Prince’s Trust: Day 26 (Thursday 4th May 2017) Day 27 (Friday 5th May 2017)

Hey everybody!

Thursday and Friday were welcome relief to a hard eight days of the community project. We had our handover at 2pm BST after we had all spent the entire morning cleaning. During the hour prior to lunch break, I fulfilled my duties as Team 125’s Accountant by filling out the record for expenditures. Since I can no longer trust myself with a calculator, I’ve followed my Grandma and resorted to mental arithmetic. It came as a welcome brain workout.

In the afternoon, we opened the building. It was a relief to know that we got it finished before we officially opened the doors to the public who came to see it. Unfortunately, the TV crew did not turn up that day although they were invited. The only reason for their absence was because of the mayoral and local elections taking place up and down the country. I know that because I saw they were in the centre of my nearby city on the six o’clock news. If there’s a next time, perhaps then.

Those who came to see the opening were chuffed with our efforts and rewarded us for our efforts. To be honest, if they’d have said “Nice work. Here’s some food, fill your belly.” it would have suited me fine. But then that’s just me.

Being so caught up in a project like this in such a short space of time, prevented us somewhat from taking a step back and seeing things for what they really are. There was no time for us to appreciate the fruits of our labour as we went along.

Here are the photos I promised you (the before’s are at the end – Sorry!):

 

They’re great, aren’t they? There’s a lot of talent and a lot of potential in this group even though most would choose not to believe it. Trust me, I can’t lie to you.

Although we were sad it was over when the keys were handed over, the group responsible for the building (Northfield Partnership) said we were welcome to return at any time. I asked if that meant baggsy rights and they laughed. It was worth a try, I suppose.

As for Friday, that was purely to catch up on folder work and then prepare for our work placements for the next fortnight (if you’re not British, it means two weeks).

Team 125 is all over the city by all accounts.

Quelle surprise! I’ve got a work placement with a publishing company. I have been told to expect everything but no idea what that means exactly. I’m excited and as for career options it’s definitely a plan B behind my novellist career. I start on Tuesday (tomorrow, as I write this)

I’ll keep you informed.

Speak soon,

 

LexC

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Prince’s Trust: Day 22 – Day 25 (Thursday 27th April 2017 – Wednesday 3rd May 2017)

Hey everybody!

I’m back – apologies for being away! I was slaving over my artwork and now it’s finally finished (or at least as finished as it can be given the time constraints) I can finally talk to you about it.

First of all, I must say how proud I am of the group for what we have achieved in these past two weeks. None of us are professional artsy-painters although some are better than others, we’ve created artwork we can be proud of. Those who turn up at the door asking for help will be accepted and welcomed here and we helped to provide that. It was a challenge and test of our skills, our patience, and determination but we smashed it (figuratively of course, it’s a common British phrase).

On a personal note, whilst some of you might decry “But Lexi, don’t put yourself down, you’re creative and artsy too!” Honestly, I’m better with the written word than paint. 

This couldn’t have been finished on time without the help of some of team at the last push. I want to take the time to thank them. It was greatly appreciated. You know what they say, ‘Team work makes the dream work!’ Never has it been more true with Team 125.

The last time I made anything remotely artistic on this scale, was in Year Nine (aged 13) when I made a wooden sculpture from lopped off branches off the trees in the garden and other scraps of wood destined to be incinerated. At the time of finishing it, I was accused of cheating but refused to pay the accusations any attention. Luckily, I didn’t have that problem this time around. Just like then as I am now, it made me feel full of pride. Having tried something new, it reinforced the desire in me to create irrespective of what form it came in.

We still have the sculpture ‘Woody’ (I know, genuis name or what – you can thank my Dad for that one). He sits on the balcony and keeps look-out – when his head, arms and legs don’t keep falling off due to the rot!

I’m not a painter and not a good one at that either, but I’m up for the challenge and I’ll always try my best to do a good job. It’s pretty much how the rest of the group have approached the project too. This has made the process personally, both exciting and infuriating in equal measure. It’s been a work in progress because most of the time I had no idea what I was doing – I guess you could say it was well worth the jubilation and torment. This is why I have waited until it was finished to show you what I’ve done. It’s not my best and it’s not my worst, but nor was I expecting to produce something so abstract looking. It’s not how I pictured it in my head, I’m not sure I have the talent to have pulled what I had in my head off. It’s rather quirky. It works. Sort of.


As you can see I’m not a half-arsed woman and when it comes to being on a level playing field, I have to work twice as hard as everybody else. I’ve been so dedicated to the task I spent the entire day today (Wednesday 3rd May 2017) working and not stopping for a break nor lunch. Not only did I lose energy but almost forgot my marbles when I lost track of what day it was (I thought it was Thursday – trust me, don’t ask).

In terms of the picture, it is what it says it is. A snapshot. A recreated photo using paints and personal artistic interpretation.

Why did I choose the place? Well, it fits in nicely with trying new things and visiting new places. On the other side of the abstract wall, is a phenomenal restaurant (predominantly fish restaurant) serving fresh fish from the sea which is a stones throw away from where the original photo was shot. I tried octopus carpaccio here, and half expected it to be rubbery but it was de-lish and I’m glad it was my first experience of it. I’d go again just to relive it. I went to Dubrovnik Old Town on holiday with Mum and Dad, the last family holiday I took with them. It’s a place and a holiday that will remind me of ice creams, exploring as the three little ducks (inside joke), amazing food, great company and a lobster tan that made me itch and could only be soothed with coconut oil. 

As for the quote? 

Over the years, Mum has always been in our corner motivating and encouraging us (Dad too, but Mum in a more emotionally vocal capacity) so asking for help from her with the quote made sense to me. Sorry it took me so long to ask for your help, Mum. She is fiercely protective of both of her kids and we’re fiercely protective of her (don’t say a bad word about any of us – trust me, don’t even go there). I’m sharing this with you but nothing more. There’s so much admire about her, for one thing she doesn’t mince her words when it comes to telling others what she thinks. Great mums need to be appreciated and not just on their birthday or on Mother’s Day but every day. It’s highly likely Mum will be eye-rolling at this right now thinking “why are you telling people this?”. Well who better to encourage others, than someone as wise, resilient, and incredible as your good self Mum? (Am I right Dad?) 

Yeah… eye-roll and tut at me all you like, Mum, I’m sorry not sorry. 

This artwork has knackered me out. I’m off to make tomorrow’s packed lunch and then to bed to read for a bit. We have our handover tomorrow at 2pm BST. I’ll take some photos of the rest of the team’s work and post them here tomorrow. Who knows who will be there? General public? Press? Police? I’m hoping all of the above. Keep an eye out on for ITV News Central Six O’Clock news bulletin, you might see a few familiar faces. 

This world needs more goodness right now.

Speak soon,

 

LexC

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Prince’s Trust: Day 21 (Wednesday 26th April 2017)

Hey everybody,

Another short blog post from me today.

We managed to apply two coats of magnolia on the kitchen walls. Honestly, walking into the kitchen was like walking into a freezer and that was down to the really British weather we keep having. British summer is here because it keeps snowing! It’s been so cold that my nose could have run the London marathon all by itself, or at least the distance from where I live to where the project is.

This afternoon, some of us managed to start on the artwork side of things. I need more practice and that means less opportunities to nanna-nap when I get home. When it’s finished I’ll post pictures of what we created and you can make the judgement for yourselves.

Speak soon,

 

LexC

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Prince’s Trust: Day 15 (Tuesday 18th April 2017)

Hey everybody!

Hope you all had a great long weekend.

It’s back to the grindstone for Team 125 for the next three weeks.

It started today with our group pitch in a Dragon’s Den environment in a bid to secure funding and resources from one of our sponsors. Thank you very much to Wilmott Dixon for helping us out, it’s much appreciated.

I think the most important thing that the group took away from this morning’s experience was that it is imperative that we work together as a team, dedicating 100% of our time, effort and focus, and setting ourselves realistic targets rather than potentially over ambitious ones. Whilst there is nothing wrong with being ambitious and I’m all for proving the doubters wrong, it is more important to be realistic in terms of what we can achieve within our time frame. We have eight days, three rooms and twelve people with which to complete the project. One room is more manky than the other two and so we have decided to do all we can with the other two and then bring in someone else to de-mould and plaster before handing it over to the charities so they can move in.

So what jobs do I have to do from now until next Monday?

I have to find cake donations from companies to help with the fundraising event and furniture donations to be used by those who visit the charities. I’ve also put myself down for artwork duties.

No rest for the wicked, eh?

 

LexC

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