So What's Been Going On in the Life of Me?? : A trip to the beach, the Jane Austen House Museum, GCSE results (!!!), central London and BOOOOOKS

Hey whassup guys *attempts to be cool* *fails*

So it's been ages since the last time I wrote a proper blog post on here (I swear I've been meaning to post something for like two weeks?? But it never happened?? What is self-organisation), and even longer since I last wrote a life update post, so that's what I'm going to be doing today!

 Lately, you've probably been wondering, "so what's been going on in the life of Andrea? It's been a really long time since she last posted!" ... Okay, so probably none of you wondered that because I'm not that important to you BUT I'm still going to be writing a life update!! Trust me... a LOT has happened since I last posted anything here. There are some things I'm really excited about, but I'm going to leave those until the end because they happened the most recently and I want to write this in chronological order. So without further ado, let's jump right in!

*jumps right in*

(Yes I apparently do blog graphics now what is this who am I)

At the start of the month, I went on a day trip to Bournemouth with my parents! Which was a LOT of fun. It was the first time I'd been there since we spent a week there two years ago, so it was really cool to see the place again. I really love the beach there, it's lovely and sandy and the sea is really safe to swim in, and I LOVE SWIMMING IN THE SEA. (Even though I, like... can't swim, but sssshhh child.) I went into the sea twice, which was sO mUcH FuN. The weather was amazing too?! It was super sunny all day, and very warm but not too hot so we could spend quite a lot of time outside on the beach.

Beach thing!!


The beach in the evening. We spent most of the evening on the beach, looking at the sea and talking (my parents) and reading (me) which was so awesome

Pwetty sky 😍

They had this gigantic deckchair thing that you could sit on to feel smol. (Not that it's hard to make my 5'2-tall-self feel smol.)

It was quite a long journey there and back in a single day; we had to take a train into London Waterloo station, which takes around half an hour, then from there take the train to Bournemouth, which took around two hours. And that was just the journey out; we still had to get home. But we had a great day so I think it was pretty much worth it. 

I was sort of sad that we had to leave because the day went by really quickly, and I would have liked to stay longer... Plus I'm not sure when the next time we'll be able to go will be. But at the same time I was sort of eager to get on the train to Waterloo?! It was because I'd been reading Caraval on the beach and I'd sort of had to leave it in the middle of a really important bit, and I was looking forward to being able to curl up on the train seat and binge-read the ending without being interrupted... #That awkward moment when you care more about the book you're currently reading than enjoying yourself on a day trip #BookwormsLife (Also you should read my review-ish-thing of Caraval if you haven't already, click here

All in all, it was an amazing day! I can't wait for the next time I get to visit Bournemouth again, I really miss it already... Hopefully next summer we'll be able to go there on holiday and stay for a few days!

A few days after this day trip, something awesome happened: my braces came off!! My braces came off!!! MY!! BRACES!! CAME!! OFF!! FINALLY!!! I'd had them for eighteen months and I was so eager to be free of them?! AND NOW I AM!! YAHOO!! *throws confetti* I don't have to worry about having food stuck in my braces anymore?? Or having to use like three different toothbrushes to brush my teeth properly?? I can eat hard foods like apples and carrots again?? Much happy, so cheer. Admittedly, I'm not so happy about it anymore because since last week I've had to start wearing retainers full-time and they sort of annoy me... I'm starting to get used to them now, though. I have to wear them full-time for the next three months or so (to stop my teeth from going back to the positions they had before I started wearing braces), then I'll only have to wear them at night-time and eventually only one or two nights a week, but still... I'm a little annoyed?? I'm tired of having weird things attached to my teeth? *sigh*

Anywho, something else that happened recently was that I visited the Jane Austen House Museum with my mum! It's the house where she lived for the last few years of her life, where she wrote and published a few of her novels, and it's been turned into a museum for people to see what her life would have been like. I'd wanted to go there since I studied Pride and Prejudice for GCSE English literature and really enjoyed it, but somehow we didn't get around to it until now? We have an excuse though: we were waiting for the weather to get a little cooler because we weren't going to go on a long day trip if it was 30 C outside. So we had to wait until mid-August, when the weather stopped trying to make us all fry and we could sort of go out again.

We took the train to Alton, which was where Jane Austen apparently went shopping, then followed the trail to Chawton, where the museum is. It was... pretty cool to be walking in Jane Austen's footsteps?! She would have walked along the same footpaths and seen the same trees and countryside that we saw... That's pretty awesome.

I didn't take a lot of photos of the inside of the museum, but here are a few:

Desk thing! I think it belonged to Austen's father?

They had this piano that apparently guests were allowed to play? You just had to ask for permission first. I would have asked, only I haven't touched a piano in like a year and it probably would have failed really really badly...

This was the desk where Jane Austen wrote!! It's tiny?? She must have been so cramped?? And where did she store the pages she'd already written?? I feel sorry for her

We also saw her bedroom that she shared with her sister, and her mother's bedroom, and a dressing room, and a bunch of other places I don't remember (I didn't take any photos though)... It was actually quite a big house? Like, everyone always says that Jane and her family were quite poor and lived in a small house, but I thought it was pretty roomy. I guess the concept of a 'big house' and a 'small house' were different for the nineteenth century upper-middle class. 

They had this bonnet thing that you could try on and of course I had to take a weird selfie with it... I look like a wicked witch or something lmao

There was this cat that lived at the museum! He looks almost exactly like my cat?? Especially when he's all curled up like that; my cat does the exact same thing. He wasn't very friendly, though. We tried to say hello to him and he didn't even look up. Rude. (I came up with the idea that he should have been named Mr Darcy, I mean, it's just way too good of an opportunity to pass up amirite) 

The house from outside

The gardens! They were really pretty 😍

A nearby field with sheep. We walked around the area after visiting the museum, which was mostly just fields and woodland. It had been a really long time since I was able to walk around countryside like that and actually see things like sheep grazing (I'm a city gal), so it was really cool.

We went up to Chawton House, which was where Jane's brother lived and where she sometimes stayed. It's also open to the public, but by the time we got there it was already late afternoon and it was closed, so we couldn't go in. 

Before leaving the museum we bought a copy of Jane Austen's Teenage Writings, which are basically just a collection of short stories that she wrote when she was a teenager. I thought it would be fun to read what went through her brain when she was a kid? Plus I haven't read much by her, just Pride and Prejudice for school, and I sort of wanted to read more of her writing (I'm not much into classics but I did enjoy P&P quite a lot?).  Anyway, I've read like three of the stories in her Teenage Writings so far and... holy hell. Smol Jane Austen r u ok sweetie. So far we've had: heartbreak, suicide, blackmail, drunkenness, jealousy and MURDER. Thought that Austen only wrote about ladies in bonnets falling in love and not doing much? YA THOUGHT WRONG, MA FRIEND. I had no idea Austen was this... awesome. (Also I'm slightly concerned for her mental sanity because... wow... some really weird shit has gone down in just the 30-ish pages I've read so far. Austen r u ok.)

Anyway, so now for the really huge bit:

I got my GCSE exam results last week!! After waiting for literally months!! Oh my God, I was so nervous going to pick up my results?? I THOUGHT I'D FAILED EVERYTHING. I WAS PANICKING. We got to the school where I sat my exams and I was given that little brown envelope containing my results and then my mum and I were taken into a little room to open it and I thought I was going to die and I didn't want to open the envelope but at the same time I just wanted to get it over with so I opened it and the letter with the results sort of fell out and I saw my grades -

And I almost had a heart attack.

I got... a 7.... in maths?!?! A SEVEN ?!?!?!? IN MATHS ?!?!??! I.e. my least favourite subject of ever?! For those of you that don't know, a 7 is an A grade with the new number grading system. And I am just like??? How the hell did I get an A in maths??? How??? I suck at maths??? I was in total shock when I saw it, I just held it up to my mum and asked "WHY ARE THERE TWO SEVENS HERE, DO YOU SEE TWO SEVENS TOO OR AM I SEEING THINGS, HAS SOMEONE MADE A MISTAKE". I just couldn't believe it?? I thought there had to have been some sort of mistake? I was expecting a 5 in maths, maybe a 6 if I was really lucky, but a 7?? Holy shit.

I'm really happy with the rest of my results too!! I wasn't as shocked to see I'd gotten a 7 in English literature because the exams went really well for me; I'd been expecting to get at least a 6, but the 7 was still a pleasant surprise. And I'm happy with the B I got in human biology, it was what I was aiming for tbh. I was sort of panicking about my biology exam because I hadn't been feeling very well on my first biology paper and I couldn't really remember how well I'd done, so I was worried that I'd done terribly and I was going to FAIL. But it turns out I had nothing to worry about! That's a relief.

So counting the results I got for the two exams I took last year, and translating my number grades to letter grades, my GCSE grades are: 1 A*, 3 As and 1 B. Which I'm pretty darn proud of. I'm so, so happy that all my hard work paid off?! SO HAPPY.

Anyway, after collecting my results and once I was no longer in shock, I went to enrol at the sixth form I want to go to!! It's official: I'm going to be starting school next week!! As you'll know if you've been following me for any length of time, I've been homeschooled since I was eight years old (bar six months when I went to school when I was eleven) so this is a pretty huge change for me. I start school on the 6th. I'm... Excited? Nervous? Mildly terrified? Tbh it hasn't really sunk in that I'M STARTING SCHOOL NEXT WEEK. WHAT. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN. HOW IS IT ALREADY NEARLY SEPTEMBER. HELP.

To celebrate my results, I went into central London last weekend with my parents! We went into the National Gallery for a bit, then went to St. James's Park to have lunch. I took a bunch of cool photos:

There's so much wildlife in this pond, including pelicans?! Wut. There are also loads of different species of duck, and swans! 

It had been a while since I'd last been there and I didn't remember that it was so pretty?! 😍😍 It was really nice to walk around there... The only problem was that when we sat down near the pond to eat lunch, these huge ducks kept coming right up close to us, eyeing our food (they are NOT shy, at all. They were literally eating out of the hands of some tourists before). So we sort of moved to another area, and one of the ducks followed us. IT WOULDN'T STOP FOLLOWING US. Like. Can u not. It eventually moved off to annoy another family, but still. It was sort of stressful because we kept expecting some other duck to come and eye up our food and attempt to steal it.

After walking around the park, before going home, we stopped at a Waterstone's (a UK bookstore chain) because my dad had given me a £25 Waterstone's gift card to celebrate my results and I really wanted to use it lol. I rarely get a chance to buy books so this was ReAlLy ExCiTiNg fOr mE. I bought a copy of Caraval and its sequel, Legendary, WHICH I REALLY WANTED TO READ SINCE I READ THE FIRST BOOK. I was only going to buy the sequel, but I'd read the first book from the library, and my logic was this: I can't own the sequel if I don't own the first book. I mean what kind of monster buys the second book and not the first?? Inconceivable. So I bought both, ha! I'm already halfway through Legendary and my entire opinion on this series is: 😍😍😍. I'M MILDLY OBSESSED. (Haha I'm joking... there is no mildly.) I also bought A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab! I've heard lots of great things about it. I haven't started reading it yet but I can't wait to! It's set in London and it has magic and I like London and I like magic so I think I'm going to really like it. 

And that's pretty much all the cool things that have happened in my life lately!! So now it's your turn: what's been going on in your life? Have you been on any cool day trips? Do you like Jane Austen's books, and have you ever been to the museum (or would you like to if you could)? Have you taken any exams lately? What are your plans for September? Are you currently obsessed with a book or series? Talk to me!

Stay awesome,

> > > A n d r e a < < <

*runs away into the night*


    Ooh, your pictures are so pretty!!! And yay for braces coming off!!! I can't wait for mine to come off too. :-) That's cool that you visited the Jane Austen museum! I actually haven't read any of her books but I've seen a couple of the movies that they made based off them. :-) And yay for the beach!!! I love the ocean. <333
    And also, your use of inconceivable. XD That was great.

    1. Thank you!! πŸ˜„πŸ˜„
      I'm glad you liked the pictures! And yessss getting your braces off is the best thing πŸ˜‚ I hope yours come off soon too!
      Haha, I haven't read that many of her books either, but I think I've seen a couple of TV series based off them? 😊And I love the ocean so much as well! 😍
      Lol, I wasn't even planning on using that word, it just suddenly popped into my head while I was looking for another word and I decided to just roll with it πŸ˜‚

  2. CONGRATS ON YOUR GRADES!! And I learned so much about how y'all grade over there just from reading that, wow. πŸ˜‚


    And your day trip looks like it was a blast. :D

    1. THANK YOU!! Honestly I barely understand how the grading system works πŸ˜‚ they've changed it in the past couple of years and like... I sort of get it now? Sort of? πŸ˜‚

      Ahh I hope your braces come off soon!! I'm sure it won't be too long 😊

      It was! Thanks! 😁

  3. That sounds awesome! Congrats on getting your braces off! And good luck with school!!

    Nabila | Hot Town Cool Girl

    1. Thank you!! Good luck with your school too! 😊

  4. Everything sounds amazing! That's so cool you visited Bournemouth :) I really wanted to go to a seaside this summer, but my parents unfortunately were too busy so we didn't go anywhere... Anyways, the photos you took in Bournemouth are great! Huge congratulations on your exam results!! Awesome :D Also, the photos from central London are nice! I hope September will be wonderful for you! // This August I visited three Polish cities located near the place I live. The most exciting was my trip to Warsaw - the capital of Poland, where I visited my family and did lots of shopping :) Also, I read a lot and cycled many kilometers. I enjoyed watching many movies and series in August :D I'm starting my school tomorrow and I'm so nervous! This school year is going to be stressful because of the exams I'll take in April...

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you like the photos 😊 And thank you so much, I hope September is great for you too!! Aww, that's sad that you didn't get to go to the seaside, but it sounds like you've been on some pretty awesome trips! I'd love to visit Warsaw. And it sounds like you've accomplished a lot this summer! I've been reading a lot lately too 😊
      Good luck with school and your exams! I'm sure everything will be fine xx

    2. Thanks so much! 😊

  5. Looks like a really fun time!! The number grades threw me off so I am glad you explained it. Why are the grading systems changing? Can't we all keep things the same.
    Thanks for the comment on my blog!
    Simply Me

    1. Thank you! It was 😁 And I know right?! I swear they only do it to confuse us?? πŸ™„
      Thanks for stopping by! 😊


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