On a sunny day, there seems to be no better place to escape from the city than Kelvingrove Park or the Botanics, with the river and the rustle of leaves, colourful flowers everywhere you look, and soft grass beneath your feet. Yet Scotland is a beautiful country, and with hills, seaside, lochs and islands not more than a train journey away, here are some suggestions if the park gets too crowded or you simply want to feel adventurous & explore.
The opening track of Pixx’s debut album begins with 21-year old Hannah Rodger telling us that “To put a name on it / Would be to nail the age of anxiety.” An over-produced song, with harsh, repetitive vocals and a hard-to-follow collusion of authentic delivery and electronic, muzzled sound. Not the most attractive introduction to an album, but fortunately after two songs this puzzling attitude disappears and Rodger’s beautiful and peculiar voice comes to the forefront – strong and emotive, shifting easily between lower ranges and high notes.
On our right side are big bushes of bright yellow gore with grass behind them, running right up to the shoreline; there the sea begins. A sheet of blue, changing in colour and depth as far as the eye can see. On our left side lie mountains, an occasional glen with a path running through it, fields with horses, a row of white houses form a tiny village. We are walking on the road that goes all the way around the island. It’s an exciting thought – if we just kept walking we would come full circle right back to the spot we are standing at now. It would take a while – the circumnavigating coast road is 56 miles – but still. Our feet can take us anywhere.
By the late 19th and early 20th century, many artists all over Europe were interested in blurring the edges between music and other arts; poems and paintings became compositions, and vice versa. Wassily Kandinsky, whose name Blair Coron has taken for the first song of his debut EP DO/RE, saw this relationship and was highly inspired by it in creating his works of art, affirming that he wished to make the coloured lines and blobs he drew “sing just as powerfully as I knew how”.
Like queers, suffragettes and impressionist painters have shown us, using an insult as a way to identify yourself and the group you belong to can diminish the power of the pejorative. This is exactly what happened to the term ‘Nasty Women’, proudly reclaimed by women all over the US and the rest of the world after Trump used it to refer to Hillary Clinton. This collection of essays celebrates women standing up to Trump, the far-right, sexism, and racism, but mainly just standing up for themselves.
One quiet morning in the coffee shop where I work, I found myself talking to a regular customer. After telling him why I had chosen to study in Glasgow (‘I found out that studying in Scotland is free for EU-citizens, and then I fell in love with the city’), he started airing his views on everything from SNP policies to Brexit to immigration. Quite uncomfortably, those were exactly opposite to my own points of view.
Illustration by Ludovica Credendino
‘Since when do elections happen every year?’, you might be wondering. Or even twice in the space of two months? Oh, how glorious democracy is. I’m only kidding, being able to cast your vote, have your voice heard and try to change things for the better is a right that we should cherish, and most importantly, use. Yet with the general election taking place in June, after the referendums that people are still tired of, the council elections on the 4th of May have a good chance to be overlooked. The next few hundred words will be an outline of why the council is important – yes, for students too! – how voting works, what the various parties are running on, and why you should vote – brought to you by a complete ignoramus turned expert (that’s me).