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The series of unfortunate events when moving back home



Moving out on your own is terrifying. You’ve never been on your own before, you’re overwhelmed and scared. However, fast forward a year you had a great time, life’s grand etc. Then you move back ‘home’. This is the really scary part. 

You no longer live by your own rules but the rules you were living by a year ago. The transition from independence to pulling out your hair happens in a matter of minutes. You wake up in the morning to an aggravated mother listing a never ending amount of stuff for you to do that day. ‘No. Sleep’ is never an acceptable answer. I learned this as a laundry basket was hurled at my head with a force Arnold Shwarzenegger would envy. 

Coming home from nights out has went from collapsing in bed to avoiding as many obstacles set up before smashing head first into something and waking up the entire house. No one cares about the fact you realised if you mix baileys and tia maria you have a perfect cocktail at half three in the morning. 

‘Do you have a job yet?’ This will happen before you enter the abode and are ganged up on in a car with no escape. However, the asphalt of a motorway does look tempting half way into the conversation. 

Predrinks at your house is no longer an option. After the first awkward experience of everyone crowding around a speaker trying to block the sound from reaching the Emmerdale theme tune in the living room you just meet people outside. 

Your physical appearance will get picked apart until your asking Joan Rivers for her surgeon’s number. My mother lost three stone while I was away, during this time she turned into Gillian McKeith, minus the toilet invading. I came home to a list of exercises and a diet plan. I read them while munching on cake. 

When you get into an argument with your mum or dad you turn back into a 14 year old. Instead of using the witty reply that exuded maturity you scream ‘I wish I never came home!’ Then storm to your room, sit on the bed for an hour and then wonder about like Smeagle trying not to get in anyone’s line of vision.

So don’t be nervous about moving out be nervous about coming back. 

On the plus side I don’t have to pay rent.



Merchiston’s on fire

Students were rushed out of Merchiston campus today as a fire spread through the building

.merchsiton fire

Edinburgh Napier university, Merchiston Campus, on Colinton rd set fire at 10.55 am today. Students evacuated outside and assumed it was routine. Napier student, Stuart Johnstone, 21, said, ‘It appeared just to be an ordinary fire alarm.’

However, 20 minutes later smoke was pouring out of the left wing of the building. The fire brigade arrived and all students were moved further from the sight as the smoke intensified.

A fire warden on site stated that there was a malfunction in one of the workshops and sparks began to appear. The sparks then went into the extractor fans and traveled through the building.

Reflective Piece

I didn’t expect to learn to the extent I have this year. When entering my first year of Napier I was still nervous but self assured that I already knew what to do, almost arrogantly so. However, a few weeks into my course I came to the harsh realisation that I was not God’s gift to the journalistic world. The year before entering university I went to Glasgow City College for a HNC in Practical Journalism. This led me to the false conclusion that I would already know most things in my course. However, throughout the course of the year, I learned a lot more about journalism, writing and myself as a journalist than I thought I would.  Having a blog also became a major help in developing a writing style


Hard News Story

I used to believe that hard news stories were easy because they were generally straight facts with no opinions. However, I realised while doing an assignment for Multimedia reporting that it was more difficult than intended.

I decided to compose a hard news story on the missing Malaysian plane. I thought I would be taking the easy route because so much information was circulating the media on the topic. Then I realised that was the problem, because there was so many stories and various information it was hard to filter through all of this to approach a specific angle. It was also a struggle to develop my own spin on the story when so many different angles had been covered and also to stray away form my usual writing style. My writing tends to be informal and to an extent humorous, I hope. Trying to develop a writing style with no opinion and purely about facts was more of a struggle than I realised but I feel it improved my writing technique and in result broadened my style.


I have been all over the place with my features. If you read my blog, which is how you would read this, you would see that I have a love for killer whales. However, my opinion on matters such as SeaWorld and a documentary called Blackfish have changed immensely from the start of the course till now. My first post on my blog was about the monster which is SeaWorld, how they abuse killer whales and are evil. Looking back this seems so naive and this topic is the reason that I feel I have bettered myself as a journalist because it taught me the value of research.

After watching a documentary designed to make the viewer feel and not think I fell hook, line and sinker for it. Then a few things began to tweak my absolute resolve that the killer whales need to be saved. Then I decided I had to research and I realised that I had been completely blindsided. I had listened to biased information and not think twice into doing my own research and I learned that could be a major downfall for a journalist. It taught me never take what you hear for granted and always research as you can find out everything has been fabricated and also stop you from looking like a complete idiot.


My favourite thing in the world is books, I love to read, always have, always will. This is why when it was suggested to do reviews I immediately knew my topic. However, this led me to discover how hard it is to break away from your comfort zone. When I first started my blog we were advised to break off from our comfort zone, my comfort zone is fantasy/paranormal novels. I was adamant that I could break way from what I knew and start to become cultured on other types of books such as murder mysteries and thrillers. I soon learned that this was a lot harder. I was so used to my regular type of books that it became difficult to get into anything else.

I learned that it is a lot harder to broaden your horizons than you think. Reviews also majorly helped me with my writing style. It enabled me to understand from a writer’s point, why certain things were written in that style, what language allowed the reader to become drawn in and how to capture attention from the beginning and these are all things that help me with my own journalistic writing. Writing for newspapers you have to be able to capture a reader’s attention straight away and keep then riveted to what you are writing. Reviewing novels helped me to understand this.


Throughout the course of my first year I have learned an extreme amount about journalism and myself as a writer. I learned the value of writing style, research, opinion and many other various topics. Throughout the course I have learned that writing can always be improved and also the importance of time. Meeting deadlines is immensely important and running about like a headless chicken does nothing to improve your writing which is something I am working on. Overall, I’ve learned that it is extremely easy to make mistakes and be intimated by others you believe are better than you but I understand that having a unique writing style that is continuously improving ensures success.

The next Free Willy?


Californian assemblyman, Richard Bloom, has proposed a ban on orca captivity in the Californian state to take place. The bill would make it illegal to hold in captivity, or use, a wild-caught or captive-bred orca for performance or entertainment purposes.” It also would ban artificial insemination of captive killer whales and block the import of orcas or orca semen. After controversial documentary ‘Blackfish’ by Gabrielle Cowperwaithe highlighted the alleged abuse on orcas at SeaWorld there has been a lot of support for this bill to be passed. However, there are many who claim that this bill is irrelevant and could potentially be dangerous for the killer whales.

This proposal for the law to be passed was after the wake of controversial documentary on SeaWorld ‘Blackfish’. After ‘Blackfish ‘was released it went global after originally only been shown at five cinemas in Canada after the Sundance festival. This has sparked major backlash on SeaWorld and many are demanding the orcas be released. Richard Bloom has stated: ‘There is no justification for the continued captive display of orcas for entertainment purposes. These beautiful creatures are much too large and far too intelligent to be confined in small, concrete pens for their entire lives. It is time to end the practice of keeping orcas captive for human amusement.”

This is not a foreign concept at India, Croatia, Costa Rica, Hungary and Chile have banned cetacean captivity and Switzerland have banned dolphin captivity. Under this law there would be 10 orcas that would be released from SeaWorld in San Diego ranging from wild caught orcas such as Corgi aged 36 and captivity bred orcas such as Kastaka.

Green Peace member and active petitioner, Oskar Bindere, stated:

‘I am in full support of Bloom’s movement. I feel that orca captivity is outdated and barbaric. Not only orca captivity but a lot of captivity for animals, it is unfair and unjust.’

When asking Bindere how he felt towards the documentary, Blackfish that led to this proposed law he stated:

‘I did watch Blackfish. I have mixed feelings towards the documentary. On the one hand, I understand where the documentary comes from and they’re not untrue ideals they have presented. On the other hand I do feel like the truth has been twisted slightly to fit their point. That is something I do not agree with the truth speaks for itself.’

The proposal has shocked the captivity world. There has been positive and negative feedback on the proposal. However, after the proposal was made there was a reported drop in SeaWorld stock.

When Bloom was speaking with he stated that captivity was not on his radar before watching the chilling documentary Blackfish.

Bloom states:

‘I’m not a big fan of extremists in any form. This bill came about as a result of my involvement in the issue. No one had influence over me, other than my having seen Blackfish and contacted scientists.

As for their second argument, I completely understand the economic value and jobs that SeaWorld provides. But I don’t think anybody would ever argue that we can justify jobs by supporting bad conduct.’

If the bill is passed it is reported that SeaWorld will be the ones to do the clearing up. They will have to relocate the orcas whether that be releasing them into the wild or sending them to sea pens.

After receiving word of the proposed law SeaWorld’s lobbyist released a statement saying that this is the doing of “extreme animal activists” some of whom “partnered with PETA in bringing the meritless claim that animals in human care should be considered slaves under the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — a clear publicity stunt.’

Another critic towards the idea is Marine Mammal Parks past President Billy Hurley. He stated:

“It’s very easy for some of the extremists to say things like, ‘Oh, if we had a sanctuary, if we had a sea pen, it would just be so much different.’ And the reality is that if you had a sea pen, you would still need veterinary care, you would still need qualified people to take care of the animals, you would still need to be careful about those types of environmental changes that could occur while the animals were in those conditions. The list goes on and on.’

Personally, I am for Bloom’s proposition and I am very intrigued as to what will happen when the bill is passed. However, I am very aware of the fact that there are both pros and cons.

I am aware that orcas have sensory deprivation in captivity and their lives are being shortened. However, a lot of whales will die if they are released back into the wild. I do believe that captivity led to the killer whale Tillikum’s psychosis and that eventually led to Dawn Brancheu’s death.

Orcas are intelligent creatures and, in my opinion, there is no valid argument to capture these mammals and make them perform for entertainment and money.

Old news report

Strathclyde Police began their anti-violence campaign across Scotland yesterday by targeting weapon carriers to crack down on knife crime.


Strathclyde Police has enforcing a yearlong anti-violence campaign, over the next four weeks police will litter the streets targeting weapon carriers. They will be stopping those who look like they could be potentially dangerous.


The crackdown follows earlier periods of enforcement in July, September,

November and December 2011, which led on from the nationwide knife amnesty in May and June 2010, when an all-time high of 12, 600 weapons were handed in to the police.

To date 1,110 knives and 918 other weapons have been found by officers.

That is just across Scotland. The violence has reached a high and the police now have to intervene and take more action. Police state they have taken over “2,000 knives and other weapons off the streets of our communities.


Police will be using intelligence and the latest technology to sniff out those who are ignoring the law and continue to endanger others by carrying weapons.

Chief Inspector Alex McGuire, Safer Scotland Co-ordination Unit, said: In the weeks ahead, officers the length and breadth of Scotland will be actively searching for knife and weapons carriers.


During the next month, forces will be carrying out a whole raft of operations to target hot spot areas, including intelligence-led searches in areas which are known to have problems with violence or disorder.”


Police have been using hand-held metal detectors, Kevlar gloves and Ferroguard poles. These are all items that have been used previously.


The decision to launch a four-week crackdown was after a debate on how to tackle the rise in knife crime.


Committee Convener Frank McAveety said: “This debate today was always wider than criminal justice. It is about tackling knife crime on many levels – early intervention, education in schools, crime prevention.”


Police and the community are encouraging people to come forward and do their part.

Superintendent Val McIntyre, Deputy Divisional Commander, for Renfrewshire and Inverclyde Division, said:

“I would urge any person who knows of anyone carrying a knife to report this to the police or anonymously through Crimestoppers and I would also urge those intending to carry a weapon to think again and consider the consequences.”


Red bins will be placed across Renfrewshire and Inverclyde tomorrow to encourage the public to hand in weapons and stop the violence.