Ken's Many Musings PaR Events 2019 Contact

Simren Virdee

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I'm a sixteen year old student studying three A-Levels, English literature, Sociology and Media. I'm an active member of Greenpeace and other environmental groups. I enjoy going to protests and raising awareness about climate change, I enjoy learning and reading about other topical groups such as feminism.

When I am not doing this I'm often with friends, watching films or doing something creative, like drawing or painting.

Simren Virdee



KS Learning

KS Learning provides tuition for all ages inluding GCSE and A Level for a wide range of subjects such as Mathematics, Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English, History, French, German, Spanish, and more, in the Boroughs of Richmond-Upon-Thames, Hounslow, Kingston-Upon-Thames, and surrounding areas.

Tuition for A level and GCSE for students at school or home schooled in subjects like maths and english



Porridge and Rice

Porridge and Rice combats poverty in the Nairobi slums, home to some of the poorest people in the world, by enabling pupils at partner schools to obtain a sound education.

Porridge and Rice is fighting poverty through education for the extreme poor of the Nairobi slums




Contact

If you have thoughts that you would like to share with the world, please submit them by email.

Note that the editor will decide whether to publish and/or edit emails before publication. No discussion will be entered into.


KS Learning

KS Learning provides tuition for all ages inluding GCSE and A Level for a wide range of subjects such as Mathematics, Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English, History, French, German, Spanish, and more, in the Boroughs of Richmond-Upon-Thames, Hounslow, Kingston-Upon-Thames, and surrounding areas.

Tuition for A level and GCSE for students at school or home schooled in subjects like maths and english



Porridge and Rice

Porridge and Rice combats poverty in the Nairobi slums, home to some of the poorest people in the world, by enabling pupils at partner schools to obtain a sound education.

Porridge and Rice is working to combat poverty through education for the extreme poor of the Nairobi slums




Contact

If you have thoughts that you would like to share with the world, please submit them by email.

Note that the editor will decide whether to publish and/or edit emails before publication. No discussion will be entered into.


Contact

If you have any thoughts that you would like to share, please feel free to email

Interests

Books Climbing Walking Cats Charity Kenya Nursing French Puzzles Craft Reading Craft Child Development French Nursing Hygiene Charity Cats Walking Climbing Books


Simren's Blog

Simren has a wide range of unrelated interests from painting to the theatre. She has a friendly personality enjoying company and going out with others.

Filicide

6 August 2021

In the past week, a mother and stepfather in Wales, were charged with the murder of their son Logan aged 5 who was found in a river in South Wales. Police believe that the stepfather killed the child.

There have only been 297 convicted cases of filicide in the UK between 1997 and 2006, almost 40% of which involved a form of mental illness. There are five main motivators for why children are murdered by parents namely spousal revenge, unwanted child, altruism, child maltreatment, psychosis.

While police are still trying to determine the motive for the killing, John Cole has been charged with Logan’s murder, and his mother and brother have been charged with perverting the course of justice. This means that both parents will most likely end up imprisoned for life.

The community have marked Logan's life by leaving flowers and soft toys by the riverside bridge where his body was found. Children have been dressing up and flying balloons in local parks, highlighting how many people feel affected by this incident. The councillor of Ynysawdre would like to put a red bench somewhere in the community as a tribute to him, as it was his favourite colour. It is clear that the community has been shocked by this murder and are trying to support those affected.

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Poverty

30 July 2021

Poverty has been recognised by the world community since 1948 with global initiatives to eradicate it.

Until recently, it seemed like the goal to abolish poverty by 2050 was possible, but due to the pandemic, this target has been pushed back as many have been affected across the globe.

It is estimated that 1 billion children live in poverty, of which 46% are BAME children. In the UK, around 30% of children live in poverty.

There are many definitions of poverty. In the UK, if the family income is 60% below the median average, the family is considered to be in poverty. It is a relative definition of poverty. Globally, poverty is defined in absolute terms as living on less than $1.90 a day, less than the cost of an Americano at Starbucks.

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Why is sexual harassment not a crime in the UK?

19 March 2021

Sarah Everard is suspected to be murdered by a police officer in Kent. This news has triggered women to speak up about how unsafe they feel. Protest in Clapham common was cancelled today as police believed it was unsafe, however, I like many others participated by lighting a candle at nine thirty pm – the time she was last seen on the 3rd march. Sexual harassment is an increasing as 90% of women in the UK have faced harassment by the time they are 17. In a world where men and women are seen to have equal opportunities in the eyes of the law ingrained sexism within institutions has caused the lack of women’s safety to go unquestioned. Surely if a large percentage of the population have felt threatened by someone or something it should be criminalised?

Sign the petition to make a change.

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Whilst this Pandemic

12 March 2021

Whilst this Pandemic has caused it to feel as if our lives have been put on hold, so much is happening in such a short space of time. From the Capitol being stormed by Trump supporters as well as Trump being impeached, Elon Musk becoming the richest man alive, Kamala Harris being the first woc Vice president of the USA it has been an eventful January. Hopefully the good will continue and positive outcomes of the circumstances we are in will continue throughout this year.

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3rd Lockdown

5 March 2021

So, after this third and hopefully final lockdown we are starting the returning to society process again. Moving from online learning back to learning in real life is difficult. I have become so accustomed to this way of learning and interacting with others online – I’m not sure I want to return to the way life was before. The daily face to face social interactions seem almost unnecessary to me. The growing independence and peace I have felt whilst at home has made me feel that socialising can be tedious. Previously I enjoyed large social events and spent much time with many friends and family members and whilst I’m looking forward to being able to do things that I enjoy. I have found this new comfortability within being alone, so for me these lockdowns have been positive. However, I know for others it has been ch

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A COVID Christmas

25 December 2020

Christmas is a time to spend with family but what do you do, if you can't.

My sister tested positive for COVID19 on Christmas Eve so had to isolate through Christmas and will have to do so over New Year. My sister was given her gifts and meals in her room and we facetimed her to spend time with her. In addition, because she was infected, we couldn’t have family members visiting our home, so we spent a lot of time facetiming them.

Christmas felt quieter, lonelier and less festive, as there was no seeing the Christmas lights, ice skating, mingling with family members and friends. However I was grateful that my immediate family were together, even in an unconventional way with my sister confined to her room.

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Are beauty standards changing?

18 December 2020

The same Marc Jacob's advert has been appearing a lot on tv lately. This advert included women of all backgrounds and communities, including POC and LGBTQ+ as well as women who do not fit the ‘ideal body type’. This lead me to ask whether beauty standard are changing.

In recent years, we have seen the introduction of new 'beauty standards' due to the introduction of plus size models, like Ashley Graham and non-white models like Alek Wek as well as transgender models like Valentina Sampaio. This introduction of diversity in high fashion is changing and normalising other features, not traditionally considered beautiful. This progression has started to occur in all types of modelling, however, there is still significant under representation of minority communities in western media.

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Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Truman Show

4 December 2020

Raiders of the lost ark is an Indiana Jones film directed by Stephen Spielberg. The film is considered a classic film by many. Harrison Ford plays Indiana Jones, an archaeologist who attempts to beat a group of Nazis to finding a religious relic, which is part of their plan for world domination. The mystery-action genre is in full effect during this film as there is constant drama. In this film there is also an element of personal drama as Indiana battles his vindictive ex-girlfriend. I think this film appeals because of its easy to follow, action-packed, fast-paced storyline.

Jim Carrey stars in The Truman Show, where his plays Truman Burbank, whose life is part of a giant television set, however he doesn’t know it. His entire life is planned out for him and broadcast live. The producer Christof replaces his love interest and he starts to realise his life is not his own.

Both films follow a male protagonist earching for something. In Raiders of the Lost Arck, the search for the artifact is literal while in The Truman Show, the search is abstract as Truman searches for the truth about his life. The two films have similar messages about the discovery of life presented in different formats. With The Truman Show being comedic thus appealing more to children and Raiders of the Lost Arck marketed more towards adults, this shows that the similarities between adults and children are greater than assumed in society with both facing the same difficulties about discovery.

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Silence of the Lambs and Clockwork Orange

27 November 2020

Silence of the lambs is based on two characters Clarice, a young student at the FBI's training camp, and Hannibal, a psychiatrist who is also a psychopath and a cannibal. Hannibal is locked away and attempts to use Clarice as bait to draw out a new murderer, which is what Jack Crawford (also from the FBI) believes. Clarice and Hannibal work closely together throughout the film trying to predict the murderer's next move. As the two work together, Hannibal manipulates Clarice by revealing her past traumas revealing who she truly is, as well as helping her.

Likewise, in Clockwork Orange, the film centres around a murderer, Alex who is a young man who leads his gang into murders and other forms of abuse. Alex is a hedonistic young man who he believes music and violence provide him with similar aesthetic pleasure. However, as he is young and naïve he ends up being manipulated by F. Alexander and government associates who attempt to rehabilitate him.

Both films ask intriguing questions about people like are we born bad? What makes a bad person? Are we defined by our actions or attitudes? How and why do we judge people? Whilst these films had complex narratives, they remained entertaining through asking questions these difficult questions. These films make audiences question society and the way people are judged. I enjoyed the originality and complexity of both films.

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Fight Club and There Will be Blood

20 November 2020

There will be Blood is a film centred around Daniel Plainview, a silver miner who becomes an oil prospector and moves to California. He starts a fraudulent business where Californian residents sell their valuable land for a fraction of its worth. However, preacher Eli Sunday believes Plainview has ulterior motives creating strife between the two. I enjoyed the first half of this film and its ending, but the ongoing disagreement between Plainview and Sunday was too slow for my liking.

Fight Club is a strange film, where many things out of the ordinary occur. A man with insomnia and a soap salesman meet and live in a squalor, after the destruction of their apartment. They form a fight club to escape their mundane lives and other men gradually join. The way the film is constructed creates constant questions for the audience. Why did they create Fight Club? Why did it attract so many people? The aloofness of the film has led to debate the message of Fight Club. Some see it as ironic, while others see a metaphor for drug abuse, but it could just be a message of taking and owning actions.

I found Fight Club to be the more interesting of the two films, the constant changes and the reality of the men in film contrasts mine completely, making it intriguing. The films share similarities with both focused on male-dominated conflict however while Fight Club keeps a fast pace, secretive narrative, In There Will Be Blood the film's pace is slower with a storyline that is less original and engaging.

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Climate Change

13 November 2020

Recently a large chunk fell off the Arctic's remaining ice shelf. So why is this a problem? And how is it going to impact people?

Over the years, as temperatures have risen globally due to climate change, we have seen many natural disasters such as the Australian bush fires, tornadoes hitting the south east of the USA, a super-cyclone flooding China and an above average hurricane season, and all these natural disasters happened in the first half of this year. The ice shelf falling off is just the most recent evidence of climate change with the disasters with the natural disasters listed, the latest consequences, each one of which had serious consequences for many people around the world.

We need to slow weather change down. One way is to use less energy, so walk instead of driving, use electronic devices less often, and shop sustainably which doesn't have to be expensive. shopping sustainably, including purchasing reused clothes instead of brand new clothes and select imperfect vegetables not popular in supermarkets, can even save money. Each one of us can make small changes, and small changes add up to big changes. Everyone can make a difference.

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American Election

6 November 2020

Joe Biden will be taking over the presidency from Donald Trump on 20 January 2021.

The American electoral system is quite complex with the electoral college. In the previous election, the majority of US citizens voted for Hillary Clinton, however, Donald Trump won the majority of electoral college votes and so won the election becoming president. The fifty states and Washington DC are given electoral college votes based on how densely populated the state is. The candidate that wins the majority of votes in a state, receives all the electoral votes for that state.

Whether, you support Trump or Biden, there are similarities between the men with Joe Biden presenting himself in a more sophisticated and diplomatic manner. Due to the divided state of the nation, Biden is seeking to reform the United States and ‘not divide but…unify'. Trump on the other hand, has launched law suits to challenge the election which he believes he won. This tedious legal mess has left the rest of the world on the edge of their seats, just waiting to find out what'll happen next

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Second Lockdown

30 October 2020

Boris Johnson announced a second lockdown from the 2nd November to December, and people are not happy. This lockdown allows for students to attend schools, grocery shops to remain open, but has closed gyms restaurants and other entertainment activities as well as house hold mixing. Many are unhappy as this has caused them to be on furlough yet again, students are unhappy as they're still paying full tuition prices and not being provided with the full university experience. The labour party who proposed a two week circuit break, was rejected for the tory government to later announce a month lockdown. The conflicting information the government has provided us with during the pandemic has irritated the country; first the eat out to help out scheme over the summer, which helped spike covid cases, the lack of care for students, the elderly, the NHS and key workers, people on furlough who haven't been provided with enough support and are struggling to live. Whilst I and many others understand the government are dealing with a pandemic, Brexit, economic recession and much more they’re not helping the average people and seem to only be looking out for themselves and the wealthy, as the MP’s have given themselves a pay rise but refused to provide free school meals for primary school children.

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Vampires

23 October 2020

Over the past few years there has been more and more tv shows based on mythology, more specifically vampires. From twilight to vampire diaries, why do we like vampires so much? Are they even real? Apparently Stoker named Dracula after Vlada Dracula also known as Vlada the Impaler, due to his favourite way to kill being to staking them, he also liked to eat victims blood with bread. He was one of the cruellest rulers of the ottoman empire who was ruler of Romana, Transylvania. Stoker based his novel Dracula from this, that is how the ledged of vampires was born. It has been adapted in several ways by several writers over time, but all vampires drink blood and die from being staked in the heart.

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Halloween

16 October 2020

As Halloween is fast approaching, I decided to look into this popular holiday. Halloween comes from a Celtic festival of Samhain where people would dress up and light fires to ward off ghosts. Over time this Irish festival has spread across the western world, and now on the 31st October we celebrate Halloween. Some of the loved traditions like carving pumpkins originated as an attempt to protect families from fairies and witches, the jack o lanterns were originally carved from turnips attached via strings to sticks. Now we celebrate this trivial holiday in a number of ways, children go trick or treating and others use it as an excuse to go out and socialise, as well a dress up. Although things are different due to the covid restrictions, so how will you be celebrating?

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China's Concentration Camps

9 October 2020

I'm not too sure why mainstream media hasn’t reported the wrong doings of the Chinese government. Since 2016 eighty percent of the Uyghur population has vanished, they have either been detained in concentration camps or forcibly disappeared. Many journalists and human rights activists have discovered hundreds of concentration camps or detention centres. This is a modern day mass genocide of Muslims, these people are being forced to go against their religious beliefs, by drinking alcohol, eating pork, forcing men and women together, discarding women's choice to wear headscarves, they are trying to make them conform to Chinese culture and ideals. The stories are similar to the ones from the holocaust, so why is the world neglecting their suffering? We have already documented and seen the damage of extremist religious prejudice due to Hitler's prejudice against Jewish people, which caused a world war. So why when this has been going on for four years are people just starting to realise what is going on in Uyghur and why aren't political leaders and people of status in society (millionaires, influencers, etc) not using their platforms to educate people about the awful things the Chinese government are condoning.

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Poland

2 October 2020

In Poland many pro-choice protests have broken out through the country. These have been going on throughout the week as the government have banned almost all abortions, even if the foetus is diagnosed with serious and irreversible birth defects. This has caused outrage amongst Polish citizens, in Warsaw activists poured red paint across the Lazienkowski Bridge. Women in Poland are coordinating their actions due to the ban, as 1000 abortions are carried out legally, some groups believe between 80000 and 120000 illegal abortions are carried out every year. With conservative rule, the PiS party believe these actions go against the catholic church and Poland. This country has one of the strictest rules on abortion, making them even tougher has led to public backlash in Poland and around Europe. The government have said no more on their decision. Even though protests have been going on for days, the government have decided to speak out against protestors. What will the future of abortion policies be in Poland and how will the people react?

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Meat

25 September 2020

In the UK 88% of people eat meat, this is an issue as the majority of meat is industrially farmed. What does this mean? That cows amongst other animals are purposely bred for slaughter. Animals are purposely mistreated by farmers, fattened, and artificially inseminated. This is an issue as the meat industry contributes significantly to global warming. JBS provides meat to some of your favourite fast food chains and supermarkets, as well as contributing to half of the CO2 emissions produced by the meat industry. Often, meat is farmed abroad, not locally. For example, in Brazil farmers are starting forest fires to make more room for cattle, endangering wildlife and contributing to climate change. The Amazon Rainforest has its own ecosystem; the more destruction caused to it, the less it will be able to sustain itself, leading to changing climate change patterns, not only in South America, but also globally. As the majority of animal farming is done overseas, land grabbing (where people of power take advantage of poorer people, often coning them into leaving their land, or stealing it )is becoming more common, taking away the cultures of those living in the forests, leading to conflict. It is also inefficient as it takes almost 3 times more crops to feed a group of chickens; this produce could be fed to humans and other animals, which would help lower carbon emissions from this activity. Destroying homes of animals and people also increases the risk of diseases, as humans and animals no longer have their own, individual spaces. As a result, it is clear to see how ¼ of infections are transmitted from animals to humans.

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CD Painting

18 September 2020

This week I’ve been trying to redecorate my room, as I’m now bored of it since spending lots of time in there during the lockdown. I decided to make a wall hanging using things I had around my house. I found a pile of old CDs, some rope and paints. I decided to make a cd wall hanging to cover one wall in my room. I started by looking for some inspiration of what to paint on the CDs. As I’ve been going on many walks and to lots of parks and taking pictures of nature. I painted the pictures I took and things I had seen, on some CDs, the process however, is long and tedious and I am only ¼ of the way. So far, my CDs look good and when I have painted all of them, I will then decide on placement and put it all together.

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Yemen

11 September 2020

In 2011 Yemenis protested against their president Ali Abdulah Saleh. A rebel Shia group called the Houthis made it difficult for Saleh to rule, so he resigned and the vice president Hadi became president.

Hadi drew up a new plan, however, tensions arose when a proposal was made to divide Yemen into six states. Hadi and the government were not able to maintain order and groups such as the AQAP and the Daesh took advantage of the political instability. Whilst this was happening the Houthis and former president Saleh formed an alliance and advanced into Riyadh. Whilst this was happening the president Hadi had taken a trip to Saudi Arabia which helped set up an air and sea blockade.

In 2017, former president Saleh was found dead as he was seen to be a traitor by the Houthis. The US government supplied Saudi Arabia with billions of dollars worth of weapons. Each member of the coalition are persuing their own goals and violating international humanitarian laws. In June this year, the United Nations issued a plea for financial aid.

Yeminis are struggling as sixty percent of the total population are food insecure, more than three million have been displaced and millions are trapped in poverty. UNICEF estimates two million children under five suffer from malnutrition and require treatment and there is no end in sight to their suffering.

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India’s Farming Issue

4 September 2020

Recently, India's Prime Minster Modi passed a bill making it easier for farmers to sell produce to private buyers and enter contracts with private companies. In addition, the law has made it easier to sell produce in different states.

Many farmers are not happy with this bill, and Modi's main opponent has even gone so far to call it 'black law'. This is because for decades farmers have been driven into debt due to crop failure. In farming states such as Punjab and Haryana many have been protesting. As Modi had promised to double farming income, he has been under pressure to bring wealth and private investments into the sector which has struggled to grow. The protesters know the bill will not profit them, and they will continue to struggle, something that has let to many even taking their own lives due to poverty.

India's agriculture sector is extremely important to the country because it contributes fifteen percent of India's 2.9 trillion dollar economy and employs half the country's 1.3 billion people.

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Weather Changes

28 August 2020

The change in weather, to chilly nights and days has not stopped me from getting outside and being in nature. I enjoy going on walks and runs and often stop to take pictures of things I think are interesting. These include many sunsets which I thought I'd share with you.

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Homelessness in the UK

21 August 2020

Due to the pandemic the government made a conscious effort to reduce homelessness, by rehousing and providing for those in need. However, as the 23rd of august is approaching there are fears of an increase in homelessness, as the evictions had been previously extended from the 25th of June. With fear of a second wave as we return back to some form of normality, homeless people could be in more danger than ever. Due to the pandemic more people are struggling financially due to the job cuts, there may be more reliance upon council benefits, and homeless people.

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University and A levels 2020

14 August 2020

Due to covid its been a difficult year, especially for students. With year 13s who had half a year of content have had no changes to the curriculum and will most likely be sitting exams at the end of the year. The first year university students trapped in their accommodation. This has showed the younger generation that government are not putting their needs first. The Prime Minster Boris Johnson has been giving out conflicting advice since the start of the pandemic, leaving the public unsure of what to do. He as well as the Tory party has continued to profit from the education sector.

By marketing universities and encouraging young people to move away, spend money on accommodation and university fees. Proving that he is unfit to be a leader of calibre. He is constantly blaming groups of people for following the rules has made, the quickly adapts the rules to make him seem knowledgeable. He is clearly unable to give any decent advice, let alone govern a country.

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The Punch

7 August 2020

This podcast is one that documents how someone’s life changed due to one mistake. Causing two families a life time of pain and changing the course of their lives forever. One night Jacob Dunn was out with his friends when he got a call saying one of his friends was getting involved in some commotion whilst out on his eighteenth birthday celebrations, he rushed down to that bar, ran and punched James. The punch knocked him down, as he fell unconscious on the floor. An ambulance was then called for James whilst Jacob fled the sight. At a&e James’ family were told he was being treated for alcohol poisoning, hence his family left the hospital. The next morning his family were told he was being treated for a brain injury, he immediately went for a surgery which he did not come out of. So, whose fault was it? The medical staff for not recognising and treating the injury? The people surrounding James not warning him of Jacob? Jacobs fault for punching James? Or the justice system for punishing the wrong person/not recognising what had happened?

Jacob didn’t intend to kill James when he threw that punch, he was defending his friend from someone who seemed to be causing a problem, so is it fair that he was sentenced with manslaughter? Is he as bad as someone who plotted the murder of someone, and has had previous run ins with the law? Did the medical staff do their job accurately by misdiagnosing James? Could they have prevented his death by operating sooner? Why do we treat all criminals the same? Some crimes such as theft are not perceived to be as bad as murder, so why is it that someone who has stolen but hasn’t been punished can continue with their life, but somebody who has been caught has so many restrictions placed upon their life. Should we treat criminals differently? I think we should, Jacobs intent was to defend not kill, he had never had any previous run ins with the law, so I believe he should be able to follow his dream career, unlike someone who premeditated murder. I feel we should reform our system as there are many like Jacob whose lives have been ruined due to one mistake they made.

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Penguins

31 July 2020

I was reflecting upon my holiday memories and one of my favourite trips was a few years ago to South Africa for Christmas, where my family and I saw penguins in their natural habitat. The black and white birds had just hatched, on to the beige sand. These birds are adorable and endangered, with roughly 50,000 left and only 21,000 breeding pairs left in the wild. The population of these birds had declined by sixty percent over the past 30 years. Although these birds are endangered there are a few things we can do to help them survive, like supporting conservation work which conserve biodiversity, reducing your carbon footprint by doing simple things like turning off lights when not in use or walking/cycling instead of driving.

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Staycation

24 July 2020

This week I’ve been exploring the UK, instead of packing may bags and heading overseas for some down time. A few friends and I went to the new forest for a few days. The tranquil atmosphere helped me relax and forget about everything going on at the moment, it was as if life was back to normal. We went on long walks and enjoyed nature, had fun went out to eat. My favourite part of the trip was being out of the city, which is always very busy and adventuring in nature. Other ways my friends and I have been trying to relax and have a fun summer is by exploring local parks and taking trips into central London whilst it’s not too busy. Its difficult to find things to do that are fun close by and keep you safe. One thing I'm happy about is pubs and restaurants reopening as it gives us another place to go, and something else to do. As with nothing open this summer looks like it will be quite boring.

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The Summer Holidays

17 July 2020

This week marks the start of the summer holidays, which many students like myself have been looking forward to.

With the good weather and relaxation of lockdown rules, this summer looks like it will be normal, with restaurants back open as well as theme parks and hotels. I've already been out much more with friends and family, just like I would normally in the summer. However, I have been more active, playing more sports rather than doing things I have done in previous summers, like going to the cinema. However, since the shops opened a few weeks ago, I have visited them, spending due to boredom. I have accumulated a lot of stuff, clothes, shoes, books, that I definitely do not need which I suspect others are also doing as the stores seem to be getting busier.

This summer seems like it will be filled with shopping, sun, friends and family, hopefully it will be a good one.

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Exercise in Lockdown

10 July 2020

This week I've been challenging myself by exercising more, as I haven't really worked out since before the quarantine. It was more difficult than I assumed, I'm defiantly not as fit as I thought I was. My friends and I whilst face-timing and excising together, struggled through it. As gyms still aren't open yet but may open later this summer people are getting ready, by starting to work out more. I don't think exercise is as fun as it used to be before quarantine, well at least not for me.

Another thing which I don't think will be enjoyable, is returning back to school in September. Trapped in class bubbles of up to 400 people, in a few classrooms, back in dress code, with people I've been avoiding for the past few months and seeing teachers. Doesn't sound as great and safe as they're making it out to be, sounds more claustrophobic and unsanitary. Which I don't think is for, I think they should make online school available throughout the school year. The idea of returning back to normal makes me nervous, as I feel I have adapted to being indoors, I'm not sure I could readapt to normal life and constant socialising.

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National Theatre Live

3 July 2020

I've been watching and reviewing plays recently and I thought I'd share my opinions with you.

My favourite virtual play I watched was Frankenstein. This was due to the director and set designers ability to transform one stage into multiple settings, through the use of lighting and minimal props. This Mary Shelly adaptation captivates the audience as we see Frankenstein's journey, and all the obstacles he faces to find love and acceptance. This struggle he faces is something audiences could empathise with, as everyone has faced difficulties of acceptance.

There are multiple motifs and symbols within the narrative, which link to the setting, for example the fire. Frankenstein's first encounter with fire could symbolise learning and acknowledgement as he learns of his dual nature, its ability to create light and warmth but also burn him. This analytical approach I've taken on this play is similar to the way I would analyse a film or book.

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Paintings

26 June 2020

Recently I've been getting creative, and have taken an online painting course, and have made quite a few paintings for my family and friends. I thought I'd share with you my painting process.

I first start by finding some inspiration either from a previous painting, photograph, or object. I then sketch an outline of the main shapes, and block in the main colours, next I blend and hope the painting comes together. These paintings can be anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.

I have explored a variety of painting styles, media tools and surfaces. Here are a few of my favourite things I've made so far.

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Back to School

19 June 2020

This week shops and schools have opened up.

I recently went to Westfield with some friends for a few hours. And there was practically no social distancing, people ignoring the directions and cordoned off areas. It was quite amusing to watch the man in charge of the apple store que poke people to tell them they needed to increase the social distancing. In shops there were no regulated amounts of people allowed in, and everyone was touching everything, it seemed very unsafe.

Similarly, with school, this week I went in for a two-hour lesson, it was very strange seeing my teachers and peers again. The empty corridors, and classrooms, which were one full are now silent. The surreal experience continued as the class was half full and everyone was immediately asked to use hand gel, and there were tapes segregating everybody. However as soon as class finished so did the social distancing. I'm not sure when we do fully return to school safety precautions will be followed. When the second wave hits what will we do, will it be as strict as before or worse.

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Racism Today

12 June 2020

Although earlier I did predict protests and riots to occur toward the end of the lockdown, I did not think it would be due to racism, however, I still believe I have powers of prediction as protest due to injustice occurred. This week George Floyd was murdered wrongfully, sparking outrage globally, as Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin, crushed his neck with his knee whilst for almost nine minutes George repeated 'I can't breathe!'.

This act of racism, led to protests and looting in Philadelphia as well as across America, and the UK. Reminding many of the injustice and prejudice views still held by many today, including the leader of the free world, Trump, who has decided not to support the protests or jail those police bystanders, but to support them, as he has called the national guard and is using method of violence against peaceful protesters. These protests have sparked a global movement, making it the lagest civil rights movement in history, which I feel proud to have participated in. a friend and I went to a local protest, although social distance measures were not completely followed, it was and amazing atmosphere of peace, hearing stories of peoples hardships. And seeing people of all races, background, sexuality, gender come together to try and make a change. However these racial incidents seem almost like Deja vu as riots like these occurred during the 60s and the same actions of violence against peace was taken. Begging the question, when will racism end? A it feels like we've been fighting the same battle for years, will it ever end, we need to educate people on the struggles people face due to racism, through reading, watching tv, speaking to others, or simply just wondering what it would be like if the roles were reversed.

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Returning back to Society

5 June 2020

This week, shops and schools are reopening.

It feels quite surreal to be going back to some sort of normality and seeing people in real life for the first time in months. Whilst its strange it's also quite scary, knowing that you must continue with your life despite a disease with no cure looming, ominously in the background, which could harm you. Although the rest of the world is returning back to some form of normality, and some countries have even declared themselves corona free.

The UK's slow response rate has made it the country with the highest death rate/cases in Europe, leading to travel bans to certain countries for the foreseeable future. Some places have experienced a second wave, which makes me feel nervous about returning back to school, knowing that safety procedures haven't been properly followed, for a while. Even on a regular day, corona free, schools are not very cleanly, as well as shops. Considering this disease spreads through contact, and air, going shopping and to schools where people are constantly touching things, it doesn't seem like hand gel and a mask are very protective. People are out more due to the good weather, ignoring the safety warnings, as Boris has lifted some of the safety guidelines. It seems like the best immune system will win, now that we're returning back to some form of normality.

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Stuck inside during Summer

29 May 2020

This week the sun's out and as are the people as Boris lifts restrictions allowing people to meet, if they stay two meters apart. With the opening of more fast food restaurants, and parks opening, people are starting to go out more. However although the majority are sticking to the two meter rule, others have decided to ignore the governments warnings, and head down to the local parks and beaches to enjoy the sun, ignoring the social distance warnings, and the fact that there is a deadly virus we know almost nothing about spreading across the entire world. Even though the suns out we should still do our best to stay safe and follow government rules, so that the virus dies down whilst a cure is found, so we can go back to some form of normality soon.

I've been busy going on walks and talking to more people in my neighbourhood, bringing back a sense of community. I've been going on walks with other people from my neighbourhood, who I wouldn't normally speak to. It's been nice talking to new people and forging new friendships. I've also been going on longer walks, and spending more time outside in nature, which I wouldn't normally do either. It's been fun and relaxing being able to spend time with others face to face instead of online. This move to going out some more, has school and workplaces considering opening, however many are unsure as to how we will be able to go back to school/work and stay safe. What will be taught in schools? How will we help exam years? How will the economy be affected? When will we be able to return to work?

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Coronavirus Isolation

22 May 2020

Coronavirus as you know has caused a global pandemic and we're all starting to feel the effects of not leaving the house and being trapped in a confined space with family and friends, who you thought you got along with, until you had to see them 24/7.Governments around to world have issued lockdowns, making it difficult to establish a sense of normality for many, as schooling and working from has become online.

During my two weeks in isolation I have realised many things about myself and my family, that although I do love them, they've become just about tolerable during this lockdown. I think this has something to do with our astrological signs, being the four fixed signs, this means our personalities are too intense when together causing us to clash. Or it could just be that tensions are rising as we are not able to go anywhere or see anyone except for each other. Simple tasks like shopping have become difficult due to panic buyers bulk buying pasta, rice and any other non-perishable food. The constant updates on the virus have people afraid to leave the house. There are those who are binge watching every single show on Netflix and in a permanent state of relaxation. Others who feel the need to clean and disinfect the entire house as they believe cleanliness will prevent the household form catching the dreaded COVID-19. Whilst everyone in in my household has adopted one of these roles the situation outside is becoming worse, with the UK's corona cases and deaths increasing daily.

Although there are some positives to being in isolation, like not seeing the people you can't stand but must see in your regular everyday life. Having a lot more free time to catch up on that show you were too busy to watch, learning a new skill or starting a new hobby. Another positive is that many are learning how to cook and do more domestic tasks making people more reliant upon themselves and not others. By the time we leave isolation and enter society we will all be independent individuals who have gained a multitude of skills. However, many during this isolation have chosen to relax and treat this time as a staycation, whilst this is enjoyable, they will be shocked when returning to normality of work. Which could lead to a, revolt as people will finally realise that they've been working for years without recognising that they deserve to be paid more due to their labour. This revolt could trigger many changes, like the change in government and society, not just nationally but globally. This could be the start of a Marxist revolution. This could be the year of new experiences for the UK, first Brexit, now COVID-19, then a Marxist revolution.

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The Peak

15 May 2020

Another week another blog, the repetitive nature of the everyday currently saddens me.

I like many of you feel that there is nothing to do, except school/work and very little leisure activities available, like watching tv. This current lifestyle has many bored and worried about mental health.

The police and MP's have warned that the effects on people's mental health is leading to an increased number of suicides. This is due to many reasons, like decreased support from mental health services, religious organisations, sports and other leisure activities. Many are struggling due to lack of mental support, but there a things we can do to help, contact people through social media who you would normally speak to, keep active and participate in at home work outs, eat a balanced and healthy diet and manage stress with all of these can help with this mundane lifestyle. Other things like starting new hobbies or taking up old hobbies you've lost touch with, other things like going outside into a garden or going on daily walks. By trying new things during this time period, you can develop skills which you will be able to use in the future.

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Is Social Media Useful?

8 May 2020

Another week has past in quarantine and I'm getting more used to being at home, the restrictions have become normalised, I'm almost enjoying being at home. The death count in the UK has gone down and people are starting to take the lockdown rules more seriously, so hopefully the Coronavirus will be over soon, and we can return to some sort of normality.

One difficulty I’ve faced is communication with others, and topics to talk about as everyone is living a repetitive mundane lifestyle. Things that were once considered boring and a part of everyday life, like going to buy groceries and going to school/work are all online, leaving people feeling lonely due to the lack of human contact. My friends and I have started playing online games, PlayStation games, facetiming/calling, online group exercising in order to stay in contact. Due to schedules often changing its difficult to see everyone due to their personal and family lives. Although we can't be with each other, it hasn't stopped the dynamic of friendships as arguments and rowdiness have not disappeared. Although this quarantine has showed me that just because I see people regularly doesn’t mean I’m friends with them. However, the friends that I have kept in touch with during the lockdown have become better connected.

I've used this time to develop other skills like; painting (acrylic and watercolour), drawings, astrological readings and tarot cards/ future predictions. Turns out I'm no Picasso as I can barely paint an orange, however, the online classes I'm taking show people making a great deal of progress, so by the end of this quarantine I will, hopefully be a decent artist. I am enjoying learning to read tarot cards although my friends and family believe they're nonsense and won't let me practice on them. Some of my friends have decided to develop cooking skills and other domestic skills as we're planning on moving out next year when we go to university. Although it has proven more difficult as fire alarms have gone off, tea towels have been burnt, children have been burnt. It's proving a lot more difficult to be independent than we thought.

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Caged

1 May 2020

Another day trapped inside, I wonder if this is what animals feel like, caged up in zoos.

The popular Netflix show, 'Tiger King' shows the rivalry between a man and a woman who run tiger zoos. It follows the treatment of the animals and the lives of the owners. The show that many of us are watching and not realising the similarities they share with the tigers at the moment, like them we're all caged not in our natural sociable habitat, hence dampening the spirits of many. This isolated feeling is what many animals experience daily, some for their entire lives. We know that animals that live in cages are unable to return to the wild, I wonder if the same thing will happen to humans?

What will it be like when we return to a contact world and can no longer hide behind screens and social distancing measures? Will we be unable to return to the wild? How soon before things go back to normal? What will everyday life look like? These are some questions I and many others have been thinking about recently as lockdown lifts in many European countries, Germany, Austria, Spain and Italy. Although lockdown has not been fully lifted, children are back to school and people are back to work, however, communal spaces like gyms and other leisure venues are still closed.

As some normality has returned to other European countries, the UK is still in lockdown but will hopefully follow soon, and we could be back outside enjoying the weather and socialising. I wonder how the changing social interactions will affect people's everyday lives, commuting, schooling and work dynamics will not be the same. Will this limit the efficiency of people's productivity? All these questions have not been answered by any government officials, leaving many unsure of what is to come. But at least for now we have entertaining television programmes as the BBC, ITV, Netflix and other streaming services have added many new shows to keep the nation occupied.

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What would you do as World Leader?

24 April 2020

Another week has passed and we're all still stuck inside. However, there is hope a Boris plans to make a formal announcement on Sunday about the state of the current virus outbreak, many have speculated that we will be returning to normality soon, with the prime minister loosening lockdown regulations in a traffic light format, many believe by June/July many will be back at work and school. Many are excited to return to normality, but I'm enjoying being at home, and I'm not sure I want to back to school. At first, I despised the lockdown and couldn't wait to leave and continue with my life, but now I've realised the comforts of being introverted. I'm not ready to go back to being surrounded by others or any of the other social norms. I'm sure many feel the same as I, this could make for an interesting return, if we do return to society. This had me wondering what I would do if I was prime minister? I have a few suggestions, which I believe Boris should take into consideration, like, imposing a nationwide curfew, providing more PPE equipment for those working in COVID units and any other doctors, nurses and other health care professionals, however by adding PPE more equipment, this would mean factory worker would need to go back to work, I would only allow essential workers back or if people knew how to sew or had sewing machines, I would ask them if they could lend a hand in making more PPE equipment. I would also enforce rules within care homes, making sure workers stayed within the homes, and deliveries of supplies were made directly to the home, and contact free. I would also make sure those doing exams next year, had scheduled calls and assignments set for them, ensuring they stay on track and focus on the curriculum. Also, for those planning to apply to university next year, I would make sure virtual tours were available and universities to hold virtual seminars which they would’ve previously had running, making it easier for students to apply for universities. I would also make it a priority for all key workers to be tested weekly for corona and their families and anybody they come into contact with, this way anyone with the disease is made aware that they have it and then they would immediately self isolate, limiting the spread of the disease, until the cure or the spread of the virus becomes eliminated. So, what would you do if you were prime minster?

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Survival Skills

17 April 2020

This week I decided to broaden my horizons, and try some cooking, and I made pasta from scratch. Here's a step by step of how it went.

I started by adding some flour, eggs and water, until it formed a dough and then left it in the fridge for about an hour. This was going surprisingly well for me, as there had been no problems making the dough, I had done it in quite quickly, I then like my dough rested for a while. Then it was time to roll the dough into some pasta, this is where things got a bit tricky, it took me longer than I thought as rolling out pasta is a long process that requires good arm to turn the lever so that the past rolls at a nice thin and even pace. Then the cutting of the pasta into long evenly sliced strips, to form some spaghetti. Then I left it to dry and later served it to my family.

The results of my pasta making were poor as the pasta was different thicknesses and widths and lengths and had a sort of funny flavour as I may have forgotten to add the salt. Nevertheless, my family appreciated the effort. Now that I've made pasta from scratch, I'm not sure what I'll be making next, but whatever it is I'll be sure to keep you updated on the process and success rate.

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Another Week

10 April 2020

Another week has past in quarantine and I'm getting more used to being at home, the restrictions have become normalised, I'm almost enjoying being at home. The death count in the UK has gone down and people are starting to take the lockdown rules more seriously, so hopefully the decline of Corona will be over soon, and we can return to some sort of normality.

One difficulty I've faced is communication with others, and topics to talk about as everyone is living a repetitive mundane lifestyle. Things that were once considered boring and a part of everyday life, like going to buy groceries and going to school/work are all online, leaving people feeling lonely due to the lack of human contact. My friends and I have started playing online games, PlayStation games, facetiming/calling, online group exercising in order to stay in contact. Due schedules often changing its difficult to see everyone due to their family lives. Although we can't be with each other, it hasn't stopped the dynamic of friendships as arguments and rowdiness have not disappeared. Although this quarantine has showed me that just because I see people regularly doesn't mean your friends with them. However, the friends that I have kept in touch with during the lockdown have become better connected.

I've used this time to develop other skills like; painting (acrylic and watercolour), drawings, astrological readings and tarot cards/ future predictions. Turns out I'm no Picasso as I can barely paint an orange, however, the online classes I'm taking show people making a great deal of progress, so by the end of this quarantine I will, hopefully be a decent artist. I am enjoying learning to read tarot cards although my friends and family believe they're nonsense and won't let me practice on them, the readings I've done on myself have been somewhat accurate, I'm just waiting for all of them to come true. Some of my friends have decided to develop cooking skills and other domestic skills as we're planning on moving out next year when we go to university. Although it has proven more difficult as fire alarms have gone off, tea towels have been burnt, children have been burnt. It's proving a lot more difficult to be.

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Isolation

3 April 2020

Coronavirus has caused a global pandemic and we're all starting to feel the effects of not leaving the house and being trapped in a confined space with family and friends, who you thought you got along with, until you had to see them 24/7. Governments around to world have issued lockdowns, making it difficult to establish a sense of normality for many, as schooling and working from has become online.

During my two weeks in isolation I have realised many things about myself and my family, that although I do love them, they've become just about tolerable during this lockdown. I think this has something to do with our astrological signs, being the four fixed signs. This means our personalities are too intense when together causing us to clash. Or it could just be that tensions are rising as we are not able to go anywhere or see anyone except for each other. Simple tasks like shopping have become difficult due to panic buyers bulk buying pasta, rice and any other non-perishable food. The constant updates on the virus have people afraid to leave the house. There are those who are binge watching every single show on Netflix and in a permanent state of relaxation. Others who feel the need to clean and disinfect the entire house as they believe cleanliness will prevent the household form catching the dreaded COVID-19. Whilst everyone in in my household has adopted one of these roles the situation outside is becoming worse, with the UK's corona cases and deaths increasing daily.

Although there are some positives to being in isolation, like not seeing the people you can't stand but must see in your regular everyday life. Having a lot more free time to catch up on that show you were too busy to watch, learning a new skill or starting a new hobby. Another positive is that many are learning how to cook and do more domestic tasks making people more reliant upon themselves and not others. By the time we leave isolation and enter society we will all be independent individuals who have gained a multitude of skills. However, many during this isolation have chosen to relax and treat this time as a staycation, whilst this is enjoyable, they will be shocked when returning to normality of work. Which could lead to a, revolt as people will finally realise that they've been working for years without recognising that they deserve to be paid more due to their labour. This revolt could trigger many changes, like the change in government and society, not just nationally but globally. This could be the start of a Marxist revolution. This could be the year of new experiences for the UK, first Brexit, now COVID-19, then a Marxist revolution.

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