Sunday, 18 March 2012


So i haven't posted anything in exactly 19 days, which doesn't seem that long really, but it's been a full couple of weeks and I've had several ideas for blog posts that I've failed to get around to doing. So this might be a long one. You have been warned...

Let's start where we left off; the stress-inducing Eisteddfod. We won loads of the events on the day and I'm sure you'll all be proud when I tell you that I came first with my beautiful recorder piece! We thought we'd finally broken our 10-year losing streak and actually come first, and we were all screaming and cheering... okay, there were only about 5 of us who were enthusiastic. But for us, the atmosphere was electric.

We dared to dream as they announced the 3rd and 4th houses, and then our house was called out... second. Unsurprisingly, and probably also very unreasonably, there were tears. More than you'd expect. But only from us year 12s, the rest of our house were the epitome of apathy, not even cheering for our epic (if I do say so myself) rendition of Resistance (by the legendary Muse, if you didn't know, and if you didn't,shame on you!).

Anyway, we were relieved, to say the least, that it was over, and that we had achieved our highest placing in at least the last 10 years. So disappointment, here we come? Perhaps, but perhaps not. Our determination definitely paid off in the end, if not as much as we wanted it to.

And so we gracefully segue into the next event of my life that I decided to share with you (aren't you the lucky ones!), my audition for the Margam music competition. My music teacher told me last year about a competition for young musicians, where the top prize was 100 pounds, so I decided to enter. But only 3 people entered, so it didn't go ahead.

But this year they upped the prize to 300 pounds, and I decided to enter again, fairly confidently; I thought I was in with a good chance, because of the lack of interest last year. I was told it was a simple audition where I had to play 5 minutes of music- easy, or so it seemed...

I arrived at the church where the auditions were held, and was soon met by the other competitors... all of whom were dressed for something much more than the casual audition I thought it was. I even said to one of them "I didn't know everyone would be so nicely dressed, I feel a bit of mess" to which she looked me up and down and said "haha,yeah...". Awkward is not the word...

I was there on my own, because Dad had to take my sister to gymnastics, so I was sitting in an empty pew, feeling very left out of the cliquey, everyone-knows-eachother little world that is the Bridgend music community. I was trying my best to stay calm in the face of lots of musicians that seemed much better than me already, when one of the organizers stood up to give an introduction including that each competitor will play for 8-10 minutes... and I freaked out. I had prepared 4 and a half, to be on the safe side, and now found out that I was supposed to play double that.

I sat and watched the first performers, feeling my morale rapidly diminishing with each oh-so-perfect note. At last my parents arrived, bringing with them my disruptive baby sister, who started off on fine form, throwing a plastic toy onto the stone floor during a Bassoon piece (which, by the way, is not and will never be a solo instrument, and the same goes for the Tuba).

By the time it was my turn to play I was feeling suitably nervous/panicky/sick. The first piece went well (Clair De Lune) but the second one was far too stressy to have a hope of going well. If you've heard Danse Macabre, you'll know that it's not a piece to calm the nerves, and it went quite badly wrong. Needless to say, I didn't get through to the final, but I'm chalking it up to experience... and I'm not at all bitter... honest...

I was going to write about something else, but this post is already long enough and uninteresting enough, so until next time :)
Oh and well done Wales! :)

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Disappointment, here we come?

I haven't written in a while, mainly because this is the time of the year for stress, stress, stress! Aside from coursework, exam results and a boyfriend trying to decide which university to go to, the main focus of my last month has been the Eisteddfod.

If you're not Welsh and don't know what that is, it's basically a talent contest we have in schools in our houses and mine is called Hywel (you've seen/read Harry Potter? Those kind of houses). In my school, the Eisteddfod is a big thing, I mean REALLY big. And the year 12's (that's my year) run the show. So the last month has been full of 6th formers scurrying around and begging apathetic teenagers to participate in a little piece of their Welsh heritage.We have lots of group onstage competitions, which have been the main source of stress. There are Welsh, French and English choral recitations, along with bands, dance groups and choirs. But getting children/preteens/teenagers to attend anything regular has proven itself to be near impossible.

The house I'm in has lost almost every year for at least the last 10 years, and we've come third only recently, which was a massive achievement for us. Our team this year have been really enthusiastic and determined (or you could say desperate) to win the Eisteddfod, meaning breaktimes, lunchtimes and after school have all been sacrificed to help the kids learn their lines, and sing louder, and act bigger, and generally be as enthused as us- not an easy task.

So due to our many failings this month, this week leading up to the Eisteddfod is a nightmare. We have folk dancing practices (yeah, we have to do that too); choral practices; children singing Frere Jacques with cardboard bells as big as them; a three person, last minute band; and last but not least, a *very* small choir singing a song that's too high for them and boring to boot.

Today was music prelims, meaning for me a day in the music room, keeping a tally of how many entrants we had, and getting to listen to the musical delights that our school has to offer. It wasn't as bad as I thought, with lots of the kids singing well and surprisingly in tune, but there were a few...ahem...*special* moments in there... including what can only be described as a well intentioned rendition of Somewhere Over The Rainbow, an unexpected operatic song and a lovely playing off chopsticks complete with moshing (thankyou Sam). The only entrants for the woodwind solo were me, the head of my house, and the deputy head of my house, all playing on the recorder, and we get to do it again on stage! Lucky us!

But having said all that, our house did better today than the other houses, which is going to be necessary given the current points tally. Which brings me to my title. All this determination can only end in tears. If we come less than 2nd, the 6th formers in my house will probably actually cry, and given the effort I've put into it, I'll probably be quite upset as well. So I hope we win. Not really for the kudos, or the joy of winning, but because I know I'll have to deal with the sobbing, angry and often slightly scary aftermath. (naming no names *cough*Eloise*cough*)

So wish me luck!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Something NOT to put on my CV...

You know those dreams you have about you making some awful mistake, like going to the wrong train station and missing your holiday; or forgetting your costume and going on stage in your underwear...? Or is that just me?

Well anyway, I made a dream-style mistake a few nights ago, with a fairly high level of stupidity on my part.
Me and a friend (Katie) were going to see Sarah Pickett in her school's production of Fiddler On The Roof. We've been going to see these shows for a few years now, and Sarah normally reserves the tickets for us and we pick them up at the pavilion on the night. But this year, Sarah bought the tickets and gave them to me two weeks before the show. I left them in my bag, fairly confident that I would remember them, if only because I normally take that bag with me everywhere.

I'm sure you can see where this is going... yup, I forgot the tickets. I was in a hurry to leave and didn't bother to take a bag with me. You may be thinking, so what? How long does it take to remember a thing like that?

Well... longer than you might think...
Even after driving all the way to the pavilion (a good fifteen minute drive) and asking the woman at the box office if she had our tickets, and watching her search with quickly depleting chance of her finding them, I was still adamant that I hadn't been given the tickets. Only when Katie lifted her phone to her ear to call Sarah did I remember.
So with fifteen minutes to go til curtain up, we had to ask Katie's dad to come back for us and drive us back to my house, and then back to the pavilion. And preferably very quickly.
Which he did, and very nicely too, tolerating my profuse apologies along the way.

We arrived back at the pavilion at what should have been fifteen minutes in, but the last few years the shows have started quite late, so we weren't too worried. Of course, this would be the one year they start on time...
We were shown in by a man who told us we were "somewhere near the front", and after finding our row and spying what we thought was a gap of two seats, we watched the end of the scene before attempting to get to them. When the scene ended, we edged past people very very quickly, in the few seconds of darkness we had before the next scene started.

After standing on people/their feet/their bags/their coats e.t.c. we reached the gap we had seen...which was the aisle down the middle of the room... just as the lights came on. Like rabbits in the headlights, we frantically looked around for somewhere to sit, spotting some a bit further back but in the middle, and sank into them gratefully.

We assumed that the few minutes we missed weren't very crucial, until the show finished and we realised we had no idea what the point of the fiddler on the roof was... Phil (Sarah's brother) helpfully told us as if it was obvious, "life in anatevka is as shaky as a fiddler on the roof" replying to our blank stares with an "ohhh yeah, you missed that".

For all that, a good show though, as it always is from Porthcawl Comp :)

And on another note, yay England! :D

Sunday, 29 January 2012

My First Nando's Trip...

If you've been to/heard of Nando's you'll know it's basically just chicken, so if you like chicken it should be good, right? As me and Luke both like chicken, we thought it'd be nice to go and see what was so great about it that the likes of Ed Sheeran were recommending it. You might also know that they're well known for being spicy, which isn't my favourite thing, but I'd been told there was some milder stuff too. So it all sounds good, and we were quite looking forward to it.

So we got there, and there was a queue by the door (a waiting area? wash your mouth out!) where we stayed for 20 minutes before being seated... right by the door and the queue of people! After sitting down and getting comfy, trying to ignore the draft, we realised we had to go up to the counter and order and pay, canteen style. So we ordered the same thing (a slightly overpriced butterfly chicken breast) but Luke had his spicier than mine. When it arrived (quite quickly, fair play) the waiter seemed to say the spiciness levels and sides mixed up. Brushing it off as a slip of the tongue, I was ready to start eating, when the helpful waiter reminded us we had to go get our cutlery ourselves, involving manouevring through the queue of people. 

Finally we started eating, and I thought mine was particularly spicy and Luke's un-spicy. However, the mild one was supposed to taste like lemons, which neither of them did... I assumed my taste buds were mistaken, and persevered  with it, eventually taking off all the coating and wrapping it around chips for Luke. Immediately (and I do mean immediately) after we finished our nice, but spicy and a little small for the price, meal, a waitress swooped in and asked if we wanted any desserts. We already knew we didn't, but feeling hard done by, I perhaps rudely told her to give us a minute. 

Before she could come back, and without having a bill to pay, we left, feeling a bit let down. However, I think perhaps we shouldn't blame Nando's; if its reputation hadn't preceded it, I don't think it would have seemed so bad. So I'm not telling you not to go to Nando's, but if you go to the one in Cardiff Bay, don't expect too much.
Nevertheless, a good night out with Luke and a pleasant, albeit cold, walk around the bay :) 

On a separate note, I can almpst play this, it's Debussy (one of my favourites) and I love it!

Friday, 27 January 2012

My Grumpy Old Man

Luke (my boyfriend) started his blog a few days ago: An Old Head On Young Shoulders. So having "inspired" someone else to start blogging, I felt perhaps I should revive my own.
Probably the reason I haven't written in so long is because I can't think of any interesting stories to tell. But maybe I just like the irony of a blog called "The "Quiet" One" being completely blank...

Anyway, I'll try to start posting more now :)
So, seeing as the resurrection of this blog was sparked by Luke, I thought I'd start with a recent story about him.

I went to Luke's house and was offered a drink, as you do. What I didn't expect was to take a sip of the drink and have to immediately run to the bathroom to spit out my mouthful of...wait for it... mould!! As you can imagine, the experience was pretty traumatic *comes close to sobbing at the mere memory*, but your sympathy for me (which I'm sure must be very great) may be lessened when I tell you that Luke had already had the same, perhaps worse experience. Naively I thought my glass couldn't possibly have the same stuff in it, so I guess you could say it was my own fault. Anyway, Luke learned that you can't leave fruit juice drinks out for 2 weeks, so some good came out of it :L

Thinking of more to write than this is proving to be more difficult than I thought, so I'll think of something again soon. Until then, bye!