Saturday, 19 July 2014

The Most Amazing and Tiring Week of the Year

As a precaution, I don't often utter the word amazing whenever I describe things because, in my opinion, it has become an overused cliché among people under the age of 30. From giving a tell-all verdict about last night's episode of The Only Way is Essex to analyzing the brilliance of Justin Bieber's squeaky voice, amazing seems to be applied to almost everything which we regard as a positive. Hearing the word being used all the time, whether I'm in the company of ecstatic girls at school or even browsing the horror film selection at the supermarket, drives me around the bend because it begs the question: don't any other adjectives exist?

Yet, here I am using a word which, like a carton of sensationally fattening whipped cream, I love to hate. As my head starts to sort through the fog which is typically after an extended lie-in - staying in bed until almost 9am has definitely uncovered my inner devil - more words will undoubtedly spring to mind, but I'm sticking with amazing for now.

After all, this week has, in a sense, been a mixture of amazement and exhaustion - yet another curse of an oh-so-hot heatwave - and is worthy of receiving an amazing description. For one thing, I was absent from school on Monday and Tuesday, therefore missing P.E. - which, unlike what it says on the tin, teaches you how to wipe away bugs crawling on your skin within the stroke of a sharp slap - and Sports Day.

Before professionally plucked eyebrows are raised, I can assure that I did not pull a sickie in order to wiggle my way out of doing some exercise because, as my parents will tell you, I was well and truly under the weather. Thanks to my brother, whose germ-spreading antics often cause epidemics within the family home, I caught the same bug which forced him to stay at home for one trigonometry-free day last week. This caused me to stay in the comfort of my bed on Friday because, not only could I be bothered to get up, my nose was blocked like a plughole. Even my mum, who has made her point about going to school whenever possible in the past, realized that I was in no state to attend that day - oh well, at least I got a free pass out of Maths first thing!

As for the weekend, I had been expecting to feel better and gradually recover from this bug which, like my brother's, I assumed would be temporary. How wrong I was! Apart from making (and stuffing myself with) a batch of muesli cookies, I didn't have the strength to do anything else which led to me wallowing in melancholy misery for the rest of the weekend; why did I have to suffer while everybody else was able to do whatever they wished? To add more insult to the injury, my complexion broke out as a result of feeling rundown, and I had nowhere to hide as I peered at the red spots scattered over my chin, which looked as angry as I felt. The end of last week was filled with misery and, as a further blow to my vanity, self-pity. It's amazing - although I wish to make clear that it was not positive at all - that illness can wreck with your mind to such an extent that knowing that you're unwell is worse than being so.

Luckily, things began to look up when this week - which served a reminder of the nearing summer holidays that will commence after next Wednesday - rolled around. After my cold reached its peak at the weekend, I slowly began to regain my strength, so it came as a massive relief that my illness would soon be on its way out. However, I still wasn't feeling 100% by Monday morning and, like the Friday before, getting out of bed was sheer hell, so I was granted another day off to recover.

But it was Tuesday which truly sealed the deal on this amazing (and tiring) week, the day on which Sports Day was set to take place. Courtesy of a moment controlled by absolute lunacy, I volunteered to participate in the Long Jump - which I had only practiced once in a P.E. lesson over a month ago - and a 100m relay, having had little or no experience in the sport. Since signing up for those two activities several weeks ago, I had been dreading Sports Day with an agonizing ache, picturing the patronizing giggles and jokes about being the last to finish and falling over in mud, etc. Because of being the new girl, I wanted to participate and give it a go like many of the (unwilling) pupils were, but my beliefs quickly became a curse. If pupils don't think twice about making jokes regarding my shoes, what pleasure would it have given them if I embarrassed myself in front of the whole school on Sports Day?

With a tickle still present in my throat and my nose not yet entirely clear, it was decided that participating in Sports Day would have been a step too far. Besides, I would've been exempt from taking part in P.E. if I had gone back to school when my cold was still playing up, which would have also applied to Sports Day. Yet it was the potential prospect of rising temperatures and full-on sun which was the biggest concern of all - unless it is an absolute must, I never go out in the sunshine. Never. Ever. So why would I willingly put myself through my idea of hell when almost all my usual lessons were suspended for the day?

Yet it wasn't the thought of missing school on Tuesday which sent me on the path towards having an amazing week: my mum had planned to visit a RSPCA volunteer at her home, in the hope of adopting a new kitten. Although my wonderful kitties, Bart and Benny, still qualify to be recognized as kittens because they are technically under the age of a year old, it felt right to bring another rescue kitten into our lives. It was an idea which occurred to my family several weeks ago and, instead of forgetting about it, we have acted upon our instincts. When faced with the question about whether I wanted to go to school or meet a new member of our family, it was a no-brainer. Despite education being one of the most important things in my life, family means more than all the textbooks and learning tools in the world!

My mum and I travelled to the volunteer home's in the afternoon, who resides on the outskirts of a city. She mainly looks after kittens and their mothers which, even if only involves one litter, is exhausting work. Needless to say, I was surrounded by meows and playful fights when I was shown around - of all things, watching kittens play with one another reminded me of my brother and I!

With a desire to adopt a male tabby kitten, we were originally shown a nine week old kitten before being taken to another den. There, I placed my eyes upon a beauty which I had never seen up close before - in other words, I was seeing a five day old kitten! In the den, there was an beautiful mother cat - who possessed more elegance than the poshest Royal - who was tending to her five kittens, almost of all whom were different colours. Two were ginger, whilst the other two were either black or black and white. But the fifth kitten shared the most similarities to its mother because, like her, it was a tabby - just exactly what we had been looking for!

Very gently, the volunteer managed to get hold of the kitten, whose eyes were squeezed shut and ears were flat like a deflated balloon, and show it to my mum and I. Never had I been more astounded with what my eyes were seeing! The kitten was absolutely tiny and, if my description is accurate, was smaller than an iPhone! As it looked so fragile, I didn't stroke the kitten because I thought that even my smallest finger would be too big for its head, but my Mum gently stroked it before taking a few pictures of the little cutie. From that moment on, it was confirmed: the kitten not only felt like, but was ours.

Then we got some news which, at first, somewhat knocked us off our feet, but was later received as a positive. When examined, it appeared that the kitten could be a girl. Having never owned any female cats nor known any from past generations, my family and I had always stuck to males. But, as a girl myself, I had secretly been eager to adopt a female cat, yet my idea used to be dismissed because of a lack of experience with them. If female cats lose their hormonal tendencies by getting the snip - just like the boys have to - what could the big problem be?

Thankfully, my mum agreed and went ahead with the adoption, although we cannot be entirely certain whether Teddy - the unisex name we have chosen for the kitten, regardless of his or her gender - is a girl because mistakes can happen. But I hope that Teddy possesses the same feminine qualities like me because it is about time that the gender divide has been tackled in our family; with two boys (Dad and Little Brother) and two male kittens, my mum and I are rather underrepresented!

We left in a state of excitement because, as soon as my mum reserved Teddy, there was no turning back: in eight weeks or so time, Teddy will be coming home with us. She will be our first female kitten in the family, therefore making history before she has even set foot (or should I say paw?) through the door. How can I not describe that moment as anything but amazing?

Although I have since made a speedy recovery from my cold and attended three days at school this week, I'm bursting with excitement about meeting Teddy. Kittens are allowed to be adopted at around nine weeks old; Teddy was born nine days ago, so we are expecting to take her home with us in mid-September. This question, however, remains: how will I keep my patience under control during the summer holidays? At this moment in time, I have absolutely no idea but, like the so-called importance of direct proportion, I will have to respect the time it takes until the pleasure is finally my own.

So, this week has been a great and - for the final time only - amazing time, and it is helped further by the fact that the school term is nearly over. Just two normal days on Monday and Tuesday before Activity Day on Wednesday - in which I shall be channeling Kay Burley as a News Desk reporter - and I'm free of homework, stuffy uniforms and hiked-up skirts for six glorious weeks.

According to the grey sky outside my bedroom window, a storm is coming. And, as the rain will pour on all the plants in the garden, normality will be restored. How much I've missed it!

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