A postcard from Italy

While the more youthful among you were frantically grappling with the ins and outs of Oxford ‘culture’ (hopefully becoming less and less bewildered every day by regular references to Bridge, Battels, and, perhaps most mystifyingly of all, Banter) – indeed, while the more experienced among you were busy recovering from the transition between three months […]

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Revolutionary Road: The last Maoist collective

  Stepping into Nanjie Village is like peering through an unglamorous window into the communist China of the ‘50s – in all its nostalgic glory. The Village certainly seemed to be off the map. My travel companion and I had arrived in Zhengzhou – Henan’s provincial capital – but misguidedly embarked on a punishing five […]

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Agony Lad: Week 0

Dear Agony Lad, I’m one of hundreds of Freshers about to descend on Oxford, and I’ve frankly never heard of you. Care to introduce yourself? Never heard of me? Not likely. I am the Agony Lad, Oxford’s lord of lash, baron of banter and prince of pulling. Though I maintain my anonymity in this column, […]

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A – Z of Oxford’s pet hates, part II

Following the unprecedented mediocrity of part one, here follows the second installment in this fabulously uninteresting reel of the University of Oxford’s complaints, bothers and annoyances. Be prepared for surprises / brutal manglings of the English language as the alphabet nears its conclusion… Noise It’s three AM, you have a dissertation on the consistency of […]

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Interview: a generic, excited Fresher

It’s Results Day.   Facebook is a blur of horrendous self-adulation; ‘GOT INTO (insert establishment here)!!! YESSS!!!!’ screams one status, ‘(Insert establishment here) HERE I COME!!! =)’ crows another. The successful update their profiles, monstrously prematurely, just to remind everyone which course they will be taking… in three months’ time. Meanwhile, the unsuccessful cry on […]

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Oxposed: Tudor Oxford

It’s the city where we’ll spend three, four, maybe even seven years of our life. But how many of us, locals aside, actually know anything about Oxford? We might be able to name clubs and bars, libraries and colleges, but, let’s face it, most of us are blissfully ignorant of this wonderful metropolis, hermetically-sealed as […]

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My energy drink junkie hell

It was with some trepidation that I decided to attempt to emulate Morgan Spurlock’s amazing documentary, Supersize Me. Friends said that it was an utterly pointless task, devoid of any kind of meaning – what the hell was the point, they said, in rehashing something like that?  The battle’s already been won, they said. Everyone […]

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Addiction comes in many forms

There is nothing more ear-shattering, strange and terrible than the hammering noise of one thousand sunburned, pissed off American tourists charging down Broad Street.  Let’s be optimistic and say it’s only six o’clock in the evening – the true bender hasn’t started quite yet, but they’re still roaring drunk anyway, bombed out of their chubby […]

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Choices, choices: chocolate or wasabi?

Love or hate the idea, Heston Blumenthal’s egg and bacon flavoured ice cream arguably sounded the death knell for traditional ice cream flavours – never again would chocolate and vanilla be anything other than ‘also-rans’. Alongside the egg and bacon original, Blumenthal was also responsible for sardine on toast and mustard flavour ice creams. Sacrilege […]

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