An Experience At Sea 🌊⛵ (Photos and Highlights)

Hi all,

Yep, I really did go to sea! ⛵🌊 And it was incredible.

On Saturday I (very reluctantly) returned from a four day home-ed sailing voyage with The Island Trust in Cornwall. I learnt some brilliant skills, met some super cool new people and made some fantastic memories. The whole experience will stick with me forever.

Pegasus – the vessel shown below – was our home for the time we were at sea.

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Describing the whole trip would take a long, long, long time so I’m just going to be sharing a load of my highlights and some photos with you guys today.

Enjoy!

  • Making some absolutely awesome friends! If you’re reading this right now, guys, I just wanna say how much of a pleasure it was sailing with you and getting to know you over the time we spent together last week.

Just in case you didn’t know – I’m on the very right

  • Learning how to crew a sailing ship and how it all works. Working as a team with the others to sail Pegasus 72 nautical miles all in all was absolutely brilliant.

Creds to Megan – another crew member 🙂 Pegasus is on the left.

  • Sailing at night! Learning to navigate and not getting to our destination until midnight was preeeeetty cool. The land and the sea were sequined with what seems like millions of lights used to find our way – a beautiful sight.

Megan’s again ❤

  • Seeing wild dolphins! A surreal experience. I still can’t believe it.

Thanks for this one, Isaac.

  • Sunsets.

  • Watching a sailor set the record for sailing non-stop around the world in the smallest boat. We greeted him at the finish line and had the honour of being pretty much the first human beings he’d seen in the best part of a year. I hope he appreciated the horns and the mexican wave 😁

  • Making a sand sculpture of a mermaid with Megan on the beach.

  • All the HILARIOUS inside jokes 😂😂😁
  • Enjoying the sun, the waves and the views up on deck. Feeling the motion of the boat (fortunately I wasn’t seasick 😀)


  • Steering! I loved the feeling of (kinda) being in control of the boat and of having to really concentrate on all the elements of navigation (the wind, landmarks, where we’re trying to go)

Now for some other random photos (credits to Megan, Isaac and Craig – the skipper)

Anchored in a coastal river mouth for the night.

A HUGE ferry.

Another stunning sunset.

The bow (front) of Pegasus.

Not sure if this was early morning or evening? Either way – very pretty.

Dusk on the water.

Another bow shot.

Look at the skyyyyy!

So yeah! A very special experience and one I hope to repeat in the near future. Thank you, Island Trust for making this so amazing! ❤❤❤

I hope you enjoyed reading about this and seeing all the photos!

Gracie xxx

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Q and A – Ask Away!

Hiya All!

As promised, here is a Q and A post for you guys! I thought it’d be great for you to get to know me better so… ask away! This is thr perfect opportunity. You may ask as many questions as you like about my life in general, my writing, my future plans, the things I love, anything!

Looking forward to answering them, guys! Thanks in advance!

Gracie xxx

 

 

Family. Community. Society. Humanity.

There is so much negativity building up at the moment. Within families, within communities, within society, within humanity as a whole. These things, these things that are the pillars of our world – they’re breaking down, being replaced.

It’s a massive challenge as anyone really, but particularly teenagers, to grow up in this world. It’s so essential that we, as the future, hold on to what is important. Family. Community. Society. Humanity.

This is a huge struggle, but I’m trying to make the decision to understand and believe in these things.

Soooo, that was the thought of the day! If you guys have any comments on that please do let me know.

Now, I’m going to do like a mini update/catch up thingy with everything I need to tell you all. There’s quite a bit!

  • The amazing Bri has just started blogging again after a couple of months. This is such good news. Please go check out her blog and introduce yourself, it’d mean the world to her.
  • I’m participating in Hannah’s photography contest! No, I am not a photographer, but I wanted to try something new and Hannah is just the sweetest, loveliest person.
  • Remember the social experiment a load of you helped me out with a couple of months ago? Well, I’ve nearly finished putting together all my results and I’ll be sharing them on here very soon. Stay tuned.
  • I’m staying at my Nan’s at the moment looking after her as she just has a knee replacement. She’s doing really well as she’s super determined. She ALWAYS reads my blog so please give her a quick ‘get well soon’ in the comments. She’d be thrilled. 😀
  • I’m going to be doing a ‘day in the life of me’ post soon. So I’m quite excited ’bout that. Also, I’m thinking maybe a little Q and A sesh maybe?
  • I think that’s it??????

What was your thought for today? Tell me all your news! Are you excited for all my future plans on this blog? Lemme know….

Get To Know Me Better!

Hiya all,

I often think that there’s SO much my blogging friends don’t know about me. Oh sure, they know all about my ideas for world change and my deepest inner struggles, but not much about, well, me 🙂 So today I’ve decided that I’m going to tell you guys a lot more about myself. Here goes!

 

Let’s start with the basics, shall we? My name is Gracie and I am 14 years old.  At the moment I live in a van on a farm in *looks out of window* rainy, old England.

I am a teenager with an infinite mess of feelings, dreams, plans and struggles. I am a writer, a spoken word poet, a teacher, a blogger (obviously) and someone who loves baking, cooking and being with others. I am studying socio-anthropology (the social study of humanity) as well as doing yoga, film-making and Italian. 

I also am home-educated and I love it! I get to make decisions about what’s relevant to my life and my future and study what I’m passionate about.

My greatest dream is to be able to help others, but I often feel unbelievably helpless and wonder if I’m more naive than anything else? I live for those crazy of moments of abandon that make me feel like summer, songs that inspire rebellion, campfire smoke settling on my clothes,  sunsets and the times where my words fly from my heart and through my lips like it is their very purpose to change the world.

I get lonely, I get discontent, I get anxious and worried and I can’t bear to not know what’s happening, but I believe that this is the right path for me.

My family lives a very unusual lifestyle. Ever since I was a very small child, my parents have tried to teach me and my siblings to help others when we can, to challenge the way our modern society works, to make a difference and make a change, to be ourselves and be honest. Through the life we live, we hope to practice all these things.

*casually quotes my about page* lol

I have traveled a lot in the UK. In fact, my family and I are about to leave everything familiar behind and go off traveling permanently, perhaps even around Europe and beyond. My Dad has built a tiny home on the back of a vintage truck and we are going to live on the road, making the statement that alternative living is possible for other families, that there is another way to live your life in our crazy, messed-up world. We are advocates for positive change within our society.

I don’t know what the future holds…..

I obviously can’t sum up my whole being in just this one post, but I hope you’ve got to know me a bit better and enjoyed reading this. Feel free to do the same if you think your readers could benefit from getting to know you more!

I want to make my posts a bit more based around my life and a bit more personal. Here are a few ideas I’ve had, please vote for your (personal) favourite. See what I did there? XD

See ya guys later! Don’t forget to vote!

Wish Me Luck – Spoken Word Poetry Performance Update

Hello there!

In my recent post I talked about an urban music and spoken word poetry performance I am going to be a part of very soon. Well, I’m here with an update on that!

  • The performance is on Thursday and I am SO excited.
  • I went to London for the rehearsals last week and it was AMAZINGGGGG!
  • I have two solos.
  • I am performing two very poignant, topical spoken word pieces written by yours truly.
  • At the rehearsal I spent a hardcore one and a half hours with a spoken word poet learning everything you need to know about performing.
  • I spent another hour running through the whole thing with the rest of the group who are sharing all different genres of music, but all with an urban twist – rap, acapella, reggae, etc.
  • I am basically the complete polar opposite of the word urban #countrygirrrrl so I went to the rehearsals in my wellies. Picture below!

Stay tuned for photos of the actual performance coming soon! Oh, and wish me luck, my friends! *dances* *practices like crazyyyyy* 

 

Life Update: Headaches and Hope, Honesty and Positivity + Things To Look Forward To!

So hello everybody, I feel the need to do a life update just because I feel like my blog has become really impersonal recently and that I haven’t really been sharing my honest thoughts – which is what I’ve always done on this blog and what I want to continue doing to fulfill the purpose of this site – to be a light in the darkness.

So first off, I’ve had quite a lot of headaches lately, partly because of how busy I am (I’ve started a ton of new projects and schoolwork activities – more on that later) and partly because I have been getting a bit stressed at everything that’s going on in my life.

This time – between now and the beginning of summer – is being spent by my family preparing to go away traveling at some point in the autumn. We keep going through option after option, plan after plan, changing our minds and having loads of long conversations. This gets me really stressed out because, though I’m super excited for what the future holds, the lack of having a definite plan really throws me and stresses me out. So yeah, that whole thing gets a bit emotional at times. 🙂

 

Another reason I’ve been getting headaches is the business of my days, I’ve taken huge steps in my education – I am now learning Italian, socio-anthropology (the social study of human beings 🙂 for all those who participated in my ‘social experiment’ a few months ago, watch out for the results soon…), film-making, creative writing, yoga, British Sign Language, cooking, as well as maths and other academics. This is one of the amazing things about my homeschool journey. I’m learning what is important and relevant to my future and that is awesome!

The whole friendship crisis and comparing myself to others and all that trash has died down a lot and I’m starting to feel a lot better about myself and my way of life. This is due to a few different factors:

  • Yoga! Oh my goodness, it makes you think about your life and the world around you in a completely different, more positive way. It’s amazing, seriously.
  • You guys! Yup, for definite. Some of you in particular, you may or may not know who you are. 😉
  • My parents. You might read this, I’m not sure, if you do, I love you. Thank you. xxxxx 🙂
  • Making some new friends in real life, more social interaction and hanging out with some other people my age! This has been really fun and rejuvenating for me.
  • Remembering what I do have and not focusing on the negatives.

So yeah! *thumbs up*

Aside from all our future plans, I have a lot to look forward to! So, remember the spoken word and urban music day that I went to in London? Yes? Well, the theatre invited me back to perform with the rest of the young people at an event at the end of this month!!! It’s, like, a performance that’s open to the public and I’m so excited! I’m getting a solo slot as well. Asdfghjkl. Wish me luck…..I’ll keep you posted.

Also, I am going on a teen home-ed voyage in May! Yep, sailing on the ocean! We learn how to sail a yacht, navigate and all about life on the waves. We also get to see wildlife, as well as a load of beautiful ports and islands along the South West coast of England. It’ll be a real experience and I’m super excited. Usually, this would be really expensive, but there’s a huge discount of homeschooled kids and so we’re making the most of an amazing opportunity.

A while ago my parents wanted to teach me a lesson in motivation, it was just something they thought was important for me to learn. So they thought of something I really wanted to do – go abroad – and made me work to earn my passport. But that’s all in the past now! I have only £7 to get (out of £191) and soon I’ll be going to a different country for the first time in my entire life!

I think that’s about it at the moment! Please get in touch! What are you all doing? Any news? Tell me everything and, as always,  FEEL FREE TO BE HONEST!

 

 

An Aesthetic To Reflect My Identity

What makes me, me? 

Inspired by Lonelymeme’s post, I decided to make an aesthetic to reflect on my own identity.

All of the aspects in this collage represent different parts of who I am – my dreams for the future, my desire for true friendship, my love of writing and books, fire and light, freedom, nature, wanting to change the world.

Now, I challenge you to do the same! Make an aesthetic to share and really think about what makes you, you???

Words That Burn + Poems About Identity And Two Big Announcements!

As part of my home school curriculum, I am doing a project called Words That Burn. It was launched by Amnesty International and is aimed at teaching young people about human rights, whilst encouraging them in their creative writing, mainly poetry. Learning at its best, in my view.

So, today I wanted to share a poem that we had to analyse in my project. It’s a really powerful and beautiful piece by spoken word artist Dean Atta, on the topic of identity. After that, we had to write our own poem, about our identity.

However, before we go into all of that exciting stuff, I have an important announcement to make! 🙂 You can now go vote for the nominees in Megan’s Part 1 of the Best Of 2017 Blogging Awards! I am literally jumping up and down right now because I WAS NOMINATED IN TWO CATEGORIES! Wow, I never expected that.  Anyway, go vote! And good luck! *proceeds to dance around the room*

Okay, so coming back to the poem. I present, I Come From by Dean Atta.

I come from shepherd’s pie and Sunday roast
Jerk chicken and stuffed vine leaves
I come from travelling through my taste buds but loving where I live

I come from a home that some would call broken
I come from D.I.Y. that never got done
I come from waiting by the phone for him to call

I come from waving the white flag to loneliness
I come from the rainbow flag and the union jack
I come from a British passport and an ever-ready suitcase

I come from jet fuel and fresh coconut water
I come from crossing oceans to find myself
I come from deep issues and shallow solutions

I come from a limited vocabulary but an unrestricted imagination
I come from a decent education and a marvellous mother
I come from being given permission to dream but choosing to wake up instead

I come from wherever I lay my head
I come from unanswered questions and unread books
Unnoticed effort and undelivered apologies and thanks

I come from who I trust and who I have left
I come from last year and last year and I don’t notice how I’ve changed
I come from looking in the mirror and looking online to find myself

I come from stories, myths, legends and folk tales
I come from lullabies and pop songs, Hip Hop and poetry
I come from griots, grandmothers and her-story tellers

I come from published words and strangers’ smiles
I come from my own pen but I see people torn apart like paper
Each a story or poem that never made it into a book.

I just love love love some of the lines in this, they’re so poignant. “waving the white flag to loneliness” “crossing oceans to find myself” “being given permission to dream, but choosing to wake up instead” I could go on and on and on. Seriously

Now comes the challenging part. I had to write a poem like his: an I come from….. poem. So I sat down and made a list of the things that have shaped my identity and then crafted them into this poem.

I Come From by Gracie Chick

I come from words springing from emptiness,

I come from the pages of a book, 

I come from misty mornings in my mind and conversations long into the night,

I come from the flames of a candle and the glowing embers of a campfire

I come from struggles and determination and an overwhelming desire for true friendship. 

I come from missing the sunrise and waiting all day for it to set.

I come from craving beauty in a world I want to change, 

I come from tears and discontentment, 

I come from dreaming big

I come from two amazing hearts that never lose faith. 

I come from wanting more than black and white

I come from music that no one else hears and stories that no one else sees,

or writes.

I come from a river of ink and a land of where the honey is too sticky and sweet and the milk soured long ago.

Hope that made sense to you guys! Now, the big question is……

Where do you come from???

Please answer in the comments, debating is more than welcome!

And now, time for the second big announcement. Some of you might remember reading my discussion post on makeup a few weeks ago. If so, you’ll probably recall that I included a section detailing the thoughts of many different teens throughout the blogosphere. The result was amazing and everyone really got into the discussion element of it. So, I was thinking I’d make this a regular thing. If you’re interested in contributing your opinions to these future discussion posts, please drop me an email at graciechick29@gmail.com

Then, whenever I need your thoughts, I’ll send out an email (probably monthly) and you can reply with your contributions. This is aimed mainly at teens, but if you’re older or younger and would still like to participate, feel free. Also, if you sign up, you don’t have to participate very time. If you’re ever too busy or just don’t want to contribute that’s totally fine.  Hoping to see lots of interest in this!

What did you think of Dean Atta’s Poem? What about mine? Complete this sentence: I come from…

Are you going to sign up to give your opinions in my future discussion posts?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extracts From My Journal + The Best Of 2017 Blog Awards Have Arrived Again (Yay!!!)

30th November 2017

It’s a proven scientific fact that any energy that keeps getting larger and larger will eventually explode. For example, friction will  eventually burst into flames. Well, there’s friction in my mind right now.

My Mum called it emotional turmoil, my Dad called it being lost, but I think friction is a good word at the moment. I’ve already burst into flames a few times, the energy always seems to die down, simmer quietly for a little while and then begin to build up until, you guessed it, I explode again with emotion again. Most of the time I don’t even know what causes all of these feelings. 

I need to look towards my future, focus on the positives that lie ahead and stop clinging onto the negatives of the here and the now. Being sad and discontent never made anyone’s life better, I’ve got to take action. 

2nd December 2017

Today I went to see Wonder at the cinema. As the scenes from my favourite book flashed past my eyes, I immersed myself in the story, rediscovering the powerful themes that run through it. Many of them are relevant to my life right now – being different, going to school, fitting in, standing out, real friendships, finding your place in this world, staying true to who you are. 

In all of the characters that I’ve known and loved for so long, I suddenly saw myself. When I read the book (and I must have read it 100 times, no kidding) I am an observer in Auggie, Via, Miranda, Jack Will, Julian, Summer, Justin and everyone else’s lives. However, watching the movie made me see their story in a different light. I felt like I was there, I was part of it.

I was Via, struggling with friendships. I was Miranda, just trying to fit in with the crowd, wanting to be liked. I was Summer, trying to be a good friend and Jack Will, trying but not always succeeding.There are no words for how much I loved this movie and how much of an impact it had on me. 
4th December 2017

I went to my teen yoga class today. Although I’m not flexible enough to do half of the poses I still love it. It’s amazing for relaxation, concentration, exercise and the releasing of stress. 

My yoga teacher, Luna, says that in yoga thoughts are like clouds, we let them drift by without holding onto them. You go into your body and just observe your mind. It makes you less anxious and stressed plus it helps you concentrate on your thoughts and make more sense of them. This was great for me, for someone who’s brain is especially active and often anxious, it helped me chill out and bring things into perspective. </

In other news from the life of Gracie Chick, my prize for when I cam runner-up in a poetry competition arrived. I received a certificate and a small bundle of writing supplies (a notepad, two pencils, one pen and a bookmark). Exciting! 🙂 


I’ve also been really into cooking with foraged goodies. This time of year is brilliant for wild food and I’ve been making the most of the abundance of it on the farm where I live. 

</I made this delicious lunch for my family, it’s a chickweed and lettuce salad with a berry vinegar dressing and crumbled parmesan on toast. It was SO good. 

</A yummy snack of roasted burdock root chips sprinkled with sesame seeds. Okay, I hope you enjoyed that little peek into my life at the moment. I felt like doing an update and I wanted to be honest.<Now, I have an exciting announcement to make ~ Megan is hosting the Best Of 2017 Blogging Awards for the third year in a row! By taking the survey now, you can vote for all the amazing blogs and posts out there that you’ve particularly loved. So, what are you waiting for? Go VOTE!

What’s going on in your life at the moment? Don’t be afraid of honesty, I often am and it never makes you feel better when you bottle it up. You can send me an email if you feel like talking. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Oh, and will you vote in the Best Of 2017 Blogging Awards? 

‘Gracie’s School’ Q and A Post + An Exciting Blogging Announcement

In my last post I introduced to you to my very own school, students and classroom. I shared my happiness at being able to fulfill my dream and making it happen through my own determination.  I  also asked you to submit your questions for my school themed Q and A. Well, many of you had lots to ask so read on…and enjoy!

Questions from Mukta:

When and how did you realize you wanted to be a teacher?

I’ve always loved learning and, to me, nothing sounds more like paradise than a place where young people can gather together to learn and share and pursue their passions.

School, and the modern education system, are supposed to provide that service, but I don’t believe they are. The majority of my generation view school as a negative place, a prison, something they’re forced to attend. School should be a place everyone wants to go to.

I am home-educated and the above is precisely the reason I don’t go to school. The reason I decided to become a teacher is because I want to create the school that I dream of, the school I want to go to.

What time do you begin/end teaching?

Nothing is set in stone yet, at the moment I’m being pretty flexible. Usually we start at about 10am and finish about 4pm??? 😀😀😀

Questions from Loren:

When you start a real school, will you want it to be elementary, middle, or high school?

I hope that my school will be a place where kids and teens of all ages can come together and learn. I want it to be an environment where they help and teach each other. I am from the UK so I’m not exactly that familiar with the US education system, we say ‘Primary’ and ‘Secondary’ schools here!

Questions from Melissa:

Are your pupils allowed to direct any of your teaching and follow their own interests or are you quite strict in following your lesson plans?

There needs to be a balance. I do make lesson plans (which I try to stick to), but if I see that my students are interested in or enthusiastic about a particular subject, I’m more than happy to focus on it. I also welcome my students suggestions and ideas. I have certain parts in each lesson where I ask one of my students to lead the activity and I just watch. It teaches them teamwork, leadership and creativity, all equally important lessons!

Questions from The Girl With IronWings

Are you guys going to travel around the farm place and learn things practically or…..?

Yeah, I guess so. It’s important to include a bit of reading, writing, maths and theoretical science, but most of the activities we do are outdoors, hands on and practical. I find that my students learn better when out and about on the farm. For example, we went fishing in the stream and then identified and learnt about what we caught. They loved it! Way more than reading about the affect humans have on natural habitats! 😀 I bet they remembered more of the former too.

How is the teaching going to be – How different from today’s schools? 😊

Hehe. I would say it’s pretty different. Here’s a quick list.

  • All different ages and abilities taught together.
  • We learn about things that are important in life, like knowing and appreciating your surroundings and how to protect them. 
  • The learning (and teaching!) is FUN!!!
  • I try and think about what suits my students individually, what they need help with and what their strengths are. I keep that in mind when making my lesson plans, unlike school with its ‘one size fits all’ attitude.

Also, since it’s about the environment will you be using gadgets?

We have a few gadgets… a camera trap that we’ve used to try and capture the secret lives of wildlife on the farm. We don’t use a lot of technology, just the internet to research things and find information.

Questions from Misabella :

What is your favourite subject to teach?

I’m about to start doing a book club + English and creative writing classes. I don’t enjoy maths very much, just because I teach out of a book and have to follow a set system/curriculum. These ‘environment’ lessons are great, I get to be creative and come up with fun, unique ideas that really engage my students. 😁

Do you find particular methods of discipline more effective than others?

I’ve googled the different ‘methods of discipline’ and would say my style is a mix of them all! I do try to set boundaries, but I also try and be positive and humorous. I wouldn’t say I’m strict, I try to be patient and listen to my students – although that is something I struggle with. I think this is an area I need to look into a bit more – especially if I want to be a successful teacher!

Questions from Tom:

How long do you hope to be keeping up with this school for?

Well, we’re living at the farm over the autumn, winter and early spring so the lessons will probably continue through those seasons. After that my family and I are off on our travels, maybe into Europe, maybe even further, searching for a place to settle down and call home. When we find that place I have no doubt that my school will re-establish itself and begin again, stronger and better than before. 

School is an interesting word, I wonder if it’s Greek?

Well, thanks to your research, Tom, we now know that it is a Greek word meaning ‘lecture place’. It would have looked like this in its original text: skholḗ or σχολή. Great fact! 

 I hope you all enjoyed that little Q and A! I loved sharing my thoughts and ideas on education, I even learnt a few interesting things in the process. If anyone still has any questions, please feel free to comment them and I’ll try to answer.

Okay, now I have an exciting and important announcement to make: I am getting some newly designed features on A Light In The Darkness soon! Not saying anything more, but watch out for a post revealing those. This is me at the moment: 🤐☺☺☺🤐 

Xxx