Summer 2015

Chapter two…

So ironically, chapter two of my summer comes two days after I started sixth form (I will do a post about that later today.)  And yes, I know I promised to be more active buuuuut my last post was only 6 days ago, so let’s call that progress.

The joint party I had was so much fun, as I mentioned before in my previous post which you can read here, and because we were cleaning up, my mum and I didn’t get home until almost 3 in the morning. Needless to say, I was exceptionally tired, but had to get up at 8:30 to go to my violin lesson. That was not fun. As I couldn’t really celebrate with my family on my birthday, on the Saturday we decided to go out for dinner at a thai restaurant. My parents also gave me the last of my presents, which included a beautiful key charm for my charm bracelet from Links, and an even more beautiful and elegant silver heart necklace from Tiffany & Co.

IMG_4271IMG_4275IMG_4272 Even the packaging is flawless! This is one of my favourite necklaces, the chain is so fine and I think it’s just so classy. An amazing 16th birthday present that I will keep forever, and a huge surprise nonetheless!

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Another charm to add to my bracelet, I’m probably going to run out of space soon!

I had a great dinner with my family celebrating both the end of my GCSEs and my birthday, and of course I ate my current favourite meal: red thai curry. It is so good and just thinking about it is making me salivate! After dinner, I had to rush off to yet another party, this time it was for my whole year celebrating the end of our GCSEs together, and also a kind of goodbye to the people who were leaving. I had a great time, but I was already extremely tired from the night before, so I desperately needed a rest when I got home. But it was a very cool party as the lighting was pretty awesome, as you can see for yourself!

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After my somewhat (extremely) busy weekend, I had a week of work experience. As you guys may or may not know, I have wanted to be a journalist for about four years now, but even my uncle (who’s an Australian journalist) couldn’t get me into a newspaper here, as they mainly only accept people who are 21. Luckily I could get a day with the crime editor of the times, which you can read about in my previous post, but for this week my mum helped me land a placement at John Lewis. For everybody out there who are looking to apply for some work experience, make sure to use ALL of your contacts. I only got this because my mum asked one of the dads from my sister’s football team, who happened to be the head of marketing for John Lewis.

I was in fashion and beauty marketing, and it was honestly one of the best weeks ever work-wise. On my first day it took me just over an hour to get there, and as I sat nervously in the foyer of John Lewis’ main office in Victoria, I thought how far I had come in the past six months. And it’s true! Back in December I was doing my mock exams, basically drowning in exams and stress, and now (June) all of that was gone, and there I was, on my first day of being a working girl (sort of). Then I was collected and the day really began.

I won’t bore you with a day to day diary of what I did because I did a LOT, but it was extremely exciting and very interesting, and I’ve come out of the experience knowing more about fashion brands than I could ever imagine. This was partly thanks to a job we had to do pretty much every day, packing! There was a special room on the buying floor (two floors below so there was a ton of stairs and using lifts involved) which was lined with clothes, and the floor covered with shoes and handbags. Our job was to pack the clothes, shoes and accessories needed for shoots, which was amazing because I got to see loads of products before they went into stores! Although it was a bit daunting, considering it was my first day and all, everyone was so nice and welcoming. In the afternoon I was taken by a lady from the home department to set up a stall in a design convention. I had no idea what I was going to be doing, but after the exciting task of unpacking the numerous amount of boxes, it was time for the fun part: designing our area. And I think it turned out pretty nicely 🙂

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There’s a nice overview of all the beautiful products that we set up. The grey bean bags were so cool that I just had to mention them! 🙂

On the Wednesday I had a special treat in store for me after work. For my birthday and for her brother’s birthday as well, one of my closest friends had booked one of our favourite singers to come to her house, for a mini private concert!! For anyone who hasn’t heard of Emma Stevens, go look her up now. She is so talented and my friend and I have seen her in concert three times now over the course of a year and a half, and she is one of those people who goes to meet all her fans after every concert, and we love her so much. She is the nicest person, only proved in her private concert. It was so entertaining as we know pretty much all of the words to every one of her songs, and just a brilliant time. Emma also gave me a signed copy of each of her albums, which was so sweet and nice of her! Honestly, if you like kind of folky, soulful music, definitely go check her out.

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On the Friday, I went to a photoshoot. It was a photoshoot for the main feature of John Lewis’ magazine Edition, and I had no idea what to expect. What I didn’t expect was (seemingly) nothing happening for almost 2 hours before anything was shot. Obviously hair and makeup was being done, but we were just kind of sitting around. I learnt how to steam clothes in this time, which could prove to be very useful! Watching the shoot itself though was enlightening into how all adverts and things are shot, and how many things and people are needed for just one picture. It was such an exciting thing to be able to do and help out on, so thank you so much to everyone in the fashion and beauty marketing department, I had an amazing week and definitely food for thought on my future career.

So that’s it for chapter two! Look out for chapter three coming very soon! Have a great evening!

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culture, Summer 2015

Summer is off to a flying start…

Good morning/evening readers! Look who’s back in town! As for my unexplained absence of 2 months? I had some of the 3 busiest weeks of my life after my last post (so much for the well-deserved ‘rest’ I was promised after exams), but it was still great. I thought I would fill you guys in on a bit 🙂

As you guys know, I finished my exams on the 12th of June, and I can’t even describe how I felt. I remember being in the exam and seeing one minute left on the clock, and forcing myself to go back to checking. When the invigilator told us to put our pens down, that was the first time in my whole exam period where I didn’t worry about how the exam went; I was just too excited to care. Excited about the start of the holidays, and excited to go home and (metaphorically) burn all my books. That moment was one I had been waiting for, for at least a year and a half. I know it sounds dramatic, but when you want to do as well as I do, I tried to pour my heart and soul into studying. The pressure, on any young person doing exams, is immense and I wanted to rise up to my personal high expectations, perhaps making it worse for myself. So it’s kind of a big moment when all that weight was relieved from my shoulders.

I celebrated with my close group of friends, with all but one of us having finished that trek. We went to a diner in London which, it turns out, I’d been to before when I was about 8! What a coincidence! It was great just to spend some quality time together as a group, and it was the first time in a long while without the ever-impending doom of exams looming over our heads.

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The ‘rest’ week that followed actually consisted of the complete opposite. On the Monday I went shopping with my mum and bought some clothes, sunglasses and a backpack for my birthday/summer from Urban Outfitters. I haven’t taken off the sunglasses almost all summer (despite nearly leaving them on a train a couple of days ago), so I think it’s fair to say I am pretty in love with them. But that week I also had 3 rehearsals, breaking up my free time, so making it all the more busy.

I was in an adaptation of Lorca’s ‘Blood Wedding’, which is Spanish, and we were taking it to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (I just arrived home from that, so my post from that will come shortly.) I was only in the chorus as my year was the youngest able to join, but because we were on stage the whole time, we had to go to every rehearsal. As it was going public and the possibility of it being reviewed was out there, the teachers took it very seriously. To be honest though, I found it all very tedious towards the end, due to the run-throughs and what-not. I know they were 100% crucial and I appreciate that, especially considering we had 2 performances 2 weeks later, but it didn’t really change the fact that it was very boring.

On the 18th of June, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to do some work shadowing with the crime editor of the Times. I have wanted to be a journalist for about 4 years now, so this was an incredible day for me to be able to gain an insight into what the job actually entails. I mean, I’m sure everyone has their own idea of what their dream job would be like, but for me to actually experience the conferences and meetings etc, it meant I could stop imagining. Bonus, it did not dissuade me from my ambitions in the slightest.

A day later, on the 19th of June, was my 16th birthday. I feel extremely old now, like I am somehow supposed to act like an adult as the clock strikes midnight. I know that 16 doesn’t equal adult, but the expectations are so much higher of you now (especially from parents). Say it out loud. Doesn’t saying “you’re 16 now” sound so much older than 15? It does to me.

When I woke up, my parents had put up photos of me growing up on my stairs, obviously bringing back a lot of memories. It was a brilliant idea though and a huge surprise, plus incredibly touching, and I would definitely recommend for any readers thinking of an inexpensive way to surprise someone for their birthday. I had planned an outfit the day before, but my parents had got me a beautiful dress (don’t worry it was pretty casual) so I decided to wear that, along with my new sunglasses and backpack. As we had just finished exams, my school was treating us with a trip to Thorpe Park, and it just so happened to be on my birthday. Best birthday ever right?? (Well, it’s either that or actual school, so I’ll take Thorpe park any day.)

Nevertheless, it was an amazing day and I even got a little sunburnt (oops) it was so hot. One thing only tarred it slightly, and that was a ride called the Hammer. My friend persuaded me to go on it, and there was no queue so we had to go straight on without watching it. Stupid, believe me, I know. It was the kind of ride that literally just swings round and round in circles. It wasn’t even very fast which made it all the worse, because when you fell forward, I thought my head was going to explode with all the blood flowing to my brain. Long story short, I wouldn’t get on that ride again for anything.

I have to say it was one of the busiest birthdays I’ve ever experienced, as after we got back to school (an hour and a half late, thanks coach company), I had to rush home to get ready and drive to my friend’s house, where we were hosting our joint party in about an hour turn around. But despite the high levels of stress leading up to it, it was definitely worth it. It was a great night. Eventful to say the least, but a lot of fun. (Note: if you are not re-doing the house like my friend was, maybe don’t have a UV party. It gets extremely messy.) 🙂

So here’s chapter one of my summer readers. Ironic how I only have 3 days before school goes back, but I will definitely be more present from now on. Sorry again about that huge gap. I hope everyone had an awesome and relaxing holiday whatever you did, and enjoy the last day of August!

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