The Notebook

'Imagination will take you everywhere'

French Students on the Battle for the Elysée Palace

At a recent En Marche! rally in Reims’ Centre des Congrés, young and old cheered and waved the tricolour as Emmanuel Macron, the 39-year-old independent centrist, bounced onto the stage. … Continue reading

April 13, 2017 · Leave a comment

Is Theresa May a Feminist Icon?

This year, International Women’s Day came and went in a blur of Instagram posts, tweets and hashtags. A plethora of inspirational women popped up on my feeds; smiling, protesting, and … Continue reading

March 31, 2017 · Leave a comment

An English Girl’s Search for Sun

It was raining when we left Montpellier. The sky was a slate grey. The ground glistening with pools of water; reflections danced and then burst into fragments as cars ploughed … Continue reading

March 15, 2017 · 4 Comments

My Plea to Brexit Negotiators: Keep the Erasmus Scheme

Uncertainty. The buzzword of Brexit. What will happen? When will it happen? Will it actually happen? So many questions. I know there’s been a lot written about it and my … Continue reading

February 7, 2017 · Leave a comment

The Fools Who Dream: Why La La Land is Such a Hit

I’m listening to The Fools Who Dream; the tinkle of a piano and the melody of Emma Stone’s voice is floating around my head. I’ve been listening to the La La … Continue reading

January 28, 2017 · Leave a comment

Reducing Social Exclusion in France: Is Access to Culture the Answer?

Our tour guide, Stephanie, leads us through the chaos of selfie sticks and tourists, her perfume leaving a trail behind her as we follow obediently through the crowd. Monday afternoon … Continue reading

January 28, 2017 · Leave a comment

Paris: Ten Must-see Exhibitions in 2017

Pollution, a plague of rats and a freezing winter storm has put a dampener on the start of 2017 in the City of Lights. But one thing Paris always delivers … Continue reading

January 18, 2017 · Leave a comment

To The Sea

A storm was brewing. The house sat squat on the hillside. A dirty white 1980s building engulfed in grey. The Atlantic swelled and crashed below; the wind catching the white … Continue reading

January 7, 2017 · 4 Comments

Foreign Students in France – the least satisfied in Europe?

It has been two months since the first flock of exchange students descended on the Reims campus of Sciences Po; some from as far afield as Australia, Brazil, Canada, and … Continue reading

November 1, 2016 · Leave a comment

Forget cats, cereal and board games – Hackney’s latest café trend is helping the needy

East London is renowned for having the wackiest concept cafés, from cats to cereal and even pay-as-you-go. Now there has been a boom in cafés with a conscience – social … Continue reading

July 25, 2016 · Leave a comment

Save The Cass: Campaign to Protect ‘Aldgate Bauhaus’

  On a balmy June evening I came out of Aldgate East tube station into the hustle and bustle of the East End; the buzzing creative heart of our capital … Continue reading

June 13, 2016 · 6 Comments

Islington and the Refugee Crisis: The Power of Art

The biggest ever Refugee Week is taking place this month with more than 400 events due to take place across the UK. It has a particular resonance for the London … Continue reading

June 10, 2016 · Leave a comment

What does it mean to be British?

Recently I’ve been pondering my own sense of identity. What does being British mean to me? It’s a question that regularly ignites debate in the rollercoaster ‘In’ ‘Out’ ‘Shake it all about’ EU referendum … Continue reading

June 3, 2016 · 2 Comments

A Century of British VOGUE

British Vogue celebrates it’s centenary this year; 100 years since the glossy fashion bible was born amid the turmoil of World War I. As part of the magazine’s birthday celebrations, … Continue reading

May 1, 2016 · Leave a comment

The Outsiders’ View of Britain: Photographs of a Nation

Martin Parr, one of the most renowned documentary photographers of modern life, is not everyone’s cup of tea. When Henri Cartier-Bresson – Grandfather of street photography – attended an exhibition … Continue reading

April 29, 2016 · Leave a comment

Wake up and Smell the Coffee Culture

Today around one in five people visit a coffee shop on a daily basis in the UK. Proof – if it was needed – that coffee shops are continuing their … Continue reading

March 9, 2016 · Leave a comment

The Digital Generation Gets Crafty

In a world of status updates, viral videos and live-tweets, people often get lost in a virtual world of nothingness. It’s enough to make many turn to something tangible – … Continue reading

March 9, 2016 · Leave a comment

Last orders? The Decline of the East End Boozer

It seems ironic that one of the defining features of British culture is slipping into an alarming decline. The good old pub with its roaring fire, creaking floorboards, friendly atmosphere … Continue reading

January 23, 2016 · 4 Comments

The Warriors Fighting FGM

A Maasai warrior stands illuminated by the setting sun; framed by the peaks of Mount Kenya that soar into the distance. Flexing his muscles, the young man could be about … Continue reading

December 31, 2015 · Leave a comment

Changing Seasons

Seasons are fleeting; it seems like only yesterday that the Summer sun was high in the cloudless sky. Today there has been non-stop torrential rain. The first sign was the … Continue reading

September 21, 2015 · Leave a comment

Dispatches from Foreign Lands

This summer I have been to the craggy mountains of the Khyber Pass, through the dusty streets of Karachi, walked along Copacabana beach in Rio, taken a packed train across Zambia, … Continue reading

September 1, 2015 · Leave a comment

J’adore Provence

Vincent Van Gogh once declared; “The whole future of art is to be found in the South of France.” In particular, the stunning landscape of Provence was often depicted by the Impressionists. … Continue reading

August 26, 2015 · 3 Comments

The Olive Tree

The olive tree stands in a grove overlooking the vast, rolling hills of the Luberon. Beyond its twisted branches lay a blanket of fields; a patchwork of vineyards, a sprinkle … Continue reading

August 25, 2015 · 3 Comments

A Journey Through France

It’s raining. Again. Typical British summer. The constant thud of rain has brought me back to reality after three sun-drenched weeks. The hot French landscape seems a world away from … Continue reading

August 24, 2015 · 3 Comments

Diary of an Intern: The Sunday Times Magazine

On 20th July I strode across London Bridge at 9.30am with all the other grey-faced commuters marching purposefully to their offices. The top of the Shard had disappeared into a … Continue reading

August 1, 2015 · Leave a comment

Is London Still In The Closet?

There are 78 countries around the world where it is illegal to be gay. In five countries it carries the punishment of death. In comparison, Britain seems to be a … Continue reading

June 26, 2015 · Leave a comment

Taking Back The Beach

A beach consists of a vast expanse of sand which meets the sea. Normally filled with buckets-and-spades, parasols, naked cherubs running about, picnickers, dog walkers, surfers, swimmers and sun worshippers. A supposedly … Continue reading

June 16, 2015 · 1 Comment

The Art of The Scrapbook

In a world dominated by digital media where every news event, daily occurrence and emotion is documented online for everyone to see and then instantly forget, isn’t it a refreshing change to have … Continue reading

June 8, 2015 · Leave a comment

First Year Musings

So I’ve survived a whole year at university. A whole year of living independently in the big smoke. For many this won’t seem like a big achievement but for me … Continue reading

June 2, 2015 · 3 Comments

A Spring In My Step

There is something hopeful about spring. New buds bursting from the lifeless branches of trees, bright yellow daffodils popping up in the most unlikely places, lambs playing in the fields and … Continue reading

April 13, 2015 · 1 Comment

The Women of Nigeria

With the appointment of Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s new president, it not only marks a significant political change for the country, but also a win for democracy. Nigeria is Africa’s … Continue reading

April 10, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Underground Girls of Kabul: Book Review

Mehran is a seven year old Afghan boy. He has a chubby face with dark bushy eyebrows and jet black hair, cut short. Mehran runs free. He goes out to … Continue reading

March 23, 2015 · 2 Comments


HINTERLAND is not a dramatic film. It isn’t particularly thrilling, or engrossing or awe-inspiring. There are no plot-twists or love triangles or sudden deaths. Yet tears will slowly but surely … Continue reading

February 18, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Street Is Our Canvas

It’s not every day you see the future queen – a pregnant one at that – naked on the side of a street. So if you happen to be strolling … Continue reading

February 9, 2015 · Leave a comment

Guy Bourdin: Image Maker

  Stilettos. A pair of them worn by two shapely legs strut down a seafront promenade decked with beach huts. These legs do not belong to a stylish sun-worshipper; they … Continue reading

February 1, 2015 · 2 Comments

Only The Ocean And Me

To say that 2014 was a busy year would be an understatement. In the space of 12 months I have left home, started university and got a job (although only … Continue reading

January 4, 2015 · Leave a comment

Testament of Youth: Film Review

  As the blood red sea of poppies gradually recedes from the Tower of London, the young spirits of World War 1 will be embodied through a new medium: film. … Continue reading

November 25, 2014 · 2 Comments

BFI London Film Festival 2014

The Circus That Came To Town Every year when the nights draw in and the leaves turn orange, the BFI London Film Festival rolls into town like an eagerly anticipated … Continue reading

November 1, 2014 · Leave a comment

Life of a Fresher

THUMP. THUMP. THUMP. BOOM. BOOM. It’s a sunny Friday afternoon, and thunderous music is pouring out into the bustling metropolis of East London. The city is buzzing for the night ahead. Most evenings start like this … Continue reading

October 19, 2014 · 2 Comments

Feminists Arise

Feminism (noun): The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes. Ever since Emmeline Pankhurst and her clan of suffragettes adopted the ‘Deeds not Words’ … Continue reading

September 19, 2014 · Leave a comment

A Love Letter to Cornwall

Dear Cornwall, I have been visiting you ever since I was a new-born baby. As a toddler my chubby toes dug deep into your soft sand. Before that, my Granny … Continue reading

September 10, 2014 · 2 Comments

Zadie Smith: Queen of NW

“I am the sole author of the dictionary that defines me.” So begins Zadie Smith’s novel, NW. Unbeknown to the reader, this statement perfectly encapsulates the entire narrative. It suggests … Continue reading

September 4, 2014 · Leave a comment

Harvest Time

We seem to be on the brink of a glorious Indian Summer – just in time for the back-to-school brigade. While the evenings are drawing in like a rapidly enveloping cloak of darkness, … Continue reading

September 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

Diary of an intern: Vogue

On June 30th 2014 I completed a great ambition of mine. I crossed the threshold from reality into planet fashion and lived to tell the tale. British Vogue – the pinnacle of … Continue reading

September 3, 2014 · 7 Comments

Girls Under Pressure

This article was originally published on Thursday 14th August (results day) on Alt Magazine It’s that time of the year again: sunshine (and the odd hurricane), farmers harvesting, bees buzzing, … Continue reading

August 27, 2014 · Leave a comment

It Takes Two

On 5th March 2014 I turned nineteen. This year will be my last as a teen, in which I’ll hopefully bid adieu to raging hormones, spots and mood swings (oh, the sweet … Continue reading

August 25, 2014 · Leave a comment

French Roadtrip: Week 3

Dordogne to Normandy After a rejuvenating second week, we packed up and headed for the open road. Although it was nice to relax at the villa, I did miss the … Continue reading

August 18, 2014 · 1 Comment

French Roadtrip: Week 2

Gascony Following the action-packed camping frenzy of week 1, the second week of our French extravaganza was considerably subdued. The reason? Fortunately we had the luxury of staying in a villa; no … Continue reading

August 18, 2014 · 6 Comments

French Roadtrip: Week 1

Reims to Provence The sprawling landmass that is France was our oyster for three weeks as we embarked upon the annual road-trip. For the Williams family, a holiday doesn’t mean jetting out to … Continue reading

August 15, 2014 · 1 Comment

Pastures New

For me, this September won’t just mark the tail-end of a gorgeously sun-drenched summer. It will mark both a beginning and an end. I will be bidding adieu to the lush green … Continue reading

June 27, 2014 · Leave a comment