Thursday, August 28, 2008

Have I got News for You?!

My summer is finally drawing to a close, which means that the pace is slowing down (almost imperceptibly, but I live in hope!). At the moment I am recovering from Greenbelt. It was my first time there, so I didn't really know what to expect, but I had a really great time! =)

Anyway...befooore Greenbelt... on the 14th August, to be precise, it was Results Day. It was kind of strange turning up at school in the middle of summer, but even stranger how everyone opened their results with a 'poker face'. Everyone was standing in little clusters with their friends, and everyone was saying, 'You go first', 'No! You first!', 'No, YOU go first!'.

I watched my friends' faces as they opened their results, and their facial expression gave absolutely nothing away. The thing is, you don't want to look too happy, because
a) if your friends are really disappointed in their results, you don't want to rub it in their faces, and
b) because you don't want to look like a loser. If you're grinning like an idiot at your 3Cs, and your friend bursts into tears at their AAB, I....erm..... don't really know what that could imply, but it's best to avoid complicated emotions and group dynamics during occasions such as these.

Anyway, eventually they forced me to open my results, and I stared blankly at the pieces of paper, not because I was being diplomatic, but because it took me a while to pick out the important numbers out of all the other numbers written there for camoflage or something...
In the end they snatched it off me and told me what I had. A for English Lit (and that was a high A, with an A in every module), and B for Biology. When I heard the Biology result, I nearly passed out from relief, because my teacher told me 2 weeks before exams that I had no hope of getting a B. But anyway, she said that to nearly everyone. And it was a totally respectable B - not skin of the teeth B! So HAAAAA! to her. I am going to have to try very hard not to gloat when I return my textbook. Or I may just sell it on Amazon and make some money out of her. They are changing the syllabus (dumbing down the system, no doubt! =P ), so they don't really need these books anyway.

So anyway, back to the story.... At this point, I knew I had AB...and I knew I needed ABB for Royal Holloway... but I had to go and pick up the result from the other school. By the time I got there, I was close to tears, because my friend and I had had to walk past a group of people panicking because they'd been given conditional offers from Royal Holloway, met the conditions, but been shunted on to a different course, because the department accidently gave out too many conditional offers (which must be illegal, surely?!). So, even if I got the grades, if I didn't pass well enough, I could have ended up doing English and Criminology or some other obscure combination like that. But it was all fine, coz I got a B in French. A VERY high B. I was 9 marks (out of 600) away from getting an A. 9 MARKS!!!! I did the maths (and then got someone who understands maths to check it for me) and I calculated that I was 1.5% off an A. 1.5% of 2 years!!!! What is that, like, an afternoon of school or something?!?!?! Grrrrr.....

So then I started ranting about how I was going to retake a module and get it up to an A, but my friends told me that as I had already got a place at Royal Holloway, to do the course I want to do, retaking any exams would be purely for my own pride. And then I felt bad... because a lot of my friends didn't get into the unis they wanted (some didn't get in at all). So, so make amends, I sat down with a copy of the Independent and went through UCAS clearing to help them find interesting looking courses in not too dodgy places.

But yeah, to cut a long story short, I'M GOING TO ROYAL HOLLOWAY NEXT YEAR!!!! =D

Though the next big step in the journey of my life (yeah...OK.... I'm taking the scenic route) is my gap year with Oxygen, which starts on Monday. It kind of crept up on me. I seem to have fooled myself into believing that a 3 month summer never ends.
But it does.
On Monday.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

You are my Sunshine... only sunshine. =)
I once got caught singing that out loud in a bus stop. Kind of awkward.

Would you like to be involved in a big art erm... thingy?
Make one of these!

(Or click here for the big version!)

I know some of you may be wondering why I have included 'Constellations', but I like that song, and technically, it mentions a sunset. And even more technically, stars are just far away suns. There may be other intelligent life forms out there who think their star is the sun. Who are we to argue with them? Especially since it's likely that they are more intelligent life forms than we are.

This kind of thing is perfect for people like me, who have a well developed artistic sensibility, but the artistic capability of a slug. (Yes, I do realise that slugs have no arms. That's my point.) So make your list, upload it, send me a link, and I will promise not to critique your music taste too harshly. I can hardly talk... yesterday I put my iPod on shuffle and ended up listening to The Bear Necessities from Jungle Book.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


Would you feel like revising when this is going on just across the room from you?!


Monday, June 02, 2008

The Final Countdown!

I realise that I have been distant lately. It's not you, it's me.
Life has been busy.

I have now officially finished school. This isn't like when I finished school after GCSE. This is final. This is forever. It is the end of an era.

I've been on study leave for about 3 weeks now. I could tell you about how my Mum went to Canada for 2 weeks, and that by the time she got back we were all desperate because the only food left in the house was useless 'ingredients' - no ready meals; and 2 mouldy apples.
Or I could tell you about how I went camping with a bunch of crazy people, and how we blew up a garden gnome using dynamite that someone had procured through a link with a medieval reinactment society, and unintentionally set fire to 3 bunnies who had decided to live in our bonfire during the days after it was built, and before it was lit. That was actually very, very sad, and it haunts me to this day. A whopping 7 days after it happened. ='(

I could even tell you about my experiences of voting in the London Mayoral Elections, and about how I voted for Sian Berry (Green) because although I thought we'd probably end up with a Tory, I couldn't bring myself to vote Conservative at 18. And I question the wisdom behind voting for a mayor who can't even control his own hair, let alone a massive, slightly dysfunctional city.

But I won't tell you any of those things, because my exams are coming thick and fast now, and, after all, this is study leave.

So I think I'll just tell you that the 'powers that be' ought to re-think the A level syllabusses (syllabi?! whatever...) because these 2 years are depressing enough, without adding extra depressing subject matter.
For example, at the moment I am revising Biology (genetic diseases, mutations, damage to the environment), English Lit (War literature with a focus on WW1) and French (moral and ethical issues - all of which seem to deal with death; abortion, euthanasia, death penalty, poverty, AIDS etc).
I'm supposed to be sitting here thinking, 'Oh, yes! Let me revise! I must get good A Level results so that the world can be my oyster, and I can continue (or possibly begin) to thrive in this beautiful society!'.
And actually I'm thinking, 'What's the point? A Levels won't stop me from getting a mutation which will cause a really awful disease, and even if I don't, there might be another war, and then we'll all be doomed, and even if we live through the war, we might get a new kind of government that kills everyone with the death penalty, or stops caring about us so that we start living in poverty, or infects us with AIDS in our sleep unless we have a particular eye colour...perhaps abortion should be compulsory to make sure we don't inflict the trials of life on anyone else, and maybe they should recommend euthanasia to everyone so we can just die and leave this sick, sick world.....etc....'.
OK, so maybe that's a little dramatic, but still..... cheerier A Level subject matter would be appreciated. Thanks.

All exams will be over by the end of June.
And then I won't be doing exams for aaaages, thanks to my Gap Year. =D
(That's a big deal when you've had loads of important, external, official exams every 6 months for the last 5 years).

So I'll be back by the summer.
If my DNA doesn't mutate, and there's no war.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Spring Watch

I can keep plants alive, therefore I am responsible.

Get Lost!

I have become totally addicted to Lost. It all started when I was sick a few months ago, and a somebody lent me season 1 so I didn't go mad from boredom. I was alone all weekend, and watched the entire first season in 3 days.

I have to mute it when the Lost title comes up, because the noise that comes along with it (you can't really call it a theme tune) is really scary.

[Edit: This next bit is optional. It is a bit pathetic and also grammatically crazy.]
Well, OK, the Lost noise isn't that scary, but when you've been alone all weekend watching Lost, and it's dark, and and the dog on Lost starts barking at the same time that your dog starts barking downstairs, and then you try and go downstairs to see whats wrong with your dog, and when you get half way to the kitchen, you hear that scary noise in your head, even though you know FULL WELL you paused it upstairs, and then you have to phone your friend to try and calm down, and as soon as your friend picks up the phone, you glimpse your own reflection in a glass door, think it is Sayid, and then start shrieking down the phone.......... yeah. Don't watch it for more than 4 hours at a time. (Btw, I look nothing like Sayid. I don't even have curly hair. I don't know why that happened. Blame it on The Island's magical powers.)
[----> Optional bit over.]

Anyway. I have had lots of interesting conversations with friends about Lost, and have heard many different theories behind what The Island is all about, and who The Others are.
I have almost caught up with the rest of the world now - I started season 4 today. The thing is, once I'm up to date, I'll only be able to watch them as and when they are broadcast. I won't be able to watch 7 in a row anymore. Even though I haven't run out of episodes yet, I kinda feel like it's the last day of summer camp or something.
A good thing is coming to an end. =(

Though on the plus side, we are going to get a lot of questions answered this season. It's meant to be the last one I think, so the big question is, IS THERE LIFE AFTER LOST?!
For the Oceanic 6? For the other suriviors? For The Others (or what's left of them, anyway)?
Is there going to be life for us, after the series is over? What will we do with ourselves?

Actually....thats a lie. The BIGGEST question is, who will Kate get with, Sawyer or Jack? I have not really nailed my colours to the mast when it comes to the 'Skate/Jate debate'. Though I thought the 'Jate is Fate' slogan was pretty cool, until I realised that 'Skate is Fate' rhymes just as well.

Admittedly, it took me all of 5 minutes to fall in love with Jack. I mean, he's so heroic in the first few episodes. He's handsome, charming, graduated from medical school a year early, and is the best spinal surgeon in the world. (*sigh*)
And at the start of Season 1, Sawyer is surly, uncooperative, and irritating.....and also hot, in a 'bad guy' kind of way.
So at first, I didn't even understand why the 'Skate/Jate Debate' existed. It seemed obvious that Kate should be with Jack. Why Sawyer? WHY? Yeah, he's hot, but he's no Jack.

Then I got to seasons 2 and 3, and suddenly it all became clear. Jack, although heroic, becomes a workaholic and is obsessed with protecting everyone and being the leader and not letting people get killed. Which are all worthy objectives, but they kinda make him a bit boring. Jack is too much of a good guy to be able to pull off the whole sexy, distant, 'brooding and mysterious' thing. Meanwhile, I started to realise that Sawyer is just misunderstood. And, let's be honest, Kate is a fugitive... Perhaps she is more suited to Sawyer. Then again, perhaps Jack could be the best thing that ever happens to her. Perhaps he could be the thing that changes her; her 'happily ever after'.

ARGH. You see?! That's why the love triangle is far more interesting than the Bermuda triangle (or whatever else could be the key to The Islands mystery).

And don't even get me started on what happened between Shannon and Sayid. I mean, how weird is that?! It took me until season 3 to realise that perhaps the Psycho Torturer Guy may, in fact, have some appeal. But I'm still kinda grossed out with myself for thinking that, even though most of my female friends, when pressed, said they also kinda get the appeal. To be fair, he's not so much of a Psycho Torturer anymore... he's quite sweet. (And also, Shannon and Boone were more messed up. I mean, c'mon, they're related! =/ )

Lately, my friends and I have been discussing how all the crash survivors (and The Others, in some cases) were linked together BC (before crash, obviously).

We drew a diagram. I thought you might like to see it. =)

I don't know if it'll go bigger if you click on it? In case you can't see, Jack and Sawyer seem to be linked to the most people.

Maybe that's coz they are hot, and hot people have more friends. Or maybe there's a deeper meaning..... Only time will tell!

Sorry I have been bad at blogging recently, but, well.... I've been watching Lost.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Yo, Sista

At school today we were all told we had to be in school for last lesson, which didn't go down well, as Wednesday last lesson is a free for most people.
It was even worse when word got around that the reason we had to be in was for a talk on safe sex. I mean, it's a Catholic school, so for years, they haven't spoken to us about sex, because
a) we shouldn't be doing it until we are married, and
b) we shouldn't use contraception.
so there's not really anything they can teach us about it. (Except, as one girl pointed out, technique, but that would be unprofessional, peverse, and possibly illegal?).

Also, as most of us are 18 now, everyone who wants to do it has, and everyone who doesn't want to do it doesn't need to know. And we all already know anyway. Talk about shutting the door after the horse has bolted.

The teachers suspected that a lot of us would try to 'forget' about the session, if possible. So Sister Margaret went around at lunch time to remind us about it. We then started chatting about other things... like how we're doing with our lenten promises etc... and as she turned to leave, I called after her, 'Oh, sister, is this safe sex thing compulsory?'
She turned around with a mock-horrified expression on her face, and said, 'Of course it is, Anna! Safe sex is always compulsory, and never let anybody convince you otherwise!'

(I'd like to specify that this is a nun with a sense of humour. We go way back. She will never stop seeing me as the innocent little girl that used to swing on my chair at the back of maths, and get in trouble for talking too much and hugging people when I was meant to be listening. She does not, therefore, think of me as sexually active, and probably never will).

It turned out that the session was called SAVE sex, and not SAFE sex, which was what had caused the confusion.

It was surprisingly not religious, although it would probably have been better received if the boy presenting it had looked as though he was abstaining from sex through choice, and not through necessity. I know that sounds a bit mean, but he was a real nerd. And not in an cute way.

The session began with us shouting the word 'sex' as loud as we could, to break the ice. (Because, obviously, 18 year olds aren't used to talking about sex).
I didn't join in with as much enthusiasm as I'd have liked, because, you know, Sister Margaret was there, so I was trying to look like I didn't know what sex was.
Which, looking back, was kinda stupid, because she knows I do A Level Biology.

Anyway, did you know that if you're between the ages of 16 and 21, and sexually active, but you always use a condom, and you have a normal amount of sex (whatever that is) for a year, you have a 16% chance of getting pregnant. WHAT?!?!?!?! I thought they were, like, 98% effective? (Though according to Malikah, it's possible for them to be 98% effective and still have a 16% chance of getting pregnant. This is why I don't do maths. Perhaps I should ask Sister Margaret to explain?)

16% is rather high. And there's a much higher chance of getting an STD. Ew. EW.
So the Government is no longer calling it 'safe sex'; it's now 'safer sex'.
'nuff said.
Don't do it kids.

By the way, I went to see Juno a few weeks ago.
It's AMAZING. Possibly one of my new favourite films EVER.
And it's about a 16 year old girl who gets pregnant because she has sex with her tic-tac loving best friend in an Only-Fools-And-Horses-Type-Armchair because they get bored.
I went to see it, because apparently it's meant to be a good representation of my generation's values and general outlook on life.
I think it's really accurate. (At first, I resented the bit about having sex our of boredom, rather than, oh, I don't know...curiosity, but after today's sex talk, I think that may have been more accurate than I thought.)
Plus, I am convinced that Indie films are the way to go, and this one has an amazing sound track thrown in for good measure. And a cast you will fall in love with.
Go see it! =)

Monday, February 04, 2008


I have been legal for several weeks now. I just forgot to blog about it. But it is a big deal though, right?! I mean, I'm an adult. I can buy alcohol, and vote in general elections. I have also become legal to buy cigarettes for the second time in my life, which is quite rare. There aren't many people in the world who can say that. When I was 16, 16 year olds could buy cigarettes. Then they recently raised the age to 18....and now I'm 18. Which is a relief, because, honestly, you have NO idea how desperate I've been for a fag...
(Sarcasm. Judging by my current level of fitness, if I ever took up smoking, I probably wouldn't be able to walk without going light headed).

I also realised today that if my parents die, I won't have to be adopted by someone. And I could possibly even make myself legal guardian of my brother, sister, cats and dog, so as to keep the remaining members of the family together.

Anyway, on to less morbid things. I am going to tell you about my first experience of (legally) buying alcohol:

It was a beautiful Wednesday in January. It had been freezing cold, and had rained non-stop for several days, but suddenly the sky was blue, and the birds were singing. (Surely they should all be in the south of France at the moment...?). It was the kind of day during which you feel inexplicably happy, but don't want to question it too much in case you jinx it. Like when you sit a maths paper and realise you're three quarters of the way through and haven't skipped a single question .

However, on this particular day, I had an extra reason to feel happy; it was my 18th birthday. I had extra freedom. I was my own person. I could do whatever I wanted. Yeah, technically I know that I will never be able to do whatever I want, no matter how old I am, but the sense of power went to my head just a little bit.

So, after school, I decided to go and buy alcohol - just because I could.

I went along to Somerfield. Not the classiest place to buy alcohol, I know, but it was the only place that was (kind of) on my way home. So I went in and tried to decide what to buy. I looked around... my preferred alcoholic beverage is red wine (yeah, I'm sophisticated), but to be honest, I really can't tell the difference between the different types of wine. There was a nice looking kind that was on offer. I walked up to the counter, bottle of wine in one hand, ID in the other.

I handed the bottle to the woman, who smiled at me as she scanned it. 'Thats £6.99 please, love'. You have got to be kidding me; for the first time in my entire life, I have ID thats actually useful, and she doesn't want it. I tried to hand it to her, but she just smiled again, and said, 'It's alright darling, I'm sure you're 18... you've got an honest face. You are 18, aren't you dear?'. Whatever happened to the whole 'Are you 21? It's my job to ask' thing? I mumbled, 'Well...yes, but today!'.
She flashed me another smile, but this was a completely different one. A patronising one. 'Oh, thats lovely! Congratulations, dear! 18! And what a lovely day to celebrate on! Here, pass me your ID - of course I'll look at it!'. By this time, there were several people queued behind me, and it was starting to get embarrassing. I didn't want her to look at my ID just to humour me, but I didn't feel that I could refuse. I passed it over, and she spent several minutes rooting under the counter looking for her glasses, while gushing about how lovely it was that it was my birthday, and wasn't I lucky to have the whole of my life stretching ahead of me, seemingly endless... Eventually the search was over, and she put her glasses on and squinted at my driving licence (Still provisional. Don't ask.). 'Ooooh, look at that! Wow... Is it really the 16th already?!' Well...yes. But if you don't believe it's the 16th, don't serve me. It's illegal. 'Awww, look at you, all grown up!'. I heard a snigger behind me, and decided I should probably try to draw the show to a close. I handed her the money, and stuffed the bottle in a bag as she rang it up on the till. 'Have a lovely day, won't you love? And don't drink it all at once...', she called after me as I power walked towards the exit. I turned my head slightly as I went through the door, in time to catch her winking at me conspirationally.

....and they wonder why this area is the underage binge drinking capital of the UK.

Since then, I have kept my ID hidden safely in my bag when buying alcohol, and only produce it when challenged. I am not going to remind people to 'challenge 21' if it's going to end in my humiliation, even if it provides amusement for other shoppers.
Fortunately I don't buy a lot of alcohol. Embarrassingly, my younger brother has a higher alcohol tolerance than I do. 3 pints of beer, and the room doesn't quite keep up with my head as I skip around, giggling like a 4 year old....