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!