Tag: blog

Marxism and Mental Health

“The mode of production of material life conditions the general process of social, political and intellectual life. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness.” (Marx 1859) In what way is health, in particular mental health a highly political and potential radical issue? In

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Fresh Starts in the January Blues

Fresh starts can be a birth; messy, painful and confusing but without them life would not get anywhere. And aren’t we just obsessed with fresh starts this time of year? I used to be a bit of a New Years’ Ebenezer Scrooge, grumbling about how full the gym would suddenly get and the fleeting glimpses

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The Benefits and Damages of Hibernation

Blinkingly, I stick my head outside my cave. The sunlight seems foreign to me now. It stings but in a strangely comforting way, like antiseptic on a grazed knee. Words are not so easy when all the communication I’ve done lately is long distance or through the medium of Gilmore Girls marathon. Isolation can be

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Greece 2012 #6: Mystra and Menelaoin

The morning we left Sparti we visited the stunning, Frankish, hilltop monastic settlement, Mystra. The Byzantine architecture fit beautifully into the rocky landscape.    It was also a peaceful place and we got on to the bus exhausted, overheated and sweating but glad. Every seemed to be on the phone to their parents or girlfriends while

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Greece 2012 #5 Olympia and Sparta

We crossed the huge cable bridge that joins the Peloponnese to the mainland as Tom told us about the many naval battles that had been fought in the waters around us throughout history. It was hard to reconcile the sparkling views with where Cervantes, author of Don Quixotes, lost an arm. Athenians and Spartans alike

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Greece 2012 #4 Itea and Delphi

Itea was once the ancient port of the Pan-Hellenic sanctuary of Delphi. After five days in dusty, sweltering Athens getting beside the sea was relief and a half. Itea is a pleasant seasidey town and most of the shops and restaurants are on the strip along the beach. We ate that night at a table

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Greece 2012 #2

The study tour section of the trip started in earnest at half eight on Tuesday morning after our dishevelled group staggered down from breakfast, such as it was. I was worried that I wouldn’t know many people or that travelling in a big group wouldn’t suit me (it didn’t totally in Barcelona and that group

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Rome in France Lyon & Nimes

We arrived in Lyon to an evening of heavy snow. We were running late after getting the tram and two metros from the airport to our hostel on the quays of the river Saone. The Cool and Bed Hostel is clean and the staff is friendly but there’s an air of disorganisation and zero security,

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Istanbul (2012) #3: Topkapi Palace and its Harem

Topkapi Palace closes early in the mid-afternoon and fills up fast so if you want to see Istanbul’s most iconic Ottoman palace before the crowds at the gates become unbearable than get there before half ten. It’s 25 Turkish Lire (TL) inside and another 10 TL to see the Harem area which was in my

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From London to Glasgow 2011 #1: London, Museums, Markets and Getting Lost

After the successful hostel trip down the Mayo-Galway in 2010, me, A (from that trip) plus S and Shona decided to go further afield the next summer after our exams. So we started off in London and traveled up the UK by train; Oxford, York, Edinburgh, Fort William and Glasgow.   The flight to London took

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