We are going away for the festive season – to Flatwater Stills – so its yukky old malaria pills time again. Mum insists we take them – and we do – because malaria is very nasty and we don’t want to get it. Luckily there are only a few places in South Africa where those particular mozzies hang out. Sadly, our relatives stay in one of those places.
I wanted to take our dog Zona with us on holiday but mum said no. She was not having that hairy mutt slobbering and panting in her car for hours and hours.
Dad was more realistic and pointed out that our family has plenty of dogs of their own, there are not many fences and so it would not be safe to take Zona with us.
Mum said that we could get old Mr Whatsit next door to come and feed Zona whilst we were away.
There was a bit of an argument – Dad said that it was a bit risky to ask an elderly neighbour to look after our dog for five whole days. What happened if he forgot or if he got sick or something.
He said he would rather book Zona into the kennels for those days and then we would know for sure that she was being looked after. Plus she would not be lonely either because there are people around and there are other dogs to bark at.
That started me thinking… Mum usually invites Mr Whatsit to our house for Christmas dinner because he lives on his own and his family – if he has any – is not around.
I looked at Mum. Shame, poor Mr Whatsit! He’ll be really lonely too.
Mum agreed and said she’d talk to some of the other aunties in the street and see who would love to have him join their family for Christmas lunch or dinner this year. She’d organise it before we left to go on holiday.
It’s so sad when people get old and nobody looks after them or comes to visit. Must be very lonely just sitting by yourself all day with only the television for company.
Sometimes I have to do errands for him. He’s a bit grumpy but mum says I should not let that put me off – he’s actually quite a sweetie at heart.
Remember to make a plan with your animals if you are going away please!
Eish! Seems like this year went very fast – to me, anyway.
The other day mum and I went to the mall and guess what… the shops are all full of Christmassy stuff. There are crackers, Christmas lights and the toy isles are starting to look very interesting. I got all excited but mum sighed and said that each year the shops get their Christmas stuff in earlier and earlier and by the time Christmas actually arrived you were so sick of Jingle Bells you could hooch.
I thought she was completely crazy but decided not to say a word.
When we got home I rattled my piggy bank and was a tad concerned to see that it is not very jingly. In fact it is downright empty.
I made a deal with mum. She will pay me for extra chores – things like vacuuming and doing different odd jobs obviously – not my usual tasks like washing dishes, picking up my dog’s pooh and stuff like that.
Dad says if I help in the garden, he’ll pay me too.
Even so, I don’t think I am going to have enough money to buy cool Christmas presents for everybody. I am going to have to get crafty…
Ultra crafty in fact. I am going to have to make my presents this year. Good job I realised now already because it gives me enough time to get things done.
I’m planning on making some stuff out of Paper Mache. I know we’ve done this before – but really – it remains one of the easiest and yet nicest ways of making awesome things using recycled plastic stuff like yogurt containers and old newspapers or magazines. You can transform simple junk into lovely useful pencil holders, boxes or mobiles – just by using a bit of imagination.
You can use wallpaper glue or you can make your own glue using water and flour. It’s not hard and it does not cost much. Once you’ve finished sticking on several layers (remember to let them dry in-between) you can paint your article to make it look really nice.
The other day a friend of mine made a cool hat stand using a balloon and the top of a coke bottle. Then she painted a face on it. I bet you could use something like that for necklaces or scarves as well.
If you need help with your Paper Mache – check out my website – www.sibo.co.za
Firstly and very importantly… do not leave your studying until the last minute.
Give yourself enough time to study. Seriously – cramming is not the best way to try and get good results. But before you even start studying, tidy up the area when you are going to be sitting when you study. It’s hard to concentrate when there is lots of mess around you. Make sure you are comfortable, have enough space and that you have sufficient light – especially if you are going to be working at night.
Next – make a list of how many exams you have and when you have to write them. Then make a timetable so you can see how much time you have to study for each exam. Remember to schedule in breaks as well. After studying for 45-50 minutes you should take a 10 minute break. Make sure you take some of those breaks in the sunshine too – Vitamin D is very good for your brain.
(And… don’t waste lots of time making a really awesome timetable just so you don’t have to start studying. That is called PROCRASTINATION!)
Use flow charts and diagrams to help you study. Visual aids really do work.
Make flash cards and keep them handy. Get your parental agents to help you. Explaining things to other people is a great way to get everything organised in your head and help you remember.
You might also want to think about organising study groups with friends. Sometimes it is great to bounce questions off other people. But make sure that you stay focussed.
Another good thing to remember is that you should try and avoid junk food when you are studying. Believe it or not – fish, nuts, seeds, yogurt and blueberries have been proven to aid concentration and memory. Snack on raw veggies and fruit rather than sweets and chips. Also make sure that you have a good healthy meal before you go and write your exam.
Drink plenty of water – keeping your brain well hydrated is very important so that it works best.
Last but definitely not least – remember to get enough sleep. If you have been cramming all night and are tired when you go to write your exam… you probably won’t remember as much as you should.