Dan Wainwright says fancy coming back to mine? I’ve got a grill pan while Liz Joyce thinks it’s time to get out of the gutter.
He says: Halcyon student days return to haunt me
It’s now 12 years since I started university and in honour of that I thought I’d share with you what was rattling around inside my empty head back then.
Your average university “fresher” is basically out to build a new reputation from scratch.
If a human being is like computer software, then their student phase is like Version 2.0, complete with new applications including the ability to sing the theme tune to Button Moon (We’ve been to Button Moooooooooon, We’ve followed Mr Spoooooooon) while regurgitating a kebab into a gutter.
Everyone who ever knew me was nowhere to be seen at Lancaster University. This was my chance to portray a witty, charming, bohemian who was cultured, well-read and game for a laugh.
And it worked for nearly 24 hours. As the first of the group of lads I somehow allied myself with to “pull” I was incredibly nicknamed “dishy Dan”.
I know. But they had been drinking. It was, of course, neither true nor a persona I could grow into. It was like a school jumper that was two sizes too big on the first day of term, sweaty and prone to unravelling on every snag.
Within days my real personality was tunnelling its way out like Tim Robbins escaping from Shawshank Prison. My multiple complaints to the university housing officer about the inadequately equipped kitchen appliances had earned me the new nickname that would stay with me for the remainder of my time as a student and come back to haunt me a decade later on Facebook.
For any fresher reading this I can only warn you that the worst is yet to come. If you live in shared accommodation then I’m afraid any ideas you had about hygiene will be out the window.
My second year was a truly revolting time to be alive, climbing over other people’s week old takeaways and arguing about whose turn it was to buy loo roll.
Give the freshers a couple of weeks and their true selves will re-emerge.
They’ll soon realise you can’t be an urban freewheeler and expect to get everyone to follow the cleaning rota you created on a spreadsheet.
And you’ll forever be known as... Grill Pan Dan.
She says: Privacy’s a right if you’re a duchess or down and out
It’s not often I feel sorry for a princess. Especially one with perfect hair and a wardrobe bursting with McQueen, Mouret and Missoni.
But that’s what happened this week with Kate Middleton.
Now, I’m not one of those royal fanatics who has tea towels of the Queen and porcelain corgis, I just think everyone is entitled to a private life.
There is something distinctly icky about those pictures of Wills and Kate holidaying in the south of France. It feels wrong peering in on such an obviously private moment between a young couple, happy and relaxed in each other’s company.
St James’s Palace is right, the publication of the photographs is like “turning the clock back 15 years”. Things have moved on since the greedy and excessive days of Diana. Looking at those shots feels old fashioned and unpleasant.
Are we really that desperate for celebrity fodder we need to splatter grainy topless shots of the future queen over endless glossy pages? Magazine editors in Europe clearly think so.
Kim Henningsen, editor-in-chief of Denmarks’s Se Og Hor’s, proclaimed this week: “It is always relevant for us when a duchess and the future queen of England is topless and willingly reveals her breasts towards a public road.”
Really? Can someone please explain to me how 70 photographs of a 30-year-old woman fiddling with her bikini and rubbing suncream on to her husband’s back is relevant.
The whole “public road” line is a joke too. Kate was not frolicking topless in the middle of Piccadilly Circus, she was on a private estate unaware that a photographer with a long lens was lurking in the undergrowth nearly a mile away.
The Duke and Duchess spend a huge proportion of their time in the public eye, rarely putting a foot wrong. I for one don’t begrudge them a few days in the sun.
But whether royalty or reality TV star, billionaire or bankrupt, everyone has the right to a little privacy.
And if the French don’t like it then maybe it’s time for some royal revenge . . . off with their heads.