Friday, 10 December 2010

Yeah, whoops

So I haven't blogged in forever (mainly because I forgot what email I use to sign in, which is embarrassing considering I could have easily have found it out) and I've had a cold and insert a plethora of excuses here. Anyway, Britain has been covered with snow over the past few weeks (it's starting to melt now), and everything seemed to grind to a halt. Lots of schools were closed due to the weather, and mine was no exception. We were sent home during the middle of one day, which made lots of us walk home with the snow stinging our faces. It got even better when I had to walk past a 'rival' school to get home and had zillions of snowballs thrown at me. Now I must be a ghost, because not one of them hit me. Either that or lots of students have unbelievably bad aim.

A good thing about the weather though was how it looked afterwards. Mum and myself took a walk through the nearby woods and it was quite beautiful, and the snow in some places was actually quite deep!

Me, face exposed and tired from walking.
Another downside is the amount of people who had their flights cancelled and delayed by the weather. The runways must've been horrendous, and it makes me wonder why Britain seems to cripple under the weather whereas other places take it in their stride and keep things going with relative ease. At least THAT cold spell is over... for now.

Another thing... it's nearly Christmas!

I love December, mainly because I get an advent calendar (Thomas the Tank Engine if you were wondering), but also because there's a certain atmosphere that only Xmas can bring. Christmas songs on the TV, the decorations are up (minus the tree, we're working on that, i.e getting my dad to go in the garage and get it), and I'm getting cards already. I also love cuddling up to my beautiful cats.

Well, that's 2/3 of them. Very lazy things. Anyway, I hope you all have a marvellous Christmas and you spend it doing something you love.

Lots of love,

- Lauren xxx

Sunday, 24 October 2010

I swear I'm going to collapse from exhaustion today. It has been a very long week for me, and every day seemed to drag its feet like that disobedient child that wants sweets in the middle of Morrisons. Not only did I have mock exams in Maths, English, Science and Geography, but I got a D in the Maths one. One mark off of a C. I nearly slapped myself at seeing a stupid mistake I made on the first question (one mark lost) but I refrained from doing so. After all, I need all the brain cells I can get. The good news at least is the fact that I got As and A*s in those Science mocks. I find out my marks for the other ones after half-term is over.

That's another good piece of news (I'm on a roll with this good news thing, don't stop me now), the fact that I have a glorious week free of writing massive essays on inner conflict in Macbeth, free of chanting the 'Geographical Fugue' in Music. I don't know how many more 'Canada Malaga Rimini Brindisi' chants I can take without slowly going insane. Some bad news however is the amount of revision that I need to do for Maths. I have my first actual real-deal-oh-my-God-serious GCSE Maths exam two weeks after I return to school (or so they say). Then I have my English controlled assessment task in December that apparently contributes a whole lot to my core grade. Now I enjoy Shakespeare's works to some extent, but analysing it is a tedious task to me. In this task we have to compare how Shakespeare creates inner conflict in Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet. Now this does not sound too bad, I mean how bad could it be? Until I looked at my timetable sheet and found out that it is FOUR HOURS LONG. Four hours, stuck in a crammed classroom (my teacher says we don't do this assessment in the hall) writing sheets and sheets of jumbled words that my brain can't begin to comprehend anymore. Don't trust me in writing essays, I'll lose track of everything after a while and start rambling.

So I feel this break is well deserved, and I expected to get some good sleep over this weekend so I can tackle all that revision Monday through to Friday. Life however does not let me have my cake and eat it. Life being my next door neighbours in this instance. On Friday, I had a pretty good sleep, apart from having some strange dream that freaked me out even though I couldn't remember it. Never eat cheese before bed. However, last night I was kept awake by the sounds of the neighbours shouting and having some sort of angry party. I say angry party because I'm not quite sure whether they were having fun with guests or simply shouting at each other in fury. Either way, they were being loud and kept me up way after 1:30am. So today I feel like I am going to drop at any time, and I look like a panda gang has punched me in the eyes to make me one of their own. One of these days I'm going to wait until they're all in bed and I'll crank the volume to max on my guitar amplifier and keep them awake. Revenge is a dish best served through song.

Last weekend I had a Lion King marathon (who doesn't love the Lion King?) and it was pretty awesome. So I resorted to spending the weeknights drawing Simba and co rather than more important things such as revision (I regret nothing) and learning Don Mclean's 'Vincent' on guitar for my guitar lessons at school, which requires some funky fingerpicking and chord positions. Now I want some Lion King stickers to stick all around my room, on my guitars, everywhere. I don't think the (wo)man of the house (mum) will let me do that though. Or maybe she will, she's somewhat 'cool' like that.

It's been so long since I updated, jeez. Anyway, on a more aeroplane-related note, my family and I have watched lots of Air Crash Investigation programmes this week. It doesn't deter me from flying, instead it makes me realise how far air travel has come, and how it will continue to progress. A small note, but whatever.

Have a fun weekend guys,

- Lauren xxxx

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Damn you, colds.

So this week has been a nightmare for me, namely because I've been stricken with the common cold. The common cold is not a stupid virus, it leeches onto the most vulnerable and makes them feel like hacking their nose off whilst simultaneously removing the contents of their throats. Or maybe that's just me. Anyway, this cold made itself known to me on a dreary Monday morning, the kind where your bed clings onto you a little more than usual and your quilt feels like a big warm hug from Eeyore at Disney World, and when you leave that comfy embrace you end up feeling like the sad old donkey. The cold wasn't so bad on Monday, just a simple tickly throat and runny nose, and for once I thought; 'Wow, maybe Mr Common Cold is giving me a break this year!'. Alas, the common cold has never had any sympathy for me, and this year was no different.

When Tuesday rolled around I literally felt as heavy as a bus. By this time, I sounded like Eeyore too. Mum ordered me back to bed, and I wasn't going to complain. Somehow doing Michael Jackson's Thriller in dance whilst coughing my lungs out and blowing my nose every few seconds did not sound appealing in the slightest. At least I would have looked the part. So I slinked back upstairs and slipped back into safety of sleep for a long six hours until noon. 

I went back to school for the next two days (got to share my cold with everyone else, then we'll see who's skiving when they're off of school.) and was off again Friday, when I took a turn back into ill-waters again. 

In my last entry I showed you one wall of my room, so I thought that you'd might like to see the other side. Those are my guitars (if you couldn't tell already) and I love each one of them, although they need a good clean, my fingerprints are all over them. Not to mention the build up of dust that I've been neglecting!

Today I feel great, only a bit of my cold remaining (mind you, I've probably just jinxed it now). Since I felt better, I decided to make use of my lazy Saturday afternoon and started to study the first of my flying manuals. I took notes until some of the family decided to visit, breaking into the blissful silence and turning it into what I like to call a 'lol' session.

Speaking of 'lol', I wish my mum would stop capitalising it. Anytime I see 'LOL' I think she's shouting the word in my face. I know you're reading this mum. This is a hint.

Keep on rocking, people

- Lauren xxx

Thursday, 16 September 2010


My Trevor Thom manuals arrived yesterday, (well actually my mum went to go pick them up from the Post Office even though they should have been delivered...) and after I have done my revision for school and the piles of homework that I will no doubt recieve tomorrow, I shall start on book one (Flying Training) at the weekend, when I have a clear mind and the quietness to concentrate on taking notes. After all, I can't just blaze through page after page, I have to absorb the details! 

Anyway, mum got a call from the CAA, and they said they need a full medical report from my G.P so that they can then advise us further, which means we'll be booking an appointment with the doctors soon. In one of my previous posts I mentioned my totally awesome not-at-all-frumpy-and-horrible splints, and I thought you'd might like to see a picture of the sleek, sophisticated goddesses. 

Yep, these are those very helpful devices. I basically put my feet in them and fasten the velcro straps, which keeps my foot bent in a right angle to increase flexibility, and makes me walk like a penguin. They're modeled into the shape of my foot, but I'm growing out of them so I'll probably either need some new ones or they'll alter them, it depends what the physio says.                          

I also took a picture of one of my beautiful instruments, of which I cannot get enough of. It seems to have everything on it! I recieved this baby for my birthday, half paid for by my loving parents, (dad, if you're reading this, I'd like a cup of tea, thanks) who support me in everything I do. My walls are sporting guitars like fancy dresses and this beautiful Roland keyboard sits beneath them, looking all tempting. I also took a picture of the wall opposite, which shows evidence of my other love...

There are still gaps to fill, but I hope my flying certificates will cover that expanse of wall. Mum phoned up Sherburn inquiring about the age of recording flying hours, and my instructor got it wrong, it is fourteen. She also asked him how I really did (I was at school at the time, no idea this conversation was taking place) and he said that he did more with me in the trial lesson than a lot of other students that he's taken, and would love for me to continue with lessons (which I will do, without a doubt!)

- Lauren xxx

ETA: OMFG wow I failed the first time on posting this! Who knew I had the white background text colour on? I had to trawl through the HTML to fix it. Hopefully I'll NEVER make that mistake again!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Taking Control


So today I went to Sherburn Aero Club for my trial lesson, and it was AMAZING. Caps was totally necassary for that. Yep. Anyway, during the day before the lesson, I was not nervous one bit, just filled to the brim with excitement, totally ready to learn. However, on the journey there, I began to fidget, wondering what my instructor would be like, what the weather would be like up there and a bunch of other things that ate at my mind as we rumbled along in the car through the countryside.

I had no reason to worry, as my instructor was a very nice guy called Barry, who said that I'd picked the perfect day for flying, as the weather was splendid. As we took off, Barry mentioned that I might not want to continue with the lessons because the plane was not a jet airliner, and therefore would feel different. He didn't need to worry about that though, cause once he'd tumbled down the runway, it was love for me and this plane. Going on holiday and looking out at the runway is a good experience, but actually being in the cockpit and gunning down the runway being able to see all around you is a totally different experience (albeit holiday jets are obviously faster, but nothing beats the feeling of glancing around and seeing everything).

Once we were level in the air at 3,000 feet, Barry led me through the basics of using the control stick to move the plane, and what displays were what. I had to go left and right whenever he told me, and try to keep the plane level and steered in a straight direction. The views outside of the countryside were spectacular, the air clear and the sun glinting off the river in a way that words alone cannot describe. I had to guide the plane through some steep turns that sent my stomach through the floor of the aircraft and onto the ground below.

Alas, all good things come to an end, and as I climbed from the cockpit, I thought to myself; 'Yep, this is definitely something I could get used to VERY easily. It was an amazing experience and a brilliant flight, though I can't say the same for all the flies that were stuck to the wing, frozen. And probably dead.

So yeah, an amazing day in my life, one of the best without a doubt, although they said that I can't start logging any hours until I'm fifteen, though the site says fourteen, so my mum will be having a word about that tomorrow. I also recieved this snazzy certificate!

Anyway, I have school tomorrow, but I won't be sleeping tonight! But goodnight to those of you who will :)

Ta-Ta darlings, ttyl etc.

- Lauren  xxx

Saturday, 11 September 2010

So I started a blog...

Hello! My name is Lauren Martino, from Leeds (a plain city in West Yorkshire, England). I started this blog after reading Karlene's blog and a few others, following other pilots on their journeys around the world, as I aspire to be a commercial pilot too, sailing through the sky away from the corruption and destruction that occurs below, flying through a space that is so untouched it brings a tear to my eye. The feeling of rumbling down the runway at awesome speeds watching the surroundings meld into a blur lights a fire in my veins, sends a shiver of excitement running up my spine, reminding me that there is nothing I would rather do for the rest of my days than fly.

I have Spastic Diplegia, which is the mildest form of Cerebral Palsy, which affects my leg muscles, making them stiff. My mum and I are currently waiting on a reply from the CAA in London Gatwick to find out whether this will affect the direction of my dreams (to go solo for my PPL) but we think it won't because I do not suffer from seizures and my leg movement is quite fluid through years of wearing my "super stylish" splints and physiotherapy, which has helped me tremendously though the years.

My other love in life is music. I taught myself to the best of my ability to play guitar (started three years ago) and I'm still learning, and I'm trying to teach myself to play piano too. I have no idea what grade I'm at (I had no lessons, never really kept track of things, whoops!) but for me, I don't feel the need to have a grade, because to me, that's not what I began playing music for. I do not play to be graded (I get enough grades in school!), I play because it's a way for me to express myself, and without my music I would be a different person. I don't have anything against those that are graded though!

I have my trial flight lesson tomorrow at Sherburn Aero Club, which I will of course update you on :)

Anyway, toodle-pip darlings, relaxation calls!

- Lauren