Happy Easter!

It’s that time of year again where every chocoholic is torn between jumping for joy and feeling overwhelmed with temptation for all the chocolate surrounding us. It always seems mightily unfair but also somehow like permission. Either way, I like this time of year – it’s spring, the daffodils are making their annual comeback, and the weather is starting to warm up a bit.

This year, it just so happens that Easter Sunday coincides with the UK’s Daylight Savings Time. I never usually wake up during the night, so it doesn’t often bother me – as someone who regularly wakes up before seven in the morning, I don’t really lose much of my day if I wake up an hour later. This morning was weird, though: I woke up at 4:40 yesterday’s time, having forgotten about the clocks, and found out about it about twenty minutes later when I checked my phone. I only got back to sleep at around half six today’s time and slept for almost another two hours after that. It doesn’t help that the weather in the UK has been seriously weird today! It was super sunny and nice initially, then massive downpours, then super sunny, then massive downpours again… Blooming English weather.

 

Photo from bbc.co.uk

 

My family and I have never made a big deal out of Easter, but it’s nice as a marker. It’s also great for the bank holidays (though I wish some things would still be open, like shops or the library… I’m just that sad haha) – the time off is definitely appreciated. It’s great this year, because we had a 3.5-day last week as my school finished early on Thursday, and had Friday off. This coming week I have another, as we don’t have Monday and finish early on Friday. It’s brilliant…

(Just don’t mention the mock exam I have on Thursday. Nope. Not ready for it.)

Speaking of though, that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing this weekend – revising and catching up – so I’m sorry it’s not the most exciting blog post. I promise I’ll get another Short Story Sunday up sometime soon, but today was not the day! All my course content should be finished by the end of this coming week, so then it’ll just be revision, which hopefully will leave me feeling a bit better about things. I will definitely get more organised, that’s for sure.

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Weekend in Swanage

Last weekend, I spent three days at Studland Bay, Swanage. It’s a little place on the south coast and I went there on a field trip for my geography A2. The first day, Friday, we drove down and it was foggy to begin with, but as we got closer the day became beautifully clear. We made a stop in the New Forest, where we saw some wild ponies – a couple came right up to us, but I didn’t have my phone or camera on me at the time, so I couldn’t take any pictures! After that, we carried on until we arrived at a little cabin in the woods. It looked strangely antiquated.

We then had a tour guide called Kevin take us around some of the area of the national park, through the back of the sand dunes (which were what we’d come to study).

We did some prelim testing before heading to the hostel where we stayed the two nights, and went down to the town after dinner, where I went to a pub with a couple of friends for a few hours.

The second day was seriously foggy. For the majority of the day. It was really weird – it seemed to get more foggy the longer we stayed there! While we measured hundreds of metres back from the sea’s edge, we had a hard time actually seeing each other for not only the rises and falls of the sand dunes and the plants covering them, but just because if someone walked far enough with the tape measure, they just disappeared. It was eerily easy to hear people, though – you barely had to raise your voice to be heard from about 50 metres away. We measured two separate sites, and we had to walk for a kilometre in between – my group having finished last (as we were the smallest), we were the last to walk this kilometre. It went through a rather long naturist section of the beach… Thankfully, it was a bit cold for the naturists, and we only saw one!

When we’d finished, we had to walk all the way back to the beginning of the beach, which by know was probably a good couple of kilometres away. The cafĂ© there was still open, so that meant one thing for me: CAKE!

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The third day was by far the least physically exhausting (we were pretty tired of getting cuts & bruises from falling in the heather and gorse bushes – two days was more than enough of that) but let me tell you, doing maths at 9 on a Sunday morning is not the way I’d usually choose to spend my time. But, the work was soon over, and I was home by mid-afternoon, so it didn’t really matter.

I hadn’t been looking forward to this trip, but it turned out a fair bit better than I’d imagined it would be. I was exhausted by the end, though, but honestly – it was nice just to get out of town for a few days!

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One Goal

Recently, I submitted my final decisions for university – my firm and insurance choices. I also applied for student finance and accommodation. This means that, regarding my road go university, I have just one goal left: my grades.

I’m hoping to achieve AAA in my A Levels. It’s a tall order, and I’m trying to stay positive about it – my first exams are in May, and they’re actually retakes. To be honest, I really struggled to come to terms with retakes. There was a time in my life when I thought if ever I had to retake an exam, I’d really have hit rock bottom. It may sound stuck-up, but I spent five years in the Gifted and Talented programme – for those of you who may not know, this is where schools in the UK take special measures to provide opportunities for those in the top percentage for achievement in their year’s cohort. The one thing this programme is really great at, though, is making you struggle with failure. Finding my GCSEs relatively easy – I say relatively, because it really bugs me when people underestimate the amount of effort I put into my qualifications – I was mainly a straight A student. In the end, with all the government reshuffles and having been entered and withdrawn from various exams over the years, I eventually received 2 A*s, 6 As and 4 Bs. Even that was a disappointment. (Sorry.)

Last year, I took 5 AS levels. I got BCCDD. Again, a disappointment. This wasn’t entirely my fault though – having asked for my papers back, I found out that three of my exams had been marked initially as As and Bs, and later marked down. The reasoning behind this is hazy – English exam boards are a nightmare, and if an examiner is considered to have marked one paper too generously, a whole line of their papers are marked down by a certain margin, without anyone even taking a cursory glance at whether the initial mark was fair or not. To have this happen three times in one exam season is practically unheard of, so as you can imagine I was somewhat crushed. Small piece of advice – if you can avoid the AQA exam board, do so at ALL costs!

Either way, now, I am hoping that by retaking two of my papers, and completing all my A2 exams, I may just reach my grades. If I do, I’m sure I’ll let you know on here. If not, probably the same. Why not, eh?

I have to be honest though, having reached the point where everything but my grades is almost final, it’s quite a relief. Funnily enough, the day I realised I had just this one goal left, I got an A on an essay (that hasn’t happened in a while). Just FYI, when this post goes up, I’ll be coming back from a geography field trip – which has come at an extremely awkward time, all things considered, so hopefully I’ll have managed to conserve enough data to ensure it goes up!

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