Sunday, 1 November 2015

The Lessons I've Learnt This Half-Term

As the end of half-term reaches its final destination (noticed the pun on the cult horror film? Albeit a day late), I'm once again gathering the courage to face another round of coursework, revision and exams (thankfully the mocks - do you really think that I would be demonstrating the calmness of a Buddhist monk if they were the actual ones?!), which will occupy most of my time until Christmas arrives in its gloriously red packaging next month. Oh, how I'm truly excited about Christmas getting near now that we have moved into November - finally, the one time of the year when I fully embrace festive films is thrillingly close to being within reach! Still, my family haven't stopped themselves from dipping their toes into certain festive features, such as mince pies, which, if I had my own way, would be available all year around, but never mind...

If half-term has proved itself in any way, I suppose that it has been useful in providing me with a bit of time to decide what I'd like to put on my Christmas list. Unlike previous years, I've actually left the tremendous process of figuring out what little moi would love to rip open the wrapping paper to be greeted by rather late; of course, leaving your Christmas list till the end of October is always going to be likened to the frantic late-on-Christmas-Eve panic if compared to last year when I started writing my list just before the summer holidays ended!

Luckily, I'm getting used to the idea - and possibility - of purchasing the Babyliss Big Hair Styler which, despite its rather scary-looking size, can actually add plenty of volume and sleekness to your hair: an asset that would go down a treat with my naturally straight (and therefore thinnish) hair! Also, hair-related matters have been receiving more of my attention of late since I got a fringe at the beginning of the week which, to my delight, has softened my face and made the typically heinous attempt at wearing a ponytail less terrifying; at last, I no longer resemble a stern-looking governess if I dare to pull my hair out of my face! Other benefits of having my fringe is that, if I wear my yellow jumper (which, in my eyes, screams 60s babe to me), I emulate the glamour and beauty featured in Mad Men, a brilliant drama which I'm eager to refer to for its fantastic 60s clothing.

And, well, eyeliner has never looked so good on me since getting my fringe! It naturally draws more attention to my almond-shaped eyes; once again, I sigh at the thought of having to give up my favourite make-up staple for a few hours at school. Especially since I finally found a sharpener for my eyeliners after spending an entire week without one!

Hopefully, I've finally made my mind up as to what I want to put on my Christmas list which, so far, includes Lana Del Rey's latest album Honeymoon (if just for Music to Watch Boys To alone, though singing the hypnotic High by the Beach should be thanked for soothing my algebra-induced worries) and the Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy's collection of poems, Rapture, which contains Quickdraw - a poem that I compared and wrote about in my recent English Literature exam. Even though writing what seems like a million paragraphs on poems has defined my life recently, I still reserve a love for poetry and would love to explore it in a book by a poet whose work I've loved analysing. Besides, Duffy is a feminist, which makes me even more interested in deciphering the messages behind her poems; whereas some people like to study the science involved in movement, I'm more passionate about what 'silver bullets of your kiss' and 'high saloon' could symbolise!

Anyway, I've enjoyed taking things back to basics this week by devoting some time to watching TV, writing on this blog (a hobby which I doubt I'll ever get bored of - who has ever found liberation to be dull?) and doing some revision for my upcoming mock exams, which I'm a bit less worried about than I was a couple of days ago. Also, this week has provided me with the perfect motive to figure several things out in relation to my life and life in general, such as:

  1. Some people hurt you. As simple as that - but such a gesture shouldn't be considered right because it definitely isn't. 
  2. Don't waste time worrying about what other people think about you because, if you were doing anything wrong, you'd be the first to know about it. Besides, those 'other people' are practically strangers to you - do they know the most basic or intimate facts about you? Unless they are secretly telepathic or Sherlock Holmes in disguise, you can take a wise bet that they don't. 
  3. If you're unhappy, do something about it - if not, at least plan ahead for the future when something can be changed. 
Facing up to several tough and truthful facts can be difficult if your mind is taken hostage by the moody blues, but I'm feeling more positive about certain things that I did before. As for that boy I used to be friends with, I can't say that I've gotten over his betrayal because saying that would be, in my mind, suggesting that I don't care about what other people do to me. Sure, it winds me up that he lacks the decency that I genuinely thought he possessed because, if that was made clear to me when we first met, I would have never bothered speaking or hanging out with him, but can I change him? No way. Even if he came up to me tomorrow and asked me whether I fancy meeting up with him, I wouldn't consider for a second to say 'yes' - from the moment you screw me over, you land immediately into my blacklist. Which, if you haven't already figured out, will remain there until the end of time. 

Therefore, I now appreciate that there are many lessons beyond what is taught in the classroom, which stay with you for life. And, without a doubt, learning how to make yourself happy is far more important than revising the sections of a plant cell, though sometimes you just have to suck it up - perhaps because, somewhere deep inside you, you realise that it's for your own good. 

Meanwhile, my head will be filled with many other messages and facts before long, yet something inside me says that I won't be forgetting this week's lessons in a hurry. Unlike some instances, I can just tell that they are right. 

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Appreciating the Joys of Half-Term, Autumn and Essays

Half-term, Halloween and a hell of a lot of work - the perfect potion as I'm about to embark on the weeks leading to Christmas! OK, you might find a frazzled teen occasionally getting into a panic as she focuses all her energy (well, the best part of it; once a Lana fan, it is near enough impossible to switch off tracks like Music to Watch Boys To and Honeymoon in the radio station that is my mind) on understanding the Cosine rule which, to her annoyment, refuses to work properly on her calculator, resulting in yet another hurricane of rage... Just another day in the life of a modern teenage girl, as you have probably assumed.

Ah. Ever since the clocks went backwards on Saturday nights, I seem to have been paying further attention to autumn whose golden, shimmery beauty has never captivated me until now. Just a short while ago, I went for a walk as the setting sun was at its most beautiful state, which made me realise that autumn is truly the best season - and if only it could last a bit longer. Not only is hearing the crunch of leaves a delightful noise, but autumn symbolises fresh beginnings which, as I'm only days away from entering November, are becoming less new and more familiar.

Am I only the only person who gets a bit sad when new things - which, when they are first presented to me, maintain my attention and get me so excited as they have yet to be discovered and known like I recognise myself inside out - lose their freshness and eventually become old? For example, I mostly felt thrilled at the prospect of going into Year 11 during the summer holidays because, like Year 10, it represented new opportunities for me, which I couldn't wait to discover. Yet, nearly two months in, that excitement has worn off like a coat of lipstick, growing somewhat stale and a ghost of its unknown beauty which fascinated me in what felt like a week ago.

Is it a shame that all new things are destined to grow old? It depends on how you look at it. If I'd never gone into Year 11, I would have been deprived of numerous chances to demonstrate and develop confidence in my abilities and, in order to do so, I needed to 'break the ice', which I suppose is the ritual for getting used to something, rather in the manner of breaking in an unworn pair of shoes. And, by the way, my school shoes - once as clean as a just-bought dress - have definitely been worn in by now which I couldn't be more glad about, if not just for the sake of my once-blistered feet!

Anyway, whether I like it or not at times, I can't escape from the truth that I'm well and truly getting through Year 11 which, depending on how I view it (and whether my mood is being seriously affected by my horribly emotional hormones), is sometimes a relief and a curse. For starters, the thought of leading a Maths-free life by this time next year is extremely comforting when I feel close to tears on the occasions that I can't get my head around curved graphs (whose existence in this world cannot be explained, or so I like to believe), along with completing the remaining controlled assessments and pieces of coursework which, for several of my subjects, will seriously determine my overall grades before I even walk into the exam hall for my actual exams next summer.

However, preparing for my ever-nearing exams is a) not fun, b) extremely stressful and c) a horrendous reason why you cannot devour any new TV box sets because most of your free time is eaten up by homework, revision or coursework which, as of this week, I want to bawl my eyes out at the very sight of it.

For the first time ever (and hopefully the last, if the heavens above decide to bless my good efforts), I completed a 10000 word essay for Performing Arts yesterday, which took many hours of sheer suffering, nail-biting confusion (I use that term very sparingly - who, in their right mind, would nibble their nails in the one week where they can wear nail polish without fear of being given a detention or ordered to dunk their nails in pure acetone?!) and emotionally damaging procrastination until I finally saw the light that was my printer, eventually printing off my nineteen page piece of art.

Well, I don't really think that a piece of art is a term worthy enough to describe my work which was, in plain and fuzzy brain-friendly English, an evaluation on my class's trip to see Wicked in the West End last week. A performance which I absolutely loved watching, I guess that I really couldn't stop myself from going overboard when describing the symbolisation of green skin tones and black witch hats, hence why I reached the 10000 word mark for the first time in my sixteen years on this planet. Still, I've been comforted by a neighbour that the word count for dissertations at uni are considerably less, which has definitely confirmed to me that I am the QUEEN OF OVERBOARD.

Well, at least you can't fault me for effort, can you? Especially if it will get me an A*, just saying...

Moving on, Halloween is just three days away, yet, for once, I'm actually not interested in it. Even just writing these words makes my inner child, who is responsible for my obsession with cats and self-taught ability to steal chips from the baking tray at lightning speed when I think that Mum isn't looking in my direction, cry sorrowfully because a once valued event in my childhood has lost its preciousness. In many ways, I'm disappointed that I no longer show an interest in celebrating Halloween with all of its orange lights, pumpkins and countless bags of treat-sized Mars bars because, when I was young enough to fully appreciate it, I definitely loved it and every year I would look forward to Halloween as much as I would with Christmas and Easter.

No matter how nostalgic I might become over certain events in the past, falling back in love with them is never guaranteed because, as I've gotten older, one precious lesson I've learnt is that chasing old passions when you have changed can never be as good. Even though I'm pretty sure that Sade never wrote it to commemorate the occasion, her song Never As Good As The First Time truly justifies why I've lost the remaining sparks of a childhood love for Halloween, whose image has remarkably changed since I was six years old and used to love dressing up as a witch each year in the hope of receiving an extra bag of cola Haribos amongst my many other sweets. Nowadays, Halloween is way too commercialised and seems to be more about the amount of money that can be spent or made from it - in my opinion, that simply robs it of any value, whether in terms of money or not.

Oh well, I'll never fall out of love with treats, one of which I got in the form of a milky chocolate bar yesterday and cannot resist for a moment longer. It's a Wednesday and I've worked very hard to earn a square, so perhaps I'll give into my cocoa urges. If I'm going to do anything, you can guarantee that I'll do it my way - and certainly not anybody else's!

Monday, 26 October 2015

Revenge is a Dish Best Served Online

Boys, boys, boys... What would the world do without them? If the male species didn't exist, modern day life wouldn't be so vibrantly enriched with football, Calvin Klein and one too many empty packets of the chocolate biscuits which you lock away for yourself.

Well, nobody has the automatic right to declare their allegiance to the art of perfection, do they? Regardless of gender, everybody has the right to be decent human beings which, without trying to sound too biased (though, considering that this is my blog, you can accuse me of being so), I don't think is the hardest thing in the world. Seriously, possessing manners is exactly what I consider to be essential in life, precisely like being equipped with shampoo, clothes and emergency bottles of mascara (on the off-chance that stressing over coursework brings me to the emotional teenage edge whilst I'm out and about, you know).

Still, one thing that I can no longer turn my short-sighted eye blind to is this: everybody is different. For starters, you could label me as 'different' if you compare me to my peers at school, the majority of whom are within the 'popular' camp whereas I refuse to be labelled as anything other than remaining true to my individuality, regardless of the price that I might pay in terms of destroying any chances of becoming the most popular person in town. But do I care? Not at all.

As a teenager, thinking that you're the best person to have ever lived just demonstrates naivety because so many people have been trapped into that line of thought generations before mine was born - yet did they live up to the god-like greatness that supposedly symbolised them? Um, let me Google that for you: absolutely NOT! Whether you're fifty or fifteen, I very much doubt that anyone is able to be on a par with a god or a creature whose power is so mystifying that no one really knows its worth; therefore, is reaching that status likely for any ordinary people like yourself or I? Being a thoughtful kind of person, I'd prefer to not declare the answer because its obviousness is absolutely irritating. And, if you have yet to notice by simply reading this entry's opening line, I'm not really in the mood to waste time on stupid matters.

Like the person who, after meeting up with me several times over the summer holidays, cannot muster the energy to send me a simple text, despite my making several attempts to generate a shadow of a conversation. Just weeks ago, he was literally attached to me like a cat sticks himself to a scratch post; we had created what I thought was a strong friendship, yet I suppose that I hadn't bothered to find the proper definition of 'strong' because my relationship with him is now anything but.

Does it hurt to feel like a ton of bricks have fallen from the sky and landed on my head? Absolutely. Feeling as though I'm being ignored by someone who I truly believed cared about me tears through me like my kitten Teddy catching his claws in my clothes, yet on a significantly deeper scale because my trust has been betrayed.

Yet, if I'm being completely honest, I tended to think that betrayal was created by a purpose and, in some instances, could have been justified if the one committing the betrayal had been betrayed before in the past. No matter what, betrayal is betrayal and no amount of words, fancy descriptions or puzzling definitions can alter its negative representation, but there really is no reason as to why this boy has dropped me like a teenager leaving their childhood firmly behind.

Have I been rude to him or said anything which would have upset his feelings? As one of the most sensitive and emotional teenagers to have ever lived on Earth, you can bet your future Prada handbag that I would be the first to realise if I had hurt someone because guilt would flood through me until I had apologised. Like most people, I get no kicks out of apologising and, at times, I think that the other person should be apologising to me, yet I can't stand living in a hostile atmosphere and would rather forgive for the sake of bringing things back to normal instead of leaving matters up in the air. In my honest opinion? If someone had upset you, speaking up about it seems like the natural way to go - and I haven't received any of that from the boy. Or anything else, for that matter.

In fact, ever since I told him that I couldn't meet up with him one weekend due to being on a school trip at the same time (which I would have definitely not missed for the world - like who would say no to an opportunity to stay at a uni campus and go clothes shopping in town?), he has been, well, quiet. By this, he has completely stopped replying to my texts, which he claims is due to never 'having his phone switched on', while he never logs onto his Facebook account because he has either forgotten his log-in or simply 'can't' (a word which has the ability to drive me around the bend at times, believe me!). And school? Even when my friends are standing next to him, he doesn't speak to them, so obviously I receive the same treatment. And, really, what kind of friend looks through my friends as though they are ghosts? That just says it all.

Upon realising that this friendship is as doomed as the destined sinking of the Titanic, I have gone through a variety of emotions whilst trying to reach peace with not myself, because I haven't bothered thinking for a moment that any of this is my thought, but with the bastards in the world who pathetically believe that wasting any girl's time is an absolute joke. In many ways, this whole thing upsets me because I feel that I could have spent my summer holidays doing more things for myself instead of devoting three or four days to hanging out with him, which I only did because I thought that we were friends. Whether it relates to school or relationships, I will always put my all into making it work because, if I don't, what is the point in trying at all? At least that is one of the many things that I can't be accused of not doing when I was trying to maintain a glimmer of a friendship with him.

If there is one upside to this travesty of events, I've realised that having a friendship with a boy - especially a romantic one - is perhaps not the wisest of moves at the moment because, albeit not all, many of them are not quite as mature as I would like in order to sustain a lasting relationship. Even though it disappoints me a bit that the boys in my year are a bit of a way off from developing the maturity that I respect and possess, I don't mind because too much is happening in my life at the moment, which you only need to guess by looking at the few entries I've posted over the past two months.

Despite exam hysteria (both mock and actual ones!) defining every Year 11's life right now, I didn't use it as an excuse to completely cut all ties with this boy, yet it seems that my efforts were not enough to save what was destined to be a sinking ship.

Although I've had to face up to one of the most crushing lessons that one can learn in life - the one about people not necessarily being as great as they portray themselves to be - I have at least had the pleasure of appreciating some fantastic songs about boys wasting certain girls' time. And if those girls are among the likes of music legends such as Alanis Morrisette, Erkyah Badu and, the best one of them all, Taylor Swift, I know that I'm in extremely fine company.

Well, you oughta know, shouldn't you?

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Impatience: Never a Redeeming Quality!

I. Am, Just. So. Relieved. *sighs very deeply*

After around six weeks since my delightful summer holidays - which, unless you are one of the few lucky people who are capable of remembering every single moment in your life - came to end, I'm getting closer to what is currently looking to be the best ever occasion to have ever taken place during my sixteen years on this planet: half-term.

Aw, the very word almost makes me squeal like an over-excited kitten with delight! Really, I don't even know how to discuss the very prospect of being able to enjoy a perfect week of lie-ins and Simpsons re-runs in the very comfort of my own home because I have so often wondered if it would ever happen. Well, as soon as I get through yet another action-packed week, then half-term will truly be mine to seize with all of the excitement that is constantly buzzing through me like a vibrating phone!

For starters, I needn't devote several paragraphs (which, if you know me well enough by now, you would have the sense to skip) to going on about how sorry I am for not keeping you updated over the past few weeks, but it is obvious now that my whole life is becoming extremely, ridiculously and crazily busy almost all the time. OK, my studies - which are intensifying bit by bit every single day as I get closer to sitting my all-important mock exams next month - are consuming as much of my time as I devote precious moments here and there to indulge on a few squares of coffee-flavoured chocolate (totally my new passion), but I'm also trying to juggle the seemingly easy, yet deceivingly difficult task of providing myself with enough relaxation along with keeping my friendships, happiness and family bonds as persistent as I possibly can.

Without sounding too much like a drama queen (because, believe me, I have given up on the hope of never portraying myself as an over-the-top madam as it is somehow chemically wired into my DNA), it cannot come across as the most shocking news ever to hear that I land onto my pillow at night like a plane arrives on a runaway and drift off into a slumber which, albeit deep, never fully cleanses me of the stresses, responsibilities and quadratic equations that I'm desperately trying to cope with on a constant basis.

Of course, I realise that life is hard and, when your responsibilities increase, so do your priorities - obviously, I'm always going to put my revision ahead of my aching desire to watch one of my favourite TV programmes, yet sometimes having to do the 'right thing' gets me down because seeing the bigger picture becomes as blurred as squinting through a steamed-up shower: it's just not always possible to look beyond the present moment, whether you perceive it as a positive thing or not.

For example, I get stressed from time to time when I arrive home late after staying on for a revision session at school because, what with only having so many hours in the day to stay awake, there is less time for me to stop thinking about work and actually treat myself to reading a book or listening to songs that provide a welcoming, comforting relief from the everyday woes of the world. Irritatingly, I usually get home just before six on a Thursday evening, which winds me up so much because I can just feel the tick of the many clocks in my house remind me of the few hours I'm granted to get changed, have something to eat, sort my bag and P.E. kit for the following day and other minor things which I can't be bothered to list. To you, my points might sound trivial and petty because the process of chucking a few books out of my bag and replacing it with other ones is definitely not the hardest job in the world, yet I can feel these tasks stacking up like a pile of homework (which I work ridiculously hard at to keep to a minimum, often at the expense of my free time once again) - certainly not the perfect formula to creating a potion of relaxation in amongst life's daily stresses!

Still, if there is one thing that the past six weeks have given me, it has certainly been my renewed ability to just 'get on with it', whatever that might be. Sure, there's nothing stopping me from moaning about the injustice of having the equivalent to two hours worth of exams on a Monday morning (as was the case this week and will be next week) yet, as time passes even more quickly towards my exams next year, I'm able to keep remembering the reasons why I put so much effort into my work, thoughts of which have helped me get through testing and emotional moments.

One highlight from this week was receiving two awards in my year's group annual awards ceremony, which meant a great deal to me because I was able to see that my teachers have recognised my efforts, especially as I had to contend with catching up in all of my classes upon joining at Christmas last year. Whether I was going to receive an award or not, I still would have applied myself in whatever way possible in my studies because I like to know that I've tried my hardest, which is the most that anyone can ask from me. And, obviously, bringing a small trophy home (for coming first as best effort in R.E., which I also see as a 'goodbye' from my old Sociology and R.E. teacher, who left after the summer) was such a brilliant moment, if you must ask!

Anyway, I'm now keeping my hopes as high as I can until half-term starts next week, though I really can't wait to go on my Performing Arts trip to London on Wednesday, where my class will see Wicked in the West End. As a part-Londoner - or so I like to think of myself as because both of my parents were born and raised there - I relish the thought of returning to southern soil which, despite embracing the area where I now live, I suppose I still miss because an undistinguished part of me automatically views it as my 'native land'.

Besides, I've never really been to London which, regarding my links to it, is rather ironic, but I'm glad to be exploring it as part of what looks to be a thrilling occasion. As ever the fashionista, I quickly sorted out what clothes I'll be wearing, which shall be a grey tunic-like dress and my Little Red Riding Hood-esque coat to inject a bit of colour and warmth into my rather dark outfit. Fortunately, I won't stumble out of bed at six on Wednesday morning without a clue as to what I'll wear - where I can be organised, I definitely will be!

Also, luck landed on my door like a parcel several weeks ago where I completed my first GCSE in ICT. As one of my least favourite subjects because I don't consider ICT to be useful unless it is used for purchasing items from Amazon or finding out what your favourite singer is currently doing on Wikipedia, I didn't see it as one of my best subjects, which tend to be heavily based on essays where I can ramble on for ever and ever until I literally need to be physically restrained from my pen! Still, surprises can still, well, surprise me, which I certainly got when I got around to finishing the course where I achieved an A*!!! Without a doubt, I was absolutely over the moon because I used to think that I was such a klutz with computers (and, to this day, I hardly know how to use a TV remote!), yet my family now think of me as an ICT expert. Perhaps I am, but I was more pleased about being treated to a slice of Oreo cheesecake at a restaurant nearby the other weekend - and obviously getting my first of what I hope will be several A*s!

And I suppose that is all I really want to say today. In the past few weeks, I've learnt that the lovechild of cheesecake and an A* is the best-tasting flavour on this planet, while I've developed a secret strength which should get me through any challenging moments that may arise on my path to self-actualisation.

A winning formula? It might not be deemed as the image of perfection, but I seem to think so.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Just a reminder that I'm still here...

Oh. My. Gosh. Has it been nearly a month since my manicured nails, then painted in a varnish so gorgeously black that it twinkled like the very pit of a soul, previously typed my somewhat farewell to this beloved blog of mine?! Honestly, I would be willing to bet that years have passed since that very moment, but I suppose that you don't realise the speediness of time until you reach days like this one, where you are finally granted a moment to 'think about it all' like I am right now.

Phew. So much - shopping trips, moments of classic teenage meltdowns and one too many Oreo-inspired Aldi biscuits included - has happened since September rolled around in an initially peaceful whirlwind. For starters, I'm nearly halfway through my first term as a so-called 'cool' and 'superior' Year 11, a status which has brought as much stress, exhaustion and excitement as living with the responsibility of just being a teenager in general - no wonder I appreciated this morning's lie-in like a sleepy kitten (who has an awful habit of sleeping on the sheets that I just changed last night)!

As the past few weekends have either involved homework or going on trips, such as the one I had the honour (which makes me sound like I'm praising the holy God of Fashion or something along those lines) of being included last weekend where I visited a university up north (and grabbed as many free pens as I could in addition to taking a million or so selfies in my room, which was far nicer than any of the ones I've visited in a Travelodge), time typically reserved for blogging duties has been in short supply. But do I mind? Not really.

Even though blogging has never been anything other than a dancing-around-my-room-like-a-wannabe-Madonna image of happiness, life cannot always revolve around a few words that I might write whilst cooped up in my bedroom on a Saturday morning - besides, I'm finding that I'm writing more than ever what with essays on poems and research into skills used in Drama, so there is no concern about my turning a back on one of the greatest passions one could ever have in life!

Still, trying to juggle a number of things at the same time is as tough as teaching an unwilling and hissy cat (like my lovely, but nonetheless hormonal kitty Benny) to swim in the bath: you just can't do everything. Already, I've given up my role in a Performing Arts Council which I used to be part of at school because I'd gotten sick of devoting literally all of my free time at school to more work - when possible, I'll do all I can to avoid being swamped with unnecessary stress. Why? It simply is NOT worth the hassle, even if it just for the mere sake of eating your lunch (with those awkwardly wrapped mini cucumbers, which some clueless Year 9s assume are stinky, disgusting and foul-tasting pickles - as if!).

Although returning to what I can only describe as utter madness after a near seven-week hiatus as far more than a shock to the system, I'm starting to appreciate such tactics because I'm gradually learning to cope with the workload; though my exams thankfully won't start until next May, I'm relieved to be developing the skills which will be essential to keep me mostly sane by the time that my stress levels will surely be tested to the max! OK, I can't declare that I'm totally immune to the mini teenage meltdown (which can involve pacing around my room like a six year old unsure on which Barbie to buy - as I can assure you, not such a great look when you're 16!), but hopefully I'll keep it together when others might crumble like the flaky pastry on a freshly baked sausage roll. Talking of which, I do quite fancy some homemade ones...

Overall, I think that I'm doing rather well in life at the moment - after attending lessons for just over a year, I'm starting to believe that I'm actually OK at Zumba, despite my occasional fears that I'll fall asleep whilst leaping into the air like a ballerina. Though I doubt that I'll be asked to complete as a pro on Strictly any time soon, it has finally gotten through to me that I'm not the world's most dreadful dancer; if I was, surely a video of me would have trended on Facebook long before now?

And well, that is pretty much all I can say about myself at the moment: my love of writing, reading, smiling and devouring dark chocolate like the precious cocoa bean is about to go instinct are still as vibrant and passionate as the days on which I discovered all of them. By the time that I hopefully post another entry here - which could be later today, tomorrow or next year for all I know - I'll have more positive news to share with you, but I really have no idea when that might be. Am I bothered? Not at all.

All good things - from achieving amazing results to growing your hair to a reasonable length (which I suppose mine currently is, but I'd still like it to be much longer - girls always want the opposite of what they have, huh?) - take a while to be gained, and I'm fine with that. Unless that involves waiting for chocolate, which I would always prefer to have at this very moment - still, wouldn't we all?

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

For and Against: The End of the Summer Holiday Era

As the days continue to head towards Friday - otherwise known in my world as the official end of summer - I'm sort of trying to come to terms with several things which will almost certainly disappear as soon as I walk through my school's gates in three days' time:

1) No more 'let's-play-on-my-phone-for-half-an-hour-in-order-to-walk-my-half-asleep-self-up' lie-ins which, despite often leaving me more tired than I would usually feel because of staring at an electronic screen (a device that has an ironic way of draining you of energy like excessive usage on a phone sucks all of the battery dry), I will sorely miss. I mean, what is more enjoyable than waking up to images of Kim Kardashian spilling out of her oh-so-tight dress at ten in the morning - this is something that never ever happens during term-time, so I obviously want to make the most of it while it lasts! For, um, another two mornings...

2) To the disgust of my inner fashionista, I will have to return to wearing a horribly clear nail polish from Friday because my school states that coloured nail polish, along with hair dyes, are against the 'rules'. Well, considering that half of my year have dyed their hair at one point (including some of the boys, one of which transformed himself into a Black Sabbath tribute act upon apparently having a 'disaster' with a packet of black hair dye), I find it ridiculous that I can't even wear a subtle, chic and professional-looking pinky nude shade on my nails while others are essentially given permission to emulate the cast members of The Only Way is Essex in their school uniforms. Totally not what I consider to be the concept of fairness!!!

Therefore, I will shed one or two heartfelt tears when I finally take off my gorgeous black nail polish - the very first time that I've ever worn it, which only worsens the psychological agony of having to expose it to the revoltingly scented nail polish remover - because I will have to wait until the October half-term to paint my nails another colour once again. Just why?! Such cruelty is definitely unfair, I must admit; over the course of this summer, I have rediscovered my passion for nail polish, trying favourite colours such as bloodthirsty red and Starbucks-esque taupe browns, in addition to experimenting with gun-metal greys and, currently, gothic blacks. Now that my eyes have been exposed to a Dulux variety of colours, my heart begs to not return to my former existence as a clear-painted girl - life is simply not vibrant without an injection of colour!!!

Just another of life's many injustices!

3) Jeans. Whether dark, stormy blue, baby pink or grunge-inspired grey, I have absolutely loved wearing jeans on pretty much a daily basis over the past six weeks, especially as I have finally broken in my new grey pair after many rather agonising attempts! No longer am I struggling to yank my feet out of the jeans like I was before the summer holidays commenced; personally, I don't think that there is a better feeling than wearing a pair of greatly fitted jeans.

Ah, if only the same could be said about my blazer which, despite fitting significantly better than the one I used to wear at my old school, still has the effect of making me feel like a Year 7: as soon as I place it onto my shoulders, I instantly forget that I'm indeed 16 years old, not a mere eleven year old about to start their first day at the so-called 'terrifying' secondary school.

At least jeans make me feel like I'm my age and, unless I pick up a pair in the wrong size, they fit me perfectly - unless my blazer miraculously shrinks over the course of Year 11, I very much doubt that I will feel any older than a Year 7!

4) Lunch - how will I ever cope with all-day access to the fridge?! I once had to tear myself away from my kitchen's cupboards after ending my seven year stint as a home-schooled student, which was more than painful enough, yet I somewhat feel like I'm having to repeat this over a year on: letting go of what you truly love is never easy, as I'm coming to realise at this very moment.

Even though I'm fortunate to have a packed lunch over the measly-looking school dinners that some of my friends eat (and sometimes don't finish off), eating at school is never the same as it is at home: no amount of persuasive words can change my thoughts otherwise. As a renowned slow eater, I often pressurise myself into eating my lunch ridiculously quickly - which, if you ate at a normal pace, you would probably consider to be a normal pace - so that my friends wouldn't waste half of their lunch time waiting for me to finish my reasonably small roll, let alone my box of raisins and baby cucumbers (which many people mistake for pickles, which I absolutely detest!). As a result, I often feel like I haven't enjoyed my lunch as much as I appreciate the meals I consume at home because giving myself the time to savour every mouthful is important to me: otherwise, I would prefer to have not eaten a thing at all as I don't gain an ounce of pleasure from it.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

What I Love Right Now...

Like any other teen, I find it easier to plunge myself into a new love affair with dainty earrings than get motivated to go over a year's worth of Maths work - why? Obviously, falling head of three inch heels (which I'm keen to increase in height, especially as I've long given up hope of getting taller) over something that I cannot resist liking symbolises fun, which I can never get enough of. If life's biggest issues could revolve around deciding which earrings and necklaces to wear in the morning, undoubtedly I'd have much less to think (and worry) about, but never mind...

In many ways, I'm as unpredictable as the classically wet and wild British summer which, over the past week, has ranged from I-don't-think-that-I-can-bear-another-second-of-this mini heatwave during the previous week to the present I-will-freeze-like-a-refrigerated-Oreo-ice-cream-sandwich-if-I-don't-wear-my-thermals chilliness. Well, maybe you can blame my Britishness - and clearly the bizarre weather that I've grown up with - for the quirks existing in my unique personality, which certainly contribute to my present interests and thoughts. 

Despite my hatred of using the over-used word 'so' to start a sentence (which has brewed like a quietly rampaging volcano since my mum pointed this out to me weeks ago), on this occasion I'll make use of 'so' because I cannot be bothered to think of another word. As the clock hasn't even struck eleven in the morning yet as I write this, please excuse my frazzled, if not slightly tired brain for a lack of original words - I guess that you've found out my oh-so-terrible secret about definitely not being a morning person!

So, what I do love with all my heart (and everything else within me) at this very moment? 

1. George (not the prince, but close enough)

In life, we meet many people of all ages, genders, personalities and sizes - despite the saying, the world isn't quite as small as we are led to believe. Yet, how many people would you consider to be your nearest and dearest, representing much more than an excuse to gorge on creamy frappes from Starbucks on a chilly November afternoon? 

Well, I'm glad to declare that George, one of my four cats, is included in this exclusive group, whom I love like one worships the now-fallen One Direction - seriously, my affection for George would be on a par with an eight year old's obsession with Harry Style's curly mop that is supposedly considered to be 'hair'. Yeah, I'm not so sure about that...

Anyway, George is very special to me because, from the moment that he arrived home nearly a year ago, he has always been tremendously loving. No kidding - like a star, George glimmers with affection, which makes his eyes, pretty much the only feature of his that I can see in semi-darkness, dazzle like diamonds in the sky. And, in case you were wondering, he certainly shines bright like a diamond because he possesses the most charming personality, which never fails to cheer me up. 

For example, George has spent the majority of this morning stalking me. Even though I have a tendency to over-exaggerate my points and get a little carried away with my words (one of the countless joys of blogging, believe me), I'm not joking: if George figured out how to use a Pritt stick, you can guarantee that he would have glued himself to my leg by now! 

Whether I'm working out in the living room or checking the latest uploads on Facebook, George has to be by my side... which has become more than slightly embarrassing whenever I visit my en-suite, which he incidentally believes is his private space too. Delightful! Since entering my en-suite, I've realised that he must never go near my bin. Why? On several occasions, I've returned to my room to find George chewing cotton wool buds that I've used to clean my ears and clear off excessive eye make-up - and I SWEAR that he has eaten at least one cotton wool bud because I once never found the other half to one that he had been chewing with eager delight. That is just unfair... I spent the rest of that day worrying that George would have to go to the vet (and all dreams of my Year 11 prom paid for next year going up in flames)! 

Even though he is mischievous, naughty and sometimes way too clingy for my liking (even I need some kitty-free time!), I still love George,  who is always the best pick-me-up. Hopefully, his mood-enhancing powers will further strengthen as I prepare to go through a busy, challenging and hard-working year - that's the power of friendship!

Saying that, I still haven't forgiven George for getting his ridiculously long (and dangerously sharp) claws stuck in my favourite jeans yet...

The boy himself - distracting me from Science revision...

2. Honeymoon 

If you haven't gotten around to hearing Lana Del Rey's latest single, High by the Beach, you must be high on something very bad - because it is a crime to not listen to Lana!!! Like a goddess, her music is enchanting, powerful and undoubtedly beautiful; whenever I hear the first few seconds of Born to Die or the violins which define the mighty Ride, I'm locked in a trance, desperate to pay attention to every single note, beat and words that flow from Lana's mouth. 

Therefore, you can only begin to visualise my elation upon finding out that Lana's third major release, the delightfully titled Honeymoon, will be released worldwide next month, which I'll certainly be snapping up as soon as possible. A song as hypnotic and catchy as High by the Beach, which I can only describe as being steamy without too much heat, fiery without burning in a pool of hot lava and catchy without driving you around the bend like Uptown Funk when it is played on the radio for the fifth time within an hour, holds great promise for the rest of Honeymoon

Even though the set-up to the title track itself, Honeymoon, is completely different to the trip hop-influenced High by the Beach, I nonetheless love it, which proves that Lana's versatility can still be enjoyed by all - thanks to her, I've been introduced to different music genres, such as psychedelic pop and rock, dream pop and blue-eyed soul, which couldn't necessarily be said about many mainstream artists in the music industry. 

Hey, I could write forever about Lana, but her music truly says it all - have a listen to High by the Beach and Honeymoon below. And, in case you were wondering, I was initially confused by HBTB's music video, so you're not the only one...