Friday, 22 June 2007

'Tis The Season To Be Jolly...

Admit it, you sang Fah lah lah lah la la lah lah lah after reading the title didn't you? :D

185 Days, 13 Hours.

That's all it is before the halls are decked, the turkeys are stuffed and the house is turned upside down in an explosion of brightly coloured tinsel. Great isn't it? I know its nowhere near the right time to be singing Christmas songs or swapping tales of your family arguments that inevitably happen at the extensive and overcrowded dinner table, but the topic has got me thinking. Or reflecting rather.

On December the 4th, 2000, the Dornan family left Glasgow Airport with the destination 3 hours North East of Britain. Lapland. Being only 8 and 6 at the time meant it was still OK to get over-excited at things and both Glen and myself were extremely excited what with it being the run up to Christmas and my birthday too. Upon arriving in Lapland the first scene was like something taken out of a Christmas Card, with snow covering everything its icy fingers could reach. It was as if we'd left the busy humdrum life of Scotland and entered a world like no other. There were no cars, no bustling shops filled with gift-crazy mothers, no clocks that constantly reminded you that you had to be somewhere else five minutes ago. Nothing. Just pure peace and serenity.

I think that was one of the things I remember, and to this day the memory remains intact as if it were only a few months ago. The feel of the snow when I stepped into it right up to my knees... Watching as my breath lingered in the air like a make-believe tree decoration... Glen and I making snow angels... Battling in snowball fights with our fellow travellers... Catching the look on my mums face when Glen hit her with snowball before she returned fire... the reindeer wandering the trees nearby... magical.

Of course, at the time I wasn't analysing just what was drawing me into the place, but the more I think back on it I can see it in my mind. Every once in a while we all need a break. Whether it be to a hot Mediterranean country or the chilling wilds of Norway, if its a contrast from your home its worthwhile. I don't think anyone would be sane if they stayed in Stranraer for all of time, that would be enough, in the words of many an Academy pupil, 'tae drive a sane man batty.'

The backseat traveller in me feels compelled to say thats its part of Human Instinct to explore and discover not only new places but ourselves in the journey to the destination. Like travelling all the way down to the Cotswolds before you suddenly decided you dislike the car seats and can barely move upon arriving. Or going round Longleat Safari Park in 40'C heat in a car with no Air Conditioning or allowance to open the windows, and realizing you hate the heat but love the sun. Maybe I'm just speaking from past experience but in my opinion the journey that takes you where you're going, is just as important as the getting there.

(I adore travelling. Give me a good book, my Walkman phone and any mode of transport you chose and I'd be happy wherever you sent me. So long as it wasn't James piloting the plane, I've seen his landings, and trust me, the runway ain't fun on one wheel!)

I'm just curious as to what other people think of travelling, what with today's society being given daily reminders of the terrorism atrocities and attacks in recent times. Even though it is a daily commodity we all take for granted, should we pay more attention to the wider effects? Global Warming has been a major cause for concern recently with Britan's Carbon Footprint being discussed on every news forum the world over. Personally, I think even though we need time away and time to ourselves, we should all pay more attention to what our affects will have on future generations. Will Scotland be like it is today? Or will we be all walking around in "Atmospheric Protection Suits" like aliens from a Sci-Fi movie? Or, will we even be here at all? Given enough food and the mind boggles at the possibilities.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007


Recently, I have been surveying the Education System from within its very walls, yes, my school. My school isn't perfect, no one in the town would say so but its not exactly terribly bad either. Yes, there a days when if given a shot gun you could shoot yourself silly with the amount of pupils you'd like to eradicate permanently, and then there are also days when you feel like a working part of a huge community, almost like a family. A very estranged, distended and noisy family, but a family nonetheless. (Ok, so I may be exaggerating just a little with the shot gun theory but I'm sure others would agree.)

I had two days just like these not so long ago, it was a Monday and a Tuesday of the same week if I remember correctly. Nothing major happened on the Monday; no big bomb threats or a deliberate setting-on-fire of the library, there was just period after period of disruptive pupils, extreme heating conditions and clueless cover teachers. Added together on a grey, drizzly, typical Scottish Monday did not result in a nice Jemma. The day almost drove me to loose faith in the school completely.

If there is one thing I cant stand is being in a class where I know I have a great deal of work I could be getting on with but due to an illness my teacher hasnt made it in and we get a cover teacher who'd just as happily make us watch endless episodes of The Simpsons. Or, in the case of RME, Wallace and Gromit. I'm most deffinately not blaming it on the teachers or the cover teachers for that matter, its the lack of discipline there is in todays schools and also in many family homes.

Kids are misbehaving, then are not getting punished by the Higher Management according to what they've done. Its either to be put on a timetable (which has mutated into a badge of hounour and a plus 100 points on your Street Cred) or to get a phonecall home. I'm sorry to admit but, say, 10 years ago if your parents got a phonecall from the school, they would immediately ask you what you've done, why you'd done it and get the full story before taking it further and dealing with it. In 2007 however, the immediate parental reaction is to ask the teachers why they have the nerve to call them about their child when their child has done nothing wrong, yet they havent even got the story straight from either side. It is not only setting a bad example and making the kids have no respect for the school, but its also going to affect them in later life, the school is going to become the workplace and teachers are going to become employers and there will be no end in the problems.

Witnessing fellow pupils misbehave in classes, seeing teachers getting stressed out over them and watching as the state of education slides decidedly downwards, I cant help but feel a great deal of pity for the teachers in schools. They not only have the responsibilty of teaching and nuturing you minds, but they aslo have the added pressures of discipline and parents who refused to believe their child is no longer their little angel. I say they deserve more credit than they currently get, dont you?

*I find my opinions on this subject rather ironic as I myself want to be an Art Teacher. :)

Friday, 15 June 2007

Me In A Blogshell.

Whilst pondering what I could place in my blog and certain topics that will come up over the next few weeks I decided I just get this entry over and done with.

The All About Me Section.

Of course, I don't expect many to read this but just in case someone stumbles across my blog they may as well know a little bit about me. So here goes...

-I'm Jemma, I'm 15 and currently loving English and Art in Stranraer Academy. I like going out in the rain, eating Lemon Curd and watching Casualty. By Jove if I could figure out how to eat Lemon Curd in the rain and watch Casualty at the same time I'd be laughing.
-Other hobbies include writing on here, Bebo (I know its not really a hobby but you'll find me there very often) taking my Guinea Pigs walks, listening to music and keeping in touch with everyone I know in Australia, England and Holland.
-The art side of me is just a pastime but one day in the hazy-but-near future, I'd love to teach it as a subject. Knowing me, it'll change but heyho, cake decorating is my back up. Still Life and Graphic Design are my strong points with hands also but I'd love to get my Portraiture up to scratch. Being in 5th Year and taking 5 Highers doesn't leave you with much free time however, so its on the back burner at the minute.
- School Life isn't too bad at the minute, English and Art are getting me through the weeks quite happily. Mrs ONeill and Mr Nimmo are excellente' and I think that's what makes all the difference. S'awsum! Getting to study the NHS and Daphne du Maurier in English.


1. My name is Jemma. J E M M A. Not Jenna, Heather, James, Gemma or indeed "Glens big sister," thank you very much.

2. I used to do ballet, which then morphed into swimming for the Stranraer Stingrays. Haha.

3. My birthday is the 22nd of December, and to quote my Granny, I "was the best Christmas present" she's ever had. <3

4. I'm totally obsessed with Casualty. Muwhahaha. Its awesome, and its the only thing I watch on TV funnnily enough. Susan Cookson, who plays Dr Maggie Coldwell, is absoloutely amazing and deserves much more credit than she gets. (Strokes ones autograph :P)

5. My favourite author in the world is Daphne du Maurier (in case I havent already told you so, which I highly doubt :P) Its not just the fact that her books are amazing and gothicly romantic, but its also the fact that Daphne herself was such an interesting character. The recent BBC 2 Period Drama 'Daphne' was based around her life and ti was ohso excellente'. I have it on DVD if anyone wishes to watch, it seriously was one of the best Dramas I've viewed in an absolute age.

Update soooon x