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Our Year of Living Ridiculously
As lockdown leaves her student community stranded, Annalise Murray and her flatmates get creative with the help of TikTok and an abundance of television.
Which One Today?
When the desire arises, Ken Cumberlidge occasionally wishes he could wear women’s clothes. In this personal essay, he reflects on what this might mean in modern society.
The Night Shift
A liminal zone, where daytime rules need not apply. George Aitch looks into the experience of working the night shift.
Tunnel Under Greenwich
Deptford native, George Aitch, takes us under the Thames through the largely unknown Greenwich Foot Tunnel. The soul of London lies in its hidden places.
From friendship to growing up, Esther Hope Arthurson gives us a snippet on life on cocktail night.
Time Your Blackouts Better
After a blackout leads to a serious car accident. Gary Hartley opens up on depression, Middle England, and perception in this introspective piece.
The Job Interview
Skint but with the mouth-watering prospect of working as a potwash in the local pub, famous for its aroma of old farts, Holly Watson reluctantly goes to a job interview.
Dole Life Part One: What you have to do for £50 a week
What you have to do for £50 a week in Britain. This is British life on the dole. Steven Bradbury gives Talking Soup the inside scoop on a life of Job Seeker’s Allowance.
Talking Soup Talks: #1 The University Experience
In a new series of interviews and reviews, the editorial team at Talking Soup kick off a new series of podcasts. In this pilot episode our digital editor, John Smith, takes a look at the issues surrounding students in a time of the Covid-19 pandemic. Should they stay or should they go? If you want to take part in the podcast, then please get in touch.
‘To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a state of rage almost, almost all of the time — and in one’s work. And part of the rage is this: It isn’t only what is happening to you. But it’s what’s happening all around you and all of the time in the face of the most extraordinary and criminal indifference, indifference of most white people in this country, and their ignorance’ – James Baldwin.
Broken Saturday Night
Wet, half-sober, tired and bored. The meaninglessness of Saturday night for a disillusioned thirty-something.
The Battle of the Heart Over the Mind
Life is full of changes, and with younger folk are ever-more trapped in a cycle of work and rent, Fulvio Milesi joins us to give us his take on leaving a job that appealed to the mind, but not the heart.
Carpet Fitter’s Christmas Rush
Brian King, who has worked in the flooring and carpet-fitting industry for 30 years, joins Talking Soup to talk about the Christmas rush for carpets and flooring and the toll it takes on the workers.
Stupidly, I Knowingly Broke Quarantine in Spain and was Instantly Apprehended by Police
Robert Locke, a temporarily unemployed travel company representative, woefully disregards government quarantine regulations and takes to the streets in his adopted home of Malaga, only to be arrested almost immediately.
The Joys of Boys
In a new series on parenthood, Yvonne Hardman, 45-year-old mother of three teenage boys, gives us a stark but witty warning about what is in store for any potential parents.
How Black Was My Thumb?
I finish my £8.30 pint and head for where I used to live. Why? I’ve started writing now, I might as well go. It’s an ex-council block. East London thick brick. Rubicon cans on the stairwell, faulty lifts. A kid called Abdi that tries to sell you weed every time you see him, even though you tell him that you don’t smoke weed. It was him that I thought I saw walking past the pub. He’s got a dog. He told me that it is was rare for a Bengali to have a dog. I wonder if he’s still here?
Storm the Palace and Louis Rive talk about music
I guess they’re the kind of lyrics most songwriters would use as a place-holder before coming up with something more universal and generic. Apparently the Beatles song ‘Yesterday’ was originally about bacon and eggs, but obviously McCartney decided to change the words to something more commercially viable. Thankfully commercial viability isn’t something I need to worry about. And for me, at least, I still find the lyrics quite meaningful as they are.
I sit up in bed with my hand over my eyes. The shards of sunlight, shining through the open window and the scream of a scooter from the street below make me wince. Through my fingers the black and white poster of the singer Morrissey looks down on me with pity from the bedroom wall. I return the look with remorse and regret.
The Beautiful Game
We stood on the terrace, a paltry sprinkling of crowd awaiting a corner. Those whom we had come to see stood at arms’ length, the accentuated shouts, the frenetic panting and the smell of turf and bloke as vivid in my mind now as it was a solid 20 years ago.
I have killed her in my head more times than I can count. I have attended her funeral. I have wept on her grave. I have cried alone in a room littered with pill bottles and years of filth because I wasn’t there to save her. Every unknown number from Connecticut is her final plea for forgiveness before she swallows the pills or slices the blade across pale blue-veined wrists. I am a bad son. I let her do this. It is all my fault.
The Strange Case of Derick Johnson
For some reason, my first instinct was to assume that Derick Johnson was a figment of Nick’s imagination or a sort of creative in-joke between some of the players. The name, I observed, sounded like a character from Mad Men. I imagined a dapper fellow in his mid-thirties turning up to play, with a short glass of scotch on the rocks in one hand and a cigarette in the other.
Show Me Your Teeth
Mouth open as he presses cold metal against each tooth. Leaning over me, he recites codes I don’t understand to his assistant. When it’s over, he smiles and tells me, to my surprise, that I have good teeth. Good, straight teeth. It means more to me than it should. I tell myself he says that to all his patients. Within reason.