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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Today I learnt that if you walk with your eyes closed it is possible that you will walk right into something; or in my case someone.

But I’ve also been thinking about whether or not it’s ever a good thing to hold back your feelings and/or what you want to say.

Because I find myself holding back a lot; whether it’s to avoid an argument or I’m too afraid to share how I  feel.. can that ever truly be a good thing?

To have things locked up inside you, things that still exist- just only within me.

When we hold back the truth do we- in turn- live a lie?


Today I was just one of many 16 year-olds around England to get my G.C.S.E. results…

There in my hands; the product of two years worth of immeasurable stress, time and torture condensed on to a single piece of paper.

The product? Seven A*s, three As and a B.

A particularly unexpected result (A* in English language) has taught me the benefits of taking risks in order to achieve.

I didn’t write what I thought they wanted to hear; I wrote entirely from my own conscious mind.

And even got in an anecdote about a porn star.

So my advice is to always make room for a little apprehension but never be too afraid to take a risk.

Now all there is to do is wait for what A-Levels have to throw at me!


I can feel myself falling further and further into such a familiar state.

Making the same mistakes over and over.

It takes more than a fool to walk straight into a shattered hope; a bruised heart.

But it’s okay because I am the fool, it is only I that could endure the pain and torment.

Then again perhaps you’ll save me from the fate of fates?

And it is that ounce of hope that deteriorates my reason.


In an attempt to share my experiences of my expedition in Iceland as fully as possible I have decided to publish a slightly abridged version of my journal which I wrote throughout the trip. So here goes;

 

18th July 2012 (Day six!)

This morning we got up at 6.30. Time has become so irrelevant here as it’s always light so it always feels like the same time of day. My fears for the day were far from comforted with my bowl of manky porridge which I couldn’t stomach. Getting up and ready is the worst feeling as you’re cold, tired and feeling unprepared but still having to pack which is such an effort! We all had to be ready to set off for our trek for out decided time of 8.30 but I think it ended up being more like 9. It was pouring down with rain and very cold. Finally we all gathered at the soggy kitchen area and Mandy gave us all a bag check which took awhile although I think my re-adjusted pack that was much tighter around my hips was a little easier to carry.

And so we set off!

The first abrupt obstacle of our trek were the huge rocks made of solid lava that we had to climb. It was spine-chilling to imagine the rock that towered over our heads once flowed like a steaming hot river. We carried on up very steep hills but I was so focussed I was able to manage with my heavy pack as well as my other team mates and perhaps I finally realised that I can do this. This confidence was very new to me.

It did, like most good things, not last however. It wasn’t long before we were high up in the mountains surrounded by views for miles of beautiful, if daunting landscapes. We had already travelled up fairly steep mountain sides that were terrifying for me and with such heavy packs pulling you backwards and slippery, uncertain terrain my mind panicked with fright.

Going up one particular steep side where the drop below was horrifically daunting I simply panicked. I had, from the very bottom the support from my team but it got too much. My mind was racing with fear and I daren’t look any other way but forward. I was shaking, struck with utter fear and panic and I couldn’t hold back the tears. Mandy tried her best to quickly calm me down and told me to breath. I felt stupid!

I finally plucked up the courage to get up with a final praise from my team of whom also apparently appreciated the small break that came from my attack of panic! I couldn’t have found the will to overcome such a fear without their support and I was tremendously grateful!

With my shattered confidence we continued! It felt like a lifetime before it was finally time for lunch. It felt so weird taking our packs off! For lunch we had banana sandwiches! They were okay but I was so hungry I would have eaten anything! (Almost). Nearing the end of our trek it began to get icy until we were walking on snow! We came across a sign that said how a man had died here in a blizzard in 2004 and who was tragically only a short while from the camp site. This was quite depressing to learn. The harsh terrain and long day had left me exhausted but I still had to push on even as the weather worsened. I was literally pushing myself further than I had ever before.

Seeing the huts in the distance was one of the best feelings in the world! The whole team cheered as we ran to put up our tents in the cold, pouring rain at our destination of 1070 metres high!

It was only around 3 or 4 but we were all so tired that we just wanted to sleep. Christina and I got so warm in our tent that we didn’t want to leave for our tea the boys had kindly cooked. This tea of salami, bean feast and spaghetti was nothing less than revolting and even Mandy agreed! But, it was warm and I needed fuel for tomorrow and so ate as much as my mind would let me.

This camp site with the rough weather, hole for a toilet and broken sinks with no hot water was forever known by the team as ‘hell’.

G Seeing the huts in the distance!


In an attempt to share my experiences of my expedition in Iceland as fully as possible I have decided to publish a slightly abridged version of my journal which I wrote throughout the trip. So here goes;

 

17th July 2012 (Day five!)

This morning we awoke fairly early in order to catch our 10 a.m. bus. Packing everything up and into my rucksack once again was a nightmare and I’m not looking forward to doing it everyday whilst trekking! This morning was my first meeting with porridge (this day was going to have to happen sooner or later!) but we had the pre-flavoured stuff today so it wasn’t that bad! I have seem to have lost my appetite here as I got full quite quickly.

The bus journey first took us to the geezers which smelt a great deal but were fairly spectacular! We also met the other team there and I went around with Lauren; it was great to hear from her!

 

Our next stop was the waterfall which was huge and so beautiful.

 

The rest of the journey took around three hours. The change from flat to mountainous land was a speedy one and soon snowy mountains were the only thing in sight! Although spectacular to look at I couldn’t help being hit with a sudden fear that I, myself, will be climbing those. Some of the journey was like travelling through Mordor with black barren stone fields surrounded by mountains and consequently the bus ride got incredibly bumpy with all the stones- it was nothing like I’d ever experienced before! It was with all the screaming from our bus that the driver suddenly turned to Mandy and spoke the following words, ‘I’ll take you somewhere where I’m not supposed to’. This, of course, was a fairly exciting prospect although a little scary. He drove the bus up one particularly steep mountain where he continued until he got to the top and didn’t brake until the very edge! At this point I think we were all praying for our lives! We had actually landed at a place called the ‘Ugly Lake’, however incorrectly titled.

the ‘Ugly Lake’

Cautiously we all re-entered the bus and took off to our intended destination. When we arrived at our fairly spacious (if in the middle of nowhere!) camp site and it was raining fairly heavily! This made setting up the tent difficult which was only worsened by the hard ground that almost refused the pegs.

We started tea fairly sharpish in the almost well-sheltered kitchen area. Tonight we had sausages and smash accompanied by two cans of Heinz beans that Dan bought at the camp’s shop that were 500 krona each! That means together the two cans cost five English pounds! It was pretty good though.  As usual it was seasoned with grit and grass but I’m getting fairly used to this camping-living.

This was the camp site with the infamous natural geothermal pool and I was gutted I hadn’t brought my swimming stuff. But as it turned out that mattered little as Mandy was determined to get me in that pool and so she fashioned a swimming costume out of binliners! I must have looked like a fool and I certainly wasn’t lacking in stares but it was so worth it! The pool was divine! Made even more so by a fine group of French men with long hair and beards who were also there! Although the pools were relaxing we were surrounded by mountains that were a constant reminder of the challenges ahead so my nerves were never completely at ease. The whole team and I spent around three hours in it and we even had the group meeting there! Mandy asked if we had any worries about the next day and when it came to me I didn’t know where to start! I managed to clear my mind a little with reassurance.

After getting dried off and changed we all went to bed.


Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the word ‘delete’.

Coming from the latin word ‘dēlēre’, it means to destroy or obliterate.

Which, to me, almost makes this word fairly redundant..

Because what in this world can we really ‘delete’?

Feelings… buildings… people… these things may slip away from us: and once gone; perhaps forgotten.

But forgetting isn’t exactly deleting.

And even if we could delete feelings or memories like an unwanted word document…

Would you?


In an attempt to share my experiences of my expedition in Iceland as fully as possible I have decided to publish a slightly abridged version of my journal which I wrote throughout the trip. So here goes;

 

16th July 2012 (Day Four)

Today was the day of the first (almost) trek;  it was a practise trek that began close to our camp site. The sounds of our fellow campers has become our alarm clock. We were up fairly sharpish as we’d planned to set off at 10. For breakfast we had bacon butties, it was actually my first ever one and it was shamefully quite nice! Certainly what we all needed. Before we left we were given a short walking pole tutorial, it was then I realised that the poles Dan had been kind enough to lend me before we had set off from England were broken! I couldn’t believe the bad luck I have had with two of mine also breaking beforehand. Mr.Gwilliam was kind enough to lend me his though, and he did for the entire trek! I was very grateful. The weather was SO HOT! I had to put sun-cream on loads throughout the day and wear my sun hat. I couldn’t believe it but I certainly wasn’t complaining, especially as I was sure it wouldn’t last.

As a group we left the cosy camp site and headed for the hills. I say hills but I’m sure they were mountains! We soon came to what would be the first major obstacle of our trek. ‘Scrambling’ is what I think it’s called in mountainy terms. We had to walk across, and on, a harsh path of giant rocks overlapping which frequently left black, empty gaps which I think drilled within me the most fear. It wasn’t long before I was discovered as the terrified one but I was given a great deal of support and guidance from the team. It was one of the scariest things in my life. The real panic struck when I fell at the beginingish and I screamed!! Which obviously struck a sudden (if shortlived) shock within my team. It was then the danger and fear truly hit me. Eventually  jumping over darkness on unsteady rocks just got too much and it brought me to tears! Nevertheless, I was so relieved and felt quite accomplished after taking the final leap onto ground once more and I was soon back to normal. I am so grateful to everyone that helped me.

It was then a fairly lengthy walk afterwards where we came across a small spring from which we were able to fill our water bottles! It was tasty and straight from a volcano. After we had all filled our bottles and had a small rest we set off once more. It was still really hot! As we walked I began to imagine and fear doing this with a full and fair heavier pack. Other people were worried too but I knew they had nothing to fear.

It was when we walked over boggy marshes I found out that my boots are in fact not waterproof! My socks were soaked! Mandy was always wary about us stepping on the vegetation as it it quite delicate and apparently takes ’10,ooo years’ to grow back! This was to become her signature catchphrase!

We eventually came to a river and hence a tutorial for river crossing. The river itself was extremely shallow but regardless of this we needed to learn the technique for crossing rivers safely as there are apparently quite a few large and dangerous glacial rivers on our trek. Something else to look forward to I know! We were taught how to cross in teams of five and practised stepping together in sync holding each other tightly against the hypothetical rushing stream . The water was painfully cold on my bare feet although quite refreshing in contrast to the hot weather.

We were soon back on our feet, well if only for a short while as I managed to slip and fall on my bum as we were coming down a steep, gravely hill! I wasn’t, however, the first of our team to befall such state. I quickly laughed it off and soon gained my stride.

The road back was a long one and I was quite tired at the end yet I think today has given me a little confidence although I begin to slowly dread the future obstacles of our trek. As soon as we got back to camp we got tea going. Tonight we had ‘beef stroganoff’ with pasta. As Dan put the beef in the pan blood came out too! Oddly it was more funny than anything else but yeah that was pretty grim.

Today we were told that if we sent the trangias back to ‘World Challenge’ dirty then we’d have to pay a fine! It was because of this we (Christina, Dan, Cameron and I) thought it’d be hilarious if we sent them back filthy with a small sentiment of ‘enjoy’ attached and a five pound note! How this made us laugh! During tonight’s game of Cheat it quickly became apparent that Dan has no idea (despite his 17 years of being alive!) what the order of cards is as he kept putting down tens after kings and queens. We therefore decided to write the order down for him so he could refer to it as we played, this document was titles ‘How cards work’ and was used throughout the trek! Looking forward to tomorrow’s 6 hour bus journey! That wasn’t even sarcastic. :3



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