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Sunday, 26 August 2012

Can I get you anything else with that?

I am a very good sharer...except when it comes to computers, as I have discovered over the past couple of days! I have become very accustomed to having my own laptop so when it finally got to the stage where
I needed a replacement (it would shut down on me for no apparent reason roughly every five minutes!) I didn't realise how hard these couple of days would be. Having to wait until the computer's free and not just being able to check Facebook when I want or go on Youtube because the main computer's speakers don't work has been hard...very hard. It's kind of sad how lost I am without technology! I am hoping that Gap Year travels may take away from that!

So the biggest news in my life was that I had my first shift in Starbucks...and it was so fun! Seriously, I don't think I could have picked a better job (minus the whole surgeon thing which requires a little more training!) My colleagues are all great fun  and very accommodating to my newbie status. There was no anger or trouble when I got things wrong, which surprised me a little, I guess partly because of my relatively high-pressured schooling. By the end of my four hour shifts, I knew how to work the till, had been round cleaning the cafe and put the dishwasher on twice, had learnt how to "cupmark" and had made numerous drinks from your classic lattes and cappuccinos to the Extra Hot Skinny Wet Flat White to the fun frappuccinos! Luckily as the store is on a university campus and it is not term time, it was not too busy so was a perfect environment for me to learn in. I have another shift this week (I have only had a couple because it is not busy and I'm going away for a week at the beginning of September) and I am very excited!

In other news, me and Dad have started going to church choir and had our first service as members this morning. It was a success although I did manage to throw up all over the church steps. Needless to say I spent most of today in bed!


Saturday, 18 August 2012

Result! (s)

So Thursday came around. It was the most anticipated, feared, important, intimidating day I've had in a long time ever! It was A Level results day.

Given how much school I had missed this year and that even when I was in, I had not been in a great state of mind and half the time had been drugged up with pills that made me fall asleep at 10am, we did not know what to expect. In my mocks I had got Ds and Es although I had miraculously managed to scrape a B in Biology. Since then (February) I had worked my butt off, having extra sessions with teachers and generally working and revising like I never had before. I have no doubt that if I'd worked that hard after completing a normal year at school, I would have got full marks in everything. But then if I'd had a normal year, I wouldn't have felt the need to prove people wrong. You see inside of me there is a part that just has to go above and beyond people's expectations of me. To achieve targets is just boring. I want to smash them! Which is probably part of the reason I developed an eating disorder- the combination of searching or perfection and wanting to prove that actually I could go x days without food or I could lose x kgs. Recently as part of my recovery, I've been searching for better outlets to display my determination in and my schoolwork was one of them (another is my tidiness- I used to be so messy and disorganised, now I am as far from that as you can imagine!) I cannot get rid of these traits, they are a part of me and my personality. So I must ind a way to express them that is not self-destructive! Perhaps I can prove people wrong by beating this thing...

So anyway, back to results day. I had been waking up the wrong way round in bed for several days and generally just not sleeping. I was grouchy, particularly on the morning of results day (sorry Mum and Dad!) and basically just very stressed. The results I got would determine my future, particularly my gap year. They would determine whether I would be able to go travelling or would have to stay and repeat the year of school. I was also pretty sure they would also determine whether I would stay on the road to recovery. A voice in my head was saying that if my results were bad (and I'm not sure what qualifies as bad- that wasnt explicit) I would never eat again because "what would be the point?", my life would be over. Of course in hindsight, I can see that that was a little extreme but that was anorexia trying to cling on to me and that is the kind of irrational thoughts it blinds me with.

We got to school and I went straight into the dining hall, to the desk where the envelopes were being handed out. I opened it straight away with Mum and Dad by my side. I didn't see any point in taking my time about it, the results weren't going to change. My hands shook as I tried to free the papers from the envelope and I saw...

2 A*s and 2As!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was so overwhelmed that I burst in to tears. The emotion was just so strong. There was a huge sense of relief, accomplishment and pride. I had actually pulled it out of the bag.

After pulling myself together a bit I talked to some of my teachers who were all thrilled. No one had been sure of what I was capable of and, if I say so myself which I do because I'm rightly proud, I had done incredibly! The A*s were in Biology and... Maths(I know, I'll never live that one down!) and the As were in Chemistry and Physics.

With a huge weight off my shoulders, I enjoyed the breakfast school had provided with Mum and Dad (who I think were also extremely relieved!) I also had my picture taken for the local newspaper with some of my friends.

Cheesy as it sounds I just want to thank all my teachers, my family and friends who have encouraged, pushed and guided me through these hard times and helped me achieve the best I could ever hope for. These results are life changing for me.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Minding matters

Quick update on the foot: It continues to heal well (although I haven't taken the dressings off yet so I could be wrong!) and isn't giving me too much pain. I am very hopeful that removing the plate sorted out the problem.

My week has been occupied with babysitting, or as my 10-year-old victim cousin A would prefer me to say, childminding. Actually I'm not sure she'd even agree to that term...we've been "hanging out".

We watched the Closing Ceremony of the Olympics together and I thought it was absolutely wonderful. She crashed half way through...to be fair it was late. I sat back, enjoying all the music and spectaculars, with her warm head in my lap. My favourite musical parts had to be the Spice Girls (just because I love them and they define my childhood), One Direction (swoon) and Jessie J singing with Queen. Unsurprisingly, I cried when they extinguished the flame, screamed when I saw a phoenix, screamed even harder when I saw Darcey Bussell on that phoenix and generally got far too overexcited whenever the camera went near where my parents were sat. All in all, a great night.

Whilst at home, A and I did all sorts, including baking gluten-free cupcakes, making sandart pictures, watching films, doing some teabag folding and making jelly. On Tuesday we got the train up to London and took the tube to South Kensington to see Caroline. After endless questions about what would happen if the Thames leaked into the underground which I gave up trying to answer honestly, we arrived and did a little orienteering to find the hospital. Cari, A and I went out for lunch to a lovely restaurant Riccardo's before stopping off for a spot of Italian Gelato (peanut butter and caramel flavours for me!) We then walked to the Science Museum which is one of my unashamedly geeky favourite places in the world. We only had a few hours there and I could literally spend weeks in there and still be content but we did manage to visit the Web Lab and the Launchpad, two interactive and highly fun zones.

It was a great few days but sadly it has come to an end and I am now sitting up, avoiding going to bed because tomorrow is my results day and I'm just a tad nervous. I dread to think what will happen if my mind is not kept busy so for now, sleep looks to be out of the question!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Sporting chance

As predicted, the last week or so of my life has been COMPLETELY taken over by the Olympics! I won't go into too much detail (because I could literally talk for hours about all the sporting in general let alone the incredible experiences I have had!) but let me just say it has all been absolutely incredible! I have been to see the Gymnastics Women's Team Final, the athletics, the final day of the swimming and the rowing at Eton Dorney. I feel so lucky and privileged to have seen the things I have. The Olympic park and all the venues are amazing, the sport as always is exciting and thrilling. I think London has really pulled off a cracker!

Supporting Team GB's gymnasts
Today I am going in to hospital for a second operation on my foot, this time to remove the plate they put in last August. I had some nasty effects from the anaesthetic last time but I'm hoping that this time it won't be so bad as I am treating my body much better. Last time I was only just underweight according to my BMI but I had not eaten a decent meal in months and my body was suffering. Fingers crossed this time my body is better equipped to deal with the drugs.