The Independent Group – Who are they?

By Joe Bunkle – Have you been at odds with your mates about Brexit? Well our two main parties in Parliament certainly have. The PM (Theresa May a.k.a. Maybot) and the Opposition Leader (Jeremy Corbyn a.k.a. Jezza) have seen a few of their MPs…

By Joe Bunkle

The Independent Group: Who are they? And what might they mean for Brexit and British Politics?


Have you been at odds with your mates about Brexit? Well our two main parties in Parliament certainly have. The PM (Theresa May a.k.a. Maybot) and the Opposition Leader (Jeremy Corbyn a.k.a. Jezza) have seen a few of their MPs resign their party memberships following disagreements over Brexit and equality issues in British politics. They have come together to form the Independent Group of Members of Parliament (catchy right?) Here I’m going to talk a little about who and what the Independent Group are, their goals, and what effect they might have on Brexit and the current British political scene.

With Article 50, the exiting clause of the Lisbon Treaty that lays out the rules for EU membership, being triggered in just over a month’s time (29/03/19), one has to wonder what this means for Brexit’s future? Are we set to get out? Or will these plucky few snatch a Remainer reprieve out of Leave?

From 7 members to now 11, Labour MPs such as Chuka Umunna and Tories like Cambridgeshire’s own Heidi Allen have rallied to challenge the incoming departure from the European Union. They’ve dumped their membership of their respective parties to stand as independent MPs, now calling for a People’s Vote (in simple terms: a referendum on the PM’s final Brexit deal), and even a second EU membership referendum.

Originally, our Gang of Seven, as they had been dubbed by a few British news outlets, did not only walk out from Labour due to Corbyn’s EU stance (his history of being a Eurosceptic, as well as committing here and now to Brexit). Ex-Labour MP Luciana Berger accused the party of being “institutionally anti-Semitic” and being too hard-left on the political scale. Meanwhile Corbyn and his supporters warned that leaving the party now meant they had handed voting power over to the Conservatives.

Speaking of Conservatives, deserting MPs naturally throw a spanner into May’s already strained works. Now, there’s not only a problem in Jeremy’s party with accusations of a rife of anti-Semitic bullying, the PM is now in the spot light for accusation that her party is being controlled by hardline Brexiteers. Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and our aforementioned Heidi Allen have officially jumped ship and joined their ex-Labour counterparts in the new group. Aside from their Brexit views, they’re also calling for a fresh, politically-central group to deliver more compassionate policies to fix the growing hardships that Britain’s most vulnerable such as the homeless. Homelessness has seen a rise in the UK by 4% according to a report by the charity Shelter and critics have placed a lot of the blame at the government’s failure to provide social housing and continuing systematic welfare cuts.

So, what does this mean for you guys? Well if you’re a Remainer then there’s good news and bad news. We’ll start with the good news (because who doesn’t?) and say that this shows more promise for a People’s Vote. Now, not only do MPs support one, but they’ve willingly left their own parties to show their disdain for how Brexit is currently being handled. However, this small camp of only 11 members opens the question: can they really stop a hard Brexit (or stop it all together)? They no longer have insider access to influence their former fellow MPs; they don’t concur on some policy issues outside of Brexit and equality; and they now lose the resources afforded them whilst members of a large party, none of which plays in their favour.

The prospect of by-elections could also be on the table. But what is a by-election? What it means in straight terms is that when you vote for a candidate at election, that candidate is usually backed by a party (Labour, Conservative, Lib Dem, etc.) You might not necessarily like the candidate, but you do like their party, so you vote for them anyway. If they then leave that party, you may then feel a bit let down, and if enough people are in the same boat as you, then you can demand another election is held in your constituency, in order to make their sitting in Parliament democratic; it gives them a mandate. Jeremy Corbyn is one such person demanding that democracy be satisfied and that members of the Independent Group call by-elections. The Independent Group have announced that in spite of these calls for by-elections, they have no plans to do so.

Is this the beginning of the end for Brexit? Will the Independent Group form their own party and defy Maybot and Jezza? Or will the Group try and fail to bring about the change they wish? At this point, only time will tell, but at the rate MPs are becoming independent, that could even be tomorrow!

{Photo from –

Team ARU: Cambridge Half Marathon

Roughly 10,000 runners took part in the 13.1 mile race in its biggest ever year. This year was the 8th annual Saucony Cambridge Half Marathon and the 5th year we as a University have supported the race…

Sunday 3rd March 2019 – Cambridge Half Marathon


Roughly 10,000 runners took part in the 13.1 mile race in its biggest ever year. This year was the 8th annual Saucony Cambridge Half Marathon and the 5th year we as a University have supported the race.

Sunday’s Cambridge Half Marathon took runners on a truly unforgettable journey through the beautiful city of Cambridge, passing countless historic landmarks such as the Round Church, King’s College and the Fitzwilliam Museum.

170 ARU Students, Staff, Alumni and family members/friends of ARU associates were entered into the marathon.


The wet weather conditions did not dampen our runner’s spirits. It was a brilliant day which saw many different reasons for racing to come together to drive our runners on and towards that all important finish line. Ruskin the Rhino was out in full force, motivating runners and keeping their spirits high at the half-way stage as well as our team of staff who were supporting the event and our runners throughout the day.

Joseph Hawes was the first male member of the Anglia Ruskin team to cross the line in an impressive 1 hour 20 minutes and 15 seconds, with Susie Chesher crossing the line first from our female runners in a time of 1 hour 25 minutes and 03 seconds. Another impressive result was from Phoebe Aldrich who finished as the 3rd best female junior runner with a time of 1 hour 43 minutes and 25 seconds. All our entries put on a fantastic display.


All ARU runners did everyone at Anglia Ruskin University proud and showed great effort not only on race day but putting in the hours of training beforehand.

The University also supported the event by hosting 2 training seminar evenings in early January 2019, these were open to all Cambridge half marathon runners who travelled from up and down the country to get an insight from experts into nutrition, pacing, injury rehabilitation and prevention. For the second time the university also hosted the Cambridge Half Marathon Expo event on Friday 1st March and Saturday 2nd March, which was a chance for all runners to collect their race packs and meet other fellow runners.

For the Cambridge Half Marathon official race results, please click here

To check out our coverage of the day, follow our social media activity here.

Culture Focus: Barcelona

By Eliza Rawson – I was fortunate enough to spend three days in Barcelona over New Years (which has become my favourite city!) Barcelona is an amazing, vibrant city that is full of history, culture and amazing architecture. Perfect all year round…

By Eliza Rawson


I was fortunate enough to spend three days in Barcelona over New Years (which has become my favourite city!) Barcelona is an amazing, vibrant city that is full of history, culture and amazing architecture. Perfect all year round and taking just under two hours when flying from London, the city is great for a weekend break or a week long holiday.

Here are my top tips and places to visit if you’re wanting to make the most out of a short city break and see what Barcelona has to offer.

Attractions –

La Rambla:

Situated in the centre of Barcelona, La Rambla was a five minute walk from our Air BnB, bursting with tourists, tapas bars and souvenir stalls. The architecture was amazing and you could definitely understand why the area is so popular with tourists. There is plenty to do and a wide variety of food and drink places too.

Magic Fountain:

This is where the New Years fireworks were hosted. At night, the fountain had lights that projected into the sky which lit up the night sky amongst the stars. During the day, you could clearly see the water display and the architecture surrounding it which was so picturesque. 100% recommend climbing to the top which gives incredible views of the Barcelona skyline.


Teleferic de Montjuic:

Barcelona is incredibly hilly so I recommend wearing trainers (not heeled boots like me) when you’re exploring. We walked up to a cable cart centre which took us up to Montjuic – the views were phenomenal. Once reaching the top, you are welcomed to more incredible views of the ocean, harbour and Barcelona. You can either jump back on the cable cart to get back or walk all the way down and grab a bus.


Gothic Quarter:

The quarter is full of picturesque architecture, a tourist haven. Again, a popular place filled with shops, attractions and food bars. The gothic quarter makes a great spot for a photo and to explore the side streets, bursting with culture.

Barcelona Cathedral:

Situated in the Gothic Quarter, the cathedral is a must see! We didn’t go inside but from the outside, again, has phenomenal architecture and looks amazing when the sun is shining.  Extremely popular with tourists so would recommend buying tickets online if you wanted to go inside.


Arc De Trimof:

This is probably one of my favourite attractions! Although there isn’t much to do there, the walk and views were amazing amongst the blue sky and palm trees.



Sagrada Familia:

The temple of Antoni Gaudi which is still being built on his behalf! A must see even if you don’t pay to go inside, the architecture, detail and colour was like nothing I have ever seen before. Highly recommend jumping on the subway and visiting the Sagrada.


Food & Drink –

Macchina Pasta Bar:

The first restaurant we visited when arriving in Barcelona and still to this day, I’m dreaming of the pasta I had. The restaurant operated on you choosing the exact dish you wanted – the type of pasta, sauce, toppings, you created your own meal! The food wasn’t too overpriced either so I’d say 100% worth taking a visit if you love pasta.


A sweet tooth haven – the only words I can use to describe this bakery. The doughnuts came in a wide topping variety, from pistachio to oreo to kinder bueno – the toppings were suited for everyone’s taste buds.

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Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Tandem Cocktail Bar:

A small, quirky cocktail bar found on Trip Advisor (another fab tip when on holiday, make use of Trip Advisor to find the small, independent restaurants and cocktail bars – they always end up being the best!) The bar had every type of alcohol you could imagine, they didn’t even have a menu! You created your own cocktail based on what taste/flavour you fancied. For £10 a cocktail which is standard, I thought this was very reasonable and 100% worth every penny.


La Boqueria Market:

I’d say La Boqueria Market is both an attraction and food place but if you’re looking for local cuisines and fresh meat, fish, fruits & veg, this is your place! The market was bursting with freshness and a great place to experience local foods.


The Film Corner: December Filmmaker of the Month

By Piotr Wysmyk – Ritchie gained recognition from the film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) – his debut feature film. His career succeeded further in 2000 with the release of Snatch. Although Guy Ritchie’s career in film industry hit a low point, he was…

By Piotr Wysmyk

Guy Ritchie

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Born in 1968 – British Director.

Ritchie gained recognition from the film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) – his debut feature film. His career succeeded further in 2000 with the release of Snatch. Although Guy Ritchie’s career in film industry hit a low point, he was still in the centre of attention due to his marriage with Madonna (married in 2000, divorced in 2008).

Sherlock Holmes (2009) and its sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) earned Ritchie his comeback, earning him a huge box office success. They were later followed by The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015) and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017, for now it is the last production of this director).

Sherlock Holmes VS Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – (Review)

Sherlock Holmes and its sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows are probably Guy Ritchie’s biggest box office successes. Although the sequel is the direct continuation of the previous movie, each film presents its own, unique approach to storytelling and filmmaking techniques.

Sherlock Holmes introduces all the main characters such as Sherlock Holmes, his partner John Watson and also some supporting characters (e.g. Mary Morstan and Irene Adler). This time the famous detective meets his match in Lord Henry Blackwood – the villainous member of the secret cult. His sinister purpose is to plunge the English population in fear of him in order to take over the whole country. Sherlock Holmes puts much effort to take the villain down but it proves to be a very hard task due to Henry Blackwood’s supernatural forces. He clearly seems to have the Devil on his side…

From its very beginning, Sherlock Holmes seems to be packed with darkness, mystery and suspense. The film is usually set in dangerous, gloomy streets of 19th century London. One of the main focuses of the movie is the horrible world of crime with enigmatic Lord Henry Blackwood at its centre. There are many weird, unexplained deaths/disappearing’s and the audience has to wait until the very end to get to know the solutions to these riddles. From a technical point of view, the film’s colour palette (darkened in post production, stripped of the natural colourfulness) and the selection of specific music/sound builds a disturbing atmosphere of darkness, gloominess and mystery.

In Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows the detective has to fight against his arch enemy – Dr James Moriarty. The evil doctors plan is to take over the arms industry and start a world war in order to earn money by selling weapons. Sherlock Holmes and his allies prove to be determined to stop the vicious plan. However, the Moriarty’s power of destruction plunges all of them into the cruel race for their lives.


Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows presents something totally different than the previous movie. It shifted from gloomy streets of London to the international setting (different parts of England, Germany, France, Switzerland). The main basis of this film is the constant threat of politico-diplomatic disaster (outbreak of the world war), instead of the mystery of dark powers. In such a manner, the whole storyline gains a more militaristic character (e.g. more shoot-outs, soldiers from different countries, presentation of many types of weaponry of 1890s). From the technical point of view, this atmosphere is additionally highlighted by the slow motion scenes (e.g. reloading the guns, flying bullets).



  • King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, 2017. Directed by Guy Ritchie. USA: Safehouse Picures.
  • Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, 1998. Directed by Guy Ritchie. UK: SKA Films.
  • Sherlock Holmes, 2009. Directed by Guy Ritchie. USA/Germany: Warner Bros.
  • Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, 2011. Directed by Guy Ritche. USA: Warner Bros.
  • Snatch, 2000. Directed by Guy Ritchie. USA/UK: Columbia Pictures Corporation.
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E., 2015. Directed by Guy Ritchie. USA/UK: Warner Bros.

Team ARU: BUCS This Girl Can Week 2018

This Girl Can runs annually and is an opportunity for Higher Education to highlight the different opportunities available for women to get active and involved in sport during their time at University. The week aims to target gender equality…

This Girl Can runs annually and is an opportunity for Higher Education to highlight the different opportunities available for women to get active and involved in sport during their time at University. The week aims to target gender equality – break down the barriers that stop females playing sport and empower women to become more active.

From inspirational female students, fancy dress tournaments, social media takeovers and our BUCS This Girl Can photo frame appearing in your newsfeed more often than Brexit. Check out our highlights from the week here.


We want BUCS This Girl Can Week to have a lasting legacy so please continue to use the hashtag #ARUGIRLSCAN. If you are unsure about how you can get active at Anglia Ruskin University please just email us on or just ask a member of the Team ARU staff, we are always happy to help.

We hope that BUCS This Girl Can Week has further demonstrated that there is plenty of enjoyable and safe environments for you to try a new activity or pick up a sport you have lost touch with.


Team ARU: Mens Hockey Match Report

By Tom Smith – The boys knew they had to win this game and that’s PRECISELY what happened. They started well with Hamish dribbling into the D and slotting the ball through the keepers legs. The team then scored a potential goal of the season…

By Tom Smith

Anglia Ruskin University vs University of Leicester 

Score:  4 – 2, WE WON!!


  • Callum Carter
  • Hamish Leslie
  • Tom Burrows
  • Herbert Jrn Mudzamiri

The boys knew they had to win this game and that’s PRECISELY what happened. They started well with Hamish dribbling into the D and slotting the ball through the keepers legs. The team then scored a potential goal of the season, with Alex Johnson flinging an aerial and Callum taking it in the air and smashing it past the keeper. We pressed on, Callum scoring our third goal, which was then somehow bizarrely ruled out by the umpire who ‘didn’t see the ball go in the goal’. This caused a little bit of ‘discussion’ amongst the 2 coaches, but it didn’t affect the game and Burrows scored our third goal after a short corner. ARU got slightly complacent and Leicester scored from their first short. It could have been worse had goalie Ben not been sharp off his line to prevent another goal.

We came in at half time knowing the game was nowhere near won. Our boys nearly started the second half badly, Ben kicking a ball that had been hit from the Leicester half, straight back to their striker. Luckily this didn’t result into a goal. We did however concede a 2nd goal, after a mix up between Henry and Rolland. After they kept strong and kept moving the ball, and it paid off. Herbert securing all 3 points with 5 minutes to go after good work down the right hand side from Tom Burrows. The boys ran and gave everything for the team. A massive shout out to Miles Fiddes who in his first start, and second game had an absolute worldly. Playing all positions on the park, trapping aerials, slapping balls with quality into the D, and defensively class. Burrows a close second for MotM with 2 assists and a goal.

Man of the Match: Miles Fiddes

Next week ARU Men’s 1st will play Loughborough Men’s 5th at home on Wilberforce Road Sports Grounds. Come and support them from 3pm onwards.

Team ARU: Taekwondo Report

By Jessica Marie Baloso – A very early start for the team driving to the Jean Brown Indoor Arena in Ilford. We eagerly waited for the weigh-ins to start. A number of universities had also started arriving and some students had been exercising to burn…

By Jessica Marie Baloso

BSTF Autumn Championships and LUSL 2018

Results: x4 Gold, x9 Silver, x5 Bronze

A very early start for the team driving to the Jean Brown Indoor Arena in Ilford. We eagerly waited for the weigh-ins to start. A number of universities had also started arriving and some students had been exercising to burn off any excess weight to ensure they met their weight requirement. Other competitors were also practicing for the first set of competitions known as Poomsae, which is a distinct pattern of attack and defence actions.

The world weights division for sparring began around noon and Team ARU athletes were warming up, stretching, and practicing kicks before their fights. There were some issues with more than one of the team members’ matches happening at the same time. Therefore, those who were not yet competing were split all over the place, supporting as many of the team members as possible. The coaches too were doing an incredible job of managing multiple members of the team, one after the other as everyone’s matches were close together.

Every single member of the club performed very well and scoring a number of points and all at advancing the semi-finals as a minimum. A valid kick to the trunk is two points but four if it is a turning kick, and a kick to the head is three, but five if it is a turning kick.

After a lunch break to rejuvenate the athletes, the rest of the matches for the first session continued and soon came to end, and the Olympic weights division followed. Despite losing some matches, the team had a 100% medal rate and were able to take home 18 medals. The full results were:

– Maria Michael: x2 Silver, Bronze
– Jessica Marie Baloso: x2 Silver
– Lidia Iazzolino: x2 Gold
– Piyush Dattatray Dixit: Bronze
– Miranda Ventrella: Bronze
– William Moore: Gold
– George Dennis: Bronze
– Abdul Khan: Silver
– Muhammad Shoaib Shahid: x2 Silver
– Alexina Oladipupo: Gold, Silver
– Neuza Nunes-Cossa: Silver, Bronze

The Taekwondo club has improved greatly over a short period of time, from the number of members signing up, down to the progression of the hard-working individuals. The new committee members have been actively involved with their members of the group and supporting one another through running Mondays’ training sessions, as well as promoting the club with a new Instagram page being set up. The club has also gained an extra training session at a new facility at North Cambridge Academy.

A massive thank you to Barbora Hodorova for volunteering as corner and Poomsae judge, Kian Ziari, Shoaib Shahid, and Piyush Dixit for doing a wonderful job of coaching the team! Next stop: Student Nationals!

Team ARU: Girls Hockey Match Report

After being cramped into a small minibus for 2 hours, we arrived at Warwick University wanting to win more than ever. Despite starting off the season a bit rough…

Written for Team ARU by Jessica Richardson

Warwick University V Anglia Ruskin University 

Score: 0-2! WE WON!

After being cramped into a small minibus for 2 hours, we arrived at Warwick University wanting to win more than ever. Despite starting off the season a bit rough, the team has finally found their determination to win again.

The game started off with ARU staying strong and focused and having most of the possession however, Warwick had a good defence and our girls struggled to find a way in to the D and score goals. That didn’t stop them from giving up and Katheryn Soame on her debut game back found an opening and ran the ball into the D, hit it to the post for Neve Chacksfield to deflect it in!

Going back in to the game after half time is normally where ARU loses their heads a little but, the girls wanting to win so they can get a McDonald’s from the driver meant that they worked even harder to keep the win a good one. This half was all about possession as we watched Warwick struggle to get the ball. ARU’s second goal came from a short won by Merel van Schooten and scored by Phoebe Aldrich with an incredible straight strike! 9 minutes later and the whistle is blown allowing us to celebrate their first win of the season!

Girl of the Game:

Caitlin Dean as she showed how much she has grown as a player in this match!

Next week we see our cup game against Nottingham – let’s try get another win!

The Film Corner: November Filmmaker of the Month

Reservoir Dogs, released in 1992, is considered to be his directorial debut. But, Pulp Fiction (1994), one of the classics of cinema, gave him international recognition, winning an Academy Award for Best Screenplay in 1995…

Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino (born in 1963) – actor, producer, director, screenwriter.


Reservoir Dogs, released in 1992, is considered to be his directorial debut. But, Pulp Fiction (1994), one of the classics of cinema, gave him international recognition, winning an Academy Award for Best Screenplay in 1995. Then his filmmaking career really started. As a director, screenwriter or even actor (he often played supporting roles in his movies), he created many generously awarded, known worldwide movies such as: Kill Bill (2003) and Kill Bill 2 (2004), Inglourious Basterds (2009), Django Unchained (2012, another Academy Award for best screenplay in 2013) and, most recently, The Hateful Eight (2015). All mentioned productions are Quentin Tarantino’s main projects, both directed and written by him. Undoubtedly, they represent his own unique, signature style of storytelling.

Quentin Tarantino’s Style of Storytelling

Throughout almost three decades, Quentin Tarantino has had an opportunity to build a quite impressive portfolio of films. He used his screenwriting potential to develop his own, quite recognisable, signature style of storytelling. I am going to explore it by analysing three of the Quentin Tarantino’s key productions: Reservoir Dogs (1993), Inglourious Basterds (2009) and Django Unchained (2013).


In Reservoir Dogs, the gangster boss gathers a team of gangsters who do not know each other. Their task is to rob a jewellery store. The suitcase full of valuable diamonds is the proof of the heist’s success but something has gone wrong in the process. The police has already known about the planned robbery. This means that there is a “rat” amongst the gathered gangsters…

Who is a snitch? This is the question which main characters are trying to answer throughout the plot of the movie. Many retrospections and the disturbance of the chronological order of scenes offer us the unfinished jigsaw puzzles which need to be put in the correct place. Reservoir Dogs is also full of “decorations” such as: catchy dialogues (e.g. the conversation about giving tips), violence or exaggerated bloodiness. Sometimes scenes are such a joke that we can hear Quentin Tarantino laughing straight in our faces (e.g. the torture scene where the torturer is dancing to the diegetic sounds of cheerful jazz music).


Inglourious Basterds is set in 1944. Here we can see many characters having their own stories to tell. The most important plot threads are linked to the team of Jewish American soldiers killing Nazis in occupied France, the other group of American soldiers planning to assassinate Adolf Hitler and the young Jewish French woman owning a cinema in Paris. All stories and characters lead to the one conclusion – to the assassination attempt of Adolf Hitler…

This time the film presents the historical setting which Quentin Tarantino has been trying to reflect. However, in this case the historical accuracy usually falls prey to his screenwriting creativity. Again there is a lot of catchy dialogues (e.g. the conversation between Hans Landa and French peasant or the pub shoot out scene) and violence. The chronological order of scenes seems to be preserved. Nazis are portrayed here as people prejudiced towards Jews and black people (which is basically quite accurate) and that fact leads to many racist, dark jokes appearing in Inglourious Basterds (e. g. the question game scene is probably the biggest source of racism in this movie). Basically the Third Reich and Nazis are presented here as a laughing stock. Such approach is highly attached to satire.


Django Unchained is set in USA, in the 19th century (before the American Civil War). It follows the story of a German bounty hunter and the black slave liberated by him. The Bounty hunter offers a fair exchange: Firstly, the black slave is going to help him catch his targets, and in return, the Bounty Hunter is going to liberate the black slave’s wife from slave labour.

Django Unchained is a film loosely based on Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns. This legacy is accompanied here by the fictional presentation of the harsh reality of black people being enslaved in pre-Civil War America. This film is much bloodier and violent than Inglourious Basterds and Reservoir Dogs. Again we can witness catchy dialogues but sometimes there is more depth into them (e.g. the conversation between the Bounty Hunter and black slave about the goddess from Germanic mythology.) The movie is also a satire on the owners of plantations (they are prejudiced towards black people and that prejudice is presented by racist, dark jokes).

It is easy to notice that each film has a different setting and making such shifts is probably one of the Tarantino’s qualities. However, sometimes there is a comeback (e.g. The Hateful Eight, released after Django Unchained, is a comeback to western setting). Tarantino’s plots themselves are often very simple but presented in a way which make them interesting to watch; his endings can be really surprising as it is not stated whether everything is going to end well or not (some main characters might die at the end). The disturbance of the chronological order is also considered to be the one of the most recognisable of Tarantino’s tricks (however, not always used.)

In such a way, the three chosen films perfectly present the overall picture of Quentin Tarantino’s storytelling style.



  • Django Unchained, 2012. Directed by Quentin Tarantino. USA: Columbia Pictures
  • Inglourious Basterds, 2009. Directed by Quentin Tarantino and Eli Roth. USA/Germany: Universal Pictures.
  • Kill Bill, 2003. Directed by Quentin Tarantino. USA: Miramax Films.
  • Kill Bill 2, 2004. Directed by Quentin Tarantino. USA: Miramax Films.
  • Pulp Fiction, 1994. Directed by Quentin Tarantino. USA: Miramax Films.
  • Reservoir Dogs, 1992. Directed by Quentin Tarantino. USA: Dog Eat Dog Productions Inc.
  • The Hateful Eight, 2015. Directed by Quentin Tarantino. USA: Double Feature Films.

Written By: Piotr Wysmyk

‘The Archive and the Contested Landscape’ – Festival of Ideas

“This project exploring the dynamic material interplay between archives and contested landscapes was initiated by Kelcy Davenport and Nawrast Sabah Abd Alwahab as part of their ongoing art-geology research collaboration…

By Hannah Cox

“This project exploring the dynamic material interplay between archives and contested landscapes was initiated by Kelcy Davenport and Nawrast Sabah Abd Alwahab as part of their ongoing art-geology research collaboration.  The project was introduced via a symposium event in Cambridge on 22nd March 2018.  A related exhibition comprising of creative responses to the theme, by artists and non-artists inclusively, will take place in Cambridge and Basra from 22nd – 28th October 2018, as part of the Festival of Ideas.”

The first part of this exhibit took place in Cambridge whilst the second will be taking place in Basra, Iraq in 2019. The project looked interesting, an exhibit across three buildings beginning at Gallery 9 on Norfolk Street. Immediately upon entering, there were 26 copper figurines on the floor, Elizabeth’s Eade’s Net Realisable Value. After being told we could hold one, my son chose a pregnant figurine and she was placed carefully into his hands whilst I read about the piece. The 26 copper figurines have been ‘corrupted with sea water to produce startling green crystals’. Eerily reminiscent of Egyptian Shabti dolls found in the Pharaohs’ tombs, they are themselves symbols of slaves. The title relates to the calculation regarding the worth of water damaged goods, the figurines to a real life event:

“On the 3rd of November 2017, the bodies of 26 girls aged 14-18 were pulled from the sea off the South Coast of Italy. They were all of Nigerian origin. One wore a t-shirt with the words “I’m super happy”. It is believed that they were destined for the vociferous sex slave trade in Italy. The only two identified were named as Marian Shaka, who was married, and Osato Osaro. Both were pregnant.”

The power of this piece builds on you slowly. Drawing us unexpectedly into confronting the horrors of the sex slave trade still happening today. Tragedy, beauty and horror all rolled into 26 little figures, some slightly broken, and others slightly less human due to the crystal growth. We stand to move on, placing the pregnant figurine back on the floor where she longs.

The Gallery echoed with the sounds of Rosanna Greave’s film The Flaming Rage of the Sea (2018). Choreographed stilt performers represent the fens people whilst oral histories and the poem ‘The Powtes Complaint’ protest the draining of the fens and discuss the histories of the Cambridgeshire Fenland.


The harsh landscape contrasts with the images of the traditional folk festivals and the whole piece functions as a visual poem. A very stark piece highlighting the struggle and ‘precariousness of a landscape below sea level’.

Sarah Strachan spent the weeks prior to the exhibit preparing an incredible clay water filtering vessel in the fashion of the place where the clay was sourced: the Al-Hammar Marshes in Southern Iraq. The piece, Shared Water, Contested Water, provides an artefact linking the ‘paleoclimate archive and the future demand for water’. The quality of the vessel is proof of the time, care and skill of Strachan in preparing a complex material as a part of a series of clay objects.

Many of the pieces focus on war. My first impression of Artists Activists’ T.H. Elderton and Walter Yeo was of two beautiful sculptures. They are the ‘men with the Broken Faces’, a term which the artist disagrees with as ‘these men must not have their identities transformed and grouped into a terminology to be forgotten as individuals’. By the time we came to leave I knew not to consider them beautiful, only to leave understanding and knowing that individuals went through an unimaginable hell when they lost their faces.

The next part of the exhibit was on ARU’s main campus. Ian Moffat’s Lunette: A Deep History of Australian Climate shows us the ‘stark, craggy forms’ of the crescent shaped dunes attached to Salt Lakes are layered, ‘recording thousands of years of climate change driven by the natural wobbles in the Earth’s transit around the sun’. Not only do these images open our eyes to the beauty of lunettes, but they also show the deep history Australia has and stand as a testimony to man and other creature’s abilities to change and adapt to climate change.

The third building of the exhibit was the Zion Baptist Church Crypt. Walking into the crypt was a slightly unsettling experience. Most noticeable, perhaps because the crypt walls were reverberating with the sound, was William Crosby’s WHAILES. Speakers faced the centre of the unlit room, playing whale song, and whilst it is incredibly loud, it serves to educate us about noise pollution in the world’s oceans. This piece discusses the effects of human activity on the ocean – a contested landscape that not too long ago, existed without human interference.

Events were also arranged by Kelcy Davenport to further discuss and explore the theme of the contested landscape, such as the mid-week symposium. Here, contributors to the exhibit gave talks on their work. One piece which benefitted from the symposium was Sally Stenton’s and Nawrast Sabah Abd Alwahab’s If the Cloud Allows.They arranged for people in Cambridge and Basra to walk in a circle and look at the moon simultaneously. The pictures in the exhibit and the story were made more powerful after seeing the short film which shows the events as they happen at the same time on 26/10/18. I doubt one could truly view this piece, as it is an experience. The two acts explore a feeling of connectivity and the significance of the cyclical movement of the groups in line with the moon and the earth.

This exhibition was a huge undertaking and an even bigger success. Thank you to Kelcy Davenport and Nawrast Sabah Abd Alwahab for arranging this exhibit and curating these works and to all who contributed to the exhibit. I sincerely recommend visiting the website and social media pages, and if you can see any of the pieces, I entreat you to. This exhibit not only explored contested landscapes, but through them brought out the importance of human connections. Through these works we are linked to cultures, war zones and people who we are led to believe are ‘them’ or ‘other’. In exploring our connections, we experience the humanity of people we often dehumanise and challenge the ideas which can lead to contested landscapes.

All quotes taken from the exhibition catalogue.

The Domination of Streetwear

By Eliza Rawson – Gone were the days of streetwear being affiliated with RnB artists, rappers and the culturally-driven individuals. Nowadays, if it has appeared on…

By Eliza Rawson

Gone were the days of streetwear being affiliated with RnB artists, rappers and the culturally-driven individuals. Nowadays, if it has appeared on social media or a celebrity is wearing it – it’s deemed mainstream and everyone wants their hands on it.

Supreme, Huf, Palace, North Face, Golf Le Fleur – the list of brands could go on. Streetstyle in 2018 is one of the most popular fashions styles out there currently. Developing in the 1970s, streetwear has been a part of the fashion world for years. Stussy was one major brand that developed the overall feel and looks of the style, developing brand printed t-shirts and hats. The development of Stussy resulted in the definition of what streetwear means in today’s society:

“A multi-faceted, sub-culturally diverse, Southern California lifestyle-based T-shirt brand and [mimicking] the limited feel of a high-end luxury brand…. those are the two most integral components of what makes a brand streetwear: t-shirts and exclusivity.” 

Adidas and Nike soon caught on with the trend in the 80s, being associated with sportswear mostly but soon affiliated to the hip-hop/street stereotype. In those days, streetwear was a subculture, a division from everyday clothing items that you would find on the high street. Then came the whereabouts of Supreme, starting up in 1994, the brand became known for their skateboard and authentic designs that were different to others out there. Supreme’s popularity soon became apparent, with their frequent social media posting, Thursday ‘drop days’ (new clothing releases) and collaborations with other brands such as North Face, Huf, Nike and Fila.

I spoke to an individual who is deeply involved in the streetwear scene. Luke Rowe, 23, has been collecting/wearing streetwear for the past eight years:

“I don’t feel that streetwear is a trend, it’s more of a category. People have been buying branded items for a long time but they have always been referred to something. For example, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, have all been classed as high-end fashion, items that you’re more likely to see at fashion week. Streetwear is unique in itself, you could put on your basic Carhartt t-shirt and jeans and class it as streetwear, others will have their opinion and think the whole outfit has got to be street to refer to it as streetwear, but it’s all down to what you make it.”

The domination of social media, in turn, has resulted in there being no apparent ‘underground’ styles in society anymore, therefore rejecting subcultures as a whole. Theorist Dick Hebdige inferred back in 1979, the existence of style, whether that be fashion or music, in the media results in the style losing its ‘exclusivity’, no longer belonging to a particular subculture/group of individuals.

Stylist Lottie Volkova stated, “There are no subcultures anymore” when talking to The Guardian, inferring how the use of social media, in turn, has provided users with access to shoes, bags, hats, t-shirts, at the comfort of their home with a swipe and a tap of a button.

Luke added, “Social media is huge within the fashion industry, whether their famous or have a lot of followers if they’re posting the latest items, a lot more people will want it. Drake has been wearing a lot more Stone Island and because of that, it’s becoming a lot harder and more expensive to buy and get your hands on their products.”

High Snobiety, a leading online streetwear, lifestyle and media blog, wrote an insightful article regarding streetwear’s turn to the mainstream –

“Let’s get things straight: there’s absolutely nothing underground, niche, or counter-cultural about limited-edition sneakers, tees and hoodies anymore. If the Biebs is doing it, it’s mainstream.”

‘Drop Days’ are an inevitable part of streetwear. Brands like Supreme, for example, drop their latest items in store and online every Thursday, causing havoc worldwide. On the Supreme website, site traffic increases by 16,800%, with items selling out in a matter of seconds. Selling out seems to clarify the overall popularity of the streetwear brand, especially in Supreme’s case. Individuals queue outside stores to get their hands on the latest items, queuing for days in order to be the first ones in.

However, with the constant demand for wanting the best items, for some, getting your hands on an exclusive item and selling it on for hundreds of pounds more, has become a successful business. Luke’s obsession with brands such as Supreme is no more due to the popularity of the brand:

 “I remember buying online and in-store around 5/6 years ago and it was totally different. Now, you’ll be lucky to cop what you want due to how hyped the brand has come, to some people it’s become a business, people are picking up a jacket for £350 but can flip it for £900 due to the high demand. I stopped buying supreme because of how in-demand their items were, it was impossible to get your size and preference. I personally like Patta, Norse Projects, Our Legacy, they’re more low-key.”

High fashion has even jumped on board with the street style take over, with Louis Vuitton collaborating with Supreme in their Fall/Winter 2017 collection. The collaboration has created items such as a bag, trainers and a jacket (all for extortionate prices, however.) It seems that high brands are wanting to become involved with the next big thing in fashion to remain ‘current’ and trendy with young people.

When putting a poll out on my twitter account, I asked my followers what their favourite streetwear brand is to find out what is considered the most ‘popular’. With 37 votes, 46% voted for Supreme, 30% voted for Golf le Fleur (rapper Tyler the Creator’s clothing range,) 21% for Palace and only 3% for Huf. One user messaged me, stating that Carhartt, in their opinion, is considered another streetwear brand.

Streetwear always has and always will be a ‘mainstream’ fashion style. It’s a culture that most individuals are a part of yet some do not realise, even wearing a tracksuit, you could be classed as wearing streetwear. With that, social media is a key feature of the domination of streetwear, it seems that without the frequent use, streetwear wouldn’t be half as successful as it is currently.

Image: Eliza Rawson

Are Fashion Bloggers and Social Media Changing The Fashion Industry?

By Eliza Rawson – In the 21st century, everything we need is at the touch, swipe and click of a button. Flicking through a magazine to find the latest trends seems to be an…

By Eliza Rawson

In the 21st century, everything we need is at the touch, swipe and click of a button. Flicking through a magazine to find the latest trends seems to be an old-fashioned concept now when apps such as Instagram and Pinterest exist, giving users an endless portrayal of the bags and shoes of their dreams. Online fashion journalism (especially blogging) seems to be the ‘new-in’ thing at the moment, with fashion bloggers and influencers posting left, right and centre. Are these fashion influencers changing the meaning of the fashion industry?

Young influencers amass thousands of followers, dictating to them what the ‘in’ looks are, how to dress for your body, but also opening up the platform for more diverse content creators.

Fashion blogging kicked off back in 2007 when the fascination with social media apps soon became immensely popular. The ability to post photos on an app to share with the world was a concept which everyone wanted to be a part of. Instagram was founded in October 2010, generating over 800 million users to this date. The app is a central hub for fashion bloggers and influencers to post and share their daily outfits; often tagging ‘ootd’ (outfit of the day for all you unaware) creating flat lays and sharing their current favourite outfits. Now, fashion is everywhere we turn, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, the list could go on. It seems that fashion was once an enclosed industry but now has become digitally embedded.

Back in the day, fashion was a sealed envelope, a gateway in which only the elite and fashion designers were involved with. Fashion shows were private and the trends being showcased were released to consumers months after being on the runway. Nowadays, catwalks for specific brands are live streamed on Facebook and Instagram, with Tommy Hilfiger live streaming their Gigi Hadid collection at London Fashion Week this year on Instagram to their thousands of followers.

Influencers are incredibly strategic about posting content, choosing the time of day when most people are online, and using popular hashtags to gain more likes and comments.

Gigi Gorlova, London based fashion blogger and designer, owner of Instagram account Gigiscloset’ and blog, started up her blog over four years ago and now to this date has 19.1k followers on Instagram, Gigi Said:

“To me, blogging is very personal, it’s a diary of my everyday fashion styling. Sometimes brands send you clothes and it’s fun trying to style a certain piece. For me, blogging helps me get clients as a freelance social media manager. It’s a great way to show off what you are about and if you are creative at your work.”

Because of how powerful the fashion industry has become online, brands owe much of their success to promoting their products through bloggers promoting their products online. Bloggers can get paid thousands just for showcasing a product through a photo and posting throughout their socials. Selena Gomez, for example, can earn up to £500,000 for each promotion post on her Instagram. Brands could do this through magazine advertising, but it would take more time and essentially more money; social advertising seems to be the only answer in this current digital world, offering instant access.

“I get asked to promote products often but sometimes the products do not suit my niche. I will not post about tooth whitening or any of those cliché products just for money. My niche is fashion and that’s what I’ll promote. I’ve promoted for Quiz, Motel Rocks and LaSula.”

Vogue released a very topical article in 2016, titled “Ciao, Milano!’s Editors Discuss the Week That Was”harshly shaming fashion bloggers as “Pathetic” and “Embarrassing”. Vogue writer Sally Singer stated,

“Note to bloggers who change head-to-toe, paid-to-wear outfits every hour: Please stop. Find another business. You are heralding the death of style”.

It seems that the popular fashion magazine that has been on the scene for over 123 years haven’t quite got their heads around how social media plays a vital role in the fashion industry in the 21st century.

With phones at your disposal every moment of the day, we are constantly logged onto social media platforms, unable to get away from the constant notifications. Back in the day, to get the latest news and features, one would have to visit a shop to collect a physical print, with some of these only being produced weekly or monthly.

However, it doesn’t necessarily mean to say that fashion magazines and the print industry are dead:

I personally read magazines but because they are only printed once a month I go to social media as I need more fashion inspiration daily. It’s a good idea for magazines to stay digital as well as print. I want both!” Gigi adds. Magazines still hold that appeal of holding a good quality, glossy magazine in your hands that nothing else beats. It produces monthly issues of the greatest fashion trends and celebrities that maybe hasn’t been covered on social media.

“Magazines aren’t going to disappear, people still like to have something tangible to browse – the book industry was predicted to collapse in the wake of the Kindle, but it has rebounded.” Bronwyn Cosgrave, a former features editor, says in British Vogue. (Above article).

It seems that the world is now tech-savvy, orientated around the use of social and digital media. Yes, social media has changed the fashion industry, making it current and constant 24/7. But the fashion industry lives for the publication of high-end magazines such as Vogue and Elle that it couldn’t possibly put these out of business for good.


If you fancy your hand at writing about your passions, student-related topics or subjects of global importance – why not write for the Ruskin Journal? Accepting new writers in August 2018 – send an email to to find out more or express your interest. Open to undergraduate and postgraduate students at Anglia Ruskin University.

Culture Focus: Budapest

This gem of a city in the small country of Hungary in the heart of Europe is a popular getaway destination for young adults, partly due its eye candy…

Your non-tourist guide to a great Budapest weekend

By Rebeka Kancsar

This gem of a city in the small country of Hungary in the heart of Europe is a popular getaway destination for young adults, partly due its eye candy architecture and affordable flights and hotels. Now, you could google ‘things to do in Budapest’ and figure that catching the hop-on hop-off and going from Fisherman’s Bastion to Heroes’ Square might be your best, or you could focus slightly less on the tourist hot-spots and explore some of these not-so-hidden treasures of Budapest.

Road to Ruins

Take a city known for its history, add craft beer, and you get ruin pubs—filled with antiques, flacking lights and art. Notoriously in District VII, buildings—or rather, their remains—can look like what you’d expect to see on urbex blogs, graffiti and fallen pieces of concrete, where you can easily walk past a ruin pub without realising. Considerate to neighbours nearby, it’s an unofficial rule that you have to be quiet on the streets and near the entrance, but once you walk through the gates of Szimpla Kert and into the courtyard, you’ll find yourself in another world, consisting of chill music, laidback atmosphere, projected silent movies, multicolour lights and wall art, filled with thrift-shop gadgets that serve no purpose but are fun to twiddle. Bikes wrapped in fairy lights hanging from the ceiling as chandeliers, old square TV’s mounted onto the wall, disco balls, broken road signs and an old Trabant car covered with graffiti with a table in it—a perfect playground for young adults. Speaking of adult playgrounds, it’s also close to the Pinball Museum, where you can play with over 130 vintage and new machines.


If you ever came across a photo of Budapest, chances are you’ve seen Buda Castle on it. You could take the £40+ walk inside the castle, or you could opt for a walk in the Castle Gardens for free and see historical architecture and a panoramic view of the Chain Bridge and Parliament Building over the Danube.

Another skyline spot on the Buda side of the city is right next to Gellért Thermal Baths—which is worth spending a day in if you’re one for spas, soaking in warm waters that are believed to be healing, although it’s crowded with tourists during holiday season, but Ryan Gosling apparently enjoyed it too. Climbing up above the Cave church, you can sit on a bench surrounded by trees in the middle of the city, overlooking its skyline AND Buda Castle.

Fiumei Road Cemetery & Memento Park

Cemeteries are generally not included in holiday plans, but here I give you Fiumei Road. Being the largest and one of the oldest cemeteries of Hungary, it houses the mausoleums of national heroes, politicians, poets, artists and the famous Anonymous’ Statue in a green, tree-filled park. Creepy, sure, but its architecture and statues are something worth seeing if you’d rather avoid the tourists. If you’re into statues but you’d rather opt from creepiness to a longer drive, Memento Park is right outside city with 42 pieces of art from the Communist era of Hungary, meaning you could have a picnic next to the massive statues of Lenin and Marx—which is, you know, less creepy.

Food & Sustenance

One wonderful thing about Budapest is that wherever you go, there will be a kebab/gyros/pizza place around the corner, where you can get a slice for as cheap as 300 forint, which is around 80p (yes, you read that right). But if you feel fancy, you could visit the New York Café and its Italian Renaissance glamour for a champagne breakfast. You could also try Gozsdu Courtyard for a variety of bars and restaurants, where you can enjoy a huge range of traditional and international foods outdoors.


You want to avoid the hop-on hop-off—not only because it takes away the genuine excitement of exploring a city, but because Budapest has pretty good public transport, especially the tram network. Tram 2, 4 and 6 serve not only get you from one place to another, but you’ll have the best views of the city’s buildings. There’s always a stop within a short walking distance and you’ll avoid the crowds and stairs of the tube.

Vintage Souvenirs

Most tourist leave with an I love Budapest t-shirt, and while you’re free to do that, why not leave with something better, if you really insist on souvenirs? Budapest has a number of amazing vintage shops, such as Szputnyik D20 and Anfifactory, where if you’re lucky, you can find brands such as Vivienne Westwood and Versace for ridiculously low prices.

So, booked your plane ticket yet?

Image: Rebeka Kancsar

The Mindfulness of Hygge

By Elle Haywood – For many students, the months leading to summer are incredibly stressful and filled with deadline-related worries. From third year dissertations…

By Elle Haywood

For many students, the months leading to summer are incredibly stressful and filled with deadline-related worries. From third year dissertations, exams, and the empty void of summer, many are all feeling a little on edge. As discussed in the Let’s be Honest report from organisations at the university – it is evident that the poor mental health of university students is worryingly high, for many reasons including studies and financial issue.

This suggests that the happiness of young people is also quite low, with the World Happiness Report placing the UK in 19th position, which is not at the bottom, but still pretty low considering we are an MEDC in the Western World. So who is at the top of this? Not surprisingly, most countries from Scandinavia including Finland, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland and Iceland. The country I would like to focus on is Denmark, and their notion of Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah).

Hygge is defined by Hygge House as: A Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cosy, charming or special. These notions of comfort, warmth and cosiness result in many Danes having a great work/life balance, with a fairly stable political system and liberal society. It is common for Danes to finish work when the working day ends, and you are expected to spend your evenings and weekends with friends and family, or pursuing leisure activities. So what does Hygge look like? One way of picturing it is being wrapped in a warm soft blanket, with a hot cup of tea and being surrounded by candles. It is all these notions of cosy and simple, and is best experienced with others, but can also be done alone.

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Candles are a central part of Hygge, with 31% of Danes typically having more than five burning at one time (TLBOH 2016)

As a student, it is fairly common to isolate yourself with your stress and worrying, or having you and your friends collectively stressing. Perhaps incorporating a little Hygge into our lives might be beneficial, especially during exam and deadline season (especially as our budgets are slightly constrained as students, here is an alternative to a boozy night out). You can arrange to all go over to someone’s house, pop out some cheap candles (for the Danes, it is the actual glow from the candles which is considered hygge, not the smell), each cook a small dish, put your phones away and have a chilled evening of catching up, focusing on the positives in your lives and take a break. Then the next day, take some time to plan in some hygge time around your studying, and it might just help you to relax every now and again.

This Danish concept helps them to slow their lives down, take care in the small things such as having a coffee with friends, or reading a book on a windowsill on a rainy day. It is a way to pick up your spirits, live more in the moment and find some warmth during the tough days. As a society, we have become increasingly isolated and our technology just enhances this issue. In Denmark, hygge is not even considered a chore, it is a part of their everyday lives, and even something trivial as the warmth in your stomach from a filter coffee is considered hygge. However, it cannot be bought, and it is not a lifestyle – it is a way of thinking and embodiment within one’s self. It is vital we take a step back, slow it down and just take in our surroundings a little more. We could all benefit with a little more hygge in our lives.

Hygge House Facts:

Culture Focus: Amsterdam Travel Diary

One of the most popular locations for students, for my holiday with my friends this year, we are going to Amsterdam, I can’t wait to go back and I…

2 nights, my hand luggage and an Airbnb – an opinion piece about my trip to the Netherlands and an insight into Dutch culture. 

One of the most popular locations for students, for my holiday with my friends this year, we are going to Amsterdam, I can’t wait to go back and I thought I would write a post for anyone who is also planning to go or is interested in reading about what I got up to. This is an ideal read for students looking for a cheap break in the summer or a weekend getaway! Take a look at a few of my tips and info I got from my short trip last August to the unique and vibrant city via my daily travel diary!



After a 45 minute plane journey, we arrived at Schipol airport. With it having a tube station underneath and various bus routes, we struggled to find the way to the Rijiksmuseum. Also known as ‘the museum of the Netherlands’, it marked the meeting point with our Airbnb host, Rens. We met him during his shift at the museum, he was lovely to us throughout our stay. (I still haven’t written a review for him though which I still need to do.) The Rijiksmuseum is a popular tourist spot that sits near the Van Gogh museum and the huge ‘Amsterdam’ sign that always appears on people’s holiday photos. As there was only two of us, we didn’t manage to get someone to take a picture of us standing by it, but hopefully my pictures I’ve included capture enough to give you a feel of what the city was like!

After we’d been given a spare set of keys, we made our way to our accommodation which was a 30 minute tram journey from the centre. (It brought the price down a bit and hotels closer to the city were too expensive for us.) Although the journey’s there and back did get a bit annoying, we were out of the flat most of the time anyway so it didn’t affect the trip too much. Once I put some makeup on and got rid of our hand luggage (I’m pretty proud of myself for managing to pack light even if it was for 2 nights so it’s getting a mention), we headed out to explore the city. The area surrounding our accommodation was very green, with a huge park we walked across each day to get to the tram line which was a 2 minute walk away. c2

The City

Finally, we were back in the city and free to have a look around. It was so busy! The atmosphere was so different to anything I’d experienced before, people all seemed very happy and there was a range of tourists from all over the world. The city was huge and lots of the streets seemed to go on and on so there’s a lot of walking involved, especially when you’re only there for a short trip and want to see as much as possible!


Amsterdam’s souvenir shops are very different to London, with most filled with various weed related items, clog keyrings and then there’s the shops that are devoted to selling porn DVD’s which appear the closer you get to the red light district.

Coffee Shops/Cafe’s

We walked around the city for hours taking pictures, exploring and being typical visitors. There were coffee shops everywhere with tourists and locals smoking upstairs. They sold the usual souvenirs, drinks, snacks and were very busy. We visited a bar/restaurant called ‘Lost in Amsterdam’ which sold cute cocktails and milkshakes, it was pretty dark in there so I wasn’t able to get a decent photo but it had a very cool interior, you can check it out some pics here.


Red Light District

Anyway, after looking around everywhere, we went back to the flat. When we headed out to have our first drinks, we found a bar with music that sold the cheapest drinks and stayed there until we were we went on to explore the red light district. We both were pretty surprised by it even though we knew what to expect! You could see individuals going into visit the girls behind the windows and there was huge queue’s of people lining up to see a live sex show. Drinking there was fun though and even though there were some questionable people, we had a really good night. It is a unique part of the city! c5



I really wanted to go to the Van Gogh museum so we went back to where we had met Rens in the morning to have a look around. There was three floors, with rooms dedicated to a different time in Gogh’s life. Each room told a story and for someone who had forgotten about everything to do learning about him at school it was really interesting and I absolutely loved it. I definitely would recommend others to visit!



We were starving when we got out of the museum, I can’t remember if we were hungover as well but we definitely appreciated the amount of junk food that lined the streets of the city. Churros, waffles, chips and literally every type of snack food you could think of was there. The only downfall of this is there was nothing else to eat during the day but food from these places, unless you paid for a meal for lunch, which is fine for a short trip but it would get hard if you were staying there a week! My favourite junk food shop we went to was a huge pix and mix store. We visited there again to get another bag before our trip home.

Later that evening, we went out to dinner, and both had a carbonara which was SO good. To wrap up the food section, here is a picture of a fed up me at 4am wanting to find the tram line to that would take us back to the flat, little did I know we were going to spend an hour walking up and down after this photo was taken to catch one, we got lost but at least I had my chips.

The Grasshopper

After dinner we went on a boat trip (we both fell asleep on) and went back to the bars again. The Grasshopper was one of our favourites, it was lit up completely green and had some fab cocktails.


Final Things… 

One thing we didn’t get a chance to do but should get a mention was renting out bikes! We tried to but they were all taken.

Money for drinks on happy hour were about £7.50 each in some the bars and your standard tenner for cocktails. We did manage to find a bar that was cheaper than that hence why we stayed there for a while! So you can see why we didn’t get to go clubbing, entry was very expensive and we were happy to go on a bar crawl instead. We probably would have done a bit more research on where to go clubbing for less if we had stayed longer!

It is a really great experience to get out and explore different countries and cultures while you are at university! It means you can get some journalism experience in by documenting your trip, a chance to socialise with new friends from university and gives you a break from studying!

By Sophie Taylor

20 March 2018

Image Credit: Sophie Taylor