The Lourdes Experience

This a picture of my friend Annabel and I holding banners about to walk in a procession! I was utterly terrible at holding it up right.... I find it hard enough to balance myself to be honest never mind a 12 foot pole!

This a picture of my friend Annabel and I holding banners about to walk in a procession! I was utterly terrible at holding it up right…. I find it hard enough to balance myself to be honest never mind a 12 foot pole!

 

 

Recently I went on a pilgrimage to Lourdes (the result of my fundraising hair cut! you can view that post HERE!) I can honestly say it was an experience like no other. While it still fresh in my memory I have decided to document it on my blog and share the experience with you all! 😀


Lets begin with the 27 HOUR COACH JOURNEY SHALL WE? 😉

In order to keep costs at a minimal (well either that or our Teachers enjoyed this torture and felt the need to put us all through it… damn I knew I should’ve handed in that maths homework) we did the entirety of the trip via coach but had a ferry journey from Dover to Calais.

The actual journey went surprisingly fast! The tips I can offer you in order to have a fairly fun coach journey include;

  1. Keeping hydrated!  Drink a lot of water but not so much that you need to pee every 5 minutes, if you do plan on drinking a lot or if you just have a week bladder sit in a seat that near the toilet. There’s noting worse than having to stomp down a coach and wake everyone else- that is a one way ticket to everyone hating you on the coach, trust me on that! 😀

  2. Wear comfy clothes, something that you are happy to lounge about in but also that you can also remove if you need to…. LAYER THEM CLOTHES! I wore this slouchy jersey top and long vest top- both from h&m…. Both inexpensive and practical. I pared them with a pair of leggings and brought some tracksuit bottoms to change into. You can view what I wore by clicking on the item listed…..(I’ve been all snazzy and hyperlinked them you see!) 😀   The jersey shirt…… The long vest top…… the leggings….. The tracksuit bottoms……

  3.  Sit with someone that you like! Time goes so slowly in bad company!! I sat with my friend Nieve but we agreed that we’d swap half way through the journey so that we didn’t end up killing each other…. a lot of people did a similar thing. If you really want to push yourself sit with someone you don’t really know that well and get to know them! Who knows? you might have more in common than you’d think 🙂


    Once we arrived in Lourdes we were all shattered but a day of activities beckoned. Lourdes was a non-stop journey right from the go!

    This is my friends and I  on the first day! Functioning on 4 hours of sleep :D

    This is my friends and I on the first day! Functioning on 4 hours of sleep 😀


     

    The Activities!

    Throughout the trip our days were jam-packed with activities.  For example this is our first day activities timetable!!

    HOW WE DID ALL THIS ON VIRUTALLY NO SLEEP IS BEYOND ME......

    HOW WE DID ALL THIS ON VIRUTALLY NO SLEEP IS BEYOND ME……

    After each day we had reflection and ended up going to bed at about 11/12….. each night we were lucky to get 6 hours sleep! Despite our pilgrim deciding on the 2nd day he no longer wanted to be looked after by my group anymore we were all left stranded and had to leech onto other groups. I fortunately knew one of the pilgrims as he baptised me so I was still fully able to participate. Throughout the activities we reflected upon what we’d done then collectively at the end of each day had the so aptly named ” Reflection” in which some pensive music was played and we prayed and what not. Now I am not particularly religious but being in Lourdes really opens your eyes to all the aspects of religion rather than just church and praying seemed less like a chore and more a time to be alone with your thoughts.

    As a school we did a lot of activities, much more than the 11 other schools that went. This meant we didn’t socialize with the other schools that much, this was something we were all very upset by. Through talking to people from my school that previously went to Lourdes and knowing that through the experience they made life long friends it was a  massive shame that we didn’t have the same experience.


    The Baths

One of my favourite memories of the activities was from the Baths. The story of Lourdes is (in a nutshell) that a young girl called Bernadette saw an apparition of Mary who told her to drink from the water in a dirty grotto, when she did this the water became pure and a spring arose from the ground. People were stunned and slowly one by one begun to drink from the spring; in doing so their illness were cured and the disabled were able. The baths are now a massive attraction at the heart of Lourdes.

Queuing up for the baths somewhat resembled queuing for a ride at a theme park, there was a similar buzz of apprehension, anticipation and excitement through the air.  Lots of the girls were a bit uneasy at the prospect of the baths as we are told that in order to get the most out of the experience we were to go into the frightfully cold baths, NAKED. Now I personally wasn’t bothered by the *ahem* nakedness or the cold (as I used to train in pools of a similar temperature). As we were getting ready to go into the baths I will admit that I was nervous, I don’t know why but there was this feeling in the pit of my stomach a nagging pull in my gut, like butterfly’s but stronger turning my thoughts and making me slightly uneasy.

The actual sisters there are lovely and respectful and took great care of us all. As it was my turn I was determined not to be phased by the cold and stepped onto the first porcelain step. The cold coursed up through my foot, into my leg and seemed to constrict my chest and really took your breath away.  I waded through the water to Mary and said a prayer before sitting down in the bath. (I say bath but it was much more majestic than your tub at home I can assure you- it was like a porcelain hole carved into the ground, quite beautiful) The feeling was quite hard to describe. There is merely one word that comes to mind to describe it, Ominous. The feeling that there was something else there. All my senses seemed alive, alert and awakened. After submerging I found myself laughing, not a hysterical, manic laugh but a laugh of joy and confusion I guess. It was truly one of the most wonderful experiences I have ever had.


The Torchlight Processions

On a couple of occasions we were able to participate in the Torchlight processions one of which we allowed onto the main altar, it was a beautiful, beautiful sight and experience.

A little collage of my favourite pictures of the procession. These pictures don't nearly do it enough justice.

A little collage of my favourite pictures of the procession. These pictures don’t nearly do it enough justice.



My Friends/ The Emotions

Lourdes is a very emotional journey. It challenged my thoughts and reawakened some things that I myself hadn’t thought about in a long time. Feelings of supressed emotions, things I preferred to block out all rose to the surface. Feelings so powerful or overwhelming that I was reduced to tears on a few occasions. I hardly ever cry in front of other people but I found my eyes welling up on many occasions (as did many other people from my group). We were all each others own support and friends, even people that I wasn’t that close to became friends that you could talk to. My friends I am indefinitely much closer to emotionally and have a stronger bond with. The most enjoyable, fun moments were at the dinner table….. I’m pretty sure I developed a six pack from all the laughing. (mainly at my food as the waiters didn’t seem to understand the term “sans lactose”…. anyone for boiled potatoes and bread?)

MEAL TIMES WERE THE BEST TIMES

MEAL TIMES WERE THE BEST TIMES



 

AND AFTER ALL THAT EMOTIONAL SHIZZ I THINK ITS ABOUT TIME FOR SOME PHOTO’S….HERES A COLLECTION OF MY FAVORITE SNAPS FROM THE TRIP! 😀

A Picture Says A Thousand Words

Outside the basilica taking a group selfie on the floor-- oohh yee

Outside the basilica taking a group selfie on the floor– oohh yee

Myself and Annabel at the Torchlight procession

Myself and Annabel at the Torchlight procession

OOOH CREATIVE SELFIE

OOOH CREATIVE SELFIE

At the "regular" café enjoying there signature glass of tap water

At the “regular” café enjoying there signature glass of tap water

Day 22 of Lourdes and Becky is still taking selfies outside the basilica ;)

Day 22 of Lourdes and Becky is still taking selfies outside the basilica 😉

I look oddly out of proportion on this.... Myself and Grace :)

I look oddly out of proportion on this…. Myself and Grace 🙂

AFTER THE TEACHERS MADE US WALK 7 FLIGHTS OF STAIRS TO GET TO OUR ROOM WE REBELLED AND TTOOK THE LIFT! Muhahahhaha :D

AFTER THE TEACHERS MADE US WALK 7 FLIGHTS OF STAIRS TO GET TO OUR ROOM WE REBELLED AND TTOOK THE LIFT! Muhahahhaha 😀

We greeted our friend Terrence like this after we all beat him to the 7th floor :P

We greeted our friend Terrence like this after we all beat him to the 7th floor 😛

Looking far too happy with myself at a procession

Looking far too happy with myself at a procession

Doing our best cringey poses

Doing our best cringey poses 😀

The face myself and Annabel makes when we see a nice looking derriere! Say hello to the "Dat Ass" face

The face myself and Annabel makes when we see a nice looking derriere! Say hello to the “Dat Ass” face

The face in action!  DAT ASS!

The face in action!
DAT ASS!

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That banner really brings out my dimples 😀


So that just about concludes another post guys! The journey of Lourdes was truly one that I hope I never forget, the tears, the love and the friendships. The sense of belonging and hope. The feeling of pushing myself to try and do new things and putting my all in. I grew so much in the space of one week as a person and really changed my outlook on life.

I wish you all the best in whatever your doing today, I hope that you enjoyed that somewhat emotional post and that if you ever get the chance to go on a pilgrimage or do something a little out your comfort zone you seize the opportunity 😀

See you soon, Becky x

Cutting off My Hair (Times to look back on)

Hello again Bloggettes!
I’m sticking to my word and once again doing another post! (despite being drowned in science revision!).
From the title you are probably a bit confused as to what this post is about? (and the more observant among us may have also noticed the plug from my last post in which I briefly motioned it!- you can view that HERE) and hair cut may just suggest  just a nip down to the Hairdressers and a quick snip to shake off the dead ends, however; this quick snip is 16 inches of my hair.

Around 2 years ago I was watching le television and I saw an article on the news that intrigued me- an article about a girl who had cut her hair off for charity. I instantly was captured by the selflessness of this girl, most women’s most prized possession is their hair yet this girl donated hers to a child who’d she’d never met in hope it might make them more confident or happy. I told my parents that that was what I was intending on doing, they dismissed it of course not taking 12 year old Becky seriously and we all forgot about it.

Such a BRAVE lady- shaved her hair on LIVE television- Jessie J... I really do salute you!

Such a BRAVE lady- shaved her hair on LIVE television- Jessie J… I really do salute you!

A while later I watched Red Nose Day and once again something caught my eye, this time it was Jessie J who was shaving her hair. For anyone to shave their head they have to be so brave and especially a high profile celebrity who’s hair has been a part of her image since she started her career in the mainstream. I was totally In awe of her. I carried on watching and Jessie described  how she was doing it for the little princesses trust; a charity that makes wigs for children with illnesses that make you loose your hair, I looked into it more and saw all the amazing story’s of amazing people who’d cut their hair (or shaved) for charity, I once again told my parents that I wanted to cut my hair and this time they started to realise I was serious about doing it. I have since been growing my hair for the sole purpose of cutting it off for charity.

Now that brings us to the present day! This year I’m going on a annual school trip to Lourdes. This entails looking after sick or elderly people and helping them get around Lourdes and do what they need to in order be happy. Now if you want to know more about this in detail I’ve attached a print screen of the information sheet (with my schools name removed) –

Sorry about the green boxes and gaps but I preferably do not want my school involved in my blog- my little space on the interwebs means no inference from le school!

Sorry about the green boxes and gaps but I preferably do not want my school involved in my blog- my little space on the interwebs means no inference from le school!

 

By no means am I saying that every women with hair should go and cut it off- this post is rather selfish frankly. Its to remind myself of why I did it and record it as a bit of a landmark in my teen life. I think that sometimes as people we forget to appreciate all the things around us and how lucky we are to have what we do. This post is to remind myself to give back and not be so involved in my appearance and stressing if my hair doesn’t curl the way I want it to or if my eye make-ups a bit naff. Its for me and anyone who feels a bit insignificant to remind ourselves that the smallest of things (such as cutting of your hair) or making someone smile- those are the things that make our lives significant. The times when we’ve effected someone else’s life through what may seem kinda trivial at the time; through a simple smile or a quick compliment a person can totally change up someone else’s day.

Le Cheveux et moi :)

Le Cheveux et moi 🙂

At the end of the day my hair WILL grow back- whether it take 2 years or 5, I know that me doing this will be so worth it.

So that just about concludes this post! I will be sure to do another soon (or when the hair is g-g-gone!).

See you soon guys!

Becky x

 

 

The Return to my Blog (The Value of time and Making stupid bets)

Hello again guys!

Now I’m not going to do the whole cliché blogger thing where they come up with a gazillion excuses as to why I’ve been away and apologize constantly so I shall be straight up honest; I have been EXTREMELY lazy. Now I could say “ah yes I have been busy revising and going out with family and friends” but the general fact of the matter is that it would have taken me a matter of 5 minutes to sit down and write this post but alas; I have spent my nights watching cake boss and scrolling through my Facebook news feed and watching YouTube videos. Once again this may sound (or read) all to familiar to you seeing as many a You Tuber have vlogged about “Procrastination” and how its taken “over their lives(!)” so I shall simply not try and explain it, however I have linked my favourite videos that have (danisnotonfire-“How To Procrastinate Like a Pro” IISuperwomenII-“How I get Work Donecharlieissocoollike-“Stop Procrastinating”) I am perfectly aware that a little procrastinator manifests within all of us even the hardest of workers sometimes just need to watch some brainless TV (as I like to call it) and listen to the Kardashians discuss their family struggles (oh to be a first world millionaire!) or watch Buddy from Cake Boss dirty ice a hundred cakes and follow the twists and turns that the bakery face (!) Sometimes as people we just need that downtime!

Recently I’ve been thinking about a lot of things, mainly the fact that my GCSE’s are coming up and I feel totally unprepared. Now, I know its going to happen and im going to sit the tests in my school hall in less than a year yet I still cant seem to get myself together to revise; its as if my brains purposely trying to spite me like “oh so NOW you want to revise, well tough because I’m going to make you think of everything apart from photosynthesis…. like what is the meaning of life”- not cool brain; not cool at all.

I’ve only recently realised the value of time, for example; the fact I waste 40 minutes in the morning travelling to school then another forty back or that I waste hours upon end watching TV or films, its like this revelation. So I have decided that seeing as almost indefinitely cannot concentrate on diagrams and what not whilst being thrown about on a bus I will use the time wisely and come up with drafts for my blog posts or lists of things that I need to do; just general bits and bobs I can do to be more organized. As for the hours I spend watching TV? well they’re non-existent. I’ve decided to utilise those hours either revising or watching YouTubes “Blogilates” as I’ve begun this whole being fit thing.

We Can Do It!

I have tried to become fitter before but totally lacked motivation but recently while in a lesson this boy I was sat next to was bragging about his 6 pack and being a generally narcissistic twonk and for some reason one thing led to another and I made a bet with him that I could GET A SIX BACK IN 6 MONTHS?! Now I’m not exactly the type that would seem to have a six pack so this should be très intéressant*slow clap for Becky*I mean I even bet £10.00 s0 if that isn’t going to motivate me I don’t know what will. I will fo sureee get back to you on that and let you know how I’m getting on; if anything me publishing this to THE WHOLE OF THE INTERWEBS should be fairly motivating. at the end of the day I’m  the only one who controls me so if I do fail I have no-one to blame apart from myself; well maybe also my mums ginger sponge puddings.

I’m hopefully going to be a lot more dedicated to this blog and really everything in general. I have plenty of ideas of things to write about ranging from completing the Duke of Edinburgh award (D of E) to dealing with exam stress…. soooo yeah! that’s that. I am sorry this post has been so crappy but I assure you business will return as normal soon.

A little Posey Picture of me! Really gunna miss my hair *sighs*  BUT MORE ON THAT LATER! :D

A little Posey Picture of me! Really gunna miss my hair *sighs*
BUT MORE ON THAT LATER! 😀

Ba bye for now blogettes!

Becky xx