old, abandoned, blue boat near Peel harbour, IOM

old, abandoned, blue boat near Peel harbour, IOM

cold vintage

cold vintage

Dad's Office

Dad’s Office

During my five weeks off from university, I have spent three days in Dad’s office in Newark in an attempt to get some revision done. Largely, this has been successful, due to a lack of distractions and quiet working environment, with Dad sat opposite me working so I feel that I jolly well should be doing something. However, today I brought my laptop with me to research interpretations of French poetry, which has resulted in watching BBC news 24 as the Boston manhunt is uncovered, and writing this blog. Only one poem has been vaguely revised. I have, however, done an hour grammar and translation test which in some way makes up for it.

As I was washing up the plates from which we had eaten fish and chips for lunch, I thought how I quite like being in a work environment and wondered if I’d ever get a job in a place like this. Then the reality of work was emphasised to me even more; one of Dad’s colleagues was reiterating to me the importance of internships. Without showing your experience of work, how can you expect to be employed against those who have done the work, gone out there and got the CV to prove it?

Nowadays, internships are a prerequisite for getting a job, I am constantly reminded of this through university emails, and competition for them is rife. My question is how do you beat this competition? Is it having previous work experience? If so, this is a vicious circle, and my chances aren’t looking likely. I haven’t had a proper job before. I have voluntary experience and year 11 work experience in a day nursery, but apart from that I have babysat, delivered papers and been a CD player operator for dance exams (DJ Han in da house). A lot of my friends have had several weekend jobs by now.

Dad suggested that if a child comes from a low income family then working has never been an option but a necessity, therefore forcing them to gain valuable work experience. So those who are fortunate enough to be able to enjoy their lifestyle from their parents’ income need to be motivated to work anyway so they can rely on their own pay slips. Money doesn’t grow on trees.

I do sometimes think that no one will want to employ me because I haven’t had a job. As a student, is it acceptable to say I haven’t had the time for one? I understand that I am very fortunate to have been able to get by financially without a regular income. Hopefully this summer I can find some sort of work to add to my CV, I feel the world of work is waiting for me!





Here is the current state of our trampoline. Look at it. Yeah it’s a bit gross. But should we ‘make do and mend’ or get rid?


It would be relatively cheap to restore, a new pad around the side and a net are £20 each.

It brings fond memories of when we were first given it for Christmas and nobody even realised that it was disguised under a tarpaulin in the garden. Joe couldn’t get off the thing and Tadcu really praised him for his bouncing ability.

We have new neighbours around John’s age so it would be good for them all to play on.

It’s a proper good bouncer.

I like to lie on it in the summer, looking at the trees and the aeroplanes from an octagonal perspective.


The new neighbours have one anyway.

It ruins the grass and is a pain when mowing the lawn.

It takes up valuable football playing space and John would prefer a nice goal.

It does look a bit gross and it probably getting dangerous.

One third of the family isn’t at home to go on it.


Mum seems keen to restore it and keep it so that’s probably what will happen. I don’t really have strong thoughts on the matter because I don’t plan to be at home that much (no offence fam). So that’s the latest, exciting news from the Davies household, while I’m still here. From next week onwards the Durham life restarts, back to my other world.

Las Ketchup

This evening we had homemade chips and fishfingers/ham/chicken goujons for tea. When asked if we should have peas or baked beans with this combination, I said I would like peas, provided that we had enough ketchup to give the moisture to the meal that baked beans would usually bring. Turns out we had two sachets taken from kfc in the cupboard, so I assumed that would be fine, Dad was going to bring a bottle of ketchup home with him later anyway. John had his bbq sauce, Joe needed no sauce. All was well.

As I neared the end of my first sachet of ketchup and went to retrieve the second and final sachet that was on a plate on the table, to my horror I noticed that it was, alas, gone. Before long, it became apparent that John was happily squirting it onto his chip butty. That was when panic struck. I still had two out of four fish fingers left and a pile of chips and there was no way they would go down without a tomato flavoured liquid accompaniment. As I paused in shock, Mum took the ketchup from John (what was left of it) and started frantically squidging it onto my plate. Phew.  John begrudgingly went back to his bbq sauce and finished off his chip butty.

Just as John had finished his butty, and just as I was starting to run out of ketchup again, and began to consider heating up some baked beans, Dad walked in from work, surprisingly early, bearing the glorious gift of a bottle of ketchup. For me, it was perfect. I could finish my meal with a satisfying amount of ketchup. For John, poor boy, it was disastrous. He had just finished his chip butty which he really rather would have liked to have with ketchup.  Feeling guilty, as John had just stormed off, I saved John my last chip with plentiful amounts of ketchup. It was the least I could do. Perhaps deservedly for not originally sharing ketchup, my act of kindness was not met with gratitude, rather he questioned ‘Only one?’ and I was still the guilty party and he munched it down. The lack of forgiveness via partaking in a hand shake or high five from John’s part proved that.

The moral of the story is always make sure you have a good stock of ketchup at home, and if you don’t, refrain from cooking a meal that requires it. Or, perhaps I should say that the moral probably is share, share, that’s fair or something along those lines.

Going along with that good old rouge condiment’s theme, here’s an oldie from 2002…  (I may or may not still remember the dance moves) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D76fxU85bUg

Blogs and vlogs have exploded recently, and I myself have become slightly addicted to YouTube during my weeks at home from uni for Easter, or, as they put it, vacation. I’ve seen tutorials, OOTDs, days in the lives and all sorts of craziness that people have decided to share with the world. Vlogs seem to be the way forward, and are basically, as the word suggests, video forms of blogs. I think they’ll take over.

Anyway, I’ve realised that although I don’t always have the time or energy to keep my own blog going, I can write the odd article about this and that, now and then. I have things to say, even though they aren’t that interesting, and enjoy expressing things via the written word. I don’t think I’m cut out for vlogs because no one likes the sound of their own voice. But I’ll do the blogging malarkey if I feel the time is right.

Talking of words ending in ogging I saw an advert on TV the other day for Channel 4’s ‘Dogging Tales’.  What has the world come to? Then my hairdresser told me she had seen it and recommended it, if only because it was so bizarre. Consequently, I haven’t checked it out.

Paris Trip: February 2011

   We arrived fresh faced at Lincoln train station at the civilised hour of 5 o’clock. After numerous coffees we were soon on our way to catch the Eurostar from St. Pancras. Madame Keegan was very keen to teach us Belote, a popular card game amongst the French, however her efforts were unsuccessful. Let’s just say it was a rather complicated game involving ‘trumps’. Our William Farr troop met with another group from Branston who were also travelling to Paris for the ‘Your future in Europe’ conferences.

   In search of our hotel, we struggled through the metro with our suitcases, which is not ideal when there are numerous turnstiles and escalators to get through! (However the moving walkway was a novelty). After having quickly settled in we went for a stroll around Montmartre to adjust to the Parisian atmosphere. It was rather amusing to see an artist draw a caricature of the teachers as they sat in a typical French restaurant. Sacre Coeur gave us a beautiful panoramic view of Paris, and much excitement was had at the first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. We took the opportunity to visit the designer shopping centre Galleries Lafayette while we could before we retired for an early night after a long day of travelling.

   Beginning the first full day with the Eiffel Tower was the peak of our excitement, and though we couldn’t go to the top level, the middle floor was high enough for some! The panoramic view of Paris and its suburbs was extraordinary, as was the gift shop with its Eiffel tower shaped pasta, which I personally couldn’t resist buying, however I have refrained from eating it because it’s so unique!

   We just had enough time to grab some lunch at the Paris conference centre before the ‘Your Future in Europe’ conference started- totally in French! For most this wasn’t too much of a problem, however those amongst us who hadn’t done French since year seven were somewhat baffled! Speakers included representatives from Eurostar and a journalist from France 2 (a television company), who gave useful advice and information on the environment, an A2 topic, tourism and travel and starting a career in Europe.

   The evening was spent admiring the famous Notre Dame Cathedral and having tea at a restaurant close to Rue St. Michel. We just made it in time to the surprisingly small (yet ‘cosy’) theatre where we experienced the joys of French theatre in the production of ‘Venus et Mars’ which involved the audience and enacted the differences between men and women when it comes to relationships. It was hilarious even if at times difficult for some of us students to understand and was great to be able to experience some French culture.

The second conference, which was in English, was lead by Dermot Murnaghan (presenter of ‘Sky News Today’), much to the delight of Mrs Keegan whose possible highlight of the trip was meeting him! I’m sure he was thrilled to be told by some William Farr pupils that he was ‘A much better presenter of Eggheads than that new guy.’ The amphitheatre contained 2,000 pupils though it was only half full and it was a privilege to be in France’s largest auditorium. The conference was intriguing, especially as there was a speaker from Innocent smoothies, Joe McEwan, talking about entrepreneurship. Peter Luff spoke about the expansion of the European Union, he is the chairman of the European Movement, and director of Liberty Shami Chakrabarti gave a passionate lecture on human rights and responsibilities. Other topics included the Erasmus Project and The Economic Argument. The question time panel was particularly interesting and as debate turned to the right of prisoners to vote, the speakers got very passionate. Chakrabarti and Daniel Hannan MEP were even strongly debating as they headed off stage. Much to the annoyance of the audience, Charles Kennedy was ill and this led to the panel getting even more of a battering by the room full of sixteen to eighteen year-olds!

   Afterwards, we visited the iconic Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Elysee, where we witnessed a regular ceremony involving very important looking people in uniform. Madame Keegan found us a bargain deal for some tea on the expensive Champs Elysee and much fun was had. This was followed nicely by cruising the River Seine to traditional accordion music, admiring the famous buildings that line it, including the Louvre, Notre Dame and of course the Eiffel Tower. On the way back to the hotel for the last time, the metro stations were alive with buskers and we were all in high spirits. Choruses of ‘A William Farr’, which was arguably the trip song, were sang by most, and the teachers were content in singing a merry melody about the ‘Champs Elysee’. ‘Metro groups’ were called and the last night of the trip was ended in an oxymoronically happy sad way.

   This time we were woken at a more civilised hour in order to catch the train to leave ‘gay Paris’ and head home to a drizzly England. Tired and spent up, a few more card games cheered us up, despite the fact we were leaving a place that had given us some amusing memories! In all honesty, the trip was a great opportunity to improve our French speaking skills, not only because of the conference, but because being surrounded by Parisians allowed us to refine our accents and fine tune ourselves to the speed of the language.

Rachel and I went to see Charlotte Gainsbourg at Latitude festival and because of this song I started to send her a text at 5:55 every day saying 5:55. It worked for the first few days but sometimes I was a minute or two late and at other times I just forgot. At the moment I don’t have much credit and to be honest keep forgetting anyway. It was a challenge to send it at 5:55 exactly but that was what made it fun in a strange way, in an ‘I have no life’ way. I will probably forget to do it today and tomorrow, and the next day, but one day I will remember again.

Size 4 Shoe

I said it was symbolism. Lois said it was just a shoe someone had left there. I said it was art and rushed to get my phone out to take a picture before the beeper went off. Here is the picture, you can decide for yourself whether it is art or symbolism or just a shoe on the pedestrian crossing beeper.04032011427

I am now a Year 12 and school life is very different. There are new people, less subjects and more homework! Life tends to become more stressful and everyone begins to join charity clubs and commitments, to boost their CV’s as they hunt for popular Saturday jobs. Time still has to be left for work, so the social life drops off gradually as essays are written and subjects revised.

However, one of the more noticeable changes is the fact that we no longer have to wear uniform. This can prove a chore to some, a delight to others, but the question in most people’s minds is ‘What on earth do I wear?’ It seems there is a lot of pressure on the new year twelves. Make sure you aren’t overdressed, but then again, don’t come to school looking like a tramp. Then there’s the question of funding all the thousands of outfits, because of course, you can’t possibly wear the same outfit twice. And with the mountain of homework that we receive, our spare time fizzles away and there’s often no time to plan the night before. This results in mad scrambles ten minutes before you’re supposed to leave the house, with shouting down the stairs when you discover that top you need is still in the wash. As you return home, tired from the long and stressful day you have had as a sixth former, your bedroom is covered in the entire contents of your wardrobe, which had been cast away as it didn’t quite match those trousers, or just didn’t feel right on. We’ve all been there. (I hope it’s not just me!) In addition, rules have become much stricter. Skirts must reach the knee, and jeggings or leggings can’t be worn without something covering your entire upper leg. For most, the only option is to wear jeans or trousers because skirts are only available on the high street in mid thigh length or mini! Sixth form outfits are becoming near impossible to choose as the year progresses; however it is nice to be able to express yourself and wear what you feel comfortable in.

In the sixth form, life is more independent. No more ‘spoon feeding’, your work is down to you, and having free periods helps you to keep on top of things, if you use them properly. What’s more, you have a different relationship with your teachers. ‘Cake day’ is extremely popular as classes are smaller and teachers slightly more lenient about eating in lesson.  It is always exciting to meet new people and your lessons seem like little communities. The reduction in subjects means that you should hopefully find your lessons enjoyable and everyone gets on well. I think the transition from compulsory education to sixth form was a smooth one but I know that there is a lot more work to come, what with the proposed five hours of homework per week, per lesson! Sixth form is not for everyone but so far I have enjoyed the freedom at lunchtimes, the free periods and the subjects that I have taken on.

I get very annoyed about public buses. They don’t like me, I don’t like them.

 Firstly, they are dirty. I swear they never get cleaned. Imagine how many people have put their feet on your seat, pressed the bell or held that handrail. And then they put up posters about stopping the spread of flu germs, It’s just hypocritical. And does the driver use hand gel? I think not! Most of the time you can’t even see out of the windows properly, they are so scratched and smeared with mud, usually with somebody’s name written in the dust, or even a rude part of the male human body scraped in the layers of dead cells, dead flies and general muck. Let’s just say that a bus isn’t the cleanest place in the world.

 They are dilapidated, they need much more maintenance. I have sat on many a seat which falls off its poxy metal stand. Not to mention the time when we asked a boy if he could open the window and he managed to pull the whole thing off! Yes, it was funny at the time but when you think about it, buses can be extremely dangerous. Imagine if he dropped the piece of window, or if it fell in the road? A few more pennies need to be spent to ensure the safety of the bus’ passengers.

 They are scary. Especially when it’s just you and the bus driver, nobody else to witness what may happen, no-one else to stop any trouble. That’s just my imagination running away with me, but it isn’t half awkward when you’re the only one on the bus. The other day I saw a bus with a ‘Paranormal Activity’ poster on the side of it. It was getting dark and all the lights were out. Nobody was sat on the bus and it looked like something out of a horror movie.

 They don’t come on time. They’re simply unreliable, and if you’ve been stood at a bus stop for half an hour it can get annoying. Then they come early. You get to the bus stop and nobody is there, it’s normally packed with school children waiting impatiently. You’ve missed the bus and there’s no other way of getting to school, all because the driver thinks it’s a race and doesn’t come at the right time. Then they don’t come at all! Decide they’re just going to let you down totally. I can understand if there’s been an accident, but just not turning up, the cheek of it!

 The timetables are confusing. The amount of times I’ve stared at that grid of numbers, you’re better off just asking Rachel! I usually resort to getting someone else at the bus stop to help me, if anyone’s there. Once I almost ended up getting on a bus to Market Rasen when I wanted to go to Lincoln because the timetable made no sense!

 The drivers are rude. For example, we had just got to the bus stop in time, and were running to the doors. In turn, the driver shut the doors and started to drive off! Poor old Lois ran alongside the bus to try and get it to stop, dropping her bags, waving her arms wildly to get the drivers attention. How could someone ignore innocent pupils who are just trying to get to school? You would have thought that the drivers would want the extra money.

 And that bring me on to the bus fares. They are overpriced. An adult return from Lincoln to Welton is £4.60! You can get to Newark and back on the train for much less than that! It’s extortionate and unfair on the general public. Once I was three pence short of being able to afford a bus ticket and the driver was so mean, he wouldn’t let me off and kicked me off the bus in front of a queue of tutting pensioners!

 They take so long. In the car, it would take me about 10 to 15 minutes to get to school, but if I catch the bus it’s 15 minutes to walk and at least half an hour on the bus! That an hour and a half of my day wasted simply by getting the bus to school and back.

 The bus stops are rubbish so you get wet if it rains. There are hardly any shelters in our area; you can’t even sit down, think of the elderly. Waiting for a bus is tedious as it is. You don’t even know if your bus is going to come, so at least if you had a shelter you would have protection from the Great British weather.

Overall, buses are rather rubbish!