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Wednesday, 21 June 2006



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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Tuesday, 25 April 2006

the neutral


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

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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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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Monday, 09 January 2006

La barba


I just wrote a wonderfully long post, but managed to delete it all accidentally…how frustrating!

To cut it all short, I’m back to school tomorrow, not done any homework (but have two free periods), and looking forward to riding tomorrow afternoon.

Since our return from South Africa, pinkie,

el barba

bigblue, and I have been to see Coram Boy (see last post). I thought it was excellent (albeit quite scary!), especially the use of music. Handel is a character in the play, and they use a lot of the music from his Messiah. Without giving anything away, at a particularly harrowing moment, they sing ‘Unto us a child is born’, but about an octave lower, and with certain notes held on or changed slightly to create a very effective eeriness.

On topic, I’ll say that the CIA once tried to poison Fidel Castro with spiked shaving cream, the above picture is from ToothpasteForDinner.com, and finally, from the Bard (!) himself (Much Ado About Nothing):

He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man.


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Wednesday, 04 January 2006

Back home


We are back, although I haven’t been feeling well for a few days. This may be due to the soft-tissue infection I got from some kind of insect bites, or the deep bruising I got from said bites, although these are gone now. On the other hand, it may just be catching up with sleep, and finally getting that sore throat that has been threatening for a few months!

But on to brighter things. Our holiday was fantastic, and above you can see a picture of rebeckels, my cousin, who is a Junior Springbok for rhythmic gymnastics. She was recently in Namibia, representing South Africa. She helped give us a great time in Durbs.

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Wednesday, 28 December 2005

My lessons of 2005


What I have learned is this (I’ll tell it in the form of an accessible piece of lyrical prose): Swans are white, yeah? Well, if I go to New Zealand, the swans are black; does this mean they are not swans? The lesson is: one cannot always rely on empirical knowledge.

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Saturday, 24 December 2005

But do they know it’s Kwanzaa time?


Hooray, it’s Kwanzaa time again! Nearly…

The Kwanzaa fairy wishes you all a very merry Christmas.

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Tuesday, 13 December 2005



Saturday was aaron’s birthday, which he shares with C�sar Franck, b. 1822.

Ever wanted to know what was happening on this day in previous years? Well, apparently:

1996 - Kofi Annan is elected as Secretary-General of the United Nations.

2003 - Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is captured near his home town of Tikrit.

but what were the Americans were doing that day?...

2003 - In the most-attended basketball game in history, 78,129 watch Michigan State University lose 79-74 to the University of Kentucky at Ford Field.

Today is also Republic Day in Malta (since 1974) and is St. Lucy’s day (or St. Lucia’s day in Sweden).

dylan was also born today, 21 years ago.

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Tuesday, 29 November 2005



“Exeat” is the name for the one weekend per half term where we have a two day weekend; i.e. no Saturday school.

This exeat, I was at the British Museum doing a pre-event for Circles of Influence. I am one of the three MYPs in the Inner Circle for Citizenship and Education. It was actually a really good day, albeit long, and I got to have a chance to look a bit at the museum. Part of the reason we are holding it there is because of the Throne of Weapons, which the UKYP is very interested in, and which will be displayed at the event on the 14th December. In true UKYP style, the day began with an ice-breaker which involved building an as-large-as-you-can phallic object. Unlike above, where the structure was made with balloons, this one involved newspaper. The group of boys built the highest free-standing tower. Typical, eh?

After the day at the museum, I met a Japanese reporter who interviewed me about politics and the UK, and took some photos for the magazine. Apparently I am a typical British young person, and this is why I am the face of young Britain for Japan. I did mention that I am South African!

bigblue arrives back in the UK tomorrow evening from Dubai. It sounds like he has had an amazing time; it’ll be good to have him back here though.

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Thursday, 24 November 2005

At the theatre


When this entry is posted, I will have just arrived back from seeing Amato Saltone at the Shunt Vaults. I’m really looking forward to it - it’s supposed to be amazing. I’m going (went) to the 9.30pm performance, so it’s a late night for me!

I heard from bigblue this morning at 06.30 my time (10.30 his) when he was on the way to the beach!

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Monday, 21 November 2005

Autumn Leaves


Yesterday I went for a walk in Limpsfield Chart with bigblue, and we took some autumny pictures. It was quite cool, because after I’d take a picture, it would then appear on the screen with a golden glow - very appropriate. Anyway, I had the song ‘Autumn Leaves’ in my head. I learned it on the saxaphone about four years ago (doesn’t time fly!), and with it all about II-V-I progressions, but I found out recently that the song has words:

The falling leaves
Drift by the window
The autumn leaves
Of red and gold

I see your lips
The summer kisses
The sun-burned hands
I used to hold

Since you went away
The days go long
And soon I hear
Old winter song

But I miss you most of all
My darling
When autumn leaves
Start to fall

So many musicians have played (and, indeed, I see now, sung) this song, and I didn’t realise that the words were originally French, from the poem ‘Les Feuilles Mortes’ (literally ‘the dead leaves - somehow not the same!) by Jaques Pr�vert. For those of you who are interested, the English lyrics were written in 1949.

Oh! Je voudrais tant que tu te souviennes,
Des jours heureux o� nous �tions amis,
En ce temps-l�, la vie �tait plus belle,
Et le soleil plus br�lant qu’aujourd�hui.

Les feuilles mortes se ramassent � la pelle,
Tu vois, je n’ai pas oubli�.

Les feuilles mortes se ramassent � la pelle,
Les souvenirs et les regrets aussi.

Et le vent du Nord les emporte,
Dans la nuit froide de l’oubli.
Tu vois, je n’ai pas oubli�
La chanson que tu me chantais…

C’est une chanson qui nous ressemble,
Toi qui m’aimais, moi qui t’aimais.
Nous vivions tous les deux ensemble,
Toi qui m’aimais, moi qui t’aimais.

Mais la vie s�pare ceux qui s’aiment,
Tout doucement sans faire de bruit.

Et la mer efface sur le sable,
Les pas des amants d�sunis.

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Thursday, 17 November 2005

What lies outside?


Rebeckels out in the garden in July, when it was still sunny.

As it is now most definitely Autumn, with the trees half-bare, I thought I would share Ted Hughes’s thoughts on this season, as I’ve been reading a lot of his poetry recently:

The Seven Sorrows

The first sorrow of autumn
Is the slow goodbye
Of the garden who stands so long in the evening-
A brown poppy head,
The stalk of a lily,
And still cannot go.

The second sorrow
Is the empty feet
Of a pheasant who hangs from a hook with his brothers.
The woodland of gold
Is folded in feathers
With its head in a bag.

And the third sorrow
Is the slow goodbye
Of the sun who has gathered the birds and who gathers
The minutes of evening,
The golden and holy
Ground of the picture.

The fourth sorrow
Is the pond gone black
Ruined and sunken the city of water-
The beetle’s palace,
The catacombs
Of the dragonfly.

And the fifth sorrow
Is the slow goodbye
Of the woodland that quietly breaks up its camp.
One day it’s gone.
It has only left litter-
Firewood, tentpoles.

And the sixth sorrow
Is the fox’s sorrow
The joy of the huntsman, the joy of the hounds,
The hooves that pound
Till earth closes her ear
To the fox’s prayer.

And the seventh sorrow
Is the slow goodbye
Of the face with its wrinkles that looks through the window
As the year packs up
Like a tatty fairground
That came for the children.

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Wednesday, 16 November 2005

et tu seras dite la verité


Well, this picture, with us all acting our parts, is from the second Murder Mystery party I held, which took place in the 1920s (well, actually, it took place in my dining room, but you know what I mean). Yesterday’s picture was of my first Murder Mystery party, which was set during WWII. As you can probably tell, they are lots of fun!

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Tuesday, 15 November 2005

pose pas de questions


Really, don’t!

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