Today’s in England and Wales the census was to be filled out. This was to be completed by all households in order to help future decisions being made being beneficial for the future community such as the organising, planning, funding for transport, education and healthcare. The last census was completed in 2011 and is completed every 10 years on the 21st of March – including this year during the coronavirus pandemic.
On the 4th of January, England announced a 3rd national lockdown. This led to the closures of schools and the uncertainty of examinations. Recently the government have release a survey (which you can find here) about the grading of these exams which I ask for you to fill out.
Over the past weeks, I have been partaking in online school which has been very different from last years online school (March to July). This is due to our lessons being live via. Teams rather than having work being set primarily on Show My Homework. At first, it was very hard to get into a routine but after two weeks, I have found my routine.
Throughout this new lockdown I am going to try and pick up some new hobbies such as learning some more guitar, learning a new language, teaching myself to write with my right hand, embroidery, crocheting, playing chess and doing computer art.
Here is a piece of art I completed a few days ago:
As I finish the first week of online school, I have found there to be some advantages and disadvantages to online learning. Here is my list below:
- being able to have a hot drink in your lessons
- getting distracted by your cat who’s trying to sit on your lap
- not having to wear uniform so being able to wear comfy clothes
- not having to wake up early in order to drive to school
- being able to make a variety of lunches i.e. one day I would have pasta, another day a cheese toastie etc.
- completing work at your own pace whilst getting to listen to music
- understanding new software which is used for teaching
- not seeing friends
- having no school clubs
- having a cat try and eat your pen whilst writing your notes or attempt to sit on your keyboard
- sometimes feeling less motivated/ being more distracted easily
- not easily being able to ask your friend for help (before then asking the teacher)
- screen time increasing due to excessive time staring at a screen
What do you think some of the advantages and/or disadvantages are of online school? Let me know in the comment section below.
A week ago, I participated in a charity hike for Sue Ryder. This was a 30km hike around my county and we went up 4 hills. Throughout the hike we experienced a fair few problems including one of the public footpaths being covered with stinging nettles and overgrown plants (meaning we had to change our route which then coincidentally passed a McDonald’s). Later on in the hike, we also changed our route and took shorter footpaths in order to gain time back after having to backtrack ourselves early on. Finally, we finished slightly early due to being 2 hours behind our schedule.
Overall, we hiked for around 11.5 hours on on average walked around 46,500 steps. After 5 months of lock down and being unfit, this hike was very challenging however, I am very proud to have taken part. We were lucky that the weather stayed nice and dry with the temperature staying around 20 degrees (centigrade) for most of the day. As we climbed up our last hill, we watched the sunset which was very beautiful. Throughout our walk, we spotted many different animals including a Peregrine Falcon, playful and energetic dogs, horses, cows, sheep, alpacas/llamas, bunnies and squirrels. We also saw a Halloween skeleton on a back gate.
Tomorrow I will be returning to school for my very last year (year 13), I am slightly nervous and I have written this blog post to recap my summer.
- Caught up on some school work – this included some of my maths and chemistry which after taking my online course, I became behind
- Read quite a few books – such as Red Rising, Red Queen, The Summer I turned Pretty, reread the Selection series and more
- Watched Netflix – including Scorpion, iZombie, the Order, Vampire Diaries etc.
- Home and Away via. My5 – I’ve been getting very behind on this show but it is amazing
- Did a tiny bit of revision – this was reading my flashcards through from year 12 and creating a few more resources
- Visited my family – this was lovely as I had not seen my family since Christmas
- Met with some friends – I was able to catch up since lock down and even saw my friend who moved to Manchester
- Watched too many movies – including Chalet Girl, Camp Rock 1&2, Feel the Beat, The Kissing Booth 2 and more
- Took some photos – I learnt some new skills and practised star photography with Comet Neowise
- Played guitar – learning some new songs and chords
- Spent time in the garden relaxing
- Stroked my cats
- Went on a 30km charity hike – blog post coming soon
- Wrote some letters
- Tweeted for changed to my ALevels in 2021
- Played on my Switch – changed my island in Animal Crossing New Horizons and visited my sisters island
- Celebrated my sisters 14th birthday – in my eyes she is still 12
- Practised french plaiting my hair
- Created a photo book – blog post also coming soon
- Went camping by the seaside
- Cooked lots of different meals – including pizza, burgers and coffee cake
- Attended some virtual camps
- Attended virtual open days
Goldfish are one of my favourite American snacks (not real goldfish!). Since it has now been over a year since I returned home from America and Canada, I am reminiscing this snack so today’s blog, I will rate each goldfish flavour.
Goldfish flavours I have tried:
Cheddar – 9/10 a classic snack which I always 100% will go to
Colours – 10/10 these are the cheddar flavour but in colours of red, blue, green and the classic orange: what’s not more to love
Baby Cheddar – 99/10 these are so so cute and are a smaller version of the Cheddar snack (by the way they don’t taste of babies)
Extra Cheddar – 5/10 these did not live to the high standard of the classic cheddar flavour
Pizza – -4/10 my dad84 first brought me these back from the states and I can still imagine the horror of them
Goldfish flavours I have not tried (once Pepperidge Farm sponsor me I will be able to give better ratings – please sponsor me):
Original – I have heard these are just plain goldfish and do not know what to do with this information 7/10?
Whole Grain Cheddar – the thought of whole grain sounds too healthy 2/10
Whole Grain Pretzel – similar to the above they sound healthy but may taste better than the Cheddar version so 4/10
Parmesan – a mix on the classic cheddar 3/10
Cheese Trio – a pic a mix but with cheese goldfish sounds funky 7/10
Pretzel – dad84 has tried and gives them a 7/10, “nice and pretzely but weird cause they were goldfish”
Ranch – I do not like ranch so I do not have high hopes but will give them a shot 2/10
Grahams (inc. honey, cinnamon, chocolate, vanilla, s’mores, hot cocoa, vanilla cupcake, cookie ‘n cream, chocolate chip, french toast, strawberry cheesecake and honey bun) – some of these flavours sound amazing, the next time I spot some of these flavours I will give them a try 9/10
Nacho – Similar to ranch, I am not entirely sure what these will taste like so 6/10
Queso Fiesta – I think these are cheesy and spicy so if there is a good balance they should be nice 7/10
White Cheddar – I have tried white cheddar popcorn and did not really like the flavour 3/10
Sour Cream and Onion & the Salt and Vinegar flavours – I do not like these flavour normally so, I do not think I will like this as goldfish 1/10
BBQ – all BBQ flavour snack taste good so I expect good expectations from Pepperidge Farm in this goldfish variation 8/10
Cupcake and Fudge Brownie flavours – these sound amazing to try 10/10
mixed versions (inc. pretzel & xtra cheddar, pretzel &honey mustard,. chocolate mint pretzel~) – due to these being a mix they all sound fairly nice 7/10
puffs (inc. cheddar bacon, mega cheese, salsa con queso, buffalo wing, twisted grilled cheese, sizzlin’ hot wings, BBQ) – some of these flavours sound really good and others not as much so on average a 6/10
Cheeseburger, Seasme & Mac and Cheese flavours – these sound interesting to try and might be similar to the pizza flavor I’ve tried 7/10
x-treme zingy chilli lime and x-treme screamin’ hot flavors – these both also sound interesting and spicy hot with the zingy chilli lime flavour reminding me of a sauce which might be a Nandos so 8/10
Christmas, Co-world Treasures, Space Adventures, Beach Ball, Princess, Cars 3 and Mickey Mouse – these area all different shapes and colours of the cheddar flavour (I believe) so a 12/10 as different shapes are really cute
One year ago, I returned home from the best summer of my life. Over 21 days, I made new international friends, learnt about different cultures and was able to share my stories. Since my return a year ago I have been on a reunion camp, raised funds for EJ2020 (let’s not talk about that), met up with my Shropshire friends, been on a day trip to Poland, become Maths captain, written some more blog posts, been in lock down and finished year 12. I am still so grateful that it was COVID-19 and not COVID-18 but I never expected a year after returning from WSJ the world would be a completely different place.
love and hugs, 84 and Blue
Two weeks ago, I went back to school again for my last official day at school in year 12. I got mini lessons from each of my subjects where we discussed some of the work we completed over the past few months as well as completing some practice questions. The day was slightly similar to the week before when we went into school, keeping 2 metres apart etc. However, the timings of the school day were slightly different. Sis84 also got to spend an hour at school on the same day I went in, she thoroughly enjoyed seeing some of her friends.
Since going into school, I have completed an online Cyber Course where I learnt skills such as Penetration testing, Encryption, Open Source Intelligence and Digital Forensics. It was a virtual course across the country and at the end of the course we got to do some ‘Capture the Flag’ activities which my team did not do very well in. Overall, I learnt many new skills and am inspired to look into Cyber Security in the future.
Finally, I have also completed my EPQ project on left-handedness. In the last official week of year 12, I completed my presentation (again virtually) as well as handing in my final essay.
All this concluded my year 12 and I am looking forward to seeing how year 13 turns out!
This week at Beavers we learnt ‘virtually’ how to make mug cakes. Here is the recipe we used.
- 1/4 cup of flour
- 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
- 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup + tablespoon of milk
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon of mini chocolate chips
1/ place all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together
2/ add wet ingredients into the same bowl and mix until smooth
3/ place into a microwavable mug (you may have to scrape sides of bowl to get all mixture into mug)
4/ sprinkle chocolate chips (or extra ingredients) onto top middle of mixture – no need to stir them in
5/ with a microwave of 950W place into microwave for 70 seconds or for an 850W microwave place in for 80 seconds etc.
6/ take care when removing mug from microwave as it’ll be hot
7/ if your cake does not feel ‘cakey/spongy’ place in microwave for an extra 10 seconds
8/ wait for cake to cool down before eating
This week I went back into school for the day. It was very weird to be back after 107 days without being inside the building. Yes, you read that right, 107 days defeating Phineas and Ferb record of ‘104 days of summer vacation and school comes along just to end it …’.
When I arrived at school, there was a strict layout in place and so we entered through the main school gate. We were always 2 metres apart and even got to wear our own home clothes! On top of that, it was a late morning start at 9:30 am compared to the usual 8:30 am start.
For the first half of the day we did some well being activities discussing how working at home has been going and how it differs from being at school. We had a one-on-one with our form tutors and also did a kahoot about lock down news (where I placed first). The second part was creating SMART targets within each of our subjects.
For lunch, we were able to sit outside in our bubble and caught up over the past 3 months.
For the second half of the day we completed some UCAS work. We also discussed what we needed to do over the summer holidays such as writing our personal statements and researching universities as well as different courses. During this I also had a quick EPQ meeting with my supervisor. This led to the end of the day where we used the one way system to leave school.
Our classrooms were set up with desks being 2m apart as well as only having a small number of students (I had 7 other people in my bubble). Overall, the day was very useful allthough it was very weird being back at school again after so many months of learning from home.