Monday, 22 December 2014

Why Do I Have to Wait?

Oh my gosh. Can it really be or am I trapped in an endless dream, unable to tell the difference between fantasy and reality? As hard as it might be to believe, it is real - just shockingly so.

If truth be told, can you think of a more exciting time than the week in which Christmas falls, which officially kick starts the festivities and puts a bit more magic into our lives? Maybe your birthday (until you reach your late 20s) might compete in a similar league, yet Christmas is an exception to every single rule ever created: its specialness can neither be denied nor lessened when it approaches the end of December every year. As soon as December (and my nightly gorging on the Advent Calender) commences, I am seized by a childlike excitement that would have been expected of me several years ago - and still has a hold over me to this day. From our behaviour to our pre-feast diets, Christmas breaks tradition, which is the greatest thing about it!

Anyway, I'm thrilled to bits over the nearing arrival of the Greatest Day of the Year, which I'll only have to wait for another three days - like an itch, I'm deeply struggling to ignore its presence and cannot seem to find anything else to distract me for the time being. Oh well, I suppose this is where festive films - hence the term 'turkey' in relation to the million and one flops to have graced our screens at this time of year - and over-played anthems terrorize the nation in the run-up to Christmas, giving us something both to moan and smile about until we finally get our hands on the presents and carve the succulent turkey.

However, the week before Christmas is usually my favourite time of the holidays because the excitement has reached fever pitch, and couldn't possibly get higher than it already is! I love anticipating Christmas because you are flooded with ecstatic emotions that put a spring into your step and perhaps make you a little bit nicer than usual (though, for Santa believers, it could be a final push to receiving their coveted iPhones and Xbox Ones), which reminds me of how refreshing Christmas truly is.

At the same time, the days before Christmas are often the most frantic ones that you'll ever experience, which you become aware of as you get older when you are given more responsibilities and expected to help your family. Since 2011, I've been given the task of pulling sprouts off a stick before peeling on them which, as several packets are used at a time, literally takes me an entire afternoon to complete. Typically, I don't mind offering some assistance in relation to the Christmas dinner because I cherish each mouthful (and am free to brag about preparing the sprouts when scoffing them during the Christmas meal), but it sometimes winds me up when my brother manages to be let off from doing chores - upon moving house, our kitchen is literally the size of two bedrooms, so there is always space to help out!

And, if you're a girl, you become more conscious than ever about your appearance: from plucking your eyebrows to washing every slick of grease from your locks, you will resort to anything in order to look like a Hollywood-perfect version of yourself. Boys may sweep these actions aside, but their main issues are getting rid of the stubble on their faces (especially if there is a likely chance of kissing under the mistletoe) - there is an expectation that girls live up to a glamorous persona which, if we result in failure, can expose us to criticism. Who, in their right mind, wishes to be criticised for their appearance on Christmas Day? No one.

Yet I want to look my best because that empowers me - looking good certainly has a positive effect on your emotions, which I definitely cannot deny! Still, effort is essential if you wish to wake up feeling like a queen on Christmas morning, but one quick glimpse in mirror confirms one thing: trying your best is always worth a bit of hard work.

Luckily, I won't have to fully experience the highs and lows of planning Christmas for several years yet which, from my family's perspective, fills me with relief. As a little girl, I could never have imagined the amount of work that my parents put into buying my presents (most of which were surprises, which required even more planning), along with decorating the house, preparing the Christmas dinner and the general stuff attached with the season. Now I'm older, I realise that, in order to maintain your sanity, a bit of help should be given by those surrounding you - unless you are the Queen of Plans, Christmas is literally impossible to plan without some assistance! My jobs may not be overly major, but they still help; whilst preparing a wrinkly-skinned turkey on Christmas Eve, who honestly has time to prepare millions and millions of unpeeled sprouts? Well, every little helps. Literally.

On the other hand, there are happier moments than stressful ones at Christmas and, if you have an undeniable penchant for cooking, you will feel right at home when baking batches of gingerbread men and sausage rolls. Christmas is billed as a family event which, as soon as the turkey has been cooked (at approx. half eleven on the night of Christmas Eve) and all the presents have been wrapped, you can truly begin to appreciate. After surviving a manic, yet deeply fulfilling year, I couldn't be happier at the prospect of spending Christmas with my family and four cats - well, with two new additions to the family, there ought to be plenty to celebrate!

In the meantime, you will have no doubt as to where to find me: pulling giant-sized sprouts from a solid green stick in the kitchen. I guess that is my day planned...

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Firstly, I feel that I owe an apology to anybody who may be offended by my snappy persona on what we ought to regard as a sunny, wintry day which, to my embarrassment, I am somewhat untouched by. For one thing, I hardly feel festive as I fight the temptation to return to bed, little more than two hours after I left it - accepting the fact that Christmas is only five days away would give me a headache that I wouldn't stop talking about beyond New Year. Still, I hope to regain my festive spirit long before I wake up at 6am on Christmas morning!

Today is the day after I spent twelve hours travelling to and from my native county, which is approximately 160 miles away from where I currently live, so darkened moods and crippling fatigue was literally included in the package of Being Imprisoned in a Stuffy Car for the best part of my waking hours. Apart from picking up two Lindt bars in Tesco, I arrived home without anything else which made my struggles slightly more worthwhile - unless you count a fried chicken binge at KFC on the way home as a treat worth giving up a pre-Christmas diet for. So, feelings of pity are beginning to implode as I recover from a tiring day which, of all things, had to take place less than twenty four hours after I attended the last day of term at school!

Forty eight hours on, I already feel as though many years have separated me from the school environment because I found myself in the opposite a short while later, but my head has hardly been given a spare moment to consider recent events. In a cruel twist of fate, I was given a perfect opportunity to fly into a stormy rage this morning when my laptop suddenly stopped connecting to the internet - therefore preventing me from logging onto Blogger!

Numerous thoughts raced through my mind, some of which were more frantic than a racehorse's gait, as I resisted the urge to toss my laptop against the wall. For an unexplainable reason, I saw common sense - in other words, realized that all of my Christmas presents could be taken away if I made a dent in the wall - and calmed myself down a bit, though the slightest touch to my skin would have made the least faint-hearted sizzle like a barbecued sausage.

All in all, I wasted nearly an hour and a half exploring options on the laptop which didn't result in reconnecting to the internet, so I'm still feeling pretty sore about it. However, I probably would have used that time by cleaning my en-suite (a chore which I'm always keen to put off until the sight of a hairy shower physically makes me vomit - no wonder why I wash my hair in the dark on schooldays!), lifting 2kg weights and tickling my kitten, Teddy, until he would fall off my laptop, looking more sheepish than a scandal-hit celebrity.

I begrudge wasting my time because I've learnt that every second of it is special - and the key towards unlocking the pleasure that I actively seek. I'm half-tempted to sue HP (the manufacturers of my laptop) for the distress that their product caused for what was undoubtedly the worst ninety minutes of this week, yet I suppose that moving on will heal the wounds caused by not being able to access Amazon during periods of writing frustration.

If I manage to break through the clouds that my brain has partly become, I might be able to tell you about the events that have defined one modern teenager's life of late. It honestly amazes me how my attitude has transformed within the space of three days, since I posted my previous post on Wednesday - 'excited' and 'hungover' are the ideal examples of polar opposites, are they not? Of course, I haven't touched a single drop of alcohol (apart from tasting an amaretto-flavoured truffle in a bag of Thorntons chocolates the other night - my brother selfishly stole the Marc de Champagne one), but I'm starting to sympathise with those who have overdone it with cocktails, glitzy glasses and pea-sized shots.

Surely fatigue is in the same league as hungoverness? I don't know anything else to compare my exhaustion to: like the side effects of one too many drinks, I'm suffering from the consequences of five extremely early starts and countless minutes trapped inside a movement-restrictive vehicle. Ugh, at least I'm certain of one job that I'll never aspire to: lorry driver. My life would be over if I had to get a job in that industry, despite the freedom of travel and maybe snacking on the edible packages if delivering for supermarkets.

Now is where my apology for a lack of inspiration is necessary: instead of focusing on sparkly lights, potential surprise presents and watching a marathon of Christmas films, my attention is wandering elsewhere because I haven/t had a moment to settle into the embrace of the festive season, except for opening my advent calender every evening. From today, however, I hope to change that and really let my excitement build by the time that Christmas Day is celebrated next Thursday - despite enclosed in a world of blinding fog, I still light up at the thought of my favourite day fastly approaching!

I guess that now I should switch off my laptop (without losing the Wifi connect again), close my eyes and wake up twelve hours later, feeling more refreshed than I did upon my 10am waking call earlier today. Fat chance! Oh well, maybe I ought to aim for a full recovery come the end of the weekend before throwing myself into Christmas - head first.


Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Ooh, So Close!

You wanna know something? I'm happy. Veeeerry happy. Oh, if the italic font and extremely long words don't quite prove my happiness, what ever will?

Like a bee, I'm buzzing - though obviously not with harmful stings that will all but kill me. You'd be a world class idiot if you couldn't think of just one reason for which I'm floating on air: check your calendars or at least your date-smart mobile phone! According to my Windows desktop, today is the 17th December. As far as I know, nothing that spectacular is celebrated on this day, yet that is somewhat off the point. What I'm referring to is that, in eight days' time, Christmas will be here!

Before you wonder whether I've helped myself to one too many Hershey Kisses (which, to my delight, are hidden inside an advent calender which I open each day, usually when in need of an energy boost after school), please push any killjoy aside and embrace the moment. Even though hard effort may not be enough to get the desired effect, smell the air. Only a week and a day separates you from breathing in the glorious fumes of a cooking turkey/beef joint/pork shoulder/goose/geese/whatever awakens your appetite floating into your bedroom, perhaps the only distraction while you're playing Candy Crush on your new iPhone.

A year may nearly have passed since I last crept out of bed to smell it, yet I can still remember the smile that lit up my face - literally like a Christmas tree (now is the best time ever to be as cheesy as you desire!) - when I laid eyes on the already-cooked turkey on Christmas Day last year, before inhaling the air.

Really, how will I be able to keep myself under control by Christmas Eve? Just tell me how to do so - any advice would do!

Well, as I mentioned earlier, a week and a bit are the sole barriers currently preventing me from breaking through to the other side - otherwise regarded as the finishing line which I shall reach at midday tomorrow. Only several hours at school are compulsory tomorrow before everyone scrambles out of the exit by the time that the clock strikes 12pm, signalling our final moment of the year there. As much as I've enjoyed every single second that I've spent at my new school - which I still yearn to explore - I'd have to be a terribly good liar to deny my overwhelming enthusiasm for the festive holidays.

Throughout this week, I've literally had to drag myself out of bed whenever the clock has struck half five in the morning - no kidding! My eyes spend half of the day being dragged around on the floor, whereas my legs are forever complaining about being worked on too excessively, suffering from aches that place those of an Olympic athlete into a completely different league. Personally, it seems rather cruel to be deprived of a precious lie-in tomorrow - especially when our lessons will mainly be based on chocolate, festive cheer and even more rounds of Quality Street - but I wouldn't decline the offer of finishing at midday. No way! My old school had no intention of letting its pupils finish at that time, so I regard myself as very lucky to have the chance to wander in the nearby shops (with my mum, after she has picked me up) for a while - especially when I would have otherwise been trapped in a stuffy classroom!

Anyway, my only lesson tomorrow will definitely be Maths which, rather depressingly, I have to declare as my final lesson of 2014. Ugh, Pythagoras' Theorem wasn't exactly at the top of the list of festive activities, but it's undoubtedly easier than what I'm likely to study after Christmas! Afterwards, I'll be competing in the finals of the House Singing Competition, reciting a reworked version of Wonderwall yet, unlike what my Head of House has advised the entire group, you'd be hard pressed to see me copying Liam Gallagher's stage moves - if I attempted to do so, there would be a seriously high risk of choking on my own laughter!

However, I'm feeling slightly nervous about performing tomorrow because I'll be singing in front of the entire school - in fact, 1200 pupils and a chunky fraction of the staff! As he is in the same house as me, I've begged my brother to cheer when I come on stage, yet his interests lie within maintaining his street cred - cheering for your older sister is unlikely to be perceived as cool, is it? Still, my fingers are crossed that my house will be lifting the trophy afterwards; if so, we'll be given a non-uniform day, along with other mysterious prizes!

Overall, I'm having a good week, but I feel more than ready to throw myself into Christmas, which I totally want to celebrate at this very moment! It seems to me that my patience is worsening every Christmas, so maybe the time has come to place it on my list. If my memory isn't playing tricks on me, I think that I've used up my budget, though patience is priceless, so Amazon believes!

If you thought that I was living for Friday morning - my first day of the holidays - you were very wrong. Unfortunately, I'll have no choice other than to get up at the same time as I currently do for school before setting off reasonably early to my native county, which shall take at least three-and-a-half hours to get to, depending on traffic. Honestly, is being stuck with my younger brother in a car for eight hours in one day the greatest start to the festive season? From the second that I cross my legs and hold it for several hours, my only sibling shall make a laughing stock out of me, along with winding me up in the process. How saddening that I won't have enough space to give him the kick that he truly deserves!

Fate has countless wacky ideas: it is a shame that it does not rely on the more practical and me-friendly ones! On the other hand, Christmas will make up for any suffering (of the being-stuck-in-a-traffic-jam-related kind) endured because its spellbinding magic will amaze us, and render our past-obsessed memories powerless to destroy our glee. One thing is for sure - let's bring it on!




Saturday, 13 December 2014

The Curse of Getting Older

When you are young, age is insignificant to you. Unless you are barred from participating in sport teams, you are hardly aware of how old you are: all that matters is having a great time. Although the latter remains a popular ethos once you hit the teenage years, suddenly you are submerged into a world where age means everything to you - which can hold the key to unlocking various privileges that you yearn to regard as your own.

From being allowed to attend thrilling parties to learning how to drive a car (hopefully without your parents preying on your every move), age is a key which grants us many wonderful things that our younger selves would never have had access to. As brilliant as these advantages may be, even the most delusional can have the heart to deny the negatives that are attached to growing older, clinging to dear life like an X Factor reject.

For one thing, your childhood innocence is lost in a pile of dirty clothing that your mum constantly nags at you to put in the washing machine: as your cheeky smile fades into a horrific grimace, very little will sooth the blow of getting into trouble. Responsibilities begin to be thrown at you in literally every single direction which, if not sorted out appropriately, will quickly evolve into a spectacular mess that puts your life on a par with a foul-smelling dump.

As your brain is undergoing a series of life-defining changes (according to an article I once read in a science magazine. which changed my world forever), is it truly realistic to expect you to live up the image of a responsible, hard-working and good-natured young adult? Personally, I think that the transition from child to teenager happens far too quickly for anybody - especially your poor acne-suffering self - to get their head around. Maybe that it forms part of the curse that links itself with adolescence: nobody honestly understands how daunting it feels to be thrust into the deep end, after spending years of your life caged in an secure, airtight bubble.

Though my memory has since become pretty hazy regarding that period in my life, the 12 to 14 age group tested me at the best of times because I was adjusting to a maturer status, whilst still escaping my now-invalid one as a child. Hot bursts of anger would sometimes grab hold of me and control my every emotion until I was a fireball burning with rage - a thousand miles away from the sweet-hearted, cute little girl that I was several years before! Yet, for a reason that probably not even the greatest scientists could ever answer, I never uncovered why I got angry: it was simply an emotion that I would experience for a while, neither pre-warning me of its appearance nor indicating when it would flush out of my system. That alone is plenty to make a jacuzzi bubble with an even greater intensity, let alone stimulate yet more tension in a teenager!

My overall conclusion is that these things just happen, though it doesn't answer my - nor the world's entire teenage population - question at all. I wasted too much time on figuring out why I would lose my temper, which never made me feel better whenever it did happen.

Nowadays, I'm starting to overcome the curse of adolescence which, rather scarily, won't be lasting too much longer. There are only two-and-a-month-and-a-half left until I reach the starting line for adulthood, which will then last my entire life - hopefully without irritating my hormones quite as easily as before. In fact, I've gotten so used to being a teenager that the thought of hitting a milestone birthday - my 16th - next February quite terrifies me: I'll be moving further away from my early teens to the latter part! Still, I guess that is the way it goes, along with the many curses that I've encountered over the years...

1. You can no longer play in fun centres

Unless you are a really big kid and don't exceed 5ft. Sigh. Who would have believed that the day would have come when I would regret my petite height? All for the sake of climbing up slides, leaping into pools of brightly coloured balls and burning off all the chips that I'd eat.

2. The Tooth Fairy is not required to give you any money

Translation: an imaginary fairy is now forcing you to slave away doing chores that you hate, which you receive even less money for than you did as a toothless six year old. How is THAT fair?! HOW??? If I'd been given a few more one pound coins during my toothless years, I'd have the money to issue a lawsuit against a fictional winged creature!

3. Your life is not defined by toys

Ever devastated that The Teletubbies finished before you were born? Playing with your toys would be the ultimate pick-me-up! From teddy bears to scantily-clad Bratz dolls, I would lose myself in hours of fun with my toys, which used to send my imagination into overdrive. However, my life was forever changed once I hit the age of eleven, seemingly developing a new attitude overnight - toys were no longer 'cool'. Despite initially being a good idea at the time, I grew to regret it when I needed distractions more than ever - surely creating a Desperate Housewives-inspired storyline with my Bratz dolls would take my mind off the hormones that I struggled to control? And, before you know it, a period in your life specifically reserved for toys is over. Quel moment triste!

4. Chocolate is not a vegetable.

And, um, contains more calories than your Key Stage 1 knowledge of maths can comprehend. There goes the mornings of sneakily eating tubs of Smarties before breakfast which, despite my brother's pleas, I would always 'fess up to - ah, the sweet pleasure of delving into one's naughtiness!

5. The sky is not made up of whipped cream as clouds and strawberry ice cream as a pink sunset

Even though my fifteen year old self believes otherwise...

6. You can't buy Garfield in Pets at Home

Instead, you have to make do with a chunky ginger tom whose life has never been defined by a bite of lasagne - what a tragedy indeed!

7. Money doesn't grow on trees 

Those words still didn't stop me from searching through the forest near my village for any such trees. Who knows what you'll discover in the unexplored, Wifi-less countryside?

8. Your Barbie dolls don't come to life √† la Toy Story while you're at school

In other words: don't believe what your parents say, as much as you want to believe that your toys were having a bonfire party in your bedroom!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Struggling Yet Smiling

For what may be the first time this week, I'm lost for words. All squiggly letters and articulately worded definitions have faded from my memory like a light being switched on, or in this case, off into a pool of pure darkness.

Whilst words run riot like a freed prisoner, the rest of me remains glued to this very spot that, as inspiration fails to come, becomes more and more like a prison. Trapped is perhaps the only word that my powers are capable of conjuring right now, a thought of which saddens me - above everything else, I yearn to have no realms when it comes to my freedom.

Unlike the en-suite that my brother constantly borrows, it is mine and cannot be touched by anybody else unless I invite them. Regardless of what state of mind I'm in, would I go to the lengths of depriving myself of a dictionary that I refer to as my brain? Without sparing you the humility of figuring that answer out, the two letter word is dancing on the tip of my tongue, awaiting to be spat out: no.

Although I am many things (fabulous being the greatest among them), tongue-tied is the least likely to be listed on my future Wikipedia (or, if I truly hit the big time, on the leading page of my very own Wiki) - especially when I'm in wanna-emulate-J.K-Rowling mode. Having no sense of direction in my language just doesn't work for me. No doubt about it.

Anyway, today's problem mainly lies with the fact that, after nearly completing my first full week at la nouvelle √©cole, I'm dog-tired. Oh yes, my little Literacy Darlings - dog-tired is now listed in my vocabulary! Even though I neither own nor particularly like dogs, and probably don't feel as exhausted as a chihuahua being carried in Paris Hilton's handbag all day. Hm. Doesn't that sentence alone justify a squirt of inspiration?

Before I lose myself on the path towards losing my word-mad mind, I've thrown myself into settling in my new school, from proving myself in lessons to practising for a house singing competition that I'll take part in next Tuesday. However, I didn't realize that participating would involve missing one of my lessons which, to my horror, is English: had the competition been held a day later, I would have escaped an hour of equations hell in Maths! Besides, I've knocked myself out from sitting a Maths test earlier today which, despite revising like crazy (translation: learning how to solve equations from scratch last night whilst reliving my fantasies of being an 80s darling as I sang along to Into the Groove), I probably didn't pass, so I'm constantly flitting from relief for having completed it and fear of drowning in papers of red ink when I receive the result tomorrow afternoon in my final period. So, the agony of failure won't exactly be washed away as the weekend begins!

Compared to my old school, my new one is a slice of heaven - as long as I'm able to taste it, I'll eat and savour every single bite that passes through my lips! Yet settling in robs you of more energy than the excitement creates for you, which I'm trying to spread out to various things: Christmas, the weekend, schoolwork, coursework (right now, words beginning with 'W' must be avoided, including the one I just uttered) and moving on from the past. Within a week and a half, I've forgotten how going to my old school used to feel because I've since become so wrapped up in my new one, whose spectacular buildings, standard of education and atmosphere are a thousand times brighter and better. That sense of dread which would define my Sunday evenings finally stopped haunting me last week, which was instead replaced with excitement: though my two mornings of lie-ins would be coming to an end, I was literally bouncing up and down with impatience to get on the road to my delightful destination!

What a difference a week makes. And what beauty and happiness that have been created because of giving up the past for the present, which I take more pride in than any One Direction perfume which most of my former classmates would have risked their lives to get in a crowded Boots store. Though I have to keep reminding myself that Christmas is now only a fortnight away from our reach, one thing that I haven't forgotten is that, in a sense, it has come early: in the form of my wish being granted. That wish? I don't see why I ought to repeat the past when the present is casting more sunshine than I've ever seen before. All that is required now is a bit of time, some patience (as I get used to the slower internet speeds) and plenty of effort until my Tired Thursdays become a thing of the past.

Still, despite resisting the urge to curl into a tight ball and fall into a deep sleep, I'm smiling. Like the mad, word-crazed teenager that I truly am!

Monday, 8 December 2014

Obsessed With... Christmas

At this very moment, only a staircase separates me from the heaven to which I have been admitted: Christmas. Whilst the top floor of my house contains all the books, pillows and sleeping cats that any teenager could possibly need, downstairs is another story - lights illuminate the rooms as soon as the sun sinks into night's arms, dazzling as brightly as the diamond which inspired one of Rihanna's best songs. A new tree takes the pride of honour in the living room, whilst every hungry teen's dreams come true at once by opening your eyes in the kitchen: boxes of mince pies, homemade brandy-soaked fruit cake (made by none other than the fabulous baker who is, of course, me) and the German bread stollen, whose sweet marzipan filling I would happily devour in seconds.

Oh, and how can I forget the presents that, within seventeen days time, I'll have the right to rip open out of the festive wrapping that my parents spent ages (and used thousands of sellotape on) preparing the night before? Whenever I'm reminded of the gifts that I put on my list back in the summer - which already feels like many years ago, certainly not a mere couple of months - I have to place my hand over my face to stop myself from screaming. Seriously, If you ever wanted to meet the world's biggest kid, here she is, standing (or would 'towering' be more appropriate?) in front of you right now.

From the second that the C word (undoubtedly of the most delightful kind) is uttered many months before you really should mention it, I get excited. Majorly, crazily, absolutely excited. Like a volcano, I explode into a hot, sticky mess because it is borderline impossible to contain the fever that spreads faster than a fire! Either way, some people release their joy by drowning in a bottle of Aldi champagne, whereas others receive a self-diagnosis of sheer madness when embarking on a shopping spree that could rival Paris Hilton's spending habits:

I, on the other hand, just simply let it go. Yes, it really is as simple as that. Grabbing hold of your emotions then throwing them out once every single feeling has been collected is probably the only way that you'll survive Christmas - unless choosing constant battles with yourself isn't regarded as a problem! Releasing the thrills when they are still supermarket-fresh means that the excitement stays close to your heart, without losing a single ounce of its specialness.

Although my days of trawling through the Toys R Us catalogue (or, if my seven year old self was feeling particularly crafty, luring my parents into walking around a mega-sized store - think Ikea with Bratz dolls whose price tags are larger than their size 0 figures) are long over, my love of Christmas remains as childlike as ever - and long should it remain so! As always, my door shall sing in tune with the bell that dangles on my teddy bear stocking which, like one who has overdone it with the pudding on Christmas Day, swells up overnight on the grandest day of the year. Nothing will ever convince me otherwise that there isn't a greater feeling than feeling the gifts stuffed inside your stocking on Christmas morning, which you try so gently to open in the dark without making a sound - such an impossible feat!

The magic is still there as you get older; the only difference is that you are wise enough to recognize and perhaps appreciate more than you did as a present-mad youngster. Hmm, it seems that very little has changed in that respect...

Another thing that has really pumped up the excitement for Christmas is that, once Thursday has finished next week, I'll be treated to over a fortnight of school holidays - if that doesn't call for a world-stopping celebration, what does? After I've received that milestone, very little will stand in my way of rewatching my favourite festive films, baking (and eating) more treats that my appetite will be able to cope with and relaxing to my heart's content. Within several weeks, plenty more than I could have ever expected has been achieved: in that sense, I'm going to enjoy every second that I have of the holidays, wringing out all that I can from each day!

In the meantime, I won't be deprived of festive fun as I'll be tucking into the only Christmas dinner that hasn't been cooked by my mum at school this Friday, which will give me the pleasure of having two hours away from lessons before I return to Maths hell halfway through the lesson. Part of me believes that a test is being held on that day, so I'm pretty desperate to escape the very worst of it, especially if I haven't found time to revise a few days beforehand!

If I'm feeling so festive at the beginning of the week, are there any words of advice that will keep me in line until the weekend rolls around the corner? Once I've caught Christmas fever, very little will subdue it - it demands to be felt! For once, I'm hoping that a dose of hardcore Biology will subdue it...

Though the words may seem slightly premature to be escaping my lips, Merry Christmas (and, to spare you the agony, no mention of the New Year)!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Still On Cloud Nine...

While the rest of the population is settling down to enjoy a well-deserved rest this weekend, I, for one, have hardly stopped to catch my breath - regardless of the present date, life carries on as usual, with perhaps a few more hours spent in my bed than usual.

Without needing to launch into a dull-as-dishwater repeat, there is only one word which perfectly describes this week: crazy. From preparing for the craziness then be submerged into a pool of madness, literally everything that has taken place definitely takes the title of insane happenings - but I've loved every single second of it.

Oh yes, Little Miss Perfectionist - whose world is turned upside down by the slightest hint of a mess in her bedroom - has had the time of her life whilst entering an exciting journey into her new school: a fresh chapter has begun, along with a renewed attitude to her way of life. Having survived the worst of the very worst for six months, anything is possible - an inspirational mantra that my fading pessimist is struggling to get her head around!

Therefore, starting my first day (once again) on Thursday was viewed from the onset as a piece of cake: now equipped with knowledge regarding secondary school life, no ridiculous questions were likely to slip out of my mouth. Enduring a nightmare taught me more lessons than a lifetime of school could give, so I was more than ready to spot trouble from the furthest distance (though seeing it would have required my glasses, whose large spectacles are unlikely to send shockwaves during London Fashion Week).

However, I was really amazed when I finally arrived on campus, realizing that all of my tools - ice-cold glares and comebacks snappier than a crocodile's bite - intended to defend myself were useless. Unlike at my old school, I didn't need to defend myself: I was free to be myself, without fear of being ridiculed for doing my own thing.

Once that thought popped into my mind, bells chimed throughout the world, signalling the joy that rushed through me. Without opening my mouth, I kept squealing Hallelujah (or perhaps so in the crazed world that is my head) - was there ever such a happy moment? After the excitement began to die down, another thought - this one less likely to cause a stampede in the Science labs - occurred to me: after months of searching, I'd finally found the one.

And, in all honesty, that elation hasn't quite worn off yet. Hmm, perhaps I'm the very first person to experience an alcohol-free hangover? I'm suffering from all the typical symptoms - exhaustion, cravings for the largest plate of junk food, a reluctance to do much - except that I'm still buzzing from the past two days. Well, it's up to you whether that makes any sense.

Anyway, let's strip off the dramatic expressions and references to a sultry Dolce & Gabbana perfume, and return to basics. Facts are like unbuttered bread: plain and truthfully bland. Yet my facts have taken inspiration from another reality - they are too amazing to believe. No wonder that my head is throbbing this morning...

Besides from presenting absolutely no risk to my safety, the school has a terrific setting: it moved into a new building only earlier this year, which cost millions to build. However, if you woke up from a concussion and you didn't know where you were, the very last thing that you would describe it as is a school; not only is its appearance on a par with a high-tech hotel, but its atmosphere couldn't be further attached from a school environment. I feel very special to be walking on the ground, let alone attend the classes which, compared to my old ones, are better structured and do not feature a hint of trouble. If anyone misbehaves, they are automatically thrown out - not a single second is wasted on ignoring their childish antics or raising voices to no avail. Discipline forms part of the school's ethos, which makes our learning much better and more enjoyable - as if such a thing would have been witnessed at my old school!

Due to not offering my original options, I had to give up Catering and Media - which, if possible, I'm keen to study at home because of enjoying it so much - in favour of French, Sociology and Performing Arts. So far, I haven't attended a Performing Arts lesson which means that I'm unable to comment on it, yet only one lesson in Sociology sealed my passion for it. As I've missed two units of the school, I'm now catching up at home, but I don't mind at all - at the rate that I'm working, I ought to complete both units by next weekend, so I hope! And French? I should ace the controlled assessment that I missed out on Tuesday!

Above all, the greatest thing about the school is that, if you're given the label of a 'geek' or classified as 'unique', bullies don't come up to you and make your lives a misery. In fact, there are plenty of people who hang out together whilst maintaining their individuality, which would never have been seen at my former school. Yesterday, I met some really great people - a mixture of boys and girls - who, like me, are not quite like the 'mainstream' crowds, but awesome nonetheless. Luckily, most of them are in my Performing Arts class, so I should have plenty of laughs - and build my confidence at the same time!

After months of being targeted by idiots who had nothing better to do with their time, it astounds me that I've escaped such a miserable environment and am now in a place that, until Thursday, I believed that only dreams could create. I can't begin to describe how wonderful being accepted for who I am is, without words such as 'socialisation' being flung at me by ill-educated teachers at my former school. Since starting Sociology, I've actually discovered the true meaning of the word - the process of becoming a member of society. If I was to be ridiculed for refusing to follow the crowd, why should 'socialisation' even be mentioned by a world-class idiot? Oh well, I'm having the final laugh - the GCSE league tables at the old school won't be boosted by my grades!

Just before I forget it, another brilliant positive is that, instead of Googling methods of disappearing off the face of Earth on a Sunday evening, I'm actually looking forward to returning on Monday. Two days are simply not enough - like a caffeine addict, I want more, more, more!

Loving school is exactly what I wanted when I joined my old school six months ago, but sadly it wasn't meant to be; if it wasn't for looking elsewhere, who knows what impact it could have had on my studies? At least now I wake up in the morning with an optimism that kickstarts my enthusiasm to learn - which all children should have. I'm just glad that I finally got it.