Posted on Leave a comment

Joshua Howse-Stuart: Globetrotting Gamer

Joshua Howse-Stuart erupted into the world in 1994, dropped by a stalk in the middle of the “sh*thole” that is Swindon. Before starting his foundation year at University of the West of England, Josh primarily spent his time plane hopping. However, finally making Bristol his permanent dwelling for the next four years he commences on a lengthy Journalism degree.

Original photo Josh’s Facebook – November 2017

Originally a small-town lad, Josh spent his younger years exploring Britain’s nooks and crannies, his favourites being he said: ‘Wales or London, I’d like to move back to London when I eventually can. He said due to: “the busy-ness, I loved the busy-ness”. Josh moved out of his family home at the age of 15, Josh said: “I have a brother and sister, who I speak to regularly, that’s the only contact I have with my mum. My real dad lives in Sweden.”

As such a flamboyant person, it was interesting to see how Josh assesses himself. Unashamedly admitting that he can be “self-centred”, he explained: ‘I think it comes from moving out when I was 15, you know I had to take care of myself’. Suddenly Josh’s burning motivation to progress is explained.

Josh’s passions extend well beyond the realm of Journalism, encompassing his love of gaming and tech too,”I’m a massive gamer, I play for a local Bristol team and the University as well” later he said: “If there’s a new phone coming out I know about it.” Fully kitted out in the newest gaming equipment, forget the Hatton Garden’s heist if you’re a criminal after some gems, pop to Josh’s!

None of this appears to be a surprise, however for an individual that gives the impression of a sociable chatterbox; Josh also revels in time alone, he said:”it’s so cliché but I quite like just nature walks, just on my own though, not with other people, just put some music on and just go and chill out somewhere.”

November 2017 – Original photo Josh’s Facebook

Piecing together parts of Josh, it becomes evident that he is a man of opposites, whilst he appreciates time alone you may also find him boogieing in a huddle of friends at his 21st Glastonbury. Or on occasion you may find him leaving his gaming console at home, to dress to the nines in his button up shirts sipping purple rain in a bar.

It is blatant that Josh is a jack of many trades but primarily an icon, a status confirmed by Josh’s confession that in his foundation year, he and a group of friends in the midst of a drunken weekend he said: “decided to just go to Paris”.

Posted on Leave a comment

Counting 100 sheep

My flat mate thinks of a hundred things she’s grateful for before she goes to bed. A hundred is a lot, 20 I’m sure I could rattle off like my favourite foods; but at some point after that I might begin to trail into mumbles. She explained “100 makes you think more because 10 is quite easy.. but 100 stretches you, to think of all the small things you look past and might forget.”

Here’s my list, for when I’m so caught up in the chaos of the world & need a little perspective

1.Parents & Step parents

2. Siblings: blood related and step.

3. Grandparents

4. Extended family

5. Lewis

5. Good friends: the day ones and the newbies

6. Living with a roof over your head

7. Clean drinking water & food in the fridge

8. A brilliant view from the flat’s kitchen

9. Meg buying me her favourite coffee

10. The freedom to say whatever I want

11. Hair dye

12. A cool metal spine

13. The ability to hear

14. The ability to taste

15. Having something to be passionate about

16. My degree

17. Weekly planners

18. The snow

19. The Sun

20. Kind strangers

21. Deep laughs

22. Hot, hot showers

23. Living in Bristol

24. Flowers: From daisy chains to bouquets

25. Coffee: Sorry Dad, it is instant coffee!

26. Notes

27. Thick blankets

28. Not setting an alarm

29. Takeaways

28. Pretty earrings

29. Cocktails

30. Gin

31. A good old Spoons

32. Student discount

33. A well needed cry

34. 10 fingers & 10 toes

35. Magic Stars

36. Dogs

37. Cats

38. Rainy days

39. Good playlists

40. Finishing work well before the deadline

41. Big Jumpers

42. Scary films with Tom

43. Sentimental gifts

44. Late night chats

45. Text Messages

46. A place to always call home

47. Books that make me laugh, cry and angry.

48. Fiery People

49. Weddings

50. Birthdays

51. Parties

52. Watching people do things they love

53. Making lists

54. Paydays

Do schools kill creativity?

55. Ted Talks

56. Memorable teachers

57. Walks: Long or short

58. Fuzzy Socks

59. Hugs

60. Shared experiences

61. People that make you smile from their presence

62. Brutal honesty

63. Poems

64. Power naps

65. Scrapbooking

66. Having more money in your account than you thought.

67. Career Opportunities

68. Audio books

69. Dressing Gowns

70. Photographs: Analogue & Dialogue

71. Peep Show

72. My legs & arms

73. Bruises and scars

74. Chocolate

75. Reasons to get up in the morning

76. Fresh fruit

77. Painting something, anything

78. Eyeshadow palettes

79. Clothes with good memories

80. Sushi

81. Being able to help others

82. Headphones

83. Buses

84. Waking up

85. Contact lenses

86. Umbrellas

87. Good work ethics

88. Second attempts at things

89. Cute Underwear

90. Funny looking animals – Giraffes, Hippos …

91. Weekends away

92. The beach

93. Comfortable silences

94. My bed

95. Doing the impossible

96. Family traditions

97. Bad dancing

98. Holidays

99. Financial security

100. Green Spaces

Posted on Leave a comment

A Series For Every Mood

Anyone that knows me well will tell you, I think Peep Show is the perfect series for every mood. However, it is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. I can’t imagine my mum finding Jez eating a Barbecued dog too funny. I’ve put together some suggestions for next time you’re stumped.

Homesick & Anxious: If you’re a student or just generally prone to feeling homesick, these are the perfect Series for you.

  • Friday Night Dinner, Gavin & Stacey, Friends and Outnumbered – Easy watching that gives the allusion of being at home without the irritating bits.
  • Fresh Meat, Bad Education – Can’t go far wrong with Jack Whitehall, he’s the posh friend we all need.
  • Him & Her – So horrifically cringe, you’ll have no choice but to forget about how you’re feeling.

Stress, Sad & Down: Sometimes all you need when you feel awful is to watch something that involves little brain power.

  • Ja’mie : Private School Girl, Summer Heights High -Nothing like a little bit of Aussie humour to brighten your mood, especially when it’s as outrageous as Chris Lilley’s masterpieces. You’ll come away thinking everything’s quiche.
  • Peep Show, Brooklyn Nine Nine – Yes, these two are very different. However, they are some of channel 4’s finest work. Jez’s life coaching is guaranteed to have you feeling better. Brooklyn Nine Nine will make you smile with its strong female characters, a gay man not defined by his sexuality and huge body builder that builds a princess castle for his twins.
  • Queer Eye: What is better than good people doing nice things for deserving people?

Thoughtful & Contemplative: Are you ready for a really good think? You might need a notepad to keep up.

  • Happy Valley, Broadchurch, Making a Murderer and Jonathan Creek-  If you’re ready to follow a complicated plot and aren’t afraid of some horrible deaths watch these crime dramas. Side note – Making a Murderer is based on true events making the gruesome murders even worse.
  • American Horror Story, Sherlock and Black Mirror – These series will have you questioning everything.
  • Peaky Blinders – Tonnes of violence and cracking plots.
  • Tony Robbins ‘I Am Not Your Guru’ – Not for the faint hearted, Tony will probably have you in tears as he opens up one of his world famous seminars to the Netflix cameras.

Happy & Full of energy: In a good mood? Fantastic.

  • RuPaul’s Drag Race, Queer Eye and Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends – You’ll be making all the ooh’s and ahh’s with this bad bunch.
  • End of the F**king World and Good Girls – Watching questionably badly behaved people get into some mischief.
  • Sex Education- Reminisce over your adolescence with this painstaking look at teenager’s sex lives. Giving you the reassurance you need that you’re not alone in your sexual mishaps
  • Rick and Morty and Disenchantment – There are no words to explain Rick and Morty, it is what it is. Disenchantment revolves around the berserk adventures of Princess Beanie taking centre stage.

Posted on Leave a comment

For those that dream of ‘A Curious Career’

Original photo by Lynn Barber, Second Edition Cover

A goldmine for the curious, Lynn Barber’s 2015 memoir ‘A Curious Career’ depicts an image of Journalism that is a far cry from that of today. One of late-night drinking and raucous interviewees.

Her conversational tone puts all at ease, giving the allusion of a family chat over a cuppa. Having worked in the industry for over 40 years, ‘A Curious Career’ is an unintentional ‘How to..’ that should be found in all trainee Journalists backpacks.

Reading Barber’s second autobiography with no preconceived notion of whom she was, would not place any readers at a disadvantage. Scattering informative seeds of her younger years throughout the 224 pages, increasing accessibility by dedicating the entire beginning chapter to anecdotes of her childhood and early adult life. The ensuing chapters relay interviews that have stuck in Barber’s mind from her time in the field.

Original Photo by Lynn Barber, First Edition Cover

Describing vividly the turbulent events of her childhood as an only child, the most intriguing discovery is her relationship with conman Simon many years her superior. This dubious relationship taught the author a handful of lessons, which she ponders throughout. Lessons are in abundance for the author and her readers, from fundamental journalistic skills to never taking everything at face value. Even Barber’s time at University serves as a lesson to readers, that your degree does not restrict the things you may one day achieve.

The autobiography in its entirety is a self-reflection. ‘A Curious Career’ is written with a tone of tender humanity. Hiding very little from the reader, revealing her highs and lows, a particularly solemn moment being her husband David’s death. The book appears to be a relief for Barber, after four decades of telling the story of other people’s lives it’s finally her time.

The intertwining of personal and professional anecdotes is seamless, carefully curated to authenticate Barber’s points. Humanizing the role of a journalist as she writes. She talks of a highly transitional career, placing emphasis on the importance of contacts for journalists.

For many female readers, Barber’s autobiography can be an inspiration. As they read about a woman that rose through the adversity of being a female journalist in the ‘60s. Amidst this inspirational aspect, Barber also highlights the prominent sexual conversation of the ‘60s in her autobiography; her first job being bedroom etiquette interviews.

Despite being alluded to, Barber never absolutely states that there are good and bad interviewees. Nonetheless, a subtle criterion is formulated by the author, “Give me a monster every time – someone who throws tantrums, hurls insults, storms out, and generally creates mayhem.” Her rejection of “the media tendency to lump people into types or classes or stereotypes” appears rather hypocritical as she lumps individuals together in each chapter on based on their careers.

‘A Curious Career’ undeniably fits the brief, curiosity runs through Barber’s veins just like the pages of this book. Susan Hill, Journalist for The Times praised the memoir as she said ”A pricker of pomposity, a ruthless exposer of lies, half-truths and deception…The world needs those interviews.” She in indisputably correct, Lynn Barber is the original rebel, that helped paved the way for today’s female journalists. The reading experience is one of cliche spine tingles and occasional emotional surges of empowerment.