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 13 (Wednesday 12th April 2017); Day 14 (Thursday 13th April 2017) 

Hey everybody! 

Short blog posts concerning Wednesday and Thursday’s events. 

Wednesday 12th April 2017: 

Today we started planning for our pitch on Tuesday after our long Easter weekend. We spoke about the potential hazards of the project, the tasks we’ll need to do and the benefits of doing such a project to the community. I intend to write a future blog post with links to newspaper articles and news items on here where you can find out more about what we did. Out of respect for my Team Leaders and our team, I’ll ask them for their blessing/permission. 

Are we going to complete it? Of course we will. Everyone will have to be 100% committed to it 100% of the time to finish it on schedule. Providing everything goes well with the donations and the progress of the project, I can’t see any reason why we can’t. 

In the afternoon, Rob and Karen came from Counter Terrorism. In light of recent attacks, we discussed the reasons why someone might be drawn into dodgy groups. I voiced my concern about how close I lived in relation to the individual involved. These days, most of us don’t know who lives in our communities either because we’re too busy or for some other reason. We watched a twenty-minute film concerning this topic and dealing with extremists on both sides. I don’t subscribe to this way of thinking at all and neither do those that I know and love. The film was good but the people portrayed (apart from one) really irked me. 

Whilst it’s difficult to determine who looks like a terrorist or who looks like they’re about to cross the line, we have to look at their behaviour and the things that we could overhear. It’s good to be cautious and careful rather than fearful and panicking. Should my family, friends or local community ever be in danger, I would be the first to help. That’s a promise you can hold me to (yes, I am being serious Mum).

Thursday 13th April 2017: 

Today we spent the entire morning learning about First Aid in order to become fully qualified First Aiders.

As First-Aiders, there’s only one thing we are qualified to do and it’s to prevent the airway from getting blocked. We can administer CPR (30 chest compressions with flat palm of hand to centre of the chest, locked elbows and other hand for support – it’s a cardiovascular workout for us – followed by two rescue breaths; repeat until help arrives to takeover). The rescue breaths gives the individual who needs it up to 75% chance of surival. We cannot adminster drugs but we can apply dressings to wounds. If person has broken bones but are unconscious, the main focus is getting them breathing, then deal with the injury afterwards. Pregnant unconscious women must always be laid on their left in the recovery position because there is an artery which if applied pressure kills both mother and unborn child. We can prevent serious injury due to choking by administering back blows (not punches) and abdominal thrusts (flat part of a clenched fist placed just above belly button, other hand flat on clenched fist, get subject to bend over and then with hands around abdominals push hands into stomach and upwards) up to five times. As precaution with abdominal thrusts get them to hospital immediately afterwards to prevent infection or further internal damage. To give any injured party the best chance of survival, a First Aider’s main priority is to keep the airway clear. 

Now you know who to ask for help, if you see anybody in danger. 

I do hope I never have to administer First Aid, but in this day and age, you never know when you might need it. 

Right now, my priority is to see how far we can get with donations from companies to help with our Community Project. I’m not entirely sure how much I can tell you about the project for obvious reasons, but I’ve done my research and now I’m in for a hectic weekend. 

No chocolate overdoses for me then. 

Happy Easter everybody (to those of you who celebrate it)! Happy long weekend to everybody else and whatever it is you might be celebrating.

Speak to you on Tuesday after a long weekend of frying my own brain (hard work, in other words), 
LexC

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