Friday 28th January - Sixth Form Art and DT

My brother was given my A-Level Art portfolios to return to me today. It's quite handy to have a sibling who goes to the same school you went to too. Anyway, I was sifting through my sketch books looking at how much effort I had put into (most of) my work, and thought I would share some of it with you.

A sketch drawn as part of my research

Art used to be my life before theology came along. It was always art and DT. One of my art projects based upon the theme 'viewpoints' resulted in an A1 sized book out of cardboard that had turning pages and words that popped out. It was a lot of fun to say the least. That said, the amount of extra effort and time that must go into creative subjects such as art and DT is immense.

For DT, a lot of my free periods were spent in the workshop cutting things up on the band saw or drawing on CAD/CAM. I rarely had the chance to rush back home after school as it was inevitable that I would have to do some printing or research that I couldn't do at home (I went through this one phase where I was printing on acetate. It was AMAZING. Sure it took me ages to work out how to do it without it smudging or jamming the printer, but still, the end result was worth it. I now have a triptych that looks like three stained glassed windows. Will have to upload a photo for you sometime).

I needed a tripod so I improvised
Band saw love

I loved art. The painting; the drawing; the sculpting. The long-winded interpretations I had to write on pieces of art were made-up tosh most of the time. Waffle. I threw around words such as 'juxtaposition', 'composition', anything basically ending in 'ition'. I loved DT too: getting my hands dirty; hunched over the worktop making sure my measurements were within the millimetre; laughing about how close I was to losing a bit of my finger. One of my favourite design briefs was to make a collapsable chair. Here's mine:

Do you remember the WKD advert with the drills? We had one of those moments.

My sixth form days were good. Looking through my sketch books was just another - sad - reason to get nostalgic.

Monday 24th January - I found this

15th August 2009 - On a typically lazy summer's day I obviously had nothing better to do than fill this out on facebook. Reading it back made me laugh. I hope you see some humour in it too:

1.Where did you take your profile picture?
Manila Bay, Philippines

2.What exactly are you wearing right now?
Pyjamas - I'm having one of those days

3.What is your current problem?
What time I'm going to eat lunch

4.What makes you the most happy?
When I'm busy doing something useful

5.What song are you listening to at the moment?
Sweet Dreams - Eurythmics

6.Any celeb you would marry?

7.Name someone with the same birthday as you?
I don't know anyone

8.Ever sang in front of a large audience?
Yes, I was a wee toddler and sang to commuters on the London Underground

9. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity?

10.Do you still watch kiddy movies or kiddie TV shows?
I don't really watch TV, but when I was in the Philippines all I watched (not by choice) was Tom and Jerry (all variations) and Spongebob

11. Do you speak any language?
Poor English, Putol putol Tagalog and hablo un poco de Espanol

12. Has anyone you've been really close with passed away?
Not yet

13. Whats your favorite band?
I will always have a soft spot for the Red Hot Chili Peppers

14.What's something that really annoys you?
Annoying people

Chapter 1:
1.Middle names:
Anne Emiliana

Rach usually

3.Current location

4.Eye color:
Dark Brown

Chapter 2: Favorites
1. Ice Cream:

2. Season:

Pantene all the way

Chapter 3: Do You..
1.Dance in the shower?
No space

2.Do you write on your hand?
When I have no paper handy

3.Call people back:
Of course

4.Believe in love?
Who doesn't?

5. Any bad habits?

Chapter 4: Have You..
1.Broken a bone:

2.Sprained stuff:
Yes, my finger

3.Had physical therapy:

4.Gotten stiches:
I don't think so

5.Taken painkillers:
I've popped a few in my time

6. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling:
I've attempted to

7.Been stung by a bee:

8.Thrown up at the dentist:
Errrggggghhhhhhh, no

9.Sworn in front of your parents:
Yes, t'was a slip of the tongue

10. Had detention:
Many times and for such trivial reasons

Chapter 6: What/who Was The Last?
1. Movie you watched?
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

2.Person to text you:

3.Person you called:
My gran

4.Person you hugged:
My aunt

5.Person you tickled:
My cousin

6. Person you talked to on MSN?
Huh, I haven't used MSN for more than year.

7.Thing you touched?
My laptop

8. Thing you ate?
Filipino torta

9.Thing you drank:
Apple Juice

10.Thing you said:
I don't know - I actually said that

Chaper 6: Future

1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Volunteering somewhere on the other side of the world

2. 10 years?
Drawing caricatures of tourists in Leicester Square still trying to pay off my student debt

3. In 50 years?
In a rocking chair on a balcony overlooking a piazza somehwere in Rome, hopefully with someone other than my dentures beside me

4. Where do you hope to live?
I think I'd like to stay somewhere in Europe

5. Do you want to be famous?
I'm not against the idea

6. Do you want children? Or maybe animals?

Has someone of the opposite sex been on your mind today?

Name something that made you laugh today?
I'm yet to laugh this day

Will you be in a relationship next month?
It depends what type of relationship, but who knows?

What are you stressed out about?
Whether I'll be able to cut it next year at uni

If you saw the last person you kissed kissing someone else, what would you do?
Carry on what I was doing before I saw them. It wouldn't bother me

Besides this, what are you doing right now?
Reading newspapers online, listening to the radio and thinking whether I want to play the piano or paint

Do you hate the last girl you had a conversation with?
No, hate is such a strong word...I'm joking, she's a good friend of mine

What is something that you're looking forward to?
Getting back to the Bubble

Do you wish you were with someone somewhere else right now?

How many people of the opposite sex do you fully trust?
Fully? Probably only one

Name 10 guys you talked to today?
Ten? My brother's the only one

Have you ever sent a text to the wrong person?
Many times

Last item you bought?
A book

Do you like hugs?
I do. Although that reminds me that someone said to me that hugs are 'just...unnecessary'. Haha

Has someone of the opposite sex ever told you they loved you, and meant it?

Are you good at giving directions?
I can read a map if that helps

If something was wrong, who is the first boy you would go to?

Who is the first girl you'd go to?

Do you like where you live?
There's no place like home

Have you ever kissed on a boat?
Random, but no

Have you ever met a gay person?
I'm pretty sure I have

Are you saving up money for anything in particular?
A new camera :]

Is your best friend(s) the funniest person/people you know?
No, but I still love them

Do you enjoy wearing dresses?
If I can avoid them (which most of the time I do), I will

Are you stubborn?
I refuse to answer this question

Do you tell your mum everything?
Don't be so silly

Have you told anybody you loved them today?

Did you have sex today?
Not that I'm aware of

Do you plan on moving in the next year?
Does moving up to Scotland (again) count?

Are you currently wanting any piercings or tattoos?
Five is enough. Well, maybe one more

How is your love life?
On strike

Do you drive?

What is your current mood?
Lazy and content

Has anyone ever sang to you?
Yes, but I don't think they were in full control of their senses

Did someone make you smile lately?
My cousin

Whose voice did you first hear today?
That of a bird outside my window

Do you like your eyes?
I don't dislike them

Have you ever seen the last person you texted naked?
Dear God no!

Are you taller than 5'7"?
I'd like to think so when I tiptoe, but alas 'tis not true

What is your desktop picture?
A magnificent view of mountains in Laguna de Bay, Philippines

A-Level Crucifixion Art Project

Another cross hatching of my brother holding the curtains open.

A Latin Inscription

This one's a cross hatching done in brown ink of a Latin inscription I found over a fireplace in the library of Turvey Abbey, Bedford.

Thursday 20th January - Look what I found

If my memory serves me correctly, when I was 16, I drew this oil pastel reproduction of a painting by Kevin Sinnott.


One space, not two

I found this article over on Damian Thompson's blog. It explains why one space after a full stop (or period as our American cousins like to call it) is the right way, rather than two.

Type professionals can get amusingly—if justifiably—overworked about spaces. "Forget about tolerating differences of opinion: typographically speaking, typing two spaces before the start of a new sentence is absolutely, unequivocally wrong," Ilene Strizver, who runs a typographic consulting firm The Type Studio, once wrote. "When I see two spaces I shake my head and I go, Aye yay yay," she told me. "I talk about 'type crimes' often, and in terms of what you can do wrong, this one deserves life imprisonment. It's a pure sign of amateur typography." "A space signals a pause," says David Jury, the author of About Face: Reviving The Rules of Typography. "If you get a really big pause—a big hole—in the middle of a line, the reader pauses. And you don't want people to pause all the time. You want the text to flow."

I mention it because I am a pedant. I can't help it. I have an OCD about ensuring all vowels are present in relevant words (twitter being an exception), that commas are not used excessively and that only one space is used after a full stop. That's right, one. I'm not perfect, I admit, but I try my damned best to be.

Wednesday 19th January - Biblical hermeneutics: Gone FOREVER

It is done.

(Photo credit to ~Hannah-Oh-So-Krispy)

I'm not one to dwell on my exams. I don't come out wondering whether I remembered the right date for the Council of Nicaea (I did); whether I answered the questions properly; whether I wrote enough pages; whether I dotted all my 'i's....

They're over and done with. Now to focus on my health and getting rid of all the tension. Will probably celebrate in the traditional fashion: lie in bed with a movie, some candles, and a cup of hot chocolate.

I could really do with a retreat actually....

Saturday 15th January - Ordinations to the Ordinariate

Today three Anglican bishops were ordained to the priesthood of the Catholic Church in what was a momentous day for the Ordinariate.

Known as the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, John Broadhurst, Keith Newton and Andrew Burnham were the first to become members, with Keith Newton appointed as Ordinary.

Friday 14th January - Date set for Pope John Paul II's Beatification

News has been released that Pope John Paul II is to be beatified on Sunday 1st May of this year, also the date of Divine Mercy Sunday.

People are in high spirits and many are rushing to book tickets to Rome where Pope Benedict XVI will hold the rite of beatification. For some it will even be a chance to attend their second beatification within a year.

Wednesday 12th January - Grace period

Lack of posting due to impending examinations. If you really miss me check out my twitter account.


I have just found out that my theological explorations exam has been moved three days earlier than when I thought it was. WHY DOES NOBODY INFORM US OF THESE THINGS?

Photo credit to liquidscissors

I am seriously screwed now. If I knew I would have gone back to uni earlier *sobs*

Tagalog Word (Phrase) of the Day

I don't feel well/great/very good - Ang sakit ng pakiramdam ko

Thursday 6th January - Battling demons

I meant well this morning waking up to my alarm booming out Hanson's 'Mmmbop', but the day had different plans for me.

The last few months I've been struggling with some demons. 2010 wasn't a good year for me generally but just as soon as I felt things were getting a bit better, another dark cloud replaced the one that was just leaving.

St Catherine of Siena besieged by demons

I have the support of family and friends but sometimes these things can only be faced alone. I'd like to say I turned to God and how He has helped me through it all, but if I said that I would be lying. I'm trying to get back to my faith, to what it used to be; back to a time when it was my life, permeating every thought, every action. But life experiences have changed me. I've come face to face with the brutal reality of pain and suffering and I don't think I'm ready.

You might argue that this is the perfect time for me to let God back into my life and to some degree I agree. I've gone back to attending Mass weekly and praying occasionally but it's not the same as it was before. Being Catholic is not about ticking boxes such as going to Confession and taking Communion; one needs to feel Catholic: to trust in God, to be open to miracles, to be able to say wholeheartedly I love and believe the one true God. I cannot do any of those - not yet. The only thing I am certain of is how much of a sinner I am.

I upset people because of some of the decisions I make but I just need to go it alone. I don't want people faffing over me and saying they know what it feels like when really they don't. I then try to amend my ways and allow people in, but all of a sudden they think they know better and prefer to stay away. Well fine, stay away then. My demons are for me to face alone.

Beatification of the Venerable Pope John Paul II

The news that Pope John Paul II will most likely be beatified later this year comes at an exciting time for Catholics. With the Pope's visit to the UK only a few months ago, the Ordinariate and Pope Benedict XVI making history on Radio 4's 'Thought for the Day' this comes as excellent news.

(EDIT: I actually made a drawing of this photo during my preparation for Confirmation. The then priest left and I've been told it should still be somewhere in the church/presbytery. I hope to see it again one day.)

Wednesday 5th January -Tagalog, Hermeneutics, Good News and Oxbridge

So I love languages. I'm thinking I'll start posting a new Tagalog word everyday. I'm planning to do the same on twitter so I'll make sure they're both different so you don't get bored. I can't promise that a month down the line it will still be going or that I don't repeat myself though....

Left - Kaliwa

(Taglog is pretty phonetic so it's pronounced kah-lee-wah)


I've been having trouble remembering the difference between source, form and redaction criticism. I especially get mixed up between the first two. But I have now figured a way to remember the difference. Source criticism is concerned with the written sources and what they tell us about the sitz im leben (setting in life) of the early church, whereas form criticism tries to get back to the oral sources and their sitz im leben of the community from which they came.
  • Source -> written
  • Form -> oral
If I can remember those I think I'm well on my way to at least passing my biblical hermeneutics exam.


I received exciting news this morning. I've been offered a brilliant opportunity to gain some work experience at The Catholic Herald. If things go as hoped there's something else to look forward to in the pipeline.

I'm going to have to watch what I say on here/facebook/twitter now.... (Or so I tell myself....)


Another post from School Gate on 'Oxbridge - Should you accept that offer?' (£). As opposed to the other post which argued it's not the end of the world not going to Oxbridge, this one is more in favour.

My comment:

Oxbridge is one of those universities that if offered a place you are expected to accept it; if not you are simply mad.

But as Emily has noted, Oxbridge is not for everyone. At my previous sixth form I was recommended to apply even though I was not sure if it was what I wanted. All I could hear were recommendations that I had a great chance I could get in. At the time that seemed to be enough to convince me that that was where I was supposed to be.

Come the day I received my rejection letter I felt a huge sense of relief. I no longer had that expectation everyone had of me and I could go on to attend a university that I would grow to love.

Don't get me wrong, when I was having interviews in Oxford I enjoyed myself. It was a great chance to experience first hand what the students were like, whether the food was good and meet the tutors.

I've mentioned this before but Oxbridge isn't very different to where I attend now. We have balls (every two weeks), gowns and crazy traditions. The only difference is that we have longer semesters. However this way we don't stress as much as you may do at Oxbridge.

Anyway, I'm happy where I am. Just as you will be wherever you end up going.

Also, good luck to all those waiting for replies!

Rant - Look away now

So I said the MacBook was 'great' in one of my previous posts. I still think this but I do have a few things to grumble about. Plus I wouldn't really be British if I didn't complain at least twice a day:

1. People criticise Windows far too much. Mac is certainly better but Windows isn't THAT bad. For one, I prefer Microsoft Office to iWork. I love Office. That's where my alliances lie, so don't try and convert me on this one Apple. Also the four finger swipe on the Mac is nifty but the grey border is annoying. If I accidentally click it while I'm moving things around desktop everything pops back up. Apple, if you're going to show me the desktop, do it properly.

2. The MacBook is white. It needs cleaning all the time and if you manage to scrape it or something, marks, dents and dirt are so much more visible on it than on most laptops. What's not nice is how you can notice if your fingers need a bit of a wash, even if they are not particularly dirty.

3. Mail is rubbish. It takes ages to import all my previous mail as well as my current mail. Also it doesn't have an indicator when I have new mail that's been filtered into a folder. Then again this is not Apple's fault as it seems to me that an extension/widget has not been created to do this (yet).

4. OSX doesn't like Cameron and Quincy (my external hard drives). Now it is very important that my gadgets get along otherwise life will be made very difficult for all of us. Me in particular.

5. Iam not told when I no longer have internet, unless I am in Safari and am trying to open a window. This is a pain when I am on Adium talking to people who think I've abruptly left the conversation because of something they said or because I got bored (even if it was either of these two things I would still be polite enough to make an excuse and say bye).

I'm yet to finish trying everything out, but as soon as I do you can expect this list to get just a tad wee bit longer.


It's a sad day

Tuesday 4th January - Tea, Cranium, Awkward Rice Crackers and Wisdom Teeth

I mentioned yesterday that I would be having the DT Crew over for tea. I've probably referred to them before but they're basically my friends who I studied DT with at sixth form (bar one who's such a good friend of ours we made him an honorary member). Anyway, since leaving sixth form and going to different unis etc. it's always difficult to get us all in the same room. So much so that we actually consider it a miracle when it happens. Unfortunately, there was no miracle this time as one member couldn't make it due to impending deadlines. To be fair she's an architect so most of her time is spent in the studio. I.e. not with us (but that's understandable).

It was really good to catch up with them, as always. We had great fun playing Cranium (the boys won) and eating Oriental rice cracker mix. (Side note: there were these small white crackers that were socially awkward. In the mix there were seaweed-wrapped crackers and ones that looked like prawns, but also these white ones that looked like those polystyrene balls you get in packaging. They were so small that it made for awkward eating, hence why most of them were what were left uneaten. See the others, they were ergonomically made to be finger food - clearly - whereas the white ones were not thought about at all. To eat one would make you look stupid because it's so tiny it's like picking up a bit of food you've accidentally dropped on the floor and want to throw away. On the other hand, to take a handful is messy and makes you look like you have bad manners, as you chug them down your throat ... Anyway I'm ranting.)

(You can vaguely see the tiny white crackers I am talking about)

Apart from this fleeting thought of socially awkward rice crackers most of the time we were just catching up. One of my friends - Chris - is actually making this amazing iPhone app that he's hoping to release soon. It's still in the preliminary stages - although you can play it - and he's asked a friend and I to design it. The prospect of getting back to being artistic is appealing, and the further thought of it being used in his game is exciting. Also he's promised 10% of the royalties which is an extra bonus =]

There was also banter about Ronnie stealing Kat's baby (Eastenders), as well as a group effort to ensure that I didn't eat the chocolate with nuts in it (this did not go as well as we had planned). All in all a very lovely and enjoyable afternoon.

I sometimes think it's not such a bad thing not seeing them all the time as it means when we do see each other, we have a lot to catch up on. Ironically it also means I value my time with them more because I know it will probably be months before I can meet them again.


In other news my wisdom teeth are becoming a right pain in the arse. Recently they've become quite painful. I've experienced the pain before but I thought it was just them coming through. That said it's been a few years now that I'm beginning to think that they are never going to grow straight. From what I can tell opening my gaping mouth in the mirror, they are only erupting partially. Which from what I hear, is not a good sign.

Teeth that have partially erupted can cause problems with infections. They can also impact upon other teeth damaging them and causing further problems if not treated. Now the thought of going to dentist for me is terrifying. It does not help that I am googling anything and everything about partial eruptions, impacted wisdom teeth and extractions. If I have to get them extracted I will definitely be sedated (although it will have to wait till after my exams).

I'm telling you I'm having a heart attack.

As if I don't have enough things to worry about already.

Monday 3rd January - Baking > Revision

I woke up early today in order to revise. Wrote up my biblical hermeneutics and theological exploration notes and then decided my time would be better spent baking a lemon loaf.

Turns out that my kitchen is not equipped with a sieve or weighing scales so I had to make do. To my surprise I had enough mixture to make two lemon loaves. I am now a happy bunny, filled with lemony goodness and still have enough for when my friends come over for tea tomorrow.

Revision can wait.

(I know I will regret this in ten years time when I'm sitting in Leicester Square utilising my theology degree well: drawing caricatures of tourists.)

Sunday 2nd January - The beauty of speaking more than one language

I went to Cafe Garcia down Portobello Road after church this morning for a spot of tea. Garcia's is a Spanish cafe that also gives its name to the delicatessen next door. It's a cute little place on the main road and is often very busy during market days.

Up and surprisingly awake from going to church, I arrived just before the tourists. Sitting sipping tea I heard one guy ask a woman in Spanish where the bathroom was. She said she didn't know and I couldn't help myself but suggest - in Spanish - that they might be upstairs. She looked surprised to say the least.

I've said it before but I'll say it again, I love being able to speak more than one language. I think compulsory languages at GCSE level is a must; in my view the younger you are taught the better.

When I was growing up I was taught both Tagalog and English and I'm much better off for it. I can go to the Philippines and not worry about someone scamming me for a pair of fake converses that are being sold at P1500 (£22) when really I can haggle them for P400 (£6).

At school I learnt French and Spanish, and at university New Testament Greek (ok so it's not spoken but still, it's a language). I know a bit of Italian and can count up to ten in a couple of languages.

Ironically though the classroom experience of learning a language is something I find difficult.I can't remember the rules for the subjunctive in Spanish but if someone asked me directions on the street I would be able to show them the way. Or if I needed to read a sign in Spanish I'm sure I could make out the basic gist if not understand what it's actually trying to say.

My point is that languages are amazing. If, when I have children, my husband speaks a language other than English I will suggest that he only speaks to them in his language and I in Tagalog. I will also suggest that we call our son Aquinas.

Saturday 1st January - Gadget Heaven

First things first, Happy New Year to you all!

Now the formalities are out of the way, I apologise for the lack of posting. Since receiving my brand-spanking-new-and-beautiful MacBook and my new phone I've been fiddling around with them for days.

My 'new' phone is nothing special - Nokia 6700 slide - just the updated version of my old one (Nokia 6500 slide).

I loved my old phone. In my book a phone is a phone. All it needs to do is to make calls and send messages. If it can take good photos then great, if not then it's not the end of the world. I don't really have much time for all these smartphones. I spend enough time as it is in front of a screen that I don't need one I can take around with me all day.

Now this is not new news to anybody, but the MacBook is just beautiful. I'm still getting to grips with it but once you get the hang of things everything is just so much more ... how shall I say it? Simpler. Ok, so it's white, which for someone like me is annoying as I can't stop trying to clean every little speck of dirt off, but otherwise it's great.

(L-R: Borrowed laptop, new laptop, old laptop)

I've been assured that once you become a Mac owner you will never return to Windows. I do love my Vaio, it has been faithful to me; I don't love the error messages though. Sorry Windows.