GiaB writing prompt #22 intimacy

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

I wake from your embrace
two blooms unfurling at dawn

My likeness is mirrored in your smile
but the reflection across the room beckons me
to the mounted mirror

Untangling my shape from yours
I now stand before it alone

I run my fingers over my reflection
the smudges blurring the definition of my eyes
my breath steams up the glass in panic
at the sight of my unseeing reflection

I peer
into this vignette
a burgeoning self
blossoming alongside you

After lockdown, I find that having given all my attention to my partner and nurturing our relationship, it is…


Image by author

The Trials and Tribulations of Unemployment


The Effect of International Influence in the Aral Sea Basin

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The Aral Sea is dead. With one of the latest international initiatives planting trees on its dried surface, it begs the question what influence international actors have had in the decades attempting to resurrect the Central Asian waters.

After the collapse the Soviet Union, water management transformed from an inter-republic issue to a question of international cooperation among 5 newly fledged Central Asian riparian states (Weinthal, 2001). With numerous economic, political and social consequences resulting from the sea drying up, the Aral Sea is an infamous challenge to not only Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan that share the coastline but also a…


A book review in search of the common threads in settler-based conflicts

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In the edited volume ‘Settlers in Contested Land: Territorial Disputes and Ethnic Conflicts’, Professors Haklai and Loizides delve into seven complex cases of which five are ongoing intractable conflicts. They have written extensively on settler disputes.

Settler-based conflict analysis is a relatively recent niche in the field of conflict analysis, despite evidence of settler-based conflict spanning millennia in world history.

In referring to insights from key contributors on the politics of settlers in territorial disputes in the 20th century, the editors strengthen the claim that settler-based conflict is a distinct phenomenon. …


#GiaBPrompt : Wonders of the World

Photo by Hazel Aksoy on Unsplash

Herostratus stood before the Temple of Artemis,
in her mind’s eye Artemis relished a memory,
how Herostratus entranced by her immensity
renounced other Goddesses and bowed in fidelity
at the foot of her shrine.

Yet with flames flickering in this dark night,
driven by an unquenchable thirst for life,
Herostratus had set the temple he loved on fire
to shake the Earth with the falling marble columns
and Artemis sighed.

She would have the ruins of the temple remain,
an age-old tribute to man’s destructive nature.

*Inspired by the one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Temple of Artemis…


Look, it’s been a year.

Photo by Ryan Franco on Unsplash

Cozy days at home or drunken nights out, board games add an edge when conversation around the world’s end and pandemics become tiresome. Losing was hardly an issue during my more melodramatic years of adolescence, yet more than a decade later I watched aghast as my opponent lit the Scrabble score card alight. Then, three awful card games later I threatened to poison his drink. When board games bring malice to the home, here are 4 ways to keep perky.

Lock down Round Two made me snap. Despite being the well adjusted adult in the room, losing repeatedly to my partner brought on such deep-seated wrath, I warned him to sleep with his eyes open.

Admittedly, I am a little more high strung than usual, falling into a cyclic pattern of lock down boredom and then anxiety about my relevance to a world I’m disconnected from.

If in addition to this you’re on a social media detox, board games are a way to shoot up an endorphin high when winning, and smack you out cold…


Photo and words: by the author

A love story in the Scottish wilderness


Without Instagram, I am No One

Photo by Cristina Zaragoza on Unsplash

My Instagram posts were full of crap like anyone else. From my initial disdain, the social media app eventually became a friend that followed me on adventures where no one else could — until one day Instagram kicked me off and I was rudely awakened to life without it.

At first Instagram hardly caught my attention, satisfied with the odd post on Facebook. I was content with my love life, I had witty friends to divulge all our tales of social activism with and I had a career at a little foreign policy NGO driving me onward. Experiencing all the…


Friends without the s-e-x can work, right?

Photo by Jared Sluyter on Unsplash

What the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral gets right is that you’re bound to bump into inconvenient truths at the most intimate social occasions.

In fact, fluttering emotions like love and fear around these moments mingled together with a heavy dose of nostalgia, provide the perfect conditions for bumping into a past lover. And then what do you do?

‘Cut your losses and move on’ isn’t great break up advice

Feeling raw and deeply unsettled at my friend’s funeral, I found myself smirking at the memories of my friends back when things were different. I was different. A few years younger. Completely out of character on a moonlit night, I…

Tamara Naidoo

Global-Scale Thinker, an everyday girl in international relations

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