The Significance of Misery

Today is New Year’s Day, which also happens to be the day after my birthday. And this year, for the first time in my adult life, I’m not hungover. In fact, this is the first time in my life that I have not spent either Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve with family and friends. […]

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‘The Lady’s Not for Turning’: Political U-turns and why they matter

On 10 October 1980, Margaret Thatcher delivered a speech that would change the way we think about political decision-making for the foreseeable future. Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference in Brighton, she uttered the words: ‘You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning’ – a phrase that would transform her refusal to […]

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Stamp Duty

During a recent walk home from work, I found myself feeling incredibly excited when I stumbled upon four unused second class stamps, the bright blue packet of which stood out against the dirty grey of the pavement like a lotus flower sitting in the mud. Strangely, it was the same level of excitement that I’ve […]

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‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’

They say ‘Once a smoker, always a smoker,’ and as someone who’s given up and started again more than a few times, I’ve come to accept that this holds a lot of truth for me personally. Like most of my smoker friends I’ve been lighting up since my early teens, and the ritual of rolling […]

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For the Love of… Learning?

During my graduation ceremony, the head of my university’s English department boldly stated in his speech that graduates live happier, healthier and more comfortable lives than those who choose not to complete higher education courses. At the time I thought, ‘What a load of tripe!’ Several years down the line I still believe this to […]

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Unlocking the Language of Loss

Before my dad died a few months ago, I had never experienced the loss of a close relative. I had, of course, been exposed to the grieving process through friends and family members who’s loved ones have passed away. But never had I felt the full weight of loss myself. Something that I’ve come to […]

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