Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The Beginnings of a Breakdown

Have you ever piled enormous mounds of food upon your plate at an all-you-can-eat buffet, knowing full well that you'll never finish it all but picking out the largest, nicest looking pork-pie or piece of quiche regardless.

Of course you have, but if you're anything like me you'll continue to forget the fact that your eyes are far bigger than your stomach. Unless you're a swimmer. A swimmer that actually trains sufficiently regularly, that is.

Everything has finally proven too much.

And it turns out you can't do it all. At least, I can't.

Monday, 8 December 2014

November Ramblings

36 days.

36 days may not sound that significant in the grand scheme of things, however it sure does feel like a lifetime ago. It's completely brain-baffling to think that so much can occur in such a small space of time, and there's less than 20 days until Christmas!

It's been exactly 36 days since my last blog post. November is normally the month through which I struggle to maintain a positive attitude, however this November has been almost non-stop. I literally haven't had chance to think otherwise.

Apart from not training as much as I would have liked, I'd say that the last couple of weeks have actually been pretty enjoyable! Albeit a little stressful. I'll give you that!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Fix You

For such a long time I've wanted to acknowledge the power of song lyrics, hence the title of this post. The best artists compose music that their fans can relate to, which may explain why this isn't the first time I've used their work as a heading for mine.

But that discussion is for another time. And I promise it will be published, along with the exploration of this book, however not just yet! Despite the fact that those two words above are very relevant to a number of elements I'm about to discuss, I simply want to use this post in an attempt to explain a few things which will, with any luck, help get them off my chest...

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Camping Escapade

For those of you who don't already know, or have perhaps forgotten, I've not too long ago returned home from a week-long camping trip and, I have to tell you, it was one hell of a week! I say recently but it was in fact about a month ago that the blue-silver Vauxhall Insignia hire-car rolled up on our block paving driveway at 02:30 after completing an excess of 300 miles' tiresome travelling on the most intricate network of Tarmac known to man.

Time has flown by but I'm sure you can appreciate that there have been no end of distractions since that marathon journey, with the return of swimming and school especially, among other, more pressing complications. Not the most of enthralling opening paragraphs, I know, but if that week is anything to go by, you can count on the remainder to be quite the opposite.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Do You Want To Go To The Seaside?

Upon creating this blog I never in my wildest dreams thought that I'd publish anything fashion related. Well, today that is about to change. Inspired by having spent a large part of August by the coast, I thought I'd share with you to a favourite summer outfit of mine; possibly even two.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

32nd LEN European Swimming Championships, Berlin 2014

Well, would you believe it! Our nation's swimmers were designated the challenge of living up to their successes at Glasgow's Commonwealth Games and they most certainly did. We had a total of 16 medallists, the majority adding to their tally of hard-earned Commonwealth titles. I'm aiming for this to be as close to a 500-word summary of the European Championships as possible, so thus prepare for a very superficial recount in comparison to my article on Glasgow's Commonwealth Games.

I'm fully aware that this overview is the best part of two weeks behindhand however - dependant on reading the latter posts of my 30 day blog challenge - you may already know that this couldn't have been helped. Camping in the middle of nowhere, as far as an Internet connection was concerned, meant that I was unable to stay up-to-date with all the action. For reasons stated before, the majority of my future swimming-based articles can be found on Alan March Sport Ltd's website here.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 30

Day 30: Your highs and lows of this month.

The most logical starting point to commence the beginning of this challenge's end would be to phrase the question of how I could possibly fail to acknowledge the emotional fluctuation that came as a result of a month's worth of devotion? It would be ridiculous as my 30 day blog challenge has, of course, brought both highs and lows of its own. It would also appear that the 29 previous themes were engineered in such a way to lead up to this grand finale, so I can't ignore that either.

Friday, 29 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 29

Day 29: Goals for the next 30 days.

The next 30 days are sure to be full of change, with the first being a huge snap back to reality. It's been 16 weeks since I last set foot inside a classroom but fortunately I feel a great sense of anticipation towards commencing my sixth form studies. In addition, there's the return of training to normality which means that I will once more be forced to juggle school, social life, swimming and blogging as best I can. I'd ideally like to begin by catching up on multiple hours of overdue sleep, although I'm not sure if that will be at all possible due to everything else that requires innumerable hours of my time.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 28

Day 28: Something that you miss.

There's a large number of things that I often find myself longing for however very few are long-term, which gives those that are an even greater desirability. For example, during the course of this past week I've been completely bewildered by the absence of an easily accessible Internet connection, however this will soon be a luxury that I'm once again able to take for granted as we're now partway through the 300-mile journey home. On the other hand, snacking on the sweet treats sold by my primary school's break-time tuck shop is a happening that I will never again experience. Do you see the difference?

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 27

Day 27: A problem that you've had.

Like yesterday, I really haven't had chance to blog however I started this challenge and so I'm determined to finish it. Again, I'll have to keep this one short but will certainly touch up on a few details once back in England and with a stable Internet connection. Not to worry, we leave at some point tomorrow so that means it will only be a couple of days from now.

Staying on the topic of camping, there have been a couple of difficulties that I experienced this week which are really quite relevant. The first being that I've been forever tripping over guy-ropes! No matter whether it's day or night, I always manage to stagger and stumble around our pitch, almost as though I consumed more alcohol than I can handle. Of course, this issue is even more of a nuisance during the early hours of the morning when the arduous task of relieving oneself can only seem to be made a little less complicated.

I've had another camping-related problem but I'm sure there's no need to remind you once again. I've gone on about it enough already but all I'll say is that it's one of the many fears of the 21st Century teenager.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 26

Day 26: The kind of person that attracts you.

I don't believe in pure physical or emotional attraction -- for me, it's a combination of the two. Of course, I'm naturally drawn to both toned and curvaceous girls with an ethereal gorgeousness that can only be gifted at birth, but personality is always the deciding factor. A beautiful character serves to greatly enhance those visible qualities, whereas the reverse can also hold true.

Monday, 25 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 25

Day 25: Someone who inspires you and why.

I could have chosen many people to write about today (such as Liam Tancock, the person who inspired me to swim competitively, or the greatest athlete of all-time, Michael Phelps) however I chose the person that I did for two main reasons. One, it's a lot easier for me to write about this person in a short period of time and, two, she truly does continue to inspire me with each and every day that passes.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 24

Day 24: Your favourite film and what it's about.

I'm not sure if I actually have a favourite film however I do have a collection of most-liked films from which to decide on one to write about. I've also compiled a list of motion pictures that I'd like to watch, rather similar to my list of celebrity crushes.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 23

Day 23: Give pictures of 5 girls who are famous and you find attractive.

Today's challenge originally asked for pictures of 5 guys who are famous and I find attractive but I thought that pictures of 5 girls would be a lot more fun.

Although it embarrasses me to say it, I've actually made a list of 55 female celebrities that I currently have (or have once had) a crush on -- and that number will only continue to grow. Narrowing it down to my top 5 is going to be extremely difficult!

Friday, 22 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 22

Day 22: Explain how you've changed in the past 2 years.

In the grand scheme of things, two years is a relatively short period of time however such a vast amount of factors can play a part in completely altering one's being. There are two main categories in which my recent maturity falls - noticeably physical and hidden emotional.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 21

Day 21: Your favourite TV shows.

Due to the fact that normal routine makes for an incredibly hectic schedule, I'm very rarely able to take advantage of the most widely used form of entertainment in order to indulge in a period of distraction from reality. On informing my mum the subject of this post she replied, I quote, "that shouldn't be too much of a challenge to complete as you don't have time to watch television."

As it happens, she was so very mistaken. Not because the above statement is incorrect but due to all that has occurred today - more on that later. And there are, however, a couple of shows that I watch on a semi-regular basis.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 20

Day 20: How important you think education is.

How better to open my discussion than with a quote from one of the world's leading inspirational figures?

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 19

Day 19: Disrespecting your parents.

Disrespecting my parents. What on Earth could that possibly mean? All right, I'll admit that this type of situation arises every now and then however it's not something that I'm particularly proud of. It's certainly not something I'd like to make a habit of.

Monday, 18 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 18

Day 18: Your beliefs.

Given the fact that I went into great detail about a few of my religious beliefs in a previous post, I was originally under the impression that it wouldn't have been so difficult to publish this one. Despite having originally said that I'd keep my writing concise, that didn't happen and so I've inadvertently assumed the task of rewording all that I've written before.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

XX Commonwealth Games, Glasgow 2014

Scotland's third home Commonwealth Games are now well and truly over however, despite this, I'd like to relive some of the action by sharing with you a few of my personal highlights from the pool. Unfortunately I missed a large majority of the excitement due to training, travelling and just being generally busy however that of it that I did manage to watch was action-packed and had a profound effect with regard to inspiring me as an athlete myself.

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 17

Day 17: Your highs and lows of this past year.

As I stated on day 08 of this challenge, innate human nature causes us to much too often overlook the highs of life due to a couple of bad experiences. The majority of my following points for discussion fall into both categories as each appear to contain highs and lows of their own. Similarly, I'm certain of the fact that I will forget to mention a number of positive events that occurred in this past year for reasons described above.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 16

Day 16: Your views on mainstream music.

My iPod shuffle on Day 11 says it all, to be honest. I listen to a lot of mainstream music however I cannot tolerate radio stations that repeatedly play the same songs - every single day - until you begin to hate them.

Friday, 15 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 15

Day 15: Your favourite social networkers.

This originally asked for my favourite Tumblrs however that would be extremely difficult because I don't use Tumblr. However, this is still a rather arduous task as I don't regularly watch YouTube videos or follow celebrities' social media either.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 14

Day 14: Your earliest memory.

My earliest memory is of one of the few holidays I've been on abroad and it involves my younger brother, toy glider planes and giant ants. We were in Italy at the time and, although I have no recollection of the rest of the holiday, I distinctly remember this one incident.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 13

Day 13: Somewhere you'd like to move or visit.

From a very young age I've repeatedly dreamed of travelling the world, both appreciating and revelling in it's magnificence all the while. It's the thrill of venturing into the unknown that appeals to me because I have an innate instinct to explore. The only flaw in my plan is that I have no clue about when this may become a reality or the more pressing problem of how I'll fund the exploit.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 12

Day 12: Bullet your whole day.

I had originally been under the impression that today's post would have turned out to make for extremely dull reading however an impromptu decision on my mum's part did mean that I would no longer be concealed by my bed covers all day long, catching up on multiple hours of sleep overdrawn from last week.

Monday, 11 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 11

Day 11: Put your iPod on shuffle and write 10 songs that pop up.

I have an ever-growing list of about 80 brilliant songs and albums that I'd like to download (including Reckless, Jubel, Multiply, Ghost Stories, Inside/In Inside Out, Razorlight, Eyes Open plus Day and Age and most of Simple Plan's albums) so they obviously won't make an appearance, but here is a section my library so far:

  1. Laura Palmer - Bastille - All This Bad Blood
  2. Mirrors (Live) - Ellie Goulding - BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge 2013
  3. Lover Not A Fighter (feat. Labrinth) - Tinie Tempah - Demonstration
  4. Fix You (Live) - Coldplay - Coldplay Live 2012
  5. Wake Me Up When September Ends - Green Day - American Idiot
  6. Tomorrow (feat. Megaman & Styalz Fuego) - Wiley - The Ascent (Deluxe)
  7. Don't Matter - Akon - NOW 68
  8. Crying Out For Help - Example - The Evolution of Man (Deluxe Version)
  9. God & Satan - Biffy Clyro - Only Revolutions (Deluxe Version)
  10. Make this Go On Forever - Snow Patrol - Eyes Open

Sunday, 10 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 10

Day 10: Discuss your first love and first kiss.

Well, this is awkward...

I can't discuss my first love and first kiss simply for the fact that I've never had either. I'm afraid the numerous instances of primary school 'kiss-chase' do not count towards the tally. I suppose I could consider how I'd like them to be although I'm not sure I'd want to have an expectation, especially since it's unlikely that they'll turn out that way. The only thing I'm sure about is that I'd like it to happen naturally and be meaningful rather than being forced and false.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 09

Day 09: How you hope your future will pan out.

Today's post is comparatively similar to Day 02 of this challenge however there are some slight differences.

As I mentioned before, I'm completely focused on succeeding in my academic studies over the course of the upcoming couple of years. This is so that I will have the opportunity to attend university and maximise my chances of studying my first choice of degree. Again, another thing I've previously brought up is that I'd like to meet and make a number of lifetime friends throughout this experience.

I hope to eventually settle into a job for which I have a raging passion as there's no use in dragging yourself out of bed every morning to do something you don't enjoy. However, income is an equally important factor to consider when contemplating career prospects, especially in this day and age. Even so, my main pursuit in life is happiness.

Friday, 8 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 08

Day 08: A moment you felt the most satisfied with your life.

As bad as this may sound, I believe that innate human nature amplifies the negatives in life which results in us overlooking the positives. By that I mean we could experience good in every day, week, month or year but fail to appreciate it because of something adverse that occurred, giving the false impression that the entire time frame was undesirable.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 07

Day 07: Your zodiac sign and if you think it fits your personality.

Right, my birthday is on the 28th June so that makes my zodiac sign cancer. Here's what I found...

To start with, my element is water and the life pursuit of those born under the sign of cancer is supposedly constant reassurance and intimacy. I think it's fair to say that the element reflects my lifestyle completely and, yes, I would most probably be fulfilled by the latter.

Cancer's secret desire? Apparently it's to feel safe (emotionally, spiritually, romantically and financially). Okay, I'll admit it, despite only scraping the tip of the iceberg, I was slightly astonished by this point! This is pretty much everything I've tried to convey in previous posts. Then again, isn't this similar to what everyone craves?

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 06

Day 06: Write 30 interesting facts about yourself.

Hmm... I think I can just about manage to write 30 facts about myself but I can't guarantee that they'll all be interesting!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 05

Day 05: A time you thought about ending your own life.

This is an extremely morbid topic so I'm going to do my very best to keep this post as short and uplifting as possible.

I guess the one time I seriously contemplated ending my life was at the height of being undiagnosed. As I've mentioned before, the effects of the disease bring about an emotional downward spiral, especially since I didn't even realise the true reason behind the way I was feeling.

Since then I've still thought that plummeting off a roof or sheathing a knife in my chest or neck wouldn't be so hard however I truly don't believe I'd have the will to do it now. You have to think about the people who'd be left behind. They suffer too.

Monday, 4 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 04

Day 04: Your views on religion.

Now, as much as I take pride in everything I do, religious education was one of those lessons I couldn't help but fall asleep in. I'll briefly touch on my spiritual beliefs as I feel they'll add context to my views on religion, however I believe there is a whole day of this challenge dedicated to beliefs so, to avoid boring you, I won't go into too much detail.

Although I'm sceptical about the seemingly impossible tales contained within the bible, I am under the impression that there's some form of Higher Power. I'd also like to think that you - or rather your soul - goes somewhere when you die, rather than simply rotting six feet under the ground.

The chance to see lost family members and friends once again would be a blessing, however the possession of superpowers and answers to unanswered universal truths is also appealing; I would definitely want the ability of telekinesis! I suppose all this is my idea of heaven.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 03

Day 03: Your views on drugs and alcohol.

Ha. This is a very controversial topic but I'm going to proceed to give you my views anyway.

Drugs. In my eyes, the logical starting point is to say that I've never smoked/snorted/injected/swallowed (whatever) drugs in my life. And I don't ever intend to.

Being the scientist that I am, I need to be more specific by stating that I'm referring to illegal drugs. This is because we've almost certainly all been given prescription or over-the-counter drugs at some point in our lives. 'Calpol' was my childhood favourite. It made being ill a little more enjoyable. Unfortunately my mum now refuses to let me have it, regardless of how much I plead!

Saturday, 2 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 02

Day 02: Where you'd like to be in 10 years.

Where would I like to be in ten years? Hmm... That's a very good question. I'm going to take that to mean not only where I'd like to be physically (as in where in the world I'll be) but also my ideal stage in life.

I've already mentioned here that I've done a good job in mapping out my life up until the age of about 24/25. But I'm going to tell you again, regardless.

Friday, 1 August 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 01

Day 01: Your current relationship. If single, discuss how single life is.

Unfortunately, yes, I am single and it's a bit of a bummer.

People always come across as being surprised when I tell them that I've never been in a serious relationship, let alone a casual one, but I don't see why that is.

I guess it's never been a priority of mine as I've constantly been otherwise occupied, whether it be due to [swimming] training or schooling. Therefore, I wouldn't have had available the time required in order to contribute the effort that's needed in a relationship for it to work.

Also, as much as relationships are a part of growing up and extremely valuable are the experiences that come with them, I haven't yet found the type of person I'd like to be with.

At least I don't think I have...

As I briefly touched on in this post here, I'm not just looking for a girlfriend but rather a best friend who I can hang out with and feel comfortable around.

By the time you've finished reading this post you're almost certainly going to view me as a massive softie but I'm going to continue, regardless to the extent of which I may end up embarrassing myself.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Cambridge Excursion: The Sequel

It's rapidly approaching the one year milestone since the birth of this blog and today, along with a few friends, I rather fittingly made the customary summer visit to Cambridge. We had a brilliant day out and although it didn't go completely to plan the revision was nowhere near as drastic previous day trips.

I began the day by vlogging about our outing and, despite starting out a little apprehensive, it turned out to be a far more convenient method of expressing the exploit than writing. For reasons I will continue to explain, confidence is certainly the single most crucial essential when talking to a compact handheld device. Through a variety of diverse facial expressions, the majority of onlookers silently suggest that you belong in a mental institute rather than being allowed to talk to oneself whilst mindlessly roaming the streets. In addition, a confident dialogue almost always makes for brilliant viewing.

I've already earned the approval of my YouTube-addicted siblings but I'm still slightly sceptical about the end result because I jumped straight in at the deep end, so to speak. Watching one Fun For Louis clip late last night was the only form of research I carried out prior to today however this may pay dividends as my videos will evolve into a style that both suits and represents me. Also, however practical vlogging may be, this [my blog] is a hobby that I utterly enjoy so no other form of documentation could possibly surpass it.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Summer Playlist 2014

I may be in the midst of writing a number of new posts but I thought I'd compose a quick summer playlist to keep you guys preoccupied. Enjoy!

  1. Stolen Dance - Milky Chance
  2. Jubel - Klingande
  3. Changes - Faul & Wad vs. Pnau
  4. Waves (Robin Schulz Remix Radio Edit) - Mr Probz
  5. Sonnentanz ft. Will Heard - Klangkarussell
  6. Am I Wrong - Nico & Vinz
  7. Moments - Klangkarussell (ft. Will Heard)
  8. Turn Back Time - Sub Focus
  9. Lost & Not Found ft. Louis M^ttrs - Chase & Status
  10. Riptide - Vance Joy
  11. Nobody To Love - Sigma
  12. Summer - Calvin Harris
  13. Netzwerk (Falls Like Rain) - Klangkarussell
  14. Full Circle - Half Moon Run
  15. When You Were Young - The Killers
  16. Seaside - The Kooks
Be sure to turn the Klangkarussell songs up extremely loud - it makes the feel-good vibes sound even greater!

Sitting at the table with our iTunes library echoing in the background, it's only just occurred to me that I completely forgot to include a summer classic in the above playlist. I can't believe it! And so, for that reason, Don Henley's song titled 'The Boys of Summer' can have it's only individual section in this post.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

The Secret To Teen Power (Intro)

As I mentioned in my latest post, I'm going to be sharing with you my response with regard to reading The Secret To Teen Power. This was partly inspired by Riley Sinclair's discussion of Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn but also due to the fact that I've struggled to convey my emotions effectively in previous attempts.

Therefore, I'll focus my analysis around the effect the book has on me and how it can be applied to my current situation. All in all, this should aid in decrypting my thoughts and push me to further open up about the complications I face. However, I also hope that this journey will assist those of my readers who find themselves in similar situations but with a lack of guidance on how to proceed.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Can Anybody Hear Me?

As the title of this post suggests, there are often times when I feel alone, almost lost in the vastness of the world we call home.

I don't mean to ruin the tone I've just worked hard in creating however it has to be noted that the rhyming was completely unintentional.

Anyway, I frequently find myself getting overly emotional, sometimes for no apparent reason, which causes me to get angry with myself despite being powerless to help it. It's extremely difficult to put into words how I feel every so often, however I'm going to do my best to give you a sense of what it's like.

In some respects I have no reason to feel the way I do, as my life is far from terrible, however extreme mood swings coupled with misfortune and over-thinking do take their toll. As I mentioned before in 'An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away' when my dosage of levothyroxine is incorrect and left unnoticed this can lead to depressive thoughts but when it's controlled I'm absolutely fine. On the other hand I do have a few genuine reasons to feel the overwhelming dejection that I sometimes encounter. Included are family issues and repeated failure in a sport I was once extremely passionate about but, again, I'm not the only person in the world who has to deal with these types of situations.

Spending time with friends can serve as a much-needed distraction as it helps me to relax when we're having fun together. Unfortunately, I start thinking again from the moment they're gone. I don't want to be a burden to anyone or make an issue out of the way I feel, however the question I keep asking myself is whether my state of mind is clinical or simply a part of growing up. Depression is an extremely strong word, which is why I'm refraining from using it to describe my emotional state, however there have been times that have come close to the mark. I prefer to refer to them as rough patches.

I'm a worrier. It's as simple as that. I'm only sixteen years of age but I'm already concerned for my future - it's only the rest of my life, right? To give you an idea of what I mean, here's a collection of a few thoughts that find themselves getting lost in the array of tangled emotions inside my mind:

Why on Earth can't I seem to swim? I've only been training for eight years, putting my heart and soul into every stroke. Eight years! That's half my life! What a waste of time, money and effort.

Money. I'd really like to get a job. But when would it slot in with school and sport? And if I want to work my way towards that dream job then I'll have to do well at a top university, meaning that I'll need outstanding A-Level results.

Maybe listening to music will help take my mind off my worries...


Look at how successful this band is - they must have worked extremely hard to get to where they are now. I'd love to make it happen for myself but I'm just a lost teenager and I don't have a clue about how to proceed. If only I had someone to share my feelings with...

I know, I'll attempt to write a blog post about it. Although, however cleansing it may be, I still can't seem to properly explain myself. There's so much I'd love to accomplish and achieve in my life but, the question is, where to start?

My biggest fear? It's that I won't meet the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. Someone who has a similar mindset to me and will be more than just my best friend. Someone I can make and share memories with in the future. Someone I can't stop thinking about. Someone I can treasure. Someone I can love.

So if you ever wondered what's inside a slightly crazy teenage boy's mind, that's one example. I can assure you that it differs extensively from the perceived norm. A ordinary teenage boy's thoughts probably go along these lines, however:

FIFA, censored, football, party, censored, TV, censored.

You get the idea!

As I've just demonstrated rather nicely, I over-think far too regularly and dwell on issues that are not yet, and hopefully may not ever be, a problem. But when I'm not thinking with this air absurd craziness about me I'm composing awesome new material for my next post! Then again, isn't a small hint of absurdity in a blog a good thing?

I also often struggle to stay motivated and retain a positive outlook on life. This is especially the case following a significant setback. As I'm sure I've mentioned before, the niggling voice that takes residence inside my head is my own worst enemy. I can literally go from one extreme to another, all within a matter of minutes.

And that's why I'm going to be rereading a book called 'The Secret To Teen Power' for the fourth time in three years. Because It's pretty self-explanatory, I'm not going to give away any more than the title but I would like to let you know that I'm entirely set on the idea of discussing the book as I read it. I'm currently thinking that a chapter by chapter review would be best so that I can read and post simultaneously. In addition, this may also help to convey my feelings more accurately due to the fact that it will contain my personal response to the words on the page.

What's more, I've recently started reading a fantastic blog called SCARPHELIA and have been completely inspired to take the first steps on a journey to become remarkable. To make something more out of my life. The author of the blog, Katie, has a certain way with words that is sure to touch anyone who reads her writing. After numerous disappointments already in the short couple of years I've had as a teenager it takes a lot to motivate me but, whatever it is, SCARPHELIA has it.

As I sit here adding the finishing touches to this post I'm actually feeling somewhat disconnected, blank and empty. I fear that I'm merely existing, as opposed to living. I still have six weeks of my school-break remaining but I'm really not sure what to do with myself. And to an extent this is evidently reflected in my writing as it is slightly disjointed as well. A large amount of cutting and pasting was required in order to ensure that this post made partial sense and, more importantly, flowed relatively smoothly. I suppose if I can't collect my own thoughts then there's no way I'll be able to transfer them into writing whilst guaranteeing that they'll be understandable.

As much as I love being in the sunshine I just can't seem to be productive. It's too much of a distraction and one of the reasons I haven't posted in a while. I'm one of those people who gets frustrated if they feel they haven't achieved anything in a day as I view it as a whole 24 hours of my life lost and with nothing to show for. After all, I don't want to put to waste the longest holiday of my life, so this is partly why I've been blogging so frequently. Well, it's been frequent for me anyway!

I'm trying my very best to get on top of writing a few new posts so that I can schedule them for the coming months - I already know that I'll struggle to find the time post regularly once sixth form commences. Having said that, I think returning to school will do me the world of good because it'll keep me busy and give my mind something else to focus on. I am, in fact, required to attend the final school assembly today in order to receive the Catherine Lewis Award. I have no idea what I've done to deserve it but all will be revealed in due course.

In case you were wondering, the title of this post is actually a Simple Plan lyric taken from their latest single, Astronaut, which is a song that I can truly relate to. The lyrics certainly do a much better job of describing my emotions than I could even fathom putting into writing. I'd like to expand on some of the issues mentioned earlier as I think it'd give a greater depth of understanding, however I'm not yet ready to do so. At the present moment in time I'm still contemplating how best to present my feelings. Nevertheless, I can assure you that it'll crop up sooner or later.

Finally, I sincerely apologise if this post comes across as a bit of a moan but it's rather a way for me to personally dispose of my worries and then attempt to move forward from them. If anyone else can make partial sense of what I've written and relate to it then please don't hesitate to leave a comment. I believe self-expression is our most powerful tool when it comes to liberating us all from the confinement of our misgivings.

A near-perfect representation of my troubles

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Plenty More Fish In The Sea

As the majority of teachers from our school belong to the trade union NUT (who called on its members to strike the day before last) there were insufficient numbers present to consider keeping the school open. Therefore I was fortunate enough to be pleasured with the wonderful company of my younger brother all day long. Well, for the few hours that he wasn't playing FIFA at least...

What started off as a relaxing morning fishing down by the river soon turned into chaos. Could you expect anything less? Especially relevant to me, but when our any of our lives ever plain-sailing?

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Welcome To My Life

Before I reveal to you the surprise that I've planned for the duration of the month of August I think it's fair to say that the song titles written by Simple Plan, a French-Canadian rock band, make surprisingly good titles for blog posts! As a result, I can guarantee you'll be seeing them appear on this blog more often.

Now for the revelation that I'm sure you've all been waiting for... I've decided to participate in a 30 day blog challenge! This is because I believe it'll give you - my wonderfully supportive readers - a chance to learn a little more about my life and my views whilst allowing me to publish more frequently.

I'm genuinely excited for the task to commence but will proceed to write a few of the posts in the following weeks, so that I can schedule them, as there are various dates in August where I will be unable to post. I will also be adapting a couple of the questions/points as they are either too vague or will result in a superficial response. I hope you're looking forward to reading the posts just as much as I'm eager to write them!

Although I can be reasonably certain that the majority of you are not incompetent, I would hate for anyone to miss out so, as a prior notice, the title of each post will follow the format of 30 Day Blog Challenge: Day (insert accordingly). You could also subscribe to my blog by email, using the widget located on the right-hand sidebar, which will ensure that you'll never miss an update.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

King of The Mountains

I completely and utterly retract what was written in The Grand Départ regarding mountains in Britain because I have just returned from a full day of riding only to admire and respect the Tour de France cyclists all the more. Alconbury and The Stukeleys today were my equivalent of the riders' Alps and Pyrenees!

Monday, 7 July 2014

The Race For The Yellow Jersey

So Le Tour de France has officially begun and will kick-off the first French stage in Le Tourquet-Paris-Plage tomorrow morning. As planned, I rode into Cambridge via the guided bus route today however there is one tiny detail that made the journey all the more enjoyable. I actually bought a road bike prior to the scheduled post (that was the 'Grand Départ') being published, however I didn't know I'd get it at the time of writing as I hadn't planned on doing so. Now that I own a road bike it's a challenge to attempt to get me off of it! I will now almost certainly compete in a few triathlons in order to get a feel for an event that I've always longed to participate in and I've also already planned a couple of routes surrounding my hometown that I'd like to ride in the not so distant future.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Hey, That's Assault!

Now that my former chemistry teacher has left the school I think it's about time I told you the story of possibly my greatest school-prank to date. The banter we had in those lessons was one of a kind... Trust me! The mild super-villain, Gru, who stars in the film 'Despicable Me' is a perfectly accurate resemblance of Dr. Flower. This was established by both his appearance and mannerisms, although I'm not too sure 'The Doc.' would appreciate reading that!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

The Grand Départ

As many of you probably already know, the first three stages of the 2014 Tour de France are taking place in England between 5-7 July (the first time since 2007). This is replacing the prologue and the third stage just so happens to pass through Cambridge!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

A Lads' Day Out

This is a post that I've been wanting to write for a very long time because it was, in my opinion, one of the best days of the previous summer holidays! That is excluding our road trip to Swansea for the Welsh Summer National Swimming Championships, however, as that was also a brilliant week!

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Ten Weeks of Summer

Well, after what feels like a great deal more than ten drawn-out weeks and twenty-one exams, my ten-week summer holiday has officially begun! The whole experience has been far from easy, rather a little tough at times, but I gave my all and, at the end of the day, that's all I can ask for. However, if you've had chance to read my newly updated 'About Me' page you'll know that I'm never satisfied, always striving to achieve to the highest standard. This may make results day a little complicated, as I'm not completely confident in all that I've done, however I'm determined to enjoy and make the most of the well-earned summer break!

Friday, 30 May 2014

Should've Gone To 'Specsavers'

Seeing as it's half term and I've got another short break from exams I thought I'd write you a quick update. So far most of the exams have gone pretty well and I've only got ten remaining until my summer holiday officially begins! I probably haven't done anywhere near enough revision this holiday but in some respects it's been quite productive.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Quit While You're Ahead

If my Easter Holiday wasn't consumed by non-stop revision I would have time to write you all a long post about my opinions on Michael Phelps' comeback and the time I [physically] bumped into his mom (as the Americans would say) at the 2012 London Olympic Games. However, this is the most important year of my life to date so, until what needs to be done has been done, preparation for my exams will have to take precedence over blogging.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Gehen Sie Geradeaus

Right, before I explain the title of this post I'm going to tell the story of Luxembourg and the rest will become clear. Oh, and please try to refrain from copying the title and pasting it into Google Translate because, firstly, it is extremely inaccurate and secondly, it will probably ruin the suspense I'm sure you're all experiencing right now. Just in case I haven't made it clear enough already, that was sarcasm and, yes, I do realise that I probably sound like a recording of my German teacher on repeat.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Creativity is a Gift

This is just a quick update about my blog due to some changes I've recently made to it.

Firstly, as you're probably aware, I've started tinkering with the template of my blog. I wanted to use a water related picture as the background, because I feel that this would best describe myself and the focus point of this blog, however I couldn't find one that was either the correct size or complemented the colour scheme. Therefore I took myself to the science section and selected the current background. Although I may have mentioned it briefly before, I don't recall going in depth about my passion for science. It is, without a doubt, my favourite subject/group of subjects at school and this obviously explains why I have chosen this particular background.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Just Keep Swimming

A lot has happened since I published my last post - Christmas and New Year being examples - however from now on I'm not going to bother with why I haven't written for so long because I think you all already get the idea. This post is, in a way, a continuation of 'Life's A Rollercoaster' because of some changes in my life that have happened fairly recently and some other things that I somehow forgot to mention previously (including the breaking of my thumb) but it is also a gap filler, if you like, from November 2013 to present.