( Various stuff and nonsense )
Now I am going to see if I can cross anything else off my to-do list as I am quite fond (and slightly astonished) by the burst of productivity I am experiencing.
And now I should probably go and write some more of my personal statement. I’m at the point where I can’t remember anything I’ve done in my life or why I love history. And I’ve never been particularly good at talking my achievements up
Yesterday, I had an awesome conversation with my Dad about music. Normally, I go out for coffee with my Mum on a Sunday afternoon, but yesterday I went out with my Dad instead. It was different (less trauling through emotional shit) but was still pretty awesome. He reccommended a bunch of CDs from his collection that I might be interested in. I had attempted to look through his CDs myself, but got rather daunted. It is quite large. So now I have lots of exciting things to listen to, and hopefully I will like some of them.
Right now I am listening to the highlights of the Cambridge Folk Festival (three hours of it! Three hours!), which is rather nice. And I have done masses of ironing so feel like I have achieved something so far today which is also rather good. I think I have spent one too many days doing nothing at all lately.
I had a ridiculously busy (extended) weekend. ( Weekend report! )
I am going away on Thursday to Portugal with my friends for a week. I am rather excited and also rather nervous. My friends are incredibly organised though, so I think everything should be ok.
Also, I was tidying up all the school things I no longer need earlier today, and found a bunch of writing. I'm not entirely sure what half of it is about, although I can remember where I wrote most of it. I think I'm going to go through it all and type up some of it.
Phew, that ended up longer than I expected. :)
I, rather to my own suprise, had a rather pleasant Christmas. Family were, as per usual, difficult at times, but that's to be expected really. And to be completely honest, it was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. Things so very rarely are. Nobody made any stunningly inappropriate comments. Nobody got something they loathed. The "surprise" my Grandma gave me isn't terrifying. Overall, a resounding success I feel!
Also, going back to school has (so far) been alright, despite the looming storm cloud which is January exams. I actually feel like I'm vaguely prepared for them! A group of my friends have been organising maths meet ups in the library in town which have been immensely helpful. So I'm hoping that the panic will not be too extreme this time round.
So in general, things are looking up at the moment. I continue to be surprised by this fact, but I don't care, it's still awesome.
Also awesome: retaining The Ashes! =D
But I am trying to be positive, so I will write about my recent trip to Bruges! I went for three days from Sunday to Tuesday with my Mum and Dad. It was awesome. I had the most amazing hot chocolate and in general ate lots and lots. The ground was covered in two inches of hailstones when we arrived. It was like walking on tiny balls of polystyrene which was rather weird. Very slippy! We went on a boat trip because the weather didn't look too bad, and then promptly got bucketed on. It was still good fun though. We mainly spent time wandering around, looking in shops and stopping in cafes. Although we did go to visit the Church of Our Lady briefly. The atmosphere in there was rather odd though. Part of it was used to display art and house a museum, whilst other areas were still in use as a church. As a result, it ended up feeling like neither. I haven't been to a church in about two years though, but it just didn't feel comfortable to me. Overall, a really fun trip, even if I ended up incredibly tired. The only real downside was getting stuck outside the port of Dover for 2 and a half hours due to a force 8 gale.
My brother got back from a school trip to New York thos afternoon, and very kindly brought me back a fridge magnet to add to my collection. I am running out of space to put them on my fireplace though, and may have to put some on the actual fridge. When I move out, my fridge will not my bare!
( School talk. Wow. )
Also this week we had a fundraiser for Breast Cancer! I was involved in helping, which resulted in me spending my entire lunchtime dressed as a pink fairy outside the main entrance to school with another fairy and a table loaded with sweets. We had sponge the teacher, balloons and a cake stall, as well as a "spot the pink fairy game." If you bought a breast cancer ribbon, you got a token which at lunch you could exchange for a packet of sweets if you found a fairy. It was really good fun. Although we did have someone come up to us and say "I have a token, but I haven't found a fairy." We just turned round and pointed out the wings. You'd have thought that and the giant sign which said "Pink Fairy Station" would have given it away. None of us dress like that just for the sake of it. Especially not the guys in wigs, tutus and ponchos (they raised loads of money).
Yesterday was a very surreal day. I went to work and there was a fundraiser at the church over the road which my boss and his wife went to part way through. First of all, my Mum cam over and give me some pieces of cake which Ron (my boss) had bought for me. Ron had tried to bring them himself, but being the person he is, got waylaid talking to the many many people in the village he knows. Then Chris (Ron's wife) came back, asked me if I'd like and Indian Head Massage and then sent me over the road with three pounds to go have one. So I had a head massage from my next door neighbour who's daughter used to babysit me and ended up missing a good twenty minutes of my shift. It was all rather surreal. Apparently (or at least, according to my mum who had a long chat with Ron and Chris at the fundraiser), they'd noticed that I'd been a bit off and hadn't seen me walk past to go catch my school bus a couple of days during the week (I normally wave at Ron as I go past). I love my work and them so very much. And I got to see an interview with Haile Gebrselassie as part of the BBC coverage of the Great North City Games (we won! Yay!). He is the most smiley amazing athlete and I'm sad he didn't break the course record for the Great North Run. Under an hour though!
And that I think is a good note to end on. A nice cheery athletics based one.
Over the weekend, there was a "Vintage Cream Tea Weekend" in my village. I honestly think they are trying to win some sort of quaint English village award. That or they are doing their best to emulate many of the villages from Midsomer Murders. They had bunting, a WI stall and brass band music which appeared to be coming from the shrubbery. Although the cream tea I had was actually very good. I am slightly sad to say it was the first one I'd had all year which didn't have squirty cream out of a can. I don't think I've had a single one with clotted cream this year. I spent the majority of the time I was there trying not to laugh hysterically. I only partially succeeded. Although it was nowhere near as funny as when we went round the open gardens in the village and ended up having tea and cake in the garden of the vicarage with the vicar's children playing music on the oboe and violin respectively in the background.
( Bank Holiday Monday! AKA, lots of cricket! )
( Alas, the school year is near... )
Now I am going to make myself some more cheese on toast with cranberry jelly. It is quite possibly my favourite savoury snack of all time. Cranberry jelly is one of my favourite things about Christmas, and Sainsbury's had some of their Christmas stock in yesterday so my Mum bought me some. I am incredibly happy about this.
Right now I am still adjusting to being back at home, even though I was really looking forward to coming back.
So, as of Saturday evening, I am back from France. It was a fairly standard family holiday for us, fun in places but not so fun in others. There is only so much time we can all handle being in a confined place with each other after all. But I'm not going to dwell on those bits! The arguments were circular and repetitive enough without me repeating them here.
It, thankfully, wasn't too hot for me and for the most part was warm without me getting ill from the heat. This did have the slight downside of me not equalling my book reading record of two years ago when I finished all my books and then proceeded to read all my family members' as well because I couldn't go outside during the day. This is probably a good thing as I actually went out and did stuff! I went to aquagym with my Mum several times, which was hilarious. I also went kayaking and canoeing on a lake with my Dad and brother, which was awesome fun, even the part where I capsized the kayak and then managed to sink it. We also spent a fair amount of time wandering aimlessly around French markets and discovering in cafes that most of my Dad's previously good French has been forgotten.
We went to the chateau at Blois as well, which was interesting, if rather tiring. Whilst we were there, we found this awesome bar which did the most fantastic croque monsieurs and the people were really friendly. That place wins the second best food place of the holiday, after this tapas bar we went to. It was really good, and we're fairly sure that at least one of the couple who ran it was Spanish given the brand new World Cup Champions Spain football shirt hanging on one of the blackboards and obscuring part of the menu. They also did amazing pudding, which made me especially happy.
I spent a very happy couple of days just sitting around, reading and listening to test match special. The reception on the radio might have been awful, but it was still rather wonderful.
Favourite people of the holiday:
Elma - a little old lady with missing parts of her fingers who was amazing at table tennis. She gave my brother a run for his money
Julien - a man who seemed to run pretty much every single activity on the campsite. He ran the football tournament, table tennis tournament, aquagym and then took part in a show in the evening. He also happened to look like Reubens Barrichello and by the end of our stay, my brother was calling him Reubens when talking to him.
Anyway! It is now the summer holidays! We broke up on Wednesday at lunch. My last lesson of the year was tutor, so a bunch of people skipped and went home even earlier. This meant that there we all got a larger share of the box of chocolates my tutor brought in. School generally for the last week was actually pretty good. I was helping organise the History Conference on Monday and Tuesday, which was fun and I got to hear some really interesting talks. It also helped that we didn't really do much, and even when we did, the teachers tried to make it a bit more interesting because our attention spans were even shorter than normal.
To celebrate the holidays, me and a bunch of my friends had a gathering. The summer vibe was rather spoiled at one point when it hailed, but it was good fun. However, whilst playing the water game (listing things in a category, any repetition or hesitation and you get splashed), someone made us do digits of pi. The only reason we got further than three decimal places is because Ryan told us what to say. Someone only got splashed when they were foolish enough to ignore him. I was also sadly disheartened by how poorly they did when I gave them famous detectives. They only got three! Although as my Mum later pointed out, most people aren't quite as obsessed by murder mysteries as I am.
And now, onto today! I finally got round to watching the Doctor Who Confidential which went with the Big Bang. My family had recorded it for me at the time, but for some strange reason I hadn't watched it. It's hardly been anytime at all since Series 5 finished and I'd already partially forgotten the warm fuzzy glow the show gave me.
As of tomorrow, I am off to France for two weeks with my family where I will have no internet. I am still not sure if I am looking forward to it or dreading it, but we shall see. And hopefully the Campion book I ordered off Amazon will arrive before we leave as I really want to read it. I kind of doubt it will turn up, but I can still hope.
Feeling rather drained, despite only having to go in to college for about two hours to have next year explained to us. It wasn't anywhere near as bad as I expected, but few things have ever turned out to be quite that bad. All the stuff about uni applications is terrifying, particularly my form tutor's opinions. I know she is merely trying to improve my confidence but saying that my "performance does not live up to my potential" could be taken several ways. I know she was getting at the fact that stuff has interfered with my learning and that it's alright because she knows I can do better and will do better. I know this, but it's still a struggle to make myself believe that she meant that, rather than "you could do better and you should do better but you're not trying." Also, I am not convinced that suggesting I apply to Oxbridge next year is a good thing to do, even if it does take in my plans to have a gap year before I go anywhere. My stress levels are far too high as it is.
This is all rather silly and trivial, but I am in a ranting mood. Normally I just sulk, so this is a novelty. School clearly does weird things to my brain. I would claim it was the fumes from the chemistry department, but they're in a separate building on the top floor so as, to quote my teacher, "if they blow themselves up, they don't blow anyone else up as well." And my teachers aren't even the ones who like exploding things!
The World Cup is taking over my life. I knew I'd end up watching a lot of it, due to my family, but I hadn't forgotten in the last four years just how much that meant. I don't mind too much, the World Cup is slightly different to normal so I can survive watching at least one match a day. My Dad also roped me into joining a fantasy football league with the rest of our family and a few other people. This is a wonderful opportunity to illustrate how delightfully competitive my entire family is. I think fourth place in our league of 10 people is pretty good for a team selected on the basis of me going "ooh! Cool sounding name!" I mean, who wouldn't select a goalie called Julio Cesar?
For the past week, I have done pretty much nothing as I finished my exams and don't have to go back to school until Monday. Not looking forward to that, although it will be good to see everyone again. There are very few people I talk to at college who I am actually in contact outside of school. Also on the plus side, returning to college will cut back on my caffeine intake. I have been drinking far too much coffee over the past week. I simply can't resist my Mum offering to take me to Costa. Ever.
It is currently raining very heavily, which apparently is my fault because I bemoaned the fact that, according to the weather report, we were going to only get light showers. I am very happy that they were wrong.
The downside of this is that there may not be enough people at my Dad's Sunday night football, which will result in TV watching based disagreements. I plan to use the World Cup against any suggestions from my Dad/brother I disagree with. We will no doubt end up watching most of the matches over the next month. I don't mind all that much, but there is only so much I can handle. Even if I end up getting to fill in the giant wall chart in our dining room. There was much debate over which paper to buy to get the free wall chart. In the end, the lure of a voucher for a tub of pringles was not enough to convince my Dad to buy the Sunday Express.
The other downside of this is that it is now raining down my chimney. We really have no idea why there is a chimney in the middle of my room (well, not quite the middle, but you can walk the whole way round it if you stoop slightly) which doesn't extend to the ground floor. Our house is quirky. Normally the odd drop of rain gets past the cap on the top, but it is actually nearly all getting through. This wouldn't be so much of a problem if the plastic bags which used to be stuffed up there to prevent this kind of thing happening were still up there, but we had to remove them to deal with a potential beehive. The current solution is a towel draped over the fireplace which is held up by tins of vegetables on the mantelpiece. Once the rain stops, hopefully we can sort out something more permanent, and something which means I can see my fridge magnet collection.
And whilst I'm making a post, Doctor Who!
( Doctor Who, Vincent and the Doctor )
I am so sad that there are so few episodes left. It really has crept up on me. But it has been rather wonderful so I don't really mind that much.
And now, dinner and more chemistry revision. Only three more exams to go!
On Tuesday I am going to Liverpool to watch my brother play football in a national final at Anfield. I am rather excited and nervous about this. I went to watch their quarter final (which, luckily was a home match) which was rather tense. Although that may have been because it went to added time, then penalties and then sudden death penalties before they finally won. I plan on taking my knitting with me so I can sit there and look like I'm watching whilst not paying a great deal of attention. I want them to win, but I don't think my nerves can cope with watching the whole match. And on the plus side, as it's in Liverpool, all my cousins who now live up there can come and watch. There should be lots of supporters there. They've got a double decker coach, an ordinary coach and numerous completely full cars going up on the day. The team are going up on Monday (which means I won't see my brother on my birthday!), staying in a hotel before going on to do a bunch of team stuff. To say my brother is being unbearably excited is an understatement.
I thoroughly enjoyed Doctor Who last night. I want to watch it again, although not sure when I'll get round to it. I spent a lot of time laughing which was good. I like to come away from watching Doctor Who feeling all warm and fuzzy. And straight afterwards we watched Thursday's Outnumbered, which was hilarious as usual. And tonight I get to watch Lewis! Aww, Lewis.
Not for me, all I'm doing today is going to the doctors and then going into school for an hour of enrichment (go knitting!). Admittedly, going in for knitting and then coming straight home again does mean I'm going to spend more time on the bus than in college, but if I don't go in at all today, it'll be so much easier for me not to go next time and it will all spiral out of control.
But back to why today is a big day. Now, my brother does a lot of sport. You name it, he probably plays it. The thing he does most of though is football. He plays for three teams - his club, his school and the local district squad. The district team have been doing rather well lately. They've been playing in a national cup and they're through to the semi-finals! I am so proud =D
So yes, there will be lots of finger crossing going on this evening, because if they win this match they're through to the final which is being played at Anfield. Ha. Even I'm excited about that!