An open tag

Aside

So, I’ve been tagged by Blogs-Of-A-Bookaholic and because today, it is thundering and the sky is gloomy, and because I love being asked questions, I am full of answers.

Here are the questions she asked:

1.) Which book do you think should be adapted into a film that hasn’t been already?

Hard one to answer because many of the books I have read are already films, that’s usually how I find out about them. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, if it isn’t already a film.

2.) Which classic are you too scared to read/keep putting off? (E.g. War and Peace.)

I do not fear books. Give me a classic, I’ll clear up my schedule. I might not particularly like the book but I’ll see it through.

3.) Sam or Dean Winchester? (Show Supernatural)

I don’t watch the show but I like the name Dean better. Sam is too common.

4.) Do you think the paperback will become extinct and be fully replaced with the Kindle?

I thought so at first but then I read a quote by Stephen Fry :“Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators.”

5.) Have you ever had an experience with the paranormal? E.g Ghosts, aliens etc.

No, just the usual sounds in the middle of the night that turn out to be the dishwasher or dark figures that are really just shadows.

6.) Your least favourite genre to read?

Full-packed action. I can’t follow to many movements and usually skim over battle scenes.

7.) Who’s biography would you consider reading?

My own, from the future. I would get to read about everything I will do, any mistakes I should avoid and I could get things done a lot quicker and do more in life because no time would be wasted if I know the shortcuts.  

 8.) The best birthday present you’ve ever had?

I’ve suddenly gone blank and can not recall a single past birthday present. I don’t make a big deal about birthdays. I don’t even remember what I got for my last birthday. Oh, money. I got money.

9.) Your opinion on Shades of Grey? (Whether you have read it or not.)

I definitely haven’t read it but I think that it should be totally banned because it gives people distorted ideas about human relationships and I believe in the sanctity of marriage as the only place for sex.

10.) Your favourite place to read?

It’s the book not the place. Somewhere quiet but not eerily so, warm, dry and comfortable. My bed is just fine but so is the sofa.

11.) Which books from present day do you think has the potential to become a classic 50/100 years down the line?

Harry Potter. All of these vampire, werewolf and demon series are great teenage reads but they’ll never last. Harry Potter has longevity. It has the magic and the magical creatures but it does it right.

The people I’m tagging:

The Chronicles Of Radiya

and ten more volunteers. Just volunteer in the comment box.

And that is how you take the easy option and compensate for your inability to make Blog Buddies.

My Questions:

1) What is the first book you have a memory of as a child?

2) What is the last book you’ve read?

3) What is the worst book you’ve read?

4) Vampires. Yes or no?

5) What are your favourite T.V programmes?

6) What two book characters from different books do you think would make the perfect couple?

7) How do you mark your page?

8) Hop on a plane right this minute. Where to?

9) Have you abandoned any book series? Why? Name them.

10) Do you have any book quirks/habits?

11) What hopes do you have for the future?

The Rules:
1. You must post the rules.
2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post.
3. Create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
4. Tag eleven people with a link to your post.
5. Let them know they’ve been tagged.

So, tag away.

Dreams of Travel

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

The world is huge, wonderful and amazing. Those are only the first three adjectives that came to mind. It is so vast but when you point to your location on the map, your finger covers it. Only a small speck on the globe.

I wonder about the other specks. Their different languages, buildings and ways of doing things. I am not content with images, not matter how vivid and detailed. I want to be there. I want to explore.

Where do you want to go? Anywhere. Somewhere different. Somewhere new. Somewhere that will make me feel foreign and lost but allow me to enjoy every moment of it. I haven’t done that in a while. I always visit the same few countries and whilst I’m sure they hold their own magic, it is not to be found in the same places I am obliged to stay at. Duty calls and when you live far from any extended family, it ties you down, every school holiday.

I’m not even sure if I love travel. It could just be the idea of it. A right of passage for the young: a desire to explore, to find where you truly belong. A common cliché of life. Maybe it’s just a passing phase, or maybe it’s just the boredom of being home for the summer, but right now I want to travel, somewhere, anywhere.

Big cities full of lights and shopping centres, or small rural villages where locals make traditional handmade crockery- I have no preference. Hot or cold, snow or dessert- as long as it is not British climate. Or if it is to be in British climate, not London. You can travel in your country; there are many places within a few hours drive that you have yet to see and wonder in awe at. Ever since studying a poem about Romney Marsh, I’ve been wanting to visit the lyrically described scenery in Kent. I am also attracted to Italy; the language, the Mediterranean atmosphere, the small villages by the sea, the history and the architecture left for us to see.

I’m tired of my little speck of the world. I want to travel.

Anyone else want to travel? Where to? Or are you lucky enough to already be abroad?

 

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.

Why do we always think the worst?

This afternoon, I was out shopping on Oxford Street with my sister and as is the norm the place was packed with shoppers, many of them tourists. I bought a periwinkle cardigan and black harem trousers and tried on a few maxi dresses but because I am incredibly short, those were left behind. I was happy with my purchases but they were not the only things I brought back with me.

Somewhere in between one shop and another, amongst a throng of people walking past each other, one stopped and handed me an object. It was unexpected and my automatic response was to take it. I hardly had time to look at the curly-haired woman who gave it to me and did not look at the object itself until she was gone, leaving my sister and I in a state of confusion.

Here is what she gave me:

After we had gotten over the initial surprise our thoughts naturally turned to the worst conclusions. My sister thought that it might be a computer virus and I thought that it might be the stolen data of a major corporation or bank that had been hidden with an unsuspecting stranger who know one would suspect (me), to be collected at a later date. Neither of us thought, maybe it could be a….I can’t even think of anything positive that it could be.

Is it a city thing to be suspicious of everybody’s motives? A result of reading too many crime novels or watching too much CSI? Or even watching too much news? Why did we automatically think the worst?

I’m wondering what other people would think in the same situation. What do you think is on the SD card? I’m not going to dare to find out but I’d like to read your thoughts.

Second Attempt at Work Experience

As I have completed my GCSEs this year, I started my summer holidays extremely early and almost a month has gone by since. I wouldn’t want that month to have gone to waste and my extra bit of holiday to amount to nothing, so I decided to do something productive and get a job, not a paid one, but a job nonetheless.

Working at my local medical practice this past week was actually quite enjoyable and I have learnt many things; it was a nice change from my last work placement and this time I got to do more than just a spot of shredding.

This is just part of what I got up to during my time at the practice:

Monday

I met everyone in the practice and they were nice and friendly. I did some scanning, stamping, opening of letters as if it were Christmas and nosed about through patients’ business (only I can’t tell you anything). I sat at reception and saw the way they prioritised patients in order of urgency, handle prescriptions and rude patients.

Tuesday

I spent the morning with the phlebotomist (blood-taker), learned how to find my veins (the visible blue ones), and my pulse. I held warm blood tubes and gently shook them so as not to break the cells. I noticed that not everyone is as big a wimp as I am; I saw our first patient through my fingers but then became more comfortable as I saw the ease of the procedure and the speed at which the tubes filled up. I didn’t take any blood but by the end of it I felt like I would know how to. Perhaps some dart practice to help me along…

Wednesday

I joined the nurse in vaccinating squirming children, poking at squidgy swollen feet and peeking into magnified ears. I learnt that cotton buds are evil and that their inventor’s motivation was purely financial. The ears had dried blood, blocking wax and a burst drum, all because of an innocent looking cotton bud. A man entered with sharp abdominal pains; trapped wind was suggested but upon checking a urine sample, blood was detected even though the urine looked perfectly normal. I also pressed a little boy’s spotty belly to see if it was meningitis but because the spots reappeared shortly after pressing and he was far too lively, it was nothing serious.

Thursday

I did general admin work; updating event calendars, taking in and stamping the mail and discovering a birthday card (not for me) in the mail. I oversaw a patient consultation meeting, signing people in and making sure forms were completed. I rummaged through a neat filing system to find a patient’s notes, hidden deep within.

Friday

I spent the day with the practice manager, made call cards with everyone’s telephone numbers (for when the building gets bombed and cordoned off), got to grips with the new laminator she had just bought, typed up notices, laminated them once I had figured out the laminator, and got to go home early because she was leaving at the same time. I also signed a non-disclosure of confidential information contract, so, in case of any lawyers chasing me up, I have withheld all names and the people reading this are perfectly trust-worthy.

These are just a few of the things I noticed:

  • Everyone makes use of the internet, whether to check the symptoms of a minor ailment or to show the patient where the kidneys are in their body. The internet is an extra employee.
  • Urgency is subjective. What one person considers serious another would not even blink at. My family does not often visit the GP, but there were people requesting urgent appointments for a mosquito bite.
  • Politeness is appreciated. Many receptionists complained about the demanding nature of some patients. Not even a thankyou.

This week has been extremely beneficial in terms of gaining experience and a feel for the medical profession. I still want to be some kind of doctor, still a psychiatrist but I am now also considering working in A&E. I have another week to go and am pleased to say that I am actually looking forward to it.

The anticlimactic end

After five weeks of GCSE exams, I would expect to feel more excited than I do at the moment. After 5 years of education in the same school, I would expect to feel something greater than what I do now. However, my own feelings are non co-operative and I even sense a hint of boredom approaching. Is it a case of delayed reactions or is finishing a key stage of your education not so important? After all, if all goes according to plan, I have plenty more years to go.

Perhaps, it is a completely opposite case of advanced reactions. I celebrated the end before it came? What with counting down to the finale with each completed exam, my final exam may have been just another step and although it was the final one, it did not get any more recognition than the first because my mind had got so used to taking steps. Had the exams been compacted into a single week, I think I would have felt more emotional at the end, relieved and excited, but because they were spread over weeks, all the feeling diffused in between. Maybe A-levels will feel like more of an accomplishment…

I can’t believe I am already going to do A-levels. It feels like only this morning I was practising for my weekly spelling tests, but in reality, it has been a long time since I’ve done one of those. It has been a long time since I’ve been in a playground. Teenagers do not go to the playground at break time. It has been a long time since I’ve lined up in a straight line, crossed my arms and placed a finger on my lips. Teenagers are not so docile. It has been a long time since I’ve used a pencil to write, carried a lunchbox, worn plimsolls, frozen when the whistle blew for the end of break or sat on the carpet. Those were the good ol’ days… Years go by so quickly and things change so fast. I can already feel the wrinkles hiding under my teenage skin, bidding their diminishing time.

I was talking to an elderly lady on the bus this morning and she was telling me about the importance of buying the right pair of shoes to maintain a good, healthy back. I found myself wondering if she felt like only that morning she had been practising for her weekly spelling tests. Trust me to get all reflective and go into deep thinking over something as trivial as finishing exams…

Exams are over! School is out! I am using exclamation marks to compensate for my lack of enthusiasm!

This will be one of the longest summer holidays I have ever had and to ward off feelings of boredom or unnecessary over thinking, I will read all the books that I had no time for during the school year. So, recommendations please!

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.

Tags are excuses to be nosy

My little sister, who was tagged by my mother, who was tagged by another sister, tagged me. I will take part in this family game of tag, but I am afraid the family connections end here.

Do you have a middle name?

Unfortunately not and I am still not over it. I was not worth the extra thinking for an additional name and I am pretty sure that I was not consulted.


What’s your favourite subject at school?

English Literature, languages (Spanish/French), and history. Teachers have a significant impact on the preference towards a subject but I genuinely enjoy studying them- reading suddenly becomes studying.

What’s your favourite drink?

Strawberry juice. It’s light, smells of summer and looks like blood. 

Favourite song at the moment?

The birthday song. Isn’t that everyone’s favourite? Who doesn’t love their birthday? Happy Birthday mum!

What would you name your children?

This one is difficult. If someone were to pry into my computer and look through my personal documents, they would find a curious little word document with a list of names for any future children I may have. The list is embarrassingly long and as I don’t want more than one or two children, the few I may have will be burdened with the names of many. Where I do not have a middle name, they may have more names than they can spell. The latest additions to my ever-growing list are Nina and Adina, and I most recently crossed out Caramel and Aphrodite; in retrospect, they are terrible names.

Do you participate in any sports?

I enjoy sports but at the moment I do not participate in any, unless yoga is included. P.E class used to be my only form of exercise but now that I am on study leave, I hardly move.

Favourite book?

Anything with words.

Favourite colour?

Purple.

Favourite perfume?

Light, fresh and fruity with a hint of spice. I currently smell like Calvin Klein’s Beauty.

Have you graduated High School?

I am in the process of graduating Secondary School, with only three exams left. High School is for Americans and if the movies are anything to go by, they don’t do much studying.

Have you ever been out of the country?

I have been to Algeria, Spain and France. I dream of travelling everywhere but I am parent-bound and my mother is unadventurous. Since the invention of the internet and Google Earth, she can not see the point.

Do you speak any other languages?

Spanish, Arabic and French. I can count to twenty-nine in Basque and say ‘I hate you’ in Somali.

Do you have any siblings?

Yes. They claim to be related.

What’s your favourite store?

When it comes to shopping for clothes, I have no preference. I’m not one to go by brands and designer names. If I can afford it and it does not make me look terrible, then it’s mine.

Favourite restaurant?  

I’m not a big fan of food. So, anywhere with a nice view and preferably not in England.

Do you like school?

It depends on the day, but generally, I do. More so this past school year, when I just happen to be leaving. I didn’t like it a few years ago. I felt that it was a lot of pressure and the social aspect made me cringe; I can not handle school drama.

Favourite youtubers?  

Pass.

Favourite movie?

Again, difficult… I enjoy the Harry Potter series, I enjoyed the Hunger Games, but those are just the first ones that come to mind, not necessarily my favourites.

Favourite T.V shows?

I hate all these ‘favourite questions’. It is much easier to decide on your least favourite. I enjoy Downton Abbey, The Apprentice, The Vampire Diaries and more recently, medical programmes such as Junior Doctors and 24hrs in A & E.

P.C or Mac?

Neither. I know the internet, not their techno-vessels.

What phone do you have?

HTC Wildfire S.

How tall are you?

A more appropriate question would be, how short am I… Ridiculously short. My younger sister is much taller than me.

I now tag a non-related blogger. Becky, you’re it. I know you have exams, so pass it on if you don’t have time.

Going through exams…

My life is currently full of exams; hence, my (hopefully noted) absence on the blogging scene. It’s not for lack of time as ‘study leave’ leaves me with more hours than I need, but it is because I fear I will use up all my words and creativity on a blog post and then during the exam I will be all dried out. That would be a problem.

I take a very relaxed approach to my exams, or at least I think I do as I have no one to compare myself against, unless I include the brief conversations I have with other students who seem frazzled, are running on energy drinks or coffee and are lost if it is not on their revision notes. I revise but at a slow pace. Too little revision will make me feel unprepared and lacking in confidence and familiarity with the exam material, whilst too much revision will make me feel anxious. I hope I’ve got the balance right and that I get the results I’m hoping for.

It helps to remember that exams are not the whole world, that if I fail it will not signal the commencement of the apocalypse and that I should try my best, but there is no real way to completely get rid of nerves. Strangely enough, I find that the only exams I get nervous before are the English papers, not science which I find harder or any other subject, only English. It is one of my favourite subjects and yet I feel most nervous when it comes to it. Maybe it’s because I truly want to do well and I have such high expectations of myself and so I feel more pressured. Maybe it’s because I always do well in English and as the questions can be slightly unpredictable, I fear that my passing streak will somehow fail at the crucial moment.

I had my English Literature paper this morning and I feel extremely positive about my performance. I wrote more than I usually do, I used ‘bigger words’ than I normally do and even had time to read over some of my work. In less humble words…I aced it!  I hope so anyway. Last night I could not sleep without thinking about To Kill a Mockingbird, zooming my unconscious state into non-existent extracts in the book. Within those tense hours of sleep, I was late for the exam, I ran out of time during the exam and I took the exam at home but was unable to concentrate because of my parents’ persistent shouting. Does this happen to anyone else or am I completely alone in these unusual nocturnal behaviours?

On Thursday, a poetry exam I will sit.

I really hope it will be easy.

Wednesday night, the anxiety will hit;

My stomach already feels a little queasy.

It’s an afternoon exam so I get to wake up late!

But that just means amongst the nervousness and apprehension, I will be stuck.

As you can probably tell, my ability to write poetry is not too great.

Fortunately, I am only analysing them, so, wish me luck!

The End

Today marks an end. A chapter in my life has closed and as much as I would like to put a bookmark in it, nothing can stop natural progression. I’ll miss that old chapter, and I’ll remember the general contents, although the exact words may evade me. My favourite characters will be remembered fondly and may be carried on with me to the next chapter and others will die as an idea within those pages but all will have an impact on the rest of the book; my life.

Analogy over and done with, let me return to the basics. Today was my last day of school. I have been in this school for five years. Five years are a long time. I will return only for exams that will end in mid-June. I will see my classmates only in states of nervousness and then we will depart onto bigger things, farther apart.

It seems strange that I won’t be waking up at 6.45 each morning to wear the same uniform to take the same journey to get to the same school, as I have done for the past five years. I’m glad to be finished but also sad. I didn’t realise how much I loved my school until I was leaving it, how much the teachers cared and how the students weren’t all that bad after all (most of them).

I’m not going to get all emotional in text, I was incapable of shedding a tear today. So, as everyone was bawling, even the known sociopath, I was taking pictures of their teary moments. We showed the entire school a video montage of out time, gave small speeches and left the teachers with one last surprise. Ellen’s Dance Dares!

If this new phenomena has not yet trended near you (Antarctica?), the rules of the game are simple: sneak up behind people, dance, don’t get caught and catch it on camera. Being the daredevil I am, I got behind two teachers and busted a few moves, and being the darling angel I am, they did not see it coming. The result was a hilarious collection of unsuspecting teachers going about their normal, daily routines and a band of sneaky, hoodied-up leavers waving, bopping, shaking and anything else that would classify as dancing. Unfortunately, we failed to get the headteacher. She was never around when the camera was out, or perhaps she was watching us on CCTV and knew to stay away.

It hasn’t really hit me yet that I am leaving. I still remember being in my first year and watching the year’s leavers say their goodbyes, thinking that they were so lucky to go and that I still had ages left before being set free. I did that every single year for four years and now it is my turn, but, I just feel like holding onto the chains, even as they loosen to let me go. I really am going to miss my school.

If I’m not going to cry, the least I can do is write to express what sadness I must be feeling. I know I am sad, I just don’t feel sad. I say I’m sad. I just don’t feel sad. It must be because I know I’m not really leaving. I shall, not by choice, be popping round for exams from time to time and then, any feelings of sorrow will be overshadowed by nervousness and panic. Even then, I’ll still pass by every once in a while. I hope.

*Exams coming up. I might have to use my computer for more productive activities. Pray I do well. The future of many mentally unstable people depend on it.