So Christmas has been and gone again and I hadn’t really given it a second thought. It was nice, surrounded by family and friends, laughter and happiness. But today I read a blog post (which you can read here) which … Continue reading
One point of exciting news before we begin/start rambling – the blog has reached its 1st birthday! Celebrated in style 11 days ago with us completely forgetting about it and only realising when I logged on to write this! So happy birthday us!
(That’s us down there if you’ve forgotten what we look like! Please ignore the party animal living it up in the corner!)
Oh dear. We did it too. That annoying thing that bloggers do when they miss a day … then a week … and one day they check back and realise it’s been nearly two months since they last posted. Oops!
But let’s be honest – it’s exam season and that time of year where all the blogs from people still in education go strangely quiet and miss out on a bit of TCL. We just decided to get in there early, right?! I’d like to say we’ve been working hard, revising loads and making the most of our blog silence, but that would be a complete and utter lie. I don’t know about Katie (she may be secretly working away like a small squirrel behind my back) but I have been doing a lot of time-wasting and staring-out-of-windowsing.
I think this can be pretty well backed up by the fact that today’s free lesson at college – one that is scheduled in by teachers in the desperate hope that some of us will use the study room for actual study – was spent walking to the shop to relieve my sudden craving for oreos. And while oreo craving is a very serious situation, I’m not sure how it took us an hour.
Still, the school year is once again drawing to a close. For Katie that means sixth form life is over. For me it means that I have yet another year to drag myself through with only my other re-takers for company. I don’t know why but I’m strangely excited, though I’m sure that excitement will disappear as soon as the new Year 12s arrive and the common room is overrun by 16 year olds watching Jeremy Kyle all day.
Thankfully though, I have my fellow re-takers to entertain me. I’m pretty happy with the selection – the majority are big enough characters to create lots of drama and a select few to quiet enough to sit back and watch it unfold with me …
But see, I’ve got distracted again. The point of these ramblings was to apologise for being MIA for so long, and to tell you not to expect anything much until after exams, after which we will probably just forget again.
Well sort of. It’s pretty obvious we’ve been pretty crap at posting over the past few weeks. With Christmas and boys (*ahem that’s a whole other story*) and mock exams we’ve been having a pretty busy time. But all of those things (minus one, bet you can guess which one) are over, so we plan to be back to our regular posting schedule … we know you’ve probably been pretty distraught without us.
Anyway, that elephant. There’s actually a real elephant included in this story, though it’s not huge or even grey. It’s this one:
This was Katie’s Christmas present to me. It was meant to be part of a secret Santa but she only managed to keep it quiet for a couple of minutes, and then bought the actual present while I was with her but still, he’s probably my favourite present from this year. He’s also a pretty useful conversation filler as I discovered at a New Years Eve party just after this person informed me of the history of Birmingham’s borough system. Yes, it’s as exciting as it sounds. But if you can think of any names for this little one, they’d be much appreciated. Any ideas?
The Half Term Edition:
Wait What Homework?!
You may have missed us last week (or if you didn’t please just pretend) because we were living it up on half-term which means, I at least, spent all my time avoiding doing half-term homework, sitting around doing nothing and watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians for the whole week, up to the point of Sunday evening when I realised I’d done pretty much none of the 16 pieces of work I’d been set. This led to a secret meltdown out of sight of my parents (who are still under the impression that I’m happily on top of my workload), and an emergency study session this morning during breakfast. I managed to make it to school with the three pieces of work that were set for today (shoddily) completed. How many of those do you think were checked? That’s right. None.
Torquay … T-adventures
There’s nothing better than a bit of awkward alliteration, admit it. Ah and the second one wasn’t even on purpose! I digress. Our family’s annual ‘holiday’ happened last week. I’ve noticed something about holidays as my brothers have left home and my parents have grown older, an that’s that they’re getting shorter and more dull. When we were younger, holidays involved going away for a week or more in caravan, going to beaches and on trains and eating a lot of ice-cream. This holiday consisted of three days in a Travelodge, a National Trust visit, country walks (avoiding the muddy paths of course) to beaches with no sand and a big fat no to any suggestions of trains or cliff trams or ice-cream. I’m sorry if I sound ungrateful, but frankly, none of those things are fun to me. So as a cure for this, I’m forcing Katie to come on holiday with me this summer, whether she likes it or not.
Me, my brothers and sister-in-law, traveled down to London on Saturday for a friend of our’s 40th birthday. Of course, we got there and knew nobody, so our friend’s wife introduced us to his nephew. Unfortunately, the music was so loud that my brothers and I were too far away to hear him, leaving him to chat to my sister-in-law who, also unfortunately, doesn’t actually know the birthday boy at all. Their awkward conversation about why she was actually there was then interrupted by an older, rather eccentric looking man, who immediately dropped an extremely inappropriate sex joke, then left again. Nephew guy then also left and avoided us for the rest of the night.
A New Claim To Fame
The most exciting part of that night is obviously the fact that the Captain of the Cutty Sark was there, and gave me a kiss on the cheek which I will now always refer to as my claim to fame, displacing that time that Jessica Ennis smiled at me across a room. Before you get excited though, the Captain was about 80 and told me I’d have to be 60 years older for him to whisk me away on his boat … which is kinda a good thing I guess …
Isn’t it weird how life likes to laugh in your face? Like he’s a proper comedian. Assuming he’s a he, which I’m assuming he is, mainly because he has an inability to follow directions and take you were you want to go. He’d much prefer to wing it and take the ‘scenic route’ that happens to go the opposite direction to your preferred destination.
What a deep metaphor. Maybe I’m being a little melodramatic. It’s just someone asked me the other day ‘how are you enjoying your summer holidays?’
I’m not on summer holidays. I should be. I should be going into my last year of college with the friends I’ve spent my whole childhood with, and beginning to get really bored of the holidays. That was how I thought this was going to go.
Instead, I’m a college drop out, who has three jobs, one of which is as a pensions administrator. A pensions administrator. My dad’s worked in pensions all his life and when we were kids me and my brothers used to joke that he’d drag at least one of us into a world of RSP’s and WULS. Turns out it was me. Always sacrifice the little one.
Not that I’m going to carry on with that job. I’m getting out as soon as I can, because I’ve already found myself giving out pensions advice and that shit is scary.
I can’t complain too much though. There’s nothing more amusing than watching people’s faces when I tell them I’m 17 and work in pensions.
Also, because I’ve never liked a picture-less post, here’s one of a squirrel, because I had a dream about one the other night and apparently that symbolises pleasant meetings. More importantly, the website then says if you dream of ironing a squirrel that means family pleasures. Firstly ironing?! Secondly, family pleasures?! Even worse, I’ve just realised that this image is from a pest termination website …
The Story of a Slightly Above Average Wednesday
Do you ever have those sort of dreams where you’re doing something in a dream that feels like you’re doing it in real life?
Wednesday morning I had one of those extremely weird moments where I heard my phone receive a text, picked it up and then discovered that I couldn’t actually read it because … well, I hadn’t actually picked it up at all.
I had a meeting at an Eating Disorders Clinic in the morning. I don’t have an eating disorder – just linked to some anxiety issues that I have. After my mum and I spent 15 minutes in the waiting room attempting to murder a fly that was a little too attracted to my legs, I walked into the meeting room to the nurse shouting “shut up”, which threw me a bit. Fortunately, when I asked her to repeat herself, it turned out she’d said ‘I’m going to call you sweetheart and love a lot. If that’s annoying, just tell me to shut up.’
Eitherway, after an hour. I left the meeting, having negotiated my way into an NHS treatment that wanted me to wait another three months (bearing in mind I’ve already been waiting 5 months). The sweet skills of charm eh?
Seen as the clinic was only a 10 minute drive from a shopping center, my mother and I were obliged to go and have a look around. We headed for a cafe for lunch and discovered that the whole place had been taken over by the elderly. We were even served by an old man, who spent ages asking me if we were shopping for my ‘graduation ball’, while my mum attempted to order a cup of tea from him. He finally handed the change over with the concerned words of “you don’t look old enough to have left school. Maybe you should go back until you do.”
Exercised my awesome hiding skills when a girl that I actually did go to school with and definitely didn’t want to have a conversation with randomly popped up next to me. You’ve never seen a girl dive into the dress section that quickly.
Late afternoon, I headed over to help an older friend of mine with the creation of a recipe book for another friend’s hen do. There is nothing more terrifying than watching an elderly lady scream profanities at a piece of card and throw things at the sofa. In her defense, the labels said everything was 8×8, the ruler said nothing was 8×8.
Came home to a very disappointing dinner of 1 small fishcake and salad. And purely because my mama didn’t want to feel guilty when she teaches a class on a balanced diet in the morning. But it’s alright, we’re having fish and chips tomorrow …
So if you read the lovely blog ‘Charlotte’s Web’ you’ll know of a little thing she’s started called Mundane Midweek, in which you have the excuse to write about the little things from your day, that wouldn’t usually make it onto a post, but you secretly kinda want to share. So here’s my contribution:
Last night, I set my alarm for 10.00am. I had to be in work for 12, and I factored in an hour for getting ready and half an hour to walk there. I woke up at 6. In the morning. After lying there for ages I gave up and spent a good couple of hours researching some weird stuff on the internet. My search history from this morning now consists of:
- Is the old that played Hedwig still alive?
- If you punched someone in space, would it hurt them?
- Why didn’t giraffes just evolve to climb trees?
- What is the collective term for hermit crabs?
- What is a hermit crab?
After all that learning, my parents left for work, leaving me to waste some more time in front of the TV. unfortunately, I then fell into the terrifying black hole that is CeBeebies. I have no idea why I chose to watch that channel, there aren’t even any children in my house. But now I’ve seen some things I can’t un-see. The Tweenies being worms and performing the worst hopping ever seen. A whole twenty minutes of repeating the word ‘four’. A hippo that swims to the bottom of the sea and sits on a sea turtle (the turtle was fine, don’t worry).
After all that, I walked to work, holding my iPod the whole way because none of my clothes ever seem to include pockets. Also, why do people see you have earphones in, then decide to start a conversation with you? I thought I was going to be offered a promotion at work – I wasn’t. Then I had one of those awkward moments where you say something and the other person ignores you. I ducked my head down and pretended I hadn’t said anything, then after about a minute of complete silence she replies ‘Oh, were you talking to me?’.
Either way, you know you’ve had a pretty dull day when your highlight was the fact you managed to walk to and from work between rain showers.
It’s Mayday today in England, and just so happens to have been the first actually hot day of the year! There were legs and arms out everywhere along with several people walking round looking desperately regretful of wearing woolly tights today.
I spent the day out with my parents, aunties, uncles and cousin. Being the sad people we are we went to a National Trust property. Wow, you guys must think I’m so uncool, stepping foot in Claire’s and visiting old houses! Anyway, I secretly enjoy going round these places – I’m one of the annoying people who like to talk to the people on duty in the rooms …
The place we visited was called Snowshill Manor , which was the home of Charles Wade, who was pretty obsessed with collecting things …
Here’s one of my aunties showing you the amazingness of the house, though arm gestures
I’m usually quite a city girl, but when you can see the beauty of the British countryside, I start to think I could maybe cope with a few fields.
Charles Wade didn’t actually live in his manor. He lived in a little cottage right next to it. (Apologies for the dodgy photography here. The rooms were extremely dark and flash wasn’t allowed, so I had to make do with my night setting)
That was because he was a collector, and the entire manor is full of everything he collected. Considering he started collecting at 7, you can imagine the amount of stuff in there.
This is a pretty terrible photo, but I had to include it because it’s so beautiful! It’s a craft called quilling, and it was done by a convent of nuns hundreds of years ago. You can’t see the amount of detail in from this, but the designs are minuscule.
One of the rooms was entirely filled with bikes. How is it even possible to get on something like that?!
One of Wade’s favourite things to do was build model villages, and there are at least a hundred little houses around the manor.
This room was filled with samurai items and was kind of terrifying with the lighting and dramatic lighting. I didn’t stay long – I’m a wimp.
If you’re just as sad as me, and you love going to National Trusts, I definitely recommend this one – not really a place for pushchairs or wheelchairs though.
Exciting times! Today, I’m welcoming one of my best friends onto this blog! She’s going to become a sort of co-poster if that makes sense. And to start some introductions, we thought we’d complete the ‘friendship tag’ so you could get to know her a little better. Look out for some of her first posts next week …
How and when did you meet?
H: This is insanely embarrassing, but we actually met in Science Club in Year 6. Don’t judge us – we were 10. And we were picked as some of the best scientists in our different schools to come to a science club in our local high school. I’d like to say we didn’t want to go. But that’s a lie. We were both well chuffed to be chosen. Though actually, the first time we met, Katie was really horrible to me. I was the only girl from my school, and she was with two friends. I remember she ran up to me and said I looked like a blue ink cartridge – just because my school uniform was bright blue.
We did eventually bond over a worm though so it was all good. And our teacher was called Mrs Shufflebottom.
What is your favourite memory together?
K: Well, in Year 10, sitting next to each other in History (which we did virtually no work in the lessons but still got a B, thank you) we’d borrowed a glue stick from the boy in front of us. Once we’d finished using it and obviously thinking that he would be expecting us to give it back I shouted his name and threw it back at him, causing him to let out a squeal and jump sideways off his chair and into the middle of the floor. We sat for about 20 minutes hysterically laughing whilst the rest of the class gave us annoyed glares, which actually happened far too regularly.
H: That would probably be my favourite too, but for the interest of adding some variety I’ll choose a different one. Actually, I have two:
1) Our History teacher’s name was James, as was the name of the boy sitting in front of us (glue stick boy, if you’re wondering). So one of our favourite games to pass the time in those lessons was to constantly shout James, until one of them turned round, then just claim we were calling the other. Yes, we were very annoying.
2) Having a supply teacher in History (all of our fun times were in History, because that was the only lesson we had that the teachers actually let us sit by one another) called Miss Snell. She was Czech I think, but a bit of a pushover. One lesson she asked us to fetch her water bottle from a different classroom, and gave us the keys. We then realised that this key opened and closed every door in our school. So of course, we spent the next half an hour, locking all the doors we could find, then claimed it had taken so long because we’d got lost.
Describe one another in one word.
H: Hysterical (as in funny, not really emotional).
K: Sarcastic (in a good way, but also, sometimes I have no idea if she is being serious or not)
What is your dream job?
K: Wedding Photographer (which will probably never happen)
What is your favourite make-up brand?
H: Whichever’s cheapest?
K: I must say, I’m a pretty loyal Rimmel London girl
What is something that annoys you about the other person?
H: She doesn’t like doing anything that might get her into trouble. And I do.
K: She gets me into trouble because I’m no good at keeping a straight face.
If you could go anywhere in the world together, where would it be and why?
H: South Africa please? It was one of the subjects on our History course, but thinking back, I really have no idea what it was about. Just that we watched a film that had Michael Caine in it.
Favourite inside joke?
H: Enoch. Enoch Powell.
K: The JLS incident.
Who takes longer to get ready in the morning?
K: To be honest, we’re both pretty slow and take ages (at least an hour) just wasting time
K: Summer, but then again my birthday is in October so maybe Autumn? Just whenever its not raining if I’m honest?
H: Stubborn Love – The Lumineers
K: The Writer – Ellie Goulding
Heels or flats?
H: Heels. If I could, I’d wear heels everyday, but I don’t think I’m old enough for that to be socially acceptable yet?
K: Definitely heels. I probably wear them at inappropriate times because I love wearing them too much.
K: Any one that won’t bite/maul me
If your house was burning down, and your family were safe, what would you save and why?
H: It’s not necessarily one thing, and it would take me several trips to get them all out, but my mum’s scrap-booking albums because photos are memories really. But now I feel guilty I didn’t say my teddy bear. So maybe him instead.
K: Yeah, I’m going to go with the soppy answer and probably save my teddy too. We’ve been through too much together.
Comedy, horror or chick-flick?
H: If those were my only options probably chick-flick, because most comedies make me cringe.
K: I’m a chick-flick kind of people. Something which I have been heavily criticised for by people, but I just love how predictable they are because you know they will always get together in the end.
Blackberry or iPhone?
H: iPhone. In my head, Blackberrys are for the annoying chavvy girls I had form with that spent most of the five years looking like oranges.
K: iPhone because I’m just that much of a hipster…
K: John Tucker Must Die – I must have watched it over a hundred times!
Do you have anything matching?
H: Matching marker pens that we stole from one of our more annoying teachers on our last day. She had them all in a colour-coordinated box and got really angry if any went missing.
Do you share clothing?
H: Katie is rather larger in the chestal area than me :L but I do steal her scarves every now and then
K: We don’t share any clothing but we do share a (toy) chick called Louie who lives with Hannah
What are you saved as in each other’s phones?
H: Katie is saved as Postman Pat, which got my mum very confused once when she called me. She didn’t really understand that it wasn’t the REAL Postman Pat calling …
K: Hannah therefore is Jess (well in actual fact Jessikins)
What’s your favourite thing about your friendship?
H: The amount of laughing we do. We only managed to do about three questions of this together because we wasted so much time laughing. One look can have us in hysterics.
K: It’s so true. We can literally be laughing about anything and everything pretty much all the time. I also like our mutual appreciation/obsession of A Very Potter Musical (which if you don’t know what it is, you should) and Made In Chelsea.
As Tuesday was such a lovely sunny day, yesterday, my parents and I decided to spend the day at Birmingham Botanical gardens. Unfortunately it turns out the sun can only come out for one day a week, and it was pretty cold. Not being one for the appreciation of plants, I took my camera along in the hope that it would add some excitement to the hours of looking at flowerbeds.
My dear father does enjoy attempting to photobomb every one of my pictures. And he does it very well.
He does have the ability to take moderately nice photos too …
In true British style, it soon started to rain, and continued to do so for three hours.
Who knew that about Liquorice?
Who can resist climbing into small spaces?
These plants were kept in alarmed cages. Apparently they’re very valuable – and adorable.