Friday, 30 November 2007

Fantastic France [Part Three]



This morning we were put into groups of five.  Then we travelled to a local French market.  Each group was given a budget of 5 Euros each, and then the task was to buy food and prepare lunch.  We decided to make a ham and cheese baguette with some side salad.  For dessert, we had strawberries with some fresh cream.  The judges described our meal as “bland”.  However it had good nutritional value, and was good value for money.  We were pleased with the results… and our lunch!


The afternoon activities began with team games.  I enjoyed this, as I felt it brought us closer together as a group – plus we had the chance to use our initiative skills.  Next on the agenda was trapeze.  My heart was in my mouth watching the other brave people. I was adamant before we arrived I would not have a go of the trapeze.  It was very high up… and really would’ve been impossible for me to do.


I was excused from the assault course as I had injured my knee during abseiling the day before.  So, I used this time wisely to pack my suitcase all ready for when we leave, because we shall be busy over the next few days.




This morning we visited a place called Le Mont Saint Michel.  It looked like a castle from a Walt Disney fairytale.  It is known to be a place a pilgrimage where magical miracles happen.  We arrived there after a two hour journey, and we were told we had to turn back as there was a bomb scare nearby.  However, we got a few pictures of the place before we left.


We continued our journey to St. Malo.  We visited the only remaining medieval castle in Europe, and got some wonderful photographs of the nearby landscapes. 


The staff found a really unique café called Guigol’s.  Everywhere I looked in there, I could see dolls!  It was really creepy because it felt like the dolls were watching my every moment.  They had swings hanging from the ceiling instead of bar stools… and a loo inside a Confession Box.  It was so different to normality.  I doubt you would find anywhere like that place in Cardiff!


After tea, the group tried some typical French cuisine… SNAILS!  Hmmm… how do I describe the taste of taste of snails?  In my opinion, they tasted of minced meat marinated in garlic sauce (and LOTS of it!)  “Little balls of garlic infusion”, I call them!  They were so nice, I had two.  Surprisingly, they were quite nice.  I didn’t like the idea of them in my hand, so I just threw it in my mouth and thought of Wales, LOL!


We attended adisco later that night.  I don’t think I’d danced so much in all my life!  I really let my hair down.  At the end of the night, I had quite a few blisters on my feet, but I didn’t care because I had so much fun!  I think I may’ve surprised many people with my dancing abilities… J




I’m on the bus now, on the way home.  We have just seen a war ship parade.  How on Earth did the soldiers manage in those things?  The tanks look really ugly, LOL!  Today, we were supposed to visit the Normandy beaches, but unforeseen circumstances have arisen.  We are visiting a museum called “Memorial Pegasus”, dedicated to the D-Day Landings.  Then we’re on our way home!


I have had a brilliant week.  I’m so proud of myself and others for achieving so much.  I did stuff I wouldn’t normally have an opportunity to do, so I am really thankful for that.  I must also say a big thank you to all my family, teachers and peers for the support and encouragement over this last week.  I hope that I have done my ‘job’ in opening the gateway for other disabled students to go in the future. 


Hope you have all enjoyed reading about my trip to France.  I, for one will never forget it.


Fantastic France [Part One]

Fantastic France [Part Two]

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Wednesday, 28 November 2007

No No Shows

Amy Winehouse has cancelled all of her U.K tour dates and promotional duties until after Christmas because of ill health.


Although I was expecting it, the news still came as a shock to me.  I’m gutted, because I was really looking forward to the concert.  I’m also a little annoyed as last week she vowed to carry on with the shows like a professional, regardless of her troubles.


The ticket operator will refund the cost of the tickets, so I have not lost any money.  The tour may restart in 2008.  I’ll keep fingers crossed that Amy returns to full health.


Get well soon Amy.


Paul Weller & Amy Winehouse – ‘Don’t Go To Strangers’



Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Is it all Gossip?

Tomorrow evening I am going to see Amy Winehouse live in concert.  I don’t know whether to feel excited or nervous about it.


I’ve read a lot of newspaper reports over the last week.  One said she didn’t turn up at the venue until 10:15p.m. Then she bumbled around the stage and slurred the song words.  Oh dear! 


It’s a shame to read about this because Amy is a genuine talent and unfortunately she doesn’t realise it.  I am hoping the newspaper columnists are wrong, and are making it sound worse than it is.


If she turns up sober it should be a great show.  I expect as the concert draws closer, I shall look forward to it more.  Keep your fingers crossed for me please, guys!


I shall leave you with a video now.  This is Amy at her best, in my opinion.  Doesn’t she look beautiful without the beehive and tattoos?


‘Teach Me Tonight’




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Sunday, 25 November 2007

Unexpected Surprise

Yesterday I had a check-up with my optician.  He said that sight in my left eye is improving.  He has also suggested that I try out some contact lenses after Christmas.  Yes you read right, CONTACT LENSES!


I, never in my wildest dreams, would’ve thought that I would be able to wear contact lenses.  I’m so happy right now.  They won’t be as strong as my glasses (which I love), but hey, I am allowed to wear them and I intend to take full advantage of the fact.


However, the thought of anything going in my eye sickens me.  Anything to do with eyes freaks me out, it’s just gross!  But I’m sure I’ll get used to it and Leigh will get much sexier, LOL!


I asked him if there was any chance I would be able to drive.  After a test, he confirmed the answer I had been expecting.  No, I will not be able to drive at present.  “Why?” I hear you ask… I cannot read a license plate from a distance of 70 kilometres.  The sight in my left eye has improved slightly, so I will keep my fingers crossed.  You never know what the future may bring.


Much love!


Friday, 23 November 2007

Here I Am Again

Well, hello again, readers.  I thought I had better update you all with an entry.  Friday’s here again, where does the week go?




Last night, my parents and I were invited to Awards Ceremony at my school.  I was awarded a certificate and pen for my role in the school radio team.



Every lunch time I and the team gather in the canteen and then I introduce the music that is played.  Unfortunately, we don’t run the radio show as regularly now as we all have a lot of work to do.  However, it was nice to be recognised for something I love to do.



Mum was very proud of my achievement.  However, she was more proud that I found my way to the stage and back to our table.



I had my last cookery session with Margaret this week.  She has moved onto university in the hope of becoming a social worker.  Good luck Margaret with your future career, and thank you for everything.  I shall miss our chat and tea on Wednesday evenings now.


That’s all for now, guys… have a good weekend.


Monday, 19 November 2007

Fantastic France [Part Two]



This morning after breakfast, my group had a go at rock climbing.  I had done a little rock climbing when I was younger.  I was really excited and couldn’t wait to have a go!


However, the activity was more difficult than I expected.  My legs were numb from the cold weather and I couldn’t find the strength to pull my body up the wall.  Somehow, I managed it.  If I’m honest, I enjoyed the abseiling a lot more.


After lunch and a lesson in the classroom, we visited the French town of Fuggiurre (sp?).  We were asked to interview a random French person in the town.  I feel a bit stupid going up to someone in the street, but the individuals were very obliging.


Then another task was to go into a tourism office and find directions to a place.  Then we had to find out about an event going on in the town.


I thought it would be clever to go into a French travel agent to enquire about a festival.  I walked in, and asked “Qué est supermarché?”  (“Where is the supermarket?”)  Oops a daisy!!


The look on the woman’s face was unbelievable.  She was lost of words.  But she was willing to help me as much as she could.  I was in hysterics, I couldn’t talk, LOL!!  That certainly made my day.


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Friday, 16 November 2007

Hey, hey hippie!

We all had a bit of fun in class today!  It was all for a good cause “BBC Children in Need”.  Each class was given a fancy dress theme and ours was “T.V & Movie Characters”.  I do not like fancy dress at all.



However, this year I dared to be different and dress as a hippie or as some thought, Neil from the British sitcom, “The Young Ones”.  I have posted pictures of my costume, as promised.



Other groups of students dressed up as punk rockers, cheerleaders and “Pokémon” characters.  Some even wore their pyjamas!  I will let you all know the total amount of money collected when I find out.



“BBC Children in Need” is a fund-raising extravaganza held every year in November.  It helps disadvantaged children to have a better life.  These include children who are chronically ill or profoundly disabled, those who've been badly treated by the adults around them, children who live in poverty or inadequate housing, and some who are bullied, excluded or distressed in the U.K.



Join Terry Wogan, Pudsey Bear and many other celebrities tonight on BBC 1 at 7p.m for lots of fun and frolics, all in the name of charity.  If you would like to learn some more about the Appeal or donate some money, click the link below:


Children in Need 2007


Following the footsteps of Take That and Led Zeppelin, the Spice Girls have reformed hoping to Spice up the Charts again!  Seven years on since the split, they look hotter than ever.  However, I am disappointed with their comeback, which is the official single of the CIN Appeal.  It seems weak compared to their previous songs.



How ironic the title of the song is “Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)”.  Maybe the ‘girls’ have been blinded by flashing dollar signs so much, they have forgotten about the arguments and bitchiness of yesteryear.


“Headlines” (Live on "BBC Children in Need")


GIRL POWER (L-R): in their heyday, the Spice Girls reunited in 2007 and are embarking on a World tour.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

More News


This morning I received a letter from the hospital stating the new appointment of my mole removal.  I am now having surgery on the 6th December.  I have waited over six months.  Now, the time cannot come quick enough!  The mole is not life-threatening, but it makes me feel very self-conscious.



My friend Ross has passed his driving test!  He passed the first time on Monday morning.  I am very pleased for him.  However, I feel a little envious.  I have been told that I will never be able to drive a car because of my short sightedness.  I really do want to drive and gain some independence.  It hurts because I will never know what the thrill is like to get behind the wheel of a car and drive on the open road. 



I try to look on the bright side by thinking of the pounds I have saved having no lessons.  I don’t want to be dependant on people, but unfortunately, that is how the Wheel of Fortune spins.  Oh well…




Tomorrow is “Children in Need Day”.  The Sixth Form fancy dress theme this year is “T.V or Movie Characters”.  I don’t usually like fancy dress, but this year I have made an effort to set a good example to the younger students of the school.



I am dressing up as a hippie. Or if anyone asks, I’m John Lennon from the movie, “Help!”  I can’t wait; it will be so much fun!  I will ask Mum to take some photos for you all to see.


Have a good evening.


Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Fantastic France [Part One]

If I had to describe the trip in one word it would be “Amazing!”  I loved every minute of the trip.  Below is an extract from a journal I wrote while in France.





I don’t remember much about the ferry crossing from Portsmouth as I was sleeping for the majority of the time, with a little help from a sea sickness tablet and a travel pillow.  A teacher commented:  “Every time I glanced over, you were sleeping like a log.  Nothing could wake you.”  Even when I was awake, I felt sleepy.


On arrival in Normandy, it was fine, but boy, it was cold!  Despite that, I had never been so glad to see a place as much as this one.  I had never seen so many people in one place at one time.  The entire village had come out to welcome us. 


I don’t know where I gathered the strength from to smile and wave back, I was so tired.  It must’ve been a side-effect of the sea sickness tablet.  All I wanted to do was sleep in a nice, comfortable bed.





We were woken up at 7:00a.m, to be ready for the day ahead at 8:00a.m.  Then breakfast was served.  It consisted of cereal, yogurt and fruit, followed by croissant and jam, with a cup of tea or fruit juice.


Later on that morning, we visited the French town of Mayenne.  Here, we were split into three groups of ten, and then set a challenge.  This morning’s task was to go into a café, then order some food or drink in French.  I ordered a hot chocolate – a French speciality.  Then I went into a baker’s and was brave enough to buy a pain au chocolat (literally translates to ‘chocolate bread’).


After lunch, my group had a go at abseiling.  I had a go… twice!  I was unwilling to have a go at first.  I had to pretend to sit on a toilet, but there would be nothing behind to support my back.  This scared me the most, the fact that there was nothing there – just me and a black rope.


Once I gained confidence, I started to abseil down the wall.  It was nineteen foot high, taller than a house.  As I got the bottom, the sense of achievement was immense, it was overwhelming! 


I could feel the adrenaline pumping through my body, blotting of the coldness.  I was raring to have another go!  Mrs. Cooke, my helper, grabbed my arm and said “Leigh, please don’t have another go” because I was terrified first time around.  But I’m glad I did, because I was much more confident, and we got some wonderful pictures.


Abseiling for the first time! (Filmed by Mrs. Cooke.)


Sunday, 11 November 2007

In Remembrance


On the Eleventh day on the Eleventh month in 1918, the First World War came to an end.  On the eleventh hour, please give a thought to our fallen heroes.  Not only those that have fought in World War One and Two, but those who have fought in conflicts since then, who have paid service for our country, and died for our freedom.


Wednesday, 7 November 2007

An Almighty Task (200th Entry)

Hi again, readers.


Last night, I went to a celebration held in honour of “Youth Work Week”.  “Youth Work Week” is to celebrate all the things Youth Centres and Youth Workers provide for the community.


Gareth and I (Joint Chairman of Rhondda Youth Forum) and Mitchell (Vice Chairman of RCT Youth Council) along with  Councillor Ward were asked to judge displays made by all the Youth Centres and then decide which one was the best in the Rhondda, Cynon and Taff areas.  Then the winners would each receive a prize of £100.


We had to mark each club based on the activities held at the club, what they had done throughout the year, and the presentation of the boards.  My, it was hard work… I think I can now empathise with the “X Factor” judges!!


I have included photos from the evening, enjoy!


Monday, 5 November 2007

Guy Fawkes Day

It is November 5th, and people in the U.K are celebrating a holiday called Guy Fawkes Day.  Although, there were many celebrations over the weekend.

Nearly four hundred years ago, in 1605, a man named Guy Fawkes tried to blow up a government building. He wanted to kill King James I and the king's leaders. Fawkes was one of a group of men who felt that the government was treating Roman Catholics unfairly.

The king and his leaders were to meet on November 5th. So, the group placed barrels of gunpowder in a cellar beneath the building where the king and others were to meet. Guy Fawkes was to light the fuse that would set off the explosion. But the plot was discovered before he had a chance to do this. The king was saved, and Fawkes was hanged.

Ever since, Guy Fawkes Day has been a time for merrymaking. It is a holiday that both children and grown-ups enjoy. The best part comes as darkness falls. Then, straw dummies are tossed into huge bonfires. Amid cries of glee, firecrackers pop and "the Guy" goes up in a blaze of fire.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Another Month, Another Entry


Can you believe it is November the First already?  I can’t, time certainly does fly!  It really does feel like autumn now that the clocks are back an hour and the leaves are falling from the trees.  But on the plus side, we get an extra hour in bed, LOL!



Last night was Hallowe'en or “Mischief Night” (as it’s known in America).  This year, no-one knocked for Trick or Treat.  I was surprised, but I wouldn’t have answered anyway.  I’m a grouch on Hallowe'en!  I have never celebrated it, and I never will.



It has been reported on the news that some youths had been taking advantage of this date to cause trouble.  The police had put extra men on duty because many youths had thrown eggs at houses or cars, not particularly in this area.



Yesterday, I took my disposable cameras over to the developers to be processed.  The photos shall be ready for me to pick up sometime next week.  I can’t wait to see them!


That’s all my news for now.