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Rectum. I mean, Aquum.

Apparently we can no longer go to the pub for a few drinks and be content with going home straight after. The last bell goes and you’re left with that bitter taste of jaeger in your mouth after downing two, three, maybe four, shots in a row before the clock strikes 11. The last bell goes and all you can think about is that it’s too early to go back to reality and sobriety. It’s as if it were nearing the end of time and you needed to be heavily sedated, in a comfortable boozy state of mind to spend the rest of eternity in limbo.

It would probably be sensible to make a quick escape at this point, less money spent, less likelihood of liver failure and the chances are that you’ll manage to get enough sleep to feel relatively fresh in the morning. Problem is, though, that you’re way past the threshold; the tiny you on your left shoulder is being so much more persuasive than a couple of hours ago and keeps egging you on to “have another one” and telling you that “you only live once”, until it’s all you can hear and there’s no turning back. You are now on a mission to get wasted, maybe have a little dance, and probably hook up with someone, which you may regret the next day.

But where to go? The Surrey suburbs don’t really cater for a 20-something’s urge to party. Any place worth going means expensive cab rides and, to be honest, it’s usually way too much hassle because it means leaving the two mile radius around us, which includes our local pub and most of our homes – this is a sort of self-imposed rule that me and my friends tend to follow. Then about a year ago, a place called Aquum opened on Esher high street (within the radius). Word got around, people started going there and getting frisky, and now it’s a prime destination for some after-hours banter.

Sounds pretty cool, right?

Wrong. It’s the most heinous place in the world – or at least in the two mile radius. I don’t really know what possess us to go. The reasons stated above really don’t seem like enough. It’s about the size of a shoe box with tacky all-white décor, rude bar tenders and shit music. Because of its absolutely ridiculous size, the capacity is of about 50 people, so if you get there after 11 on a Friday, chances are you won’t be let in, which in itself defeats the purpose of an after-pub activity. You probably have to skip the pub all together if you want to go.

Walking through the doors of that place you get struck by that stale sweat smell that comes courtesy of all the over excited creepers trying to grind on anything with a vagina. The blue and purple bulbs make for some pretty unflattering lighting, which is probably why the girls are way too over-dressed and heavily coated in makeup and towering in 7-inch heels. As a girl, I love putting my good dress and my face on, but there is a time and a place, and it is not Aquum on Esher high street on a Thursday night. There are bottles of Dom flying around with sparklers. Drinks don’t need sparklers; if you really want some sort of glass wear adornment, get a little umbrella. All you can think of as you sip your drink is, who the fuck hired this DJ? You start getting a little pissed off that you even bothered to come, but as the shots keep coming round, so do you.

The absolute worst thing about this god-forsaken place is that you succumb to it, to the dark side. Before you know it, you’re tapping your foot to a JLS song and as if by magic you know all the fucking lyrics which come to you like word vomit. Shortly after you’re backing your ass up on some cutie in the corner or alternatively dancing on the couches, which you know are meant for sitting, but you’re such a rebel at this point that you just don’t care. Then you shimmy to the bar and you’re ordering a bottle of champagne. Why? Why get a bottle of champagne when you’re on the doll, unemployed and living at home with the rents?

Only in Aquum.

Written by: Nicole McLennan

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Aside

A Balinese Photo Diary

The Ngrupuk Festival

The island of Bali is nestled in the largest Islamic state in the world, Indonesia. However, it differs from the rest of the country in that approximately 92% of the Balinese population are Hindu. Ceremonial life in Bali revolves around ritual and artistic creation.

 

 

 

 

One of the most important fixtures on the Balinese calendar is Nyepi, the day of silence. On the eve of Nyepi, the Balinese streets are transformed into a visual spectacle with the Ngrupuk parade. Balinese belief works within a dichotomy of positive and negative forces. The Ngrupuk parade is performed to ward off negative influences and create an equilibrium between the positive and negative forces in life.

 

 

 

 

Balinese Hindus make Ogoh-Ogohs, beautifully constructed statues made from bamboo and paper-mache. The Ogoh-Ogoh embody negative energy, a manifestation of evil and darkness. The main purpose of making the Ogoh-Ogoh is to purify our environment of any spiritual pollutants. They are paraded on a convoy, taunted and reviled, then finally burnt in a symbolic act of purification. My experience of the Ngrupuk ritual was in a small fishing village in the North East of Bali, called Tulamben.

 

 

 

 

Lying in the shadow of the menacing volcano Mt Agung, Tulamben is a popular scuba diving location. It benefits from the rich waters of the Bali Sea, boasting a world famous wreck in the USAT Liberty and is abound with marine life. The area surrounding Tulamben offers incredible natural beauty and breathtaking sights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life in Tulamben revolves around scuba diving with most locals involved in the industry in some respect, working within a co-operative. Hinduism and ceremonial life play a big role in the village. On the eve of Nyepi, on a hot, humid day in Tulamben, the Ogoh-Ogoh were led through the village on bamboo stilts in a procession of the young and old. At the front of the procession, children carrying wooden torches led the way through the village.

 

 

 

 

Surrounding the Ogoh-Ogoh, song and dance created a frenzied ritualistic display. The beating of drums and various percussion instruments gave the parade a unique soundtrack. The animation and passion involved in this parade belied its modest size and scale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throughout Bali such parades can involve thousands of people and huge collections of Ogoh-Ogoh statues. Tulamben's parade, whilst modest, was undoubtedly impressive. The energy on display during the parade was captivating. Although the festival has a significant spiritual importance for the locals it was far from exclusive, the smattering of tourists were welcomed and encouraged to be part of proceedings.

 

 

 

 

 

Me and a few friends from our dive centre, ''Dive Concepts’’, followed the procession and our initial trepidation of being uninvited voyeurs was soon forgotten. We got lost in the crowd, dodging children hurling water missiles and swinging wooden torches on fire.

 

 

 

 

 

The atmosphere was frantic, at one point a Westerner handing out sweets was mobbed by a group of children like a swarm of bees, leaving her disorientated and sweet-free in seconds. Moments later, one child accidentally set another alight with his torch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thankfully, those around him weren't too distracted by their sugary bounty and soon extinguished the flames. These events typified this adrenaline-fuelled occasion. Madness and exuberance in equal measure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My lasting memory of the Ngrupuk festival was the positivity and happiness of the people there. I remained in Tulamben for a few months after the event and became good friends with some of the locals. I can attest to the stereotype that the Balinese emanate positivity.

 

 

 

 

 

Life here moves at a contented snail's pace. The Balinese ethos of ''a need to protect oneself and one's health by surrounding oneself with happiness and harmony'', may sound like an idealistic, rose-tinted view on life, but hey, personally, I've always suited pink Aviators.

 

 

 

 

 


Spot me on the left amongst the madness..

I wasn't lying about the Aviators.

 

Written and Photographed by: Jake Chard

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Aside

A Lesson of Expression Inspired by the Great Lady GaGa

The Personal Thoughts of Hana Difrawy...

 Well, there have certainly been been mixed views about Lady GaGa ever since she started to become widely known, I personally believe this is because people just don’t know how to read her!  I certainly don’t understand a lot of the things that she does, but I do know that I find her extremely creative and intriguing.
I have chosen to showcase Lady GaGa as a particular musing for us because she encompasses a lot of what Little Wing is about.  Lady Gaga is an outrageous fashion icon, a misunderstood (at times) artist and an amazing musical talent, someone who is not afraid to experiment and break boundaries… really break boundaries!I love the fact that she is so random and confident with what she does.  She expresses herself in so many ways, through fashion, music and stage design.  GaGa is not alone however, she has a crazy creative team behind her, known as the ‘Haus of GaGa’, they are a group of artists and designers who help to come up with some of GaGa’s famous creations.  Although she has all of these creative people to help her, when it comes to the performance or the public appearance, GaGa is the one showcase the work of these artists and herself, she is the only one there to take either the praise or take the slaughter!

In my opinion, GaGa is an inspiration because of her confidence and her creative expression.  Most of us would say that we do express ourselves through our clothes, music choice, even the way we walk, talk and carry ourselves.  It can be said however, a lot of us are much too safe with our choices.  If everyone had a little bit more of GaGa’s fearlessness in them, I believe the world would be a much more creative, interesting and forgive me for bieng so blunt.. FUN place to live in.

I put it to everyone reading, try and overstep your boundaries of expression just one step further and see where it takes you, it may just give us all the extra boost of confidence to jazz up our current selves!

Check out some of the Haus of GaGa's amazing creations at: www.haus-of-gaga.com


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Unemployed? No, I’m an intern

As we all know, times are tough at the moment. It’s never fun talking about unemployment figures, tax and benefit reforms, the likelihood of a double-dip recession and all other doomsday-esque factoids about our modern society; but I guess most, if not all, of these things are harsh realities which affect a large portion of the population. These are things that are hard to escape and, seemingly, are only going to get worse in the few years to come.

A news headline which has been haunting me for the past two months is that employment for 18-25 year olds has plummeted to an all-time low and that the UK is experiencing the highest unemployment rate in 17 years. So according to the BBC, one in five of us “youngsters” are neither in education nor working nor training. That actually scares the shit out of me. I try to ignore it and tell myself that if I believe it, it’ll become a self-fulfilling prophecy whereby I get lazy and just blame my redundancy on David Cameron and all those damned Tories, and end up having heated political conversations with my parents.

I say fuck it. There MUST be something out there. I, my friends, have not lost hope quite yet. I have nearly finished my Masters, and for nearly a year now I’ve been interning here, there and everywhere, from magazines to PR to sales. This isn’t me writing this to say, “Hey guys, look how awesome I am! I’m an intern and I try really hard, wooo!” Nope. Because, first of all, anyone who’s done placements before knows how belittling it can be; and secondly, placements are a euphemism for free labour, so there’s nothing to brag about here really. I just refuse to render myself useless because I still need to feel that this whole “Life” thing is going somewhere. I’ve been called naïve or been told, “Good for you, sport!” with a little wince and a pity pat on the back, as if what they truly wanted to say was, “Good luck, kid. But grown up life actually sucks.” Well, maybe, but I like to think that if I want something badly enough and work myself down to the bone then I’ll eventually get somewhere. And if I want it that badly it's only because I love to do it. I like to think that I have it in the locker, as my friend likes to put it.

I haven’t got a concrete offer from any of the places I’ve interned for. I’m pretty sure I’ve harassed secretaries and bombarded editors with my CV a few hundred times. But I’ll wait. And in the meantime, I’ll continue getting coffees and deliveries; running like a madwoman around the office trying to find that very specific shirt in a stockroom stacked full of unlabelled containers that has to be sent to Vogue ASAP; or transcribing that four-hour long interview in three hours, all the while trying to make myself be heard, known and liked in the hope that they’ll turn around and say, “Hey, you. Yeah, the one carrying three boxes and three times your body weight. We’re keeping you on. Here’s your desk and your contract. See you Monday.”

Written by: Nicole McLennan

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