Friday, September 24, 2010

Things that have changed since the last post:

  • I've started sixth-form college properly
  • I've changed from A-Levels to the IB
  • I've eaten sushi recently
  • I've seen Swan Lake
  • I've tried a cheese layered salad - and enjoyed it
  • I've become ill for the first time in five months (that must be a record!)
  • I've made vanilla and Nutella cupcakes
  • I've been walking 15-20 minutes, not 2 minutes, to school
  • I've talked to boys(!)
  • I've missed my secondary school in ways I never imagined I would
  • I've discovered the Starbucks five minutes away from school (thanks, Sara!)
  • I've seen 'Sweet Lovers' Plums' - and plan to buy some
  • I've completed a practical in Chemistry without screaming/jumping/standing a metre away from the bunsen burner
  • I've seen the boy at school who wears a suit everyday
  • I've introduced myself to dozens of different people
  • I've developed a penchant for the Drench drinks sold at school
  • I haven't stopped calling my 'college' a school - if I'm learning, it's a school!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Well (to be interpreted in a variety of ways)

I think I might learn Latin. I should start practising the 'carpe diem' motto, I suppose.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Is it bad that I like a fair few pieces from Boden?

So far, it's looking more promising than the standard fare of Topshop, New Look, River Island et al.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ignorance is not bliss

I find it really disconcerting if I don't know something, but know enough about it to feel as if I should know more. This might be part of the reason why I don't want to give any subjects up.

Guilty pleasures

I don't understand them. Unless, that is, they really are something to feel guilty about; murder, for example. And if you felt guilt, you probably wouldn't find it pleasurable.

If I enjoy something, I'm usually happy to exclaim it. For example, watching the entire first series of Coach Trip in a matter of days - I see nothing wrong with that.

I love every subject so much. I don't want to give anything up.

I usually embrace change, but I'll be so sad to stop studying anything. This is a huge period of change, and I just don't think I'm ready give up so much. Unfortunately, I can't take ten A-Levels.


I feel that this blog lacks direction. It's about my life - but there are many elements of my life that could come into it. The posts are sporadic, and many don't even reach the blog itself, instead left unfinished. Notice the length of my last few posts. None of them have even one substantial paragraph.

I still love writing; if anything, I enjoy it far more than when I started blogging. And this blog has certainly benefited me in various ways. I've learnt how to structure blog posts, devise attention-grabbing titles, sustain a project etc. But I just don't believe that it's completely, well, me any more.

I'm not saying this is the end at all, but rather a new beginning. As cheesy as that sounds, it's true. I'll continue to post here. Random thoughts, observations and questioning will be here. This is an important thing, this blog. It's tracked me through some very important times and I'll never lose that.

So, about this so-called 'new beginning'. I'm thinking about starting a new blog focused on a specific area that I'm passionate about and have a vested interest in. I have a few options, so it's just a matter of choosing something that I can maintain. For example, as much as I enjoy musical theatre, I just don't visit the West End often enough to blog about musicals on a regular basis. Besides, it would probably end up being dedicated to Avenue Q and Hair!

In summary, don't say bye (or un-follow!) yet. More is to come, believe me. I just need a bit of time to think. Things are changing enough as it is, so life is a bit hazy at the moment.

Friday, August 20, 2010

I've now seen 'Avenue Q'...

5 times!

But I won't stop there. I have two months and 11 days left - definitely room for at least one more show.

Friday, August 6, 2010

While watching 'Big Brother's Big Mouth'...

I'm sure I saw j0ames in the front row of the audience.

My French calendar phrase 'du jour':

Je n'ai pas de projets pour le week-end

My calendar knows me so well.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Ooh, someone from Russia has viewed my blog!

Спасибо! And thank you to the British people and Americans as well!

"Non, je ne regrette rien," "Vraiment? C'est possible?"

Actually, I don't know about regrets. I don't want to regret anything that I did academically, because I worked as hard as possible, so I really do hope that I achieve the results that I (along with my teachers) want. If I do, I'll have no regrets in terms of school.

As for regrets in other areas of life, I've never really done anything serious that's worthy or regret. Through what is essentially my own doing, my life has been sheltered, so I've had no opportunity to make some of the stupid mistakes that youths are supposed to make, according to newspapers, anyway.

But, on a more indulgent note, I think my parents and I regret the fact that we haven't been on more holidays abroad together. We've visited France, Belgium, Spain, Monaco (which is so small that it barely qualifies as a country - the country equivalent to Pluto, perhaps) and Ireland. Of course, we're lucky to have experienced these trips, as there are many families who can't afford any holiday at all, let alone one outside the UK.

However, yesterday my mother and I were thinking about our holiday past, and we realised that we should do more. We can get away with the environmental impact - we're recycling vegetarians without a car who fly no more than once a year, if that - and my parents are good with money so we'd have enough to do something nice.

One of the main problems is my aversion to heat. I just can't take it, and I burn so easily that I'd probably spend most of the time applying sun cream. Inevitably, this limits out holiday options. At some point I'll probably brave a hot country, but I'd need to build up my resistance - starting with an activity as simple as spending a few hours in the sun (well protected, of course), or visiting the beach for the first time in around four years

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Yes, we all enjoy a bit of highly concentrated pain, don't we?

I really did just see this on my Facebook News Feed.

In case you're interested...

This is my weheartit page. It's kind of like Tumblr in the way that you can easily share other people's work, but without the hassle that I tried to express in this post.

Even two months after I last had to carry a ridiculously heavy shoulder bag at school, my right shoulder still aches.

It's really quite odd, and it brings the memories flooding back. I find it quite funny how one little thing reminds me of so many aspects of secondary school, Year 11 in particular.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Formal attire is hard to come by

At the moment, most dresses from the high-street fall into one of just two categories: going out (i.e. partying, which supposedly calls for dresses that offer about as much coverage as a medium sized bath towel), or day wear (read: summery numbers, such as flowing maxi dresses, complete with halter-necks and florals).

Evidently, neither of these dress types will satisfy the brief. I imagine that things will get easier

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Lace sheer zip smock dress, £50

Corsage one shoulder dress, £40

Ruffle shift dress, £40

Anna frill dress by Yuki, £55

This didn't work at all because the images are far too big, but you get the idea. I think this might be indicating that I like frills, ruffles and lace, which I find quite odd as I usually gravitate towards bright colours and patterns. Mind you, it is difficult to find a bright green dress covered in red polka dots that could be considered formal.


Ruffle dress, £30

Chiffon layer dress, £45

Cream lace shift dress, £40

Dropped waist lace dress, £45

Brocade tulip dress, £40

Antique lace dress, £35

That's a novelty

This October, for my aunt's 50th birthday, my family and I are going to a rather luxurious hotel (especially compared to what I'm used to - Travelodge et al.), and the dress code - set by my aunt - is strictly formal.

For a female, formal is of course code for a dress, coiffed hair, and maybe some heels if you can walk in them. This will certainly be a new experience for me, considering that I haven't worn anything resembling a dress/skirt for around nine years. I don't know how I'll fare, but there's really no choice.

I thought the dress would be a good place to start, and while I haven't even gotten round to buying the normal clothes that I'm in desperate need of for college, I can always do a bit of online window shopping.

Topshop and A|wear are as far as my shopping ventures have extended as yet, but after a quick browse it seems like they might have some appropriate dresses. I intend to post some of my favourites, but perhaps not all now as I have a sex education programme featuring the comedian who played Little Cook in Big Cook Little Cook to watch.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The downside of the West End

In terms of entertainment, the West End is one of the best places in London. Full of excellent shows to suit just about everyone, even those adverse to anything mildly musical, it's a must-visit if you're in London.

But, alas, as with every aspect of life, the West End must change. A show is lucky if it survives even just a few months there, and apart from the usual Les Miserables/The Lion King/Phantom of the Opera et al., the line-up changes constantly.

I've grown used to these changes, especially as, despite my fondness of musicals, not every show is on my 'must-see' list. Yes, it would be nice to watch Hairspray, Mamma Mia or Legally Blonde, but I wouldn't centre a London trip around this pursuit. Besides, these musicals are all well-known (mainly because of their film versions), so - unless popularity dwindles - they don't seem to be going anywhere soon.

However, as you may be aware of, there's a particular musical that I have a real thing about: Avenue Q. Completely unconventional and full of unrestrained adult fun, it's not naturally adapted to the West End, but in the four and a half years that it's been there the show has seen unexpected and unprecedented success for a musical of its calibre. Few shows can boast such impressive popularity - let alone modern musicals that are hardly tailored to a typical family. Granted, it's perfect for my parents and I, but the perfect 2.3 children family may not appreciate songs such as 'The Internet is for Porn' and 'Everyone's a Little Bit Racist'.

But, sadly, it had to come to an end. Avenue Q recently posted its closing notice, scheduling its end for the 30th of October, with no plans to move to a new theatre. This is reminiscent of its last planned closing - the show originally decided to end last March, but its popularity resulted in an extension at a new location. However, this time it may actually be the end. The final end.

I plan to see the show at least twice more before it closes, especially as Sam and I tried to go last summer but it was cancelled. I'm going to buy the memorabilia, download the entire soundtrack and savour every last moment of my final visits.

Something that worsens the situation is the fact that my second favourite musical (a recent addition), Hair, will also close soon - on the 4th of September, after only a few months on the West End. I'd definitely like to see this again at least once more; maybe I could pack Hair and Avenue Q into one trip! Gari Davies (whose blog I'm a fan of) has an excellent review of Hair here if anyone's interested.

I suppose when I considered what I like so much about both musicals, I realised that it wasn't just the catchy songs or the constant laughs - it's the fact that both make you think, and are still incredibly relevant and important today (despite the fact that one's set in the sixties!)

Perhaps I should be used to the harshness of London by now, but losing your favourite musicals is still difficult.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Update 2 - Something to fill my time (I may not do these on the actual days)

day 01- a recent picture of you and 5 random facts about yourself

day 02- the meaning behind your blog name

day 03- what you did today

day 04- a photo you took

day 05- something you want

day 06- a photo of you from 2008

day 07- a picture of you and someone you love

day 08- short term goals for this month and why

day 09- a place where you would like to go

day 10- a food you could live off

day 11- a youtube video

day 12- something you are scared of

day 13- your celebrity crush

day 14- 10 facts about yourself

day 15- put your player on shuffle: first 10 songs that play

day 16- a picture of you taken today

day 17- something you hate

day 18- the last film you saw

day 19- something you love

day 20- a picture that makes you smile

day 21- something that made you laugh

day 22- something you do every day

day 23- the last thing you ate/drank

day 24- whatever tickles you’re fancy

day 25- what i would find in your bag

day 26- your favorite band at the moment

day 27- a collection you have

day 28- a picture of you last year, how have you changed since then?

day 29- what you wore today

day 30- what you see yourself doing in 5 years time

Monday, July 19, 2010

Update 1 - London

I was in London with my father from the 11th to the 13th. In the end, due to a lack of motivation and energy, poor time management and me being sick (I think it was the bi bim bap that I'd eaten earlier), we didn't actually get a lot done.

However, I saw the Skin exhibition at the Wellcome Museum, which was really enjoyable and quite fascinating; I discovered another great restaurant, Giraffe; we went on a speed boat along the River Thames, and of course that was a lot of fun; I finally saw Harrods, and absolutely hated it (never, ever again - I don't like pretension, as we all know).

Oh, and you can't visit London without seeing a show, so we watched Hair, and it was so good (maybe that's a wanton use of italics, but the 'so' needed to be emphasised). Definitely the best musical I've seen since Avenue Q, and I'm tempted to see it again (much like with Avenue Q). So, all in all, the three days in London weren't as packed as they could have been, and the trip was more eventful than I'd expected it would be, but seeing a great musical made it all worth it.

On a final note, I visited 6 coffee shops in three days (three of which were on the last day), and three M&Ss in that time, too. Quite impressive, I'd say.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

More Formspring questions

Where's your favorite place to buy clothes?

Well, as you'll know if you read my recent post regarding this matter, I really don't know because I haven't bought clothes for such a long time. At the moment, I'm browsing all the usual places online: Topshop, A-Wear, Zara, River Island etc. but I hate the idea of having a wardrobe composed entirely of pieces that are owned by hundreds of other people. Consequently, I'll be looking in some vintage/retro shops for quirkier, more unique items.

What did you eat for breakfast today?

I didn't have breakfast because I got up at around 11 (I was awake long before this, though)

If you could be on one TV show which one would it be?

Hmmm... I think it would be fun to be interviewed, so any show like that would be interesting. But I'd really enjoy being in a TV show which involved a lot of acting - proper acting; something gritty and challenging.

If you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be?

Evil. I'm not talking about the religious kind, but the type that the world is full of today: murder, war, animal cruelty, rape, abuse, discrimination etc.

What's the worst show on TV?

Sports or soap operas.

If you had to cook dinner for someone tonight, what would you make?

I have very little experience making actual meals, but I'm fine with cakes, so I'd probably just make a really big chocolate cake. Oh, and the lemon drizzle one that my mother and I made for my granddad's 75th birthday was good, too.

If you could go on vacation for the next month with an unlimited budget, where would you go?

I'd probably spend the whole time in various parts of France (and maybe Belgium) to improve my French. I think that one of the best things you can do to become confident in a foreign language is to completely immerse yourself in it, and there's no way you can do that in England.

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    Randomly generated questions from Formspring

    What's the best place near you to get a pizza?

    Well, it's not that near (more than 10 minutes away), but Pizza Express is always a good one.

    Who's the most talented person you know?

    I don't know if I could pick just one person, but I know so many people who are amazing at art (including my two followers) and quite a few who are very musically talented. But, in terms of an all-rounder, I'd probably say Lucy.

    If you had to give up one favorite food, what would the most difficult?

    Sushi would be sorely missed, but I could probably just about survive. Also, although I don't love crisps as much as I used to, I pretty much eat them on a daily basis so I think it would be difficult without them, especially when I just laze about the house all day and want a mid-afternoon snack.

    Who's the smartest person you know?

    Again, I know so many clever people (including my two followers), so I couldn't pick just one.

    What's the longest you've ever gone without a bath or shower?

    I probably managed for a few days without one when I was younger, but now I couldn't bare to go for more than 24 hours without a bath or shower.

    How would you describe your personality?

    Wow, this is broad. Okay, some words that I would use: reserved, fairly introverted, light-hearted, funny, dedicated, persevering, passionate, argumentative, cynical, somewhat pedantic, kind, empathetic etc.

    Would you rather swim in a pool or the ocean?

    I love the freedom and tranquillity of swimming in the ocean, but at the same time there are obvious dangers as you have to go quite far from the shore for a decent swimming depth. Also, whenever I feel something on my feet I always think that it's a jellyfish so I end up screaming hysterically. I'm a worrier, so in general I'd rather swim in a pool.

    What's your favorite genre of music?

    I'm going to be really awkward and say I really have no idea. I couldn't choose just one genre - it depends on the song.

    What are you most excited about right now?

    I'm trying to get excited about summer and the various things I have coming up; I don't know whether I should be excited about GCSE results day because I have no idea how I performed in my exams; I'm quite excited about starting at sixth-form and I think that excitement will grow if I've achieved my predicted grades in my GCSEs.

    What was your worst travel experience?

    Well, initially it was quite awful when our flight back from Barcelona got cancelled during our school trip, but we were only delayed for one day and got to stay in a four star hotel so it worked out fine. But aside from that I haven't experience much travel drama, though I do hate travel sickness during long car journeys.

    What was the most interesting place you've traveled to?

    I think Dublin, Paris and Brussels are my favourites. Barcelona would be one there but I haven't really seen enough of its cultural side to judge, and the heat just puts me off.

    Do you believe in angels?

    I don't think so. It's a sentimental thought that must be reassuring for some, but I'm not sure about the afterlife yet.

    When was the last time you received flowers?


    Where'd you find out about

    That website that I've just been complaining about: Tumblr.

    If you won a million dollars what would you do with it?

    Give some to my family friends, pay for any treatments that Lucy needs to have privately, buy a large house in London, furnish and decorate it, donate generously to charities, save plenty for university, maybe buy a few things for myself with any left over.

    If you could be invited to one person's birthday party, whose would it be?

    I'm not sure... I've seen on Perez Hilton that Katy Perry has really extravagant birthday parties, so maybe her's.

    What video game have you played the most?

    The Sims 2 and 3, without doubt. But I've spent many an hour on Super Mario games, too.

    What music are you listening to today?

    Regina Spektor, of course :) Oh, and I just listened to this song as well. Interesting.

    If you could instantly become an expert at one style of dance, what style would you pick?

    I think I'd have to pick the classic, ballet. It's a good basis to learn other types of dances as well.

    Cats or Dogs?

      Cats! But dogs are also lovely, it's just that cats are extra special to me.

      If you could only read one magazine for the rest of your life, which would it be?

      A French science magazine would be ideal, I suppose. But I do love the intellectual newspaper supplements; I think 'New Review' is my favourite. It makes great bath time reading.

      Do you believe in life after death?

      Oh, that's odd as I touched on this in the question about angels. I really don't know at the moment, but, on a purely scientific basis, probably not.

      If you could master one skill what would it be?

      Well, obviously I want to become fluent in French one day, and since I know quite a bit of Spanish I want to speak that fluently, too. I'd like to master many languages. I don't know if it's possible to master other academic subjects like the sciences and Maths, but I want to become as good as I can in all subjects. Aside from that, maybe a musical instrument like the piano.

      Who's the most underrated athlete?

      Me. I walk up and down the stairs numerous times each day, for the past five years I've been making daily two-minute trips to and from school, and once there I also have to walk metres between classes. It's amazing I don't collapse with exhaustion!

      What's your favorite drink?

      Water is the ultimate one, but I also enjoy green tea, coconut water, chocolate milk, black coffee, iced coffee drinks and miso soup (if that counts)

      What was the worst movie you've ever seen?

      Oooh, I have a selection: 'Marley and Me', 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'Twilight' to name but a few.

      Who's the most overrated actor?

      Probably Megan Fox because I don't think she actually does a lot of acting and is mainly admired for her physical beauty.

      If you could go back in time 10 years and tell your younger self something, what would it be?

      It's going to get a lot better, then a little worse, then a lot better again, then so much worse, then considerably better, then it will deteriorate, then things will be a bit unstable for a while but one day in more than 10 years you might just smile and never do anything to stop yourself doing so.

      What would be the best thing about being a vampire?

      SPARKLING! No, noooooo. That's one of the camp-est things I've ever heard. Erm, maybe if you really love life it's good that you can live forever... ?

      How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

      Fluctuating, incredibly determined.

      Who and when was your first kiss?

      It hasn't happened.

      What's your earliest memory?

      Being in Paris aged two. I vividly remember visiting Disneyland and buying two toy Eiffel Towers: a blue one for me and a yellow one for my cousin who was born just as we returned to England.

      What one thing are you exceptionally bad at?

      Glaring - my eyebrows just won't stay down!

      If you could instantly become fluent in another language, which language would you pick?

      I'll pick something that I have no experience in, so I can't choose French or Spanish. Probably Japanese.

      How would you describe your style?

      As yet, un-established, but it will probably be quite eclectic and bright.

      Do you believe in God?

      No, but I could be swayed by scientific evidence (which kind of defeats the whole point of 'faith')

      What would your perfect day look like?

      Wake up in a luxury hotel in London with no worries, get ready, eat a French breakfast, visit some museums and art galleries with friends, have lunch at a Japanese restaurant, go shopping, stop for coffee/frozen yoghurt, see Avenue Q, have dinner at a vegetarian restaurant, meander around London, see the men peeing in the outdoor urinals, pass by the club that claims to have 'over 100 international nude dancers', return to said hotel, get ready and sleep.

      If you could eliminate one thing you do each day in the bathroom so you never had to do it again, what would it be?

      Going to the toilet - it would just save a bit of time each day, and it's not the most pleasant thing, is it?

      If you could ask Barack Obama one question what would it be?

      Why did you kill that fly during an interview? I know it was annoying you, but could you not just open a window? Doesn't the White House have windows? Oops, that was three.

      What do you think is the best way to defeat terrorism?

      Perhaps the US could try to establish better relations with some of the Middle Eastern countries first. After that, we'll go from there.

      I'm not cool. I already knew this.

      Okay, allow me to explain the back-story. I've been experimenting with Tumblr over the past few days because it's invaded my life over the past year or so. I see the point of it - a 'hip, trendy, cool' site; a younger, more glamorous version of Blogspot, perhaps. And, oh, how I've tried to like it. I really, really have.

      I set up two different Tumblr sites, one of which has nothing at all posted on it because I simply didn't get that far. Yes, I like the idea of reblogging and the 'like' button certainly makes it to praise others, but I when it comes to blogging I think I'm a traditional kind of person. A site like this will always appeal to me - one standard post format accommodating text, images and videos. If you want a quote, you type it in and format it yourself. Granted, it may not have the striped background for quotes that Tumblr boasts, but it's functional and I can manipulate it in whichever way I please.

      Furthermore, to me it seems that Tumblr is only fun once you have a few followers and people start reblogging you. Although it would be nice to have a few more followers on this blog, I don't really feel like I need it because 'Green nails and pink hands' is a personal expression. Plus, I have two great friends reading it so my audience is somewhat established. With Tumblr I feel like I'd be constantly reblogging photos of indulgent cupcakes and thin, beautiful people wearing effortlessly fashionable outfits. Lovely, but nothing very individual or representative of me in particular. If I want to see that kind of content, I have some go-to Tumblrs, namely haylecakes.

      So, in short, thanks a lot, Tumblr for making me realise how uncool and traditional I happen to be when it comes to blogging (among other things). You don't need me with your hoards of users. Have a nice internet life; I'll be here after your popularity fades away like a nauseatingly overused slide transition on Powerpoint.

      I really like it when...

      I listen to a song that I haven't heard for weeks - or maybe even months - and I still know all the words. This has happened frequently since I finished my GCSEs.

      Friday, June 25, 2010

      Oh... Just, oh

      Admittedly, I'm thrilled to be out of uniform and free from the realms of black and white clothing. But this does mean that I must now start clothes shopping. Hmm...

      I'm not a natural shopper. I enjoy looking at clothes, and I have no problem with spending money, but it's mainly the trying-on process that puts me off the idea. As a result, I haven't bought clothes (excluding pyjamas, school uniform and a few pieces that my mother got me when I had almost none left and was about to go to Spain) for two years and four months. Yes, really.

      Whenever I venture into town (which was a rare occurrence this academic year), after eating I ususally head straight for the toiletry shops e.g. Lush, L'Occitane et al. When I do spend money, most goes on friends' birthday presents (which I really must buy soon), nice-smelling soaps, shower gels, bath products, cleansers etc. or books and magazines. Not that I'll have to fork out for clothes, anyway - I've saved my parents an awful lot of money due to my lack of clothes shopping, so I think they'll have to make up for it.

      Most would surely be excited about a major clothes-shop. I, however, am not.

      Not 'je suis fini' - I'm not dead

      Well, that's it - 11.5 GCSEs, plus many miscellaneous qualifications, done. But I've kind of gone into a state of shock. I watched TV for over an hour in one go today, even after I'd finished eating, and it felt so strange. It was almost as if I was having withdrawal symptoms due to a lack of revision. I really don't know what I'm going to do this summer.

      Actually, I suppose I do, a bit. My father came up to me the other day and said 'Abby, we're going to Alton Towers whether you like it or not!' Well, luckily I do. I haven't been for five years and at that stage I was only brave enough to go on the mildly scary rides like Corkscrew and the Spinball Whizzer. But now I feel a little more valiant, so my father and I will face the queues and take on some of the theme park's more intense offerings. After all, what could be more fun than experiencing a force four and a half times your natural weight?

      Other planned summer events include numerous trips to London, a visit to Frome and perhaps even a short break in Paris and/or Marseille (j'adorerais avoir une occasion de parler le français en France, bien sûr!) I'd also like to see Avenue Q again, for the fifth time! Actually, I happen to be listening to the soundtrack right now.

      Friday, May 28, 2010

      Oh, is that an end in sight?

      After an intensive week and a half of exams, I've now finished over half of my GCSEs - I'm getting there! Today was my final official day of secondary school before exam leave - an emotional whirlwind filled with signing autographs books, taking pictures, hugging and me pretending to be a dinosaur hatching out of an egg in RS. I really will miss so many people, quite a few teachers and some of the aspects of the school. I know I've outgrown it now, but it served me well for five years.

      I've decided that today should be a break - no revision (what a novelty!), a bit of Facebook and music, and even arranging to see Sam for the first time in so long.

      I didn't acknowledge that it was my birthday last Sunday and just persevered with revision. Of course, I will celebrate my birthday, and I'm going to do it properly during the summer. You know that phrase 'work hard play hard'? Well, perhaps I'll epitomise that during the summer - I've worked painstakingly during these past two years, so I really need to, er, 'play hard'. And by this, I mean that I'll maybe throw a birthday party, visit London, go on holiday, see friends, read for fun, learn a new skill and just partake in all the things that I've longed to do but have put off due to revision in GCSE years.

      Never before has the phrase 'the end is in sight' been more relevant - it's exactly four weeks until my final exam. Four weeks from now, I will be rejoicing. It's not been an easy two years, but the time has had many fun points and was full of new experiences.

      Oh yes, and I'm sixteen now. Okay, right, this is... exactly the same. Not that I expected to feel any different. When you don't celebrate your birthday, it's really just another day.

      Sunday, May 2, 2010

      Prefiero esta canción en español

      Una loba en el armario
      Tiene ganas de salir
      Deja que se coma el barrio
      Antes de irte a dormir

      Cuando era menor, me encantaba la musica de Shakira.

      Tuesday, April 27, 2010

      More a yardstone than a mile

      Today I came to the realisation that in less than a month I'll be 16 and under two months from now I'll have finished all my GCSE exams for ever. But, as has been the case for around 5 years now, I'm not at all excited for my birthday because:

      • It's going to be revision-filled. I have exams the next day and in the following weeks. There's really no time to celebrate.
      • As usual, I plan to postpone my birthday. I haven't even received my main presents for my 15th birthday because I postponed it and then never really got back into the birthday mood.
      • I don't really feel like having a party or anything of the sort. Of course, I want to spend time with friends and family to mark the occasion.
      • Although 16 is considered quite a milestone birthday, I don't really have anything to look forward to. I just want to make this a fulfilling year of life.
      • The idea of buying lottery tickets, sex and being able to drink one glass of beer or cider with a meal in a licensed pub accompanied by an adult does not excite me.
      What a sensible (boring) and mature (disdainful) 16-year-old I'm going to be.

      Monday, April 26, 2010

      Disregarding pretension

      No matter how pretentious it may sound to burst into a foreign language unannounced...

      Mon examen oral de français est fini - comme c'est marveilleux!/Mi examen oral de español es terminado - ¡Qué maravilla!

      Which translates as 'My French/Spanish oral exam is finished - how marvellous!' Of course, it's a big relief - I've been preparing for these exams for months and had to learn many pages of answers for both exams which were within a week of each other. This weekend I became quite ill with some kind of flu/cold/sore throat combination, thus making the Spanish oral of today even more difficult. But both are done now and I can resume revision for the written exams.

      Wednesday, March 31, 2010

      Could I be a brand?

      Some slogan ideas from Slogan Maker:

      Abby for high quality
      Start your day with Abby
      Abby is your freedom
      Nobody does it like Abby
      It's miracle in the rain, it's Abby
      Be funny with Abby
      Abby for every day
      Abby is rolling, the others are stoned
      Abby enjoy it
      Famed for Abby
      Soft and silky as Abby
      Abby is the only way to be happy
      Abby shot from guns
      Abby for every walk in life
      Everything for Abby
      Abby the real obsession
      The art of Abby
      Abby is easy
      Abby is a female force
      Abby can do
      Abby is be lovelier to love
      Abby you can trust
      Abby you like it
      Abby is blended
      Abby - the natural way
      Abby for a long career
      Abby makes you better
      Abby is the door to success
      Abby is a legend
      Abby & more
      The Spirit of Abby

      So, Barcelona...

      It was highly enjoyable, however:
      • The room at the hostel housed six people and was incredibly small with only one bathroom, making the whole living experience unpleasant
      • We walked almost everywhere, taking the Metro only occasionally, so I spent 6-8 hours a day on foot and consequently I'm now limping
      • I felt a bit isolated for part of the trip, but I went to join a different group of friends and then it all got so much better
      And though we were supposed to return home at around 1 am on Tuesday morning, our 8 o' clock flight was cancelled so we had to spend another night. At first I panicked - I'd really been looking forward to going home - but then Easyjet provided us with a rather luxurious, four-star hotel which was a stark contrast to the ghastly living conditions in the hostel, so that whole experience turned out to be rather wonderful in the end. I unabashedly declare that the hotel stay turned out to be the highlight of the visit.

      Sorry Sara - there was no chocolate turron! It must be a Christmas thing...

      Sunday, March 21, 2010

      The skin on my thumb looks like that of a roasted chestnut

      Most of my blog posts come to mind when my brain lets go a little and just starts to conjure up random ideas. A phrase might pop out at me, such as the title of the post, and then I'll just write. I hate routine andwant my blog to reflect my eclectic life, so after I the title has come about I try to let the words flow.

      So, normally I shun the 'I did this, then this, before doing this' etc. type of posts as my life tends to spill out of traditional blog formats, but I feel that this week in particular could provide some interest...

      Monday - Shuffle into school awaiting five hours of Drama for my final exam. Get on with the work surprisingly well, considering how scary the whole prospect of the final exam is, and return home proud of my group and our progress.

      Tuesday - Pretty much do the norm in lessons, except Biology and Chemistry in which revision notes are attempted. Become frustrated at the messiness of my handwriting and hail the mighty computer.

      Wednesday - Buckle down to another full day of the Drama exam. With the fellow group members, manage to finish devising our piece. Perform it to the teachers in the afternoon and receive a surprisingly warm reception. Stay at school until 4.40 pm finishing my portfolio, before trudging home to make revision notes about railways in Britain 1815-51.

      Thursday - Act as an American gossip columnist persuading the magazine editor, my teacher, to run a story about Ashley Cole having further affairs, possibly with a man this time. Receive full marks and rejoice that something that comes to me so naturally worked out well. Continue through the day as normal.

      Friday - Spend the morning frantically preparing for the Drama exam performance to the moderator. Squeeze every ounce of acting talent into the eventual performance and hope.

      Saturday - Mill about the house writing my History coursework on the economy in Nazi Germany. Feel mentally taxed, and somehow physically, too.

      Sunday - Do the same thing as yesterday, but over a longer period of time. Meticulously check through my work, print the 14-page essay and feel proud of myself. Take a pleasant bath, followed by an energetic shower.

      Oh, and in less than one week I'll be in Spain, to revise for my upcoming Languages Orals, of course. ¡Adios por ahora!

      (For reference, my the skin on my thumb looks like that of a roasted chestnut because on Wednesday I was 'hammering' the floor all day in Drama and this wore away the skin on my thumb. I've been wearing a plaster almost constantly since then which has wrinkled my skin)

      Thursday, March 18, 2010

      I think I shined today

      I was in my element. But I'd better shine even brighter tomorrow.

      Friday, March 12, 2010

      The first tears of happiness

      People talk of crying with happiness, but before today it's never actually happened to me. I suppose it was the overwhelming sense of relief and joy that spread though me when I got my Science test results. I suppose being nervous discourages complacency. Now I'm constantly looking to the final exams and results day. Everything I've sacrificed in these two years will be completely worth it.

      Thursday, March 11, 2010

      Provisions, projects, planning

      A brief plan of the near future, without too much thinking involved.

      March - Finish French and Spanish Oral Booklets, learn them, begin to make notes of other subjects to revise, perform final Drama exam piece.

      April - Focus on revision for French and Spanish Orals, do the exams, build up revision of other subjects.

      May - Continue to revise, do some of my GCSE exams, maybe think about the fact that I turn 16.

      June - Finish revision, do the rest of my GCSE exams.

      July - Get over the shock of (temporarily) having no more coursework/homework/revision to do, have fun, go to London and Glasgow.

      August - More of the same, maybe go to Somerset, Bristol and Paris, receive my GCSE results and (hopefully) rejoice.

      September - Start sixth-form, work very hard again, make some new friends (while keeping in touch with old ones), establish myself as a new person.

      October - Continue to work hard, begin revision for any upcoming January exams, go to an expensive hotel.

      December - Revise for my January exams, celebrate Christmas.

      So, that might be my year, if things go to plan.

      Monday, March 1, 2010


      I had my interview with the sixth-form college that I most definitely want to go to and have known this since I was 11. I think it went well - the teacher was friendly, informative and completely accepted my indecisiveness. We discussed the IB and A-levels and established that currently I can't choose between languages and sciences. However, I don't have to make my final subject choices until September so that's fine.

      Furthermore, today I realised that people can change hugely for the better. Sometimes it may happen in unpleasant circumstances, but ultimately it's often better just to let the past go for a minute and see what's changed. Because things do change, and sometimes for the better.

      Friday, February 26, 2010

      A conversation with my father a few years ago

      Father: Hmm, well I think you're a good singer.

      Abby: You've never heard me sing.

      Father: I went to that choir show you were in.

      Abby: Okay, then. *sarcastic look*

      But he's not the only one who's complimented my singing abilities (regardless of the fact that he's only ever heard me sing properly in a choir of 40-something people). My grandmother told me that when I was younger I was great singer and of course my mother and I stared at her in disbelief. Checking that she wasn't simply being senile, we asked 'Are you sure you don't mean Freja?' (Freja's my cousin who definitely can sing well), but she insisted that at one point in my life I was a good singer. Hmm, I'd dubious about that.

      Thursday, February 25, 2010

      Du vin or not du vin

      Just a forewarning; this post doesn't actually centre around or even involve any type of alcohol at all. In fact, the title is completely unrelated.

      I've reached the sudden and final conclusion that I'd be a terrible housewife. Granted, I could keep up appearances, meticulously preening myself before my my seemingly perfect, 'Honey, I'm home!' husband returned. I might even manage to suppress my feminism and succumb to living under that male-chauvinist ideology.

      However, that's where any housewife potential comes to an abrupt end, for the simple reason that I don't (and won't) do housework. I'm perfectly capable of vacuuming, but the smell created by the hurricane of dust is unpleasant. The idea of washing plates that have held other people's food causes me to retch and flee the kitchen in disgust. And as for scrubbing the floors, I'd rather lick the radiator (which I once did to disprove my germaphobe reputation).

      All hope is not lost, though, as I'm a good cake baker and due to my alimentary passion could probably learn to cook many other dishes. Nonetheless, I'll hardly prove 'useful' to any stereotypical I-work-you-clean man.

      Of course, the main problem is that I don't really like the idea of marriage, anyway. If it's for you, then great, congratulations, many happy returns etc. but personally, it's simply two rings, a piece of paper, a white dress, some confetti and £9000 or so drained from your bank account. I believe that if two people love each other enough they don't need anything else to prove it. Also, an inordinate amount of marriages end in divorce nowadays, and that certainly isn't an appealing prospect. I suppose in a way my view of marriage is similar to Dylan Thomas'. I can't say we share opinions on alcohol, though.

      Friday, February 19, 2010

      So, this is what my life has been reduced to

      Today I had to refuse invitations both to the cinema with my mother and to town with two friends as I simply have too much work to do. Okay, I'm making progress (and so I should be considering that I've been working hard for at least 2 hours a day during this half term!) but I'm still not close to finishing. The consolation is that I've finished my Drama portfolio, but that took until Monday to do and the completed 'notes' as the examiners ridiculously call them span 15 pages in Microsoft Word (font - Arial, size 12) and total 5718 words. Now, still on my to-do list is:

      • Finish the History coursework question. I've done every section except the last, so it'll just be that and the introduction which I can definitely finish this weekend. Although it's not a hugely difficult essay (and a mini-essay at that), I've tried to find as much relevant information as possible to put in so have been scouring the internet as well as my two text books and source sheet, so while writing it I've been very precise and have frequently tweaked it if when slightly unsatisfied.
      • Get some more of the Statistics coursework done. Due to my preoccupation with the History coursework, I only really started typing this Statistics work up yesterday. I've basically finished all of the preliminary sections and can now start calculating (and then meticulously checking because one tiny mistake in Statistics can throw your whole investigation off balance) I think my Maths teacher is checking the work either at the end of the coming week or the beginning of the next, but the more I finish over half term, the smoother my return to school next week will be.
      • Try to write more of my answers for the French and Spanish Oral booklets. My love of languages leads me to feel a little patronised by these resources, and I think my teachers see this. I understand that there are a wide range of topics that must be covered in modern languages, but I'm highly frustrated by the omnipresent 'Décrire ta maison' (describe your house) or 'Hablame de tus ratos libres' (talk to me about your free time) It's such a vacuous conversation that you end up having with the examiner and I don't think many people care about the fact that I've had the same purple curtains with stars and moons on since I was seven, or that usually I enjoy riding my bike because it's a healthy thing and I love being out in the open. I want to discuss issues that affect me, and the only current-affair topic is how to improve the environment which has very little weighting in the exam as it doesn't provide a huge opportunity to use the past, present, future or conditional tenses. However, fortunately A-level languages encourage and foster a far more mature speaking style which I've been yearning for ever since I first heard the 'What is your bedroom like?' question.
      • Start revision properly for the final May/June exams. Argh, less than 3 months now until they begin!
      So, as much as I wanted to partake in both of the aforementioned activities today, I simply couldn't. It's just been working and eating today. Oh, and a bath, of course.

      I completely accept having to stay in all day working and revising because I constantly look ahead. I imagine myself on results day, crying with happiness for the first time in so long. For that moment, I won't care that I live where I do, or about cleanliness or the tangles in my hair, just the wonder of that moment. And then it's all worth it, for I have nothing to regret. When I work as hard as I possibly can on something, I know that I've done everything in my power to achieve the grades that I want.

      Another reason that I was forced to resign myself to the house today is my plan for tomorrow. This was booked last year so of course I couldn't rearrange it, and thus had to compensate by working extra hard today. I'm going to see the Rocky Horror Show, so that should be interesting and camp enough for my liking. Of course, true to my nature, I'll be working in the morning and afternoon tomorrow because the show's in the evening.

      In total, this half term has offered very little 'break' as it promised, but at least it signifies my nearing the end of secondary school life.

      Thursday, February 18, 2010

      I don't do small talk, but let's discuss the weather

      So far this year, the snow has visited and left my city many times, however this is only its second genuine settling. Yet, as soon as the first few snowflakes floated down, the complaints began to waft up.

      I know we all have different weather preferences, but unless the snow is could have a severely detrimental effect on our lives we really are foolish to complain. Come mid-March, assuming that Spring will then have spread itself fully across the UK, we may miss the snow. And what about those hideous summer heat waves? Though we often can't sufficiently predict what the future months hold weather-wise thanks to global warming, if the previous few years are anything to go by we can expect intense, sticky heat. Then we'll yearn for those precious few snowflakes that we once scorned.

      In fact, how are we to know that the snow will return at all in the near future? It could be years, even decades, before we feel that satisfying crunch and heart-fluttering slip under our feet again.

      Personally, I've never been fond of warm weather. It's very restricting to know that there are only so many layers that you can take off to cool yourself, whereas there are always more garments to be put on. Besides, I like the security and comfort of wearing a coat. Who cares about that green jumper and standard blue jeans that I've worn time and time again if they're concealed by a rich, regal teal-coloured coat?

      It would be wonderful to choose the weather, and though I know I'd eventually tire of this combination, my current ideal is heavy rain from April to September and a generous snowfall from October to March. Yes, a lovely, British, cold and wet climate, minus the occasional heat waves we experience. Actually, in general I really do love the unpredictability and spontaneity of Britain's weather.

      Monday, February 15, 2010

      'That's some next pencil case'

      Oh, Drama. The only place where you can find such a diverse range of people, including those who are perfectly willing to criticise your sensible pencil case (and who you must admit are a tad bit chavvy)

      Returning to my group, decided by the teacher, I opened my pencil case to dig around for something with a bit of ink left in it. At this point, I was greeted with the phrase 'That's some next pencil case' from a girl who seemed to see a pencil case purely as a place to slap the Playboy Bunny logo onto.

      Now, I can't say I really know what 'next' means, but having perused Urban Dictionary it seems to have many meanings, some of the most prevalent being stupid, crazy, random or shit.

      Granted, my pencil case is no an opulent wonder. It's plain black, with a handle at the top and when carried from this it looks like a mini briefcase. It has no patterns, flowers, hearts, words or slutty rabbits logos, but has pockets inside to keep pens in place and came with a bonus mesh zipper bag which I use to store coloured pens. It may not be fashionable, and admittedly it is hugely practical, but it's lasted me over 18 months and has served me faithfully, so I don't see how it can be labelled stupid, crazy, random or shit.

      Therefore, slightly-chavvy-girl, your comment is invalid. My pencil case is not 'next' and will do its duties long after your Playboy offering is holed and stained.

      Sunday, February 14, 2010

      Currently, I quite like simultaneous equations

      I've just been running some through my head quickly.

      Oh, and also I'd very much like a Periodic Table shower curtain: The only problem is, now we have a shower screen in the bath room so it would be useless. However, I'm still tempted to buy it and hang it in my room.

      The aforementioned Chemistry homework did prove to be somewhat enjoyable. Granted, it was a little tedious answering multiple questions with exactly the same information, but I really do love anything scientific. I can't wait until A-level when it gets difficult and more interesting.

      My desire to be a doctor is growing ever-stronger, and though it's a daunting prospect I really can envision myself applying for medical school. Prepare to sell a house, Daddy; it looks like I'm going to be in the education system for a lot longer. (I'm joking, but my parents did say that one of the houses we rent out is going to pay for my university fee so hopefully house prices will remain reasonable until then)

      Alors, mon calendrier français dit 'C'est un bon week-end pour les amoureux!'

      Cependant, n'oubliez pas les personnes qui aiment la Chine car, bien sûr, c'est le Nouvel An chinois!

      This post was in French because, as you may be able to translate, my French calendar said today 'It's a good weekend for lovers!' (in French, naturally). However, it's also important to welcome in the Year Of The Tiger... Every Tiger except Tiger Woods, maybe (yes, I stole that joke).

      Anyway, Happy Valentine's Day/Chinese New Year/whatever you may be celebrating.

      Saturday, February 13, 2010

      Bypass the hearts

      It's a bit ridiculous how so many single people are complaining and sighing deeply and conspicuously just because they'll be without a lover on Valentine's Day. So what? As most will agree, the day of Cupid, hearts, flowers, chocolates et al is a giant marketing ploy tailored to fuel our over-consumption and make us feel all romantic (if cliche is romantic) for a day . Considering this, why do we still mope and pity ourselves simply because we're lacking a partner? And besides, it's Chinese New Year tomorrow! There's no sense writing emo-poetry and sobbing into your loveless lap when you could be enjoying some chow mein and egg fried rice while watching the fireworks. Let's get some perspective and sense here - it's the 21st Century in which it's perfectly acceptable to remain single, marry young or old, never get married, date younger or older or outside your race, love someone of the same sex and generally do your own thing without being judged. And being alone on Valentine's Day is simply another one of these things.

      It can't be that bad

      Today was fun, as expected. I went to Sam's house where we watched loads of puerile/tacky/crappy TV (informercials, World's Worst Husband and Take Me Out, anyone?) before baking, icing and decorating mini chocolate sponge cakes. All in all, highly enjoyable.

      It's the half term and I'm making a mental agenda for my work. So far, it is as follows:
      • Finish Drama portfolio. There isn't too much of this, it's just important to go into plenty of detail wherever possible.
      • Complete the first question/'mini essay' of my History coursework. As long as I do a paragraph each day it should go as planned.
      • Summarise work on The Poor for History revision on one to two sides of A4. This will definitely be a useful exercise so that's not a problem.
      • Have a good venture into the Statistics coursework. This is a little complicated and I think my maths teacher, great though he is, could have explained it to the class a little better. Nonetheless, he'll be checking it to make sure everything's alright, so as long as I write up my hypothesis and start some of the calculations hopefully everything will be alright.
      • Sections One and Two of the Chemistry homework booklet. I really enjoy Chemistry (and everything scientific, really) so this is no problem.
      • If possible, fill in as much as possible in my French and Spanish Oral Booklets. Though this can seem a little tedious, I just let it flow and write as I do in English, so it's really not as terrible as it seems and this isn't an urgent matter.
      • If I have any spare time, maybe do a little revision. This isn't pressing at the moment, but I want to use every bit of my time wisely. A few Maths questions wouldn't go amiss, and I must admit they can be quite enjoyable, too. Perhaps some English Language and Literature practice as well.
      It seems like a mighty pile of homework, but I think once I make a dent everything will hopefully just follow naturally.

      Tuesday, February 9, 2010

      Trivial, but somehow important

      I've always felt a certain pride and protection over my middle name. Admittedly, though I love my first and last names and they suit me, they're not incredibly rare. Granted, I meet few people with my names, but I know that they're around - I'm guessing most people in English-speaking countries have met an Abby or Abigail.

      But my middle name's just different - I've only ever encountered one other person with this name and even then it was spelt differently so technically it doesn't count. It's simply a more interesting version of me, and though it's not classically 'pretty' it definitely suits my personality. I'd really miss my middle name if it was somehow extorted from me (now that would be a scary dictatorship to live in!). In fact, I'm even contemplating one day trying to live under it for a short period of time - just to try it out.

      Of course, I can't actually tell you my middle name! But it's unique, just know that.

      Monday, February 8, 2010

      It's funny how concerned I am about self-preservation

      For example:
      • I probably wouldn't wear high heels regularly because of the horrific bunions they can cause
      • I don't like wearing heavy earrings because they can lead to misshapen, stretched earlobes
      • I'm incredibly meticulous about every aspect of personal hygiene, especially dental care
      • The idea of wearing foundation doesn't appeal to me because of its pore-clogging effect
      • I spend a considerable amount of money on skincare
      • I don't listen to loud music because I'd hate to lose part (or all) of my hearing
      • I vehemently refuse to eat food even a day out of date because food poisoning is a frightening prospect
      • I take vitamins C and D everyday and sometimes have an extra multivitamin, just as supplements
      • I do regular brain exercises to stay mentally fit (yes, perhaps I should pay a little more attention to the physical side sometimes, but I do walk regularly and eat healthily most of the time so that's something)

      Centripetal spill

      A blur, a bang, a broom... okay, well that last one was actually a mop, but would the rule of two really have the same impact? Anyway, you'd never really suspect a humble water-filled bucket and some string to cause the level of entertainment experience in Physics today. I know I never did.

      Naturally, trudging into the dulled, yet somehow enthralling, class room I awaited the norm - a few work sheets here, some calculations there and in general an affirming lesson proving to myself that this knowledge will reside in my head for the long-term.

      So when, having completed the routine, my teacher pulled out the seemingly innocuous apparatus of a bucket filled with water hanging off a string, the class buzzed with excitement at a subtle change to the standard fare. Of course, this had a point - it was a model to demonstrate how centripetal forces (those acting towards the centre of an object and cause it to follow a circular path).

      After watching our teacher hesitantly make the full circle (admittedly, it is a frightening thing and you really have to go for it with vigour) and impressively contain all of the water, it was the turn of any willing volunteer. As I, among others, suspected, one of my more daring peers and a regular hand-raiser got straight up to have ago. I shuffled back in my seat (you know, just in case), but inside knew that any soaking would be well worth the laugh. It looked promising as she began to swing the bucket and build momentum, but one over-zealous arm movement and water gushed down triumphantly, as if fooled into thinking that it had beaten centripetal forces. It spread itself out nicely, too, spanning around 6 feet, yet somehow no one was even splattered.

      Now, as you probably know, school's never the most fascinating or humourous place, so when an utterly amazing and hilarious thing like this happens, it's impossible to contain yourself. The class, teacher et al, erupted in a haze of contagious laughter, literally to the extent that tears raced down my face, perhaps to join their floor-based liquid companions. Our teacher didn't appear at all frustrated and simply began to mop up while still in convulsions of laughter, which only added to the sheer splendour of that lesson. So, it all turned out to be even more exciting than could have ever been anticipated, and I know I'll remember the law of centripetal force now!

      Saturday, February 6, 2010

      Oh, how my taste buds yearn for...

      trio of olives
      petit lucques, kalamata and da vinci marinated olives with maitreya organic home-made bread

      avocado ravioli
      fresh avocado shell filled with marinated fennel served with toasted almonds and raspberry vinegar dressing

      smoked applewood cheddar tart tatin
      all butter puff pastry tatin with crown prince pumpkin, chestnut mushrooms, caramelised red onion and pistachio. served with caramelised apple pak choi and plum anis dressing

      pineapple and saffron pancake
      fine crepes filled with caramelised pineapple, gratinated with saffron cream sauce, served with orange sorbet

      Cafe Maitreya is without doubt the most elegant yet fresh vegetarian restaurant I have yet experienced.

      Thursday, February 4, 2010

      "And I'll never return here again"

      Frankly, I don't want to. So many talented people; their creativity stifled. Well, from an outside point of view, anyway.

      Wednesday, February 3, 2010

      So, the other day I jokingly said to my father 'I could audition for Skins next year'

      Jokingly because although that would be amazing, you probably know what goes on in Skins. So I was shocked when my dad sincerely replied 'Yeah, I think you should; you've always wanted to be an actress'. Well, people surprise you all the time.

      But, regardless, I'd do it if the opportunity came up. Now that would be something to put on your CV.

      "Christian sees a man with a bent penis which needs straightening out while Pixie provides advice on flatulence to the people of Cardiff."

      You just know the new series of 'Embarrassing Bodies' is going to be good with a description like that.

      Foods I have had obsessive flings with:

      • Vegetable pies
      • Cheese coleslaw
      • Croutons
      • Bread and butter
      • Mustard on cheese on toast
      • Milky Ways and Magic Stars
      • Cornflakes
      • Porridge
      • Cocopops
      • Blue cheese
      • Alfalfa sprouts
      And probably some others. I just really, really, really love food.

      Morals aside...

      The fish dissection was terribly interesting. The poor creature was a sardine from Morrisons, and we began by inserting a probe through his (it had a sperm sack) alimentary canal. We were 'lucky' as the probe came out of his anus, and from here we cut up to its chin and opened it out. At first it was daunting, but soon I became accustomed to poking and pulling the corpse, so it was fine.

      We then removed the sperm sack, the intestines and the heart, which was kind of pyramid-shaped. Following this were the gills which contained many red false-eyelash-like surfaces. Upon extracting these, we saw that they had a large surface area to enable gas exchange to take place adequately (this was, of course, the point of the dissection, so it paid off).

      After examining the semi-inflated swim bladder which kept the fish afloat when swimming, we moved on to the eyes. At first it was a rather violent affair - we pulled the eye up using the surgical forceps and snipped the connections. After this, it was time to find the lens, and having rolled perforated eye ball around a little, out popped a perfectly spherical transparent ball. This was the fish eye lens, the origin of the eponymous camera lens. This was quite a specimen, and on hovering the lens over newspaper we could read the text, albeit with the distortion that one would expect from a fish eye lens (Google some fish eye lens images if you want to).

      Finally, and most brutally of all, we cut open the sardine's head just above the eyes (or, rather, where they were before we ripped them out). Brain tissue was pulled out and we came across the hard cartilage, but then it was time for the ambitious task of removing the spinal cord. With my partner, Sara, grabbing the fish I used the surgical forceps to pull at the spinal cord with all of my supposed might, but, alas, we were cut short and forced to dispose of Lesley, our sardine.

      Despite the spinal cord failure, it was a thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening experience, however I can't say I'll soon be cutting up anything outside the human food chain that has been killed specifically for dissection. After all, it's more beneficial to dissect a sardine than it is to eat it.

      Monday, February 1, 2010

      Scalpel, please

      It's my first dissection tomorrow in Biology. We're going to be dissecting small fish, and although I'm not easily disgusted and I've been fascinated by dissection since I was around 7, it still doesn't feel perfectly right.

      I'll only do it if the animals died naturally or if it was something that currently couldn't be avoided e.g. small fish getting caught in a fishing net when fishing for marketable fish. Both the Biology teacher and technician are vegetarians, so hopefully this issue will have been carefully considered.