Review of “Paul’s Boutique” by the Beastie Boys

The Beastie Boys

My drawing of the Beastie Boys. From left to right: Ad Rock, Mike D, and MCA. Source:

So this drawing happened ages ago, but the review took a lot longer, so this is only coming out in the early hours of New Years 2016 instead of November 2015. Well, it’s here now anyway. As there were three people instead of just one to draw, I don’t think it’s as good as my drawing of James Murphy and I didn’t actually *finish* colouring in Mike-D’s clothes. Even still it looks OK, even if Ad Rock looks a little like Tom Hanks.


Paul’s Boutique is the Beastie Boys’ magnum opus. Though not as successful as their brilliantly juvenile (and catchy) rap-metal debut, this warm, multi-faceted sprawl of an album is something smart to shake your rump to.

The album was the perfect meeting of the beat-making brilliance of the Dust Brothers, whose eclectic but carefully selected samples (including a live ping pong match) made the album such a rich tapestry of music to rap against, and the easy flow of words between Ad-Rock, MCA and Mike D, sometimes cringy but always affectionate and startlingly clever. Their lyrics matured with the music (they bring alive New York and the world at large with a few deftly chosen words) but they never take themselves too seriously, so thankfully we still get lines like ‘My man MCA’s got a beard like a billy goat’ without any sense of guilt.

The Beastie Boys begin their album by dedicating the album ‘To All the Girls’ around the world, Ad-Rock listing, in a stoner drawl, women from all walks of life over a breezy soul-jazz sample. Then the group get down to business on ‘Shake Your Rump’, their bare-faced tribute to dancing, as well as the album’s first single. If that was it, the song would be fairly standard, but the boyish teasing (‘What’s up with your bad breath onion rings’, they ask Mike-D), the vocal tics (like the way MCA spits out the last syllable of ‘Shake Your Rump-a’) and the samples used (from genres ranging from funk to old-school hip hop to metal) elevate it to a classic.

From here, the song subjects are as kaleidoscopic as the music, ranging from parties to science experiments, New York to not New York, chicken dinners to car thieves. Scattered over the whole album are sly pop-culture references that don’t discriminate between the kitsch and the sophisticated and are all the better for it, seasoning over an already vibrant meal.

The world of Paul’s Boutique is populated with characters straight out of a bar joke: gangsters (in ’Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun’) inspired by every macho film from ‘Clockwork Orange’ to ‘Die Hard’, getting paid and getting rich; holy men straight from the book of Daniel in ‘Shadrach’, a maelstrom of funk, Biblical allusions, and pop culture references; cowboys from spaghetti films in ‘High Plains Drifter’; a serial egger in the song ‘Egg Man’, which has menacing music, sampled from ‘Psycho’, ‘Jaws’, and Elvis Costello, if not menacing subject matter; famous scientists in ‘Sounds of Science’; and a charming old rocker called ‘Johnny Ryall’ who wrote ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ but has still somehow fallen into homelessness (even if he does have a Gucci watch).

‘Hey Ladies’ finds the Beastie Boys on the prowl, using “cowbell” as an aphrodisiac in one of the best songs on the album. On the other hand, ‘Car Thief’ is concerned with MCs who steal rhymes from the Beasties (or maybe cars) over one of the funkiest beats on the album (probably because of that Funkadelic sample), and ’What Comes Around’ mentions everything from the Flinstones to baseball players to the blaxploitation film ‘Dolemite’, while also coming down on domestic violence.

The album is held together using two song fragments, both on the second side. While these are probably the worst tracks on the album, they both have a purpose. ’5-Piece Chicken Dinner’, which starts the second side, is nothing more than a 23-second fragment sampled directly from ‘Shuckin’ the Corn’ (there’s a lot of banjo, as the name would suggest), but it only adds to the wild diversity of the album, as well as being quite a funny, raucous way to open the second side of an album. You expect a rap song and BAM here’s some twangy bluegrass and some Texans. The second fragment ‘Ask for Janice’, serves a similar purpose; it is the short ad break before the epic finale, the calm before the storm, and it too adds some levity to the occasion.

However, the album’s best use of song fragments is in the final track, B-Boy Bouillabaisse, a glorious 12 minute medley of nine song fragments which range in length from less than a minute to two and a half minutes. The track concentrates everything great about the preceding fourteen songs into one cohesive suite. There’s the banter between Mike, Adam and Adam in ‘Get on the Mic’. There are the references to New York in ‘Stop That Train’ and in ’Hello Brooklyn’, which, by the way, features not only the dirtiest beat on the album, but also a wonderful, Johnny Cash, who pops up at the end of the song in the best sample on the album. And then there’s the raucous dance-ability and pop culture references we’ve come to expect from the Beastie Boys.

But then, out of the blue, appears ’A Year and a Day’, the most epic song on the album even though it lasts less than three minutes. MCA examines his inner most being over the same Isley Brothers sample that Kendrick Lamar uses in ‘i’, defining himself as an emcee, as one of the Beastie Boys, but also as an individual, the last bard, the king in his castle. And yet, despite his bragging, he sees that this can’t last for ever. Here he asks not for a Hollywood lifestyle but simply to be king every now and then. For now, he is content merely to look out a stained glass window and see the world in all it’s multi-coloured glory, and if that isn’t maturing, what is?

Paul’s Boutique was one of the best albums of the 80s, late though it was in the decade, and it wouldn’t be inappropriate to compare the Beastie Boys to the Beatles circa Abbey Road. Both have similar names (‘Beastie’ and ‘Beatle’ are both alliterative and assonant) and both ended their last albums of the decade with song fragment medleys. As well as this, the Beatles are sampled fairly heavily on Paul’s Boutique. In fact, according to Rolling Stone, the album is even named after Abbey Road, or Paul McCartney’s “boutique”; and in ‘Shake Your Rump’, Mike D even mentions being ’back from the dead’  after facing an eerily similar situation to that of Paul in the 60s.

And, most importantly of all, both pushed the boundaries of music. One was much more commercially successful than the other, but both Paul’s Boutique and Abbey Road have had a similar effect on music today, and, as I enter 2016 watching Pitch Perfect with my family, it’s a warm, comforting embrace that I’m sure I will cherish in years to come.

Happy New Year everyone!




Review of “Sound of Silver” by LCD Soundsystem

Drawing of James Murphy

My drawing of James Murphy

Deciding which album was going to be the subject of my first music review took me a shamefully long amount of time. I knew the album had to be something I really liked, even loved, but not something I was too emotionally attached to; something I’ve listened to at least twice, but also not something I would tire of after another listen; not too well known to avoid future embarrassment (I don’t wanna look back and see that I gave Pet Sounds 7.5/10 *ahem*), but also monumental to me in some way.

Inevitably this gave me a bit of a headache, so I just scrolled through my list of albums on Spotify and picked what came naturally. Hence, Sound of Silver, an album by LCD Soundsystem release in 2007 (a very good year for music indeed).

LCD Soundsystem, if you haven’t heard of them, was a dance-rock band headed by James Murphy that released three very good albums before breaking up in 2010 (completely happily I might add, with a huge blowout concert to finish). I was reluctant to choose this album because I’m a little biased, LCD Soundsystem being one of my favourite bands of all time. But why not?

The drawing was meant to be done just while I was listening to the album, but I didn’t finish the beard in the time; by the time the album was finished, I just ended up obsessively retouching the lips. So I cheated a little bit and drew the beard while listening to ‘Dance Yrself Clean’ (the namesake of my last post). But it was worth it for the drawing. Source was this picture by the way.

But now, on with the review.


Sound of Silver was made in lonely basement parties with the lights turned low, with all the attendees crying on the dance floor. It’s not quite a heartbreaking confessional, but neither is it a fun but faceless dance record. Murphy always walks the fine line between the two, turning from misanthropic to raucous to deadpan to solemn blindingly fast.

Murphy lets his guard down, but sometimes not all the way; in ‘Someone Great’, as Murphy mourns the loss of a friend over a Kraftwerk-esque beat, his singing never falters, even as he complains that the weather is too lovely and the coffee isn’t bitter enough, as if he’s trying to pull it together one last time.

Undoubtedly the most emotional song on the album is ‘All My Friends’, where the indelible keyboard riff builds to a roar of triumphant melancholy, as Murphy, an elder statesman on a dance floor surrounded by twenty-somethings, laments being a middle-aged hipster holding onto his impeccable music taste for dear life.

In fact, many of the songs have the hazy, intoxicated ambiance of a club; in ‘Get Innocuous!’, the words are hesitant and sleepy in the hazy prelude to the morning after, the chirpy voice that follows him like the peppy, unsolicited advice of an acquaintance. ‘Us v Them’ shares similar themes, as Murphy rallies against those who want to spoil his fun before breaking down into despair. It’s often unclear if it’s the people around him who are ‘lonely and drunk’ or whether Murphy is projecting his own feelings onto them.

Despite its heavy subtext, the album is always witty and occasionally hilarious. Murphy screams and yelps through ‘North American Scum’, the goofiest song on the album, until he pleads “DON’T BLAME THE CANADIANS!” with a lack of inhibition more terrifying than I would care to admit. ‘Time to Get Away’ fits in lines such as ‘But me, I got a tiny tummy’ while still being delightfully misanthropic (not that they make much sense), and ‘Watch the Tapes’, if largely cryptic, is one of the most memorable songs on the album, with its back and forth opener getting stuck in your head even if you’re not entirely sure what it means. 

The last two songs are both about love, but they go about it in very different ways. The New Order-like title track features the same five lines repeated in a monotone clip, with the music built up and then stripped back for maximum, as the fond memories of adolescent music-listening are balanced against the less fond memories of adolescent emotion-having. On the other hand, ‘New York, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down’, fashioned as an acoustic break-up song and sung sincerely, denounces modern New York, with a sigh of reluctance, as being as scrubbed up and soulless as it was once dirty but full of life.

Underneath the slick, insanely danceable music lies deeply personal songs about longing and loneliness, about nostalgia for the sounds and cities of your youth, and, most of all, about aging and all the baggage that comes with it. LCD Soundsystem have sung about these things before, as in ‘Losing My Edge’, but never in such a beautifully understated way. And all while being musically irresistible. What’s not to love?


P.S. I’ve decided not to rate albums as I’m generally reviewing ones I like so there wouldn’t be much variation on 9/10 and 10/10, and I don’t want to gush too much about how great I find an album. Also, I need to wean myself off critic scores, so it’s probably best just to leave them out. Thank you for reading! :)

Post yrself clean

Spotify artists page

          My Spotify artists page at the moment.

By now this blog has lost a lot of its readers and I’ve lost a lot of my enthusiasm for blogging. It’s been a little under nine months since my last post, which detailed my (what I then thought was huge but now I think is ridiculously tiny) Spotify music… collection? Is that the word?

I haven’t been completely inactive on WordPress since, but that was my last proper post anyway. Quite a bit has changed since then. The school year ended, I had a birthday (yay!), my laptop crashed (along with all my files as I hadn’t made a back up), my older sister went to uni, and somewhere along the line I became even more obsessed with music, to the point where I almost considered taking it as a GCSE.

I didn’t in the end, but I’m still listening to at least an album a day, so that doesn’t reflect my views on music – in fact, I decided five, six or seven months ago that I might become a music journalist, even if the pay is reportedly abysmal. My music taste has expanded a lot from primarily indie rock to everything but metal, and I don’t like all the same bands as I used to. A lot of the music I listen to now is derived from various music sites and lists (as opposed to my friends and siblings) which I’ve become unhealthily obsessed with reading. Not that that’s a bad thing per se – it all adds up to my musical knowledge. :P

I doubt I’ll do a follow up to my previous post with an updated list of my music because it would take way too long… but I would like to make this blog music-oriented. I would like to have a general update post every now and then, but I would mainly be reviewing music – mainly older albums I like, because those will be more enjoyable to review, but also new albums every now and then. I might even draw as I’m listening and upload the drawings too?

Obviously this is quite a change, and I don’t know if any of my old followers will enjoy my music posts, so maybe I’ll mix in some general posts. It’ll be good having something concrete to write about and keep me writing on schedule – I’ll try and write at least one post a week.

I don’t know if this will last, but it would probably be a good idea to try actually *reviewing* music rather than just listening to it before I decide to be a music journalist. Hopefully reviewing music will help me listen to it more deeply, develop my own opinions about music rather, and rejuvenate my writing and maybe my drawing as well. Anyhow, this should be a steep learning curve. The first few reviews will undoubtedly be meh, but have faith, I should improve… No promises though. :P

See you soon (hopefully),

Joe :)

P.S. I’m not gonna

My music

So, hello again! It’s been a while. I kept on meaning to post but school has kept me busy. I’ve been thinking about writing this post for months, but I didn’t get round to it until the half term. It took a lot longer to write than I originally anticipated, but here it is.

It was three months and a week ago that I got Spotify, which I mentioned in my (only) post in November. Before I got Spotify, I had very little interest in music. I just didn’t get it. I found some songs catchy, and I could appreciate a song, but it didn’t click.

For the unaware, Spotify is a streaming service. In effect, rather than owning a song, it is ‘streamed’ over to me via the Internet and then played, before being sent back. There are two versions: Spotify Free and Spotify Premium ($10 a month). Spotify Free lets you listen to any song you want, but, unlike Premium, you get annoying ads that pop up every now and then. Another annoyance is that, with Spotify Free on mobile, you can only listen to songs or albums on shuffle.

Despite these annoyances, Spotify is great in that I can listen to every album I want to for free legally.* Apart from ‘1989’. :P I understand there has been a lot of furore about Spotify recently about how much money they pay artists, but it has allowed me to make my collection of music and listen to stuff I never would have been able to otherwise. It probably isn’t ideal that I’m so dependent on the service, but it’s useful.

I thought it would be interesting to go through my list of artists from when I first got Spotify to now, three months later. I’ve tried to limit myself to one song per artist in their description, but I may link to other songs that will play outside of the post if you are interested. This is kind of necessary as the whole post is about music, but I get that you might not have enough time (or bandwidth) to listen to all this or even read all the post (although bonus points if you do), so I have put stars next to my five favourite musicians/bands.

Sidenote: All the ‘genres’ listed are the first thing that popped up on the artist’s Wikipedia page. Lots of the bands are labelled ‘indie rock’, a useless term which seems like an umbrella for any vaguely rock sound that is not ‘classic rock’. I would put a more specific genre, but often albums by the same artist differ wildly, so that’s not really possible.

Sidenote 2: Being a streaming service, you don’t download songs on Spotify – you merely ‘save’ them. However I’m just going to use the word ‘download’ because it’s much more intuitive.

Continue reading

Where do I start? Part 2

See I don’t think this is a very good title. I experienced horror, the cruelty of child labour and endless monotony… The title conveys none of that. But I have given it the same name as last year’s ‘exam post’, because I think it might be cool if this becomes an annual feature. That is until I have no more exams. Which could be never.

Yes gentleladies and gentlemen. I have come out alive from that Hunger Games of secondary education, that dreaded semaine de territoire.


I suppose I am being a touch melodramatic. This year’s exams actually went pretty well. But they were still terrible. Honest. So terrible I haven’t posted all of June. But this is my way to make up for it. This will be another essay post which most of you will skim and a dedicated few will actually read the whole way through. However, if you don’t skim, there will be a special bonus! Totally worth it for 3000 words.

How to Do Your Exams – Part 2


Maths is probably my favourite subject , so it was a good opener to exam week. I thought (a bit arrogantly) that I would breeze the papers, but especially in the second paper, I had a few ‘What?!’ moments. My compass also failed me as it couldn’t stay still. Why compass why?

Luckily I managed to go back after I’d finished the paper and tidy up my answers. I also got a compass from my friend sitting next to me, so it all worked out in the end. :)

English (writing)

As with last year this was split into a long writing task and a short writing task. And, as usual, I lavished most of my attention on the short writing task i.e. creative writing. In the end they were both basically the same length, despite one being called short and one being called long. Huh.

The long writing task was a *neutral* piece that gave the pros and cons of installing surveillance. In the end I sort of ruined my completely-objective-third-party-outsider-with-absolutely-no-personal-interest-in-the-matter viewpoint by saying that most surveillance fears were rubbish and Britain isn’t going to turn into Airstrip One anytime soon. I tried to be topical so I mentioned Snowden and the NSA scandal but it probably came off a lot less witty than I thought it did.

The short writing task was more in my comfort zone. They gave us a description of a bleak landscape (presumably the dark woods where most of the Twilight scenes took place in*) and we had to continue it.

By Venomxbaby Deviant Art

Mine was much less bleak and more sad. Nothing much happened but it ended up somewhat… Melodramatic. In essence, this is my story.

I was reminded of campfires and eating hazelnuts. I saw a badger in the distance. He ran away and I was sad.

The end.

Some of it was waffle of course. But the badger bit was true. *sniffles*


History was one of my most dreaded exams. Last year, the teacher set out precisely what the exam would cover and we could choose what topics we got. However, this year, the teacher was intentionally vague setting out what he wanted, so that we wouldn’t just choose what to learn. It was still set out fairly well, but just sort of… confusing.

Timing was a bit tight, but I finished all the questions. I spent a bit too long on the first question, so I left it and filled in all the one mark questions.

Then I came to the source question. I knew in advance what source was going to be used, because our teacher said it would relate to the turmoil in the Civil War. I don’t know why he put it in the exam even though we’ve already studied this in class. :P But I suppose it went well.

The final question was worth loads of marks, and before I was really confused about what it would entail. Turns out we got a choice of three. I chose “Why do Different Interpretations Come About?” I was silently fist pumping because this was the question I had really wanted to do so it all turned out well in the end.


Some things never change. As with last year, this was one of my worst exams.

I don’t actually mind Technology. It’s terrifying to think about, but in practice it’s not that bad. Most of the time.

The problem was that the questions in the Technology exam was sort of… precise. In most subjects you have to remember quite detailed facts and figures, but I didn’t really expect that from Tech. The notes I did didn’t take up much space, and most people didn’t make notes at all. Little details came up that I guess we were told – but I didn’t think we would be tested on them.

Woe is me for not revising as I could have. Woe is me.

We also had to design some Wallace and Gromit toys for kids. Given that our Tech teachers are slightly obsessed with Wallace and Gromit, this was no surprise. I’m sure children will love my Wallace and Gromit utility band when it finally makes it to market.

I did finish the test, but some of the answers were complete guesses. I think I’ll get a good mark, but it went nowhere near as well as my other exams. :/


Last year my RSS exam was a teensy tiny disaster. Considering I spent half the test on a single question and almost no time on a lot of the others, I was pretty happy to get an average mark, but my teacher put in my report that he was disappointed with my results.

In this year’s parents evening, I was also told that if I didn’t get in the 90s, it would be bad, so I was doubly pressurised.

Luckily this was probably the best structured test we had. It was split into four sections (each section had two questions we could choose from) and I stuck to the time constraints recommended for each one, so I finished with a few minutes to spare. It was less fact learning and more essay style questions, but I found it way more interesting that most of my other exams.


Each test was supervised by a teacher. Most of the them were pretty nice, but the one who supervised Latin was quite cold, like Severus Snape in a suit.

Before the exam had started, I touched the paper to bring it towards me. Which was a mistake. As soon as my finger made contact with the sheet, he hissed “Don’t touch that!”

That should have been the end of it.

The test for Latin is split into translation and grammar. For the grammar, I wrote out all the endings tables I needed to know on a scrap piece of paper. The verb tables were completely useless and I never went back to them, but the noun table came in handy.

Then I went onto the translation. Whenever we translate a passage in a Latin test, we have to do it on alternate lines so the marker has space to annotate. Being the forgetful person I am, I translated an entire paragraph on consecutive lines.

No biggie, I thought. I’ll just continue as usual on alternate lines. Thinking I had better confirm my plan of action with the teacher first, I said something along the lines of, “Oops, forgotten to write on alternate lines. Should I just continue on from now?”

“Write it out again.” he said coolly. There was a collective “ooh” from the class.

The story itself was really easy to translate, as I already knew the story (i.e. Trojan Horse). I’m trying to make some sort of witty Trojan Horse joke, but I just can’t.


ICT was pretty easy. We had to format some graphs, put them into Word, and print out various stages of our work. Being the perfectionist I am, I didn’t want to print out anything until the end in order to perfect it. This was actually something I stressed over.

Sometimes I wanted to add formatting, but it didn’t say to do so on the sheet and I worried that adding more would somehow make my mark lower. This really annoyed me on so many levels. Half the time I had to restrain myself from going all out and making my tables colour coded.


OK, so this went pretty well. I played “Comptine D’un Autre Été” on the piano, which sounds a lot more pretentious and complicated than it actually is. I was really nervous in the run up, but I pulled myself together and started to play.

First off, the song uses the pedal of the piano heavily to achieve a slightly reverberant effect, thoughtful almost. But the pedal was so squeaky it kind of ruined the mood, bearing in mind I lift it every few seconds. My leg was also shaking uncontrollably throughout the piece and I made a few mistakes. Even still, when I sat back down in my seat, I found people did like it. They also thought I was slightly insane.

Let me explain.

When I play the piano, I am not very composed or solemn. I move around… a lot. Generally when I play quietly I end up hunched and when I play loudly I do the opposite.

With this song, I ended up rocking back and forth and back and forth throughout the piece… Supposedly I looked ‘slightly possessed’ and ‘in a trance’. But I can live with that. It probably made the performance much more interesting to watch.


We had already done the speaking and listening outside of Exam Week (in case you’re interested, which I doubt you are, I got 19/20 on my speaking), so in the French Exam we did writing and reading. Writing was pretty easy as we got given the questions beforehand to prepare – although for the last question, I panicked, thinking I only had a few minutes left, only to go back and add asterisks and extra sentences. Reading is a bit of a haze to me, but it also went pretty well. One of the questions was about some robbery, but apart from that, it wasn’t exactly riveting material.


Out of the three sciences, biology is my least favourite, which is strange considering I have two doctors for parents. It just annoys me. I don’t mind it, but I don’t particularly like it either. The test was pretty hard for everyone. Some of the topics we just hadn’t covered in class. Why is yeast respiration useful in bread dough production? Wasn’t this in our Food Tech booklet and not our Biology textbook?!

I guess I shouldn’t really moan, but I’m British. I’ll probably get a good result. Biology and Tech broke the pattern of fairly easy exams, but on their own, they weren’t diabolically hard (although Tech did come pretty close).

We also had Mr. Shouty for the exam – the one who supervised our Geography test last year and gave us all heart attacks by screaming out times. Since now we’ve known him for a year, I was hoping he would have mellowed to us. It looked as though there would be no heart attacks until right near the end of the exam, at which point he shouted, “Two more minutes!” A few people shuddered, but there weren’t any mini-earthquakes like last year. Thinking this was the end of it, I looked through my test.

But at the very end of the exam, the teacher bellowed the great grandparent of all shouts. It was beyond loud. “STOP WRITING! (x ∞)” he screamed. I apologise for my use of multiple exclamation marks and excessive formatting. I know it makes me look uneducated and slightly tacky, but sometimes the rules have to be broken.

The next thing I know, I’m sitting in a hospital bed with cotton in my ears being told through the medium of dance that I was subjected to sounds above 150 dB and subsequently became deaf.*


After Biology, Physics was suspiciously easy. True there were some iffy questions, but there always are, right? There were a few long answers, but no big explanations. Why couldn’t the Biology test have been like that? Although at the very end, I was still writing because in the last minute I had noticed a major mistake.

My only worry about this test is that recently another form got their results and stuff went down. I.e. even though the test seemed to be easy, the marking scheme is supposed to be incredibly strict. I still have no idea what I got yet, but I’m not as hopeful as I was before. D:


Strangely enough Chemistry was even easier than Physics. The first eleven questions were all multiple choice and the rest were all short and snappy answers. Before the test, we had been told we would need a calculator, so I went through the whole test expecting a wild equation to appear, subscripts and all, which I would have to balance using my amazing Chemistry skills. Nothing happened. If you’re not skimming, use the word ‘horrible’ in a comment below. I finished the test before the halfway bell, as did many. Looking around, I saw half the people in the room on their calculators. Curious, I looked through the test to see if any questions needed a calculator, but I found nothing. They were probably typing swear words into their calculators to pass the time. Boys will be boys.


Last year, I didn’t have a proper art exam. Everyone drew some boxes for an hour (and a half) and it was all fine and dandy. No individuality, not much creativity, just drawing some boxes.

Of course, this year the Art Department totally upped their game. No, we didn’t get to plan our own drawings. No, we couldn’t use paints or other media. No, the exam wasn’t longer than an hour and a half.

This year… we drew reflective surfaces.

Not that I’m complaining.  Even with this I struggled with the timing. Sometimes I can get a bit perfectionist, and art is no exception, so I wasn’t really sure I’d finish on time.

There were loads of shiny things on the table I was sitting at, and people were seated all around it. In the beginning, we got given ‘viewfinders’ to help us get the right amount on the page. After a bit of fiddling around with the viewfinder, I found (lucky me) that in order to fill my page, I had to draw pretty much everything on the table.

I spent the first half of the exam drawing a vague outline and the rest shading it. In the last five minutes, I decided to draw an entirely new item to fill in the gaps on my sheet (we get marks for composition). At the end of the exam, the teacher said that we could leave, but she also gave us five extra minutes if we wanted to tidy our drawings up. Despite being finished, I took the extra five minutes, thinking I could refine it further… but I was one of the only ones to stay behind. In the end there were three or four people still in the room, and two of them were just slow at packing up their stuff. Embarrassed, I wrote my name in the bottom right corner and sprinted away as fast as I could.


As with Latin, the exam was split into grammar and translation. I started the grammar, but I felt a bit slow and sleepy, so I skipped onto the translation. It was some  fable about a wolf and a stork, but on searching it up on the Internet, I found the test COMPLETELY MESSED UP THE STORY. In the actual story, the wolf was the bad guy who needed to be taught some morals, but in the Greek translation, it was the stork. Either that or I completely failed my translation.

Let’s hope not.

Anyhow, I flipped over to find the grammar section, forgetting it was on the same page as the translation. And guess what I found? A whole other page! I was kind of shocked. Imagine if I hadn’t done both sides?

After I had done the comprehension questions on the other side, I was about to go onto the grammar, but I felt a sudden heroic urge. What if some other poor kid hadn’t realised there were two sides? After deciding to get the word out about this slightly alarming discovery, I found to my dismay that I was in an exam and couldn’t talk.

I flipped around my exam paper a few times, but there were no gasps of realisation from the surrounding tables. So I timidly put my hand up and asked the teacher, “Is the test double-sided?”

No reaction. I looked around, expecting someone to have benefited from my bravado. Alas, no one. I told the teacher, “Never mind.” and did the grammar section slightly down. But not for long…


Geography was the final exam! Yay! Our teacher kind of intimidated me though – he wasn’t scary as such, but I put off going to the toilet until after the exam. The actual exam was filled with essay type questions, but I knew how to answer most of them, so hopefully I got good marks. I finished in good time and then it was over! *yippee*

After school I texted all of my friends that I felt ‘light and fluffy’. I guess I was kind of hyper. Not high though – I promise.

Now all that’s left is to get the results… I doubt I’ll do another follow up post for them, but I’ll let you know if anything interesting happens. :)


P.S. I’ve never actually watched or read the Twilight series, but as far as I can tell, lots of scenes take place in a deserted, dark forest. Probably not an accurate picture of the series, but that’s life. :P

P.P.S. Happy Fathers’ Day! In England it was on Sunday, but in America I think it was a few days earlier. In case you’re wondering, I gave my dad a handmade card.

Also, is anyone watching the World Cup? I suppose I’m meant to be, but I’m not really that interested. :P

And apologies if there are any typos, it’s late and I’m sleepy. :)

EDIT: WordPress has been glitching and this didn’t show up in anyone’s reader, so I’ve republished it with an edited time stamp. Hopefully it’ll work better. :)

*This may have been partially embellished, but how much, I will not say.

Operation Toothpaste II: Hobbies!

So I haven’t posted for a week. For that I am sorry. This was due to both my laziness and my busy… schedule. I’m not joking. July weeks are nightmares for my mum, who has to organize all the events that happen right next to each other. I may post about this tomorrow. ;) But I did have plenty of opportunities, perhaps especially for Andy Murray winning Wimbledon (77 years! I really should have posted, now I feel guilty).

So for this week I would like to have one more, dare I say it, foundation level of Toothpaste, before we get into the nitty gritty, the entertaining details. Though to be fair, a layer of toothpaste on which to build a house is pretty unstable… For those of you who don’t know what Toothpaste is, click here.

I digress. It’s time for…

Operation Toothpaste Edition II: Hobbies!

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Where do I start?

I have a lot to get off my chest.

I have just broken free from the endless monotony of exams and revision.

It blinded me. It scarred me. It scared me…

LOL, JK. (I hope Aliyaaaa from Three Magical doesn’t mind my use of her work. :3) But it was still pretty scary. I guess you want a run-by-run of how my exams went. If I was really stressed about them, I would hate having to relive it again, but to be honest, most of them went OK. o_O Does that make me sound like a bad person, by saying my exams were bearable, that I didn’t cry myself to sleep every night?

If you’re looking for a sob story, you’re not going to find it here. But you may still want some hankies… You know. Just in case. *Sniffles*.  Ok, here goes…
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