Lawless QUICKPICKLE

iu

“I don’t understand what the fuss was about.”

It was a late addition to my must watch pile and one that people kept raving about. “Oh Luke” they said; “It was great,” they said. “You must watch, I heartily recommend it.” Lawless stars Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Clarke, Guy Pearce, and Gary Oldman in a film set in depression-era Franklin County. And for the life of me I don’t understand what the fuss was about.

The story revolves around three bootlegging brothers (Hardy, LaBeouf and Clarke) during the prohibition in America. Things are all well and good, until the brothers are threatened by a new special deputy (played by Guy Pearce) and other authorities angling for a cut of their profits. I felt Guy Pearce to be the strong element in the film, successfully pulling off a sinister malevolent psychopath, hiding under the virtuous veil of the law. However the same cannot be said for Hardy, who adds little more than grunts and brooding stares to the film. The other worthy mention is Shia LaBeouf who pulls off a much more convincing role as the youngest and most ambitious brother.

For me this was a film that took far too long to cut to the chase. Scenes of people sat in bars or on front porches looking moody were used to excess, and really didn’t add much to the film. When it does finally get going, and piece-by-piece the malevolent special deputy kills and destroys what the brothers hold dear, the climax of the film doesn’t really end with the impact I’d thought it would. Instead it opted for the cliché happy go lucky ending where the fate of the main characters, is all summarily summed up in a single voiceover. As for Gary Oldman, what little (and I really do mean little) time he has on screen, his character really didn’t seem to have any real purpose other than to buy booze off LaBeouf. This is a shame as his character really did show signs of stylish promise, and could’ve made for a memorable ending as opposed to a Hollywood-esque attempt to but more bums on seats in theaters.

Final Verdict

An interesting premise that comes off half-heartedly and really could’ve done more.

2/5

 

Advertisements

‘Light Me Up’ album – a review

The_Pretty_Reckless_-_Light_Me_UpQuickpickle time!

Now, when I say ‘The Pretty Reckless’, I know most of you will automatically think of their hit song ‘Make Me Wanna Die’, which was released in May of 2010 and soared to the top of the charts. It was even used in the movie Kick-Ass, and the band were known far and wide thanks to this song. But, this isn’t the only great song to have come from this band, and I think people ought to know this. I actually stumbled across some of their other work by accident one night a few months ago, when I was perusing the internet and looking for some new music. A song popped up that I’d never heard, and recognising the band, I decided to give it a listen, and boy, am I glad that I did that! The song, which has the same name as the album, immediately got stuck in my head and I couldn’t stop listening to it. This then prompted me to listen to the rest of the album, which I devoured in one non-stop session of grungy guitar riffs and beautifully angsty lyrics.

Some of the songs are brilliant right off the bat – Just Tonight is particularly poignant, with a stunning instrumental performance by the band accompanying Taylor Momsen’s raw vocals. But there are some more toned-down songs which definitely should not be overlooked; ‘You’ is a personal favourite of mine, harnessing the loveliness of soothing acoustic guitar with Momsen’s gritty yet melodic voice.

Taylor Momsen, lead singer and rhythm guitarist

Taylor Momsen, lead singer and rhythm guitarist

The band itself also deserves some accolade – the instruments are all played and harnessed in such a fantastic way, so that each song has its own distinctive sound and feel to it. All in all, this album certainly needs more recognition than it has received over the years; it is a throwback to those angst-ridden teen years we all remember, and yet it still retains a feeling of relatability and credibility even now.

5/5 – A must-listen for anyone who wants something new to expand their musical horizons.

~Steph.

The Book Of Mormon – Bit of a change from Frozen!

Hello everyone! I apologise from the deepest recesses of my being to all of you for not uploading in an absurd amount of time. I’m not going to make excuses because I doubt you care so in the immortal words of the pythons lets “GET ON WITH IT!”.

8238_full

Recently I had the displeasure of growing another year older. I’m sure you’ve all been there. And like most years I received presents. This year though I got a present that was indeed rather special, you see for those of you who don’t know I am a massive South Park fan. Actually probably more like a massive Matt Stone and Trey Parker fan and ever since I heard about their spectacular new musical titled “The Book Of Mormon” I have been wanting to see it more than anything else. The dilemma I faced though was at first it was only in America and then once it moved to the U.K. It was a bit out my price range, mainly because it is only shown in a single theatre in London. Now for some reason the greater powers have seen fit to bestow me with an incredibly generous girlfriend that knew this. So yeah, if you haven’t guessed it yet, we went to see The Book Of Mormon. I mean seriously if you had trouble seeing that one coming you should probably get help. We’re worried for you.

Now just to say that I was going into this thing with high expectations would be an understatement. I purposely distanced myself from anything that might give the game away or tell me just that little bit too much about what happens in the show so that when I got to finally see it I would have no anticipation of what was to come and could really experience it all for the first time. One thing that really took me by surprise though was the level of showmanship and presentation. It’s well known that Trey and Matt are perfectionists and are always totally hands on with their work but I honestly didn’t think that would be so clear on the stage. And talking of the stage boy do they use it! This isn’t the type of show that would translate to the screen or really any other art form for that matter and that just is a testament to the care that went into crafting it. I mean why make a stage show if you’re not going to the use the stage to its full advantage?

The music and songs are catchy and cleaver and like with most of their humour sometimes outrageous. They have this skill of taking something really witty and blending it with the most childish things to really help deliver the jokes. It’s very pythonesque in that respect. The songs themselves are expertly written by Trey and Robert “Bobby” Lopez, The writer and director of the other comedy musical Avenue Q and who more recently had critical acclaim when him and his wife wrote the music for Disney’s very own Frozen. Yep that’s right, Frozen. What’s more is that they manage to catch you off guard with a lot of the show and I don’t just mean the humour. The characters are all really well portrayed and excellently crafted and you genuinely feel an emotional attachment to them.  There is a level of emotion that you really don’t expect when going into the show. Everyone feels believable and real which then in turn makes the funnier parts even more so. Anyone here that has seen the South Park Movie though will already be aware of the skill with song lyrics and music of Trey and Matt but are thinking what about dance numbers? Well have no fear, some of the dance numbers in this show are some of the best I have seen and again they work the dancing into the joke or scene. Every movement is done for a reason, which it is evident, and like with the use of the stage they use the dancing to great effect.

In terms of Story I will give you a brief synopsis as I really don’t want to give anything away. It’s about two Mormon teenagers that get sent to Uganda for their Mission. Chaos ensues. The main characters Elder Price and Elder Cunningham are phenomenal. A.J. Holmes really shone as Elder Cunningham and was quite honestly a revelation and I am shocked that I had never heard of him before this musical. Just to clarify as well that I am of course referring to the British version of the cast  as that is the one that I watched. All of the actors in the show were very good at personifying their respective characters but one other that really stood out was the character of Elder McKinley played expertly by Stephen Ashfield. Again Stephen just brought a certain presence to the character whenever he was on stage and although wasn’t in the show a massive amount still managed to make his parts really memorable.

If you are a fan of comedy, musicals or even just Mormons then this is the show for you! what’s even better is that because of the theatre that the show resides in I can say to you that there aren’t really any bad seats. You are able to see the entire stage comfortably from wherever you are so don’t worry if you can’t necessarily afford the most expensive seats .

A.J. Holmes as Elder Cunnigham

A.J. Holmes as Elder Cunnigham

Tickets start from £39.75 and are on sale online and from ticket offices, The show is preformed at The Prince Of Wales Theatre in London.

 

10/10 Must watch!

-Joe

 

Quickpickle – Kick-Ass: The Score – a review

kick assEver since I watched Kick-Ass for the first time last year, it has stayed right at the top of my favourite movies list, definitely ranking in the top five. I enjoyed it so much and re-watched it so many times, and then I found out that there was an OST (official soundtrack) that had been featured in the movie and was available for purchase – it’s safe to say that I was a little ecstatic about this new information. So I raced off and bought it immediately, and it definitely did not disappoint.

From the moment you press Play on the first track, you are immediately transported to another world. With the first track featuring the epic line, “Is it a bird? Is it a plane?” as the score begins, it sets your heart racing while building to a crescendo, until the music bursts through. As the songs progress, you can feel the tone of the movie changing – from epic battle scenes to devastating scenes of death and destruction, each track evokes different emotions within the listener, and it almost feels as though I’m watching the movie all over again, for as I listen to this album, all I have to do is close my eyes and I can see the film playing out in my mind.

Composed by John Murphy, with killer tracks featuring The Prodigy, Henry Jackman, and Marius De Vries, this album is definitely one heck of a production. Seriously, just give it a listen sometime – you may not think much of it now, but after hearing it, I reckon you’ll all feel like superheroes ready to defeat the villain.

5/5 – One of the greatest musical scores I’ve ever come across.

~Steph.

Locke Review- Directed by Steven Knight

 

 

Locke_

“An interesting, well written film even if bearing a somewhat muted ending.”

 

Tom Hardy is an actor now associated with big Hollywood blockbusters. Ask anyone about Hardy, and some will point at Eames from the loud crash and bang thriller Inception, most will point to Bane from the Batman Trilogy. This is an entirely different film altogether. This film is put together on a much smaller budget, and is staged in an even smaller set. However just because Tom Hardy has traded his usual place of standing amidst the chaos of an anti gravity hotel or a network of eerier subterranean tunnels for the comfort of a BMW 5- Series, this isn’t a film to be disregarded.

 

Locke is the story of one man’s life unraveling over the course of a single car journey. Ivan Locke (played brilliantly by Tom Hardy) is first introduced to us as a pragmatic man who has it all. He has a successful job, a loving family, and tomorrow is set to be the crowning moment of his career. But after a series of phone calls, he is forced to put all that he has built in his life on he line.

 

For those who have seen any trailers or commentaries of the film, would’ve probably seen that this film has been sold as a nail-biting thriller. However after watching all 90 minutes of the film, I would summarise that this is more of a drama than a thriller. Those seeking heart-pounding action will therefore have to look elsewhere. Set entirely in the inside a car with the lone Tom Hardy, the film’s plot is carried by faceless callers on a hands free phone. They’re predominantly comprised of Locke’s wife (Ruth Wilson) a co-worker named Donal (Andrew Scott) and a woman named Bethany (Olivia Colman) whom is having Locke’s baby.

 

As each of the phone calls unravel the mystery behind Locke’s reason for taking an unscheduled detour, the dramatic tension continues to build as bit by bit we watch Ivan Locke’s life begins to crack and crumble. Tom Hardy delivers a stellar and engaging performance which (in a film this understated) is essential. This film bears no attempt to detract from the acting with fancy CGI, car chases, gunfights and people being shot in the face. Instead, it takes the innovative approach to simply focus on one man and his mistakes. Bearing this challenging role in mind Hardy does incredibly well to give his character depth, and the accompanied voice acting helps sustain your interest right from start to finish.

 

It is a big strength that the film is also incredibly well written, for if it wasn’t this film could’ve quite easily been a dull, uninspiring mess. Everything from Ivan’s background, to the mistakes he has made has be fastidiously considered and carefully crafted. This makes for some quite touching, amusing and memorable moments throughout.

 

However this film isn’t without its weaknesses. It’s an interesting, well-written film that for me possessed a somewhat muted ending. As his journey comes to a close and we finally come to terms with the changes of Locke’s life, the film makes an attempt at a resolve on some aspects of Locke’s life. This hinders the closure of the film leaving you with an uncomfortable ambiguity as to how Ivan Locke is going to confront the situation he has found himself in.

 

Verdict

 

4/5

 

Even with a muted ending, the acting and well written tale that has been woven into this original piece of film making definitely deserves a watch.

Luke H

Young & Hungry – a review

Young-Hungry-Key-Art So I’m just going to jump right on into this week’s review by talking about Emily Osment, who has recently blossomed into a superb young actress and is getting heaps of much-deserved recognition. A lot of you might recognise her as the hilarious tomboy skater girl Lilly Truscott, who starred in Hannah Montana as the protagonist’s best friend throughout all four seasons. She also played the main role in the movie Cyberbully (2011), a film looking into the power of the internet and how cyber bullying can have dire consequences and can do a lot more damage than one might initially think. Ever since her baby-faced days on Disney Channel, there’s always been something about Emily Osment that I liked, so when I heard that she was going to be starring in a new show on ABC Family, I was dying to watch it.

Young & Hungry begins by introducing us to Gabi Diamond (Osment), a food blogger and aspiring chef who lives in an apartment with her banking intern roommate, Sofia. But Gabi has a long way to go before achieving her dreams, and so she applies for a job to be a personal cook for young entrepreneur Josh; despite being underqualified for the job, Gabi manages to impress Josh with her culinary skills, and so he hires her, much to her surprise and delight. This paves the way for eight episode of greatness, and here are just a few reasons why I think everyone should watch this show (especially now that season one has just finished, so you can marathon all eight episodes in one delicious sitting!)

Aside from the fact that Emily Osment is fantastic, the other cast members definitely need a look-in too. Aimee Carrero, who plays Sofia, is charming and hilarious, and comes wrapped in a layer of sarcasm and wit, which makes her even more of a joy to watch on screen. Her interactions with Gabi are brilliant, and by the end of the first episode it is impossible not to adore the kooky pair. They are also extremely relatable as individual characters; trying to achieve their dreams, experiencing relationship drama, and leaning on each other for support – seeing such a genuine portrayal of friendship in this show is wonderful.

The rest of the cast is also amazing – from Josh’s loud-mouthed housekeeper Yolanda to his flamboyant personal assistant Elliot, every character is unique and memorable, and with a cast of only five permanent actors, it is easy to immerse yourself in the lives and happenings of each person on the show.

Young-Hungry-Key-Art2

Speaking of the supporting cast, I need to take a moment to congratulate the show’s casting team in this area – I mean, it’s very rare to have a show that ticks just one or two boxes in terms of diversity, but Young & Hungry really takes the cake (excuse the pun!) when it comes to having a range of people in the show. First and foremost, its main character is female; this in itself is refreshing, as already this is showing a difference compared to other male-centric shows. The main cast is then made up of three females and two males – three out of these five are people of colour, and one is also homosexual. I literally drown in representation every time I watch a new episode and I love it. Also, one episode focuses heavily on a lesbian storyline involving a character played by Ashley Tisdale, and seeing a story like that treated so normally and with such great humour was so refreshing to watch. And yes, I am aware that sometimes the characters (in particular Elliot, who is gay) can exhibit some stereotypical traits at times, but in no way is it done maliciously or to make fun of certain groups of people, and that is something I appreciate very much.

Along with the supporting cast, the guest stars are also marvellous. As aforementioned, Ashley Tisdale stars in one episode and a few episodes later, Jesse McCartney makes an appearance; both of these cameos are excellent, but the most entertaining guest star in my opinion is Mallory Jansen, who plays Caroline, Josh’s snooty rich girlfriend who provides bucketful’s of laughs with her cavalier bourgeoisie lifestyle and obliviously obnoxious attitude.

Written by David Holden and produced by none other than Ashley Tisdale, this show is one of the best break-out shows I have come across in a while, and has definitely kept me entertained over the last eight weeks. Here’s hoping we get a season two!

Young-Hungry-Key-Art3

5/5 – While the show has copious funny moments, it also has some very touching scenes, with heart-warming words and meaningful messages being conveyed, making it an all-round success.

~Steph.

Grim: A New Musical – a review

GRIM “A love story to die for.”

 

I’ve always been a lover of the theatre. From a young age, I remember my parents taking me to various shows, ranging from my sister’s school plays to outstanding plays performed in the West End. So when my mum told me that she’d booked us tickets to see a brand new show in London this week, I was over the moon.

On the surface, ‘Grim’ already looks like a rather interesting play – it follows the character of Grim (otherwise known as the Grim Reaper) who goes to a little town to fulfil her tasks of taking the souls of the dying, but her plans are firmly thrown off-course when she meets none other than Cupid himself. And then the story takes a turn for the unexpected. Cupid finds himself instantly taken by Grim, and vows to have her return his bold affections. However, Grim is unused to the behaviour of others; being the Angel of Death, she is accustomed to darkness and loneliness, and so at first, Cupid’s advances are unwelcome and she quickly rejects him, much to his dismay.

But then, she meets Amelia. A timid girl who is often ridiculed by her classmates, Amelia is more withdrawn than ever after the devastating death of her baby brother, of which she blames herself for, due to his dying in a fire after she left him in his room with a candle so he wouldn’t be afraid of the dark. But then, after admitting all of this to Grim, Amelia is given some precious advice from the Reaper, who tells her that as long as her intentions were never bad, then she has nothing to feel guilty for. She never meant for her brother to die, and so she is not responsible for the tragic happening. Grim reassures Amelia that her brother’s death was a severely grim2unfortunate accident, but that it was not Amelia’s fault. This moment forges a strong bond between the girls, and for the first time in their lives, they are both thrilled to have someone to call a friend. Amelia then talks some sense into Grim and convinces her to talk to Cupid, which sparks some much-overdue feelings of affection between the pair.

But then, things take an ugly turn. The other students are wary and fearful of Grim and her strange aura, and they’ve noticed that the death toll has risen noticeably since she moved to town; they vow to be rid of her before she can wreak any more havoc, unaware that she is bound by her responsibility as the Angel of Death and that taking the souls of people causes her a great amount of pain and guilt.

As the story builds to a climax, Grim realises that she cannot be with Cupid, for anyone she ever gets close to ends up befalling a terrible fate. She bids him farewell, saying the same to Amelia, who is grief-stricken at the loss of her friend, but knows that it’s for the best.

However, Grim does not anticipate the sudden consequences of her rejection of Cupid; so when she finds him close to death after attempting to take his own life, she is horrified. But, she knows that if she doesn’t take his dying soul to be with her in the afterlife (as was his plan) then he will be forever lost in a state of limbo; and so she takes him.

This is a surprisingly happy ending, though – Cupid’s death, while sad, means that he and Grim can finally be together. Clad in matching black robes, they exit the stage together during the final scene, their love plain for all to see.

All in all, this was a highly enjoyable production, with beautiful staging and a wonderful cast; it was captivating from start to finish, and had some surprisingly funny moments too. So if you’re ever in London and you fancy seeing a show, I definitely recommend taking a trip to see ‘Grim’. With an enchanting vibe that extends to other great productions like Wicked, this is one event that is not to be missed. And if you’ve never been to the theatre before now, then you could use this as your first experience – and I’ll be damned if you don’t leave the theatre with a huge grim– I MEAN, grin, on your face.

5/5 – Oh, and just to add further incentive – did I mention that it’s a fantastic musical too?! Showcasing a cast with voices as sweet as honey and as powerful as a herd of stampeding bulls, the soundtrack to this show is hauntingly beautiful and will make the hairs on your arms stand on end in the best way possible.

~Steph.

Fresher’s Week is Almost Here – So Learn How to Survive It!

Whoo, where have I been? Fighting dragons? Saving princesses? Jail in Mexico? We may never know.

What we do know is that the new University semesters are about to start! So we’ve building up a collection this week of advice for those of you just beginning in your university, and it’s my turn to tell you how to deal with your first week or two.

Let’s begin at the natural starting point – moving in. Everyone is reluctant to leave home, even when you’re super-eager for something new. It’s a radical change, and that is just plain scary. But you want to move in as early as you can and get unpacked, or you’re going to find yourself working around a bunch of other people moving in at the same time! Busy move-in days are very high-stress and do little to put you into that comfort-zone that you want to find as soon as possible in your new surroundings. When you are unpacking, keep the door of your room open; it’s an invitation for people to look in, to know you’re there and to come meet you, the easiest way to start to talking to your new flatmates. Otherwise, make sure you do introduce yourself to them! You’re going to be living with these people for at least a year, so get to know them, make them feel welcome and they’ll do the same for you.

Unpacking fairly quickly can be another point of stress if you worry too much over it, but it also gets you settled into a place that you want to make feel like home. So get your books and your knick-knacks and posters out and on display, and make your room start to feel like yours.

Now, some things that you’re going to want to get:

  • Medicines! Paracetamol and Ibuprofen are your friend. Get some cold and flu meds, too. Fresher’s Flu does exist and it will find you.

  • Vitamins. With lots of students packed together in one place, colds and stuff are going to spread pretty quickly. To build up your immune system, stock up on any vitamins you lack, or multivitamins if you want a well-rounded intake. They’re also helpful in regards to giving you what a usually less-than-healthy student diet will lack.

  • Earplugs are something to consider, as you never know what your neighbours next door, above or below you are going to be like when it comes to TV, music or even stomping around at 4am. Make sure that alarm is loud enough to get through them though!

Now onto the freshers’ fairs. All Unis will have them to help welcome their new students, and they’re a fantastic way to meet people and get acclimatised to what’s going on around you. Attend as many events as you can, experience all those new things. When it comes to joining clubs and societies, just sign right up to any that even remotely catch your interest – sure, you may not attend them or keep an interest for very long, but the thing is, you are never again going to get the chance to partake in these events and hobbies as cheaply and regularly as you can now. Try everything! It’s a fresh start, after all.

Grab a timetable of everything going on and make plans with your flatmates or people you’ve met already from checking out events. Remember, the fair’s events aren’t just for you as an individual; they’re also great for bonding with others, and they also usually take place all around the campus so you’ll get to know the layout pretty quickly (speaking of which, check out your campus library before you buy any of your books on your reading list, as sometimes they’re already there for you to check out for free, or even to buy second-hand). Most importantly, if you’re a freeloader like myself, get all that free stuff! Keychains, cards, vouchers, lanyards, books, posters – there is so damn much on offer to you. Snag it. Snag it all.

You’ll probably want to do some exploring outside of your campus and the fresher fairs, too. So buddy-up, and get out there. Go on a bar crawl, one or two drinks per pub. Check out the places to eat, and the best take-outs. Find a great burger joint, because sometimes you just need a really good cheeseburger (or veggieburger) and there’s only so much McDonald’s a person can stand, y’know?

When it comes to shopping standards, I’d say dump ’em. Find the nearest Aldi, the cheapest places. They food there cooks just as well as anywhere else. Also try to get an idea of bus routes and prices if you want to do some exploring further afield, and check out the taxi services too. Sometimes the university has specially recommended ones.

Absolutely the most important thing, aside from having fun, is to stay safe. Don’t wander off into places you aren’t familiar with alone, and stick to groups of at least three if you are wandering. Drink as responsibly as a student can be expected to. Don’t ruin the fun with things that can easily be avoided with a little sense.

And finally, it’s okay to be homesick. It’s okay to cry and be scared, because everyone is in that same position. Phone your parents and friends, keep in contact with home, never feel that you’re alone.

You’re going to be fine.

giphy1

– Meg

Cooking and food shopping. Tips for worrying students.

Everyone needs to eat. Im guessing that if you’re reading this you’re probably pretty familiar with eating, what some of you may not be as familiar with is cooking. Now don’t panic, I am here to give you a quick run through of not only some cooking tips that will (hopefully) change your life but also a few tips for eating on a budget.

 

food

 

First things first, what should you eat? Now this part is entirely up to you and I don’t really have time to go through the recipes for every dish every conjured up so instead im going to leave this entire bit to you and your imagination. What I will do though is say that planning your meals for the week in advance can save you a lot of un needed stress. It also allows you to know exactly what to buy when you go shopping  so that you don’t end up spending precious money on unnecessary items. You don’t have to follow the week plan exactly but It doesn’t hurt to think forward a little bit.

Speaking of shopping, here are a few tips:

1) Give yourself plenty of time, there is no point in rushing around the shop trying to get a full weeks shop, you will end up either panic buying or forgetting essential things.

2) Don’t shop when you’re hungry. Trust me on this one your wallet will thank you, shopping on a full stomach allows you to focus on exactly what you need and not get distracted by all the foods that you want in the moment.

3) Be sure to shop around. Different super markets will have different offers and prices so it never hurts to alternate between a few so that you make sure you get the best price.

4) Make sure you know how much fridge and freezer space you have before you shop. There is nothing worse than returning home with bags of shopping to find that you don’t actually have the room.

 

Now to the crux of the issue. Actually cooking. Cooking isn’t something to fear or shy away from, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to make yourself tasty dishes and no one is going to judge you if you occasionally fuck up. The key with cooking is preparation, figure out what the best order is to chop/dice/cut your food and then the best order to cook it. For instance; Making Spaghetti Bolognese  always do the pasta last (It may sound obvious but you’d be surprised) otherwise you end up with burnt pasta as it take the least amount of time to cook. Moving on from actually cooking and eating your food always be sure to clean up after yourself, not just because it will keep your house mates happy but the longer you leave food on a plate/pan etc. the harder it becomes to clean.

To finish off this article I decided I would share with you a few of my favourite cooking tips as well as one or two recipes.

1) When boiling a pan, if you place a wooden spoon over the top it will prevent it from boiling over

2) Quick poached eggs. Boil a pan. Line a cup with cling film and crack in an egg, fold the cling film around and tie it at the end so it looks like a funny egg water balloon. Boil the egginbag for 2-3 mins (make sure water is bubbling). Remove from water and undo the cling film and you’ll have yourself a poached egg. (for a different take, whisk the eggs with a little ham and cheese before placing im cling film to make omelette balls).

3) Making burgers is easy and can be cheaper than buying from a supermarket. Combine a packet of mince(only get lean as a last resort, the fat will hold the burghers together), breadcrumbs (rub a slice of bread between your hands, 2 slices should be enough), an egg and salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix with your hands and form into patties. Should make 8 large burger or 12-14 smaller. Can be frozen. (For added taste add diced onion or anything of your choosing really, I once made a cheese and pickle burger.)

4) Running an onion under a tap before chopping it will prevent it from making you cry.

5) Easy scrambled egg. Combine 2 eggs, a dash of milk(optional) and salt and pepper in a jug and microwave for 3 minutes. Once done remove with a fork while fluffing it and you’ve got yourself scrambled egg.

6) To measure out rice use the method; One mug = One person.

7) For a quick pasta dish; boil water with a bit of salt (and oil if you are so inclined). Then add a handful of pasta (2 hands if you’re really hungry) boil for around 5-10 mins or until the pasta is at the right consistency (a bit soft). Drain and place in a pre heated pan. Mix in a tin of tomatoes, some pepper and a tin of tuna. Stir occasionally for another 5 mins and serve. (For an added treat if you have the time, you can place the dish in a glass tray sprinkle cheese on top and bake for 10 mins for a great pasta bake)

 

Anyway I hope you found this helpful and remember don’t fear cooking, It can save you money and be rather fun. Thanks for reading!

 

-Joe

First Year tips – Making Friends!

When you’re just starting university, there’s a lot of pressure to impress people and come across in a certain way. You’re worried about people liking you, worried about getting along with your flatmates – you’re just worried in general (trust me, I’ve been there!).

But, what I discovered in the first few days is that uni is not like high school – people don’t care about what music you’re into or what books you like or what you wear; basically, if you’re nice to them, they’ll be nice right back to you. So just be yourself – don’t try to don a false persona, you don’t need a gimmick or a façade to make people like you. Just relax and be friendly, and things will seem a lot less scary once you see that everyone else is in the same boat as you.

Actually, that’s another good thing to try and remember in your first few weeks – while I know you may be pretty scared about everything, guess what? So is everyone else. Just like you, everyone else has moved away from home into an unfamiliar environment full of new people, and they all want to feel secure in their new surroundings.

So don’t hesitate to strike up conversations with your peers, even if it’s just saying hi to the girl sitting across from you in class. Little things like that can go a long way, and you may find yourself becoming close friends with someone thanks to something as simple as a wave and a smile.

That’s all for this segment today, so until next time I shall bid you all adieu, and good luck!

sparroww

~Steph.

Also, here are links to some of my reviews for any of you who enjoyed this little column and might like to read more of my previous work:

http://picklepantsreviews.com/2014/04/10/skins-a-review/

http://picklepantsreviews.com/2014/04/24/the-perks-of-being-a-wallflower-novel-review/

http://picklepantsreviews.com/2014/03/27/orphan-black-a-review/