Socs Ball 2016

Over a month and a half ago now, I was privileged to attend the annual Societies Ball with the Orbital Magazine. I came away with the award for Best Journalist, which really made my night and all the stress worth it. They didn’t do speeches at the awards so I thought I would create one here – one that would be much more crafted than if I had delivered it on the spot!

If things had gone my way I would not be standing here receiving this award. I started the year as Acting Comment Editor and was confident that I would be officially elected and work in an editorial capacity for the year, avoiding writing as much as possible to showcase the fantastic journalists on the team. When that didn’t work out it felt like one of the worst things in the world, but I was too committed to give up the Orbital and thrust myself into writing. I moved to the Features section but still had links to Comment and friends in The Student Workshop who wanted me to write reviews: suddenly I was writing two or three articles a month, making it a record four for January! Getting two articles featured on the cover of our most recent issue was a massive achievement and I am so grateful for that.

So on to the thank yous. Thanks firstly to Laura and Holly for giving me the award, you are too kind and it has made my night. Thanks to whoever nominated me, you are great and I am sure you deserve this award as much as me. Thanks to the section editors for loving my writing and editing it appropriately. Well done to all the other fantastic nominees, I enjoy your writing and wish there were enough awards so we could all win. Thanks to everyone who encouraged me in writing: my parents, teachers, Elly Griffiths, Holly and Laura, everyone who sent me wonderful messages after the election. And speaking of that, thanks should go to Abbie for pushing me out of the editorial seat and back into writing, and thank you for surpassing my expectations in your execution of the role. Thanks to Brianna for dealing with a 1,000 word email about the election system and chatting it through with me, I hope it has influenced good changes. And thanks to the wonderful people at Insanity for keeping me afloat when I fell apart, being in the media suite as a radio presenter certainly lessened the blow. Finally, thanks again to my Orbital family and I am so excited to spend another year with you all.

As you can probably tell, I was very grateful and happy to receive the award, made better by the fact that I went through a lot of anxiety to even make it to the ball. Firstly, we had to take a coach to get to the venue, with coaches being one of the things I hate the most. Luckily I had the lovely Holly keeping me calm, and we both shared the same fears over dress and shoe mishaps (which didn’t happen so that was all good). On making it to the hotel, the next challenge was the food: a three course meal and free wine. Although I ended up on the Orbital/Insanity/Rhubarb table with a load of people I didn’t know, it was not a big deal, I met a few people and we still got good food, including small bread. The first course was some very nice soup, the second course was guinea fowl (which was a bit rubbish but hey ho) and then they had the awards before dessert which was wonderful because I was really happy during the final course (the best course because it involved chocolate). And then there was the after party and I got home safely with trophy intact and spent the next day making pancakes and yorkshire puddings. It was great. And thanks again to Laura and Holly for the wonderful award, I really do appreciate and treasure it!


Mark Drama

Last night was my second time seeing the Mark Drama and it was just as powerful knowing what was to come that when I saw it this time last year. It’s one of the most unique pieces of drama I have seen and if it is being put on anywhere near you, as it is a worldwide phenomenon, I would truly recommend seeing it. Egham locals can catch the final performance tonight at 7:30, location tbc due to the weather. And you can read my review here: http://theorbital.co.uk/christian-union-present-mark-drama/


Inspiring story from Buzzfeed

I was scrolling through Facebook and found the following Buzzfeed article about a back brace.


The girl involved had spinal fusion after a car crash where she fractured her back, and the idea of transforming it into cosplay is something I haven’t come across before. I never had to wear a brace but if I had I would have been incredibly self conscious about it, just as I was with my raised shoe. So to anyone reading who is suffering with scoliosis and the idea of a back brace, take inspiration from Maddie and make it a really cool accessory!


Into Film Project: 21 – The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day, and in honour of that I watched The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, as the suggested film (Wakolda) was too new to be available to me. I first watched the film in Year 9 when we were studying the holocaust, and I think that was of use in me rewatching it as I was prepared for the events shown. This review will be short as I don’t want to give too much away.

The film is a fantastic portrayal of the realities of the holocaust in my opinion. Although it focuses on a small camp, the atrocities alluded to in the film are reflected as larger scale occurrences – a systematic, state ordered genocide.

What gives the film its charm and emotion is that the holocaust is experienced by an 8 year old boy. The way that it was filmed was such that they maintained the innocence of the child actors until the final scenes so that the response to events depicted in the film was accurate to how children, and even adults, would have responded at the time.

Heartbreaking to watch, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is an important exploration of the events of the holocaust that should be watched by all. Four stars.



Tomorrow is many things. For a start it’s not today. More importantly it marks five years since my appointment at Guys that started my whole operation journey off properly. And tomorrow in actual real life terms is the debut of my new time slot on Insanity Radio 103.2FM. I am on air 10-11am every Thursday and it will hopefully be a good show. You can listen on FM in the North Surrey and South East Berkshire area OR you can go to http://www.insanityradio.com/listen OR use our app (search Insanity Radio on the Apple Store or Google Play) OR via tunein. You really have no excuse, and hopefully there will be a sneaky mention of my time at Guys so it’s worth listening to see if I manage to shoehorn that in (I think it depends on how awake I am and if there’s anyone there to actually stop me).

If you want to know more about my first trip to London, that info is here: https://afterscoliosis.wordpress.com/2012/12/22/first-trip-to-london/.


Into Film Project: 20 – Peter and Wendy

This is my 20th film for my Into Film project and concerns the ITV drama Peter and Wendy. I chose this film to replace Murderball for International Day of Persons With Disabilities on 3rd December, because I felt that a heart condition is often a hidden disability and so a film following a young cardiac inpatient fits this theme.

If I could use just one word to describe this film it would be ‘magical’. It is actually incredibly hard to review because part of the charm of the film is discovering the little quirks and clever ideas for yourself as you watch it.

One thing that deserves a spoiler-free mention is the superb acting. Being set partly in a hospital, the majority of the cast are children but they were as good as, if not better than, the seasoned professionals around them. They dealt with the strong films extremely maturely and communicated the feelings they were expressing immensely well.

The cinematography was stunning, even though it was only a TV drama and the script was both poignant and funny. An early stand out line was “No-one has to apologise for crying in this place“, a greatly true statement about hospitals and one that I certainly relate to.

A film that will make you laugh and cry in equal measures, Peter and Wendy is spellbinding and a film everyone should take the chance to see. Five stars.