Back to school thoughts nd feelings

On the 8th September, we go back to school.
And this will be my last ever 'back to school'.
I am terrified.
I am terrified for change and decision making and hard work and new people and lack of security and loneliness but to refrain from a mush of erratic thoughts, lets do this concisely.
On the immediate, the 'starting year 13 but thinking no further than walking through the school gates I have walked through for 6 years of my life', it feels okay.
I am looking forward to getting back into a rhythm and having everyday filled and planned and seeing people daily without the extreme effort this summer seems to have required.
I am looking forward to buying new clothes and stationary and practising the 'new me' that makes an appearance for the first 3 days then runs to hide.
But then I think beyond just that first day with my paper and pens and its a downward spiral of messy stress.
I am scared to actually officially drop one of my subjects because its commitment and closing off doors and I am not prepared to do that.
But four A-levels would also be ridiculous.
I don't know what to do and I can't make a decision but there is pressure coming from every spout to make this frigging decision. PLS.
I am scared to make uni decisions because I don't know when or how and I only have 2 ideas so far and the whole bloody plan I had devised over summer that was making me feel oh-so-chill has taken a sour turn and now feels stupid.
I am scared to write my personal statement because its the first step on this path that I am not ready to travel but don't want not to for fear of cutting off options. I also find writing personal statement things hard and what do I really have to add?
And then I am scared to be trapped in the horrific cycle of work that I got myself into last year-even though it couldn't have worked much better in grade speak. Where I lost myself and became a shell of obsession. I don't want to lose my passions and fires allover again. I don't want to feel that looming cloud of 'I've got to revise when I get home' for the next 10 months.
10 months. Is that all?
I am scared by the fact that I didn't feel peace at all last year when at school and, in my holiday with my family, I finally rediscovered my rhythm and silenced my thoughts. I felt calm and at one. And I am scared that (and know that) this will be ripped from me with the beginning of school and exams.
I am scared to lose and leave people next summer, I'm scared to begin my French plan because it might not be right and might not get me into the course I want to be on. I am scared to feel like an adult and like I am leaving home and deciding what to do in a gapyear and not wasting my time when everyone else is off having the time of their lives.
I am scared to be growing up and moving on.
Man, I am scared.

On top of this (which isn't very much but internally is a frigging mountain) I have to find a job. I have £0.83 in my bank.
How does everyone feel about back to school? As scared as I am?

Currently: Loving: Italian wafer biscuits smuggled in my suitcase--sleep//Wishing: It would stop raining, I could be on holiday and internal pressures would pipe down//Lusting: A new pair of shoes//Reading: The Primrose Path


Last night, I returned from 10 days in Tuscany, Italy with my fam.
It was the most relaxing, warm, happy, enjoyable holiday.
We ate endless amounts of ice cream and sunbathed under the sun and swam and explored medieval towns and churches and read all day long and got to know the family who owned the apartment and tried to speak Italian.
But in practise it isn't that similar to French so I was limited to Ciao.
I will write a thoughtsy post about feelings/ideas/mind post about how I felt (because getting that kinda stuff down in words means it isn't flying around my brain and clogging it up-amirite?)-finding peace and serenity and escape- but for now, I will leave you with too many photos.
Because when do I not do that?



...And some words:

"Stop this incessant worrying that I cannot be loved as I am"-Anais Nin

"Lick the envelope.
Cross your ts and join
the dots, scribble and
splash outside the lines.
Post a pick me up through
a stranger's door, seek
out the mail that never
made it home. Write.
Write because the pen is
mightier than the sword.
Because you are here.
Make your mark"

"If only given a minute or two as our last minute or two to spill it all and say the final fragmented and fractured last words to each other, without pause or stutter for reflection I know we would both remain still and completely silent for despite all the beautiful words we could find to share through the streams down these cheeks, we have never needed them. A glance, a stare, and all things would be said. Hands on faces and fingers wrapped in fingers and our last words would not be words at all"-Tyler Knott Gregson

"The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for and the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof"-Barbara Kingsolver

All the pics can be found on my pinboard here.

I hope this fires some inspiration in you all, I love finding lil bits like this and writing them down or saving them.


Books: Hauling, reading and reviewing

It has been a while since I spoke soley about books and I figured I had a fair few to talk about, some I have read, others I have bought. I went into Waterstones the other day and came out with 2 books for £1.98-result.


The Primrose Path-Rebecca Griffiths
"Sarah D'Villez famously escaped a man who abducted and held her hostage for 11 days. Her case became notorious. Now, seventeen years later, that man is about to be released from prison. fearful of the media storm that is sure to follow, Sarah decides to flee to rural Wales under a new identity, telling nobody where she's gone"
Settling into the small community she is now part of, Sarah soon realises that someone is watching her. Someone who seems to know everything about her"

I love thrillers and this sounded quick paced and exciting. Probably not the most perfect of literary craftsmanship but a good holiday read none the less.

The Girl With All The Gifts- M. R Carey

"Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell tone collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps the gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite. But they don't laugh"

It sounds like it is written from an interesting perspective and is sizeably long which means it will last me a while on holiday. It also had raving reviews ("If you only read on novel this year, make sure its this one") and sounded interesting and unique.

Night Owls-Jenn Bennett

"Crap. He was definitely checking me out. What should I do? Earth to Beatrix. This was the night bus, not a journey song.  Two strangers were not on a midnight train going anywhere.
Meeting Jack on the Owl-San Francisco's night bus- turns Beatrix's world upside down. Jack is charming, wildly attractive and possibly one of San Francisco's most notorious graffiti artists.
But Jack is hiding a piece of himself. On midnight rides and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who this enigmatic boy really is.
A unique and profoundly moving novel, Night Owls will linger in your memory long after the final page"

I have finished this but we will get onto my review later on. I picked this up because I was in dire need of a trashy romance, something you can flick through uber quick that doesn't require too much thinking. It sounded light hearted and just the sort of thing I was looking for.

Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children-Ransom Riggs

"A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear the that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been quarantined on a desert island for a good reason. And somehow-impossible thought it seems-they may still be alive"

Again, this sounds exciting and unusual, I don't know what to expect but I feel that's the best way to approach a book.


Night Owls-**

I should have known, reading over the blurb, that this book would be the same as every other trashy romance I have read (which I am actually a fan of, but after the 17th book with sexy artistic mysterious guys and misfit girls, I wanted to vom-E.g: "Someone bumped my arm, and my portfolio flew from my hand (of course it did) My bad, I thought you saw me" A jacket bent over in front of me and picked up my portfolio. When the jacket stood back up, it grew arms and legs and a face that probably competed with Helen of Troy's in the ship-launching department").
Some of the ideas I didn't agree with (there was a strange comment on makeup) and, although it was sex positive (consent etc) there were some attitudes towards a virginal 18 year old that seemed a bit uneasy. It was unrealistic and predictable, they were head-over-heels swooning after meeting each other on the bus which, from the experience I and others I know have endured, doesn't happen all that often.
I was frustrated at the ease of their love, I increasing think novels such as these put unrealistic pressure on relationship expectations.
It also highlighted utter dependency on the male character-an almost life or death scenario.
When will someone write a YA about not needing someone for fulfilment?
Maybe I'm cynical (maybe??!) and I did pick up a romance but I thought it was predictable and totally unrealistic.
An enjoyable and quick read but after 200 pages, I was bloody sick of perfect love.
(for clarification, not everything in the characters lives was perfect and I think the other topics (schizophrenia, divorce, sexuality (I liked how casually they had a gay character, like that was so not a main aspect of the book)) were dealt with really effectively)

The Go Between-LP Hartley-****

I adored this book, as I knew I would.
It is set in Summer and, as it was sunny as I read it, it felt extra special. I love the naive view point and how innocent the protagonist is. At first, it seems like the perfect summer but, because the narrator is so naive, you can see all these sinister activities taking place around him. It made me laugh and cry, I finished it heartbroken at the advantageous attitudes towards Leo.
If I read it again, I think I would pick up on all the hidden metaphors and symbols but I was so engrossed in the story, I didn't really think about it.
I am considering doing this for my A-Level lit coursework so I will definitely be reading it again.

Eventide-Kent Haruf-****

Again, I book that I fell in love with.
Kent Haruf is loved in my family, this is the second one of the trilogy. They follow everyday small town life in Holt, Colorado and are so heart breaking and show all different aspects of all different people in society.
I think I preferred this one to Plainsong, it was quite dark but highlighted utter humanity and the true kindness of some people. You feel you get to know the characters so well as they are presented as totally real and I love how it follows several different stories that eventually weave together in everyday subtle ways.
I was given the third and final one (Benediction) for my birthday and will definitely take it on holiday with me.

The Fallen Idol-Graham Greene-***

I found this chilling sinister but perfect for a comparison with The Go Between. It discusses utter naivety and innocence but also the manipulation of children, very similar to TGB. Both present adults that use children and get them involved in their personal problems, having a detrimental affect on the children.
This is super short but quick paced and very metaphorical, to the point where you aren't always 100% sure what is happening.


Wide Sargasso Sea-Jean Rhys

Again, another one for school but I am actually quite enjoying this. It is short (121 pages) which makes it very appealing and has already provided me with some ideas that I had not previously contemplated (the attitudes of the emancipated slaves towards white people in places such as Jamaica).
The blurb reads: this mesmerising work introduces us to Antoinette Cosway, a sensual and protected young women who is sold into marriage to the prideful Mr Rochester. Rhys portrays Cosway admist a society so driven by hatred, so skewed in its sexual relations, that it can literally drive a woman out of her mind.
I don't imagine that this is going to have a positive ending and it is already dark mayhem however it is easy to read and is making me think.
I read somewhere that this text covers themes of Obsession and Possession which I am also considering for coursework in conjunction with Lolita.

If you were looking for a book to read, hopefully I have provided you with some inspiration.
What books have people been reading recently?