A few weeks ago I went to Dubrovnik Croatia, with my partner as part of a trip that he was rewarded with at work. I had never been to Croatia before so wasn’t sure what to expect, but Dubrovnik was lovely. I have included some snippets if what I got up in the four days below:

Cable Car
All of us got on a cable car which gave us stunning views of the Old Town above. The cable car was relatively new, the last cable car being destroyed in the 1991 war.

Cable Car
(Image Source: Tripadvisor)

Old Town Dubrovnik BecBec
Old Town
(Image Source, Authors Own)
Shimmering limestone pavements in Old Town
(Image Source, Authors Own)

Old Town
We had a guided walk through the town telling us stories about the 1991 war and how it affected the Old Town (Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the few examples of walled cities). Dubrovnik was under siege for seven months which meant a lot of properties within the walled city were damaged. An example of this was the roofs, the majority of roofs on properties in the Old Town had to be rebuilt from scratch in the same style per UNESCO guidelines.

The walk down Stradun (the main street in Dubrovnik) was lovely. The streets in Old Town are limestone paved therefore really slippy! My partner and I loved the old town so much we went back a few days later and explored it further, we even brought back a painting (there were many sellers selling paintings create by local art students).

Old Town Dubrovnik BecBec
Old Town
(Image Source, Authors Own)
Old Town Dubrovnik BecBec
 Old Town
(Image Source, Authors Own)
Old Town Dubrovnik BecBec
Harbour in Old Town
(Image Source, Authors Own)

Rib- boats and Water sports
On one of the day’s we all piled into rib- boats and just powered our way round the coast. We stopped at a small island for a three- course lunch then did some water sports. I went on a jet- ski (the first time ever on a jet- ski and loved it!) and kayaking with my partner.

Rib- boat Dubrovnik Travel Review BecBec
Rib- boat fun
(Image Source, AddingValue)

Eating Mussels
Not one for eating seafood myself, our first full day involved eating mussels on this boat. I wasn’t keen on the mussels but glad I tried it, I did wash it all down with wine after!

Mussels- Dubrovnik- Croatia- BecBec
Mussels, an acquired taste!
(Image Source, Authors Own)

Sand Buggies
On our last full day, we decided to go on a sand buggy. We drove across land which in the 1991 war had been occupied. The guide showed us some relics from the war including shrapnel and a gas mask. He also told us about the war from his perspective as he was a seven when it happened. The guide said as a child he didn’t go to school very often because the war made normal life very difficult and that sometimes he would ask a member of the army for a ride in a tank and occasionally they let him! He spoke about landmines from the 1991 war that in certain areas were still active and that had blown people up in mid-2000. As I was born in the early nineties it brought home really how recent the war was.

Sand Buggies Dubrovnik BecBec
Our sand ‘buggies’
(Image Source, Authors Own)
Dubrovnik Review Becbec

View of Dubrovnik
(Image Source, Authors Own)

Yachting
In the afternoon on the last day we went yachting around the coastline of Dubrovnik. I felt really sea sick (too much sun and good food I think!) so ended up laying down on the boat as the sky was the only thing I could focus on!

Franjo Tudman Bridge
Franjo Tudman Bridge
(Image Source, Authors Own)
Dubrovnik
I saw a pirate ship!
(Image Source, Authors Own)

So that was a little snapshot of what I got up to in the four days!

Read part one here

After I got back after the summer school had changed. I had a year behind my belt and no longer felt intimidated by the whole experience. As I was in upper sixth we all got moved to The Annex which was separate to the main boarding house linked only by a connecting corridor. I had this lovely room which to this day I call the ‘alcove’ as my bed was literally in an alcove. I was made Head of Girls School House which really involved showing people around on Open Days, meetings once a week with the Head and the chance to sit facing the sixth formers at the annual sixth form assembly every Monday rather than sit with them. We also moved into a new study, this study was underneath the theatre and was much brighter than my last study and I also got to share with my two best mates.

Boarding School Experience BecBec
Running the annual cross country run,
one year I came in the top ten!
(Image Source: Authors Own)

There were new boarders to meet and new decisions to make as next year we were all off to university. At Upper Sixth A- levels started to get harder, I remember thinking at the beginning of lower sixth when I was studying the Great Gatsby in class that there was no way in hell I was going to go to university but in Upper Sixth I realised I wanted a degree. Back then in 2008 the recession was underway, with many people losing their jobs, I didn’t have many skills to enter the job market with, I felt it in a way, I had no choice but to go.

The academic work definitely got harder. I loved the English Lit A-Level but I found Geography relatively easy. I decided to apply to study Geography at university. My school took university very seriously, it was extremely rare to not go to university straight after unless it was a gap year. We wrote our forms, had a staff member go over our personal statements rewrote the statements again and sent the forms off before Christmas. Those that were applying for Oxbridge had an interview with the Deputy Head. It was very hands on, compared to my sister who went to college a few years later and was essentially left to do the whole UCAS application herself.

Boarding School Experience BecBec
Larking around on a day out in town
(Image Source: Authors Own)

As I was turning 18 I wanted to go out. I got invited to a few parties but didn’t attend most of them as I had to get permission to stay over night from both my parents and the parents of the friends house where I was staying, it was just too much hassle. I got sick of being penned in at the weekends, I remember one time asking to go up to the newsagents up the street at half six in the evening when it was still light and I got told no as it was too late, I was 17 years old!

Good things I remember was the annual sixth form dance. It’s not a normal disco. Once a week for about eight weeks all the sixth formers had to have ballroom dancing lessons which were given by the deputy. It was embarrassing at the time, but a lovely memory to look back on. I also joined this group called PeaceJam, it’s an international organisation led by Nobel Peace Prize winners with the aim of promoting peace amongst young people. As part of this, our group travelled to Bradford University and met Shirin Ebadi. At lunch, Shirin Ebadi was invited to eat with the students and she happened to sit right opposite me, I couldn’t believe it!

Shirin Ebadi- Boarding School Experience- BecBec
Shirin Ebadi at PeaceJam
(Image Source: Authors Own)

There were more boarding school parties, looking back at the photos the teachers did make a real effort to make our final year special. There was a meal at a restaurant called Tampopo in Leeds and a party in the boarding house where the housemistress gave us all some jewellery she had made herself. I still think I have the earrings somewhere. I remember my friend smashing a light because she was threw an orange at it and then told the deputy head it had fallen down. The same friend also broke into the school swimming pool using a debit card and went for a swim in the middle of the night. She then took one of those hot plates that is powered using tea lights ( I have no idea why the boarding house had one of those!) and made a meal afterwards!

My Boarding School Experience BecBec
Young me at Tampopo
(Image Source: Authors Own)

I remember in Biology dissecting a rat. The rat stank of preserving fluid and I have no idea why we did it other than for the ‘experience’ which looking back is completely unnecessarily. This one guy took the intestines of the rat and swung it around his head lasso style. I was nearly peeing myself with laughter. I also remember going to the pub when we all hit 18 every Friday, considering I couldn’t go to the newsagents on my own. I loved the privilege and felt more of a normal 18-year-old. I remember a group of us had gone to the local town for an afternoon in the pub and when we got back the teacher on duty was checking that we hadn’t been drinking. The teacher asked me where I had been and I said Tesco’s!

Boarding Experience Part Two BecBec
Banner that was made for the Upper Sixth girls on the 
last week.
(Image Source: Authors Own)

Upper Sixth did end on a high for me as I only took two ‘proper’ A-levels and General Studies I was looking forward to joining my university course not being the odd one out. The positives I took from my experience was being with like minded people. My friends and fellow students loved their hobbies and wanted to succeed, you really felt that anything was possible. The students were polite in lessons and if I had gone to boarding school in my GCSE years I would have got better results just because the teachers would be able to teach in lessons and not have to sort out the badly behaved all the time. I enjoyed hobbies I never have tried otherwise such as PeaceJam, European Cinema Club and Archery. The negatives I found was I hadn’t worked at all- I couldn’t, I didn’t know it at the time, but that didn’t serve me well when I was job hunting after school as I didn’t have any skills such as cash handling or customer service. I couldn’t drive either.

Would I do boarding school again? Assessing everything I probably wouldn’t have gone again. I think in sixth form if you are really really smart, I mean got all A’s at GCSE smart, then it really is for you. I would have gone to the local sixth form I think and learnt to drive and definitely get a part time job. However, it has given me a unique experience, a good dinner table topic and a go to interesting fact about me!  

Jane Elmor Pictures Of You

The deets:

conviene fare trading online Author: Jane Elmor
enter site Publish Date: 2009
binaire opties 5 minuten Publisher: Pan
The story starts with Luna, a thirty something free-spirited artist, who after going to her father’s funeral wants to understand why her mother, Angie, left him behind. In addition, Luna starts to question the decisions she has made regarding her lifestyle (living the dream as an artist but struggling to make ends meet and actively choosing not to have children) which is the defining theme in the book. As the story develops we see the reason why Angie left Dave, learn about her life on a welsh commune, Luna questioning herself as a woman and we are introduced to a young mother Nat. Nat is trying to build a good life for her children despite the fact she is a young mother who mixes with the wrong crowd. The story is told from three  angles, Luna in the present, Angie in the 1970’s and Nat in the late 1990’s.
I really enjoyed the book, so much so I have reread it a few times. The hippy 1960’s/ 1970’s era really interests me and always has done. Therefore, I found Angie’s chapters detailing life on the commune to be the best and most appealing to me. Luna was just quite moany after a while and that started to grate with me. However this I felt was meant to be deliberate by the author. Nat didn’t need to be in the book, I much rather had more chapters about Angie’s life on the commune than Nat’s chapters. So I found myself flicking through those parts quite quickly. As there was no connection between Nat and Luna and Angie both (apart from the children and them being women) it felt fragmented and found myself skipping over those parts.  Although it all came together in the end and the book ended well. It left me hoping there is an Angie spin off!

techbitch book review Lucy Sykes Jo Piazza
(Image Source: Authors Own)

The deets:

click Author: Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza
here Publish Date: 2015
les rencontres d'arles 2014 Publisher: Penguin
Also published as ‘The Knockoff’ techbitch is about thirty something Imogen Tate, Editor in Chief of Glossy magazine. Coming back from six months off recovering from breast cancer, Imogen finds that her magazine has completely changed. Her former assistant Eve Morton has been brought in to turn the magazine into an app. Coupled with Eve’s attitude problem and a whole new tech world to encounter, Imogen has found her life has turned upside down and she doesn’t think she will last long in this new tech world where traffic matters.  
I really enjoyed the book, from reading the reviews it was billed as an alternative to ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ and I definitely agree. As social media is a large chunk of my current job I definitely understand the pressure of feeling you have to be online all the time and constantly looking for new ways to build interaction, both of which are touched on throughout the book. 
Eve constantly is looking for instant gratification no matter if people know her or not. I really understood how the instant gratification that is given by total strangers over social media can give a real kick. I enjoy it when someone likes a comment or is asking me a question. It came across well in the book.  It all added to the pressure thatEve put her staff under and how Imogen felt really overwhelmed with the media. You can definitely imagine that in real life (unlike ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ where I found it a bit unrealistic). Techbitch was the right length to read and doesn’t feel dated. It really is a book for those that like fashion or digital media.   

Book Review by BecBec of The Year of The Rat by Clare Furniss
(Image Source: Authors Own)
”To Pearl, there’s nothing sweet about her premature half- sister Rose. It was Rose that caused her mother’s death and Rose that turned her world upside down.”

The deets:
http://vagnvagensbygg.se/firmenit/4680 Author: Clare Furniss 
Publish Date: 2014
can you buy nizoral cream over the counter uk Publisher: Simon & Schuster
where can i buy promethazine with codeine Genre: Fiction, Young Adult
I picked this book in Tesco (Tesco and Amazon seem to be a common theme here). This story is about Pearl, a 16-year-old, London girl who lost her mother. Her mother died giving birth to Rose, her sister by her step- father. This book details with Pearl’s struggle to come to terms with her mother’s death in the following year. I admit, I did struggle to read it and had to leave it and come back to it. As it was a YA fiction I did find to ‘get into’ the story as such as I found parts hard to believe. The writing expressed clearly the awkwardness in how Pearl deals with situations such as avoiding her best friend and meeting her real father. I don’t think I would read this book again in a hurry.