Nightmares- Ducks, Cars and Exams

I’m generally not a restless sleeper. When I wake up, I find my bed almost done and I can hardly remember what I dreamt about the night before. I tried keeping a dream journal once but that didn’t work out because I wouldn’t have anything to jot down. Dreams are said to have signs and hidden meanings but I just think that they are whatever you are thinking about whilst you are asleep. We never truly have a moment’s rest and our minds can not be expected to switch off for eight hours a night. We might forget how to think in that lapse of time and wake up dumber than when we went to bed.

 

Lately, my dreams have been worrying. Some our self-explanatory. I have my GCSE exam results coming up in a few weeks so it’s natural that I should have nightmares about them. I dreamt that my statement of results was given to me in Arabic and so I couldn’t understand it, even though I can actually read Arabic, and that our form tutor went through the humiliating, old-fashioned process of reading out everybody’s results. That kind of dreaming is normal and expected. I don’t dream of failing exams, I just dream of getting lower grades than I would have liked and receiving them in Arabic.

 

Some dreams are just bizarre. How would you explain being surrounded by ducks with nowhere to escape? I tried to cross the bridge but it became submerged in water and a duck blocked my way. I turned to the left. Duck. I frantically turned to the right. Quack. Then, I woke up, shaken and confused to find that what I thought was a feathered wing was actually a fold in my flowery pink duvet. What does such a dream say about my state of mind? Does it say anything about my personality? How about my future? I think not, but I could be wrong.

 

Another strange dream found me defending my mother’s incorrectly parked vehicle from a large woman by biting her hand as she pointed her keys at me as if they were a gun. This resulted in me locking the door and windows before peddling all the way home. The only possible message here is that I was born to be the hero, to cycle, or to clean up my mother’s mistakes.

So, what do you think? Do dreams always have a point or are you sometimes so tired that you start thinking gibberish in your sleep? Has anyone had any weird dreams lately? Leave a comment if you would like me to have a go at interpreting it for you. Although, don’t put too much faith in whatever I come up with.

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Round and round we go

Yesterday, in celebration of the end of our exams, a bunch of thrill-seeking teenagers headed off to Thorpe Park to pass the day high- in the sky- shaking about the brain cells that they would not be needing for a few months.

We were not the only ones with the same idea and many other teenagers, donning the same Leavers’ Hoodies as us, had decided upon the same day to visit the theme park. This influx of visitors creates a very serious problem and the one thing that I hate the most about theme parks: queues. I almost wish for it to rain just so that everyone, but me, will go home and leave me to the rides.

Fortunately, the queues were long but endurable and the longest length of time we had to wait was 45 minutes, which is relatively short if you consider that this waiting period can easily go up to 2 hours later on in the summer when most schools start going on trips and during weekends. Queuing up is such an integral, but hated, part of theme parks that they have evolved into something more than just the original straight line of people. Now they are tricky and deceptive, as they wind around hidden corners, behind ruins and into caves. The queues are now mazes of slow-moving people, that create false impressions and hopes that are overcome by groans of dread at the discovery of hidden rows of people.

The option of paying to skip the queues by buying Fastrack strikes me as slightly immoral but it was unnecessary as according to the some of my classmates, they needed the waiting time to digest their food, or coax a wimp onto the ride. Far from being bored, a game of ‘Mathew says’, provided some entertainment as restless teenagers queuing for SAW- The Ride, mindlessly hopped and hi-fived each other on demand, in response to an invisible voice, reflecting the nature of the SAW movies, of which I have only watched the third.

Due to the mostly short queues, I managed to go on just about every major roller coaster, and even had time for the little boats and the spinning tea cups! I am not scared of heights and whilst most people scream on rollercoasters, I can’t help but laugh. In every single one of the theme park photos, I was smiling, and not just because I always made sure to be ready for the flash. Nothing scared me.

Not SAW- THE RIDE,

Saw Rollercoaster - Thorpe Park

or the new SWARM.

Well, almost nothing scared me. The thrill and excitement that had me cackling in hysteric joy up in the air was not present when it came to the most childish but diabolical ride ever to be created.

The Rocky Express:

With time to kill between roller coasters, my friends and I had a go on this small train ride, that quickly went round and round in a circle, over a series of bumps. Though it was a therapeutic massage compared to the bigger rides, it made me extremely nauseous and I couldn’t wait for it to end and to escape my bright red train carriage.

Unfortunately, that was not so. Despite unanimous protest, bar one, the controller gave us another nostalgic go. Bearing my teeth and holding my poor stomach, I endured it and when it finally stopped, I felt ready to kiss the ground- had I been allowed to reach it. For again the evil controller refused to stop the ride and around we went for a few more infernal minutes as she laughed on with a manic smile. At least on a roller coaster you have the benefit of knowing that in 20 seconds, it will all be over, but on this ride, we were not sure when or if we would ever be allowed to leave. No one would hear our screams over the mind numbing cowboy music. Three consecutive rounds were enough to satiate the sick urges of the controller and her smile illustrated her twisted sense of humour as she allowed us the room to escape, angry and green in the face. All our anger was turned onto one of our own as we found out that she had been in cahoots with the controller and that the sly nods of her head, had been the signal for the commencement of our torture. Betrayal in its purest form.

I have never been on so many stomach juggling rides in one day and it was with 15 minutes left to spare that my stomach had finally had enough. The bus ride back was absolute agony. Shattered, I closed my eyes to sleep but the movement of the bus had my mind twirling, tumbling and looping as if I were still on a roller coaster. Then, the road bumps, which the unsympathetic driver took no care with, were torturous. Even as I closed my eyes to sleep at night, I could not rid myself of that falling and swirling sensation.

Who came up with the idea of strapping a person to a piece of metal and tossing them about viciously in the air anyway?

The Procrastinator

I am not poetic. I have not a poetic bone in my entire body. All that seems to change when I have things that must be done. I wrote this poem whilst (or instead of) revising for an upcoming R.S exam and coincidentally it just so happened to be about the act of writing poetry, which I would not normally do, whilst (or instead of) revising for an upcoming R.S exam.

I call it: The Procrastinator

The Procrastinator

Is that what I am?

Or am I just allowing myself sufficient time to think?

I’m just pushing it off.

I’m doing it when the time is right.

After breakfast

Then, lunch

Dinner-

That was two days ago,

That is procrastination.

If you say so.

Who has the right to label the actions of the lazy?

Who has the right to label the lazy?

Only the lazy.

Even then,

The labels

Will

Take

A

Very

Long

Time

In

Coming.

They will arrive at your next birthday.

Can you push off your own date of birth?

Yes.

No.

If you can find the will

To act,

Then you will find that the date will not move.

They fight against the procrastinator.

Imposing numbers

Names of gods

Forced into squares

As the unstoppable

Tick, cross or absolute red ring

Approaches without

A warning

Without a notice

Without hesitation

No flexibility

No mercy

No consideration

Deaf to the pleas of

The procrastinator.

Procrastinator meet time.

He waits for no one.


What do you think of the product of my revision alternative? Don’t worry I have a positive feeling about that exam, but we all know what I am going to blame if I fail.

I type this whilst (or instead of) revising for an upcoming history exam.

Yasmine’s Got Talent?

Britain’s Got Talent is back on our televisions. The competition to find the UK’s most talented act has begun and I know for sure that that act is not me. For one, I did not audition and the second, most important, reason is that I am talentless.

I have no hidden talents that would entertain people, none at all. I can juggle with no more than two pieces of fruit and even then, I drop them more often than I catch them. My sense of humour is dry and subjective, that is to say that I’m the only person that finds myself funny and anything that makes people laugh is unintentional. The same goes for my singing; what I think I sound like and what people actually have to endure could not be more different, particularly on the high notes, if I am to go by the number of blocked ears and pained winces.

Dancing? I get the Macarena wrong and I can’t find my hips. Gymnastics? I stopped being able to touch my toes at the age of five. Magic? The best I can do is find a person’s card, given that they show it to me first. What else is there… Rap? My name is Yasmine– what rhymes with Yasmine? Maybe acting? I am an extremely good liar and I can put on an excellent poker face, but I doubt that anyone would be entertained by watching me pretend to not have seen my friend’s book.

My tongue does not roll nor does it reach my nose. My eyebrows do not move along to music. My elbow does not make farting sounds. Oh! I am a talentless being! Fortunately, I am at least able to accept it. I am not okay with it but I do not delude myself. Watching all the talentless acts stand before the judges and make absolute fools out of themselves, makes me question their sanity. They don’t actually believe that they have talent, do they? It also makes me question their friends and families. Why didn’t they tell them that they had no talent? Aren’t family and friends supposed to safeguard their loved ones’ dignity, instead of tossing it around in a circle in front of a live audience and million of television viewers? Perhaps, they too have been caught up in the delusion.

I’ve always found myself a boring person and it has always been a deep desire of mine to be good at something, to excel at something other than studying, to have the ability to do something unusual that not many other people can do. Some say that everyone is talented in some way or another, so, maybe I just haven’t found my special thing yet. Should I just keep trying or will it find me on its own?

What about you there? If you are lucky enough to have found yours, what is your special talent?

Coming Up: An Olympic special- a post on my lack of sporting ability.   🙂

There’s a War On and I’m Armed

Have you all been following the news lately? Then you’ve heard about the rising tension between the U.S and Iran over their nuclear weaponry and are wondering why this would be of any interest to a girl like me, living all the way in the U.K…

Well then, my mother and her friend have deduced that the recent happenings are a clear sign that World War Three is about to erupt; America is bound to dive straight in and we won’t be far behind. It will not be another Cold War and we will be in the midst of it, therefore, we must be prepared at all times. According to my mother, her friend has an emergency box and is stocking up; we should do the same. I told her that country leaders do not enter wars without giving a reasonable amount of warning; we will not wake up to find nuclear bombs dropping over our heads. Of course, I hadn’t thought of the chaos and rapidly rising prices that a population rushing into the supermarket would cause. It’s better to be one step ahead, even if it’s the wrong one.

It would seem that my mother is joking and that was our initial thought but as tears spilled onto the dinner table whilst some of us laughed on and others shook their heads in contempt, it became evident that she had somehow managed to trick herself into believing her own nonsense. Real tears filled her eyes as she blubbered on about how we would so go through it together as a family…she wouldn’t choose to live through a war with anyone else…we don’t need television if we have each other, so on and so worse…

My sister became extremely annoyed, hinging on disbelieving terror, and arguments ensued about the absurdity of the entire idea. I would rather die than live through a way with you if you’re going to be this emotional. Fortunately, I managed to alleviate the situation by summoning my great expert knowledge in the art of fabrications and convinced them all that, for the moment, we were safe because in accordance to ‘the Geneva Law’ wars can only begin on Mondays and every world war and the Falklands War started on this assigned day. I think they bought it. Unless, they’re reading this.

In the unlikely event of war breaking out, my mother will be well within her right to say ‘I told you so’ and it will serve us all right for not taking heed of her previously ludicrous warning. However, despite the many horror stories of war as well as the grim statistics, the prospect does hold a dangerous allure and evoke some feelings of excitement. All the drama, the evacuation, the heroes and even the food rationing that I have read about would all become a part of my ordinary and action-lacked life. As long as the bombs were falling but nobody were dying, war would be an adventure!

Just in case there is a war and because it is my birthday tomorrow I have finally bought myself my own kindle and will not have to suffer through the rough days of no internet. I spent an entire hour yesterday buying the emergency item, unable to decide between a £60 cheaper and faster kindle without a keyboard or a £60 more expensive and slower kindle with 3G and a keyboard. Decisions, decision and the time bombs were ticking…. I chose the latter, no reason just instinct that took an hour to awaken. So, I await my £60 more expensive and slower kindle with 3G and a keyboard which should be arriving soon. It better arrive before Monday…

In no way am I starting to believe my mother but, in the event of war, what emergency item would help you through?

A bad cook blames her recipe

At last!  Finally, after two very demoralizing first attempts at this cake, I have been successful. I’d like to thank everyone who supported me and believed in me, cheering me on and telling me not to give up. If I ever write my own cookery book, you are all getting a mention. As to all those who doubted me…lets face it the odds were against me anyway so no offence taken.

Dignity regained, and pride now intact; the relief I am feeling at the moment is incredible. I would not have been able to face yet another failure so I’m glad it came out as it was supposed to; no leaks, explosions, deflations etc. Although, before you go thinking that I am completely incompetent let me share something I neglected to mention in my previous post; the reason for my struggle. I am not passing the blame or trying to excuse myself but really it wasn’t entirely my fault. It was the recipe’s fault.

Maybe that sounds a bit farfetched and the saying “a bad workman blames his tools” may spring to mind but in this case it was most definitely the tools’ fault. The recipe is not just any common recipe available to the masses, obtained from the world-wide web. It is exclusive. It is a cherished family recipe passed down from generation to generation, each holder of the recipe improving it and adding their own individual stamp then passing it on to the next in line, until it reached me and I completely annihilated it. I am not trying to garner any sympathy, although I will accept it, but if news gets out I fear I may be disowned!

A slight exaggeration but the cake is a family favourite; always present for birthdays, special gatherings and breakfast the next day. My grandfather has even won a few small competitions for his famous cake and prides himself in being the one who makes it the best, regularly competing with my aunt to retain his title. During last year’s visit, my sister eagerly took down his prize-winning recipe which he was all to pleased to share, glad that someone has taken an interest and would make good use of it. She didn’t. She gave it to me.

And so the blame is passed on to her… She noted down the recipe according to my grandfather’s measurements using a small glass cup, equal to half an ordinary cup. Therefore, every time the recipe required  me to measure an ingredient I would add double the amount. So, most of the dry ingredients were doubled whilst liquid ingredients such as eggs remained the same, resulting in an absolute mess! Now do you see how it wasn’t my fault? No? Then, you are not getting a mention in my book.

Thankfully by the second kitchen disaster I realised that I had interpreted the recipe wrong and so when it came to attempt number 3 I had no problems. Everything went well however I think I may have managed to annoy a lot of people with my eccentric behaviour. I refused anyone entry into the kitchen lest they spoil my concentration and attached myself to the oven, keeping watch for any explosions. Once it was ready and I was certain that nothing had gone wrong, I insisted that everyone taste it at the same time and threw a royal strop when nobody would take part in my eccentricities.

Fortunately, they did humour me long enough for me to take a couple of snaps. So, without further a do, I present to you… attempt number 3:

Look back at my previous post and see how many differences you can spot.

I can’t bake but I can make ’em laugh

I’ve been trying to come up with a way to cover up or at the very least embellish the truth to save myself the humiliation of what I am about to report but I seem to be falling short. There is nothing I can do to improve the situation. Whatever way you look at it, whatever angle you view it from; it’s bad…very bad.

First Attempt- A.K.A “Citrus Gloop”

This weekend, I baked. Following a failed first attempt in which the cake exploded in the oven leaving me with a mess of lemon gloop, I decided to brave the kitchen again and persevere. “Don’t give up” my mum told me, “you can do it”. Despite many lame excuses she succeeded in getting me off my computer and into an apron, thinking that after my first disaster getting it right would be a great boost to my self-esteem and teach me a valuable lesson of determination. How wrong was she…

Second Attempt- A.K.A “Volcanic Masterpiece”

The sequel was initially an improvement on the lemon mess. I followed the same recipe but made sure to do so more precisely as I had been a bit lax the first time round, making my own amendments and substituting where I found myself lacking. Although not perfect, it actually bore some resemblance to a cake; the cracks and bumps on the surface being the only signs of my lack of culinary skill. Pride exploded out of me, in the same manner my first cake had, and I gave myself a premature pat on the back, celebrating my success. Little did I know that success would be short-lived. I was under the false impression that like many baked goodies before it, my volcanic master piece would taste much better than it looked. How wrong was I…

Following my mother’s firm belief that presentation is everything, I placed my cake on a dainty white cake stand in an effort to solve the issue of its appearance and to clarify that yes, that cracked up, bumpy mound is in fact a cake; hence the cake stand. Once satisfied, I readied my eager knife for the moment of truth. My family surrounded me, shooting distrusting glances at the foreign object on our work top, expecting it to explode at any given time; understandable given my previous mishap. Nevertheless, I was not disheartened by their lack of faith and laughed of their skepticism as complete nonsense expecting that they would change their minds as soon as I cut the very first slice of my gorgeous, mouth-watering, gooey, under-cooked cake!

Cake anyone?

I was incredibly disappointed as I had most definitely not been expecting such a tragedy to befall me after already having celebrated my victory. Once again I had been bested by a bothersome lump of flour, eggs and sugar that did not have the decency to rise when instructed to do so!! I am not over reacting. I was truly upset and although my mother tried to salvage as much of the cake as she could by carving the rock hard exterior around the sticky batter into pathetic slices it still felt like a failure.

Dig in. Seriously, it’s rock hard.

It was a shock to me but to the others, hardly a surprise. My sister, always the optimist, hoped that it would still taste somewhat decent and that there was so problem that custard could not solve. How wrong was she…

The cake, despite our hopes, lived up to its less than appealing appearance and was terrible, to say the least. My family made no attempt to spare my feelings and were brutally honest, unanimously agreeing that I was useless in the kitchen. How could I have got it wrong a second time? My sister felt cheated that she had given up an ice cream for it whilst my mother was just glad that she had not made the mistake of inviting any guests over for tea. My other sister was kinder and tried her very hardest to make it through a slice, promising to have some the following day for breakfast whilst my father could do nothing but laugh. In the end we were all laughing and in the future, when we look back on it, we will laugh. I may not be excellent in the kitchen and I may not be able to make a cake but what does that matter when I can make people laugh?

Anyone would think that after my adventures and disasters in baking I would take a hint and give up, perhaps have a go at something simpler like cookies from a ready-made mix, but I am not a quitter. I refuse to give up until I get it right. So, next weekend, I am giving it another try. If you don’t hear from me I am either to embarrassed, too lazy or my house has burned down. Wish me luck.