Nearing the end of her first year in Oxford, Jean Balchin says it can, at times, be a dark and lonely place.
Tinker Tailor Student Spy
Every time I hear the phrase ''committing suicide'' it feels like someone has sucker-punched me in the stomach, writes Jean Balchin.
Every morning, shortly after waking, I carefully press out two yellow and green pills from their silver foil and pop them in my mouth. I swallow them with a mouthful of coffee, and then go about my...
I was scrolling through Facebook, as is my wont, when I came across a video of the inimitable Jacinda Ardern, signing out a greeting in New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL).
I thought I knew what grief was like. It was constant tears, a blotchy face, days spent in bed, a wistful longing for the dead. It was gliding mournfully around the house, lilies at a funeral,...
The lights are dimmed, the wine is flowing. A family sits around a table in a posh restaurant, their smiles forced and cutlery scraping harshly.
Almost two weeks have passed since an evil man entered a holy place and took the lives of 50 innocent people. Instead of penning one of my usual columns, today’s article is devoted to two of my...
Change My Mind. Distracted Boyfriend. Exit 12. Tide Pods. Doge. Grumpy Cat.
Oxford is slowly warming up. The hours of watery sunshine are lengthening day by day, and daffodils are beginning to poke their heads up in the muddy parks and lawns.
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of meeting the esteemed journalist, lawyer, former government adviser and fellow Rhodes Scholar Ronan Farrow when he spoke for an evening in Oxford after...
The immortal words of R.E.M were the soundtrack of my teenage years. Instead of a regular teenage rebellion involving sex, drugs and rock'n'roll, I defied my parents by reading feminist literature, blaring AC/DC from my room, and refusing to go to church.
As of today, December 20, 2018, I occupy the most space I ever have in my life.
Despite being 11,660 miles away from sunny Nelson, New Zealand, the ''Maori Santa Claus'' debacle has reached the frozen wastelands of Oxford, England.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: to most children, an exciting, multicoloured kaleidoscope of eccentric characters and intrepid adventures, from anxious, yet well-dressed white rabbits to murderous, ill-tempered queens hellbent on decapitating anything and everyone.
Whenever I am asked where in New Zealand I am from, I do not know how to answer.
It has been exactly one month since I moved to Oxford, ''that sweet city with dreaming spires'', to quote the poet and critic Matthew Arnold.
In the wake of the Kavanaugh-Ford debacle, there have been many ill-thought and frankly disturbing statements being thrown around about the apparent frequency of false rape allegations and the...
For the last two months, I have been living in Leith, a delightfully eccentric and family-oriented portside neighborhood in Edinburgh.
Despite being currently 11,693 miles away from Dunedin, I am still very much invested in the goings-on of Otago University.
Anyone who has read my columns for the Otago Daily Times over the past year will realise that I have the tendency to be very sharp, cynical and sceptical, especially when it comes to religion.