Tinder Time at St Andrews Brewing Co.

 

 

While golfers muse about their day,

Hope there’s sun for tomorrow’s play,

The students take their tinder date’s

For a drink, and maybe a lay.

 

It’s definitely a Thistly,

if you want to get frisky,

And a full-bodied Oatmeal stout,

will help you to get it out.

 

But a G & T with berries

Will make you merry, and maybe

Married. So be wary. It’s St. Andrews,

We had Will, not Harry.

My Beautiful, Curly Leg Hair and Why I Love It

This summer, I waxed my legs. I spent two weeks in Spain staring at beautiful, shining legs and I thought, “Well, it is kind of itchy.” I thought, since I hadn’t shaved or waxed in a year and felt I had overcome the stigma, it would be a fun change. It wasn’t. It grew back quickly and prickly.  

Last summer, for the first time ever, I didn’t shave my legs and I tried not to care. It was painful. It caused a lot of anxiety and negative thoughts. I wrote an essay on the topic, and never published it. I’m publishing it now.

Last summer, leg hair was controversial. There were articles everywhere. This year, I haven’t read a single piece on leg hair. It’s not trending this year. Why? What do you think about leg hair on women? 


Summer 2015, for the first time ever, I have kept up my winter shaving routine, aka no shaving. I have been wearing shorts and flowery dresses that fall above my knees, with a dark brown curl on my calves. I look at the other legs, the shine from the sun on their smooth, sleek legs, and have to remind myself of Emer O’Toole’s interview in the Guardian, 

‘Remember that you are doing the necessary and important work of challenging stupid, arbitrary gendered bullshit. And when you get to feminist heaven, Judith Butler and Simone de Beauvoir will be waiting with bubbly wine, a corn-fed organic roast chicken, Bikini Kill and the entire cast of Monty Python.’

I have condensed that motivating statement into a mantra:

‘It is only ugly because of marketing. It’s all in your head. It is beautiful. Feminist heaven.’

In fact, the shaving of leg hair was a need created entirely by marketing, at least in the Western world. European women did not have a tradition of shaving or removing their body hair. Their facial hair, yes – Queen Elizabeth I made that a trend.

But body hair? In the Victorian period, the fashion, at least for upper and middle class women, was a long dress that covered your skin from wrist to ankle. If you couldn’t see it, there was no need to shave it. The focus at that time was not on external beauty, but inward beauty. The perfect woman was expected to be moral and conservative with a strong sense of character and duty. Imagine Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Christina Rossetti shaving their legs – not likely.

Western Europeans settled most of the East Coast, and they brought with them their mentality towards hair. In 1915 in Harper’s Bazaar, a fashion magazine for the elite, the first image of a woman in a sleeveless top, her arms above her head with no underarm hair appeared. Until that moment only men shaved, a tradition since the Neanderthals.

With the invention of Gillette razors in 1880, cheap razors became available for the first time, allowing men of all classes to shave their faces daily and efficiently. As is the nature of capitalism, they wanted to make more money and they needed to find another market for their product. In tandem with the ad in Harper’s Bazaar, the first female razor was produced. It is unclear whether this was released in response to a need by women, or if it was imposed on women by men to meet the male vision of female beauty. Either way, their marketing worked.

From 1915 until around 1922, the Great Underarm Campaign was underway; Christine Hope coined it in her article “Caucasian Female Body Hair and American Culture”. At the beginning of the campaign, even using the word ‘underarm’ was taboo. By the end, ladies’ and fashion magazines were publishing articles that said, “The Woman of Fashion says the underarm must be as smooth as the face.” They had been convinced; armpit hair was ugly and must be shaved.

The next way to make money off of women’s insecurities was to make leg hair unattractive. They tried all throughout the 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s, but women did not have the same immediate reaction to removing their leg hair. It is thought that, even though hemlines were shorter, conservative sexual beliefs were very strong, and therefore, women did not want to bring attention to that area.

Kathy Padden, in “The History of Shaving”, marks the moment leg hair became unattractive as when the iconic pin-up image of Betty Grable with smooth, shaved legs was sent to soldiers during World War II. Betty Grable, known as “The Girl with the Million Dollar Legs”, became a symbol of beauty and a representation of the perfect woman. Women sought to replicate her.

Thus, like all the women after Betty Grable and a few before, I shaved my legs, until this summer. I wore my favorite summer shorts down sidewalks, I felt the tickle as the wind blew through my leg hair, and I laughed. No man had ever told me that the wind also blows through your leg hair! Do boys talk about this? I attended Naropa University Summer Writing Program, and despite my mother’s fears, I made friends.

When I felt nervous or scared of what they would think, a gush of excuses as to why I don’t shave my legs – the best one: shrug and say, ‘I’m a hippie?’ – would scramble into my mind. I would calm myself with my mantra, ‘‘It’s only ugly because of marketing. It’s all in my head. It is beautiful. Feminist Heaven.’

This fear of mine, about revealing my leg hair is not unjustified. In April 2010, the New York Times Fashion and Style Section published “Unshaven Women: Free Spirits or Unkept” by Catherine Saint Louis. In the article, Saint Louis responds to Mo’Nique’s appearance at the Golden Globes for her role in “Precious” where she lifted her floor-length dress to show her unshaved calves. The press was disgusted. Saint Louis states that not even A-Listers in Hollywood can make leg hair ‘palatable’. While she does provide good insight as to why Mo’Nique doesn’t shave her legs, in black culture shaving one’s legs is seen as a white-people thing, she seems to be confirming that leg hair is ugly, and that only free spirits, or girls who go to Berkeley, are able to do it.

The fact that in 2010, leg hair at the Golden Globes was worthy of a New York Times Fashion and Style section article is terrible. Even more terrible is the fact that this year, in 2015, Yasmin Gasimova published an essay in the Tab Liverpool about not shaving her legs and other body hair, and it went mega-viral. It was covered by Huffington Post, the New York Post, Cosmopolitan UK, Vanity Fair in Italy, Bustle, Metro, the Telegraph, Buzzfeed, and even the ABC News. She was simply expressing her personal choice, and instead, it became an opportunity for the Patriarchal news system to reassert their marketing campaign – that women need to keep shaving! I stand with Gasimova, I too, ‘dream of the day I can walk around in the summer in shorts, without being conscious of people judging me.’

It is not simply a ‘feminist’ choice. It is because I don’t want to spend 1,728 hours shaving my body! I could be fluent in another language, read all of Shakespeare and most of the critical essays in the same amount of time. It is because I don’t want to spend $10,000 in my lifetime on shaving equipment. I’d rather backpack around Asia for three months. It is because I am tired of being manipulated to spend money on something I don’t need.

When it comes down to it, I don’t want to shave because of how I want to spend my time and money. We are manipulated by society into thinking this has anything to do with beauty. We are manipulated by society into thinking this has anything to do with feminism. Leg hair grows naturally from our bodies whether we want it to or not, and whether we want to remove it is a personal choice. In recent times, it has become a fashion choice and a political choice.

But if one day, my daughter, or any female child, won’t have to experience the horrifying moment when you realize that the hair on your legs that has been growing for years is ‘disgusting’ and you need to shave every day for the rest of your life, then I’m not going to shave my legs. And I’m going to save a whole lot of money and a whole lot of time.

And I might also get to go to feminist heaven.

 

Samantha Emily Evans

Why I Dyed My Armpit Hair Hot Pink

It was almost a month ago that I dyed my armpit hair hot pink. I’ve been growing my armpit hair out for a while now. It started as an accident, and as the days went on, I realized that I didn’t mind my armpit hair. I was ashamed of it, but I could not hold the razor to those disgusting curls under my arms. I started to wonder, why was armpit hair so ugly? Was it because only men thought it was ugly? Although, most girls think armpit hair is ugly too. Why did both men and women find it ugly? I thought about the concept of beauty, and how it was socially constructed, and always changing. Marilyn Monroe was the sexiest women of her time, and these days people would call her fat. From that moment, I set about to make armpit hair beautiful again. I needed to see armpit hair as beautiful, and, maybe then, I would not be ashamed of the hair that naturally grew under my arms.

I worked on changing my mentality for months. Most mornings I would stand in front of the mirror and look at the hair. I thought at first it was dark and pubic-like. I could only look for seconds at a time, but after a while, I started to think – my armpit hair looks sexy. It had this rugged, wild, naturalness to it, and I loved the shock of seeing it. I shocked myself every morning to see this dark curl. I started to laugh about it, and make jokes about it, but I never showed it to anyone. I even started to play with it when I was bored.

When I went home for winter break to visit my family, I showed my thirteen-year-old sister my armpit hair, and she freaked out. ‘Sammy, that is disgusting! You have to shave it!’ she said. But I just laughed.

‘I actually kind of like it, Amanda.’ She was shocked, and then said, ‘Well, if you won’t shave it, then I’ll shave it for you.’ She was joking, but I don’t believe in jokes.

‘Okay,’ I said.

‘Okay?’ she said.

‘How about for New Years Eve? Smooth armpits, new leaf.’ She agreed. I continued to look at my armpit hair and play with it. She told my mom, my cousin, and my aunt, who all agreed it was disgusting and that I was turning into a hippy at university.

And then it was New Years Eve. ‘Amanda,’ I said, ‘It’s time.’ We went into her bathroom, and I sat down on the toilet. I raised my arms above my head, and sat there while she soaped up my black armpit hair.

‘Eww, eww, I don’t think I can look at you the same way again,’ she said as she shaved my armpit hair. The hairs were quite long, and it was nerve wrecking to have someone else with a cold razor up under your armpits, but we were sisters.

‘I love you,’ I said.

‘You’re weird,’ she said.

‘You are, too.’ We finished off the second armpit, and I, for the first time in three months, had smooth armpits. It felt itchy. I dressed in a nice skirt and shirt for New Year’s Eve, hoping smooth armpits would mean a New Year’s kiss.

The next morning, I woke up in my bed, and went to play with my armpit hair, but it was gone. I missed it. I had no New Years kiss and no armpit hair to play with. I realized, just because I had smooth armpits did not mean that men would be into me all of a sudden, and I’d be on top of my game. I thought that shaving my armpits would be the easy way into a man’s pants, that I would be confident again. It wasn’t my armpit hair that I was ashamed of; it was myself. I needed to reclaim my armpit hair.

I started growing out my armpit hair again, but this time on purpose. I liked my armpit hair, and I really did think it was sexy. I started to joke about it again, and even show people. I loved the mixture of shock and disgust on their faces, but this time I was not ashamed. I had dinner with a friend, and, tipsy on red wine, she joked, ‘Sammy, you should dye your armpit hair.’ As I said earlier, I don’t believe in jokes.

‘Yes, what color? My friend is visiting next week who is a hairdresser.’

‘Blue?’ she said.

The next week, my friend Emily came to visit, and I told her the plan. I invited 15 people to the event. We purchased bleach and hot pink hair dye at Boots. I decided pink, because I had just moved, and my old bedroom had been hot pink, so it would be a symbolic representation of my childhood room. I cooked a big pot of vegan kale soup, and played Hair the Musical soundtrack in the background.

Everyone came over, and I sat on the couch in a bra. We bleached my armpit hair and then dyed them pink. I sat on the couch with my arms above my head for an hour, while they ate dinner and drank and listened to Hair. They said it felt like I was an art exhibit.

I went into the bathroom to wash out the dye, and dried myself off a bit. I looked in the mirror and pulled my arms above my head to look at my armpit hair. It was beautiful.

Hot pink tufts under my arms. I felt like a unicorn. What human had hot pink armpit hair? I thought none at the time, although after some googling, I learnt that dying your armpit hair is a trend (#dyedpit). I went out that night, and showed everyone. I loved the shock on their faces. I felt so proud. I finally felt that my armpit hair was beautiful.

 

 

Samantha Emily Evans 

(Originally published on Label)

Day Trip: Scottish Deer Centre

During winter break, my group of friends and I decided that we needed to go exploring on the weekends, and unlike the past three years – we actually went exploring! We set our eyes on the Scottish Deer Centre, located in Cupar. It is only thirteen miles from St Andrews, and yet it feels a world away. I felt like a child, and it was quite easy to pretend: there were lots of children there on a Saturday.

The Scottish Deer Centre’s mission is to ‘promote through its living animals, using managed breeding, environmental education and research; the conservation of Deer species, their habitats and other fauna within, both Scotland and worldwide,’ and they do so. Situated on fifty-five acres of gorgeous countryside, The Scottish Deer Centre is home to fourteen different species of deer, Fife’s only wolf pack, birds of prey, lynxes, foxes, Scottish wildcats, otters, and moose. They even have reindeers! There is so much to do and so much to see.

 

true love by Freya Coursey

true love by Freya Coursey

 

When we arrived on that cold, February morning, we were excited. At the entrance we purchased deer food for £1 each. One of my friends is obsessed with deer (she likes to call herself Bambi), so she was buzzing to see her ‘friends’. We entered through a mystical tunnel decorated with cave paintings. We wandered around the Centre looking at all of the animals. Our first stop was the Otters, and we arrived just in time to see their feeding and ask a lot of questions to the ranger.

 

Maddy Lyons by Freya Coursey

Maddy Lyons by Freya Coursey

 

We walked around looking at the animals before heading to the deer. They were such strange and beautiful creatures – I couldn’t help comparing them to Bambi. We fed them through the fence. They licked and sucked at our fingers as they swallowed the green pellets of food. We kept trying to feed the adorable fawns, but the alpha deer would come over and frighten the smaller ones off, hogging all of the food for themselves.

After a quick tour around the Centre, we ate our lunch. We brought a picnic to enjoy, which was very nice, since they have plenty of tables at which to eat. There is also a lovely cafe with reasonably priced home-baked goods, soups, teas, coffee, and light meals. We warmed ourselves in the cafe with mugs of hot chocolate – the fancy ones with cream and marshmallows!

Then we went to watch the Bird of Prey show. The bird trainer showed us two birds: a gorgeous owl and a sharp hawk. She warned us that they had minds of their own and liked to perch on the tables right next to us. We waited in anticipation for the bird to sit next to us, but it never did. We even left a spot for it. It was still so amazing to see the birds swooping back and forth before our eyes and to see the owl’s head rotating all the way around.

By Freya Coursey

Then we went on the Carnivore Feed Talk and Walk. It was gruesome – we watched the wolves tearing into hunks of meat. We also got to see the Scottish Wildcats, which look just like house cats (and sometimes wildcats and house cats mate!), but they are stronger and more aggressive. Then we visited the Northern Lynx, a beautiful feline that is sadly going extinct, as well as the adorable red fox. The fox had a rough life, and thus doesn’t get along with other foxes, so the rangers have to go and play with her every day. She was just as cute as the animated fox from Fox and the Hound.

By Freya CourseyBy Freya Coursey

While it was a bit too chilly for us to enjoy them, they have two parks and a kart track to play on! We did play on the indoor playground that had this huge, terrifying slide. We climbed up to the top, and went speeding down –  I really hurt my bottom on it.

Overall we had so much fun, and we’d definitely come back. Being around nature, animals, and young children made us feel giddy and relaxed, restored and ready to go back to the stressful bubble that is St Andrews.

 

Information:

How to get there- Take the x99 to Dundee, and then the x42 to Kirkcaldy- it is cheaper to buy a Fife Day Pass than a proper ticket to Cupar.

Concessions/Student Price- £6.70

 

 

Samantha Emily Evans

 

Photo credit: Freya Coursey 

Literary Event Review: Loud Poets

I am a big fan of the Loud Poets. I first discovered them because our very own St Andrews alumni Carly Brown is a Loud Poet. Last year, she invited me to one of her shows and I had a magical time. I felt like I was part of the brand new youth movement taking the nation. I felt I was part of the poetry renaissance in Scotland.

 

                                                     

In November, I attended Loud Poets: Poet Fiction, and loved it once again. Their monthly showcase takes place in the basement of City Cafe, just off the Royal Mile. It was filled with a young excited crowd of mild intellectuals and hipsters, I felt I belonged. Under the circus parachute roof, the excitement was palpable, and the host of the evening, Kevin Mclean (one of the original members of Loud Poets), ignited the energy and kicked off the night.

 

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“This is loud poets, this is loud crowd, I want you to be LOUD!!”

and we cheered madly like we were at a rock concert instead of a poetry reading. That is the beauty of the Loud Poets, they are bringing new life to poetry, infusing it into the culture of our contemporary world. They are making poetry cool again. Speaking to Douglas Garry, another original member, he explained that they are more inspired by youtube poets such as Anis Mojgani than by Academic poets. They proclaim proudly on their website,

“This is poetry for the masses.

This is the spoken word revolution.”

Every night begins with an open mic; it provides a great place for new voices to be heard and discovered. The winner gets to be a featured performer at next month’s night. At the Poet Fiction performance, Lloyd Carlton Robinson was the newest poet of the crew having won the previous month. The lineup was incredible and diverse, with topics ranging from mental health to bisexuality to body positivity to why poets date each other. BBC Scotland Poet in Residence Rachel McCrum was an astounding presence on the stage, with such strength and wisdom. Katie Ailes and Perry Jonsson premiered their poetry film collaboration “Polos”, with other great poets Jess Smith, Lewis Brown, Kevin Cadwallender,  Suky Goodfellow, and Callum O’Dwyer.

 

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The Loud Band was made up of Alistair Mackey, Jack Curry Hinks, Fiona Liddell, and Sam Thorne who improvised music to all of the poems and were tremendous.

 

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It was an absolutely LOUD evening, and I cannot wait to see more. I felt inspired, like I had discovered the cutting-edge of poetry in Scotland. Their next performance is Big Love Actually on December 4th in Edinburgh, and Jagged Little Poet on December 17th in Glasgow. And, very exciting, Loud Poets Kevin Mclean and Katie Ailes will be performing at the StAnza Poetry Festival 2016 at the Byre Theatre. Come visit the cutting-edge.

 

 

Samantha Emily Evans 

 

 

All images featured from Loud Poets and Perry Jonsson

Interview: McNally Jackson

J: There are plenty of self-published authors who just want to print it as a gift, or they do not want to sell it, or maybe it is just a galley copy and they just want to shop it around to the big publishing houses. But all of the publishers retain the copyright, so if they want to sell them here, we can.

SE: Do a lot of them sell, or is it more a growing market?

J: Yes, yeah they do. Sort of. I think self-published authors tend to read other self-published authors a little bit more. They recognize the work that is involved and at least one to get more ideas for the next book, but it really depends on the next book. Text books always sell pretty well.

SE: That is because the professors always make their books mandatory reading.

J: Sometimes yes. We get a lot of memoir, a lot of family history, sites, a lot of non-fiction. Poetry seems to be taking off quite a bit, which is very exciting. That is always interesting to see how people lay out the pages, because poetry is not just what you are reading, but how you are reading it as well. We only print black and white interiors with color covers, so the art books are pretty slim. We do print black and white photography and drawings, things like that. Always black and white.

SE: How is this different from publishing it on Create A Space or other similar sites?

J: What people enjoy about the Book Machine is that they come into the bookstore and talk to a person. They can look at samples firsthand. Also, the Book Machine’s have a network around the world, so we can get books printed anywhere. If someone comes in and self-publishes a book with us- Express Net, which is sort of a blanket network. If they sell a book in Australia, someone can just walk in and get a book at their local store in Australia. So they do not have to worry about shipping or currency exchange.

SE: Woah. I did not realize that it has an international market, because I feel that the benefit of Amazon is that you can sell it online to any market.

J: The nice thing about the Book Machine is that you can order it online, but that we print it on-demand. One copy, maybe a few more on the shelf, but other than that we do not have an inventory. We do not have to have a hundred copies of the books stored somewhere, we are not worried about moving them. It is all about demand. If someone wants one, we print them a brand new one and we can ship it anywhere in the world.

SE: Do you think that in terms of selling a self-published book, is it all up to the author how the book sells?

J: From where we are at, we do not have a marketing team for the writers, so it is up to the authors to do all of their promotion. We promote their books on our website, but we do not push them on Instagram or plan readings.

SE: Do you think self-publishing is a good idea for starting writers?

J: I have had good feedback from writers who are just starting out. I think it helps them to see the pages in a physical format and feel the dimensions and the weight of your book. It is a big step to take and it is not a huge commitment to self-publish your book like this. The only contract you have to sign is that you are not plagiarizing anything, and if you are, I am not held accountable for it. There is no pressure. They can take it anywhere they want to. Once they get it in printed form they can go through it and take it to other publishing houses, I think it is just a good step. It takes the weight off of the first stepping-stone. There is a lot of work involved in writing a book and the biggest thing is putting it out there and making it actually an object. It takes a lot of the stress out of that next step.

SE: So for starting writers, it works for more as a middle step, or transition phase?

J: It is just nice to see your baby getting born. It is a pretty simple process, they give us the book, and they can use any program they want to design their book, as long as it comes in a certain format. We do offer interior design services, but you do not have to. If you want to type it all on Word, save it the way you want to save it, and send it to us – we will print it.

SE: So do you think this form of self-publishing is the new direction?

J: I feel that it is a new direction. The book is never going to go away, and once people were afraid, but now that is over. I think on-demand books follow suit with the benefits of the digital form. One of the biggest draws to the Book Machine, is that you can store all of the books on a tiny little box. And that is the good thing about these books, is that they are on-demand. You buy a copy when you need it. You do not need to buy storage space, you just need one. If you want to spend 100 copies of your book, you do not have to print 100 copies and try to sell them, you can print them one at a time and send them here to go buy it.

Jacob was really helpful. The concept of on-demand publishing is part of the digital and technological process of the book, and is truly revolutionizing book publishing. There is no need for thousand book prints and storing them in warehouses where eventually they are sent to Amazon for discount prices. You can print a beautiful baby book when and where you need it.

 

 

Samantha Emily Evans

Theatre Review: ‘Commencing’

‘Commencing’ written by award-winning indie playwright Jane Shepard was funny, sharp, and modern. Kelli (Laura Nargi) is excited for her blind date with Arlin (Paula Deming), who she assumes is a man. To her surprise, Arlin is a lesbian woman – and thus, they engage in controversial conversations as they try to make the most of their ‘date’. Their honesty and openness with each other leads to intense discussions, dissecting gender and sexual norms. As foils of each other, they debate on what it means to be a woman, and it’s hilarious.

The costume and set design’s simplicity makes the play universal; it could have happened in any city between any two girls. The contrast of the outfits – Kelli in a cheetah print top and mini skirt, and Arlin in a loose fitting suit and parka – show the external, surface differences between girly girls and butch girls. The emotion of Arlin and Kelli seemed genuine, with a real tension. When they got into a flow, their chemistry was fantastic, however, there were a few times when lines were stumbled over, bursting the flow and authenticity of their personalities. By their first performance on the 13th, I am sure their lines will be flawless and their chemistry will be flowing.

The play ‘Commencing’ explores straight and gay women’s cultures, and there are just enough feminist rants to give the play the political punch that it needs. It was sharply critical of our everyday life. In a time when women no longer have to be maidens in distress to land a man, but can just be themselves and land a man or a woman, when the hookup culture feels like everyone is having one night stands, and when it feels like everyone is partying and drinking, this play engages and disproves these stereotypes. It is an empowering play, performed by two empowering women.

So if you’re in LA this summer, be sure to catch a performance of ‘Commencing’!

Performances: Saturday, June 13 2015, 7:00pm, Sunday, June 14 2015, 2:00pm, Friday, June 26 2015, 9:00pm, Saturday, June 27 2015, 7:00pm.

Location: The Complex Theatre, Shepard Studio – 6746 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038

Tickets: $12

Special Offer: Use discount code ‘COMMENCE’ for $2 off when purchasing.

Buy tickets at:  http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/2336

 

Original Article on The Tribe

Manchester: 2 Days, 2 Dinners

From the city that brought you Oasis and The Smiths comes a hip, grunge, and quirky neighborhood: the Northern Quarter. While we did travel around Manchester – even into the suburbs – we mostly hung out in the part of the city that we felt most comfortable in, the hipster region. The Northern Quarter is a wonder with offbeat cafes, vintage shops (you must go to Afflecks!), art galleries, and bars hiding in alleyways. Here are two places not to miss in the Northern Quarter of Manchester.

 

Dinner #1: A Place Called Common

Situated just off the main road, A Place Called Common is a bar with an uncommon atmosphere. The walls are decorated with coasters, as well as weird animated cartoon artwork – they host exhibitions. It has a grungy vibe with lively British punk music playing in the background. It had a pub feel to it, with people of all ages chatting over pints. Their food and drink menu was fantastic and eccentric. I had the pulled pork Korean tacos and fried pickles, which were both flavorful and spicy. The prices were really nice, too: £6 to £8 pounds a meal. And their beer and drink selection was astounding with wine, and cocktails, and eight or so different beers on tap! I had Birrificio, a beer from an Italian brewery. A Place Called Common proved the perfect place to unwind from our adventures that day.

 

 

Dinner #2: North Tea Power

North Tea Power on Tib Street is a lovely cafe with a light, calming atmosphere. They have a large selection of loose-leaf tea, which they sell as well. I ordered a White Hairy Monkey tea and a Japanese Sencha Cherry Green tea to take with me.

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Their teas come on a wood board with a glass infuser teapot and a tiny cup. The food was delicious; I had the Frittata of the Day (Cauliflower and Four Cheeses), while my friend ordered the Ham and Cheese French Toast Panini. The art was amusing: three concrete grey panels the exact same colors as the walls behind them. They also serve soups, salads, and sweet stuff. Overall the prices were decent, and the experience was relaxing and casual – some people were even working away on their laptops.

 

 

And thus we departed from Manchester, wishing to come back. Though it was cold, the quirkiness of the Northern Quarter captured our hearts.

 

 

Samantha Emily Evans

Sammy Says: Join the Dance

Yes, I cried on the plane alone. Yes, that was the fourth time I have cried on a plane alone. But this time, it was about something else. It was about friendship and four years and a three street town. It was a silent cry; long, clear boogers ran down my face. I tried to reflect about my entire undergraduate experience at St Andrews and I could not. It was too much.

Two weeks before finishing, I was pretty sure that when that last exam was over and I was soaked, I was going to die. I felt that leaving St Andrews was like death; all of a sudden I just would not exist in St Andrews anymore. I would become a memory. I had been in St Andrews for so long, I thought that I could not exist anywhere else. I laughed with fear. I felt like the character Charlie in that short story I cannot remember the name of and might just be a dream I had, where he is about to go off to war and is so afraid of what will happen, of the complete unknown, that he cannot stop laughing. I could not stop laughing.

Then I went to London for a few days and everything made sense again. I remembered that I can exist outside the bubble, that it is okay to be alone. I career-shadowed Jenna, a St Andrews alumni who shared with the fact that St Andrews never ends; it just disperses. It continues on in a different form.

I put my head down and studied for the last exam, taking occasional dance breaks. And suddenly, I am being soaked. My hands are heavy, my body is heavy, my mind is light and free. I am gasping for air. I am covered in hot pink glitter. If only everything stopped in that moment.

Except it did not. Except life continued. And a friendship I treasured made me feel like trash. Two days before leaving. And it became hard to see the good in St Andrews, it made me relieved to be leaving, ready to run away and restart. Except it is not as easy as that, is it?

My relationship with St Andrews is complicated. It is the place that I have been the happiest, the saddest, and the angriest. It is the place that I have met the most incredible people, and the worst. Yet, it is all of these experiences put together that have taught me about life and about myself. I am so thankful to have met, worked with, chatted with, drank with, danced with, cleaned with, studied with all of you. I am so thankful to have been your friend, your acquaintance, your classmate. Thank you for making me cry. It has been the ups and downs and all the moments in between. I am not running away, I am joining the dance.*

 

Samantha Emily Evans

*’Joining the dance’ is a reference to Come and Join The Dance by Joyce Johnson and is also the title of the next series of articles I will be writing, which you can read at Literary Pixie.

Comedy Review: St Andrews Night Live

S(A)NL. It was Saturday and Joe Tantillo hosted live from the Barron Theatre. Both familiar and new faces of the Comedy Society killed it. They promised funnies, and it was indeed funny. It was witty and quick and thoroughly entertaining.

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The format of the show was similar to SNL, but with an added stand up section. As a fourth year, it was exciting to see a brand new group of stand up comics – minus Raphael Alexis. Who could forget him, drunk on his birthday last year, performing at the first of Sandy’s Sundown Stand Up? Ellise Gallois was brilliant, and she used her prop, a banana, most effectively. Annie Leverton was also hilarious. Her self-deprecating humor made me a little bit anxious at times, but her confidence was inspiring and her dress was gorgeous. Tom Caruth was on point, recognizing the coolness of OTR and sharing with us the true symbol of St Andrews, two seagulls fighting viciously over hummus and half of a spinach and feta quiche. The last stand up act was Joe Irvine. His Mr. Jesus jokes had me snickering, as well as his greeting cards. He really should print those!

My favorite line of the night:  “I drink like a first year still trying to make friend.” – Raphael Alexis.

The sketch acts, the familiar content of an SNL episode, were up to snuff. I had expected the sketch comics to focus on the many quirks of St Andrews, but instead they reflected on the pitfalls of our Tinder and iPhone addicted generation. They were written and performed collaboratively (Louis Catliff, Tiffany Black, Tom Caruth, Jamie Jones, Nishant Raj, Bernie Munroe, Valentine Moscovici, Rosie Beach, Patrick Rowan, Joe Irvine, and Annie Leverton). The highlight sketches of the night were the ‘hippie’ birthing scene where the midwife felt uncomfortable saying ‘vagina’ and ‘penis’, the Tinder update to the story of King Henry the 8th and his many wives, and the interview with a death metal band who are actually quite peaceful people. I wish there had been more sketches about St Andrews specifically, however, I really enjoyed the sketches of the night. The light and sound design were executed well. The performers looked like they were really enjoying themselves and it was contagious. They stayed in character, only occasionally conceding to a giggle.

The Comedy Society has been working hard, and I was really impressed by the performance. It was definitely something new, and I hope they take it even further – maybe even a music act, or by making it even more controversial! It was a truly brilliant idea and I am so excited to see this grow and develop.

 

 

Samantha Emily Evans 

(Original Article on The Tribe)