Why We Should Go Easy On Russia

Ever since primary school Jess brought an Anastasia DVD from Woolworths, I have been obsessed with Russia. The fallen monarchy, Winter Palace, Russian dolls- even the Rasputin Cossack dance on that wii Just Dance game- I love it all. The problem is, as I’ve grown up, it’s proved quite a hard love to defend: Russia rigged the election, Russian doping scandal, Russia hates gays, whichever part of the internet you go to (unless it’s, like, Putin’s LinkedIn page) there’s at least one article which aligns with Reagan’s ‘Evil Empire’ view.

So this summer when my Russian friend offered me the chance to visit her hometown Izhevsk I was so excited to finally see whether the media was right.

It wasn’t. Now obviously I’m not denying Chechnya’s gay purge or the fact the government’s corrupt- we’ve all seen the Reggie Yates documentaries- but when we talk about Russia we seem to solely focus on demonising it, which is strange considering every country has flaws and when I visited I was amazed by how normal it felt. So here’s why I think we should go easier on the planet’s largest country:  Continue reading

A Girl’s Guide to Giving Blood

A few weeks ago I donated blood for the first time. In April I turned 17, the age you can start donating, and thought ‘why not go save some lives for the bant’ so I signed up. After donating (and plastering it all over social media just to prove that I’m a better human being than you) I had lots of people asking me questions about the process so I thought I’d answer them all in a post.

(Note: Obviously, this post isn’t exclusive to girls, so a huge winky emoji to any lads out there, I just enjoy the alliteration too much to be all-inclusive rn) (Another note: I will probs sound super preachy and tell you to give blood multiple times throughout this piece, obvs if you physically cannot give blood then don’t be like FML JESS I CAN’T OKAY because I get it, I’m just pulling my Debbie Downer face on everyone who can but hasn’t lol)

Does it hurt?

Forget Kylie’s lip kits because this answer seems to be the new thing everyone wants to get their hands on. It’s pretty much the default question that I’ve found after donating (except my dad who asked ‘did you get your free biscuit?’ but more on that later ffs Dad stop indirectly spoiling it). While it doesn’t feel like the ‘sharp scratch’ that they promise- although tbh nurses always describe injections like that and I’ve never understood why because a sharp scratch is what happens when I stroke the neighbour’s cat not when I’ve got a needle in my arm- it doesn’t hurt either. You might make an ‘ooh’ noise as it goes in (cheeky) but once it’s in I couldn’t stop laughing because it tickled so much. The most painful bit is probably taking the plaster off two days later… arm wax anyone?

How long does the blood-taking take? Continue reading

Feminot Listening

A quick Google and we get the definition of my third favourite thing in the world (after cheese straws and my mum of course):rsz_pic_1

We could click the arrow for more definitions but I don’t really think we need to as the summary is so simple. Equality. Feminism is the belief that men and women should be culturally, politically, economically, socially (and any other -ally you can think of) equal;  with that in mind, why is ‘feminist’ one of the most controversial labels in modern society? Or maybe more importantly- why do people hate us so much, and to such an extent that they feel the need to trend comments such as #FeministsAreUgly or #FeminismIsAwful? So let’s get some things straight, let’s iron out some crumbled duvet misunderstandings and hopefully enlighten anyone that gets kicks out of telling us to go ‘burn our bras’ (Dad I’m looking at you) on what we’re really all about.

Things Feminists Are Tired Of Hearing Continue reading


I’ve been waiting, since May the 12th, for the fact I’m doing my GCSEs to settle in. (I’m hoping its like the emotion equivalent of buses- you know how you wait for one and then three come along at once- I’ll just wake up tomorrow and suddenly be overcome with feelings.) Because right now I simply don’t feel like my GCSEs have been all that they’ve been built up to be for the past 11 years (no biggie or anything) of my school career; the class of 2015 has almost conquered the lengthy trek up exam mountain and our biggest struggle has been getting rid of finger dents from writing so much. Where’s the frostbite? Where’s the severe altitude sickness? Where’s the dramatic cliffhanger when someone is literally cliff hanging and needs Ben Fogle (my stunt double) to swoop in and save them from death? Instead we’ve got some chewed penlids and twitter uproar over Jane and her blady Edexcel sweets. In homage to the underwhelming nature of the exams so far, I thought we should discuss the THINGS THEY NEVER TELL YOU ABOUT EXAMS (or as I like to call them, GCSEcrets)

Revision You’ll decide that the week before your first one is a great time to start the Game of Thrones box set and risk confusing your entire historical knowledge with the political situation of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. No, the war of the roses didn’t involve Gwendoline Christie fighting her cravings over a tin of Cadbury’s chocolates. Note that binging on TV also becomes instantly acceptable when Netflix decide to release a new series (Orange is the New Black we’re all looking at you) mid-exam season so, obviously, physics has to be deprioritised. Photo 08-06-2015 17 17 18 Continue reading

Emoji Invasion

After  the purchase of every iProduct- before going to put the kettle on or have a panic wee- users immediately install the emoji keyboard. It’s like the unwritten iLaw (can I copyright that?) that you must have and regularly use these so called symbols in everyday life and while I usually agree, after a laborious analysis of my set I can’t help wondering for some of them: “Apple, wtf were you thinking?”

Have you every properly stopped and stared at the random little creatures right next door to the yellow crying emoji face that you always use despite not being able to tell if it’s happy or sad? Have you ever debated with your emoji using friends whether THOSE HANDS (we all know the ones) are hi-5ing or praying? If not, then good. Because I’m about to analyse them for you.

Emoji invasion 1: Running Man Photo 01-06-2015 16 42 02

Continue reading

Free the Tampon

Let’s play a quick game of word association before we begin: I say ‘period’ and you reply with maybe ‘pain’ or ‘blood’ or ‘cramps’, the general feeling being largely negative (except from the grammar geeks/mildly naive amongst you who think ‘Oooh Punctuation!’ and get all excited and make out with your dictionaries). Let us continue.BloodyDisgrace

There are over 3.5 billion women on the planet and most of us leak a rouge river once a month- unless you’re Leona Lewis who apparently also bleeds love- in order to keep the population going. Mother Nature pops up (in true toast style) rather inconveniently every now and then until we are lumbered with rather pregnancy, menopause or death, why then are our sanitary products taxed as luxury items? Continue reading