10 things to do in Quarantine

Hi,

Its Sis84 here and today I’m going to share some hacks and things to do to beat lockdown boredom wherever you are.

1 – Binge watch your favourite movies or series. This could be on Netflix, freeform, Disney+ or BBC iPlayer.

2 – Learn the lyrics to your favourite songs whether it is Disney or rap.

3 – Re-read your favourite series of individual book. This could be audio books, kindle or paperback.

4 – Improve your drawing or painting skills, to come out of lockdown a brilliant artist.

5 – Have an indoor photoshoot or take pictures of your garden. You can use family members or pets as models.

6 – Why not write a short story or play. If it’s a play why not act it out.

7 – Learn some new card games for you and your family to play or become a cunning magician.

8 – Play some boardgames with your family.

9 – Play some outdoor games in your garden.

10 – Facetime or chat with your friends on WhatsApp, house party or zoom.

These are just some ideas to keep you free form boredom during lockdown.

Remember keep safe and wash your hands!

Blue feeling blue

Yesterday I received the news I’d been waiting for; the European Jamboree has been postponed until next year.


To be honest I was expecting this outcome but it’s still a big disappointment, mainly because I now have the added uncertainty of whether I’ll be able to go next year as I will be turning 18 before the event.


I had a good chat to Blue about it all and he’s sure that whatever happens next will be just as amazing. He’s also feeling blue about the situation but is excited by the prospect of a new adventure.

Anyway back to the revision for my year 12 assessments – 84

My sunny weekend

Due to the current lock down within the UK, I am currently at home camping in my garden. You may wonder why and I’m here to tell you. A couple of weekends ago I was due to attend another European Jamboree pre-camps with my unit however it got cancelled. Nevertheless, a few days later we saw this challenge set by Northumberland Scouts to camp out for the whole of April in order to gain 30 more nights away. I was quickly onto it.

Tonight, I am on night 5 and needless to say we have turned back garden camping into a luxury; with Wi-Fi, power, an air bed, pillows and millions of duvets we are very comfy. The last few nights have been clear and so I have been trialling night sky photography as well as spotting hedgehogs!

This weekend has been JOTI which is an online Jamboree across the world. World Scouting organised an extra JOTI this year (as it is usually held within October) to help postpone boredom. It has been very fun on the chat rooms talking to people from Australia, Lebanon, Germany, Mexico, the Philippines and even the hearty Scotland – and England!

Other than JOTI I have been enjoying the sun throughout this weekend enjoying sitting in the garden reading as well as learning how to make waffles. I also caught up on some TV seasons as well as creating my revision timetable. I’ve been keeping up with my school studies and in some evenings I’ve been attending online dance lessons via Zoom. I have also been going on walks in the evenings during sunset or later in the evening when the stars are out.

How to prepare cyclohexane.

A while back in A level Chemistry we have been completing a practical on preparing a cyclohexane. Today’s blog post I will show the practical instructions with photos of our set ups and final product. This is to celebrate the ending of British Science Week 2020!

Part 1: preparation

Distillation apparatus
  1. Add 10cm3 of cyclohexane to a small round bottom or pear-shaped flask (CARE: don’t get it on your skin. Don’t inhale it. Keep away from naked flame.)
  2. Slowly add 4cm3 of concentrated phosphoric(v) acid and mix thoroughly (CARE: don’t get it on your skin. Mix slowly to prevent it getting too hot due to it being an exothermic reaction.)
  3. Add a few anti-bumping granules to the mixture, then set up the apparatus for reflux alongside an electric heater or sand bath (CARE: avoid splashing when adding granules.)
  4. Heat the mixture under reflux at 70oc for 15 minutes, adjust the heating and cooling rates to ensure that all condensation occurs in the lower half of the condenser (CARE: avoid water contact with electricity.)
  5. Stop heating and allow the glassware to cool for a few minutes (CARE: don’t touch the hot glass whilst it cools.)
  6. Rearrange the apparatus for distillation
  7. Raise the temperature and distil very slowly, collecting the distillate which comes over between 70oc and 90oc (CARE: don’t raise the temperature too fast. Don’t touch any apparatus which is hot.)

Part 2: purification

The pure cyclohexene we made
  1. Add an equal volume of saturated sodium chloride solution to the distillate in a separating funnel, shake gently and release any pressure build-up (CARE: avoid pressure build up and hence an explosion.)
  2. Allow the layers to separate and then discard the lower aqueous layer
  3. Wash the organic layer with an equal volume of water and discard the lower aqueous layer
  4. Run the remaining organic layer into a small conical flask
  5. Add a few lumps of anhydrous calcium chloride and swirl the mixture – if the liquid does not become clear, add more anhydrous calcium chloride and swirl again (CARE: avoid skin contact.)
  6. Finally decant the clear liquid into a weight container (CARE: avoid skin contact.)
  7. Reweigh the container and find the mass of cyclohexane that you have prepared (CARE: avoid skin contact.)
Using Bromine water to confirm that the product was an alkene as the bromine water should turn form orange to colourless when an alkene is present.

Part 3: organic functional group identification

  1. Test for the presence of carbon-carbon double bond in the product

Happy International Women’s Day!

To celebrate International Women’s Day I am going to tell you about some of my role models. So in no particular order:

1. Emily Pankhurst – she was an English political activist and is know for organising the UK suffragette movement

2. Emily Davidson – she was an martyr for the suffragette movement in order to get the rights for women’s votes within England

3. Rosa Parks – she fought for equal rights in America for refusing to give up her seat during the Montgomery bus boycott

4. Katherine Johnson – she was an American mathematician who helped to calculate the orbital mechanics for NASA in order to complete the success of the first US crewed spaceflight

5. Malala Yousafzai – she helps to fight for human rights especially for women and children’s education from the Taliban

6. all the women in my family including my Mum, my Grandma and my Nan (who’s birthday is today – Happy Birthday Nanny!)

A very busy half term

This past week, I’ve been busy with my half term. From completing homework, to watching some new Netflix shows as well as meeting up with a few of my friends. Last Saturday, I went for a meal with a few of my friends which became eventful as we forgot to check if the 40% off voucher was valid on a Saturday. On the Monday, I met with a few of my friends who had moved to different schools for sixth form. it was lovely to catch up over coffee. On Wednesday, I went to a swimming pool with water slides but my friends and I were sad as the wave machine was not working.

On Friday, I met with some more of my friends who had moved schools and we went bouldering before heading to the Cathedral to see the light show display. In the evening I went to my friends Birthday Party and met many new people. On Saturday evening, I met with another friend from school over coffee to catch up.

Finally, today has been an inset day so I’ve had the chance to finish my homework and prepare for school tomorrow. A recent series I have been watching is Locke and Key as well as The Stranger. I also watched the movie Midnight Sun. Overall, I have had a good half term and am ready to get back to school as I am now officially half way into year 12.

Happy Founders Day!

Today across the world we celebrate Founder Day. Robert Baden Powell was born on February 22nd 1857. However, previously I have celebrated World Thinking Day – which is the Guiding version of Founders Day after, Robert Baden Powell’s wife, Olave – whom also has the same birthday just in 1889.

I like to spend today thinking about my fellow Scouts and Guides from around the World. Having had the opportunity to attend WSJ2019 I feel honoured to be part of such a giant group of people.