So, as many of you may know, two good friends and I have been paricipating in a ‘youth speaks’ competition where, as a team, you have 12 minutes to deliver a speech/argument of a chosen topic in front of judges and an audience.
Here is our story.
This competition is held all around the U.K. with the main aim of getting into the national finals. The first stage of the competition consists of quite localised schools. This was our first time speaking in public at this intensity but our speech seemed to win the judges over as we came second out of seven and won ourselves a place in the next stage- the district finals. This stage would consist of all the schools that had previously won their first round- it was going to be a lot tougher!
The primary school that was hosting the event was packed full! As I speak last it in our team it was always so nerve racking waiting for the others to finish before I finally leapt out onto the stage and came face to face with judgement, ears and eyes watching me- waiting.
The nerves were indeed a pain but this was hardly anything compared to the rewards that came with public speaking. To have that many people just listening to what YOU have to say. To say something worth listening to. To hear the claps and smiles and laughter from our words. Our words. The words that we had written together and spent so much time and effort over. It was worth it.
In the District finals we came third- out of six- and chuffed to bits we heard that we had got a place in the regional finals!
A victory that overwhelmed us all.
A victory we never had expected- or imagined!
The regionals were two weeks after the district finals. Two weeks we had to sharpen our speeches and work on our gestures.
The day came. The regional finals! Instead of being an evening event this was all day.
Crowds of people had turned up- I was so excited and ready to give it my all!
And we did.
The results didn’t matter- we had come so far together and learned a great deal. My confidence has grown and I feel that I could speak in front of just about everyone!
We came third out of six! An unbelievable achievement.
There’s just nothing I can say that could begin to describe the experience that I have had.
And if anyone asked- I’d do it all again without a doubt!!
‘Boots of Spanish leather’ is one of my favourite Bob Dylan songs of all time. Its story and meaning, however, has always puzzled me but in this post I will explain my thought-out interpretations of this song- regardless of their accuracy.
For those of you who have never listened to this song allow me to give you a short insight into the lyrics;
The lyrics are a dialogue between two supposed lovers. The song, however, begins with the premise that one of the lovers is ‘sailing away in the morning’ (this lover, we later find out, is the female of the relationship). She asks her lover whether he would like her to bring anything back for him- he eventually replies ‘if I had the stars from the darkest night or the diamonds from the deepest oceans I’d forsake them all for your sweet kiss- for that’s all I’m wishing to be owning’ and thus rejects her offers.
An unstated amount of time later he receives a letter from her, which indicates she is in no hurry to return to him as her ‘feelings’ are the reason for her not returning sooner.
In response to this tragic letter he turns bitter and the song ends with him asking for her to send him some ‘boots of Spanish leather’ as opposed to how before he wanted only his lover’s ‘sweetest kiss’.
I found myself in difficulty understanding this song for many reasons: and found myself with questions I now feel I have begun to work out the answer to.
What was this ‘journey’ she went on?
The most profound turning-point when puzzling this song out was when I came to the possibility that this journey wasn’t perhaps a mere sail across seas or oceans but the journey of death. After this, things just started falling into place..
Why didn’t she want to come back? Or, why did she stop loving him so after being apart?
Well, given the first interpretation we can infer that the possibility of her actually coming back was nil i.e. she was dead. But what would this mean?
Perhaps Dylan is questioning whether or not it is more satisfying to hear lies than the truth. If this is so, we can gather that the female would rather her lover think that she were alive in some exotic foreign land than dead: as this knowledge might be more of a comfort to him. (After all, she is in love with him and obviously would prefer, even if it sacrificed his respect and love for her, for him to think that she were safe and alive)
Just think back to when you were a child- isn’t it far more comforting for you to believe your parents when they said that Fluffy the rabbit went to a beautiful farm as opposed to six feet underground?
If this is the case why does Dylan go on to turn the male character bitter over her lack of return?
One reason for this could be Dylan showcasing the difficulties of coping with a harsh reality and how some people can react in such situations. If the male eventually worked out the truth behind her departure perhaps it would be a lot easier for him to deal with this truth by exerting blame. E.g he doesn’t wish to accept the truth of her death and so blames her for not returning.
Alternatively, perhaps the gift of ‘memories’ just weren’t enough for him. In this case, the female at the start isn’t offering material souvenirs but memories. And as a human he responds, understandably, with how memories just aren’t enough. But this still doesn’t give reason to his bitterness.
I can easily believe that he was just angry and regretful over his rejection to the gift of memories which he may now miss. Or it could be just emphasising the idea how memories weren’t enough when his lover wasn’t there i.e. he want’s something materialistic to replace this torment.
Just remember, this is my sole interpretation and isn’t based on any research.
These last couple of days I have had the pleasure of celebrating my dearest friend Chelsea’s 16th birthday!
It began on Friday; after a school day consisting of malevolent badminton opponents, polar bears and an exquisite English lesson- we all got the bus to Chelsea’s house.
The evening saw us chatting, laughing and drooling over the cast of Pride and Prejudice!
On occasions such as these it’s so easy to fall in love with life!
To live it.
Especially when you’re kicking some ass on ‘Mario Kart’!
And after a night of heart-to-hearts and a mischievous cat we awoke.
Today was Chelsea’s rollerskating party! Rollerskating is indeed a talent I do not posses (in the slightest!) but nevertheless I had a really great time! Really!
Ahhhhh, I know you will be reading this Chelsea so I would just like to say I hope you have had a great birthday and I LOVE YOU AN UNCANNY AMOUNT! 😀 😀 x x
Thank you ^_^ x
Today I’m in a super good mood!
”What happened to the soppy Anna that has been speaking wishy washy nonsense all week?!”
I know- crazy.
So because I’m in a good mood I thought I’d share the wonderments of my week!
Firstly there was the miracle of regaining my lost voice the very day of a speech contest final. You could say that losing my voice was an extremely unlucky thing to occur the very couple of days before such a competition and I’m sure I’d have been incredibly outraged if I wasn’t able to do it! Nevertheless, a little croaky, I was not only able to speak on the night but my team and I managed to get a place in the regional finals! It feels so amazing! We have achieved so much more than we had ever thought possible. Also, my team mates are two of the most amazing people you could ever meet and achieving what we have by their side is breathtaking!
Secondly- my exam results. I’ll keep this one short- I got 98/100 in my physics exam and hence an a* in science overall. I got an a* in my I.C.T. But most pleasing was my English Literature result, despite all my doubts I got an a*! I am undoubtedly happy, to say the least, of these results!
Thirdly there was today’s achievements! Setting off from school at the painful hour of 7 a.m a few of the ‘world challenge’ team and I travelled 117 miles for a sponsored run. I have never done anything like this so I was rather excited but a little apprehensive- there would be hundreds of people running and I didn’t want to be the slow one at the back! After a long bus journey of chatting nonsense and a ‘team warm-up’ the race began! Crowds of people watched as the runners set off- cheering and supporting, it was a wonderful event to have taken part in. I ran 5k by Oliver’s side and it was great! We finished in good time and I think this has been a great experience.
So there you have it! A few good things from my week. 🙂
haha, a sporty picture from the day :3
Here I present my second post of the day!
I never used to understand this phrase- ‘love is blind’…
But I do now.
I know now what it is to be ‘blinded’ by love.
To be unable to see your lover’s imperfections. To be careless enough to disregard facts. To be so in love they could do nothing wrong.
Although I can believe this idea- I do not, however, wish to.
But more tragically I believe the quote also implies this idea of being blind to logic which in turn can leave your mind and feelings to wander a land of utter fantasy. One can become so blind of the truth when they are in love that they could just about convince themselves of anything.
Even that they might love you back.
And though I am writing this post I will still let myself be blind.
I’m an utter fool.
”If I had the stars of the darkest night or diamonds from the deepest oceans- I’d forsake them all for your sweet kiss for that’s all I’m wishing to be owning”.
Have you ever witnessed an act that could only be described as pure idiocy?
An act that made you think ‘GOD HELL THAT IS STUPID!!’
Well here are a few of my recently witnessed acts of pure stupidity…
Today I endured the joy of ‘bag packing’ to raise money for my ‘World Challenge’ expedition. A stupid and mind-numbing task in itself but this isn’t even it! I’ve done bag packing once before and had come to the conclusion that some people are ridiculously fussy over how their shopping is packed so I’m very cautious when I do it. But today exceeded all expectations.It came as a great surprise when a woman called me to halt as I was packing her bag… all I had done was begin to place an item on top of some ‘tortilla wraps’ and was therefore quite confused. She began to speak, ”don’t put that on the wraps- you will squash them”
Because apparently you can ‘squash’ something that is already FLAT.
Goodness how stupid!
The second stupid act occurred when I looked at the list of references from search engines that I had to my blog last week. I had the usual search items but then I came across one of deep concern. A while ago I did a purely factual post about bubonic plague doctors and so get a lot of people finding my blog through the search items- ‘plague doctor’ etc.. but last week I noticed that one was ‘Plague doctor photograph’
All I can say to that stupid web browser is good luck finding a photograph 500 years before the invention of the first camera.
Ahh I think that is enough stupid for one post.
I often imagine what my future husband will be like. (Yes! Like a 5 year old girl).
(I meant that dreaming of my future husband was an act typical of a young girl rather than my ideal husband would be a 5 year old girl..)
Anyway.. back to the obviously serious stuff that my blog usually consists of…
I’m sure that I’m not the only person who thinks about this- what he or she will be like, what music they will like and how you will feel for them.
The man of my dreams reads poetry, likes bag-pipes and enjoys the dark as much as the light..
But really, I know, this crazy ideal is a load of nonsense!
Love is something you could never expect.. that’s what makes it so profound and- (eurrghh I almost wrote the word magic here.. belurgh xD)
What I’m trying to say is that these ‘perfect’ people that we may or may not conjure up in our minds (and as we have discovered I am very guilty to owning a few of these imaginary folk) ..even if they exist- who wants to be bound to the predictable?
Love, as aforementioned, is unpredictable and to go so far as to be blinded by your ideals so that you only seek the ‘perfect’ person.. well.. good luck with that I guess.
But for me I know what it is to love the unexpected, to fall for something far from what you could ever imagine
and I know that that is what I truly want..
..not a perfect, handsome man who treasures literature and understands the laws of physics…
But someone who I could never imagine or define…
He is beautiful.