Introducing: The Caravan Project

Next year, I’m going on a road trip with a few friends, and in true broke-student style, we’re taking the 1965 Sprite 400 caravan that has been sitting in my garden since…1965 (it was taken out a few times by the old owners, clearly, but either it was barely used or they were the most OCD caravan-owners ever because it’s basically untouched).

The caravan is tied into place with a small tree growing on every side, green with algae and full of spiders, but it doesn’t leak (much) and the floor seems pretty solid. I’m going to put some new tires on it soon, and see if I can’t shift it out of its extremely non-caravan-friendly hiding place and check to make sure it’s sound.

Once that’s done, I can get on with actually restoring it!

I want to be as faithful to the 1960s Sprite styling as possible, but having seen the migraine-inducing colour scheme it’s got going on, I’m not going to be absolutely anal about returning it to its original condition. The cushion covers are mustard yellow, y’all.

The old owners have covered the floor in dark blue carpet, which actually doesn’t look too bad, however, it’s completely impractical and the original vinyl is underneath. It’s brown with green and yellow squiggly bits.It sounds disgusting, but it isn’t too bad and with a proper, 60’s-look restoration, it might actually turn out quite (forgive me for the following word; it’s the only one I can think of) funky.

It’s also got some 60’s/70’s sun loungers and the cushion covers from a bench seat of some kind. I absolutely love the patterns on these; big blue and green stylised flowers which I really would love to replicate in the caravan.

Sprite weren’t into space-age or hippie styling. Their signature colours were so-orange-it’s-more-orange-than-an-actual-orange and (in my case) mustard-that-got-caught-up-in-a-nuclear-war-yellow. Complete the look with plain matte wood furniture and pale green cracked-effect lino surfaces and you’re in an actual time machine.

So I think my colour scheme is going to be green with a bit of blue and yellow in there…I wanted cream and red or something striking like that, but I’m working with what I’ve got.

Caravan posts should be up every Sunday from now on, complete with photos of it in various stages of restoration…


BJ #3:

I was reading a book about adhesive the other day. I just couldn’t put it down.


Some people are just moo-sically challenged…

Today, we got to listen to a few snippets of House Music. For those that don’t know, House Music is an event where all the school houses compete with each other by singing songs and playing music. Each house provides an orchestra, a jazz band, a boys choir and a girls choir.

It’s the choirs that tend to provide the most entertainment. As the aim is to get as many people as possible in each choir, vocal quality is often sacrificed. My house hasn’t done too badly this year. Our girls choir performed the full-length version of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and managed to sound incredible, with some sterling performances on the parts of the soloists. Our boys choir, on the other hand…

Oh boys. It’s never a good idea to get fifty extremely musically challenged, pubescent males onto a stage to sing ‘That’s What Makes You Beautiful’. Especially when only one of your four soloists can hold a tune. At certain points the mangling of what was already a particularly awful song was too much to bear. Using Mrs P’s gauge* of how awful the performance was, they rated a ‘cover your face with your hands’. Although at least we didn’t throw glitter at the audience, like another choir I could mention…

However, special mention must go to The Yellow House (names have been changed) for their rendition of ‘Jerusalem’. Or, ‘Je-moo-salem’ as it was renamed. The first verse (conveniently mentioning cows) sounded uncommonly like a herd of tone-deaf bovines. There were at least five different keys going on, separate to the three harmonies. On Mrs P’s scale of awfulness*, this one went all the way to a ‘leave the room in horror’.

However, I cannot criticise, as I didn’t take part in House Music (the horror of Year 7 was too much for me). But there’s a reason why we’re a sports and science college.

Also, like I said, here’s my daily punishment for the loss of my sense of humour:

BJ #2:

What did the green grape say to the purple grape?

Breathe, you idiot, BREATHE!


*Mrs P is a teacher at my school, and her reactions were a good indicator of the quality of performance.

Let’s see how many BJs I can fit into my blog from now on…

Ok, my post has managed to delete itself. It was a boring, depressed, whiny post that I can’t be bothered to retype.

The long and short of it is that I’ve had a bit of a meltdown, I’m ill and my sense of humour has vanished.

I’m currently most concerned about the loss of my sense of humour. I’m pretty sure it’s run into the arms of someone who’s far more deserving of it. Or it’s asleep because I haven’t been using it.

Either way, it’s sorely missed.

And so, until it returns, I will be posting a new Bad Joke (how many of you only read this blog post because of the title?) every day to make me keep this blog up to date and to give myself a little goal. And also to shock my humour into coming back to relieve us all of my new, awful writing style…

BJ #1:

What did the fisherman say to the card magician?

Pick a cod, any cod!

The Art of Bullshitting

Over the course of this week my school, like every other school in the country, opened its doors to the multitude of Year 6 students looking for a secondary school. About two thousand tend to show up. Per night. And one thousand of those will sit the test, for a school with only a hundred and fifty places to offer. Nearly seven years ago, that was me.

Imagine my shock when I moved from Surrey to the backwaters of rural England, and wondered why everyone seemed to be workaholics. It was pointed out to me that most of my class were studying hard for the 11 Plus, the exam which would get you into one of the good grammar schools. Of which there were plenty. I suddenly found myself being shunted around Open Evenings and guided around various schools before settling down to several hours cramming a night (I hadn’t got much time; I found out about the test in  September and sat it in early November, when most of my classmates had been going to tutors for all of Year 5). Nevertheless, I applied to my school because I loved it, but didn’t really think I’d get in. But I did, and so, seven years on and for the last time ever, I was guiding prospective applicants around the school in the same way I had been guided all those years ago.

Pensive-sounding reflection over, you meet some interesting people on these tours. There was the absolutely lovely family, with two blond, blue-eyed children who were lovely and asked lots of questions and liked everything I showed them. Only I couldn’t for the life of me figure out if they were boys or girls. Seriously; they had long hair, effeminate faces (they were ten) and dressed fairly ambiguously. To make matters worse, they both had names like Sam. I genuinely wasn’t sure. I thought they were boys, but then again…

Or there was the family that complained about everything. They stayed for the whole tour and told me in each of the departments exactly what was wrong with the school.

Of course, it’s not just the applicants who can be interesting/irritating/scary/downright insane. The tour guides can be more than you’d bargained for. Take the case of my friend Carla. Everyone who knows her knows that she is a classic bullshitter who doesn’t care if anyone believes her and does it for the entertainment of the people who do know the truth. And what better a time to play a prank on unsuspecting people than when you’re showing them around a school?

Carla is English. About as English as you can get. However, for her play in Drama that year, she was playing the part of an Irish girl. She also needed to practise her accent. She took a family round the whole school, doing the tour in a light Irish accent and telling them a whole backstory about how she grew up in Dublin with a cow. Called Daisy. Who was her best friend. So imagine her alarm when the family she was guiding informed her that they have close family in Dublin, and wanted to know where she lived. Carla, ever the improviser, simply altered her story to growing up on a farm just outside Dublin, with her cow. Called Daisy.

And they believed her.

This isn’t the first time she’s got away with something like this. She once managed to make one of my friends believe that Lenin was a brand of condom. And Trotsky was a euphemism for The Pill. In fairness, this friend was very naive. She was completely taken in by Carla’s insistence that the wrapped cylinder she was being offered was a lolly, only to discover it was actually a tampon. I should probably point out, Carla has no shame.

Moral of the story: Always take everything with a pinch of salt, and if it’s a paper-wrapped cylinder that someone is telling you is a lollipop, don’t take it at all.

It’s the beginning of the end (I bet you all think this post is going to be suicidal or apocalypse-related or something)

It was the first day of my last year of secondary school last week. I’m bucking the trend and not applying to university this year, because I have no idea what I want to study. Therefore, instead of regaling you with tales of my struggles with various applications and forms and whatnot, I thought I’d just comment on what it’s like being back at school.

First off, I have a new Biology teacher. Two lessons in her presence is enough for me to determine that I dislike her. She flips between fake-smile bubbliness and extreme rage faster than most schizophrenics. When she’s not being angry, she’s pretending to be the owner of the winning bitch at Crufts and saying “Good girl!” to every female member of the class who answers a question correctly (not many, due to her not accepting any answer unless it comes out of her own mouth). The boys get ignored.

New Biology teachers aside, school has changed in more ways than one since the last time I was there. We’ve moved onto the cashless system for buying food from the brand spanking new Refectory on the school field. This involves placing your fingerprint onto the reader and having money taken out of your account. That’s it. I’m conveniently forgetting to tell my parents that there’s a physical cash input machine, otherwise they’d make me pay for my own food.

This cashless system caused a lot of controversy among my classmates when it was announced. I go to a nerd school, where everything that moves is turned into the subject of a debate. Naturally, the cashless system and the fact that everyone’s fingerprints would be on the school database caused a massive moral debate culminating in a number of people refusing to have their fingerprints scanned. They spent the summer holidays feeling all rebellious and independent, then realised that they can’t operate any of the printers without their fingerprints.

I was reading The Bloggess a few days ago (I don’t do much else) when I found one of her posts about the travelling red dress. I thought that was one of the most amazing things anyone could do; to manage to reach so many people and it’s inspired me to have a go at all those things I never had the courage to do before. You’ll see what I mean later…

Anyway, that’s my life updated a tiny bit…hopefully I should be back in a day or so!