A Day in the Life of…

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After a far too long hiatus, in the middle of pre-exam procrastination, I’ve decided to upload a post on my average school day, as I’m preparing for my exams and finishing off the final bits of my coursework. I thought this would be a good idea to document different typical days for me as a record for the future.

Thursday, 27th March, 2014

6:50- shower, dress, breakfast.

8:25- squeak into school just before registration after the typical manic morning in my household.

9:00– chemistry test on one of the final units of the course – I’m doing it now as I missed it yesterday due to an Oxbridge day.

10:30- after another lesson it’s break time. I spent it frantically trying to learn my french vocab for next period as I was too preoccupied revising the night before – oops!

10:50- french. preparing for our speaking mock next week and understanding how our exam is set out. really useful as it’s getting closer and closer!

11:45- mad dash down to the music block for my music lesson; preparing for my exam & attempting to pick my final song. it was a great lesson and i really feel like i’m making progress with my choices.

12:40- lunchtime!

13:12- choir practice for the concert next term. practised my solo in one of the numbers which was fun.

14:55– free period. spent doing biology revision for my test tomorrow & general unit 2 revision. DNA and meiosis.

16:10– normally i’d be at a chemistry revision session but our car had broken down so it was home and a quick snack before starting draft #1345764 of my english coursework 

18:05- quick tea before back to the coursework.

19:49- finally finished both drafts! after several unsuccessful printing attempts, have given up and emailed them to school. currently writing this blog post whilst attempting to put off my english essay.

19:55- manage to motivate myself to write some more of my english essay.

20:45- have written 4 more paragraphs. now time to get my things ready for DofE inspection tomorrow! i set off on my gold practice expedition next weekend.

21:46 finish packing for D of E after an intense glove hunt lasting twenty minutes. they’re still hiding from me. i’ve decided to look for them in the morning and go to bed now, after finishing my book “the unlikely pilgrimage of harold fry”

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Life Update #2

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WOW.

Where to begin?! I’m sorry that I’ve been pretty much non existent for a few months, but my life has been beyond crazy! What with starting my a levels, performing in shows & concerts and visiting New York City, it’s a wonder I’ve had time to breathe! Thank goodness it’s two weeks until the Christmas holidays, after concluding undoubtedly the busiest term of my school career!

I started back at school on the 29th August and began my a levels.
Through September and October I was studying for these as well as rehearsing 12 hours a week for two shows: Les Mis and Animal Farm. I also saw Billy Elliot, which was amazing!
October half term came and I began my English Lit coursework, whilst performing an amazing 6 shows of Les Mis. I then managed to find time to sneak off to NYC for four days with my dad, which was amazing & so so SO beautiful! I saw Newsies on Broadway in the fourth row, which was incredible! There was A LOT more to the trip (including SHOPPING!) than this so hopefully I’ll write a blog post about it when I get a free moment!

At this time, me being me, I’d somehow managed to end up with two jobs! Still not quite sure how I managed that one?! A wee bit stressful to say the least!
With my seasonal job over, and 1 shown down, I then came back to school & before I knew it, we had a fab run in Animal Farm. I felt extremely lucky to be playing Moses! Throughout this, I’ve been busy with regular rehearsals for the Christmas concert which is in a couple of weeks, and even managed a cheeky school trip to see West Side Story! Now the show’s over, and the deadline for one piece of coursework is in two weeks, things are slowing down! Thank goodness! Until the extended essay pressure begins to kick in… At this rate I may get a couple off before Christmas! And I still need to find time to fit in my Christmas shopping…

So yeah. This term has been completely and utterly INSANE, but I wouldn’t have changed it for the world! I’m loving my a levels & now it’s less busy, hopefully I’ll have a little more free time!
A super quick life update, with hopefully more detail to come next time! I’ve read some amazing books recently which hopefully I will get to share here, but until then, I’m done!

Helena x

Summer Playlist 2013

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It’s the middle of my summer and I’ve been listening to the hugest mix of songs this summer that I thought I’d share on this blog. There’s a real random selection & I hope anyone who has a look checks some of them out! 🙂

I Will Wait – Mumford & Sons
Ho Hey – The Lumineers
Anything You Can Do – Laura Osnes
Bend and Snap – Legally Blonde
Brooklyn’s Here – Newsies
Come to a Party – Dogfight
Drive By – Train
Everything Has Changed – Taylor Swift
Hello! – Book of Mormon
Hey, Good-Lookin’ – Dogfight
I Love It – Icona Pop
I Won’t Give Up – Jason Mraz
Lovely Ladies – Les Miserables
Positive – Legally Blonde
Revolting Children – Matilda
She Loves Me – Adam Kaplan
Some Nights – Fun.
Starlight – Taylor Swift
Teenage Dirtbag – Wheatus
Bye Bye Miss American Pie – Billy Cassidy
I’m Just A Kid – Simple Plan
Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams
Fast Car – Tracy Chapman
Wake Me Up – Avicii
5 Years Time – Noah & the Whale

Explorer Camp 2013

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This year we took over the campsite the cubs left behind at Ferny Crofts, in the New Forest. I can’t even begin to describe how amazing the past week has been; my favourite camp and altogether by far one of the best weeks of my life. My explorers are my family and I love them all so so much. Even though we’re all growing older and gradually going our separate ways, I feel so blessed to have known them and literally consider them my relatives.

There’s way way way too much to fit into one blog post and I can’t begin to list all the hilarious events that happened throughout the week, so I’m going to post a list of my highlights below.
All together throughout the week, we did raft building, a bike ride, leap of faith, rock climbing, a hike, volleyball, horse riding, swam in the sea, went to the beach and ate fish and chips. It was crazy and noisy and mental and I wouldn’t have changed any of it.

Favourite parts:
– the bike ride, just taking it slow and enjoying all the beautiful views
– getting to the top of the rock climbing wall & having to make animal noises before being allowed to get down
– discovering that every single pair of leggings I own are see through!
– the hilarious and enthusiastic instructors who were so kind, and the amazing campsite
– riding a beautiful horse through the forest, even if she was a little bit lazy!
– just about falling off the leap of faith pole, having to climb it again, then missing the trapeze again, before having a third go at the end of the session in the pouring rain and catching it!
– the hike to the seaside and the sense of achievement that followed afterwards
– playing the guitars around the campfire and singing along
– listening to old music the entire trip
– SAM’S LEGS 😉
– making friends with one of the instructors and we just spent our entire time taking the mick out of each other
– said instructor forcing me to play volleyball in the camp competition
– the water fight at volleyball that got me soaking wet
– getting through 3 rounds of volleyball and having to play my brother’s team… JCBs vs JCAs 🙂
– my brother’s team dressing in animal onesies to play volleyball
– the end of volleyball, our explorer group just mucking around with the instructors
– having a shoulders competition with two of the instructors and us on the shoulders trying to push each other off
– mad dancing
– showers on tuesday night where we were belting out songs from the Annie musical in NYC accents and scaring everyone who came into the showers
– one of the horse riding instructors telling my friend all the wrong things to do to make the horse speed up because I said he’d been winding me up all week
– swimming in the sea and having to get changed on the beach under our towels
– the waves that came and nearly knocked us over whilst we were swimming because they were so big!
– making human pyramids
– fish and chips on the cliffs overlooking the beach at sunset
– on our last day, our favourite instructor was teaching a bridge building thing over the lake, and me shouting at his group to “PUSH HIM IN!”
– the backwards Ls and all the banter with the instructors
– McDonalds on the way home from camp, 18 of us en masse flooding the place, stinking of bonfire smoke
– All the mad songs we made up/started singing that became our songs 🙂

thanks to everyone who made such an amazing camp, I know this isn’t normally my style of blog but I had so much to say. These were just a few of my favourite moments
Helena x

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Cub Camp

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As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, I help out with my local cub group. I love doing this; the children are all lovely and I just find it so fun and rewarding to help out with them and get to learn things about them. I find it is also useful for when I hopefully become a paediatrician, as I have a lot of experience of working with children.

The explorer helpers arrived on Saturday to set up the campsite for the cubs, who arrived the next day. This involved 14 tents, including 2 marquees, and transporting everything to inside the marquee. The Sunday morning, all the food for nearly 30 people for a week arrived… We roped in the scouts to help us out, and after sixteen crates of food had been delivered, unpacked it all. Then, the cubs arrived and the challenge started!

On the first night, we had a very enthusiastic campfire singalong that the explorers led, in which I taught the cubs a new song that they promptly all sang for the rest of the week!
Throughout the week, the cubs did things such as zipwire, crate stacking, abseiling, horse riding, nature and picture trails, a big hike to a carvery and back, before the Thursday; their last full day was spent at the seaside. We crabbed for a while before lunch, and then walked along the spit to Hurst Castle for a look around. Then, we took the ferry back. That evening, we also had one last campfire with the cubs, with a slightly more tired but nevertheless, loud singalong!

On the Tuesday evening, the explorers had also put together our “dream team” for the camp wide volleyball tournament that was held every week.. Team JCB got through to the semifinals, and was calculated to be around 4th place, which was fun. Even though it was slightly humiliating after being told by an instructor that they could hear my screams when the ball came towards me from their accommodation… a good few hundred metres away… my bad!

We also put together a big quiz for the cubs one night, with a special section on the explorers. Highlights from this round included:
How many toes does — have?
On a scale from 1-10, according to Colin, how attractive is —?
How many moles does — have on his face?
What is —‘s middle name?
Who did — accidentally try to chat up, believing it was some girls?

After the cubs left on the Friday, the explorers collapsed at base for a while, exhausted. We then drove to McDonalds to get dinner, and the other explorers arrived at about 8. From then, the chaos began… 😉

Cub camp was an amazing experience and I can honestly say that I do understand what people mean when they say they find volunteering rewarding. Watching the enjoyment of the cubs was amazing, and learning their different personalities was great. I watched them develop as people and challenge fears of heights, horses, spiders, the dark… it was amazing. It also made me mature as a person and improved my leadership and teamwork skills.

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Camber

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On the way back from a week in the Brecon Beacons, the last thing you think of is immediately going away for the weekend straight after. However when my best friend texted me inviting me to Camber with her family for the weekend, I couldn’t resist. So after one night in my own bed, I set off the next day at 8;30 (which did make a pleasant change from the 4;30AM wake up on DofE) to meet her and her dad halfway there. As soon as I got there, Neneh and I headed down for a walk on the beach, and she showed me around the caravan site we were staying on.

After lunch in the mobile home, we headed into Rye for the afternoon. It’s such a beautiful coastal town, and we walked around, had a drink in a cafe, visited an open garden with some really awesome ukelele music, and had a look in the small vintage shops that the harbour there is filled with. It’s a really quiet town and it’s so lovely, I had a really good time! We also saw a wedding and the bride walking up to the church through the street, which was pretty cool.

In the evening my friend and I visited the entertainment place on site for a while, before going and watching Breaking Bad in the mobile home with her parents. The next day, we met some of her family down on the Camber Sands beach, and spent the whole day there in the sea, which was really nice. The weather whilst we were there was gorgeous, it was so warm and sunny!

I had an amazing time, and it was great to visit somewhere that I’d never been before. I have a couple of photos from our time there.

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