My first trip to Wales

Anshi’s desk…

This story begins at my house…….. It was an ordinary Friday; I had just arrived from my weekly cricket training session to find my entire family packing their suitcases. I was bemused! I was trying to comprehend why everyone was packing; it wasn’t as if we were going anywhere this half-term. So I decided to ask my Mum. After, I had heard what she said I could not stop smiling – I was extremely elated to hear that we were going on a family holiday to Aberystwyth in Wales!!!

Off to Wales

The journey to Wales was tiresome and tedious; however, this was no surprise as Wales is situated on the other side of the country. However, we did have a few breaks, and once we had arrived in Wales, we took a wrong turn and ended up taking a long de-tour of Snowdonia, but it didn’t matter as we were surrounded by the beautiful scenery of the Welsh mountains. The mountains appeared speckled with white spots on them – from afar -guess what! these were sheep grazing all over them. Eventually, we did arrive in Aberystwyth and that was the main thing.

The visit to the Castle  

Once we had arrived, we were warmly greeted by Mausaji (my maternal Uncle), who asked us – if we weren’t too tired – and whether we would like to go to the beach. Well, the proposition seemed far too exciting to refuse……so, we all immediately agreed and decided we would visit the local beach after a quick break and of course a cuppa tea for my parents. Once we were all refreshed, we headed towards the beach. We arrived and completely forgot about the beach, as we gazed in awe at a majestic (though partly dilapidated) castle. Its is known as the “Aberystwyth Castle”. A major tourist attraction in this part of the world.We decided to abandon the beach and go to the castle instead. Once we arrived at the top of the hill, as the castle was located at the top of a steep hill, we looked down and before our eyes there appeared a magnificent view.

People were  lying on the soft sand of the beach, whilst others were  plunging into the sea and a few were indulging themselves in a barbeque on the beach.

The adventure at the Castle

My little sister and I had a small adventure at the castle. I’m sure, if you ask her she will give you a long and detailed description….. which might be a bit exaggerated, so let me describe it for you. Little sis’ and I like exploring, so we decided to take a look around the castle. It was at this moment of time, when I stumbled upon something spectacular. Lo behold….I had found a secret passageway!!!! I noticed a little hole in a wall that looked like it had been created by bombs hitting it (the Castle had been used as a base during a war.) So, I decided to take a look and I found a set of spiral stairs leading into darkness. I climbed up filled with excitement but also a bit scared as I slowly crept, engulfed by the darkness. I came to the top of one of the four towers. It was a momentous and adventurous occasion and I shall always treasure it’s memories!!!

The toy Train

The next day we decided to ride on a toy train. We arrived at the Vale of Rheidol which is the train station for the toy train. We quickly bought the tickets and hopped onto the train with a spring in our step. It was now when Timmy got frightened. Since the train was a steam train when the driver was about to go he would blow the whistle notifying all the passengers that he was going, however, Timmy’s ears did not find this sound pleasant at all. She screamed in shock and ran as fast as her little legs would carry her to me. Now, being next to me, she wasn’t scared so we had an amazing time. The views that we saw were magnificent, there were mountains surrounding us with one odd house in the middle of nowhere. Once we had arrived at the next station we had 2 hours to spare till the train that took us back home, so Mausaji took us to this place where you had to climb down a mountain (there were steps although they were extremely steep and jagged so it was very difficult) right next to a waterfall and then – once you had reached the bottom you had to climb back up on the other side of the mountain next to the same waterfall and that to it felt like we were in a jungle as all that the eye could see was trees. We were beleaguered by trees!!!  It was very difficult and I got frightened quite a bit. Going down was very hard, especially Jacobs Ladder, there were a set of steep steps leading to a path at the bottom. It was so petrifying that I could not let go of the rail!! But my Mum was terrific she did at lightning speed and didn’t even hold on!!!! It was miraculous. We have many photos so if you would like to see them, you would have to speak to my Dad!

The trip to the lake

Our trip to the lake was amazing however, I had an encounter with a sheep that was so hilarious that you would not stop laughing P.S: I am now an enemy of sheep. We all wanted to see as much of the amazing Welsh scenery as possible so, we went to a beautiful lake – in Machynlleth – that was surrounded by mountains. There was one mountain that looked more majestic than the others and I eagerly wanted to try to climb it. But, climbing a mountain is not as easy as it seems, it is exceptionally hard, but anyway, I climbed over a fence and started to climb. I reached a fair distance when… I saw it… the sheep. Immediately after I had seen the sheep my Dad insisted I touch it. I was terrified!!! I had only ever touched a sheep in farms when they were inside a fence; I approached it cautiously trying as hard as I could to make sure it couldn’t hear me. But it spun round and stared at me with its black beady eyes. I immediately decided that I didn’t want to climb the mountain anymore, and with other sheep approaching I swiftly climbed down the mountain and leapt over the fence (that separated the mountain from the rest of the area) as quickly as I could.

King Arthur’s labyrinth

Our visit to King Arthur’s labyrinth was absolutely amazing! There was no other way to describe it. We decided to go there specifically because, my school play was based on King Arthur. Once we had arrived we went to the reception to book our tickets. Whilst my parents, and Mausaji, were occupied buying the tickets I decided to take a look at the sword Excalibur. It was exactly the same as the one’s I had seen on television. Now it was time to go to the boat which would take us to the labyrinth. We arrived to find a huge boat and with it a man dressed as a ghost, he was to be our guide. The boat took us deep under the mountain and we arrived at the labyrinth. Then, we heard many stories about how King Arthur became king. I also found that, as a boy, Merlin was kidnapped; he was kidnapped because people thought he had magic powers, which of course, he did, but, at that time he had know clue that he had any powers. So, Merlin tried with all his might to make something happen but nothing came. But then, something did happen, he foretold that one day there would be a King named Arthur who would save England. So, the men didn’t kill him. And since then Merlin found he had more powers than just telling the future – he could do magic!!! Our guide also told us that the labyrinth that we were stood in had once been a mine and over 10, 000 people used to work there. The mine is 28 miles long so he made extremely clear to keep up otherwise we would be difficult to find. It was an amazing experience and I shall always remember it.

So folk, that was a complete recount of my trip to Wales;  I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed the adventurous experience!!!!

Advertisements

Idiosyncrasy – it’s meaning is deeper than you think

From Anshi’s Desk ….

It was another ordinary, uneventful weekend, when I came across an unorthodox word – “Idiosyncrasy”.

According to the Oxford dictionary the meaning of “idiosyncrasy” is when a person or A thing has an unusual or unique habit, feature or way of behaving, but I believe that it is not that unornamented.

For example ” One of his little idiosyncrasies was always preferring to be in the car first.”After reading this, I thought I had grasped the nuances of the meaning of this word. So, I tried to come up with my own sentence using the word idiosyncrasy, however it was in vain as the usage was incorrect.

So I decided to explore the usage of this word that simply fascinated me -idiosyncrasy. One example involved repeating words that were spoken – “Her worst idiosyncrasy involved repeating back every word that was said to her”.

Another example involved a man with a rather peculiar habit – “While my father had many peculiar habits, his biggest idiosyncrasy was collecting his own toenail clippings”. That one was particularly disgusting !!!

Yet another example included a boys reaction to oranges – “Because of his idiosyncrasy to oranges, Franklin got a small rash every time he drank orange juice”.  There were many more,  as you may have noticed there are a large variety of uses for the word idiosyncrasy.

So much so, that I have written a blog post about it. After all this research about the word idiosyncrasy, I finally constructed my own sentence using the word. My sentence was” George’s biggest idiosyncrasy was the amount of water he drank at meal times. “

In conclusion the meaning of idiosyncrasy is when a person or object has a unorthodox habit, reaction, feature or way of behaving. I hope you have grasped the nuances of the word Idiosyncrasy and hope you will use it in the future.

When I became the “Mayor” for a day!!!

From Anshi’s desk…..

It all started a while back, 6 months ago to be precise. It was the end of yet another ordinary day at school, when suddenly, I looked up from my book, which I was deeply engrossed in, to find a leaflet lying on my desk. It was announcing a competition about writing a letter about becoming Mayor of the town for one day and what you would do if this happened. As soon as I read this, I was full of elation and was keen to begin my letter as soon as I had arrived home. I was struggling for ideas; my Nanu (Grandfather) was visiting and since he has a lot of wisdom, I asked him for advice. He gave me a few ideas as did my Dad. I can guarantee that without their support and assistance achieving this magnificent opportunity would have been a bit difficult. Giving credit where it is due….. hahaha!

To my absolute delight, I did win the competition and was chosen- alongside three others- from a number of participants to be the Mayor for one day…..yoohooo!!!

The eve before my reign as Mayor I can well remember, not being able to think about anything other than what would happen the next day. Excited I was indeed!!!

Finally …….I’m Mayor today:-

The next morning, it was a bright and summery day and I could not wait to govern as Mayor; I was bursting with exhilaration. As we entered the local District Council Office we- my Dad and I- were warmly greeted by the Mayor’s secretary. She took me and three other winners  (junior Mayors) of the competition to the mayor’s parlour. As we entered, I gazed at my surroundings and was astonished to see so many prestigious items, including:

The golden Mast carried by the Beadle (Mayor’s bodyguard) to usher people out of the Mayor’s path.

The silver stick used by the Mayor to walk with.

And the golden necklace worn by the Mayor to ceremonial events such as: the opening of a new business.

There also seemed to be an abundance of antique furniture in the parlour. Later in the day, I asked the Mayor why this was and he said it was because in the olden times the town’s main trade used to be making furniture and all the furniture in the Mayor’s chamber was donated by the many craftsmen who made them.

High Wycombe – A twinned town:-

The Mayor explained the  history of our town to us. He told us that it was twinned with a place called “Kelkheim”- a small town in Germany which is near Frankfurt. It was interesting because when on a sign near my town it said ” High Wycombe twinned with Kelkheim”, but I never understood what it actually meant!

Recently, The Mayor and 20 other people visited Kelkheim, stayed with German families and were shown around the town. The Mayor said that in a few months’ time the Mayor of Kelkheim and twenty other people would stay with English families and be shown around just as they did to the English. The reason behind this was because if there was to be a war you would require as many allies as possible. He also informed us that in 1974 the Mayor’s powers were removed and distributed amongst the District Council, hence from then onwards the Mayor became entirely ceremonial and just promoted the town. Therefore, he said if had a complaint to make we should not cavil to him but to the District Council.

Weighing of the Mayor:-

After that activity it was the weighing ceremony. This unorthodox tradition is only done in one place in the world….my town!!! This tradition was followed to see if the Mayor was squandering the townsfolk’s money on himself or using it for good purposes such as: maintaining local parks. At the inauguration of each Mayor’s reign the crier, the person who would shout out the weight of the Mayor, would weigh the Mayor, then at the end of his reign he would, once again, be weighed; if he had put on weight it meant that he had been dissipating the money on himself- a mistake that was paid for dearly as the townsfolk would throw rotten tomatoes and eggs at him. If the Mayor had not put on weight then the townsfolk would praise him. However, in recent times this ritual is not taken as seriously as the Mayor has become entirely ceremonial.

IMG_20160322_102558

Learning about the rich history of High Wycombe certainly puts up a huge appetite and at the exactly at that time it was time for lunch. My parents were invited to join us and this being a once in a lifetime opportunity they did come. We had a delicious meal of “Jimmy’s Pizza” of which I had three slices.

Visit to the street market:-

After lunch the Beadle put on my “Mayor” robes, as I was chosen to be the Mayor, and we went into to the high street – the street market, where we talked to the local businessmen. My particular favourite was a business run by a man called Nathan, he was extremely jolly and I had a lot of fun talking to him. We asked him how his business was doing and if there was anything he would covet from the Mayor. The reason we did this was that in the olden days the Mayor would look after the businesses and would do a weekly check on them.

Beating of the bounds:-

The next ceremony was the beating of the bounds. It was a ceremony in which we were turned upside-down and our heads touched the stones which marked the ancient boundaries of Chepping Wycombe, chepping meant “in view of…” and Wycombe meant  ” Market town” in old English, as Wycombe was just a small village besieged by forests.

IMG_20160322_132639

 

Meeting our local firefighters:-

Our final stop was to the fire Station. A man called Howard took us to the “Bays”. A room where all the equipment is stored. He told us how all the tools work and I even tried to hold one. Although, it was very heavy!!!, we held the hoses and the water guns; Howard even showed us how to connect the pipes to the hoses and how he could take water from any source. Then, it was my turn to try and put on the fireman’s clothes. The time limit for a Fireman to get dressed is 80 seconds and their chattels include: boots, with steel inside them for foot protection, baggy trousers (which felt like a ton!!!…. well at least to me) and an extremely thick coat, which stopped the heat from the fire hurting or burning your skin.

I had a wonderful time being Mayor; I hope this gave you an insight to what it actually feels like, being a Mayor.

 

The lavish food of India !!!

From Anshi’s desk……..

I’ve always loved the exotic taste of homemade Indian food. The exquisite texture, the delectable smell, the toothsome feeling when the burst of flavours touches the tip of your tongue. I have always loved watching and helping my marvelous mother cook dinner.

I’ve always adored gazing at the steam rising from the cooker, the popping of the pan as mustard seeds get fried with curry leaves, the smell of the perfect blend between ginger and garlic. My favourite Indian foods are: chicken curry( Kashmiri style), Lamb curry (Kashmiri style), Kashmiri Dumaloo and Aloo Parantha.

I love these foods because of there amazing taste; take Dumaloo for example, I endear it because of it’s disconcerting taste – the magical taste of the spice which makes you feel like you’ve been hit by a purgatory of flavour and spice; as you may have noticed I relish Indian flavours.

12-vg3-dum-allo-2

Lamb Roganjosh is my favourite dish because of its smell, taste, and it’s absolutely sublime texture.

This is how I feel about the absolutely, stupendous authentic Indian food; and I certainly hope you do too!

How my love for cricket began

My love for cricket started at the age of ten. I never really had a passion for any sport- I knew of a few games such as rugby and football, but I didn’t know many of the rules;  only the basics.

Then in the warm summer of 2015, my love for cricket started. It all began because of my Dad, had he not been there to show me the 2015 ICC cricket world cup; I would not have been the astounding cricketer I am today. The first match that intrigued me was India vs Pakistan. After that I kept watching matches, the more I watched, the stronger my zealousness for cricket  grew. As I kept watching, I got more and more tantalized about a player called Mr. Shikhar Dhawan. I began to like him so much that I knew literally everything about him.

And from then on I started to play some cricket myself – and once I found out that one of my friends from school was playing for the county, I began to take tips from him on how to improve. I worked diligently until I became the best player I could be….at least so I feel. In the months of March-July cricket club started at school, which I  joined immediately.  Guess what, when the club teachers chose the team – Yes it was yours truly who got chosen!!!!

This is where it all began…..and now all that is on my mind is cricket; that is how much I love the game. Hope you do too!

Memorable Moments….. for me!!!

Anshi’s first blog

My trip to Disneyland :-):-):-)

Cleaning away the dust from the ancient attic, I stumbled upon some old photographs. Brushing away, the somewhat huge amount of dust, I saw the photos and the memory of our trip to Disneyland Paris suddenly came back, and before I knew it my surroundings were floating away.

The sky was as blue as the sea, and the sun shone like a piece of crystal. I was besieged by several rides, as I glanced around my eyes caught the ride I was looking for . My eyes could do nothing but stay fixed on the ride. “ Blue Mountain ” the most scariest ride in all of Disneyland. My Dad could see my eagerness, and the next thing I knew we were hopping on, me with my usual spring in my step,  and my Dad just sauntering along. As we got on I could see a dark tunnel. Then…

whoosh we were off! To me it felt as if we were going faster than the speed of sound. Then we stopped with a sudden jerk. Then we started to reverse and we suddenly were hanging upside-down; we were off again and the lights were flashing past as if I had been through a blast of inferno colors. Now we were going through loops, my stomach felt queasy! We also went through other various encounters which were : hills, twists and turns, drops and tunnels; and then it was all over. How I wish I could do that again! It was one of my most memorable experiences.