, finely diced · 1 medium carrot, diced · 2 garlic cloves, minced · 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced · 200g mushrooms, sliced · 40g plain flour · 350ml vegetable stock · 240ml milk (plant-based or dairy) · 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets · 300g petit pois · Salt and pepper · 1 tsp mixed herbs · 1 sheet puff pastry · Beaten egg or milk, to glaze

Method: 1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the leek, onion, carrot and garlic cloves. Fry on a medium heat until softened, for about 10 minutes. 2. Add the potatoes and mushrooms, and fry for a further 5 minutes. 3. Sprinkle over the plain flour and cook out for 2 minutes, stirring well. 4. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/ 180 fan. 5. Add in the vegetable stock and milk, stirring constantly until smooth. Simmer for 10 minutes. 6. Stir in the petit pois and broccoli florets and season with salt, pepper and mixed herbs. 7. Divide the filling into the ramekins (or 1 large ovenproof dish) and cover with the puff pastry, pressing down at the edges. Score the top and brush with the beaten egg or milk. 8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and the filling is bubbling. 9. Serve immediately with your favourite vegetables.

design by: Henry Bell artwork by: Canva



S m a l l T o w n Me d � dylfryd Tref Fach Un o’r ffactorau gorau am symud i ddinas i astudio yn y brifysgol yw’r amgylchedd cosmopolitanaidd. Mae’r trawsnewidiad yma yn syndod llwyr wrth gymharu â’r poblogaeth tu fewn i drefi bach cefn gwlad. Mae’r agweddau o bobl yn drefi bach cefn wlad yn amrywio yn helaeth gan gymharu i agweddau’r trigolion y brif ddinas. Maent llawer fwy caeedig ac yn fwy parod i feirniadu eraill am eu hil, crefydd ayyb. Dydyn nhw ddim eisoes wedi cael y profiad o fyw mewn ardal cosmopolitanaidd fel prif ddinas, ac felly na chwaith ydyn nhw mor agored â dinasyddion y ddinas o ran beirniadu pobl am eu dillad, eu rhywioldeb, eu crefydd a.y.y.b. Yn aml, dydy’r bobl yn y trefi yma heb byw tu allan o’u siroedd, na chwaith wedi profi byw mewn dinas, sydd yn medru teimlo fel byd hollol wahanol. Yn sicr, nid ydy hwn yn berthnasol i bob person sydd yn byw mewn tref fach, ond dyw hi ddim yn anodd darganfod pobl fel hyn ym mhob tref/pentref yn enwedig yng nghefn gwlad Cymru. Heb brofi byw mewn dinas, neu yng nghwmni amryw helaeth o bobl mewn ardal


cosmopolitanaidd, dydyn nhw ddim yn byw eu bywydau mor gyflym â ni. Gan eu bod nhw byth erioed wedi symud tu allan o’u pentrefi/ trefi maent yn aml yn cadw’r un gwerthoedd a moesau a’u rhieni/teulu, ac yn cael eu dylanwadu gan bawb arall o’u gwmpas sydd yn dal yr un farn o genhedlaethau yn ôl. Er enghraifft, mewn sefyllfa ddamcaniaethol, os oedd eich rhieni yn ymddwyn fel petai bod yn hoyw yn beth ofnadwy, maent yn dylanwadu eu plentyn i fagu yr un farn a hwy, ac wedyn mae’r patrwm yma yn parhau i gael ei throsglwyddo ar draws cenedlaethau o deuluoedd sy’n byth yn cael y cyfle i symud tu allan o’i tref genedigol. A heb symud a phrofi bywyd mewn lleoliad llawer mwy agored a derbyniol efo pobl sydd â meddylfryd flaengar. Yn aml nid ydyn nhw yn medru datblygu barn eu hun oherwydd dylanwad y gymdeithas maent yn byw ynddo.

Ambell waith mae parhau i fyw yn eich tref genedigol trwy eich bywyd yn gallu teimlo’n fyglyd, ac yn gallu effeithio ar y ffyrdd rydych chi yn meddwl ac yn gweld y byd. Drwy symud


i brif ddinas, symud gwlad, symud hyd yn oed i sir arall, rydych chi yn medru profi math arall o fyw, math arall o edrych ar y byd. Mae’n ehangu eich gorwelion. Rydyn ni fel myfyrwyr, a phobl ifanc, yn cymryd yn ganiataol ein bod ni ddim yn beirniadu unrhyw un am lliw eu croen, ei rhywioldeb, na chwaith eu crefydd. Mae’r genhedlaeth o bobl ifanc yng Nghymru yn yr oes yma yn llawer fwy pen agored am eraill. Er bod yna nifer o resymau pam mae byw mewn dinas yn rhoi llawer o brofiadau bywyd amrywiol, mae’n rhaid nodi bod bywyd ym mhentrefi bach Cymru yn dod a’r teimlad o agosatrwydd sydd yn anodd i’w ddarganfod mewn dinas. Mae pawb yn adnabod eu gilydd ac felly yn cael ymlaen hefo’i gilydd ond er dweud hynny, mae llawer iawn o hel clecs, a mae pawb yn ymwybodol o’ch busnes. Ond, wedi dweud hyn, y mantais o fyw mewn pentref bach yw eich bod chi yn medru profi’r teimlad o agosatrwydd sydd yn dod a mynychu tafarnau a busnesau lleol. Dydych chi ddim yn medru profi yn union yr un peth mewn dinas oherwydd y nifer eang o bobl sydd yn poblogi’r ardal. Yn ychwanegol,

yn aml mae bywydau’r bobl sydd yn byw yn y ddinas yn rhedeg yn gyflymach na’r rhai sydd yn byw yn drefi, ac felly does gennych chi ddim y cyfleusterau i gymdeithasu yn yr un ffordd a beth fedrwch wneud yn drefi/pentrefi. Felly, i gloi, yr unig awgrymiad sydd gennyf tuag at bobl sydd yn byw yng nghefn gwlad Cymru yw i ehangu eu gorwelion wrth symud o’u tref enedigol er mwyn datblygu ac aeddfedu. I ddod yn berson mwy goddefgar a meddylfryd hynod mwy agored heb y dylanwad o pobl beirniadol a meddylfryd bach. Heb symud tu allan o’ch pentref, tref neu sir, ni fydd eich safbwynt yn medru datblygu. Yn ychwanegol, mae symud i ddinas yn cynnig cymaint o gyfleusterau amrywiol mae’n anghenreidiol ar gyfer eich datblygiad personol i gael y profiadau hynny.

words by: Sian Jones design by: Madeline Howell



Protest Yw Pride Nid Parti Mae’r gymuned LGBTQ fel y gwyddoch, wedi goroesi nifer fawr o ddigwyddiadau trais a homoffobia yng nghanol yr holl glityr, dawnsio, a dathlu. Mae’r digwyddiadau erchyll yma tuag at y gymuned LGBTQ yn dyddio yn nôl canrifoedd gan bobl sy’n perthyn i’r gymuned heterorywiol. Er bod pethau wedi ac yn parhau i wellhau, dydi’r berthynas rhwng y gymuned LGBTQ a’r gymuned heterorywiol dal ddim yn berthynas berffaith, ac mae rhaid cofio mai protest yw pride ac nid parti. Yn 1954 sefydlwyd Pwyllgor Wolfenden ar ôl i lawer o ddynion adnabyddus gael eu dyfarnu’n euog o ‘anwedduster’. Yna yn 1957 awgrymodd y pwyllgor Wolfenden y dylai rwystro’r ddeddfwriaeth oedd yn atal dau ddyn i gael rhyw, neu’r hawl i droseddu dau ddyn os roeddynt yn cael eu dal. Cafodd yr awgrymiad yma gryn dipyn o gefnogaeth, yn enwedig gan Gymdeithas Feddygol Prydain, er hyn gwrthodwyd yr awgrymiad gan y llywodraeth. Ychydig wedi hynny, sefydlwyd Cymdeithas Beaumont fel corff hunangymorth cenedlaethol wedi ei redeg gan ac ar gyfer y gymuned drawsryweddol. Yna yn 1969, y flwyddyn lle sbardunwyd un o ddigwyddiadau fwyaf arwyddocaol y gymuned LGBTQ hyd tuag at heddiw. Roedd Stonewall Inn yn Efrog Newydd yn destun cyrch


gan yr heddlu yn ystod oriau man y bore. Yn dilyn hyn, bu Stonewall Inn yn wynebu tair noson o aflonyddwch gyda’r gymuned LGBTQ yn brwydro yn nol yn erbyn yr heddlu. Roedd lesbiaid a menywod traws groenliw yn rhai o’r ffigyrau allweddol yn y gwrthsafiad. Un o ffigyrau blaenllaw’r terfysgfeydd oedd Marsha P. Johnson, merch traws groenliw a sefydlwyd y Gay Liberation Front, a dyma sbardunodd y gymuned LGBTQ i ddechrau ymgyrchu yn galed dros eu hawliau. Yn 1970 cafodd y Gay Liberation Front ei sefydlu yn y Deyrnas Unedig, dwy flynedd cyn i’r digwyddiad Pride gyntaf gael ei gynnal yn Llundain, a ddenodd 2,000 o bobl. Er roedd pethau yn edrych ar ei fyny i’r gymuned LGBTQ yma yn y Deyrnas Unedig a thu hwnt, roedd dal llawer iawn o bobl yn gwrthwynebu caniatáu dau berson o’r un rhyw i fod mewn cariad, ac mewn perthynas. Yn 1988 cafodd gyfraith newydd ei gyflwyno o dan lywodraeth Margaret Thatcher o’r enw Adran 28. Roedd y ddeddf yma yn gwahardd athrawon rhag hyrwyddo perthnasoedd hoyw mewn ysgolion, ac i beidio rhamanteiddio y syniad o deuluoedd hoyw. Roedd y gyfraith newydd yma yn un o nifer o rwystredigaethau a wynebodd Stonewall Prydain, sef elusen sydd yn cefnogi aelodau o’r gymuned LGBTQ. Yn 1992, penderfynodd sefydliad iechyd y byd i stopio cyfeirio at atyniad i’r un rhyw fel salwch meddwl, a dim


Protest Yw Pride Nid Parti ond yn y flwyddyn 2000 penderfynodd Llywodraeth y Deyrnas Unedig i godi’r gwaharddiad tuag at y gymuned LGBTQ yn gwasanaethu yn y lluoedd arfog. Erbyn hyn, mae dynion hoyw yn cael rhoi gwaed, ond dim ond ers 2011 ac mae hynny ar yr amod eu bod nhw ddim yn rhan o unrhyw berthnasedd rhywiol 12 mis cyn rhoi gwaed. Yn fwy diweddaraf ac yn hanesyddol i’r gymuned LGBTQ, gall cyplau o’r un rhyw briodi’n gyfreithlon yng Nghymru a Lloegr. Yn 2013 hefyd, cynhaliwyd y digwyddiad Pride cyntaf yn Brighton, sydd bellach yn adnabyddus iawn am fod yn un o’r digwyddiadau amlycaf i brotestio yn erbyn hawliau, i ddathlu cariad ac i ddathlu bod yn hoyw. Er bod hawliau yn newid a deddfau yn cael ei dileu, mae dal llawer iawn o waith i’w wneud er mwyn atal homoffobia yng Nghymru, Lloegr, ac o gwmpae hynny drwy sawl ffactor. Mae angen normaleiddio perthnasoedd o’r un rhyw, ac mae rhaid gwneud hynny i bawb o bob oedran, yn enwedig ar y teledu ac mewn ffilmiau, i blant a phobl ifanc ond hefyd i oedolion. Yn yr un modd a hynny mae rhaid dysgu am y gymuned LGBTQ, y terfysgoedd Stonewall, ac yr holl unigolion arwyddocaol sydd wedi siapio’r gymuned LGBTQ i fod yn gymuned agored a chynhwysol i bawb. Yn ychwnaegol i hynny, mae dyletswydd ar y gymuned heterorywiol i gefnogi’r gymuned LGBTQ drwy arwyddo deisebau, cefnogi

elusennau, ymuno yn yr hwyl o benwythnos pride; mae pride yn cael ei gynnal ym mhob dinas mawr yn y Deyrnas Unedig erbyn hyn, gan gynnwys prif ddinas Cymru: Caerdydd. Mae 2020 wedi bod yn flwyddyn od iawn, ond mae un peth yn sicr, mae pawb â gwaith i’w wneud ynglyn â dysgu am eraill, am gymunedau, crefyddau, hil ac i beidio bod mor gyfun i’n cylch personol. Mae angen i ni fod yn agored i dderbyn pawb, dim bwys am pwy maent yn eu caru, neu beth yw lliw eu croen. Mae gan bawb hawl i garu pwy bynnag felly byddwch yn garedig, a chefnogwch eich cyd-ddinasyddion! words by: Dafydd Orritt design by: Anna Kerslake



Our Biggest Relationship Lessons words by: Kate Waldock Each failed relationship is a learning opportunity. Or at least, that’s what I get told from well-wishing friends and family, whilst I moan that I have just wasted months of my life to them. They aren’t wrong though; each relationship, no matter how miserable the breakup, has taught me a lot about myself and given me valuable experience for the future. My first girlfriend decided to dump me on Valentine’s Day of my first year at university. I left that relationship heart broken, because I naively believed that if a girl superficially fulfils my criteria for ‘ideal girlfriend’, we’d end up having a long and amazing relationship. I was wrong. Also, as it turns out, a lot of girls are blonde and have good music taste, which leads me onto the first lesson: get to know your partner before you get serious. I admit, this might seem obvious, but for me, where u-hauling (moving too fast) is the natural response to meeting a pretty girl who likes my tattoos, it’s an important lesson to learn. Someone may ostensibly seem perfect for you,

but don’t start planning your summer festivals with them one month in. The second lesson I took away from my previous relationships was a big one. It’s one of those things that seems really obvious, something that you always think you have no problem doing, but then that one special person comes along, and you forget all your morals and ideals. The lesson is to respect yourself. If I had respected myself in my past relationships, I might be free of scary looks from friends of my ex and online drama that takes up far too much time. If I had respected myself, I might have seen the red flags for what they were, rather

than changing my entire sleep schedule and cancelling plans last minute whenever she decided she wanted to see me.


The third lesson I have learnt has had such significance in my entire life, not just my relationship. When I was younger, when friendships were far more tumultuous and girls could be cruel to each other, my mother always told me to rise above any arguments that may swing my way. It’s something that is so much easier to say than do, but in my relationships and more specifically, my breakups, I have learnt that rising above it is one of the best things I can do. The temptation, when someone breaks your heart, is to bite back and try and hurt them the way they’ve hurt you. I tried it briefly, slurring poorly executed insults at an ex, but now I look back and cringe. If you let the rumours and drama wash over you, keeping your

spotlight anger between your closest friends, your ex is going to stumble over one of their lies and insults themselves, whilst you move on. I don’t regret these relationships, because without them I wouldn’t have learnt as much as I know now about myself. Each break up has led me on to finding the right person for me, someone that learns and grows with me in our relationship.

words by: Laura Dazon There’s one principle central to relationship coaches’ marketing strategies: pain sells. If love gurus like Matthew Hussey bank millions on people’s cries for help, it’s because the lack of relationship literacy in our society leaves many desperate. I certainly accepted the verdict that relationships were either something you were good at or not. My love life for a long time left me feeling like I was on the wrong side of luck, until I learned it didn’t have to be this way. My first major heartbreak was in freshers year, because of a guy I had never met in person. It’s funny to think we were one tweet away from never speaking. He was a part of my daily life for a year. Our relationship stretched to sweet confessions in the late hours of the night, but never extended to commitment. He told me not to get attached when I was already head over heels for him. I dismissed his warnings under the hopeful impression that he just “hadn’t met the one yet”, and that I was gonna be this one. Rookie mistake. I was just setting myself up for heartbreak. This taught me to actually listen to people and to understand actions speak as loud as words. Stop trying to figure out if that weird emoji he sent you secretly symbolizes his love, and actually ask him. You need to be clear with people about your expectations, and move on if they can’t answer them. Transparency isn’t being clingy. It’s respecting yourself and your boundaries. Now it’s time to talk about my first proper relationship. We just weren’t right for each other. He was constantly unsatisfied with me. From the way I dressed to the way I spoke, he belittled my every move. Despite this, and the fact my self-esteem had never been so low as when I was with him, I fought tooth and nail to make it work. What I really needed to do was take a closer look at myself and my relationship, and see that I was the only one thinking in terms of ‘making it work’. You can’t fix a relationship by yourself; it’s supposed to be a team effort. Also, despite the fact I was supposedly well-versed in self boundaries and emotional literacy by then, I still accepted being treated with less respect than I deserved. Make peace with the fact you’ll make mistakes several times, even when you think you’ve learned your lesson. What matters is that you keep learning.

The final point I’d like to touch upon concerns my current relationship. Where my lessons used to be found in pain, my current partner is teaching me day after day that they can spark from love and happiness. The craziest thing about it is that I almost didn’t give him the chance to, under the excuse that he was smaller than me. For years, I repeated I would only date people that were taller than me, and dismissed everyone else. Well, one thing for sure is that it didn’t matter if a guy was taller than me if he was making me miserable. My biggest lesson is certainly to allow yourself to be surprised, you never know what may come your way. art by: Canva design by: Maja Metera


Playlist 1. Fineshrine by Purity Ring 2. AUATC by Bon Iver 3. Monte Carlo by Remi Wolf 4. 34+35 by Ariana Grande 5. mirrorball by Taylor Swift 6. Miracle of Life by Bright Eyes 7. Easy by Troye Sivan


8. Only Time Makes it Human by King Princess 9. Scream Drive Faster by Laurel 10. Tangerine by Glass Animals 11. Should I by Phoebe Ryan 12. Before I Let Go by Beyonce 13. Godspeed by James Blake 14. Comme Des Garcons by Rina Sawayama 15. affection by BETWEEN FRIENDS

words by: Jasmine Snow and Elly Savva design by: Jasmine Snow


Profile for Cardiff Student Media

Quench Magazine, Issue 180, November 2020  


Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded