Roast, Toast and Soapbox

Written by Comment, Current Affairs

Roast of the week

This weather ain’t brrrrrrilliant

When you’re an evidently cold-blooded person like me, staying warm in these winter months is tough. No amount of layers seems to ever be enough. I put on three, four, five layers every morning, just managing to get them all on over the top of each other, and I end up waddling like a penguin to campus, but it’s still never enough. Worst is regulating the temperature of various parts of my body – my feet and head overheat really easily, but I’ll still end up with a chilly torso and goosebumps on my arms.

Tea keeps me warm during the day, but (and I hate to say this as a Yorkshire
lass), there’s only so much tea you can drink. I get a few strange looks when I bring my hot water bottle to the Students’ Union too.

The worst thing about the Courier office is that my desk is next to the
window, and quite often people seem to be in the habit of opening it when I’m not in the room. I’m in fully blast of the chilly winter air, and I hate it.

Grace Dean



Toast of the week

Striking Academics

On November 5th the University & Colleges Union (UCU) announced a nationwide lecturers strike following a ballot of its members.

Taking place from the 25th November to the 4th December, academics from 60 UK universities will take to the picket lines for the second time in two years following a dispute over pensions. On average, lecturers look set to lose around £24,000 of their pension.

The decision to strike is not one that the UCU or our own lecturers here at Newcastle University have taken lightly. Many of them have made it clear to us in email and in person how desperately they hoped it would not come to this.

They have faced degradation in the press and tensions within universities have strained professional and personal relationships. Yet despite this, they have chosen to stand up for themselves and the future of their industry and for the resources they need to do their jobs properly. For that reason, I support the strikes and raise a toast to their resolve.

Joe Holloran


Fisherman’s Friend

Sometimes when life gets a little too trying, I like to imagine I’m a North Sea fisherman. By all accounts it would a lifestyle not quite suited to me – being naturally averse to honest physical labour – but the romanticised ideal I have holds fast.  

In my mind’s eye I’d have a little boat, a vessel large enough for me and a couple of other seadogs; both similarly bearded and jumpered. Our catch would be varied – herring, cod, mackerel – so as not to contribute to overfishing. Every so often we would lay some lobster traps. What we pull up from the water we’d sell fresh from a little hut by the shoreline. Perhaps in the evening we could listen to the shipping forecast and understand what on earth it means. 

I apologise to any and all fishermen I may have misrepresented here, but we all need an escape. 

Tom Leach

Last modified: 28th November 2019

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