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Monday, 03 July 2006

Brothers

masterpiece

I have found our brothers. Yesterday, while in London preparing for the Business In The Community awards ceremony, I saw the matinée performance of the Blue Man Group. They will be working with us for the ceremony, which, after seeing them, promises to be amazing.

Anyway, the above picture is my masterpiece, created in their art section with paint balloons, jelly, rice crispies, confetti, marshmallows, cake, and trusty old finger painting (just go see it!). I really recommend anyone going to see the show - it’s fantastic!

I met the Blue Men afterwards, and I learned all of their secrets. But knowledge must, of course, be kept in the family.

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Wednesday, 28 June 2006

Fundraising

paydens

I’m in a bit of a pickle now, to be honest, because I just realised that I’m spending my entire University fund on this trip to Brazil. So I’ve written a letter to my former employer (who, granted, I’ve never met) to ask him for sponsorship, as it will be really good publicity for the shop. Then I can organise a concert, ask all of my friends and family, and maybe do a Read-a-thon (although that just seems like cheating!). Still, who knows how depleated my University fund may remain. Never mind, it’s all part of the fun.

All of this distraction means I’ve still not handed in my coursework, which was due last week, and it’s my last day of school today. I got an e-mail from my maths teacher:

I do not seem to have a copy of your continued fractions coursework. Could you
email me a copy. This must be done by the end of this week or you will need to
do a new piece next year.

When he says “the end of this week”, I wonder if he means today, it being the end of the school week, or Friday. Should I take my chances?

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Tuesday, 27 June 2006

Who ever said my life was boring?

beach

Well, who ever said my life was boring? steve can feel very proud of himself, as this is really his inspiration. He explained to me on Saturday how money doesn’t have to be bad, and actually it can help people, so… I’m investing my money in a week-long trip to Brazil, where I can help a local community in Salvador (remember the Bonfim wrist-bands?) This is all through Cross-Cultural Solutions, a bit like the Peace Corps. Normally they only accept volunteers over 18, but 16 and 17 year-olds can apply, and we have to fill in a special application to prove we’re mature, etc. Anyway, I just had my Application for Minors accepted! Yay! So now I need to enrol, pay, buy my air ticket, and fundraise! My stint there will start on the 20th August. I finally feel like I’ll be doing something with my summer. Thanks for the advice, steve.

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Wednesday, 21 June 2006

Summertime

summertime


Well, my life is getting interesting again; on the other hand, I’m bored enough to start writing my blog again. Actually, I’m just procrastinating: I have several pieces of coursework due in before the end of term, and I can’t be bothered to do them.


This evening I helped out at the judging of a poetry cometition at school. It was organised by the head of the English Department, Dr. Greenhalgh (buy his books here
!), and apparently 400 poems were sent in. He then “longlisted” twenty poems per age group (Under 11, and Under 13), and another teacher shortlisted 10 from this. These students, from local-ish prep and primary schools, came and read their poems, which had already been judged by Hugo Williams (don’t worry, no blatant advertising this time, although I did think his poems were fantastic!). After Hugo had announced the winners, he read some of his own poetry, which was really enjoyable. He is an excellent poet, winner of the Queen’s Gold Medal and the T.S. Elliot Award. He has his “roots” in acting, so it wasn’t one of those boring geeky readings.


I’ve been attending Dr. Greenhalgh’s Creative Writing group this year, so it was nice to stumble across his critique of other people’s poems! The exercise described there is one of the first things we did. This Friday, renouned poet Simon Armitage is reading some of his poetry to us at school, and he is doing a workshop just beforehand with about twelve of us. I’m really looking forward to it, actually - so maybe my life is getting interesting, after all!

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Friday, 05 May 2006

Guarding your life

franks-shark-shack

Today’s Extraordinaire interview is with chaz, a local lifeguard.

BM: At what point did you decide to become a lifeguard?
C: When I found how much they get paid in comparison to where I was, in the caf�
BM: I see, so no heroic tendancies?
C: Well, lifeguards become heroes, don’t they?
BM: Depends. Have you ever saved someone?
C: I threw a rope in for a boy once.
BM: Once?
C: We’re very busy around Easter time, so there was that one time. All holidays, actually, and weekends. I haven’t been doing this very long, though.
BM: Right. Have you ever had to do anything else?
C: I like to think I’m more in the business of preventing accidents rather than saving people from them. I blow my whistle a lot.
BM: Especially on weekends and during the holidays?
C: Yes.
BM: Do you have to wear a red swimming costume?
C: Everyone always asks that! I used to have a blue uniform - shorts and T-shirt - but now it’s changed to yellow and green. So no, I don’t
BM: Doesn’t a uniform like that weigh you down if you have to jump in, thus slowing down the whole process of saving someone?
C: As I say, I just threw in a rope once…
BM: Ah, yes, of course. Easter.
C: Yes, that’s right! We get very busy at that time. Any hol—
BM: I’m sure you do.

Thanks for that, chaz. I know I feel safer going swimming knowing you’re around to throw in the rope!

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Tuesday, 02 May 2006

Bonnie sights of spring

daffodils

I was in the saddle today for the first time since March. Instead of riding Clyde, I was on Bonnie. I couldn’t believe the difference! She was so smooth, and had a wonderful gait; I didn’t realise how heavy-hooved Clyde is. Bonnie was quite a piglet, though, and I had to continually stop her from trying to eat (luckily Clyde has given me good practice in this area). She is the one who also happens to be afraid of drains, and I discovered that this is along with everything else - the sound of tractors, birds, sheep (although the ‘baas’ were particularly frightening, I must admit)...

Another thing that Bonnie kept doing was refusing to go in puddles, even if this meant trying to trot off into the trees. This was most annoying when we were in full canter, Bonnie spotted the leftovers from the April showers, stopped, backed up, and did a flying jump over it. This was all in the space of about three seconds, so as not to be left behind, and I nearly went over. Luckily, I recovered quickly enough, and I knew for next time.

It was very strange to feel my legs in a different position over Bonnie’s (rather smaller) belly, even though her light step got quite annoying when we were sailing over puddles or arrived back at the yard and she made for the hay buckets after rubbing her sweaty nose all over me. All in all, though, it was a great ride, and I’m looking forward to trying some other ponies (or, if the tall people aren’t there, horses) in the future, too. I am ever loyal to Clyde, however. Apparently he always tries it on with Bonnie, the only mare in their field, but she kicks him and makes for Henry. Ah, the perils of teenage lust…

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Tuesday, 25 April 2006

the neutral

image

The reason for my pretty sparse posting (ok, non-existent posting) over the past week is that I’ve been very ill! I woke up at 4.30am last Wednesday with a fever, sore throat, and achy limbs, but went to school anyway, and got sent home by the aptlly named ‘Med Centre’. But I’m back now, busy missing Riding, and doing my Theatre Arts homework in the library. Well.

I am actually working, doing some research on “the neutral” mask. At present we are making our own masks, having moulded our faces, (which the meanies did at home as well) and then filled these moulds with plaster of paris to make our faces, upon which we could make masks. Why we didn’t just make the masks using our faces I don’t know!

LeCoq, creator of “the neutral”, is renowned for saying that

There are three masks:
The one we think we are,
The one we really are,
And the one we have in common.

We like deep thinking like that in the theeah-tah, dahling.

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Tuesday, 18 April 2006

Chocolate withdrawal

image
At the gym today I burnt off over half of the calories in my Easter egg. Seeing as I’ve not yet eaten the whole thing, this is not too bad. And hopefully it has sped up my metabolism for when I eat the rest of it. I’m quite proud of myself, really.

Actually, I’ve had more than just the one egg; I got a Creme Egg in church, some mini fruity ones from my friend emma, and then the two I’ve not had yet are a giant Mini Egg egg, and some posh-looking Antony Worrall Thompson ones from abi. I also made an Easter egg cake, which was a chocolate sponge with melted chocolate icing, a nest made of Flake with Mini Eggs inside of it. It was quite nice. There’s still a slice left, actually, and my metabolism is at its fastest when I’ve just been to the gym…

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Thursday, 13 April 2006

And I LOVE a Ca…ba-aret!

Cabaret

This picture was taken by janneke during my, ahem, rehearsal for the annual South East Region “Talent” Show, at our region’s UKYP training residential. The talent show tends to be the highlight of the three-day residential, which I co-organised this March.

Of course, the new Members of Youth Parliament (MYPs) and their Deputies (DMYPs) worked very hard, and decided that the regional campaign this year will be based around sexual health. So anyone in the South East can look forward to a planned ‘Condom Day’ this summer. As soon as I have any news, it will be up here, as our region’s web page hasn’t been updated since July. I’ll bring it up next meeting.

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Wednesday, 12 April 2006

+ lembrança do senhor do bonfim da bahia +

image

Since early November I’ve been wearing one of the above wristbands (in green and yellow), which was a present from Brazil. It says “lembran�a do senhor do bonfim da bahia”, which means “Souvenir of Our Lord of a Good End of Bahia”. Senhor do Bonfim is apparently one of the names used for Jesus. Bahia is a region in Brazil.

Anyway, the idea is that you tie three knots when you put the band on, and for each knot you make a wish. Then you wait for it to fall off, you throw it in the sea, and your wishes are granted! As I said, I’ve had mine on since November, just waiting for it to fall off; when it was given to me, I was told that they stay on for up to a year. Mine’s fading already, and a bit tatty in places (I think it’s because I wash so regularly). It’s getting pretty annoying, though.

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Monday, 10 April 2006

Journalist Extraordinaire

newspapers

I have decided that to make my blog more interesting, I will do an ‘Extraordinaire’ interview each month (yes, I came up with that name myself!). So, today, I became a journalist extraordinare and interviewed…a journalist extraordinaire! She is Alice from well known broadsheet The Guardian. She interviewed me today about the UK Youth Parliament and education, so I did my own mini-interview (very subtly) at the end. She was very nice.

BM: So, Alice, what made you decide to become a jounalist?
Alice: I loved writing, although at 21 it’s scary thinking of being a writer.
BM: Interesting. Did you always know you wanted to be a journalist?
A: No, I didn’t, but at university I was on the student paper. It’s excellent training, I would definitely recommend it.
BM: Hmmm. Where did you go to university then?
A: I was a Oxford. Queen’s. I studied History, actually.
BM: Right. Queen’s has a thing with Lincoln and Trinity, doesn’t it?
A: I think so. It’s been a while, haha! My ex-boyfriend went to Lincoln. He lived in the same village as you, actually. Lincoln was very nice. Magdalen was more public school. (note - that is where Tony Blair went)
BM: I see. So back to journalism: what do you enjoy about your job?
A: As I said, it can be scary going into a career as a writer, so it’s a luxury really to do your hobby as your job.
BM: Thanks, Alice. And we’ll be back next week with more…extraordinaire.

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Sunday, 09 April 2006

Life’s more annoying moments

One of life's more annoying moments

I know, I’ve not blogged in a very long time. I’ve wanted to, and thought of doing so every Tuesday that I’ve been out riding, but for some reason I’ve not got around to it. Part of the reason is that I can’t find the lead to upload photos, and I’ve got some good ones (and good topics) from the The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN) Conference that I went on with all the other cool kids. Another reason is that the computer offers me far too many distractions (see above) these days, and the time comes when I just have to do those essays instead of blogging. Joy of joys, I am now on holiday! So that leaves me more time to find that lead, blog, and, of course, improve my (or rather, my clever pseudonom, ‘The Master’) top score on Minesweeper.

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Wednesday, 18 January 2006

Spaghettieis

image

This one is for mart. Maybe he can tell us a little more about Pastafarianism.

This is ice-cream, by the way. With Strawberry sauce. Known as ‘Spaghettieis’ in Germany. They also had ‘Pizzaeis’. Gross what some people will eat, isn’t it?

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Saturday, 14 January 2006

Oh, that tickles!

image

This was taken at the snake park in Durban. At the moment it was taken, I was marveling at the softness and ticklish-ness of a snake. It actually feels very nice. I wouldn’t mind getting one, actually. But then you have to breed mice or rats, and it all gets rather messy…

And here’s another:

image

I don’t know why I have that expression on my face. I actually rather enjoyed it! So much so that - no, I’ll show you next time. It’s good, though!

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Wednesday, 11 January 2006

Toothpaste?

image

This was taken at Phezulu, while we were on holiday in Durban. This female croc is resting with her mouth open to keep cool. Someone should suggest resting in the shade.

On the subject of toothpaste, Clyde, my ride, seriously needs some. He looks all cute and fluffy with his winter fur, but his breath was a killer. Talking of killer, my bum is knackered today, but only light bruising, and I’ll be back in the swing of riding by next week! As for now, I’m sipping my Organic Earl Grey (thanks, bigblue) and enjoying the softness…

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