Diary of a Socially Inept Hermit: Part 1

Hey readers!

 So from Wednesday 26th June to Wednesday 3rd July I'm having a huge new-person overload. Scary I know. This is due to the fact I will most likely be leaving my current school in September in order to join a new Sixth Form in September. I have applied to two schools, which last week I thought where very different, but I have know realised are incredibly similar, apart from one thing: IB vs A-level. Apart from that they are both mixed gender (although one is a boys' school in years 7-11, the other a girls'), both super-selective grammar schools, both very University drive, and both very successful at that. In the first school, the sixth form is about 500, and the other 200, so there is also a bit of a size difference.

 On Monday I was 65% for going to the girls' school and doing the IB. However I've got a feeling that may not be my final decision.

 From Wednesday 26th to Friday 28th I had a three day taster course at the boys' school. Which was amazing. I'm not sure how much I will get through in this post as I have only just woken up but I will try and at least do the first day... I hope you enjoy the awkwardness that is my life.

Day 1

 6:15 am start. Not very nice after not getting up until well after nine for the last two weeks. However I had been a very good girl and packed my bag the night before and I had careful selected my outfit (grey/green dress, black tights and boots with red nail and red lips).

 My train came at 7:53 so we left, picked up my friend (the lovely Arawyn) and got down the station and it was all fine and dandy. Until we missed our train because it did not appear at the usual platform. But in that moment it appeared no train actually existed and I was crapping myself.  After a few calls we managed to enlist the help of her Mum who was about to go up to London, but instead sped us up to the school to get us in there exactly on time. I will actually build her a house, I've never felt so relieved in my life.

 We both had to rush to registration in our new tutor group, which were both in the same block so we were both taken there by a sixth former who may have or may not have been attractive. My tutor, Mrs W, had already started the register so I just snuck in, without having the chance to really have a look around at the people there. There was still another student missing who came in about a minute after me. The boys who had previously been at the school laughed as he came in as he was wearing a blue tie. How do I know this? I heard this voice going "Oh here he is! And he is wearing his blue tie!". It's at that point I realised that I had L in form. L is a friend of mine, and well, he is one of those people who has to be seen to be believed. He is, well L. He is posh, a snob, hilarious, who does a killer slut drop and is absolutely nothing like his parents. Once I got over that amusing fact, we were given our timetables, headed down to the hall for a speech, before going to our first lesson.

 I had physics first with Dr P who is mental - fantastic - but mental. However that's not what I remember. I remember walking in (baring in mind I've been at a girls' school for the last five years and hardly ventured outside to actually meet people) and seeing out of a class of almost thirty, only three other girls. This was then proceeded by going a bit weak at the knees and my brain screaming "OH MY DEAR LORD THEY ACTUALLY EXIST. I MEAN I HEARD THE STORIES BUT I DIDN'T THINK I WOULD ACTUALLY EVER SEE ONE." I then proceeded to awkwardly take a seat on a table of guys and not make eye contact for the rest of the lesson. This led to terrible neck ache.

 At break my friend A introduced to me to a girl she met in her tutor called F who it soon turned out is my soul sister.

 Then I had Chemistry. Which was pretty boring if I'm honest, and I've now decided to drop it and do German instead. However at one point he said my group was fantastic and praised us heavily, but at the end of the lesson we were the one group who when everyone had to give their answers were just like "Yeah... Er.. We're just... Y'know... Numbers...." 

 We sat in the caffe at lunch and I repeatedly said vagina.

It's a nervous thing ok?

 My final lesson was maths. Which I freeeaaakiiiinnnn looooooovvvvvvvveeeeeee. We were doing logarithms and it was really great because I could sit there and work through it methodically which made me very happy. Because I'm cool like that.

No really.

I am the coolest of the cool cats.

I don't even like cats.

I'm a dog person through and through.

In year 6 I claimed I was part dog.

No lie.

 Speaking of cool things. I can speak about the guy I sat next to. Who is not cool in the slightest. In fact, he's rather creepy. I feel horrid saying this online but it's rather amusing. We both know this girl it turned out so I asked him how they met and they had met at party (not a massive surprise). There was then this awkward five second pause. 

*Insert creepy voice here* "She's really pretty."

Bit weird but hey. "Oh yeah I know, I wish I could look like her..."

Extra awkward pause lasting in the vicinity of twenty seconds.

"It's like she's been taken from the 1920's."


So we just sat there awkwardly for the rest of the lesson and I sort of ran out to get my train and it was all fine.

Until I realised I didn't have my phone.

 As of yet it has not been returned and I have come to the conclusion it was stolen.

Oh, and my bus was almost an hour late.  

Freaking disasters ruining fairly fantabulous days. 

Well this post has taken me long enough and it is waaaaayyyyyy too wordy so I shall write about the rest tomorrow maybe?

I hope you have enjoyed the awkward thing that is my life. Trust me it gets worse.


P.S. Sorry about the font. 


Falafel recipe!

Hey readers!

 Today has not been a good day. Wait. I lie. Today has been a blommin' fantastic day (More about this coming at the weekend) but it just so happens that whenever I go near public transport it decides to mess up my life. Firstly, the train I was supposed to get this morning decided to not exist. Then on the way back I left my phone on the train, probably to never see it again. Then my bus home was almost an hour late. Damn damn damn and blast.

 Anyway... I'm assuming you don't want to hear about it, and I don't really want to dwell on how awful my day has been, so I thought I would post a recipe for felafel! 

 My Dad and I loooooove falafel and we like to make it whenever we can. To begin with, it can be surprisingly difficult, but after a couple of tries is super super easy! My recipe is adapted slightly form this one so I'm just going to pop up the pictures of me making it with a little bit of guidance. My one tip would be to add flour to help bind it all together.

Fry the onions

Blend chickpeas, onions and spices
Mix in the egg with your hands!
Roll into balls
Squash, fry for a bit, then flip
I will admit these are nothing like the falafel I have ever bought, but they still taste good!

So what has been ruining your week?



Why I have become an Organ Donor

  On Tuesday of this week a letter was posted through my door confirming I had been added to the NHS Organ Donor Register.

 An organ donor is somebody who has decided and given their permission to have their organs removed after their death if said organs are in a suitable condition, in order to be transplanted into somebody else who would be critically ill without them. So no – people aren't going to wrench out my entire left lung while I'm still living to give to somebody else. In fact in all likelihood, I won't donate any organs at all, as there are very few ways you can actually die and have organs that won't kill someone else.

 I've known for the last few years that when I became sixteen that I would become an organ donor, however when my birthday rolled around last January I just kind of, well, forgot. I would remember every now and then but the thought of actually having to put in the effort to search on Google 'NHS Organ Donor' was just far too much. Luckily, for the potential (but lazy) donors like myself, there is the NHS had this wonderful idea: we could just tick a box. Here is a list of the partners that allow you to tick a box and become an organ donor, notably the DVLA (Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency), the Passport Agency and Boots, where I ticked my box. I was just signing up for my Boots Advantage Card (which is really worth it for anyone who hasn't in the UK) when I saw "Would you like to be added to the NHS Organ Donor Register?" I though "Yes. Yes indeed I would." So now not only do I have a boots Advantage card which meant I could get £1 worth of points when I bought my new lipstick, it also meant I got a lovely Organ Donor card a few weeks later in the post (both of which are in the picture)!

 However donating your organs should not be a decision to make quickly - I have known for years it was something I wanted to do and was  not a spur of the moment decision. Organ donation may have an impact on when you die, although this is only speculation. It is said that if you are an organ donor doctors are more likely to turn off your life support, but this is very very very unlikely (doctors should do whatever they can to keep you alive) and you may not even be on life support when you die. My decision to become an organ donor has probably been helped by my religious views as a humanist (for those who read my earlier post about being an atheist, they are not mutually exclusive beliefs), and therefore I don't believe in an afterlife and if there is one, we dig up people's bones so clearly (in my opinion) you don't need a body to get there. So why let my organs go to waste rotting in the ground when they could be saving somebodies life. Or maybe not even their life- I could be given somebody vision. Yes, I can donate my frickin eyes. Ew. Or so I thought. My entire eye shall not be ripped out of my head the second I kick the bucket, instead my cornea, or another layer, would be carefully removed and through the wonders of modern medicine given to somebody and restoring their sight. It's all rather wonderful.

 For anyone who is interested click here. If you live outside the UK then just do a quick search online to find where you can donate- every country should have one. I would strongly encourage anyone to sign up due to the huge shortages of organs. We hear about waiting lists all the time- this is due to lack of suitable organs. Of course people die all the time, and many of them will be organ donors, but they didn't have suitable organs, for whatever reason. Quite frankly, the fact that our roads have become safer has led to a massive reduction in suitable organs. Now I'm suggesting we all go out and die in car crashes, but if I were to die in that horrendous way, then I want to save to somebodies life and make sure that my death is able to make somebodies life just a little bit better.

Next year- blood donation.



Music Monday! Blondes...

Hey Readers!

 Two posts by Gwendolen in one day? Of course it's nothing to do with the fact Music Monday completely slipped my mind... What could you possibly be suggesting? The real question, however, is "What is the theme this week?" well the answer to that question is:


Cecily: "Jolene" by Dolly Parton, "La Isla Bonita" by Maddona

I may be slightly obsessed with this song. I may even be attempting to learn it on the guitar despite never having played the guitar before and may be suffering from the strings on our jazz guitar that feel like those funny cheese-cutting things.

I also love this one, it makes me think of my home country (my home country isn't the UK, but neither is it the place she mentions).

Finally for me, how could we not mention Blondie? It's in the name. (I wanted to add Marilyn Monroe's Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend, but youtube was being annoying).

Gwendolen: "White Nights" by Oh Land

  Oh Land is a Danish singer, and therefore must be blonde. Before going into music, she was in the Danish National Ballet, but an injury forced her to go into the music industry instead. This music video is how I imagine Cecily's future to be...

She would still be pretty

Hey Readers!

 I have my Statistics GCSE a week today. Therefore I am procrastinating.

 I decided I would talk about my favourite model, Karlie Kloss. She's just stunning. However before I spam this post with pictures I should address the fact that she is way too thin- but that isn't why she's beautiful. Which is why I think it's awful that even after all the campaigning and good things that have gone on in the fashion industry, models still have eating disorders and damage their bodies just to be able to get work. I honestly don't understand why the designers don't employ people with healthy bodies, and I'm not talking plus-size. I admit they're not obese, yet for health reasons I would rather have the size 8-10 figure I have now than a size 14. Actually having a body would make these models no less pretty.

 Anyway, you have heard all the arguments before, so here is Karlie Kloss, one of the most beautiful women on the planet.


Source (this also happens to be my favourite picture)


And if you're feeling bad about yourself (which you shouldn't because you're hot), then just remember her breath stinks in the morning, and her stomach also rumbles in the most awkward of silent occasions (probably more than yours), and in the morning, she has a poo.



Book Review: 'The Origin of Our Species' by Chris Stringer


Hey Readers!

 Today a very rare event has happened... Almost as amazing as Jason selling a caravan (for The Apprentice fans only)... It's above twenty degrees!!! I know it might seem immature, but I think a fabulous event such as this deserves more than one exclamation mark. Therefore I have taken the opportunity to sit out in my garden and write a post, instead of doing useful things that I said I would do, such as clear out my stuff from my brother's room in preparation for his return home from University this weekend. 

 To many of you, this is going to be a particularly boring review as I'm reviewing this strange thing called a 'non-fiction book'. This isn't just any non-fiction book though, this is one that talks about mtDNA, neutral drift and electron spin resonance. Yes, this book indulges me in my really geeky passion: Human Evolution. Just typing those words makes me happy.

 Chris Stringer, the author, is an incredibly intelligent guy and Research Leader of Human Origins at the Natural History museum in London (here is his page – it's rather nice to see somebody who didn't study at Oxford or Cambridge). My point is – as far as human evolution goes, this guy is the bomb. He also clearly likes skulls, judging by the pictures that come up on Google images. However this one [source] is my favorite, as he is clearly pondering which budding paleoanthropologists he is inspiring, and clearly thinking that the perfect one would have a blog and a slight crush on William Shakespeare. Cough cough.

 Originally I wasn't planning to read this book, but another of his: Homo Britannicus. I was pointed in that direction by the anthropologist teacher at my school when I told her about the fascination with human origins. So I wandered off to Waterstones and this was the only one of his I could find – I count that as a blessing. This is a pretty awesome book. Heavy stuff for somebody who is only doing their GCSEs. It was rather lovely for me as I already knew about 30% stuff from other reading, so I could really focus on and learn the really brilliant stuff like this:

 "Many domesticated dogs have an accentuated white scelera [the white of the eye], compared with their wild wolf ancestors, which perhaps evolved to augment the close relationship between dogs and humans"

 You have to admit- that's pretty cool. That was then followed by:

"Another remarkable feature of modern humans is the large size of the penis."

 The book covers a huge variety of topics: methods of dating objects (not like that you cheeky thing), art, communication, life ways,  genes, and the future evolution of Homo sapiens (us). The last topic was really interesting- Stringer offered up two opposing points of view: we have stopped evolving, and we are evolving at a very fast rate. The former, I imagine (although if not do comment below), is rather clear in why, but the latter argued that humans are having to constantly adapt and evolve to the different and environments and cultures we have found ourselves in of the last multiple thousand years as they have constantly changed.

 I do, however, have two issues with this book. The first being that I really needed a notebook, so I could jot down all the important and interesting facts Stringer splurges out of me as I had a habit of forgetting them quickly, so there were great swathes where I had no idea what he was taking about and found myself just nodding along and going "Yes... I know exactly what you talking about...". My second issue being whatever material the cover is made from- please could the publisher stop using it! It's rather rubbery and terribly distracting. 

 So reader, if this summer you're up for something a bit (hugely) interesting that will keep the cogs of your mind turning while you switch off from education, then why not go with this? It's fascinating, surprisingly amusing, and full of facts to sprout out at your friends (you could dazzle them with your knowledge of the human penis) then I would recommend you have a go at this- which I have given four stars.

 On a side note, if you managed to get to the end of this post, then you deserve a prize. Which comes in the form of this charming summer ditty that I had on repeat while writing this blog:

Have a lovely day!



Next time you go shopping...


"Organic isn't always good. Malaria is incredibly organic." -My Dad



I should probably stop watching these videos

Hi Readers!

 Currently I am preparing for what will probably be my two hardest GCSEs (Maths and History) and the two exams I really want/need an A* in, and therefore I won't have too much time post. So instead I'm posting a per-prepared blog written when 'Their Harangues & Their Fancies' was still an embryo of an idea.

I’m an atheist*. And yes- I do have my issues with religion; namely, their approach towards those who don’t believe what they believe. So, it maybe wasn’t the best idea to start watching videos on YouTube of religious believers addressing atheists- like this one.

 Before I start, the reason I got onto these videos was just a tad hypocritical of me. I was actually watching some clips of a comic at the Global Atheist Convention in Australia last year, whose set was compromised of a lot material that slated religion. Although I accept that to an extent, it does show a pretty disrespectful view towards religious believers I would like to point something out: he was talking to a room of atheists. He wasn’t trying to change their views. He wasn’t insulting the people his view was aimed at. Plus he did it in a way that is sure to win points with me (no matter what your arguing- pretty much)- he did it in a positive way. As in, he celebrated his atheist beliefs instead of just saying what bad people Christians, Muslims, Scientologists etc are.

 Then, for some stupid reason, I thought it would be a great idea to watch some clips of religious people of a multitude of faiths addressing atheists. And, let’s just say, I got quite angry, and for one main reason: if you’re going to have a debate, do your flipping research first. One question that came up time after time after time was “If God doesn’t exist, what was there before the Big Bang?”. This simple question can supposedly disprove Atheism. It can disprove my own personal belief that there is no God or supreme being.  Let me just focus in on those last two words: Big Bang. Oh yes, the good old Big Bang Theory- er, what? What’s that little word at the end there? Theory? Oh what… something that hasn’t yet been proved and is near impossible to prove but for the moment it’s the best idea we have? The Big Bang theory is only a suggestion, based on the evidence. And it’s a theory that is constantly changing and I think I’m right in saying that many more scientists are moving towards the ‘Big Crunch’.

 However the real answer is that honestly, I don’t know. I never will. Because of physics, the very laws that govern the Universe. We can’t physically ‘see’ before the Universe, we can only speculate.

 But do you know what? WHO CARES? I believe what I believe. I don’t expect anyone to read this blog written by a teenager with only basic knowledge and suddenly decide to leave the faith they have held all their lives. I have atheist view because I feel it just makes sense for me. Out of everything I have seen deciding not to believe in a God just works with me, but if something happens and I can’t not believe in God then I will.  I am able to evolve my beliefs, and to respond to everything I learn in order to have a more informed view of the world.

 And this is my major gripe with religion: they can’t be wrong. Science is all about disproving each other, it’s a rather competitive and nasty world actually. But religion is set in stone. Which is why it’s so awkward to try and modernise it, because frankly it’s not. So don’t try and tell me that an idea that is only slightly related to what I believe is wrong, please make sure you have done your research. Because quite frankly, you have no idea what you are talking about.


*If you want to make any assumptions on what it means to be an Atheist, essentially it means 'lack of belief in God'. It's nothing more than that, and atheists can believe whatever the hell they want about anything else, but they just won't believe in God. That's the definition I like to use.


Sure- this counts as Maths revision....


 This one will only be a quickie- but when this video from Upworthy came up on my newsfeed I knew I had to share it with you all. This is a video by Hollie McNish performing a poem (I assume she wrote herself) called 'Mathematics' confronting the reality of immigration- enjoy!



Music Monday! Beginnings...

 Hey there you beautiful thang ;)

 This is our first regular feature (I'm sure there are more to come... I have few stored in the pipeline that is my mind) 'Music Monday'. I'm not usually one to use cliches and sound straight off The Apprentice, but in this case I will: It does what it says on the tin. Every Monday we shall post music and infiltrate your life with our personal soundtracks, which will be related to a theme. As this is still a baby blog and this is our first post in a series, it only seemed fitting that the theme should be:

(For those that are colour blind, it says 'BEGINNINGS')  

 Now let's get into the nitty gritty in how this will actually work... Cecily and I will both choose between one and two songs (maybe even three if we're feeling cheeky) that relate to the theme; this may be rather obvious link or a very symbolic/deep/tenuous one. The actually blog will be posted alternately by Cecily and I- but because I am older and taller, I get to go first :) However, I'm also very lovely so I'll let Cecily have the first say, so take it away beautiful!

Cecily: 'Begin the Beguine'* by Cole Porter (sung by Ella Fitzgerald)

I'm only going for one song today. This came on several times while we attempted to set up our blog and will now forever make me think of its beginning. It's a good jazz classic to know, although not among my favourite Cole Porter songs (a bit too soppy, although it is pretty), but I hope you enjoy...
*The beguine is a Caribbean dance a bit like the foxtrot, or so the dictionary says.

Gwendolen: 'Forever' by Haim, and 'Paradise' by Coldplay

So like normal, Cecily gets to be all vintage and cool, while I'm stuck with my mainstream songs, which pretty much everyone has probably heard :( HEY HO, does it really matter?

 My first song is 'Forever' by Haim (pronounced h-I-m). You may have heard of them, you may have not. If you haven't, they are a trio of sisters from California. As there debut single, 'Forever' is the beginning of their career, and I tend to have this band playing on repeat while writing blogs for this blog, which we have just begun. See- it totally links (and may I add, I also have teeny tiny huge girl crush on Este Haim, the blonde bassist).

 My second song, which everyone would have heard of, is 'Paradise' by Coldplay. I'm really posting this one for my Mum just to make her sentimental. In my household, this will forever by associated with my brother leaving home and going off to begin University two years ago and thus the beginning of the best two years of my life what really felt like the start of us two growing up. Ironically, this song is about suicide. Which really has nothing to do with beginnings.

 Well I hope you enjoyed our choices- or not. Y'know, everybody is entitled to their own opinions... Helps if they're like mine... But... Freedom of speech and all that... 

 Do comment and follow and I look forward to writing again :)


(NB Cecily has requested that I do quickly mention that after we decided on this theme, she realised  that Rookie's first monthly theme was beginnings, and that we're not trying to jump on the feministo themeos band wagon, and that clearly great minds think alike ;) )