Tuesday, 25 January 2011


I've been very busy of late, hence my sporadic posting over the last few weeks.
The biggest news is that I took my first exam for my history A-Level last Thursday. For anyone older than 28, or outside the UK, the current A-Level system (which are the courses taken between 16-18) is split into 2 qualifications. The first year you study 2 modules with exams taken in January and/or June. This earns you an AS level, which is a qualification in its own right.
The AS can also be extended with a second year of study (A-2) into a full A-Level with another 2 modules and in my case, one exam and one coursework essay.
I was in the first year of teenagers to take this new qualification in 2000/01 and I keep forgetting that everyone older than me finds it confusing that the courses are very modular and flexible. Anyway, I digress.
Since the end of the summer I've been studying a module in British History 1906-1951 with a private tutor and a lot of books (and a few old movies). I had hoped that being a reasonably intelligent 20-something with a degree and a job where I do a lot of report writing would mean that I could breeze the study and exams designed for 17 year olds, but that hasn't really been the case. It's been a slog to fix all of the dates and Acts of Parliament and important people in my head, but I think I managed it and I actually didn't find the exam too much of a slog. Except the writing - when was the last time you wrote frantically by hand for over an hour? Typing I can keep up for hours on end, but my hand nearly fell off after about 40 minutes. There was serious pain for a whole day after!
I've now moved on to my second module - Life in Nazi Germany (1933-45) - you see I'm looking at a broad range of the past ;). I'll get results in March some time and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a good mark.

The study of that period led nicely onto my weekend, when I spent my time in a massive Youth Hostel in the Lake District pretending to be an ATS girl in late 1940, caught up in a murder mystery (with zombies).
The whole thing is hard to explain so I'll just describe it as Foyles War meets Indiana Jones or the start to Hellboy. There were magic-using Nazis and resistance fighters and an unlikely group of heroes consisting of (amongst others) me and Tom (playing a detective), some RAF pilots, Gracie Fields and some scientists. Bizarre, scary and hugely fun, I came back exhausted but very happy, and I can't wait for the next one.

Sadly I didn't get many good pictures of me in my uniform, but I'll try to take some myself over the next few days. It's not all accurate yet, the rank badging is all wrong for a start, but I was very happy with how it looked for the weekend!


  1. Good luck with your exam result! I've found my memory is like a sieve for dates and things nowadays, I used to be fab at it when I was a teenager! Argh, I must be my advancing years.

  2. sounds like a mental weekend, I mean that in a good way!

  3. Oh wow, I love your uniform, you look fab! It sounds like you have an awesome weekend, it's sounds like so much fun!

    Shall keep my fingers crossed for your exam result!

  4. You look hot :)

    The uniform is not accurate though. It looks like an officer tunic so the stripes on each arm should go. Also a set of bronze ATS collar dogs. Some rank pips on the shoulder should make it authentic.