Monday, 26 December 2011

Merry Christmas and that

I hope you had a good Christmas and you have a happy new year. 

May the year ahead be filled with rainbows, sunshine and happy times.  DARE TO DREAM or whatever.

Okay now we've got that out of the way, I thought I'd take this opportunity to eventually upload some of of my photos and show off my new camera lens -  Canon f1.8 !

There. Merry Christmas.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

The art of slyly meandering your way to the front at a concert

Last night, I went to see Coldplay. It was incredible. There was confetti, balloons, light-up wristbands, lasers, and of course Chris Martin and the gang, who at one point, were no more than a mere three metres away from me. Exhibit:

And there's a pretty picture of some confetti.

As you can see, I was in a pretty good spot at the end of the walkway, however, to my surprise, gaining this position wasn't down to waiting for hours and hours in the freezing cold. Even if you arrive a little later than others, say, 15 minutes after the doors open, it is still perfectly possible to get a good position, if you play your cards right. 

1. Try and look as young as possible. For me, wearing glasses and tucking my hair behind my ears allowed me to play the part of the vulnerable teen girl. Yes, it did make me more of a target for rapists. But, when attempting to make my way through the crowd by sweetly saying "sorry, excuse me", I was faced with less aggression than say, the loud middle aged woman with sun-transition glasses.

2. Always attack the crowd from the side. People will not move if you try and work your way up to the front. Go for the side and squeeze through the gaps in a line. Move swiftly and efficiently. 

3. Talk very loudly on your mobile phone. People will be glad to let you through to stop the verbal diarrhea. 

4. Pretend you are looking for someone "over there". For me and my troops, we actually WERE looking for a few friends, and had the advantage of being able to see and wave to each other, making our case for moving forward in the crowd valid. If in doubt, combine steps 2, 3 and 4 and move through the crowd talking to whoever you are trying to find very loudly on your phone. This triple-point tactic is always a winner.

5. Once you have your prime spot, stay rooted. Don't let someone purposely breathing very heavily on your right shoulder make you move. This happened to me, it was not pleasant.

Bear in mind, these tactics will not guarantee you a place right at the front, but a good place all the same. Also, if you are in a crowd, make sure you are hydrated. Last night, I was a keen bean and refrained from drinking fluids so that a toilet break would not be necessary. I ended up almost fainting at the beginning of Charlie Brown. I would like to clarify this was not because I am an insane fan and was overcome with emotion. STAY HYDRATED.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Five things that will make your life complete

There are lots of small things in life which just make every day that extra little bit more awesome. Here is my extensive list of these extra fabby dabby things that continue to grace my life with happiness.

Number One:  a Waltzer ride.
If you have not experienced the thrill of a Waltzer ride at a fairground I urge you to POP ON AND HAVE A SPIN. You will not regret it.
For those of you that have had deprived childhoods, here is a Waltzer.

Waltzers are quite simply beautiful. Picture the spinning teacups, take them and put them on a moving up and down platform, add several crazy lights including a blinding strobe, some bangin' beats blaring at top volume, and there you have the greatest invention known to man.  An added bonus is watching your pal's strained facial expressions as they grip onto the safety bar for dear life, looking like they are having a minor stroke as they are hurled round at life-threatening speeds. Well, life threatening for a Waltzer. Regardless, the Waltzer is a blur of lights, thumping bass lines, euphoric screams, and of course, a shaky disposition when you get off.

Number Two : A good cup of tea
Few things come close to a caffeine-filled concoction of a good golden brew. Having a cup of tea is not merely an action of survival to keep your bodily fluids topped up - having a cup of tea is a personal, suspended moment in time. The brew teases you as you slowly stir in the milk, watching the two substances collide, creating a magical compound of pure bliss and sanctuary. Then, once it's ready and has been tailored to your perfect colour, there is simply nothing more satisfying than taking the steaming cup of tea to your lips, swallowing the golden liquid and feeling the warm substance filtering through your body. At that moment, it is perfectly acceptable to make an "Ooooaaaaaaaaft" noise to show your appreciation for the tea. Worship the tea. Tea is life.

Number Three : Going absolutely insane to your favourite song in the privacy of your own home.
We all need a moment or two to let off inner frustrations. Acting like a total nutcase to what you consider to be the best song in the universe complete with a hairbrush or air guitar while genuinely believing you're at Wembley Arena, well, its a pretty good way to release any pent up energy. Of course this act takes place whenever one has a free house to enable maximum space and potential, and also to avoid any embarrassing collisions with other human beings, who may think you're having some kind of epileptic fit. Also, by being alone, you have absolutely no shame. If standing on the kitchen counter holding your cat up to the sky while singing "Circle of Life" floats your boat, then hoist that sail. Or if you fancy jumping on the sofa to a bit of ABBA, or Bohemium Rhapsody, well, don't break the sofa.

Number Four : Appreciating the Bed.
My philosophy is that my bed is my best friend. Your bed is always there to welcome you when you're about to drop dead from exhaustion, or have had a shit day and need to collapse in a dramatic manner crying out "WHY!?" while pretending you're in some sort of god-forsaken teen movie. The bed will never reject you, but will wrap you up in its cosy feathery warmth, much like a mother, and soothe you, as if it is going "there there, settle down love". You can kick and punch and beat the bed all you like when you're having a tantrum, and the bed will always welcome you back with open arms. You can sob into the bed, or jump on it up and down with great happiness, but the bed will never complain. I appreciate the bed. You should appreciate the bed. But don't break the bed. The bed won't be happy if you do.

Number Five : This man:

Need I say more.

Monday, 1 August 2011

The Etiquette of the Swimming Pool

Despite my blog being called "I'm not a morning person", yesterday I had an epiphany. Yes, an epiphany. I decided I was going to get fit. I was going to wake up in the morning, get my arse out of bed, and exercise.

There is only one sport that I remotely enjoy, and that is swimming. No sweat patches, you can get that anti-gravity effect thing going on, and not to mention it exercises every bit of your body.

So I decided to pay a trip to my local swimming baths at 10.30 sharp. I would get up at 9, eat a nutritious breakfast, flush out all the anti-toxins with several gulps of water, perhaps even warm myself up with a few sit ups, before finally heading out the door in high spirits, eating an apple, radiant and glowing.
In reality, I got up at 9.42, slobbed around in my dressing gown for half an hour drinking tea and eating crumpets while watching 90210, before finally heading out the door, looking haggard, exhausted, and without an apple. Note to self : Don't stay up all night watching Lord of the Rings.

When I finally dragged myself to the swimming pool, I realized there are certain unspoken rules, or guidelines if you will, that every swimmer unintentionally follows;

Rule 1: Try not to look like a pervert in the changing room cubicle.
I know it sounds ridiculous since you are assigned your own cubicle, however, there can be complications. For one, I had stupidly put my money in my pocket of my skinny jeans, and while writhing around like a worm trying to wriggle out of them, my coins went flying everywhere. In a moment of panic, with my trousers still around my ankles, I dropped to the floor, and began scanning the floors of the cubicles. Cringe to the absolute maximum when I heard a "Pouf" sound, and jerked my head round, only to see an old man's wrinkly foot with his trousers around his ankles a couple of cubicles along. With no sign of the coins anywhere, I stuck out my hand into the next cubicle to have a feel around, but instantly retracted it when I heard an "EXCUSE ME." I soon realized how utterly perverse and awkward I looked, trousers down, peering under the cubicle separators with my fingers out-stretched. Not wanting to be branded with the status as the "Pool Pervert", I had no choice but to leave my money and retain my dignity, and pray to God that a pool attendant wouldn't come banging on my cubicle door mid-squat. So take my advice. Just act normal.

Rule 2 - Get the awkward walk from changing room to pool over and done with - fast.
When you emerge from the cubicle, all swimmers feel a moment of vulnerability. There is a simple solution to this. Hastily shove your bag into the nearest locker and bolt. Try not to slip up on the way to the pool. Not only will you be injured, possibly bleeding, but you'll have to deal with the humiliation of being in a swimsuit in front of others for at least another 2 hours. Also, when actually getting into the pool, don't panic like I did and bomb into the pool arms and legs sprawling. You'll only attract more attention to yourself. Just simmer down and keep it casual.

Rule 3 - Claim your lane.
In every pool, there is an unintentional "kids half" and a "serious swimmer half". While there will be no clear lanes marked out, make sure you get a good clear runway where you aren't bumping in to old people, (trust me, you know something's up when you pass one and you swim through a strange patch of warm water) or knocking out children while trying to do front crawl. Own that lane girlfriend. Take a stretch of water for the hour and command it. No-one enters your lane. Travel up it fast and fluently, this is your spot.

Rule 4 - Don't make eye contact with anyone.
Especially if you think you know someone. I had the awkward experience of trying to work out if it was my English teacher swimming up and down the pool in the lane along from me. This is cringey in itself for two reasons : 1. It was possibly my teacher. Isn't swimming in a pool wearing next to nothing illegal or something?  2. I must have looked like I was checking out my English teacher, contributing to my overall unintentional perverse presence at this pool. I decided to swim on, and not look back. I was never going to get an A anyway.

Rule 5 - Always try and prove to the posh professional swimmer guy in speedos you are just as good as him and under no circumstances can he overtake you in your own lane.
There is always going to be a guy there who thinks he owns the pool. He's pretty easy to spot. Swimming cap, poncy goggles that look like they've been beamed down from outer space, special "speedo endurance" swimwear. Thrashing around in the water trying to beat his own personal best, and taking pleasure in over taking everyone. Exhibit:

Show this guy what you're made of. Especially if he crosses into your own lane. Challenge him, swim up parallel to him and assert your authority. Just because he has a cap doesn't make him better. Just because he has bigger muscles doesn't make him superior. (Even bend Rule 4 a bit and make eye contact - a ferocious stare). Just make sure you win the race.

Rule 6 - Pick your timing wisely.
Today, I was unfortunate enough to pick the time to go to the pool when all the children in the whole town would be there, thanks to the council's "All children free from 11AM" rule, the pricks. I was doing a casual breast-stroke, when suddenly, the next time I looked up, children were swarming from the changing rooms, screaming and laden with rubber-rings and arm-bands, shooting off into the pool in a mass frenzy. It was an invasion. Already half the pool had been taken over. Posh-Professional-Swimmer-Guy was down, the children crashing through the invisible boundaries that was his lane with their floats and plastic balls, and I knew I was next. I bolted to the end lane and started doing a violent front crawl which would repel any living thing, let alone a child. I claimed my lane like I'd never claimed my lane before. It's life and death - if you don't assert yourself, those children will bring you down faster than a pinata, they are a force to be reckoned with. Exhibit:

If you are like my friend who is scared of children full stop - never venture into any pool of some sort - they WILL find you.

Well there you have it, the unspoken rules and etiquette of the swimming pool. Just remember to not look like a pervert, be wary of the children and be assertive and you should survive. Apart from these minor complications, swimming really is an enjoyable sport. And, if you keep doing it, you may even end up looking like this: 
Just a little bit of motivation.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

The frustrating, somewhat destructive, and unproductive wait for exam results…

I wake up in the morning, most definitely not feeling like P Diddy, but instead with a growing dread in my stomach as I mentally count down the days until exam results. So far, there are four days to go, which to me seems like an endless barren wasteland of non – productive days, instead they are spent just sitting, waiting and hoping, and casually refreshing the facebook newsfeed every five seconds.
There seems to be no escaping the mention of exam results. As an average seventeen year old, I have found anybody at least 10 years older than you is going to ask you about how your exams went, mostly because they find it difficult to relate to young people of today and decide to opt for the easy subject of exams, a subject that is one of pain and frustration. All you can do is pull a grimace, stutter out an “eeeeeeer” and pray for the subject to pass, for fear of tempting fate if you say “Oh, I think they went okay…” only to find that the letter that pops through your door some months later proclaims you’ve failed everything and your life is over. Even when with your friends, there is always going to be one irritating little prick who’s claps his hands together with glee, smiles and says; “only 3 days to go guys!”. In response to this statement, this guy gets a cold evil stare left right and center, because really everybody knows that this annoying prick is going to get straight A’s, get a job as a Doctor or a Lawyer, go on holidays to Barbados with his wife who some what resembles Victoria Beckham and never look back.
For those of us not set on the path to becoming a Doctor or a Lawyer, one begins to question: “What the fuck do I DO with my life?!”. We’re all struggling to get to university and make our way in the world, yet, we’re all rushing to get SOMEWHERE, but once we get there, what then? It’s like walking all the way to the store, and forgetting what you came for.
And in the barren wasteland that is the days before the exam results pop through the door, many, including myself, begin to over think what our purpose in life is. I’m so bored and anxious about my future, I find myself doing “What is your life’s purpose?! quiz’s on questionable websites with adverts at the side containing blonde, overly tanned women asking me if I’m single and would I like a good time. No thanks love. Put your top back on. 
Also, while one is busy doing nothing and wondering about life’s purpose, the homework set by teachers  at school to be completed for next term sits in the corner, building and building, becoming a heavier burden that is somewhat ignored. Sorry teacher, but I’m too busy having a mid-teen crisis to care about your worksheets and shitty little textbooks. Is reading the Russian Revolution textbook going to give me my exam results? NO.
It seems all we can do is sit and wait, and distract ourselves by endlessly trawling facebook and playing QWOP. Oh and maybe occasionally moving from the bed to get food, and then retreat back to the hovel, A.K.A the bedroom, which has somewhat become a dump, the floor no longer visible. Yes mum, I’ll tidy it later. (Later meaning, never.)
In short, all together everyone: