I caught a glimpse of the Olympic Torch

Today, I braved the heat (unusual for any time of year) to witness a historic moment that I will be able to tell my grandchildren about in many years to come. The build up was tremendous (at least on my part), despite the traditional British moaning about the traffic, the sneaky immigration and the new olympic lanes.

The crowds slowly built up…

The police were waiting whilst telling people to keep to the pavement…

Coca Cola made an appearance, commercialising the entire event and gaining publicity that they most definitely do not need…

And finally, the Olympic Torch passed us by. Those who blinked missed it. The torch-bearer was jogging along the road and was gone before some people had even realised he had arrived. I was prepared and managed to catch it on video.

These small fleeting moments make up history and it feels good to be a part of it, even if it means baking under the hot sun for three seconds worth of a historical event.

KONY has earned himself a blog post

I don’t normally share YouTube links on here, I’m surprised I even know how. I am more of a writer but sometimes pictures have a far greater effect. If it is a half-hour long stream of moving pictures, more so.

Watch this video and pass it on like a game of Chinese whispers- without the whispering part and without the mishearing and misinforming…So, maybe not Chinese whispers exactly. Nevertheless, I was brilliant at that when I was in primary school and now I’m playing it on the net, at a far greater scale.

I wonder if the African children in Uganda ever got to play games like Chinese whispers…

Joseph Kony. Evil. Don’t whisper it.

When I grow up, I want to be…

When I grow up, I want to be…

That’s the title every child starts off with when they first begin their education as a tiny 5-year-old and one that follows them throughout their school years. What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be a builder like daddy! I want to be a nurse like mummy! I want to be a teacher like you! Every child has their own response and those that don’t copy the child next to them. A response is expected.

What is also expected is for that response to change. People are indecisive, children are fickle and what could be your dream job one day could be a bore the next, especially as your interests change, you find out that you’re not actually that good a singer and you realise that if you were an astronaut you would miss your mummy too much.

I’m no different and have been through the usual winded route of twisted career paths. These include but are not limited to:

  • An aeroplane- I must have shut out this shameful memory but my parents claim that I once had this peculiar aspiration.
  • A baker- I have an adorable photograph of myself in a white baker’s hat and apron for a school assembly.
  • A secret agent- If it happens, you’ll be the last to know.
  • Lawyer- A terrible work experience thwarted me of this career. Legally Blonde is just a movie.
  • Vampire- one word: Twilight
  • Journalist- I’m a blogger. That counts, right?
  • Writer- Forever and always. I can always write in my free time and be a writer on the sidelines, it doesn’t have to be my main career and I don’t need to get a degree to learn how to write. It’s just something that you do and that evolves naturally; the more you take in reading, the more you give out in writing.

Inspired my media, friends and the latest craze, those are some of the career options I have entertained in my unsettled mind.

It’s just so difficult deciding what you want to spend the rest of your life doing and there is so much pressure to make the right decision, especially now. Unemployment rates are toppling, university fees are rocketing and all you hear from the depressing news is that even if you go to university and dedicate years of your life studying, you will amount to nothing. Universities are extremely competitive, you will never get a place. If you get a place, you’ll drown in debt. If you survive university, you still won’t get a job. If you get a job, your wages will be cut or you’ll become redundant after your first week. All the horror stories about Britain’s unemployed youth are enough to make me feel like giving up, before I’ve even started.

Nevertheless, I think that I have finally decided what I want to be when I grow up and it is something that nobody expected; I surprised even myself. I want to be a doctor. Seriously. I cried when I had to get a blood test, but I still want to be a doctor. It is nothing that I have ever considered. When I was younger and we played make-belief hospitals, I was always the patient but I suppose you don’t always know what you want when you’re younger. When you’re younger you want everything and not always the right things.

It makes more sense if I explain that I want to be a psychiatrist and to do that I have to go through medicine and then specialise. I’m a deep thinker and a professional over-analyst so the job suits me perfectly. No blood or guts, just take a step into my office for a lovely chat and tell me how that makes you feel. That’s more like me, not that I mind being a ‘doctor’ either, although I’m sure it would take some adjusting to, but just like with anything else, determination can take you a long way. I’m sure that if you know the theory behind it, you won’t be so squeamish when its time to stick a tube into someone.

Since voicing my intention to enter the field of medicine, my family has embraced it whole heartedly. I never thought it of you, but now that I think about it, I can imagine having a doctor as a daughter. Which daughter is the question, because now both my younger sisters have decided that they might want to be doctors as well. Junior Doctors (BBC3) is now a family favourite and I’m sure that pretty soon I’ll have paper-cuts and twisted ankles to examine.

It may never happen, I may change my mind again but I’m really starting to think that this is it. I even e-mailed Imperial College to ask about their entry requirements! If that doesn’t show commitment ,then what does?

Wouldn’t it be funny if in twenty years time, I look back at this post, shake my head and think, “I can’t believe I wanted to be a doctor,” before telling my class that it’s time to go outside and play? The future is a tricky thing to control or even to guess right and you never know what’s waiting for you. I don’t believe those people that say, they always knew what they were meant for. How about you?

It’s here!

Rejoice! Celebrate! Skip joyfully around the entire house and let everybody know that it’s snowing! School will be out for the next few days, cars will be blanketed in a layer of white wonder and everywhere will become a giant playground for children and adults alike to throw themselves in the snow and throw the snow at each other. That is, unless the spoilsport of a sun decides to shine intensely on our excitement and create a sloppy mush in place of the snow that is at this minute falling delicately, as every person in London leans their face against the glass.

I can’t help but check every few minutes that the snow is still falling and give an occasional squeal when I see that not only is it still falling but it is falling faster and heavier. It too is desperate and in a hurry to settle, accumulate and be played with after such a long period of still admiration. I enjoy playing in the snow but the still admiration is probably my favourite part. After a few minutes playing in the snow, I feel wet, cold and unimpressed, every single year, but I never tire of watching it fall. It looks so perfect, pure and untouched in the early morning and I resent the person, or cat, that disturbs it with its footprints and the cars that turn it into murky, brown slush and the cruel men that sprinkle their deadly salt.

The whole city is transformed and looks more beautiful than it has ever been under the frosting of millions of tiny little snowflakes. It hides the dirt and draws your attention away from the problems, as well as creating a few of its own; transport is treacherous but if everyone just stayed inside and admired the snow without having to venture out, that wouldn’t be the case.

I think I must have gotten up from my chair and checked the snow out of my window at least eight times during the writing of this blog post. It is still snowing. It is settling. It is magical. No wonder so many poets attribute numerous poems to its praise. I would too.

If it’s snowing where you are, enjoy the snow and make the most of it. Make a snowman, pelt a total stranger, stick out your tongue and catch the flakes… Due to global warming, you may never see the snow again.

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?

Congratulations! You can now pay tax!

This afternoon, I arrived home from school to find a brown, rectangular envelope with my name on it. It is not a common occurrence so I immediately ripped it open, with much vigor, to find a highly anticipated letter. Whether this anticipation was in dread or excitement, I am not yet sure.

Mr HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs) has finally decided to end my tax-free existence and so I am now (when I start working), a tax-paying citizen of the United Kingdom. I will be amongst the common folk that will pay a large sum of their mediocre wages to tax, whilst the rich get richer and evade it. The tax man will be my boss.It sounds worse the more I write about it. I am beginning to question my earlier sanity, as I jumped around the living room in pure delight at the fact I had to pay tax! What was I thinking? Of course, it marks a great step in my life and is an important part of my transition into adulthood but the idea of complaining about the rise in taxes rather than laughing at those complaining does not have a very large appeal. Perhaps, I will just buy a house in Monaco, Dubai or any other tax-free country with electricity and running water.

What do you think? Feel free to offer you condolences or congratulations.

Snow causes disruptions

Mr Snowman

My sisters' snowman-a beacon of hope

London has been hit-hard. At least that’s how they’re making it out to be. The way people are panicking and complaining one would think that we were all trapped in our houses with no means of escape, huddled together in the dark next to a weakly lit candle as we waited for outside help,worrying that our final tins of food would soon run out. But that is definitely not the case. It can’t be that bad if I could go shopping  today and still find the shopping centre full. Poor shoppers, did the snow push them all the way to the shops and force them to spend all their hard-earned cash? Did they slip all the way to the shoes aisle? How tragic.

That’s not to say that I’m particularly happy about the snow situation in London. The way people have reacted is both annoying and depressing. Turn on the news and you get an elongated weather forecast. Turn on the radio and you get an elongated weather forecast. Facebook- elongated weather forecast. One hint of snow and all my online friends seem to feel the need to report it. I get it. It’s snowing. Moving on now…

Let’s not forget whose fault the snow is. The government is fully responsible for the fact that snow is falling as I type. What a bunch of amateur politicians. Evidently they are unable to take care of the proper running of this country. First, they bring us into a recession. Then, they raise student fees. And now, as if all that was not enough; they make it snow. They have ruined the holidays of thousands of people,at least my family’s holiday…

Due to heavy snow and icy conditions many airports are not operating as normal. Many flights were cancelled, runways closed and people stranded. My father and sisters were scheduled to fly to Algeria yesterday morning. They woke up early, all packed and ready to go, said their goodbyes and they were off. Imagine my disappointment when they were back an hour later because their flight had been cancelled. I was looking forward to a week of peace with my mum but was denied it because of the snow government. They are still here and they don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon as the snow is still falling. The only positive outcome of the snow is that I have no school. My school doesn’t break up until Friday, after which my mother and I are scheduled to jet off to Algeria if all goes well and the flight isn’t cancelled. Fingers crossed.

Hope the snow isn’t ruining your holidays,

Yasmine