“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 “desert” were 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 do 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, thankyou.

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 came from a short, five star hotel break?

I know that at some point, each of them will have read this, so thankyou 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 handedly 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 your 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 visted 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, eventhough 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 it’s 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 unexcrement myself, and find my pants

This is a picture of me once I un-excremented 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 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 completly 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 UNBELIEVEABLY hot, the flight was pretty good. 

The odd shake of turbulance 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 bagage reclaim. 

Especially bagage 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 Ysef or something decided, Thomas needs something to write about on Tuesday, so lets whack all of his on at once. 

So he did. 

We got onto the coach, travelled 40 minutes down the road and arrived at our overnight halt an hour later. We recieved a late dinner and early breakfast at quater 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

Last Lap for Petrol and Diesel 

The government recently decided that the idea of strong horsepower will be abandoned on the shelf of a garage somewhere to collect cobwebs. This has to mean that the only way forward will have to be electricity.

Yes, this is the story that earlier this week, the environment experts have decided to call it a day, and put a ban on all petrol and diesel powered cars in the UK as of 2040.

This news may come as a surprise to some of you, however, the government have been against electric cars for some time now, simply because they feel that some of the earth’s polar bears are struggling to find space on the melting ice caps. Plus the added fact that the countries emissions boffins are beginning to think that car fumes may also be doing harm to the human body, which is not a thing we want to happen.

The fuel powered car as we know it has been around for centuries, and for some petrol heads, this news does come as a bit of a shock to the system, and the end of an era, as now car journalists have to get their pencil cases out again to think of new words to describe the way electric motors work, because I can tell you now – there isn’t any!

Let’s just break this news down piece by piece and see what we can get out of it. My first concern about this news is that although it is 23 years away from now, the news is still a little soon… I mean before the cars have to go, so does every single petrol station in the country, and they will have to be replaced with electric charging points… HOW MUCH WILL THAT COST???!!! I mean, are we *balls* deep already with a certain Brexit bill looming upon us? (* I did mean eye balls*)

Looking at the current main issue with electric cars at the moment has to be the range of them. If you were to take an electric car like the BMW i3 and charge its battery full, you would struggle to get it from my home in the Lakes to Manchester. Which does mean that you’re going to be stuck in the middle of nowhere to find that there are no charging points available. So in short, you’re buggered.

Charging your electric car is a little bit of a faff anyway. From one empty tank to fully charged on some electric cars can take anywhere from eight to 13 hours. So, unless you are near a soft play or shooting range, you’re not going to have anywhere to take your anger out on the matter of your empty tank.

My third issue with this sudden announcement is that all car manufacturers are going to have to really really think about loads of different electric car designs, because there isn’t actually that much variety with electric cars at the minute, otherwise everybody will be driving round in the Nissan LEAF… And that wouldn’t be very good at all.

Electric cars are also ugly and a little pricey, I’m fully aware you get just under £5000 back from the government, but there aren’t that many good-looking electric cars that are affordable for the average person. The only good looking, half non-expensive car you can buy is a Tesla Model S, but even still you’re looking at the best part of £60,000. Which is not cheap at all.

On the topic of electric cars that are not cheap, you may be reading this and realising that all the fast McLarens, Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s that run from the stuff dug up in the ground that use petrol and diesel will also have to go, and there isn’t any equivalent electric cars that we would call sports cars… But is there?

The Rimac Concept One is an electric super car from the bottom up. Just don’t take it to the Swiss Alps and throw it from the side of a mountain like Richard Hammond did a few weeks ago, will you? Good.

This car can go from 0 to 100 KM/H in 2.5 seconds. That is serious power! It produces 1224HP and has a top speed of a million! (I made that last bit up…) Anyway, seriously good car, sadly it does have a price of a million pounds and only about eight or nine were made, so they have all been sold, but it is still nice to know that companies like Rimac are always thinking of ways to enhance this new chapter in the history of motoring.

Rimac
Rimac Concept One Pic – Jalopnik

Getting rid of petrol and diesel cars may not be a completely bad thing, as it does mean that the man who works at the scrap yard, no doubtingly called Eric, Steve or Bill can keep his job, since there seems to be a lot of cars that will need turning into Coca-Cola cans.
Also, this does give car reviewers and journalists to think new world on ways to describe the sound an electric engine makes, all the whirring and whining and clicking and ticking the car makes, is that a good noise? A bad noise? We don’t know yet and probably won’t know until more electric cars come from the production line.

I also am warming to the idea of more electric cars coming out anyway, because as we have seen they have the potential to be staggeringly quick and jaw dropping to look at as that Concept One does in the picture above. But, the government have only decided to hack petrol and diesel cars; not hybrids. If you’re wondering what a hybrid is, I’ll explain. A hybrid was the birth of the electric car, but manufacturers weren’t quite there yet, so the hybrid had a petrol engine, but an electric engine driving the wheels. A car like the Toyota Prius. Manufacturers then took this idea and went off to create raw, naked speed, and cars like the McLaren P1, Porsche 918 and La Ferrari put the idea to the ultimate test. So, those sorts of cars will still be around, and who knows, they may even take the petrol engine out and just fit them with an electric motor which will make it lighter, meaning it will easily be able to exceed speeds of up to 200MPH. So even those three cars could be reinvented as a whole new concept.

There are tracks right across the world that have been the beginning of the end. Le Mans, Spa, Silverstone and of course The Nurburgring. They have all hosted epic races through cars that have been powered through petrol and diesel, and I think that it is sad that they will have to stay where they are as time moves on, because come 2050, the races being held there won’t start to the typical roar that they used to, with people standing with their fingers in their ears, instead a gentle hum will allow you to start a book.

So, you may feel a little sad that the car as we know it has died, but think and look ahead because its offspring that inspired it will be a whole new page in all motoring magazines. The word “auto” will have a completely different meaning, cars will have a new feel, look and style.

And to be honest it’s all down to something that’s been here for much longer than the car. Classic, honest, brilliant, engineering.

Since we invented the car, I suppose it’s only right we kill it off and introduce it again.

Graduation? At Infant School?

I am, once again in typical Thomas style late with my homework this week. I sit here on a sunny Monday evening in the sun with a chilled glass of Orange juice in my garden. It’s very nice.

It has become apparent to me that I can’t lose my audience before I’ve even started after I publicly admitted my opinion on the punishment all caravaners. I did then promise myself that no more controversial writing would appear on my blog however, I have had to make a little bit of an exception as I’m writing this at last-minute, as I have been very busy, and I seem to have a refined talent in this. I’m also beginning to question if this is Thomas’ blog and not Thomas’ very strong opinions.

I mean, I say controversial, I just wanted to voice my opinion, and make you question if you feel the same…

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day, and he was telling me that an infant school down south of the country had a graduation for their pupils… Yes, you’re thinking… I say no… I’ll tell you why…

I don’t see the point in youngsters having a graduation ceremony? I mean they did the full whack too, cap, gown, certificate in a small roll with a thin layer of purple silk holding it together… Is that not a Uni thing?

So, this school are giving eight-year-old children a graduation ceremony, for finishing infant school? I mean, what do they have a degree in? Lego block building? I do just fail to see the point in it… Children now are put under immense pressure for a number of things; appearance, how they dress, but education is a big one. From the age of 10 to degree level. But, I want to specifically talk about infants. They are given assessments just before they go up to Primary school, and I just can’t understand why… When I left infant school, I was still discovering what the colour red was, but now you are expected to know why Newton’s cradle swings left before swinging right. It gets ridiculous, and I think it’s starting to get too ridiculous. I really don’t understand it anymore. SATs are another ramble…

I know do happen to know a very bright, smart, intelligent kid who is absolutely bricking it about his SATs, and obviously, he is looking for me to say that it will all be alright, and he will get on just fine, but I honestly don’t know anymore! It’s been nearly six years since I sat my SATs exams and you wouldn’t think so, but since then, they have changed more than the direction of the wind on a remote island in Northern Scotland. There simply is too much pressure, and I don’t think it’s really needed, children don’t use any and I mean any of the skills they picked up in Infant school, I’ve always just thought was somewhere to throw them while parents went to relieve their headache and stock up on Day and Night Nurse with Nurofen, where they then come up drugged up on the stuff complaining it was a hard day at work…

I was in a newly built restaurant the other day with my family, and I’m not going to tell a word of a lie, it was amazing. I found that there was only one problem… Since the staff were all in training; the waiters, waitresses, chefs and even manager. Don’t get me wrong they worked very long hours, tirelessly all night, however, they seemed to struggle with the aspects of a busy restaurant. Which gave me an idea of a pointer to look at on my blog when I made the list of ideas of things to talk about. I just thought that has to be down to the education system. Hold off on that complaint please, give me time.

Nowadays, we are not educated about how a working world will work, believe me, I’ve experienced it. I found that on my very first work experience placement with a newspaper was completely different to what I had been taught with desks, tables and a pencil sharpener. It’s the real working world, and if something goes wrong, you can use TipEx to get rid of it, you have to correct it… On your own. And my point is, we are just not taught this anymore. Maybe if we left the top speed of the Harrier Jump Jet till later and just learned how to use a knife and fork, the world wouldn’t be in the horrific mess it’s in now… Although saying that, they would probably find something else…

That’s all I have time for this week, but you’ll be pleased to know that next week has almost been written as it should be a good one!

I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ve been working with a newspaper group and would like to share my experiences with you about it. So, look out for the blog titled ‘From Blogger to Print Writer’, there’s a sneak peak for you… You’ll have to wait until next week to find out more. See you then, thank you very much for reading.

Take care,

Thomas

iPerform – Comedy Night

I’m extremely late with my homework this week, and when I say homework I don’t mean the 1400 word essay, I’ve got to write before I start back at Sixth Form. I mean I sit here writing this blog the day before it’s due. So, we’re all about to find out (me included) exactly how good a writer I am when put on the spot.

I mean usually, I write the blog for the following week on Tuesday the one before it goes out. This gives me exactly a week to ponder over is that word funny enough, can that sentence be made to look better, and I do that until about Saturday until I decide I’m happy with it. Today though? Well, I’ve got till lunchtime. If you’re wondering why I’m so late with this week’s blog post, it’s because I have been REALLY busy this week too. If you’ve guessed from the title. Yes. I’m doing iPerform at my school; the day this blog actually goes out! So I thought I could sit and tell you all about it, as it ticks the box for a blog this week, and gives iPerform a little boost for an audience…

So, what is iPerform? Well, it’s a week long concert that Keswick School holds every year, and each night there is a different theme to share the talent that Keswick School possesses. Monday would be Dance and Drama Night. Tuesday would be Comedy Night. Wednesday would be Choir Night and Thursday would be Band Night, here all the school’s bands would come together, perform and have a great night. Typically, the Friday is the best day of the week, because the whole school joins as one, and makes a music video with and singers lip sync the words of a few songs while walking backwards around the school to show what Keswick offers. It’s a great week that everybody looks forwards to.

This year’s iPerform is almost upon us, now for the audiences, iPerform is a great week. For the performers, iPerform is challenging and stressy. Simply because although it’s only a laugh, you want to get it right, you want to impress your audience. Which is why this weeks blog post is delayed, I’ve been rehearsing scripts for the night I’ll be a performer. Comedy Night. Now, people who don’t know me, won’t know that I’m not actually funny in any sense or form what so ever. However, I love to perform and have previously been told I’m rather good at it (me stroking my inner ego), that when given a funny script, people decide that I am, naturally, a very funny person. Which is great!

I don’t really intend for this to be a long blog as I have to cut it short so that I can go and learn my lines for the sketches I will be doing tomorrow night (tonight for you when you’re reading this/if you’re reading this on the day it’s released). I will be performing three sketches tomorrow night, a sketch from one of my favourite actors, Rowan Atkinson, a funny sketch about comedy and how to deliver comedy, and a scene from, what I think is the modern day Monty Pythons, the cast of The Sketch Show.

Sadly, that is all I have time to write this week, it was just a very short blog, however, I am extremely busy. So, if you have nothing to do this evening, and are in the Lake District, come along to Keswick School’s iPerform Comedy Night, for a great night of laughs. Starts at 7 pm.

Thank you very much for reading, I’ll be back next week with hopefully a slightly longer blog. I will be doing something very exciting which I hope to share with you.

Until next week, BYE!

Thomas

“Come on, Dithers!”

I happen to have a really close friend, who has lived on a working farm all her life, and very kindly on some occasions I am invited over to help out.

Well, I say help out, what I really meant to say was get in the way…

This is me… Getting in the way…
The first time I went over to see what all this farming malarkey was all about was in the Winter, so as you can imagine, it wasn’t warm at all.

However, I didn’t do too much complaining, packed 1400 layers of warm clothing, a hat and some gloves and set out into the unknown. My alarm woke me up on a cold and brisk Saturday morning; which was very early for me. From what I’m told this is “normal time” for a farmer. I hurled myself into the back of a trailer led by a quad bike where, before my little toe had the chance to have any form of contact with the wet, wooden floor of the trailer, I was propelled backwards as the bike shot off like a rocket. I did actually expect the bike with a trailer; along with two, more or less fully grown humans in the back to have the get-up and go of Jabba The Hut… I could not have been more wrong.

We eventually arrived at the place, where I was told to throw some food to some cows. Battling through the constant sharp bite from the howling wind, I thought that, even with gloves on, I would have to re-attach my fingers to my hands using a ‘Pritt-Stick’, it did, however, die down and my blood circulation was finally allowed to re-emerge from its hiding place and heat me up again.

Once the cows had been fed and watered, I was told that “morning checks” had to be done to all the rest of the farm animals to make sure that they are okay. I did find this extremely interesting, as my internal organs were turned inside out once more on the quad ride of a lifetime (which I very much enjoyed by the way) I got to see exactly how big this farm is. Now it’s not exactly Australia’s Northern Territory, but for the Lake District, and from someone who has never really seen a working farm before, I was stunned by the scale of it all, along with the epic views that come with it.

I should also mention before I go on, that it’s not just a working farm, its also a B&B. I’d have to say, I think that it is one of the best B&B’s I’ve ever stayed in too. The location is sublime, the smell of a freshly cooked breakfast every morning is amazing, the hospitality goes without fault and you just get the impression and atmosphere that your hosts work tirelessly to make sure that your stay is a great one. I think that my one memory of staying here and getting up at the crack of dawn is being able to open my bedroom curtains and get this jaw-dropping view…..

Amalfi? South of France? Italian Lakes? Pah.
I have since been back to the farm, to what I would like to say is help out, but really it was just to get in the way again. However, it did not spoil the fun I had herding sheep, going mind-bogglingly fast on a quad bike, shearing a sheep and even sticking my hand up a sheep’s front bottom. (By this I do mean lamb a sheep). It is one of the best experiences I think I have ever had the privilege to say that I got to take part in… The shearing the sheep part, not the… anyway…

Some of you may be wondering why the title of this week’s blog has a foreign word in it like, “Dithers”, now I’ve used the word partly because I think that it is a superb word, and partly because all I really did was “dither” about. It’s hard work this farming malarkey.

I even struggled to switch a light on… Now that was something I didn’t expect to find even remotely difficult. In all respect, it was a fairly tough light switch.

Seriously though, for a short time, I only started answering to “Dithers” rather than “Thomas”, I mean I usually answer to nouns much more strongly than that, but it was soo difficult to get everything right, I was exhausted by the end of it. And some people think it’s tiring doing three minutes of ‘Charlotte’s Quick Exercise’, try farming in the very early hours of a Saturday morning.

If your still a little in the dark about some of the work that I have (tried to) help out with, then to understand, you need to scroll up to the picture of me in a big bag thing. It may seem like I was messing about, however, this is apparently a really good technique for squashing and squishing all the wool that has been sheared off from the sheep. It was my job to compact it all together.

(Which is actually a very good job to have)

Once you have been like a fat man in MacDonalds, and fit in as much as possible, the big bags are stitched up and thrown on a big pile. Well, obviously, I had to show my strength and help lift it. (Which was safe if your reading this and are a Health and Safety boffin). However, I felt as if I was carrying one of London Routemaster’s, I nearly collapsed! I couldn’t get over how heavy it was, I don’t think hairdressers nowadays have to carry all your hair along with everybody else’s that day and leave it outside in a large white bag to be sold into a rug that may eventually appear on ‘Antique’s Roadshow’. NO! They bloody well don’t, so carrying this enormous bag of sheep wool, felt to me like carrying a mountain.

All in all, though, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Mosedale End Farm, so I would just like to say a HUGE thank you to JoAnne and Andrew for giving me an amazing experience. As I did say, it is a B&B as well as a farm, so as a thank you, here is a massive plug!

If you would like to stay in a quiet, remote location in a tiny, yet staggering part of Lakeland, then Mosedale is the place to visit! For more information please visit http://www.mosedaleendfarm.co.uk I promise you it is an amazing location for a short break. It’s Baarilliant!

That’s all from me for this week,

Thank you very much for reading,

Thomas

*No sheep or farm animals were harmed in the making of this blog, just Thomas’ bottom when he fell over in the back of a trailer*