Happy New Year!

Wow! How time flies! Another year has passed and we’re waving goodbye to 2018 and saying hello to 2019, the New Year!

As I’ve said before, I don’t believe in setting New Year’s Resolutions because we should be setting ourselves new goals every day to try and improve ourselves, not just at the New Year. So instead of sharing  my New Year’s Resolution with all of you, I’d like to take a moment and reflect on 2018 and all the brilliant things in it!

2018 was my last year at primary school, and leaving the school, I also said goodbye to my friends! The last day was quite emotional, and I must admit, I was feeling pretty sad myself. On the last day, all the Year 6’s put on a big performance, as kind of a celebration of our time there. Being in Year 6 was – put simply – SUPER FUN, and 2018 may well have been my best year of primary school, and one I will never forget!

But with the departing old things came the arrival of new, amazing things! Leaving primary school meant that it was time for me to join secondary school – probably the best gift bestowed on me from God! I was blessed to have the chance to attend King Edward’s School! I was over the moon when I found out the news, and so was the rest of the family. Wednesday 5th September 2018 was my very first day at KES, and ever since then, for the past 4 months, it has been an amazing experience! I hope it will continue to be as enjoyable for the rest of my life at KES!

So yes, I would say that 2018 has been a very memorable year indeed, and I thank God for all the blessings he showered me with. I pray that in the New Year, God doesn’t just bless me, but every one of us, and I pray that he lets those less fortunate than us have a prosperous 2019. And remember, always try to be a better person than you were yesterday, and set yourself new goals every day, however little they may be!

Have a PAWSOME 2019!

Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.

– Brad Paisley 

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A Night In Stratford-upon-Avon…

Wednesday was our last day in school before the Christmas holidays, and it’s sure been a busy first term for me at King Edward’s School, but nevertheless an enjoyable one. Since it was Christmas, the school treated the Shells (this is what KES calls Year 7) to a special night out at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon to watch a performance of ‘A Christmas Carol’!

The show is based on the book by Charles Dickens, and it was a hugely entertaining show! But before the actual show started, entering the auditorium itself was really exciting. It was packed with people, and the 120 or so boys from KES took up only just about a quarter of the total seats! I was sitting in a seat high up, and I had a great view of everything happening on stage – lucky me!

When the lights finally went up on stage, I saw the set for the first time, and I can tell you one thing: it. Was. Amazing! The play was set in the Victorian times, and the team did a brilliant job of recreating the cobblestoned streets lined with cramped little houses! The set really made it look like another world!

The story follows Ebenezer Scrooge, a grumpy, grouchy old miser who is more in love with money than any other person. When he comes back home on the night of Christmas Eve, he is visited by the ghost of his dead business partner, Marley, that foretells the visit of three more spirits in the night. When these Ghosts – the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Christmas Yet To Come – arrive at Scrooge’s household, they attempt to encourage him to become a kind, generous man like he used to be as a child. But will old Scrooge change his ways in time to celebrate Christmas?

To go with the great actors were great costumes! The traditional Victorian attire was amazing, but not only that, I particularly liked the great green gown that the Ghost of Christmas Present wore! It reminded me of a real forest with berries and bushes!

Special effects were also top notch; there are brilliant fog and ice effects, ‘snow’ falling from the ceiling, and even a bed that rose out of the stage floor! I especially enjoyed the moment when Scrooge put his hand right through the ghost of Marley, his dead business partner! I still can’t figure out how they did it, but I guess that’s the magic of it all! The dance numbers were also well-practised and ‘funky’, as you might say!

I really enjoyed watching ‘A Christmas Carol’. It was heartwarming, funny and magical all at the same time! With astounding actors, brilliant costumes and tremendous special effects, it was a truly PAWSOME show!

acc poster

*Media Source: Google Images*

Romeo & Juliet: A Twisted Tale

rj1

Romeo was a Montague. Juliet was a Capulet. Romeo and Juliet loved each other. But the Montagues and Capulets loathed each other. They were indeed ‘star-crossed’, as Shakespeare describes it, plagued by bad luck. But old Shakespeare told an embroidered tale, not one entirely true. So listen closely, my friends, as I tell you the real story of Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet.

It was a favourite thing of theirs, the lovers, to sneak out of the house every night and meet up at an abandoned tower on the edge of Verona. They’d often fantasise about running away from all the hate and dispute of their families, and live in peace with each other.

The Italian night sky was normally filled with stars, but on this particular night, when Romeo and Juliet met, the sky was dominated by clouds, and there was not so much as a twinkle in sight. From the top of the tower, Juliet looked out at the open land, with its rolling hills, and carpet of green grass, and sighed.

“Oh, Romeo, we’re always talking about how we want to run away and leave this life behind. Why don’t we ever do it?”

Romeo didn’t know the answer to it himself. “It is not the right time yet.” That was all he could say. “But one day we will.”

“Mmm,” Juliet sighed again, “One day.”

They stood next to each other, looking out at the countryside from their tower. Then they heard a scream. They turned around to look at the city, and another scream was heard. They were sure it was coming from the Capulet household.

Juliet normally wasn’t fast on feet, but tonight, she ran faster than ever through the candlelit cobblestone streets. When she reached the house of the Capulets, she pushed open the heavy wooden doors to find her parents, Lord and Lady Capulet, lying on the floor, their lips abnormally blue. They were dead. Beside them, a sobbing man sat on his knees.

“Cousin Tybalt!” cried Juliet. “What’s wrong? What happened to Mother and Father?”

Tybalt, in a shaky voice, replied, “Killed. Poisoned! Someone dared to take their lives, to take your dear Mother and Father…but Juliet, who is that man that stands next to you? Is that not the young son of the Lord and Lady Montague? Why are you with him, Juliet? Stay away! Get out, filth, get out!”

Romeo and Juliet had left the tower in such haste that they had forgotten to hide Romeo. And now they had been seen together, the consequences were going to be far from good. Tybalt stood up and drew a dagger. He menacingly made his way towards the couple, baring the dagger like a set of claws. Romeo edged in front of Juliet, ready for the attack. But an unexpected voice came from behind.

“Romeo, my son, where have you-!?”

Tybalt threw the dagger with great accuracy, and it just missed Romeo, flying past his ear, but instead hitting his mother squarely in the stomach. Her mouth was gaping open in pain, and the black dress she wore became wet and shiny with blood. She fell to the ground, dead.

Romeo was speechless. Anger blinded him, and he ran towards Tybalt, roaring. But Juliet pulled him back, and cried “Please, no, Romeo! No good will come out of more killing!” She pushed Romeo back and pleaded with Tybalt to leave him alone. Romeo gained back his senses, and ran outside to see his mother. Holding back tears, he gave her one last kiss on the forehead.

Just then, Juliet caught a glimpse of a bottle in the folds of Romeo’s clothes. She swiped it from him and read the label.

“Poison?” Juliet was taken aback. “Romeo, why do you have this?”

Romeo looked uneasy. He didn’t answer. Then it dawned on Juliet. “Romeo, you didn’t…you couldn’t have…” She looked back at her parents, lying lifelessly on the floor.

“I had to.” Romeo finally spoke. “If we were ever to marry, then our parents would have been in the way.”

“So what? You killed my parents! Are you planning to kill your father too? I never thought you would stoop so low!” Juliet screamed.

“But Juliet-!”

Whoosh! A piece of flaming wood came flying through the air and landed just metres away from the Capulet household. Then a chair set alight was thrown from one of its windows. The families were trying to set each other on fire.

Juliet couldn’t take it any more. “STOP! Just stop!” She was losing control. Soon, she was in tears, overwhelmed by everything. The trees in the courtyard caught fire, and flaming debris surrounded Romeo and Juliet. Before long, they were sitting in a ring of fire. The flames leaped out at them, and streams of fire were overhead.

Romeo made to comfort Juliet, but she pushed him away. “I’m sorry,” she said through tears, “I just can’t.” The fire grew bigger, and the safe space got smaller. Screams rose from both the Capulets and Montagues. Juliet spoke one last time before the flames swallowed them both.

“Goodbye – forever”

– Juliet’s last words

Moral of the story: No good ever comes from violence.

Author’s note: ‘Romeo & Juliet’ is one of Shakespeare’s greatest works. The story of the two star-crossed lovers from two feuding families is known worldwide, and the tale has influenced me so much that it inspired me to get writing! So here it is, inspired by William Shakespeare himself, my very own version of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ – with a twist!

Double Blessing…

K3Z

It’s been almost 4 months since I started my life at KES. FYI, I’m studying 15 core and creative subjects: English, Maths, Science, Geography, Art, Design and Technology, Computing, French, Latin, History, Music, Drama, RS, PE and Rugby/Hockey.

King Edward’s School also uses a credit system. Credits are kind of like points that you get awarded if you do a good piece of work. I actually achieved my first 10 credits way back on 24th October, and I got a certificate to mark the achievement too.

But when you go on to achieve 25 credits, or do an outstanding piece of work, then you get an entry in what they call the GOLDEN BOOK, which is a special book in the Chief Master’s study. Every student looks forward to getting an entry in the Golden Book, because it’s a very big achievement!

The good news is that I was blessed with a DOUBLE GOLDEN BOOK ENTRY last week! The first one was on Wednesday 5th December for my Geography project, and I went to visit the Chief Master to get my name signed in the Golden Book. And right after that, on Thursday 6th December, I got my second Golden Book entry for attaining 25 credits! Not only that, I also got £20 worth of Amazon gift cards!

I can’t describe how proud I was, looking at my name in the Golden Book, and not just once, but two days in a row! Alhamdulillah, I can’t thank God enough for the endless blessings. And of course, I couldn’t possibly have done it without the support and prayers from my PAWSOME parents!!

Pawsome regards,

Omar Mukhtar a.k.a. The Pawsome Lion