An Unexpected Return: The ‘I’m Kidding Mum’ Edition

Once again. I am always disappearing for long periods of time, and – honestly – so much has happened since I last blogged on the 1 August 2016. Unfortunately, I have no elaborate, eloquent essays like my last post, so this is simply pure, unadulterated rambling. No structure, no hidden messages, no propaganda.

Just my nonsense.

So what have you missed? First of all… well, not first of all, but one of the most important things: I turned 17. (Wahey!) This is a milestone in UK terms because (also most importantly) I can start to learn how to drive. I am also one year closer to getting married without my parent’s permission; this, naturally, is obviously the number one goal.

I’m kidding mum, that is obviously NOT the number one goal. 🙂

Secondly, I’ve made new friends. I say new friends, I mean friends who have literally fallen into my lap due to entirely unforeseen circumstances. As I, often do, never directly use their names, Cameron – as she is called for an entirely justifiable reason – is a new friend I have discovered, to be politically correct,  who shares my love (pun intended) for words, writing, racial politics and humour. I’m low-key glad I’m talking to her now, too. There has been the development of my friendship with Spaceboi who is, in fact, a boy from space, because he is out of this world. Literally. He also still owes me Welsh soil. (Even though he’s dying and he can’t swallow. #GetBetterSoon) And as a new edition to my shiny card collection of friends, Bag Juice, so named for his favourite beverage in Jamaica (yes, I also went to Jamaica for the summer) is – I have discovered – my ‘long-lost cousin’, whose laugh makes me laugh.

As a matter of fact, he’s on the phone to me as I write this. Bag Juice, as in. As he has just brazenly told me, after a small dispute over GCSEs, “I know bare.” What a legend. Truly inspirational words from an inspirational young man.

(I was going to start the next paragraph with the word ‘also’ but because he’s now at A-Level and thinks he’s a bit cool, Bag Juice suggested that I start with the word ‘conjointly’. I’ve never even heard of it before in my life. He now tells me I should look it up in a dictionary or a thesaurus, because of course, “he knows bare.”)

Conjointly, I have continued my current studies in A-Levels, continuing on with the ever-stressful English Literature, Spanish (now so rapid that I’m surprised I’m not told to bring a life-jacket to every lesson) and History, which is the only thing that is keeping me going right now anyway. But I don’t have a choice, and so I am aiming for that #AcademicExcellence because I intend to make the best of this year. Especially since last year didn’t exactly go to plan. And, naturally, I do not want a repeat of the academic DISASTER (to put it lightly) that was the school term of 2015.

I’m kidding mum, it wasn’t a COMPLETE disaster. 🙂

[Update: Bag Juice has now gone. It’s just me now; thank goodness he’s left me to blog in PEACE!]

Praise the Lord, though, that I got an A and C in my AS Levels. The A was (entire unsurprisingly) in Drama and the C was in Spanish, and even though, sadly, I have been forced to drop Drama – and will subsequently miss my husband Torvald, and my Polish twin sister Caroline, and Turkey, and just everyone in the class – God helped me to pass my Spanish. No, but honestly, it had to be Him, because there is not a chance in Hell (ha! see what I did there?) that I was able to understand a single word on that test paper.

It was all Greek to me. (I’m kidding mum, I obviously revised for it. 🙂 )

Also, on the theme of #AcademicExcellence, I’ve recently deleted my Instagram and Snapchat – and I couldn’t have chosen a better time, really – so that I can focus on my work and my spiritual life as I realised they’re literally two of the biggest distractions for me. I’ve only been accessing them illicitly when it is 100% necessary. (I’m kidding mum, I don’t illegally sneak onto them on my laptop. 🙂 )

Since the tearful and heart-wrenching ending of Downton Abbey, and the anxious wait for the next season of Velvet to be released on Netflix, I have found a new program to alleviate my desperate and insatiable longing for period dramas; Victoria, on ITV. We only have a slight problem – well, I say it’s a slight problem, when in reality it’s a large problem that brings about very worrying developments and has even worse implications; Victoria and Albert, the cutest televised historical couple that I have seen to date, are related.

“But that’s not so bad!”, I hear you cry. “All the British Royal family are inbred!” (You wouldn’t be wrong if you did say this; our current Queen Elizabeth and her husband are second cousins once removed). But wait! Victoria and Albert – the cutest televised historical couple that I have seen to date – are not only related; they are *drum roll* FIRST COUSINS! (Gasp! Shock! Horror!)

What shocks me the most though, is not that they are related or that they had 9 kids (and that’s at LEAST 9 sex – 9 too MUCH sex for first cousins, in my humble opinion), but the fact that despite knowing this shocking fact, I am still high-key gunning for their sweetly romantic relationship.

In other words, I am high-key gunning for incest. (Please feel free to quote me; you will never hear these words come out of my mouth at any other point in my life). What’s wrong with me? I mean, I know I’m a nerd for history, but I’m NOT a nerd for incest and there is never any excusable justification for this practice, right?

I’m kidding mum, I don’t support incest. 🙂

Anyhow. We’ve lost a key member of our History band, which was named ‘Volksgemeinschaft’; now Babs has left and our topic has changed in History (Civil Rights in America from 1865 – 1992) we’ve had to rename ourselves ‘The White Citizens’ Council’. Which is just historical banter, but PLEASE don’t assume that we’re only made up of racist white people, because I am neither racist nor white. I don’t know about the others though… I know for a fact that Mags has admitted to being a white supremacist on the weekends, and she does own an uncanny amount of white bedsheets?

I’m kidding mum, none of my friends are white supremacists. 🙂

Speaking of white supremacy, I also want to say, a HUGE congratulations (and shout out) to the KKK, who would have been in existence – by December 24th of this year – for 151 years! Yes, you’ve read that entirely correctly! The fun-loving, all-hating, Christian band of ‘lovable rogues’ (as I, so gingerly, put it) have been up and running for 151 years! Since December 1865, who would have thought that they would have STILL (yes, that’s right, STILL, because they have an official website and everything!) been alive and well in September of 2016?

Certainly not me. That’s who. (Especially to all those who think we live in a ‘post-racial’ society, they are a group who were literally born out of racist ideologies and stand for white supremacy and are still today being supported by American citizens.)

But let’s not dwell on the positives, eh?

My writing attempts since 1 August have been somewhat faulty; did that sentence even make sense? Probably not. Goes to show, right? But when I was in Jamaica, I kept a diary of the goings-on (for about a week or two) which I tried to start off emotionally-neutrally, but ended up failing and just revealing the depths of my soul to. The worrying thing is, even though I know it’s at home, I can’t remember where I put that notebook. (I’m kidding mum, not the depths of my soul.) But I don’t doubt I will shortly find it and be able to burn whatever necessary incriminating pages.

I’m kidding mum, I’m not going to burn any of it, it’s all evidence to be used against me in the future. 🙂

And on that note, I think it’s time for me to once again depart and leave the heart of my blog empty and waiting for me to return at sporadic intervals, whenever I gather the ability to write.

Farewell, until next time,

The Faerie Squad Mother x

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p.s. I’m kidding mum.

Cue Music

So I’ve been MIA for a while, but I’ve decided (somewhat magnanimously) to return to my child and show it some love and affection. Ergo, this blog post.

DISCLAIMER: Obviously all the names used in this aren’t people’s actual names, so please don’t be surprised; I’m just using ones that make sense to me, and maybe people who were there will be able to figure it out too, LOL.

Anyway, for the past weekend (last Friday to Monday) I spent an amazing, fun-filled, beach-filled, music-filled, laughter-filled four days at a caravan campsite in Cornwall. (What a tongue twister…) In fact, there was so much said fun that I lost my voice and am still now recovering. Although I blame W____ church for that – we were screaming ‘Wannabe’ by the Spice Girls in their caravan and me and Yin-Yang both lost our voices. Everyone else wasn’t so unfortunate.

I’m pretty sure we spent FAR too long in W___ church’s caravan, because nearly everyday from the second day, we went and chilled in theirs and listened to music and ate food and talked. I mean, minus the fact that I forgot to add them all on Snapchat and didn’t get to see any of the videos they’d posted of us all in the caravan, it was definitely fun.

10 out of 10, would recommend.

Also, I’m pretty sure myself and my sister were two of like four of the people there who weren’t Filipinos LMAO. But I met some wonderful, talented, hilarious people (I can’t fangirl too much otherwise I might get carried away) but the majority, unfortunately, live REALLY far away. And by far I mean like, it would take them 5 – 28 minutes – depending on arm stroke length – to swim from their houses to London. (Or perhaps a bit longer than that depending on how bad the traffic is).

I got the chance to sing with some pretty cool people this weekend too, both other singers and musicians, so that was definitely one of the highlights of the week. Spaceboy’s musical prowess completely blew me away, as did Caesar’s constant willingness to join in and sing with me, for which I cannot thank him enough. (#ReadyForAnything) And Moustache’s playing of that drum-box thing and his guitar, and The Enigma’s guitar playing was also awesome and they were all so much fun to jam with. And talk history with. And reenact the assassination of Julius Caesar with.

The caravans were alright. I mean, of course they weren’t five star, but we (specifically us, because nobody else’s seemed to worked) had a banging heater. Like a proper fire stove that was really toasty and that we turned on every morning and every evening. I was scared though during some worship we had that we’d left it on, so I ran back to our caravan in the rain… only to find that it had, in fact, been switched off by the more responsible adults in our caravan, Chilli and Sunflower. Which was great because not only was my trip useless but I was also wet. Yay.

But myself and Michy-Fichy got the largest room with the double bed and the heater (LOL, you snooze, you lose!) so we had a ball in that room really. I had a sleeping bag and she had the bed sheets, and it was – for the most part – comfortable. And when the heater went on, we were all toasty in there too. Once again though, I was terrified that we would wake up to choking fumes and something nearby the heater, which happened to be flammable, on fire, so I made sure I switched it off before either of us fell asleep.

Also, one lunch time we had some huge jam sesh, where someone would literally just start playing a song on the piano and then everyone would join in. It was truly so beautiful aha, *wipes away solitary tear rolling down cheek* we did Adele, Beyonce, One Direction (bleugh), Justin Bieber, John Legend, Taylor Swift (bleugh, once again), Ed Sheeran, it was just great. Slightly dissonant at times, but I have a feeling it had more to do with the fact that the song being sung was by One Direction or Taylor Swift rather than the people singing it being inharmonious.

We also went to Cornwall beach on the Sunday, which I’m sure would have been a lot nicer if it wasn’t cold. But I had a foolproof and simple plan to stay warm and happy: Stay. Out. Of. The. Sea.

Did I stick to the plan? No.

In fact, the first thing I did when I got to the beach was strip down to my swimming costume and run into the sea.

Did I stay warm and happy? No. You know why? Because I didn’t STICK TO THE PLAN.

To be fair, the water was really clear and there were very few rocks or seaweed, so I didn’t feel like my legs were being attacked by the marine manifestation of Ursula in her hybrid human-Cephalopod form. (A little Disney/scientific classification reference there for all you fans). I also managed to get sand EVERYWHERE (that’s genuinely the one thing I hate about the beach) BUT we made a sand-mermaid, which I have to say was perhaps one of my greatest artistic feats to this day.

So not entirely bad.

It was also lovely because me and Sparkle got to bond, and we went on a long, romantic stroll down the beach and she and I walked for ages and just talked and talked. I was a bit of a psychiatrist, is that what they’re called? Therapist, psychologist, counsellor? Whatever they are, I was that for about an hour and a half. But I really love listening to her and I’m so glad that God put us both into each other’s lives.

AND – this is one of the best parts – last week when I went to Hampton Court Palace (#HistorySquadDayOut) I had a bag of Bombay Mix, but I forgot that I hadn’t finished it. So when we were at the beach and my sister whipped out a bag of half-full Bombay Mix from her snacks bag, you simply can NOT understand how fast my heart began to beat. It was one of the most beautiful moments. So I say:

The only thing more beautiful than discovering food is when you FORGET that you have food and THEN discover it.

You can quote me.

What else to say? When we left on Monday afternoon I was really sad but at least I got to sing with Spaceboy and Caesar one last time, which was really the cherry on the vegan-cake for the last day.

The theme of the camp ‘The Armour of God’ was also really nice; it gave us lots of opportunities for different activities and I know I thought about quite a lot of things differently after all of that. It was nice seeing that the people running it – the main oragniser and all the speakers – were genuinely so invested in us youth. Like they really cared; not just about what they were saying, but about each one of us as individuals. At the end of the four days, I felt really encouraged spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally. And musically.

I’ve probably written a lot of mostly incoherent nonsense, so I’ll sign off here with a few shoutouts:

Shoutout to anyone mentioned who’s reading this…

Shoutout to ‘Las Problematiques’ and Tarq – I miss you guys…

Shoutout to the toilet lid for being down…

Shoutout to NASA for having our backs since 6000BC and creating the ozone layer…

Shoutout to my mum, for having me, which made this blog post possible…

And shoutout to my sister for being a loser and belting songs from the ‘Les Miserables’ OST all. Morning.

Goodbye everyone and lots of love

From the Faerie Squad Mother x

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No Lo Entiendo

Why is sexual infidelity such a popular plot device?

As a means of revision, I’ve watched four episodes of a Spanish TV series – mostly because they speak VERY fast, and if I can understand them, then I can DEFINITELY understand the exam track, and also because they have some really good vocabulary and my Spanish teacher suggested it.

And, don’t get me wrong, it’s been really helpful, because you’re learning and being entertained (for the 61% of the time that you actually understand what’s being said) at the same time.

But I just don’t understand why cheating partners and complex love triangles are necessary.

The program I’m watching, ‘Velvet’ on Netflix, is originally in Spanish, and I’m using Spanish subtitles, because the actor’s mouths move so fast I can barely even grasp what they’ve said before someone replies to them. (!) Set in 50s and 60s Spain, it focuses around a fashion retail store, the eponymous (no surprise) ‘Velvet’ and follows the life of ‘el dueño’, the owner of the store, Alberto Marquéz. He and Ana Ribera, a woman who works for the retailer as a seamstress, have been in love since childhood, and after a botched attempt at running away together (he crashed the car when he heard on the radio that his dad, the original owner of the store, had committed suicide) they decide to just stay with the way things are.

But naturally, that doesn’t work out. After he proposes to her, he finds out that ‘las galerías de Velvet’, the ‘Velvet galleries’ are in a lot of debt. Too much debt, as the plot goes, to even continue as it is. It appears that Ana will have to marry a broke heir. (Gasp. Shock. Horror.) So, what’s the solution for Alberto?

Ask for money from a rich man, whose daughter, Cristina, is enamoured with him. And of course – herein lies the initial birth of complex love triangles – Cristina’s father says he will give Alberto ALL the money he needs… if Alberto will marry his daughter.

Let’s not forget that Alberto is already engaged here. But then, of COURSE, Alberto is conflicted – because he NEEDS the money, but he also NEEDS Ana – and tells her the choice he has. So then, of COURSE Ana does the ‘right’ thing and breaks up with him so that he can save ‘las galerías’, but obviously, after them both being so damn self-righteous, they’re both heartbroken. And thus begins the love triangle. Ana is in love with Alberto. Alberto is in love with Ana. Cristina (i.e. the source of money) is in love with Alberto. Alberto breaks up with Ana to marry Cristina. (They’re not married yet but please be aware that this has all literally happened within 4 episodes!)

That’s not even the best part. Ana almost goes to Barcelona on a train, when she hears Alberto propose to Cristina at a huge press event, but then she doesn’t. She just changes her mind, just like that. Even though her suitcase was packed and she had a dramatic journey to the train station and everything. And you know how we find out she didn’t leave? Alberto goes home from the big party (where he publicly proposed to Cristina) and Ana is just in his house. She’s just IN HIS HOUSE. JUST THERE.

So that’s my first complaint. Why the complicated love triangle? Why couldn’t Alberto just say to Cristina’s dad, “You know what, mate. I’d LOVE to marry your daughter, but regretfully, I can’t. I’m already promised to another. Can we please try a different course of action that doesn’t entail me lying to your daughter or me being in a generally loveless marriage?” I’m not even going to try to translate that into Spanish. Not to mention that Cristina is just HELLA annoying – she constantly looks like a dying puppy. Alberto and Ana are STRESSING me out; even a person who didn’t understand what they were saying (in other words, me 49% of the time) would be able to figure out how WHIPPED they are on each other.

And to make matters better, some designer guy, called De la Riva or something (I don’t know!) who is CLEARLY in love (or at least, was at some point in his life) with Cristina, is coming to design a new range for ‘Velvet’. Like it’s so obvious, he keeps being like to her, “Estás muy guapa. Estás preciosa. Estás maravilloso.” (Which means, “you’re so pretty. You’re beautiful. You’re marvellous.” Which is dodgy because, like Alberto is standing RIGHT there. And OKAY, he doesn’t love her, but De la Riva doesn’t know that!) WELL I WONDER WHAT WILL HAPPEN NOW.

But it just gets worse. Ana’s roommate, Rita – who is my actual FAVE, she’s such a sweetheart – is in love with her sister’s boyfriend, Pedro. Not to mention that Pedro is WHIPPED on his girlfriend, Clara, but Clara has gotten a new job as a secretary of the office to Alberto’s best friend, Mateo. And – naturally, because what is a TV show without a womanising best friend? – Mateo seduces Clara and Clara is torn between her BOYFRIEND and a GUY WHO IS TRYING TO GET INTO HER PANTS. I guarantee she will end up pregnant for the SUB-DIRECTOR (yes, because not only do we like complicated love triangles and sexual infidelity, but also inter-class relationships; and very dramatically so) and he will ditch her.

Like, there’s nothing wrong with inter-class relationships (is that even a thing? that sounds so pretentious!) but why is EVERY single main relationship in the program EMPHASISING the idea of forbidden love? Ana is an orphaned seamstress, her man is the heir to a multi-million euro company. Clara is a sales-advisors-cum-secretary; her love interest is the best friend to said heir and the sub-director to said multi-million euro company. Rita is in love with the VERY much unavailable Pedro; the boyfriend of ‘su hermana’.

I could go on, but I won’t. (Only 12 more minutes to this revision break now…)

And what else? Well, Luisa, Ana’s other friend, has a very sick husband. An initially nice benefactor, a really rich man called Francisco, who gets Luisa her job back when she’s fired, and begins paying very DODGY attention to her when Luisa is helping his WIFE with her dresses that she buys, pays for her husband to get treatment in a hospital. Which is great right?

WRONG. Because in TV shows, when a rich man shows up and offers to help out a pretty young girl, we all KNOW what’s coming.

He makes a move on her. This disgusting old man literally tells her that unless she ‘thanks him’ (euphemism intended) then her husband won’t be able to keep his bed in the hospital. Which is ridiculous really. (And – another prediction – I don’t doubt she’s going to end up killing him, probably with some sewing implement, like scissors or a needle or something, I don’t doubt it for a second).

I mean, I can’t even keep up. I’ve watched four episodes, and so far there has been:

  • A suicide
  • A funeral
  • Some fainting
  • Dramatic carrying of said-fainted person
  • A failed elopement
  • A car crash
  • A proposal
  • A break-up
  • Another proposal
  • A long-lost son returning
  • Some sort of financial scam perpetrated by said ‘long-lost son’
  • Like 3 or 4 affairs (I can’t keep up?)
  • LOTS of blackmail – so much, I didn’t know was possible
  • A few trysts (of course, Alberto and Ana)
  • Some broken hearts
  • Lots of tears
  • Dramatic raining scenes
  • Political Intrigue (ay! Get some History knowledge up in here…)
  • Some foreboding break-ups
  • Implied incest (see: ‘long-lost son’)
  • Stolen stuff (dresses, kisses, money, hearts, you know the sort)

Anyway, I regret searching ‘Wikia’ because I found out something that I REALLY didn’t want to know. So know, if I watch it, rather than reading the subtitles, all I’ll be thinking about a certain character is, “I’m watching a dead man walking.” And that makes me cry a lot. So I don’t think I can watch it anymore for the plot; I’ll just watch it for the vocabulary.

I mean, on the plus side, I now have two sheets of A4 paper, both double-sided with new words and such that are relevant to my course. Which is good right?

But I still have to ask:

Why is sexual infidelity such a popular plot device?

There are very few TV programs in general that steer entirely clear from this plot device. (Except for maybe ‘Downton Abbey’ but there are definitely a lot of sex scandals in that even still…) But why? – is my question. Are the writers and directors so bored they feel like they have to include this ‘exciting’ device? Or is a TV program just not complete without people who cheat and don’t (or do) get caught?

Either way, ‘no lo entiendo‘.

My revision break is over, so now I must desaparecer.

The Faerie Squad Mother x

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Hypothesising

*Gasps* What a surprise that Rianna has blogged two days in a row! (This is mainly for Lawly’s benefit… if I don’t stick to my word, I’ll never hear the end of it. She’s got blackmail material too LOL)

Anyways. This will be a ramble, I suppose, seeing as I don’t have anything specific to talk about. I was GOING to talk about why I should be voted Prime Minister, but I think that’s a post for another time. Also, I feel like I shouldn’t rant because this has been a good day so far! So maybe I’ll just talk about my plans for this week? Let’s do it.

My Plans for Half-Term Holiday:

  1. Complete all homework.
  2. (NB: Number 2 is only accessible if Number 1 has been completed in it’s entirety) Complete all optional homework.
  3. (NB: Number 3 is only accessible if both Number 1 and Number 2 have been completed in their entirety) Maybe have some free time and relax. MAYBE.

Mostly working basically. Not working, like MONEY working. Working like school and Sixth Form working. And blogging when I have time. (Such a privilege, but JUST for you Lawly 🙂 ) If you’d just like to get a taste of my homework schedule for this week:

DRAMA

  • Write essay on Live Theatre performance (A4 double-sided).
  • Complete character profiling and prep for Krogstad and Nora.

HISTORY

  • Complete sheet on the Cultural effect on Democracy and the Weimar Republic. (A4 sheet).
  • Complete three-sided A3 sheet on Henry VIII coming to the throne.

SPANISH

  • Write essay on film and ratings.
  • Complete 7 grammar sheets, in addition to the three sheets started in lesson with Perfect and Pluperfect tenses.
  • Finish overdue homework on writing advice in response to a health disorder.

ENGLISH LITERATURE

  • Do Poetry Comparison sheet (A3 sheet).
  • Complete detailed prep on ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ in Chapter 13 and ‘Household’ exploration, as well as 6 detailed PEE paragraphs on the Ceremony in Chapters 15 and 16.
  • Continue Reading Journal.
  • Optional: Poetry comparison paragraph.

AOB

  • Learn script for school play.

MY LIFE IS A JOKE. MY LIFE IS AN ACTUAL JOKE. Who gets that much work for a WEEK’S HOLIDAY!? My teachers genuinely hate me.

Love from your entirely sane,

Empress Rianna

Crown

Acute Observations

I’m not wearing my glasses as I type this – I don’t even know what I’ve done with them, they’re somewhere in my room – so please excuse any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors.

I really don’t have anything to talk about today. I could have a semi-conscious ramble about something (I just woke up from quite a nice nap?) but I don’t have anything to ramble about. So I’m gonna… uhm… make it up? Like I usually do.

Today after school, Steph and I were running the Year 7 and 8’s Drama Club. As Sixth Formers (Ha! We are so cool!) my drama teacher had entrusted us with the special task of running it by ourselves. She usually runs it and we assist but today she couldn’t be there; so it was just us.

We didn’t have a plan.

Our plan was to wing it. My role is mostly to sound like I know what I’m doing; Steph’s role is to get everyone to like us, which I think she does a pretty good job of. Whereas I’m quite good at putting on the front of knowing what I’m talking about. Even though I never do.

Anyway. Our plan was to make it up as we went along. Our teacher had given us a booklet to work from but neither of us had read through it, so we were sorta like, “Ah stuff it, we’ll work from scratch.” She’d also asked us to pick out some particularly promising students to be involved with the school play; so there we were, wondering, “How on earth will we do that if we don’t even know what we’re going to do?” Dezza, Babs and Venus all slunk into the Drama studio behind us, anxious to watch what we were going to do. It kinda goes without saying, I suppose, that even Steph and I were anxious to watch what we were going to do. Because we literally had NO idea.

“Hi guys.” I told the bunch of wide-eyed Year 7 and 8 students, innocently sitting in a circle on the floor of the Drama studio. All whilst munching on an apple. I was LITERALLY munching on an apple whilst talking to them. “Today, it’s just me and Steph running the club. So it should be fun.” They tittered amongst themselves – honestly, I can’t STAND tittering – so I said, “Remember what we said last week. The more you want to get done, the less you need to talk. The more talking you guys do, the less fun we have.” And they all looked sorta terrified but satisfyingly pacified by my words. So I was happy. (I found my glasses by the way; I can’t bear to type any longer without them…)

“Today,” my words were unsure, my brain racing ahead of my mouth (for once), “we are going to do some Improvisation.” And then I felt like I’d hit upon a gold mine. The amount of improvisation games we played in Drama throughout my 6 years of the subject were LIMITLESS! Also, this would be a fantastic way to see who held most promise; improvisation is always fun – and can be funny, when done properly – because you just sort of through everyone into the deep end and see how well they fare. Let’s go along with this, I told myself, as I noticed Dezza’s face light up with amusement. I knew she’d be a great help to me – which she later proved to be. “Who knows what improv is?” I asked the eager young ‘uns, and their hands shot up into the air. I gave a short explanation before telling them that the ENTIRE club (I was working from my mind here, okay, let’s not hate!) today was going to be based around improvisation. They seemed content and blissfully unaware that I was just planning the whole thing on the spot.

“Let’s get to our feet and move around then guys.” So they followed my instructions while I anxiously and frantically racked my brain for a game to play to warm up. Then I glanced upon one that I had used in my AS Drama lesson two weeks ago and I was like YES FANTASTIC. So we did that for about ten minutes, which gave me enough time to figure out the activities for the ACTUAL club.

And Dezza became a useful aide. She rushed to my side to remind me about all those amazing games we played with improv; the park bench game, where you try and get the person on the bench OFF of it, and the game where you just make up random scenarios and characters and switch people in and out of the game.

The Park Bench game was good for a while, but the students quickly got bored, so we switched into the other game; the ‘Scene’ one.

That lasted LITERALLY about half an hour.

It was half an hour of PURE, unadulterated BANTER.

With Tey, Dezza, Babs and Venus as the assisting audience, we actually cried. The Year 7 and 8’s improvisation was actually so fantastic that some of them deserved medals… and others deserved Oscars.

For that half an hour, we laughed, we cried, we sympathised, we gasped; any possible emotional reaction you can imagine, those students evoked within us. Honestly, my stomach hurts so much. (Well, PARTIALLY because of their performances but…)

So, we imagined quite a few scenarios, but I think I shall list my favourite and most memorable ones:

  • A couple being counseled – In which the ‘counselor’ informed the couple that they need to “sort their issues out”, I was unsure if she remembered what her purpose was? Also, there was some innuendo banter going on and I was a bit surprised, for a bunch of 11 and 12 year-olds that they were even thinking of that!
  • A doctor giving some sad news to a family – In which she told the mother not to ‘get tears on the carpet’ and that they needed to ‘pull themselves together’
  • A teenager telling her parents that she was pregnant – I’m pretty sure we all expected something very dramatic, but instead we got something very deadpan, making it quite comedic “Mum. I’m pregnant.” And then later, when she was asked who the father was, she LITERALLY deadpanned again, “I have no idea.”

Of course, we had our favourite students and we thought a select few were absolutely fantastic; I tried to put them in a lot of the scenes, but obviously, I couldn’t look like I was favouring any over the others. But it was amazing. Then at the end, I put them into groups of 3 (intentionally, to see how well they worked in groups other than their friendships one; like, some were SO clingy, oh my goodness! I mean, I know they’re Year 7’s and 8’s but COME ON!) and gave them this instruction:

“You are going to create for me a 1-minute scene, where you have a mother, a daughter and a doctor. Go.”

They had five minutes.

After which, we watched all 6 performances, and I was almost rolling on the floor with laughter. (At some of them; honestly, it was slightly scary, quite frankly, what some of them produced. One performance was particularly morbid and I had to stop it before they kept going because it was just… WHOA.) But they were definitely laugh-worthy mostly, and I couldn’t stifle most of the laughter inside of me, as a result of their performances.

Honestly. If I could, I’d nominate them for Oscars. Clearly, Hollywood is looking in the wrong place.

You’ve got it all wrong, Hollywood. You need to be looking in West London for your next big stars, cos they’re right here.

Anyway, I think that’s enough from me.

Love to Squad and Lawly (look, a specific mention!) and I’m off guys.

Love Empress Rianna

Crown

Being The Minority

So the past couple of days have been an interesting experience to say the least. But let me not get ahead of myself.

Good morning/afternoon/evening (wherever you all are), this is the first time I am addressing you as a 16-year old Empress! How fantastic!

Anyways, now we’re done with that. So my family and I had a bit of a holiday this week; we didn’t go abroad, just to a small village, which I cannot name for obvious reasons which you will later discover. We stayed in a hotel, about a 5-minute drive away from the village centre (as in, probably their equivalent of a high-street or whatever) and so on the Monday afternoon, we get there and we check-in. Once we put all our cases and everything in our rooms, we go back downstairs so we can have dinner.

That was the first alarm bell. (We didn’t know it yet, but it slowly dawned on us). On the way through the lounge to the Restaurant, we got a lot of awfully odd looks; people were double-taking, some people were staring, and lots of people were doing that awkward ‘I’m-staring-but-if-you-look-at-me-I’ll-keep-eye-contact-for-about-5-more-seconds-until-it-becomes-uncomfortable-and-then-look-away-just-to-make-sure-you-saw-me-looking-at-you’ sorta thing. So naturally, as a family that is mostly unfazed, we ignore them.

We went back to our rooms after and got ready for bed. (Although myself and my little sister – who I have now decided to crown Princess – stayed up so she could post my birthday tribute on Instagram at midnight… and then I COULDN’T sleep because I was absolutely stunned by the intensity of raw beauty my friend posted of me also… But at any rate, we got to bed pretty late)

Then we woke up and went downstairs to have breakfast. That was the second alarm bell. The seating staff dude for the morning looked up at us from the desk and seemed a little startled. After he led us to the table, we all split to go and get our food, and more alarm bells started ringing. (Not literally, that’d be a little bit scary). People kept staring, we got even more weird looks, one guy was double-taking so much I’m pretty sure he got a headache.

By this point, I was pretty sick of all the looks, so whenever people looked at me, I’d give them the sickliest-sweet smile I could conjure up. And then they would blush embarrassed and turn away.

I thought it might get better, but NO. It only got worse.

Later in the day, we went into the village centre, to get some food and to just stroll around and explore, seeing as we were in this lovely, quaint little village and it was my birthday and it was like, well why not?

I’ll tell you why not.

Because it was like we were wild, exotic animals walking through a zoo of spectators. My sister, the Princess, and I stopped at a window-front display, and she looked at this teddy-bear she liked, and went, “Oh wow, Rianna look at how cute that is!” Then I heard a gasp.

‘How strange!’ I thought to myself. ‘Teyah doesn’t usually gasp…’ So I turned to her to ask her if she had gasped, and her face mirrored my expression of confusion. Which in itself answered my question. No she had not gasped.

In fact, the woman who HAD gasped was about 5 steps away from us, walking briskly down the road, and kept looking back over her shoulder at us with these wide-eyes. We couldn’t stop laughing.

Later, my mum and dad told me that they had had a similar experience; they were walking down the road and three little children in a car had pointed out the window at them in excitement – then their mother had also joined in with them.

What started off as irritating slowly became funny. We were walking to Tesco’s and two teenagers, a guy and a girl, came out of a shop; teenagers who looked like the ones, whom, in London, I would ordinarily avoid – just move out of the way for. They looked pretty intimidating. But they gave me one glance, and it was like their faces were streaked with terror, and the BOY, this intimidating looking boy, actually ended up in the road on an effort to move out of my way on the pavement.

Every shop we went into (because the shop’s were pretty tiny) the shopkeeper’s eyes would LITERALLY follow us around the whole way. When we bought stuff in Tesco’s and went to the self-checkout till, nearly every other shopper’s eyes watched us.

It was so strange.

But that wasn’t even the HIGHLIGHT of it all.

Because not only were we treated like an exhibition, we simultaneously got treated like we were invisible.

The final evening we were there, Wednesday evening, when we went down to dinner, we sat in a relatively accessible place. Like, there were quite a lot of other people sitting nearby. We had the staring spectacle of course (but what else could be expected at this point?) from a girl and her brothers? cousins? who all looked around our age.

But then – and this was the BEST part of all – a family, or perhaps a bunch of friends, came to sit near to us. They sat on the table next to us and ensued in very loud conversation. [Conversation which, if anything, only reinforced the fact that they were racist.]

The man, I assumed, was talking about his daughter. He looked about 60, with greying hair, and was talking animatedly about this woman; I figured it was his daughter or his wife, but it was more likely the former. Anyway, my mum and I only managed to jump into the conversation at the part where he started talking about her travelling and all her journeys around the world.

“And yes, one year she decided to go to India.” (It seemed that she was working abroad a lot, I think it was for her job as she was working for a bank or something? From what I gathered anyway…) “She said that her experience there was very interesting but,” at this point, he leaned in as if confiding a secret, “the only trouble was the flight… because of…” he paused for effect, chuckled, taking a sip from his long-stemmed glass of wine, “well, the Hindus.” At which point they all burst out into unabridged, racist crooning at his entirely UNFUNNY and OFFENSIVE joke. I mean, let’s just forget for a moment that what he said was offensive, basically saying the flight wasn’t enjoyable because of the Indian passengers on it, he is also assuming that EVERY INDIAN IS HINDU. Which they are not.

My mum and I looked at each other with wide open mouths. We were actually stunned that anyone could say that. But it got even better when he continued.

“She loves travelling abroad, but there’s always a language barrier for her. She can’t adjust well to the culture.” All things which suggested, my mum jokingly informed me, that perhaps she should stop travelling, because clearly if ‘Hindus’ were an issue on the plane flight, then how would she expect to fare in an entire country FULL of them?! “She could practically COUNT the number of British” (by British, he meant white) “people who were there as well!”

Boo hoo. I thought. That’s my life all the time. That’s my life RIGHT now. Wherever we go places, we can COUNT on one hand the number of black people. Why are you suddenly surprised by this? Oh that’s right; because except from when you travel, (and even then, it depends on where you go) you’re NEVER in the minority. I live my LIFE in the minority.

He went on.

“But when she came to England to work, she found it so much more enjoyable.” Of course she would, my mum added, surrounded in her own culture. “And her work was based in [location], which was great because she didn’t have to commute so much from where she stayed in [location]. She had a lovely little studio flat and a fantastic view.”

“But then they [her company business] relocated to Canary Wharf, and it became an absolute NIGHTMARE for her to commute.”

Oh no! My mum and I crooned. How hard it must be when your business relocates to the central hub of business in London (and also the world) and you have to TRAVEL in on public transport! Oh no! Such #FirstWorldProblems! All the people he was talking to sympathetically ‘awwwwwww’d and he nodded with a face of such sincerity that me and my mum started laughing again.

“So, is she permanently employed then?” One of the women sitting with him directed the question at him. He shook his head with such conviction.

“No, not really. She is partially on the work force, but if they start chopping jobs and sacking people, then she could lose her job.” At which point, I had to shake MY head sympathetically.

I’ve got two words for you, Mr. Racist Wine-Drinker: White. Privilege.

Your daughter would not be one of the first to be unemployed, especially considering the fact that she is the one constantly travelling the world for her company (she also went to Singapore, some countries in Europe, and has been to Australia so much that she has a flat out there) and not to mention the fact that you CLEARLY come from old-money; so regardless of whether she is kept or sacked (and most likely, the FORMER), she has pretty much worked her life away for this company (he never mentioned any partner, or kids of hers) so she is sitting pretty for the rest of her life.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I present to you, the plight of a black family in a small village in England. That was the reason we got so many stares from people. Because we were perhaps the only black people that some of them had ever seen. That was why we got gasped at, and pointed at, and stared at, and talked about, and ignored, and watched, and followed.

Because we were black. Now, if you know me, I totally hate using the race card, but this is one situation where it actually does apply.

The small-mindedness and ignorance (and in some situations, racism) of these people actually astounded me. I mean, I’m not stupid, I know racism exists – I live my life at the receiving end of it – but I didn’t realise how condensed it was in certain areas, and how concentrated those areas were.

But that’s my little rant for this morning. A bit early for me but, ah well. Have a good morning/afternoon/evening everyone,

Empress Rianna

Crown