Friday, 22 February 2013

Kendal's Column: Lifescouts#2 (Help me)

Today was SUPPOSED to be Lifescouts #2 but I can't post that because basically my week has been...well let me explain...
Monday and Tuesday were fantastic but on Tuesday night (the night I planned to draft this post in preparation for my holiday to Norway starting on Wednesday) we discovered my passport had expired over a year ago. Great.
The last 3 days of my life have been overflowing with forms and appointments and 'sign here pleases'. 
Anyways I am here in Norway now....only my suitcase isn't here. Marvelous. 
My laptop charger is in my suitcase. Fantastic.
This leaves me typing this note as fast as possible whilst my laptop (thank god I had it in my hand-luggage) battery slowly dies. *prays to lord of laptop batteries that i can finish this*
I will post Lifescouts at some point over the coming days as an add on to this post.


Lifescouts #2

Horse riding.
I have been horse riding since I was 6 years old. I've always loved horses, I don’t know exactly why but I just loved them. My mum saw this and signed me up for lessons.
Since then I have experienced a lot of really amazing things. I've never owned a horse and ,although I would like too, it isn't a major concern for me because whilst still riding in the riding school I have ridden a wide range of horses and probably learnt a lot more than I would have if I’d have only been riding one horse for the past 9 years.

Owned a Pet.
In year 2 I asked my Dad if we could have a rabbit and after talking about it with my mum , we got a rabbit (on the 28th April 2005). 
I called him Smudge. 
I don’t know exactly how old he is (the pet shop never said) but I know he must be at least 8.
He currently roams free in the greenhouse as it’s warmer in there during the winter but he and his hutch move out into the garden for the summer. 

Empire State building
In 2006 my brother turned 21 and to celebrate, my family went on holiday to New York. Though i can't really remember much of the trip ,as I was about 7, it was a lot of fun and I may (hopefully maybe (please))  be going back in summer!
I do remember going to the empire state building and the view was everything it's said to be and more. 
Too this day my dad's computer background is still a panoramic shot of the view and a sculpture of the statue of liberty we got whilst in the empire state gift shop (go figure) still sits on the kitchen shelf.

We'll Be A Dream- We The Kings ft. Demi Lovato
Happy Friday!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Kendal's Column: Music Post

I'm truly sorry that I have not been able to write what I planned too as a unexpected event occurred and a friend has needed me.

Happy Friday!

Monday, 11 February 2013

Interview: Roisin Shaw - The Phil Project


I am honoured to have interviewed the creator of the #PhilProject and owner of one of my favourite Twitter accounts, Roisin Shaw aka @DanosaurArmy

She spoke to me about her recent project, which was made for Phil Lester's birthday.

Here is the interview!

1. So what was the #PhilProject all about?

Wow - that's a lot of letters!
'The #PhilProject is something I set up for Phil Lester's 26th Birthday. I created it because (as you probably know) Dan & Phil's P.O. Box has been closed for two years. I happened to have a few family friends that had ways of contacting BBC Radio 1 - They were able to help me get a package to Phil. I also went to BBC Jersey (Channel Islands, where I live) and they helped me track down contact details and gave me a confidential address to Dan & Phil's Radio show that wasn't open to the public at the time (I'm not sure if it still isn't). They told me the package would definitely get there and I internally fangirled as the whole plan was coming together! I wanted to help as many member's of the Phanbase as I could to get their Birthday presents, cards, letters, drawings, photos etc. to a person that means so much to them, as they had almost no other way of doing so. I also wanted to make sure Phil had a fantastic birthday, of course!'

2. What made you think of the idea?
3. Why did you decide to do it?

4. How many people sent stuff to you?
5. What sort of things did they send?

'Believe it or not, the #PhilProject first started off as a card from me with a few usernames inside. My plan was to put together a Birthday card, tweet about it, and choose around 15 usernames from the retweets to write inside and send to him through the BBC. It got alot more retweets than expected, and the big hype of Phans desperately tweeting me to just be their Twitter names on a piece of paper, was enough to prove how much they wanted to be included in the slight chance of Phil noticing them and knowing they'd wished him Happy Birthday. That sparked the idea to start the whole project up so they could properly give him their own gifts and personal letters/drawings. I eventually ended up with over 350 people involved; sending letters/small parcels to my house, tweeting me hundreds upon hundreds of photos and begging me to help them get included in the project some way or another.'

6. Were there any strange things you got sent for the project?

'Fortunately, I didn't receive anything too strange. I was worried about the possibilty of having creepy photos or severed heads sent, but I managed to not get any of those things or other objects related that could possibly mentally-scar me for life.'

7. What was the cutest thing someone sent in for Phil?

'Probably one of the best gifts sent was a chocolate Twister game from @Deliantesers97. One of the cutest had to be a cartoon drawing of the Fantastic Foursome being attacked by a load of Zubats and a Beedrill then having Phil save the day. That was sent by @LaurenUsagiAlso another amazing gift was @TokieDokiePoki's handmade origami lion. That was zoomed into a couple times during the show and he held it up :')'

8. Did you send anything yourself?

'I bought him a t-shirt which actually turned out to be completely massive as they didn't have any mediums! I wrote in the card he could use it as a dress/pyjamas or whatever, but otherwise just to get rid of it. :')
I also decided to be completely cheesy and buy him the book 'We're Going On A Bearhunt' as he once mentioned that it was his favourite book as a child. (Hahaha I know, I'm so unbelievably soppy).'

9. Would you do it again?

'I don't think I would do it again, no. Not because I wouldn't want to put the effort and money in again - Just because I think redoing the whole thing would destroy the purpose of it being a lovely unexpected surprise for Phil on his birthday. I have got plans for a #DanProject which I will be announcing the details of in March, seeing how this project goes. The #DanProject won't involve the whole sending cards etc, I've come up with something different that he will definitely love and all the Phanbase can get involved in.'

10. How do you imagine/hope Phil will react to the project?

'Well, it's Phil. He'll be so overjoyed at the fact we all went to the effort to put something like this together for him. I'm putting an explanation of the Project at the top of the box - Also telling him to open it all on camera, so we'll see his reaction for ourselves hopefully!'

THIS was his reaction:

Roisin added: 'He didn't open it on camera, but he did take a photo, decorated the Radio 1 studio with the photos/drawings/presents and held them up to the camera/zoomed into them multiple times during the show! (which was way more than enough)'

Thanks for the AMAZING interview Roisin!

The Book Critic x

Side Note: In case you haven't already checked it out, it would be great if you could all take a look at my 'Stay Strong and Carry On' campaign. Let's get the world talking about it!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Kendal's Column: Stay Strong and Carry On- Being Depressed

Even though many schools talk about bullying and depression they never really go over what it's like to be depressed so how are we supposed to know when we are?
I know it sounds like a funny thing to say and most people would probably say 'Oh, 'course you'd know if you were depressed, who else knows you better that you?' 
But when I was depressed I didn't know what depression felt like so I couldn't identify it with myself. 
When I was depressed I didn't know me anymore.
I felt like a had a literal weight attached to me, bringing me down. 
I didn't have much to be happy about because certain people had made me feel alone and trapped. I couldn't see happiness. 
Towards the darkest of my experience, I started questioning myself and whether what was happening in my life happened to everyone or whether I was just being dramatic. These thoughts drove me to the edge. I didn't know if this feeling of hollowness would ever leave and I was scared- and scared is dangerous. I think, inside, I knew something was wrong and that I needed help but I wasn't (it's hard to explain) OK with the fact I was depressed so I hid it. 
This was my experience with depression. 
This is purely my experience- other people may have experienced different things whilst depressed so if you think you or a  friend is depressed you should not rule depression out if what you/they are feeling is different from what I felt. 

Signs of Depression
When people are depressed, they almost always feel low for long periods of time (ie. not just an odd day here and there), you may lose interest in some of the things you enjoy or you may feel constantly tired or drained. At the most modest form of depression you may feel low constantly, the most severe form of depression is questioning the need of your life.
If you have a friend who is persistently low, DO SOMETHING. I'm not talking an all out intervention, just talk to them individually and ask them if they're honestly okay, it's fine if they don't open up to you as it is primarily their choice to talk about their personal feelings, offer them your support and just be there for them when/if they need you.

Getting through Depression 
Depression is hard...really hard. 
You're not something that just heals overnight- there is no 'reset' button- both physical and mental scars take time to heal. It's not a sign of weakness, it's a sign of what has happened to you and that things need to change so you can be happy.
Recovery is possible just- 
If you have depression and you feel alone just talk to someone because honestly, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, I promise.
If you're in high school and people are giving you a hard time then HANG IN THERE. Don't hate yourself , EVER, because it's not your fault-Never, even for a second, believe it's your fault. 
There are people that love you, even if you can't see it, they care for you and want you to be happy. There is always someone. 
Talk to someone but if you honestly feel as if you have no one
b) visit (confidential advice for UK resisidents aged 7-18)

Stay strong, there is always hope.

Demons-Imagine Dragons

Happy Friday!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Kendal's Column: Choosing.

Teens all around the world face choices everyday and most come with a tagline 'This effects your whole life' so I thought I'd give you some advice for making the choices that will effect 'The rest of your life' (mostly regarding education)

1) the 'rest of your life' speech
 I'm not denying that the choices we make now are important but 'the rest of your life' is a bit over-rated in my opinion.
Seriously, the topics I take at GCSE or a-level etc do not form the complete template of my life-I could re-train,take my GCSE's again! I could go on courses! I can go to university multiple times! these could all change variety of jobs that I could be qualified for completely transforming the template of my life, whilst it is true that GCSE's are important I don't believe that my life will go downhill if I get a C. 
To reiterate- choosing is important but it only effects the rest of your life if you want it too.

2) It's YOUR choice to what you want.
Parents, especially,can be more than a little persuasive at times and can be rather set on their ideas of what they want you to do with your life. It's counter productive to get mad at them for this as it'll only make them angrier and thus less likely to talk to you about it- you have to remember that they are choosing for you as they think they are giving you the best start in life but what they may not understand is that the 'best start in life' may not be the best type of start for YOU.
For example, when I had to choose what I was taking for GCSE I was 'encouraged' to take a language by many people and so I did. The problem is that I didn't realize that this choice wasn't for me as I have only just realized I am pathetic at learning languages in general (moral: don't let people chose for you as you may end up doing something you don't like without realizing)
So talk to your parents calmly about choices (and if you want to prepare your 'pitch' then make sure you thing of some reasonable responses to counter arguments they may fire) and be patient.

3) Enjoyment 
If you enjoy something DO IT because the chances are if you enjoy something then you'll probably produce a better standard of work which leads to a better grade- can't argue with that.

To summarize: chose to do something because YOU want to, don't choose to do something just because your peers tell you to and if they feel passionately about an opinion, talk with them calmly explaining your own view and remember that if you think you've made a mistake then just try your best to make it through.

Timshel-Mumford & Sons 

Happy Friday!

Disclaimer: It is your choice to follow my advice or not but be warned that I'm not responsible for anyone else's choices but my own, this is purely ADVICE.