Too Broke for Bulimia

I have always liked my food. I have also always liked brushing my teeth, six times a day at some points. So the thought of making myself sick just to 1) be hungry again and 2) wear down the enamel, thus have Simon Cowell smile goals slip further from my grasp – baffled me.

But this past year my medication made me sick, and I got used to vomiting. I realised if I over ate, I could make myself sick without even putting fingers down my throat; usually just thinking about it and staring at the loo was enough.

Eating habits are split into two distinct categories in my mind: under eating causes rank breath and relates to self control, deprivation and looking lovely/trim. Over eating, on the other hand, relates to gluttony and greed. I have often fallen into camp B.

I’d been dumped and wasn’t taking it well. I would overspend on food, knowing full well I would puke it up. I ate until my stomach hurt and I felt disgusted, reinforcing the bad thoughts I suspected about myself. I ate so much, none of my clothes fit and I made excuses to avoid people or leaving my room.

Eventually a casual comment from a pal made me go on a clean, raw diet and the weight dropped off. I would write every single thing I ate in my food diary and judge myself if I had seven almonds instead of five as a snack.

I kept a decent chunk of that weight off. I’m developing a better understanding of my body, and in a beautiful twist of pre-Christmas binging fate I’ve lost my appetite. I’m enjoying this so much though, that the thought of having to eat causes anxiety and I spend all day psyching myself up. I feel guilty for not being hungry. If I were to binge, I’d think twice, maybe three times, but still head to the bathroom. I’m trying really hard to recognise the pattern and stop myself before it gets to a vom-worthy point.

Maybe these skewed priorities are a testament to my age, but an even bigger issue than the effect on my body is that I’m wasting money. A couple of sausage rolls and a caramel-pecan donut from Greggs don’t cost that much, but I wouldn’t chuck £2.60 down the loo either.





Exit Strategy

Where: 69 Victoria St, L1 6DE (oppsite the Millennium Gym)

The concept of Exit Strategy is suspiciously similar to Breakout, and both are located a stone’s throw from each other. However, since we were a little disappointed with Breakout, we’re open to giving it a go. 

Exit Strategy is located in the cells of Liverpool’s old magistrates’ court building, which in itself makes us want to check it out.

Both use the concept of interactive games, each set within a story inside its own room. There you’ll find hidden objects and clues. Part theatre, part puzzle, you’ll use your skills to crack the codes and lead you to your escape within a 60 minute time limit. Each group has a maximum of 5 members. 

Exit Strategy currently only offers one room, The Illuminati: 

Ziggy Roswell is the kind of person who’ll believe any conspiracy theory as long as there’s an ominous soundtrack (just like us). Everybody thought he was nuts, and now he’s gone missing. It’s up to you to sift through his man cave for clues about whether shape-shifting intergalactic lizards really use wifi to enslave the human mind.

If conspiracies aren’t your thing a second game is on its way, and Nostromo claims to be the largest and most immersive escape room in the UK.

The more people who play Breakout the cheaper it is per person, meaning it’s generally expensive unless you take five people.

Exit Strategy has a set price of £15 per person. Throughout December they also have a special offer  of ‘pay for 3 – bring up to five!’ Although 3 or 4 people would be our ideal number, it’s a good deal – split the £45 five ways and pay £9 each.

At Breakout, we chose one of the hardest rooms which turned out to be a bit inaccessible, so a couple of us dawdled and felt left out. As there’s only one Exit Strategy room, we’re interested to find out how difficult it is as the website doesn’t specify what ages it’s appropriate for. 

The game is the brainchild of father-son duo Jack and John Crump, and judging by their blog, the pair are seriously bonkers about escape rooms. They recently visited escape room world capital Budapest, squeezing in 10 games in two days. These guys have experience and know what makes a good game; they understand atmosphere, story structure and how challenging is too damn challenging. 





I am that bellend who talks all the way through films, so the Kaz thoughtfully brings you… the Silent Film Night! Four films dating back to 1906 when Netflix still didn’t have anything good on it will be accompanied by live sounds, from piano to synths. Donation only.

How to be a top Ma


By Abby Boak

Have you ever had a conversation which has changed your life, or heard a little throw-away phrase that enters your consciousness and just makes things different?

Here’s the story.

From being a teeny tot, I had ALWAYS wanted to be a mum and live a simple, family life, have a home, a steady job, family outings on the weekends, cozy nights in…. You get the picture? I discussed it with every single one of my boyfriends in my teens and early twenties. I had a bit of a meltdown in my mid-20s and ended up pregnant to a man who wasn’t on my wavelength at all. Life’s a funny bugger, hey? Since my son Alex was born in 2005, we have lived in 11 different houses, in three different countries, with three separate partners. I’ve had 10 different jobs and completed two full-time, post-grad courses. He’s attended 4 different schools or nurseries and after 7 years of battling with schools has finally this last year been diagnosed with ADHD and Dyslexia. This means he says and does things impulsively, is hyperactive and has exceptionally poor short term memory skills, so building relationships, both in school and in the wider family, has been very difficult for everyone. His father doesn’t live in the same place as us and seemingly doesn’t know how to use a phone on a regular basis. Suffice to say this is not the steady path that I had envisaged.

This situation used to get me down. I used to be really concerned about whether or not I was ever going to have the simple family life I desired so much, and whether or not Alex was going to be good at anything (bless him, he’s not had the most stable of times).

One day about 4 years ago I was visiting a friend. She has four boys between 16 and five. She’s also a trained Art Therapist, University Lecturer and just an all-round lovely person. I was telling her how Alex was not good at most things, how he struggled so much in school, in sports activities, in general. Rightfully so, she pulled me up:

“Can’t he just be?”

Wow. Really. It’s that simple. The fab four were right. LET IT BE.

I hadn’t realised that over the years I had been partially blaming Alex for my difficulties in not getting the simple life I wanted. I had expectations of my life, my career, of him as a son, of my partners, of myself and whilst my expectations were not unreasonable, they were only leading me to feel disappointed when they didn’t turn out as I planned. With most other things you can change your path pretty easily, but becoming a mother, that’s a one-way ticket.

This realisation changed my whole approach to mothering and I can tell you that it has mended a huge rift in my relationship with my son. I am now able to let Alex be himself. I’m no longer worried about his academic successes or difficulties- he just is where he is and it will take as long as it takes. I no longer feel mortified when he says mean things to me or others- right now he has no stop button but he will eventually learn to control his impulses. I no longer apologise when, as a more-or-less single parent, I have to take him along to social gatherings – I now embrace having this incredibly funny, charming, helpful, excitable, tactile being who is able to enjoy every adventure we have.

And guess what? We now have a pretty simple family life.




John Bishop Q & A

We were lucky enough to get tickets to John Bishop’s Q & A on the industry at Liverpool John Moores University, and it was enlightening as well as entertaining. He was too busy for an interview, but we managed to ask where he found inspiration when stuck for material, and this sums it up: ‘I just basically spend my whole life hoping something funny happens to me.’  

Another titbit we managed to jot down with regard to breaking into the industry was, ‘be flexible and stick at it’. One opportunistic chap wangled some work experience at John’s production company, and he expressed regret that most of the industry gravitates towards London, something he hopes to change.

And does he regret any career choices? ‘Wherever I go, it’s better than where I started.’ Except claiming his subject of expertise was the Irish potato famine for a game show.

Matchbox Comedy Club

When: Wednesday 8pm

Where: Lantern Theatre, Blundell St

How much: £3 advance

Liverpool is oddly lacking in stand-up comedy, and prices are often a joke. We haven’t been along to this monthly event yet, but have heard good things and that the Lantern is a lovely venue. This is what they have to say for themselves.

Matchbox Comedy Club presents a monthly line up of “outside of the box” funny. Every single one of the acts on our bill comes with our personal recommendation. Like an overexcited psychopath child with a butterfly collection, we’ve stuffed a bunch of our favourite comedy people into a matchbox and put them on display. It’s a carefully curated living museum of funny.

Daft ball of energy Jack Evans brings us stand up that ricochets from madcap to cerebral. A captivating stage presence, off kilter jokes from the acerbic to odd.

Also joining us will be the “impish” Edy Hurst, a performer known for his sweetly silly wordplay, whimsical songs and ridiculous characters. Winner of Tickled Pig 2013, “oddball” Edy brings us abstract-ish comedy jokes and a smiling face.

Our final act is offbeat and ultra-surreal character act Frank Foucault. Welsh Unsigned Stand up Awards Finalist 2015, “meek” and “bizarre” Frank is a low key explosion of inventive ideas disguised as utter nonsense.

I don’t know too much about Matchbox Comedy, except that Alastair Clark will be your compère who’s entertaining with an equally entertaining moustache, so you won’t go far wrong.


Is the glass really half full?


This is the question that’s plagued the people of Philosophy in Pubs for centuries, a nationwide grass roots community organisation promoting and practising community philosophy. Discussions take place regularly in venues across the country, and Liverpool has the most community philosophy groups per capita worldwide because we’re so wise.

Respect is a fundamental requirement so people can put forward their views without fear of ridicule or intimidation (everybody has their limits though). No academic or philosophical background is necessary, so this may be the place to share your LSD musings (maybe leave out the hilarious anecdote about how octopuses can wear all their favourite shoes every day because they have so many legs they don’t have to choose hahahahahaha). 

Anyone can attend and it’s free, bar the price of pork scratchings and a voluntary donation. Meetings are informal and structured around a certain topic. Here is Liverpool’s schedule:

The spectre of Jeremy Corbyn: what are people afraid of? – Bluecoat – 08/12 1pm

Moral Panics – Keith’s Wine Bar, Lark Lane – 8/12 7pm

Can loyalty and equality coexist? – The Greyhound, Ormskirk – 10/12 7:30pm

Should our morality extend to non-humans? – The Friday Forum, Abercromby Square – 11/12 2pm

Conscience – Casa Bar, Hope St – 12/12 11am

Magical thinking! – The Crown Hotel, Lime St – 14/12 2:30pm

Love? – Keith’s Wine Bar, Lark Lane – 15/12 7:15pm

Is religion the sigh of the oppressed creature? – The Crown Hotel, Lime St – 21/12 2:30pm

What is peace? – The Perch Rock Hotel, Wallasey – 21/12 7pm

What is consciousness? – Lakeview Kiosk, Newsham Park – 06/01/16 1pm

Why philosophers do philosophy! – The Crown Hotel, Lime St – 11/01/16 2:30pm

Poloitical Philosophy – The Perch Rock Hotel, Wallasey -18/01/16 7pm

Cellular Memory? –  The Crown Hotel, Lime St – 02/02/16 6:45pm

Beyond the Pleasure Principle –  The Crown Hotel, Lime St – 01/03/16 6:45pm

As you can see a lot of these are at really random times of day, presumably for full-time wise asses or alcoholics. I’m not sure I’d fit in but I might go along to ‘Love?’ or the one about morality to non-humans and listen to the vegans.

If you’re interested, there’s absolutely loads of information at