A lesson in personal essays, shilling your pain and living with it.

A page from a zine won from artist and author Rubyetc, around the time I wrote The Bathtub.

It’s a cold night at the end of January. You’re in your last year of University, back at the house you live in with six — then five, then suddenly six again — housemates, and you’re not well.

You haven’t been well for a long time. Over the Christmas break you’d been baiting yourself with images of graduation, the final goalpost in the agonising stretch that has been the past five years. There’s nothing left to give.

But there is. Slightly abandoned are the bare bones of a piece called The Bathtub, a strange sort-of-fiction-sort-of-not thing that you tried to…


I have likely met God, but was too caught up in an otherworldly cup of hospital coffee at stupid-o’clock in the morning.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

The Good Lord might have tried a second time to get my attention, taken the form of a kindly steward or spelled out a message in flickering lights – but I am taking five minutes luxuriating in the salty stretch of a halloumi focaccia. He might have given up by the time I was scrabbling around in the Werther’s.

Myself and hospitals have a strained relationship. …


A short story about casting off your skin, fish-fingers, old carpet and a dog called Dennis.

Photo by Ike louie Natividad from Pexels

There is a Selkie in our bathtub.

She’s quiet now, but usually, you can hear her moving about because the water splashes over the rim and Dad goes mad about the floor.

“Fish don’t pay the deposit,” he says.

“Miss McColl says seals are mammals, not fish,” I explain.

We had a lesson about animals and their families at the beginning of term and there was a whole bit on seals. They raise their pups on milk, like people do, and the mums look after them until they are ready to go out and swim on their own.

Dad does…


Mothers and daughters, strawberry juice and pomegranate seeds.

TW: allusions to assault and mild gore.

This is a very loose retelling of Demeter and Persephone’s story, originally part of my ‘Mythstake’ newsletter series. The nights are closing in and it got me thinking about that strange, shifting dynamic between mothers and daughters. And how pretty much everyone in Greek myth ends up with a rough deal.

Photo by: Margarita Zueva on Unsplash

It aches to love her. In every breath, in each day that passes, I think about our fates — rooted in flesh and fruit and blood — and rend myself anew. I think about her entry into this world. …


A lesson in connection, horror, and fishing wire.

I haven’t read manga in a long time.

My early teen years were spent feverishly tearing through shōjo series, such as Fruits Basket and Tokyo Mew Mew, all borrowed from my secondary school’s library. I remember proudly showing my aunt how to read them – “you go from right to left…” - when I visited for dinner a few times.

But those dappled panels couldn’t be further from Junji Ito’s work.

Disturbing and unflinching, Ito crafts horror that explores simple concepts – beauty versus bloody mutilation, deep fascination with the unknown, the grimly unexplainable in the midst of normality.

My…


When you lose a parent, your face can carry them with you.

An old photograph of the author’s parents, with a white line etching around her Dad to signify his passing.
An old photograph of the author’s parents, with a white line etching around her Dad to signify his passing.
My Mum and Dad

Growing up, I took the inherited traits from my family for granted. The features I loved on them were apparently not available for passing down via genetic selection; my Mum’s sea-glass eyes and Dad’s strong jawline becoming things I’d envy from a distance.

Instead I got my Dad’s nose and boring brown eyes. Mum gave me her small chin and cheekbones, but mine never gained the same pronounced quality — which has been the source of bitterness for many years. After all, what’s the point of sharing DNA with these people if you don’t even get the good bits?

Almost…


They say that music speaks for itself, but visuals are often one of the most crucial - and painstakingly created – aspects in the industry.

A woman reclines on a bed, listening to vinyls on a record player as she looks at the cover of an album.
A woman reclines on a bed, listening to vinyls on a record player as she looks at the cover of an album.
Photo by Retha Ferguson from Pexels

The best-loved albums of all time only seem to stand out in our memories (and the shelves) when they are wrapped in bright and beautiful album art.

Think Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors, depicting Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks in black-and-white chiffon, en-pointe and tight-trousered underneath a swirling album title. Or how about Gorillaz’s 2005 offering, Demon Days, with heavily-stylised portraits of their cartoon alter-egos in a quadriptych staring moodily off-cover.

David Bowie appears with his iconic red coiffure and red and blue lightning bolt on the front of Aladdin Sane, The Beatles are sugar-coated, flower-laden and surrounded by cult-figures on the…


The binge-watch formula has consequences for those of us who love TV but struggle with mental and chronic illnesses or even sheer tiredness.

Share on Pinterest Gif by Dana Davenport

The way we consume media has changed dramatically over the past 5 years. Long gone are the days of waiting week by week to find out what happens next on your favorite show — now streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and other platforms have you covered, dropping entire 8-episode series to enjoy wherever you hang your hat.

This shift in the way we watch has created a cultural ripple, from the discourse on Twitter to good ole fashioned water-cooler talk. For every “did you catch the latest episode of The Good…


Never look at social media in the morning, and other sanity-preserving advice from a hyperlocal journalist

Photo: Mihajlo Maricic/EyeEm/Getty Images

Try not to look at social media first thing in the morning. That’s probably terrible practice for a journalist, but to get through the rest of the day, news is off the table when you wake up. Good news, bad news: You don’t want any of it this early.

Save all that anger and worry for when you get into work. You want to bottle it up, shake it a little, and then pour it out on the messages left on social media — to use it as fuel, to power through the injustices. On a local level (and on…


Animal Crossing is the perfect antidote to an increasingly frantic world

Video games are, in essence, designed to allow the player to escape normality. Whether you’re talking about the scope, score, and story of RPGs such as Skyrim or Bloodborne, creative sandbox games such as Minecraft or even the rigidity and pace of Tetris — each time we load up, we are rewarded with a break from everyday life.

Some games aim to put you at ease, such as last year’s Gris, where players navigate a peaceful watercolour platformer to get a young woman’s voice back. …

Lauren Entwistle

Writer, freelance journo + the female Cameron Frye. Words in many places, especially the notes app. Commissions: lauren-entwistle at hotmail dot com

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