A blog about travel, books and navigating your twenties in one piece

Thursday, 31 January 2013

month número 01

It's the last day of January, meaning that already there are only eleven months left of 2013. I won't pretend to be upset that January is nearly over, especially as it will be my 16th birthday in February. Nevertheless, as always, I am utterly in awe of how rapidly time goes by, and sometimes that thought scares me. I often just want to stop, to have the ability to pause a moment and just live in it, to bask in the happiness of it, if you will. Because time going by means getting older, and although it is inevitable, growing old is one of my biggest fears.

So, thinking about this, I decided that at the end of each month this year I will write a post about what I have achieved or done. I doubt they will often be big things, but it's just a way for me to record what I do, and hopefully something you may find interesting. My logic is that if time insists on passing so swiftly I may as well record the little things that happen so that I have my memories, things that may not seem all that important right now, but in a few years I am sure I will be grateful to have written about.

Here it is then. In January I...

Read: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Back Story by David Mitchell, Camp David by David Walliams and I have just started Paper Towns by John Green. (I will write about these later, they're for another post I have planned.)

Watched for the first time: Jane Eyre (2011 version) - I thought it was a little slow and that the book was much better. Unfortunately, in my opinion, it lacked some of the necessary detail from the book, although the acting was wonderful. The King's Speech - Everybody talked about this for such a long time and somehow I never got around to seeing it, so Mum and I finally rented it the other weekend and I loved it. The acting was impeccable and the story was incredible. Les Misérables - I've already seen it twice and bought the soundtrack. I can't impart my love for this film enough, it was utterly brilliant. It's Complicated - Meryl Streep was excellent, I thought this film would be just another romcom and so was wonderfully surprised at how interesting I found it as it explores divorce and human nature of addiction to what is familiar very well.

Bought (music on my ipod): Les Misérables Soundtrack, Babel by Mumford and Sons, Glee - The Warblers album (don't pretend it doesn't put a smile on your face!)

Bought (clothes): a beautiful new dress from Rare in the sales, some new underwear and also started looking for a prom dress, I'm finding it impossible to find one I like.

At school: completed all my mocks and was lucky enough to receive all my results at a B and above, started learning my script for my final drama piece, got my maths exam result from November which was a B, had my final school and year picture taken, got my first A* in English coursework, I normally don't do so well in English coursework, so this was amazing!

Out of school: had a few really good snow days, went to a surprise party, watched a few films with Harry, went to Pizza Express with friends and ate more than I ever knew I could - eating basically sums up my life.

Although mocks tired me out, January has been rather good to me, here's hoping February will do the same.

Monday, 28 January 2013

snow and other things

So mocks are finally over, thank goodness, it means I can finally stuff my face with food and do absolutely nothing all day long relax a little. I've even been lucky enough to get some fairly wonderful results, let's hope I can do the same in the real thing. I'm aspiring to be around these parts much more often now that I have a little more time, and I've got a few ideas for some posts so just watch this space.

First off I must mention the beautiful snow that we were gifted with nearly two weeks ago now, meaning my maths mock was thankfully cancelled until a week later. At first I wasn't all that sure that the snow was anything more than an inconvenience. However, after a weekend of snowball fights, sledging and movies I was soon persuaded that this snow was exactly what my gloomy January needed. I hate to become complacent with the stereotypical attitude towards January, but if I'm being perfectly honest it will be a relief for me once it's over.

Here are some pictures (courtesy of my friend Rosie) of the snow and evidence of my balance deficiency, which many of you will already know of, I'm sure.

Lack of balance also results in my logic telling me when walking down a slippery hill, that the most appropriate solution to not falling is grabbing an unsuspecting friend's scarf, poor girl.

It also means you fall over, and said friends take pictures.

They also finally help you up.

It was truly beautiful. On the Friday of the snow we had a surprise party for one of my friend's birthdays, it was a wonderful night, here's the group picture:

We were incredibly loud as I'm sure you can imagine, with laughter and singing in surprisingly great supply. The next day my boyfriend taught me how to rugby tackle, when trying to push people over in the snow failed, useful life skill I admit. I went sledging with some of my friends on the Sunday, which was hilarious although I was absolutely exhausted by the end of it. So that was my snow weekend, I quite want another one now. Next time it would be better if we could get some more school off though, that part was slightly disappointing. 


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

it's all in the perspective

I'm finally nearly at the end of my horrific fortnight of mocks - only one more to go! They've not been too bad, and luckily I have managed to stay completely calm about them, which is much more than I could say for myself this time last year. We had a cover RE lesson today and started watching Hotel Rwanda, we only managed to watch the first hour and although I thought it was incredibly well done, I honestly don't know if I could continue watching it. I'm torn between half of me, which tells me that it is so important that I learn about things like this that have happened, if only to show some respect to the poor people who were affected by it and also to get some perspective on what life can be like and learn to appreciate what I have. However, the other half of me wants me to completely shy away from finishing this film, because it is truly heartbreaking to watch.

It made me think about how ignorant we can be as humans. We can turn our back on things, because it's easier not to know. I used to not watch the news because stories would make me cry, stupid as it sounds. But I'm growing to realise that in life people go through horrible things, in ways that I can't even begin to comprehend. And the least I can do, as just me, is listen to their stories and be a better person because of them and what they suffered through. The least these people deserve are people to hear their stories and gain some respect.

Having said that, I'm not one to believe that you should forget your own problems or start comparing them with someone else's. I love this quote from a book I read about a year ago - "I think that if I ever have kids, and they are upset, I won't tell them that people are starving in China or anything like that because it wouldn't change the fact that they were upset. And even if somebody else has it much worse, that doesn't really change the fact that you have what you have." The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I think that it's essential to remember that sometimes, otherwise you just feel guilty for feeling bad about what you're going through, when really it is a big deal and you do have what you have.

I hope I will watch the rest of that film. I'd better go and get some maths revision done, only two more days to go till mock fortnight is over, I simply cannot wait.

Sunday, 6 January 2013


I thought I'd just give you a brief update into what I've been doing for the first 6 days of 2013, because I'm so incredibly exciting.

1. Having had a marvellous NYE I woke up on NYD feeling pretty wrong, I had no idea what was going on, but I knew I felt off. So, I went downstairs to wake up Harry, who was sleeping on the sofa as I had taken his bed (sorry!), and just as I thought it might be alright, I swiftly proceeded to throw up in his toilet. Wonderful. Still have no idea what caused it, but I'm wishfully hoping it will never be talked of again.

2. I decided this was the day to start my revision for mocks. I'd been putting it off for the majority of the holidays with the classic excuses of 'Christmas Eve, Christmas, in Yorkshire therefore can't, New Year.' Now that they were all done I had nothing left, so began. 6 hours into it I felt just about ready for a breakdown, so when my best friend Rosie called me it was greatly appreciated. We had both spent the day revising and agreed we needed a break so I went to hers for a 'revision' sleepover. We really did have the intent to do revision, I promise. It just didn't happen that night. We talked and laughed and everything else we do at sleepovers, and it was really nice.

3. Rosie and I awoke, decided we really must do some revision, and eventually did. We then got ready and I went to Harry's for dinner, which was lovely.

4. One of my best friends, James, moved to Australia nearly 2 years ago and he came back for Christmas, but obviously had spent lots of time with family so we hadn't been able to see him before the 4th. I spent the morning revising and then we went to Sean's to see him. It was such a funny evening, spent watching Friends With Kids (good film), eating, and laughing, an insane amount. I really missed him. A portion of it was also spent with me, Lucy and Hannah being left alone and with Lucy's iPad mini, resulting in some horrific pictures, a few of which I will leave you with at the end of this post.

5. Harry came round and we watched Crazy, Stupid, Love. Oh my goodness, I love it. Ryan Gosling. All I need to say. And the rest of the film was pretty good too. Really glad Harry brought it. We had lunch at the M&S cafe, I'm a little in love with their ham and cheese toasties. In the evening I again met up with James and the gang, again very funny and lovely.

6. Today has been spent revising some more, and basically getting ready for school tomorrow. My alarm is set for 6:30am tomorrow, and I have two weeks of mocks ahead of me. I want to cry. These holidays have been wonderful, I've almost forgotten what school feels like. Oh well, got to go back. I'll get through it, I think.

If you've read all of those points, well done, if not, don't worry, I don't blame you. If you don't see me around these parts in the next couple of weeks it's because I should probably concentrate on my mocks, but we'll see, I might turn up at some point. Ok, as promised, there are the pictures, we're beautiful, I know. 


Tuesday, 1 January 2013


I want to begin by writing about my Christmas, as I haven't yet had the opportunity to do that. I had the most wonderful day, which began with me and my Dad driving up to Yorkshire to my sister's. When we got there everyone opened their presents, I got lots of money, clothes, chocolate and best of all Taylor Swift's album Red Deluxe Edition and Ellie Goulding's new album Halcyon. They are both incredible, do not deny me of that. I proceeded to play with my niece and nephews and their new toys.. I really am cool aunty Anna.

Of course in Hartley tradition, Christmas dinner was the main part of the day, and did not disappoint in being absolutely delicious. I even managed to steal three pigs-in-blankets compared to everyone else's measly one each. I was extremely proud. Later on, after lots of watching Christmas tv and playing with toys we decided to play Trivial Pursuit. We've never played it before and I think I now know why. It was an embarrassment how bad I was at it (we all were!), I found the questions so difficult! However, surprisingly I was not the worst and proudly came second to last at the end of it! I had a really lovely time in Yorkshire, spending time with the kids and my sister is always great.

Soon after I got back I developed a Stye infection in my eye. I've still got it now and believe me, it's nasty. It's very painful and I can't wear my beloved contact lenses because I'm treating it with an ointment my doctor prescribed. However I decided I wasn't going to let it affect my New Year's Eve. I spent it at my boyfriend's and I really had the best night, he's incredibly good to me, even if he does call me short arse on occasion. I always find this time of year very strange, I never know what to expect from it. While it feels like a new beginning, it also feels exactly the same as yesterday to me. So I suppose a New Year and its affect depends completely on how you perceive it.

My Mum was asking me yesterday if I had any new years resolutions, and usually I'm known to be quite eager to start the year with some goals. But 2012 has definitely been the year I've grown the most, and it's made me realise that as I've learnt more and more about myself, I've been learning how to improve myself and be more aware of what I need. So really I just want to continue doing that. Because at the end of the day, what can you do that's more important than understanding yourself? So that's my ethos for this year. Apart from working hard for my exams in the Summer and having as wonderful a time as possible, of course.

2012 consisted of: having my heart broken and slowly putting it back together, going on a French exchange straight after which brought challenges of its own, a brutally difficult 15th birthday, my first ever formal exam, some wonderful exam results, going on holiday with my sister without my dad, getting to know little Edwin very well, getting really close with Cait (that sister) for the first time, many hilarious occasions with my best friends, an unexpected holiday to Romania when a friend was in need, the start of year 11 (which meant a hell of a lot of work), and meeting Harry who makes me smile very much.

Not bad for one year, I think. Ok 2013, bring it on.
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