A quick update!

The last you heard of me, I left a cryptic post that said ‘something is happening’. This doesn’t really mean much. For all you knew, I was posting from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean after being kidnapped by teddy bear pirates wearing eye patches. Alas, this was not the case. I also left you with the word ‘abyssopelagic’, but this has nothing to do with anything – I just thought it was a cool word and wanted to share it. :P Incidentally, according to Wiktionary it means:

  1. Of or pertaining to the depths of the ocean; of the open waters of the abyssal zone.

You may have noticed it’s the summer. Or the winter if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere. Or maybe you don’t have four seasons where you live. Maybe you don’t have any seasons…

Ok, so it’s the summer in the UK. As usual, we complain how hot it is constantly and wish it could be Winter. When we actually do have Winter, we wish for Summer. We may not be the only country to complain about the weather, but it comes up an awful lot in conversation. Weather and tea are the things that binds all British people together in a mess of pessimism and patriotism.

For some reason, summer is the national season of getting stuff done that could have been spread across the year. People always leave the big events for summer and it causes a lot of stress. You go through the whole year and nothing happens and suddenly Wimbledon, the Commonwealth Games, the World Cup, your piano concert, my sister’s birthday, a trip to the Proms, Sports Day (I was actually in it this time!), a karate competition, Open Evening, a trip to France and the start of the Summer holidays are all within a season. I should probably make some sort of reference to buses here, but I shall decline.

I’m sure half of these things did not have to happen in Summer. In fact, the only thing that really needed to happen in Summer was the start of the Summer holidays. (The World Cup could have gone on perfectly well in Spring).

I wanted to write about these events, but there wasn’t enough time. The events piled up and I felt I couldn’t write about the new events without writing about the old events first, so the potential essay post got bigger and bigger in my mind. Eventually I realised it would swamp me so I’ve shelved it for now.

I hope I can write about these events in the future (probably in chunks), but if I do, they will likely be out of order and make zero sense. But hey, the important thing is to start writing again. :)

These events are actually pretty momentous though in terms of my bucket list. Now I have gone to an official karate competition and gone abroad for more two days without my family, two items on the list. As I said, I won’t write about these things yet, but I hope to soon. However I’m thinking of changing the list slightly. So far, it’s more geared to doing stuff than achieving stuff. For instance, going to an official karate competition didn’t feel that inspiring in itself – it was mainly a lot of waiting around, and very little karate. What the achievement should have been was ‘win a match at a karate competition’, or even more challenging, ‘win a medal at a karate competition’. Hence why the list no longer includes ‘join a social network’. I think I am at risk of putting reputation above actual achievement, which I can be very guilty of as I am a massive praise hog. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s a lot more meaningful to cross off one difficult item on my bucket list than five easy ones.

That being said, I have also completed a third item on my bucket list: gain 100 followers. :D

Now this is all kinds of awesome. Compared to other blogs around my *age* I have quite a pitiful amount of followers, but I guess I’m kind of to blame for that. Still, 100 is a lot! I mean, considering I’m almost as unsociable on the net as I am off it, I think it’s kind of weird I even have 100 followers.** :P!

Thank you. Thank you so much for putting up with my harebrained schemes and my tediousness and my erratic posts and my ramblings etc. Thanks for making the time to read (or not as the case may be, but to all the spammers and non-active followers, I like you nevertheless :P). Thanks for making the time to be sociable so I don’t have to. Just… thanks.

Talking of harebrained schemes, remember that plan I thought up to celebrate my blogversary? It detailed me changing one thing in my life every week so that I would be a new person in a year and it was kind of ambitious. It’s kind of worked, but kind of not – mainly because I am unwilling to give myself punishments and am finding it difficult to think of things to change. :P Again, another thing for another post, sorry about that.

I am now slightly under a week into the summer holidays. It’s flying by far too quickly and soon I’ll be back to my daily dreariness. My birthday will be very soon (yippee!) so prepare your presents.

Excitingly, I have also started editing my novel again after a year where I didn’t do much creative writing. Of course, I did stuff relating to writing in that break, like reading about writing and making some character biographies, but no actual editing of my first draft (which was by the way very very rambly). I was hoping to get it done by the Summer holidays, but I’m not sure this will be the case anymore. Even still, it’s brilliant I’ve started again, and hopefully I’ll be able to get some momentum running. :)

I’m not entirely sure how to end this, but I like the idea of ‘here’s a cool word’ becoming a feature. So:

*NB: these things did not happen in the order listed.

**To elaborate on this, I’ve kind of settled with my own small group of bloggin’ friends (most of whom have blogs a year or less old), and I’m always reluctant to make new ones. My blogging schedule has also been kind of erratic, which can’t have helped my rise to fame.

P.S. My room is also a mess. So much of a mess that I feel it would be irresponsible not to tell you. Basically lots of paper accumulated, was released in an attempt to organise it, and ended up just being left around. Maybe I’ll clean it up. Maybe. :P

P.P.S. My end of year exam results came back and it all turned out well. :3

Palm Sundays, Bucket Lists, Inactivity and more!

To make up for my absence this will be a mutant, hybrid, and quite possibly massive post, comprising religion, my inactivity and bucket lists. And anything else I can think of.

Today was Palm Sunday, which commemorates when Jesus made his triumphal entrance into Jerusalem and everyone waved palms around. We all get our own mini-crosses (made out of palms) which are blessed so we can’t throw them away. The problem is that we now have many many crosses mislaid around the house that have been accumulated throughout the years. I suppose we could send them off to be cremated for Ash Wednesday… in our wills. :P I kid.

Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week, because in a short space of time you also have Maundy Thursday, when Jesus and his disciples had the Passover meal (i.e. the Last Supper) and Good Friday, when Jesus was brutally punished for crimes he didn’t commit in order to save the world. Hence the ‘good’. :P

On Maundy Thursday twelve people’s feet are also washed by the Priest because (as you guessed) this commemorates Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. I have eczema so I’m not going to be a foot model any time soon. I was a bit nervous at first signing up, but it’s a good step to become more confident, and… dare I say it? Sociable. Which leads onto holiday inactivity.

Holidays turn me insane. For most people they are fun, productive times in the sun or relaxing hours spent in bed. My holidays are generally less of the former and more of the latter due to my self imposed isolation. Perhaps it’s all part of my bigger unsociability? Outside of school I have very few acquaintances. I was friendly with most of my primary school classmates but I barely see them, let alone talk to them. This lack of other friends means that I have even less things to do. Hence me spending most of my time on the Internet. I know some people can happily waste away the holidays, but whenever I do such things (as I often do) I end up feeling really unfulfilled by the end of the day. Which leads us to my bucket list.

Guess what I did this time! No I did not bungee jump. Though I’ll probably do that next. I actually did something even more exhilarating. I solved a Rubik’s Cube.

In need of something to do for the Easter Holiday’s, my dad and sister decided to learn how to solve a Rubik’s Cube. I joined in and, after a number of days, I can do it! We used this series of Youtube videos by a guy called Math Meeting. I have two things to say about him. One, he can be a bit confusing at times, and he doesn’t  mention all the scenarios, so experiment a bit. And two – it’s maths America. Please.

I’ve decided not to do it again for a while because I always turn into a zombie when I try for too long. :P But do try it. Seriously.

This is all part of my new aim – to do five things on my bucket list by the end of the year. Go check it out every now and then – I’ve deleted some of them for being a bit too easy and added some new ones. By the end of the year, I hope to have also gone abroad without my parents, programmed a game and gone fishing. And another mystery one! We’ll see.

Joe.

P.S. My other aims is to read 20 more books on the BBC Big Read list. This probably sounds like a mammoth task, but my tactic is that 13 of these will be by Jacqueline Wilson, whose books I can read in a day if they’re all the same length as ‘Double Act’. The main reason I’ve kept away from these books in the past is that they’re considered girly books. But you know what? They’re on the list. I was going to read them anyway. So why not now?

Also I accidentally published the post incomplete, so if you were one of the lucky few who saw it in it’s draft stage, good for you!

I Know What You Did Last Wednesday…

Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet. I meant to post a lot more now that it’s the Christmas holidays, but it didn’t exactly work out that way… :P I have finally decided that the OT posts should be whenever I feel like them, because my move to Sunday kind of failed, so today, as I don’t feel like an OT post, I will blog about my Christmas!

On Christmas Eve, my family and I went to our local church for the first mass of Christmas (which was not quite the Vigil mass, but it still counted as going to Church on Christmas). The church was packed so I was near the back, and as a result, I didn’t really hear much of the priest’s sermon, but he basically drew parallels between the Christmas story… and the song ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’. I won’t go into the details, but it was quite an entertaining comparison.

When I went to bed, it didn’t quite feel like Christmas Eve… perhaps because there was no snow. Anyhow, as soon as I woke up the next day, it was Christmas! I rushed downstairs to open my presents. I have to confess that I didn’t particularly want anything this year, so I only asked my parents Santa for my presents on the 17th. I was kind of doubtful that the letter would arrive at the North Pole on time, but luckily they were all there under the tree: a few books and a DVD of Wreck-It Ralph (a very good movie by the way). I texted all my friends ‘Merry Christmas’ in the morning (young people these days… ;)) and then we were in the car to visit our cousins. (From now on, if I suddenly switch from saying ‘I’ to ‘we’ then I’m talking about my family, and vice versa, sorry if this is a bit jarring).

This Christmas was probably the most Christmas-like Christmas I’ve ever had. Although we do normally visit relatives on Christmas, sometimes relatives abroad, this was our first proper extended family Christmas. I know when most people say that their family is coming round for Christmas, they mean their grandparents and a few uncles and aunts, but keep in mind that I’m Indian, so there were also second cousins and third cousins, a lot of whom I have never seen before… luckily things weren’t too awkward.

We basically had a proper Christmas meal at lunchtime, and then a small meal for dinner. My cousin and I were in charge of the games, so we set up a treasure hunt for the younger kids, as well as a game of Christmas Charades, which is basically charades with Christmas-related items. Eventually this became regular Charades, and the game descended into (festive) madness as people were made to act out ‘Whoopee cushion’ and ‘ballerina’. But it was all in jest. Meanwhile the adults all went crazy on the karaoke machine.

Boxing day morning was spent playing Monopoly and doing puzzles, but I made up for my inactiveness in the afternoon… and I finally ticked off my first bucket list item.

Try and guess. (Please.) Did I solve a Rubix cube? Watch a horror film? Or maybe I grew a moustache?

In fact, the very first thing I crossed off my bucket list was probably the last thing I thought I would accomplish: I went to a gym. Let me say that again. I went to a gym. I am pretty skinny and supremely non-sporty, so much so that on my bucket list I didn’t write:

  • Go to a gym.

I wrote:

  • Go to a gym (the horror!).

But on Boxing day, we went to the local sports centre. It was mainly to play tennis, but I am not the best, so when I was told there was a gym, I thought, ‘New experiences! Yeah!’. I only realised later it was on my bucket list, so I might not have gone.

Surprisingly, it was quite fun. I went on the treadmill, the rowing machine, the exercise bike, and something I don’t know the name of. I’m quite proud of myself, but when you only lose around 75 calories in all and then you go home afterwards to eat a 500 calorie dinner, it does seem a bit of a waste…

I will post on New Year’s Eve if I can with some (but not all) of my New Year’s Resolutions! In the New Year, I’ll try and tick off five items from my bucket list minimum. In progress is ‘Re-read the Harry Potter books’ (I am in the middle of Philosopher’s Stone), so I have a goalpost for now.

If I don’t post, hope you all have a great New Year!

Joe.

OT: My Bucket List!

It’s finally here. My bucket list. Now to put it out there, this is far from a finished project.

EDIT: I have just edited this before putting it on a page. Be sure to check it out every now and then, as this list is still under construction and will grow in the coming weeks!

Bucket List

  • Get good GCSE Grades.
  • Get good AS and A2 Level grades.
  • Get a University degree.
  • Get Grade 8 piano.
  • Read the Bible cover to cover.
  • Go on a pilgrimage.
  • Meet the Pope at World Youth Day.
  • Go to Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando.
  • Re-read the Harry Potter books.
  • Host a Harry Potter movie marathon.
  • Finish my novel series and publish it.
  • Make a list of movies to watch.
  • Make a list of books to read.
  • Do some sort of adrenaline thing (e.g. bungee jumping, falling out of a helicopter with a parachute, climbing a mountain).
  • Grow out of my allergies and travel the world binging on milk chocolate, seven-tier wedding cakes and all the other lovely food I’ve missed out on over the years.
  • Read all the books on the Big Read BBC list.
  • Learn to drive a car.
  • Marry a girl and become a family man.
  • Be in a flash mob.
  • Meet a celebrity I appreciate, not for example Peter Andre (e.g. Brian Cox, J.K. Rowling)
  • Join a social media site (I don’t know about WordPress).
  • Get 100 followers on my blog.
  • Get 500 followers on my blog
  • Get 1000 followers on my blog.
  • Get re-blogged (please don’t reblog this post just so I can cross something off the list)>
  • Get Freshly Pressed.
  • Go to every continent in the world.
  • Live in London for at least a month.
  • Go on sabbatical and live in another country for at least three months.
  • Live in a house of my own.
  • Do a sponsored silence for an entire day.
  • Run the marathon.
  • Host a proper party.
  • Have someone arrange a surprise party for me.
  • Watch a show live with a visible audience that will eventually end up on TV (e.g. Live at the Apollo).
  • Sing karaoke.
  • Watch a tennis match with my family at Wimbledon (if God wills it, I’ll watching my sister, who wants to be a tennis player).
  • Go to a reunion party.
  • Make an invention.
  • Be in a film (probably as an extra).
  • Go to a gym (the horror!).
  • Watch a horror film.
  • Be best man at a wedding.
  • Participate in a Secret Santa.
  • Go on a boat cruise.
  • Go abroad without my family.
  • Go abroad with less than three friends (or none, but preferably at least one).
  • Go to a real-life auction and buy something.
  • Vote in an election.
  • Swim 10 km.
  • Vote in a phone vote (e.g. on X Factor).
  • Go to the Olympics or Paralympics.
  • Watch an opening ceremony of a big event.
  • Fly in Business and First Class.
  • Sleep the whole way on a plane journey.
  • Take a car ride into another country.
  • Go to New York.
  • Go to New York Zoo.
  • Go to the Empire State Building.
  • See the Statue of Liberty.
  • Go to a book signing.
  • See something being filmed that doesn’t have a visible audience when aired on TV (e.g. fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who).
  • Go the Tate Gallery, France.
  • Solve a Rubix Cube.
  • Feed an animal in a zoo. Edit: Just realised I’ve already done this! :3
  • Go to Disney World, Florida.
  • Go to Tokyo.
  • Go camping.
  • Go fishing.
  • Go surfing.
  • Draw or paint something that has been commissioned and sell it on eBay.
  • Make a time capsule.
  • Write a message in a bottle and throw it into the sea.
  • Write a diary for a year.
  • Get a pet.
  • Sponsor an endangered animal.
  • Sponsor a child.
  • Become a blood donor.
  • Read a book before it is published (not illegally) and review it.
  • Go to Vatican City.
  • Make a will (yes, the pessimism).
  • Swim the English Channel.
  • Go trick or treating (meh, not so sure about this one).
  • Carve a pumpkin by myself (as in, not my dad doing it).
  • Go carol singing before it’s too late.
  • Go to a proper concert.
  • Upload a Youtube video.
  • Animate something and upload it to Youtube.
  • Get a six pack?!
  • Become a black belt in Karate.
  • Go to an official Karate competition.
  • Win an official sports game not in school (team or otherwise).
  • Go to a fair and win the grand prize.
  • Win a raffle.
  • Upload a vine.
  • Win a writing competition.
  • Go on a bus alone.
  • Program a computer game.
  • Go on the Tube alone.
  • Win a game of chess against the computer.
  • Start making a scrapbook.
  • Make and give someone a present.  Edit: Just realised I’ve already done this as well…
  • Beat a Guiness World Record.
  • Go on a diet.
  • Go birdwatching.
  • Go stargazing.
  • Send something to a magazine.
  • Write a letter to the Prime Minister.
  • Write a letter or postcard to someone.
  • Try and get into MENSA (who knows?).
  • Go white-water rafting.
  • Go to Death Valley.
  • Go to Platform 9 and 3/4.
  • Go to Washington, D.C. and see the White House.
  • Go to Yellowstone National Park.
  • Go to Athens and see the Parthenon.
  • Go to Venice.
  • See the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland
  • Go to Rome.
  • Go to the Great Pyramids in Giza.
  • Go to the Taj Mahal.
  • Go to Stonehenge.
  • Go the Great Wall of China.
  • Go to Madame Tussauds.
  • Go to Hollywood.
  • Float in the Red Sea.
  • See a show at Broadway.
  • Go to Spain.
  • Go to the Amazon.
  • Go to Niagara Falls.
  • See Notre Dame.
  • See the Forbidden City.
  • Go to Pompeii.
  • Grow a moustache.
  • Live a fulfilling life.

That’s pretty much it folks. More than a hundred on there, but undoubtedly it will grow and shrink over time. Eventually I will try and get round to putting it on a page so it can be regularly updated. Please tell me if I have repeated anything or you think two or three of these could be grouped together. It was a lot of fun to write. :)

Joe.

P.S. For inspiration, I looked at this: http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/worlds-most-visited-tourist-attractions, and this: http://itdoesnotdotodwellondreamsandforgettolive.com/bucket-list/.  Thanks for the help! :3

OT: The Queen Incident

I know I didn’t post last week like I planned to (so much for the schedule) but now it is officially HALF TERM! This is the first holiday of the term, so a welcome relief, even if it only lasts a week. This is good as it means more posts. We have also reached 2000 hits people! :) I have started to write a Bucket List, which currently has a bit more than 100 things to accomplish on there already. It’ll probably be ready by next Saturday for you to see (yes, it will be one of my *ahem* longer posts).

The Queen

As such, I thought it could be nice to talk about something that definitely would have been on my bucket list had I not already done it: meet the Queen.

Before you go hysterical, I was maybe two or three (and also Scottish, but that’s irrelevant :)) and in my memory I never saw her face… in fact I don’t even remember seeing any part of her. I remember some feet wearing fancy shoes, but I’m not even sure they were her feet. So yeah… more of an indistinct dream than a meeting. But I came within a few metres of her, so I count it as a meeting.

It wasn’t just a random thing though. Like I wasn’t walking down the road when I saw her at a burger bar. She had come to open some new nearby sports centre, so my nursery obviously got into full swing and we made all these mini Union Jack flags to wave around. Even though I don’t remember the Queen herself, I do remember waving my Union Jack around frantically as she walked down some sort of pathway. At the time my understanding of the Royal Family was somewhat confused, but I think I appreciated the occasion as much as I could at my tender age.

And that’s the story of how I kind of, sort of met the Queen.

Joe.