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The Life Chronicles: Charge and Control

Build it. Break it. Build it, break it.

I exercise control in the small mannerisms I have adopted over the years. The minor, domestic cogs of my life, turning in perfect succession. Succinct, and ritually executed. These are the private domains of my psyche, the charts and the crosses, the changing of bed linen and the calculated hoovering of square spaces. Each chart is built of boxes, and each room possesses borders. The hoover head stops at skirting boards. Continue reading The Life Chronicles: Charge and Control

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The Bar Review: Pig & Pickle

Pig & Pickle is an odd pub to be reviewing. Although I loved my visit there, it is too far from normal student areas to be worth mentioning to all but the most dedicated drinkers, but to humour those and anyone who happens to live out that way, let me say it ranks in my top 3 Exeter pubs. I ended up there because one night I was in another pub and got chatting to people including a very kind Swedish academic, who was buying beers for us all to share, and the owner of Pig & Pickle, Steve. And so, plans were made to meet again at that pub in the centre of town and get a taxi out to Pig & Pickle to see just how good it was. Continue reading The Bar Review: Pig & Pickle

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The Life Chronicles: Bar Flies

It is late December in a pub in Dublin. Poised behind the bar, a barmaid watches her customers buzz between velvet bar stools, and neglected coats. There is a plastic clock on the wall behind her, as she waits posted in front of the array of liquors, spirits and bottles of wine. The bottles are lazily draped in pound-store tinsel. Pine needles rest upon the floor with a certain authority; the endless cycle of hoovering is no match for the green pins. The air outside turns cheeks pink and skin chapped. The bar has become a haven for restless sets of boots, and men’s frozen fingertips. A sign reads, ‘Our mulled cider is a must’. Drawing in a deep breath, she marks the beginning of her shift upon the shiny surface of the clock. Continue reading The Life Chronicles: Bar Flies

The Life Chronicles: Blinkers

Angie was slow my mother used to say. She told me she was ‘out of it’, and needed Adderall to help her focus. I was the younger daughter, by five years, so this gave me an internal feeling of superiority. I used to get called bright in comparison. I was naturally focused, but Angie didn’t seem to envy me, so she resisted the prescriptions my mother pushed for. Continue reading The Life Chronicles: Blinkers

The Life Chronicles: Old Love

When you are seventeen, love is mutually assured destruction. These novelty pangs of brilliance and devotion which bubble and surface like lava; irresistible, deadly and hot to the touch. Who will detonate your shiny new feelings first? The ebbing confusion of backhanded compliments and rebellion. It is only a matter of time before one of you brings a match to this fuse. Continue reading The Life Chronicles: Old Love

The Bar Review: The Bowling Green

From the outside, The Bowling Green looks a little run down; as you walk up Blackboy road it can feel a little like the road to nowhere, with town behind you. Yet, as you step inside, any doubts should be overridden by the warm, hospitable atmosphere. This is one of the only pubs I know where you can sip your pint as you sit ensconced in a sofa, warmed by a fire (and as the other pub I can think of is about double the price, I know which one I would choose). In essence, it acts like a true public house should, as a place to relax, enjoy and socialise. Continue reading The Bar Review: The Bowling Green