Government Can Stick Exams (GCSE’s)

As most of you will be aware, the education test monkeys went through their GCSE exams during May and June earlier this year, and I have been doing my upmost to avoid covering them in a blog.

The collection of the results was August 24th (last Thursday), and I was in with the hamster test too.

Some of you may be reading this thinking what on Earth is he on about, so I’ll tell you. Last year, our brilliant government decided to mess about with the future of 15 and 16 year old as of 2017, and boy did they do a good job.

They decided that going back to the difficulty of the 1980’s O-Levels would be the best idea. No prizes for guessing who thought that up. The new system would be slowly introduced to all subjects as of 2019, but beginning in English and Maths. They would be graded one to nine. One being useless and nine being just above an A*. You can probably imagine how the rest of the country was feeling if I’m ranting in this manner to you now.

People had mixed opinions on how they thought each exam went, some finding it a breeze, and others thinking they would rather do something else.

It did, however, have to reach August 24, and not do what I hoped would happen, which was I fall asleep (or try to) on the 23rd and wake up hoping it would be the 25th. Sadly, my wishes were dampened on when I did actually remain awake throughout the night of the 23rd, right up to the 24th, where I looked out of my bedroom window to find it was raining.

Great start to the day I thought.

I had a very quick bath and began to get dressed. I think I took the longest time to get ready since I was about three. Unintentional; obviously.

My Dad and I drove over to the school to collect my results. My stomach churned, it felt like the drum inside a washing machine on a strong cycle. I felt sick. The actual feeling was worse than sitting my very first exam back in May. We drove up ensuring we had purposefully missed the photo shoot for the following day’s papers. I wasn’t in the mood for attracting attention.

I left the car on my own, and slowly began the walk to the results room, my head was spinning, my stomach churning, and my emotions all over the place, I didn’t know what to feel or expect. I was completely alone. And I wanted to be.

As I approached the hall, my heart sank. Everyone was standing outside, to what looked like thousands of happy faces, and smiles a mile long. I didn’t really know what to do. My first thought was to walk back to the car and tell my Dad they had lost mine or the head teachers dog; Fidoe had eaten it. I didn’t think that would wash, so I took a few steps up to a smiling teacher who handed me a brown envelope, with my name and candidate number on it. I walked out, saying nothing to nobody. It felt like a surreal drama where everything passes really slowly as faces go by.

I walked back to the car and got in the back seat to find my Dad, turning round ready with his reading glasses on. I’d never seen him that eager in all my life. He seemed to be jumping in his shoes, waiting for me to read my results to him as if it was the National Lottery.

I couldn’t do it. I sat there and just looked at it. All in all, it took me about two minutes to realise that by procrastinating, my exam results would not open themselves, and I would have to do it sooner or later. Just how though?

I slipped my finger along the fold of the envelope and opened it. It took me a while to take it all in, as I said I wasn’t concentrating at my best, I was all over the place with my train of thought, emotions and all the rest of it.

Since I am one of those students who have to really work hard to get what they deserve and one of those students who despise individual results going in local papers, I won’t give you a breakdown of my grades as I am a strong believer in that they are private and belong to you. But, I can say that hard work does pay off.

I can also say I’m moving on to the next stage of my life with the grades I wanted (and actually didn’t expect) with a firm stand to hopefully do what I want to do in the future, which funnily enough is this- write!

My personal story really is a great advert and plug for the saying “hard work pays off”, and I wouldn’t be saying that if I didn’t have the amazing support from my family and friends. I would specifically like to thank my Auntie because without her pushing me and guiding me in the right direction, this could have been a completely different blog. Perhaps the last one? Because it does take up a large part of my time, thinking of ideas and writing them up. So, I definitely wouldn’t have been able to redo school and this. But, going into A-Level English Language with a Grade seven (an A to you oldies), I think this may be good for keeping up my creative writing skills.

I’ve sidetracked, so Auntie Alison, I’m now writing directly to you. Thank you for all your hard work and efforts, in the end, it paid off. And I’m bloody chuffed! You are amazing in every way, and without your help and guidance, I honestly don’t know what I would have done.

I would also like to say a massive, massive, massive thank you to my sister Rachel, I don’t know if she reads these, but she also pushed me to do the best I possibly could, and I hope I did you proud in the end Rach! Thank you.

My final thank you goes to you, the reader, I don’t know if you’ve just joined me, or been with me from day one, but I would like to thank you a thousand times, because without your continued support by reading about my piddly little stories, I wouldn’t be doing the thing I’ve always wanted to do… Write my own blog. It’s a small home and escape for my brain to dump its ideas.

I don’t need to say this, because you probably already know, but thank you, thank you, thank you.

On that rather uplifting note, I’ll leave it there. Thanks for reading, see you soon.

Thomas

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BUMP… OW!

I did originally want to finish with my holiday stories with my last blog, however, I thought that I could make an exception, and tell you of the horrific time I had on the plane coming home.

Firstly, my family boarded fairly early, but when they were supposed to, since unlike the UK where you usually board 45 minutes before your flight leaves, in Spain it’s about half an hour to fifteen minutes. So we all got comfortable and sat down, I got myself tucked into the in-flight magazine, which I always like to read and laugh at the constant, obvious spelling mistakes or incorrect use of specific words. It’s my entertainment for the majority of my flight.

I was interrupted by a man and his wife with their four-year-old son. And I could tell he was going to get on my nerves. And straight away, I wasn’t wrong. I could just tell, from the loafers with no socks, the cream shorts and the pink dress shirt with sleeves rolled up and sunglasses tucked away in the collar that this man was a… I can’t use that word on here, but I think you know what I mean.

The guy gets on and was one of those people who was as tight as a… (Again, can’t use the word) and he didn’t pay for his luggage so all their stuff was in two small cases that could fit in the overhead lockers.

They were also that stingy, that they did not book their seats. Which clearly meant that they would either be sitting apart or, expect normal people who had booked their seats and paid in advance, to move for them so they could all sit together. Well, he kicked up a fuss.

“They can’t expect me to sit apart from my seven months pregnant wife and away from my four-year-old son!”

He went on and on and on. His four-year-old son in question came on as loud as his ignorant father, with his kids ‘Burger King’ meal and sat next to my Nana. His Mum sat opposite, feeding him chips upon request, and mouthfuls of burger whenever he demanded. Sips of his lemonade would also be provided. And the safety film hadn’t even started yet. I just thought to myself, (not what a wonderful world, Louis Armstrong) I just thought to myself, I can’t put up with this. I have to sleep, and this kid is going to make the next four and a half hours hell. I genuinely thought of feeding his food to him. Only all at once. It may have shut him up.

Just as I was about to unbuckle my seatbelt, and make a first-time attempt at how many burgers, chips, and lemonade would fit into a four-year-olds mouth, one of the air hostesses. who the angry and annoying man had complained to, waved over three seats that the family could have. So they took them, and peace and tranquillity were restored. Finally. We got airborne, and I slept, right up to the moment when I was rudely awoken by a large bang and flash in the sky. Twelve minutes before landing.

So, I’ll be honest, it was not the smoothest of plane trips. In fact, to use a simile; it was like riding the “Wild Mouse” at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, there was that much turbulence. Not to mention the light thunder and lightning storm that decided to make an appearance upon landing. I genuinely thought I was about to become part of a tree, tarmac or one of Manchester’s very high buildings it was that bad.

I had my very frightened Nana sitting next to me, so obviously, I did not want to end her days by telling her of the horror I was looking out into, from my left window. But even she began to wonder what we were doing circling 17,000 FT from the ground with flashing lights every 10 seconds.

We were, in fact, circling due to the bad wind 17,000 FT below us, to which the plane wouldn’t have settled, but I do happen to know the odd thing or two about aircraft, so when my Nana asked, my reply was “there is no space for us on the ground, so we’re waiting.” Possibly the stupidest response anybody could have given, so it only suited that it came from me.

Eventually, the storm got worse and worse, and I think something happened that wasn’t supposed to…

We suddenly stopped circling and began to make a very quick and very steep descent to the runway. That’s when I felt my heart sink.

We quickly made a decent, and touched down, then lifted, then touched down, then skidded very quickly but subtlety to the left of the runway. The pilot then realised he was not Lewis Hamilton, and corrected his oversteer. We came to a sudden halt and taxied to the gate. I was relieved to still be in one piece.

The window of opportunity for danger was very brief, but still there. And the fact that it was still there did make it frightening.

It’s not exactly what I expected to land into at the end of August. But then again, this is Britain. And the weather doesn’t like us here. Not at all.

We got through Border Control, and baggage reclaim relatively quickly and got a taxi to the hotel. Which were the pits. But that is a story for another day.

One that nutshell, thanks for reading, see you soon. Take care.

Thomas

“I Hope You Had The Time of Your Life”

As you are all fully aware, I have been on holiday in the Canary Islands for a couple of weeks. Meaning my last blog was a little delayed. So I write this as an apology letter on a train home from Manchester Airport.

Then I thought, I’d sod the apology letter, and tell you of the awesome time I’ve had abroad.

I obviously have to shout out to the friends I’ve made for life: Zara, Kara, Kyra, Max, Ellie, Will, Holly and Joe. What utter, utter, utter legends.

Max, was from the Netherlands, so we all had to get used to speaking unbelievably slowly, for him to understand anything we said. Although saying that, his English was 110 times better than our Dutch…

Zara, however, was from Hertfordshire, so the words “tea” and “pudding” were classed as stupid to say in an everyday conversation. As “dinner” and “dessert” was the alternative ‘correct’ way of pronouncing how you would dine in the evening.

Then I met some Welsh girls that weren’t actually Welsh at all, although they did know an awful lot of the language itself! I learnt LOADS! Kara and Kyra were an utter laugh, and God does the Welsh know how to party…

Essex had to come into the equation somewhere, so Will and Ellie brought the party to the Canaries and again were an utterly great laugh. The accent never got old, and I even picked up a few local dialect words along the way. So for that, thank you.

I never, ever, ever thought I’d get to meet someone from Gloucestershire, but my luck came in when I got to meet not ONE, but TWO very genuine and down to Earth people from Gloucester. Holly and Joe. Possibly the nicest brother and sister I’ve ever met, both amazingly funny, and just pretty awesome people to be around.

Obviously, I have to mention my sister, Rachel, since even though she is a HUGE pain in the ar….. Anyway, we had a great time on holiday with each other.

Together we all had a great laugh.

And looking back, it all started by me giving Joe, Kyra and Kara a little smile, and the group blossomed from then on… Who would have known great mates would have come from a short, five-star hotel break?

I know that at some point, each of them will have read this, so thank you very much, I wish you all the best of luck in the future.

And, if they thought they had got away with me simply naming and shaming them, here comes the picture with a caption…

FRONT: Will, Zara, Ellie MIDDLE: Kara, Kyra, Rachel, Max BACK: Me (Thomas), Joe

We all did actually meet a really cool lifeguard while we were away, by the name of Luigi, he was extremely funny and willing to do anything for you… Even if he did throw our ball in the bin…

The man, the myth, the legend

Right, this is then the bit where they’ll stop reading as I boast of how good I am at Jet-Skiing…

So we all decided to have a go on a small powered boat at very high speeds… God, it was fun, the first thing that took me by surprise was the sheer, almost instant power these things have as soon as you press the green ignition button! They are instantly keen to send you four miles in a backwards direction; they have that much power.

I mean, I’m not one to boast or brag, but I did manage to single handily get a high-powered Jet-Ski up to a speed of 82MPH… Which was insanely fast, I mean I broke the speed limits on all of UK’s motorways… I loved every minute of the short 20-minute slot I had.

I now feel I’m ready for a boat licence. LOL.

Seriously though, I always thought that it would be the hardest thing imaginable, however, it’s like riding a bike. Well almost like riding a bike…

Without the high-powered engine, the constant battle of fighting not being tackled by waves and the sea salt that is belted into your eyes, it’s exactly like riding a bike so it’s not really the same at all. In fact, I think the only similarity is that you do get a very sore bottom once you’ve finished, only in Jet-Skiing it’s from the rock of a seat you’ve just sat on and not the tight Lycra that you’re wrapped in yet seem to enjoy

Watch out Baywatch, I’m coming.

I loved that day, and would easily go back to it in a heartbeat.

POWER!!!

It turned out, I was very good at Jet-Skiing, and it made it even better by the fact I thoroughly enjoyed it.

That’s it from me for this week, I’ll be back on Tuesday as normal with hopefully something to write about, I’m currently not too sure yet, it may be rant time, it may be name and shame, who knows?

Until then, take care, I’ll see you really soon.

Thomas

Splashing Fun at Siam Water Park: VIDEO 

Our whole family visited Siam Park the other day. I’m still on holiday in the Canary Islands- it’s very warm, very relaxing and great fun.

SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO

I thought I’d tell you all about my time at the best water park ever. It really was an awesome day to spend with “Da Fam”. It made it even more epic by the fact that my Nana came along to watch how we got on.

I should probably tell you first that, Siam Park makes Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Flamingo Land, look like a two year olds play ground. This is the real deal.

We have visited Siam Park before, therefore knowing that the queue for each ride takes eight years to get through, so myself and my sister got a ‘Fast Track’ band. This meant that we got to skip each line and annoy the people who have waited all day in the line next to us. It was quite good fun.

So, once we skipped the line, we were in. And what fun we had.

I couldn’t, unfortunately, take my iPhone down the slides with me, even though Apple does insist that the 7 is waterproof; I had my doubts, and wasn’t taking any risks. I did, however, have a cameraman at the bottom of the big slide known as ‘The Tower of Power’, look it up on YouTube as I did it, by plummeting down its almost vertical 28-metre drop at a speed of around 50MPH. I won’t lie by saying I wasn’t the slightest bit scared because I was. In fact, it’s safe to say, I was bricking it.

The photo below shows me just being pushed off the slide at more or less full chat. I had my eyes shut, yes.

I bricked it

This is me currently plummeting to the Earth at a speed of around 50MPH, I had my eyes shut, but I was fully aware that I was about to zoom through a narrow, glass tube which is connected to a shark tank… I wasn’t scared at all…

I managed to un-excrement myself and find my pants

This is a picture of me once I un-excrement myself, found my pants and realised I’ve just gone through a shoot full of man eating sharks. The adrenaline was pumping faster than an athlete on steroids.

I did, however, get the chance to chill for a little on some other rides, the video below shows my joy at coming off of a ride with my sister.

Again, that was enormous fun… Just to finish off, I think I’ll show you a picture of me and my sister knackered, after what was a long day. Excuse the wetness.

“We’re all on a Summer holiday”

That’s it from me, I know this was supposed to go up yesterday (Tuesday), but I have been very busy relaxing because surprisingly it is very hard work doing nothing.

Anyway, I’m hoping to be back tomorrow with another blog, partly to apologise for not posting on my weekly basis, and because I can’t wait to tell you about my time Jet-Skiing.

See you then,

Thomas

I’m on Holiday… Sort of…

I’ve come away for a few days to the hot sun… I thought I’d share my time going through the airport with you first, and we’ll see where we end up from there.

I arrived in Manchester for my evening flight over to my holiday destination, I then arrived with all the bags I started with; unlike certain British Airways flights recently. I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s head back over to Manchester and continue the story from there.

So, we set off from home at around 11:30 on Sunday morning to begin our 13-hour journey to Tenerife. It took us around an hour or so to reach Penrith train station. This would take us directly to Manchester airport ready to take off at seven that evening.

We actually arrived at the airport ahead of time. Which meant we had plenty of time to get through customs, security and into Duty-Free with LOADS of time.

The malarky with the airport is a completely different matter. I sometimes want to throw airport security out of the window. But, I suppose that due to national security threats nowadays, they have to be strict. Still a pain. I mean they have enough security forces to form their own private army. In fact, they probably have one!

We then boarded our plane at around half six ish and took off an hour later, slightly delayed, but ready for a four hour and a half long flight, I got to watch a great film at 37,000 FT; Deadpool.

Other than the constant ear aching announcements from the Captain every five minutes, the film was great, considering I’m not usually a fan of the Marvel franchise. Other from the plane being UNBELIEVABLY hot, the flight was pretty good.

The odd shake of turbulence awoke the large seated man behind me, from his extra cushioned seat with extra fabric and leg room and broke the loud snore by pilots announcements at every mile we hit.

We finally landed at Tenerife South airport at ten to midnight where I felt like using pegs to lift my eyes open. Then came the real pain. The moment I felt like taking the sharp edge of my passport and gauging my eyes out: Tenerife’s security and ground forces. They are painfully slow. And I mean, like snail pace. I think I can go as far as saying I could have got a flight back to the UK in the time it took us to get through passport control, and baggage reclaim.

Especially baggage reclaim.

I can imagine the small, Spanish man simply taking his time, as everything else is done in this part of the world very slowly. One case appeared every 30 seconds. It was too slow. I got very impatient, right up to the moment where the tiny Spanish man, probably called Yosef or something decided, Thomas needs something to write about on Tuesday, so let’s whack all of his on at once.

So he did.

We got onto the coach, traveled 40 minutes down the road and arrived at our overnight halt an hour later. We received a late dinner and early breakfast at quarter to three in the morning then hit the hay.

I woke up the following morning and sat by the pool to chill. And I sit here on my balcony looking over the Atlantic, with the coast of Morocco on the horizon, with a glass of something cold and fizzy in my left hand.

That’s the beauty of the holidays, enjoy them.

I am going to end with that while I am on holiday, please don’t expect a blog as frequently as usual. I will try my best to get at least another one out while I am here. I don’t know when that will be. I hope you understand, I have been very busy working on my blog over the last few months and I’m very proud of the stage that it is at now, and I only have YOU to thank for that, so thank you very much!

I have an idea for a blog while I’m out here, I’m just picking at the final touches as I usually do before I begin to write it. Have a great few weeks. Enjoy the rest of your summer. Seriously, Winters next and we’ll all be complaining…

Thomas

Summer Reads – Thomas Tells The Teenager Tale…

Summers here, which for me means time to read! I always look forward to the fact that as soon as summer arrives I can look forwards to buying a new book and just reading it in the sun.

Rushing to the nearest WHSmiths at the airport to pick a book that I’d fancy reading on the plane and on a beach was always the element of my holiday I would look forward to, it always indicated that my summer break had begun. I’ve hit a little bit of a rock in the road this year, as I head off abroad in a few days, I’m struggling for a book to grab, so I thought I’d have a look, and share with you.

The first book I would like to talk about has been written by a blogger turned author. The daughter of Jeremy Clarkson; Emily has just published “Can I Speak to Someone In Charge?”. The book was written, apparently when Emily was in a very bad mood about a number of topics, but it covers subjects which she says is important for both girls and guys to know about. Covering Page 3, the image of girls, makeup and school, among a whole other matter of things. If you dare read into Emily’s outspoken opinions, give her book a read over the summer.

Em Clarkson
Can I Speak To Someone In Charge? – Emily Clarkson

YouTube has become a growing interest with many teenagers, and some YouTubers have even taken to writing their own books. If you’re a fan of Joe Sugg and his graphic novels, and can’t wait for book three to come out, then you don’t have much longer to wait because his new graphic novel “Username: Uprising” is due to arrive in book shops on September 21. The story will follow Evie and her gang facing new challenges and resolving the rift between the online and offline world. It should be a great story to follow if you want to be involved with Evie and her travels, give “Username: Uprising” a read when it comes to book shops in September.

Joe Suggles
Username: Uprising – Joe Sugg

I think I’ve recommended two very good books for over the summer to a generation of teenagers who don’t actually read at all anymore. In fact, I’d give 10 Brownie points to any teenager who knew what a book actually was. I’m serious too, teenagers nowadays just like to take pictures of their food and post it to Instagram with the caption of ‘Look what I’m eating’ all spelt wrong. Just scrolling through your Facebook feed, isn’t actually classed as reading, your brain’s not thinking as it would when you read a 586-page thriller.

Reading is everything, I mean personally, I think I should do a lot more reading than I currently do, but without words on lots of pages to tell a story, you wouldn’t be able to structure a sentence as it is words that we pick up from things such as books that help form our day to day sentences. I think perhaps if you turn off your Data Roaming on your phone, stop scrolling through Facebook, Tinder and Instagram, and read a book the world may exit the current turmoil that it appears to be in.

We really do need to read more, but if you are aged between 13 to 18 and have just read this column, give yourself a pat on the back, it’s a step in the right direction.

Have a great summer.

 

The Nightmare That is Manchester’s Ringroad

I went for a one day drive down to Manchester the other day, and what a drive it was…

I thought that being a blogger, I should probably write what happened and tell you all about it. So, if you are interested, read on. If you’re not, well you know what you can do.

Before I do go on, I just wanted to say that me and my Dad decided to get a Cappuccino from Costa at the motorway service station that is Killington Lake, and only had to pay £3.50 for a small coffee?!? £3.50??? I could have gone to Morrison’s and bought a large Kenco jar for that! But instead, since they seem to have you locked in, gasping for a cuppa, you pay the price and move on. Sign of the times I suppose…

I had a meeting in Manchester at around two ish, and living in the Lake District, it can take anywhere from two and a half to three hours to get down there. Thankfully, the trek down the M6 was what I would call peaceful. Personally, I like the M6, on a nice day it’s a great road to drive on.

It was when we hit the M60 and M62 that the problems started, not to mention the blackening cloud that appeared to be homing in on me and my Dad. It opened, and when it did, it poured down, I swear it was like Barbados in August, the weather was horrendous. It also became very dangerous, as the road surface suddenly transformed into a mirroring ice rink, it was very slippy, one wrong move and you either end up a steep grassy bank to the left of you or in the back of the NEXT directory lorry that is to your right. The misty spray that was also bouncing from the tyres of cars in front was also beginning to pose a threat. It was a hard decision to make. One split second decision. So what would my Dad do?

Floor it and aim for the middle.

Mercifully, we emerged from the now, dying mist. The sun eventually made an appearance and we arrived at Manchester’s ring road. Now, I’d like to say that my Dad is a very confident driver, but, I could tell that even he was bricking it. Manchester ring road is a nightmare, you really do have to be on your toes. One mistake and you take a swift turn up sh*t creek. Traffic can be the be all and end all of a driver, it will either fill them with confidence or knock it flying out of the window and have it shattered into smithereens.  It can be stressful.

The entrance into cities is very frightening, especially if you have a driver that tells you he can’t see when a huge spray is spat from the back of a lorry. Driving along a motorway with very little visibility is bad enough so you can imagine how fast my heart was going when I was told that my Dad had lost sight of the car in front of us, which actually ended up being only a few metres ahead. We only realised this after the mist settled and the sun decided to pop out. We then arrived in Media City UK, in plenty of time for my meeting.

Going home is another story.

My meeting was long, I was tired and wanted to sleep, but due to the UK’s typically unpredictable weather, plus the added fact my Dad was also tired too, I had to stay awake so that we could both make it out of the hell hole that is the M62 alive. We both had to seriously concentrate, the horrible misty rain came down again, followed by rain drops the size of golf balls. I could literally see the rain bouncing off the road. It was as if the heavens had nominated the whole of Manchester to do an Ice Bucket Challenge, and God did it get soaked. I genuinely thought that the blotches of rain were going to smash the windscreen. It was really odd though because there seemed to be no wind, in fact, the air was completely still, it felt like some sort of tropical storm. It was seriously weird.

The issues then became more frustrating as the rush hour traffic began to mount up simply to get back onto the Manchester ring road. The big signs that tell you how long you’re going to be waiting in that position for before you move a fraction of an inch illuminated a 45-minute wait. Which indicated to me that I may get to see the finished design of the house that was four brick walls with a roof being fitted to my left. I even contemplated maybe seeing the second owners moving in, at the pace of the slowly moving traffic.

Eventually, we were freed, and I got to see the doors, windows and roof fitted to the semi-detached new build. I’d also managed to become a 73-year-old man with a beard in the process. We joined the M60, and managed to avoid the patter from the impending thunder shower that appeared to be imminent.

Me and my Dad decided that instead of looking at a straight bit of road with the odd sign warning us that tiredness can kill, we turned off at Kendal and headed through the South of the Lake District. While we did do that, I had time to notice that it seems very sudden that from the M6 to the start of Windermere, people change! I’m serious too, the sense of dress goes from high-end boots and coats and scarves to walking boots, an anorak and a ‘Dare 2 B’ hat that only covers half of your head.

And eventually, we ended up home. Only for me to trip over the doorway into my house.

From Blogger to Print Writer

As I said last week, I’ve been very very very busy recently. I’m not going to lie. I’ve loved it.

I’ve had the very lucky opportunity to be recently working alongside Cumbrian Newspapers. So I’ve been getting in the way of the people who write for The Whitehaven News, Times and Star and News and Star, and write-up some articles. It’s been great.

I originally did some work experience with The Times and Star in August last year, (by the way, its August 1, so pinch and punch, first of the month), sorry had to do that. Anyway, I went for work experience in August last year, and to be honest, I loved every minute. I loved it so much I was asked back a few weeks later, and I loved that so much, I’m sitting here in The Times and Star office writing a blog while everybody else gets ready to go to print. I don’t want to get in the way and stop the next newspaper end up being a pamphlet.

It has, however, been a very busy week, as you read this I’m in the middle of my second and final week with Cumbrian Newspapers before I go on my holidays. But before I do go, I thought that I could share with you, my experiences of being nestled in the middle of a major and speedy weekly newspaper…

I’ve been kept on my toes I think is a fair expression to use, writing articles, interviewing people who have achieved great things… It’s been great. But if I had to pick a favourite day… I couldn’t, I’d have to pick two.

Last Wednesday and Thursday were absolutely epic, I got to experience first hand how a newsroom can go from being fairly chilled first thing in the morning to being manic three hours later. Since I’ve been with Cumbrian Newspapers; which include The Times and Star, News and Star and The Whitehaven News, each paper has a different deadline, so Wednesday was the deadline for The Whitehaven News, which was only manic for the morning and quietened down towards the end of the afternoon, as pages were sent off to be printed the atmosphere became a lot less surreal than it was two hours earlier.

Thursday was even busier The Times and Star went to, what they call in the journalism world, “to press”, this is where the day before the paper comes out, everything becomes hectic and, for me, super super exciting! Deadlines have to be met, shapes for articles to fit have to be finalised and at the end of it all, it does have to be printed, so that it can be picked up the following morning by people while they go bread and milk shopping.

The scariest part for me was simply just the pace of it all, I mean I’m just a blogger. I sit down every so often with a cuppa and a HobNob and think of stuff to say, and it takes me what? A few hours… These lot work late nights, long shifts and finalise every single detail… It’s amazing how it’s all turned around in such a short space of time.

The most exciting part for me has just been how busy things get very very quickly. One minute the room can be completely still and silent, you can hear a pin drop. Then all of a sudden it gets extremely lively, you’d be lucky to hear a large bear make whatever noise large bears make.

Some of the articles I’ve written can be found on The Whitehaven News and Times and Star website, and will be in both papers this week, so you can go and buy one!

So, there you go, I’ve been writing articles and interviewing people, and I have even been given a column to talk about books! Mind you it is just a one-off, but it should be in The Whitehaven News on Thursday (August 3) and The Times and Star on Friday (August 4). Give it a read! It was great fun to write, I thoroughly enjoyed myself, just as I have for the two weeks I have had here.

If you can’t for some reason buy a paper, then it will also be appearing on here on Friday evening so that it gives people the chance to read it in the paper first.

That’s all from me for this week, I go on holiday in a few days but still plan to blog when I can… See you soon,

Thomas