Monday, 23 August 2010
Sunday, 8 August 2010
What I did do however, was begin volunteering at the community cafe and spend two days in Edinburgh. More on the cafe in a later post, there have already been far too many awkward customers, "unusual" volunteers and mishaps involving various beverages to cram in here.
Edinburgh is incredibly beautiful. Its historical value is amazing, even I, who was a lot more concerned with the amazing vintage shopping in the city, found it extremely interesting. As a visitor from the countryside where almost everyone either works in the oil industry and uses a BMW to commute or is a farmer and drives a tractor purely to hold me up when I'm late to meet someone, it was the multiculturalism of Edinburgh and the vibrancy of its city centre that really made me want to stay.
Thursday, 1 July 2010
I'm so, so excited for Summer. I won't be off on any amazingly exotic holiday (York with my parents and best friend actually), nor do I have a jam packed social calendar for the seven blissful weeks ahead. I will be in my room, study or garden having the time of my life. What could possibly be better? I can read for hours and hours and hours, I can paint whatever and whenever I fancy, my abnormal sleep patterns seem only to be frowned upon when I have my education to think about, I do not have to go to sleep each night aware that I have to face decidedly disinterested teachers in the morning whose enthusiasm for us as students and for the subject they're forcing upon is is almost as plentiful as ours. In Summer I can blog to my heart's content and where what I please every single day. If I so wish I can spend the entire day indoors, drinking coffee in my pyjamas, painting the various ornaments and dog toys that clutter my home (rather poorly I hasten to add).
To hardened, more traditional educators this may sound like an appalling attitude and one which must be straightened out right away. Reading nonsensical novels all day and scribbling ideas in tatty notepads is hardly the most productive use of our time, they might say. I disagree completely. Obviously I enjoy doing so far more than poring over algebraic equations or puzzling over osmosis and diffusion but I can honestly say I feel that I've learnt more in the past fortnight I've been off school ill than I had in the fortnight prior to my illness spent at school.
I've learnt how to get as many tones as possible from a 4B pencil, I've learned how to edit a blogspot.com blog, I've learned how to get rid of stomach flu quickly, I've learned how to use dialogue more effectively in my writing, I've decided that I'm sure about what I want to do after I leave education, I've learned how to play the intro to Dammit on my guitar, I've learnt not to eat pick n mix when I have stomach flu, my painting has definitely improved, my writing has also (believe it or not), I know more about mediaeval history, I know more about Victorian fashion, I know more about cranberries and I know more about Andy Warhol and Tracey Emin.
I am definitely not saying, that's it, I give up on school. I don't, I fully intend to carry on and hopefully somehow manage to get a degree at the end of it all. I've just realised that sometimes you learn the most when you're not at school and the things you really end up remembering and using in later life, the things that really however pretentious it sounds make you a better person and a more interesting one are the things you experience and learn for yourself without a teacher or a uniform on.
Saturday, 26 June 2010
Since I was maybe about eleven I’ve been on and on at my poor parents to allow me to go to the hallowed fields of Glastonbury, or at least T in the Park. Understandably, the answer has always been no and will continue to be a no until I’m eighteen. Even then I’ll only be going because there’s not much they can do to stop me and not because they approve. Every year I watch all of the festival coverage and long to be amongst the sea of fans, to sing along to the “indie anthems” with thousands of other music fans and to go for days without a shower. This, my mother will never understand.
I can’t say I blame her; it does seem like a rather odd thing to do. Paying a considerable amount of money to stand sweaty, tired and dirty in a field surrounded by the unwashed masses to see with no home comforts a band you could watch on TV. Considering the basic facts, the attraction of a festival isn’t something I quite understand, but then perhaps that adds to the appeal.
Thousand of music fans all excited and elated to be where they are, all as unshowered and messy as one another, all united by their love of music. The roar of the crowd as an artist walks onstage, the ascending cheer at their collective recognition of a song as the intro rings out across the field. That’s where the appeal lies.
Watching Florence and the Machine at Glastonbury this weekend has only made me more eager to go. The connection between Florence and her audience was phenomenal, the thousands of audience members completely under her ethereal spell. On paper this sounds incredibly pretentious and airy fairy and maybe I’m one of the very few who view festivals in this way. Some must agree or have their own equally strongly felt reasons for making their pilgrimage to Glastonbury. The crowd sizes speak for themselves and tickets are gold dust.
Of course, I say all of this without having experienced a festival myself and so have no real authority to declare the less than desirable hygiene an unfortunate, but very tolerable, downside. For all I know my very sensible mother could be entirely right and upon my return I might very possibly vow never to repeat the experience. But from the outside looking in, festivals seem like the most glorious celebration of all the things I adore (fashion included these days) and I will literally count the months until I can see if I’m right for myself.
For now, I will continue to watch the BBC’s coverage avidly and imagine myself there. I’ll let you know if I love it as much as I expect to in four summers time.