Sunday, 28 June 2015

The Peak District- Gold Duke of Edinburgh expedition

This is one of the most challenging things I have ever done. Physically and mentally. But boy, I'm glad I did it. You see, being me, I sign up for anything, thinking "ooo that'd be cool." Having achieved the Bronze DofE award when I was 16, I figured I would give the Gold award a go. It's so challenging because you're trudging through fields, rivers, forests, swamps and marshes literally all day. It's incredibly difficult to cast yourself in the mindset of "it'll all be worth it" because you're in so much pain and you're unbelievably tired. But I couldn't have asked for a better bunch of people to do it with. We've made so many fantastic memories and we all encouraged each other to keep going. Despite having a fair share of 13 blisters between us, we troopered on and all 7 of us achieved our Gold. 

We were incredibly lucky with the stunning location we were given; we walked around the beautiful Peak District, specifically Derwent Valley and Ladybower Resevoir. The location was the sort of place where you feel incredibly inspired and I guess, "at one with nature" as these fancy wildlife people so often say. But it's difficult because you're in the middle of nowhere, so we didn't get much wifi signal. 

The weather was actually sort of okay- I say "sort of" because I remember very clearly one night it started absolutely pelting it down and everyone jumped in their tents but being me, I'd just started cooking my pasta, so I had to rough it up and sit there in the pouring rain on an incredibly soggy patch of grass stirring my cold pasta that wasn't really heating up any time soon because of the cold raindrops casually landing on the pan. But it's the sort of memory you look back and laugh on. It's character building isn't it I suppose?!

All in all, it was an absolutely magnificent experience with truly lovely people who made it so much easier. Shout out to "team swaggy hat and hairbrades"! 

For those of you who don't know about the Duke of Edinburgh Award, you can find out more here.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Paris: the city of luuuurve

Plane conversations
Having woke up at 2am on Saturday morning for the flight to Paris CDG, I pretty much made a zombie look like an elegant ballroom dancer. I really wanted to do the whole sophisticated travel thing where you sit in Costa with a coffee and the Daily Telegraph, but I was so exhausted that I just laid across 3 seats in a random waiting area and played Temple Run to stay awake!

When I got sat down on the plane, this guy who looked about 20 politely asked if I could scooch over so he could get to his seat which was next to mine. I really wanted to make conversation, but I thought I'd play it cool and pretend to be really engaged in the flight safety card and those flight magazines which detail prices for the extremely expensive mini coca colas and kitkats. But the longer the silence went on, the more difficult it was to casually make conversation. I was sat there like 'oh my god Kate, all the bonkers stuff you've done and you can't even make conversation with a guy on a plane.' Instead, we just sort of smiled at each other occasionally. 
Now I wish I'd have made conversation with the guy next to me because it would have made much better blog material and I could have like, even got a selfie with him or something. 
So the moral of the story: make conversation with people sitting next to you on planes!

"All the bonkers stuff you've done & you can't even make 
conversation with a guy on a plane"

Promoting Bonds Beyond Borders in Creil Town Hall
Recently, some friends and I have set up our own international youth organisation called Bonds Beyond Borders with our contacts around the world. Our aim is to promote intercultural understanding and international friendships and to prove that peace and friendships amongst young people of different nationalities can always overpower conflict and hatred. We believe that young people have the power to change the world and as the next generation, we want young people to aim as high as physically possible and believe that together, we can make a difference in this world. We made a speech about it in front of twinning officials from England, Francce & Germany. At the moment we're trying to raise as much awareness of our group as possible, before deciding on our all important next steps.  I'm going to be posting more on BBB along with links to the website I'm currently making. Our ultimate aim is to change the world. 

"Young people have the power to change the world"

La ville de l'amour

We may have performed a kind of criminal act. Well not really criminal, but still a bit badass. We basically didn't buy tickets for the train to Paris, mainly because we were too busy legging it to make it in time, but when we realised the conductor was nowhere to be seen, we did what any normal badass would do and just not bother buying tickets for the way back either. So basically we got a free trip to Paris- not bad ey? We only had a few hours, but we managed to squeeze in all the typical touristy things in. We giggled our way through the tube journeys and took plenty of photos, before watching a few street acts and befriending a lovely woman Californian woman who was touched at English, French & German youngsters having formed such solid friendships. 

One big happy family
Throughout my time in France, I stayed with my friend Anissa and her absolutely wonderful family. Anissa has an absolutely incredible bunch of brothers and sisters and I felt instantly at home. I remember one evening, we all played the act-out-an-an-animal-and-everyone-has-to-guess-what-animal-it-is game, which probably has a shorter name but we'll go with it. Aside from it being an utterly hilarious game, I absolutely loved making everyone laugh at my crazy animal impressions. I'm gutted I couldn't have stayed longer; they're a beautiful family. We even watched the French Bridget Jones film and ate popcorn and Coca-Cola before falling asleep at the bit where Bridget goes to Thailand! It felt so special when Anissa said to me: "you bring so much joy to our family." That's something I love doing; spreading dollops of joy. It's an incredible feeling. Thankyou. 

"You bring so much joy to our family"

The festival
The Creil festival was an absolute pleasure to attend. There was an abundance of food and drink stalls with those samples things which basically give you an excuse to eat as much as you possibly can in under 30 seconds! Unfortunately this was the day that I left my camera at Anissa's and so couldn't actually snap any of the awesomeness. There was a bouncy castle to delight the little ones, but me and Finn, being the ultra mega mature 18 year olds we are, decided to just, yuno test its goodness. We basically spent 20 minutes giggling like 7 year olds and going "watch, watch!" as we tried different moves or flew down the slide face first. 

Some fellow Pendle-ers, Jordan and Becci performed at the festival and did everyone from the United Kingdom bloomin' proud. Together they form the duet Red Rain and perform in local bars and restaurants, and I've no doubt they can take their music global. Despite both only being 20, they are incredibly talented- Jordan plays the keyboard and Becci sings. They're the sort of musicians where you can completely just zone out and daydream at their beautiful sound. You can stay tuned with their journey on Facebook

Thursday, 18 June 2015


Okay, I know prologues are supposed to be from the point of view of somebody who knows the ending of the story and just wants to be awkward and give it away to the reader, but I have absolutely no idea what's going to happen in the next few years.

Maybe the twenty-something year old me will be one of those sophisticated women who reads books on the meaning of life and watches operas with their fancy grown-up friends, or maybe I'll be one of those wacky "I'm still 15 at heart" women who still gets tipsy after two shots of jager (hehe).

Most blogs or social networking profiles exaggerate stories to portray an idealised version of ourselves, and there's nothing wrong with that; it's just not the truth. Sometimes the bad bits can be hilariously brilliant too. Why do we only ever document the destination, and not the journey?

I guess that's my aim for this blog: I'm going to be honest and tell the sort of tales that I'll be reciting to my grandchildren as they watch me knit ANOTHER jumper, whilst listening to classic FM. I'm not going to tell the sort of tales that are polished and exaggerated to perfection. Because what's not perfect about getting chased across a field by a cow? Or waiting around for a delayed plane and befriending randomers? They're the best kinds of memories.

I guess I chose "adventures" as opposed to "shenanigans" or "random events that I'm gonna blog because blogging's pretty neat." But really it entails any random event that would make entertaining blog material.

Some randomer philosopher once said that we regret the things we don't do more than the things we do do. So I hope this blog can inspire people to live life the way they want to without caring what others think; to act so crazily that you look back and say "back in my day when the earth was round, I [enter random shenanigan here]."

In a matter of hours, my A Levels will finally be over and I'll be off to Paris on Saturday to kick start summer 2K15. Thanks so much for taking the time to read, and happy Thursday!