Stage set for Simm’s comeback

SOUTHAMPTON’S Kelly Simm may have been out of action since November last year, but she plans to come back with a bang at the British Championships this weekend in Liverpool.

Kelly Simm - credits to Team Solent

Simm back in competition mode – Photo credits to Team Solent

An injury after securing a World Team Bronze medal at the end of 2016 hampered the start of her Olympic season, and despite only just finishing her rehabilitation programme, she feels the pressure is off for this competition.

“There is pressure with any competition, no matter what the size, but it terms of getting results, I don’t feel there is much pressure on me this time round.

“This competition gives me a chance to push on the rest of the season. Me and my coaches are just so happy to be here and it’s a chance to get used to competing in a big arena again.”

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Simm commentated for the BBC in Glasgow, working alongside Matt Baker (pictured)

Simm admits that the preparation leading up to Saturday’s event has been stressful, and having to withdraw from the World Cup event in Glasgow last month was a difficult decision, but the extra time has been beneficial to her recovery: “It has been tough to get things together for this weekend.

“(By not competing in Glasgow), it has allowed me to have the time to finish my rehabilitation plan properly before building my skills back up again. It will be good to be able to push on after this and get back in the gym.”

The 20-year-old expresses her joy being back at the Echo Arena and how lucky she feels to even be competing: “It’s always nice to compete in Liverpool. The British is always such a special competition and the crowd in the arena create an amazing atmosphere for us all!

Despite not performing her hardest elements this weekend, Simm knows there is more to come from this Olympic season: “It’s my first competition of the year due to the setback, and because of injury, I’m not doing all my difficulty.

IMG_1011“I’m just happy I am able to compete on all four pieces, but I’m excited to get back in the gym next week and work on getting the bigger skills together and consolidate them.”

The World University Champion is no stranger to competition at the highest level, helping the GB squad earn a full women’s team in Rio later this year, and is relishing returning to action with the best Britain has to offer.

“Everyone is looking really good at the start of this year and it depends completely on what happens on the day. Gymnastics is so hard to predict!”

And she is right – the women’s event has been blown wide open in the last few months, and with places in Rio up for grabs, this competition could be their defining moment. The Team GB coaches have some difficult decisions to make in the next couple of months.

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Tinkler receiving her all-around trophy in the Team event

16-year-old Amy Tinkler (South Durham) will be looking to retain her all-around British title from 2015 and was the stand-out performer in the British Team event last month in Glasgow, bagging the overall crown, as well as two other trophies for highest scores to add to her growing collection.

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Fragapane mastering a sheet jump on the beam

Meanwhile, 4ft 5in tumbling powerhouse Claudia Fragapane from Bristol Hawks, will mount a very tough challenge to keep her place for Rio. Frags, known for her energetic and innovative dance, already has four gold commonwealth medals to her name from 2014, and could easily increase her tally this weekend.

The likes of Liverpool’s Rebecca Tunney and Ruby Harrold from The Academy have bundles of experience on the GB team after coming through the junior ranks, and their spot on the plane to Rio is far from secure. Tomorrow’s event could catapult them into the coaches’ minds once more.

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Rebecca Downie surprised after finishing a clean routine!

And then we also have double trouble in the Downie sisters. Older sibling, Rebecca, is more of a bars and beam specialist in the last few years and showcased her new routines in Glasgow last month, but could push to go for the all-around title to ensure her trip to Brazil.

Whereas, baby sister Elissa is rapidly climbing through the junior ranks and broke into the senior squad at the end of last year, remaining overwhelmingly consistent across all apparatus and has a genuine chance of the overall title on Saturday, as well as a GB spot.

Finally, Southampton Solent student, Kelly, may be coming back from injury, but the selectors certainly can’t rule her out of the Olympics this summer, with world university titles under her belt.

The women’s event is too close to call, and sparks could fly once more with the British elite fighting to become national champion.

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Interviewing football legend, Matt le Tissier

12688111_10208535046795972_5932529789954733731_nI’m feeling like a very lucky girl at the moment. Third year at university and on course to get a very good honours degree in Sports Journalism, five different jobs, making a wealth of contacts and a family who couldn’t be prouder of me. But all of this was surpassed on Tuesday morning. I interviewed my childhood hero!

It seemed to be a stroke of luck more than anything else – working as a Press Officer for my local football club, AFC Totton, the interview just fell into my lap, and I somehow kept my cool… Until I got back in the car!

So here is the interview with Southampton legend, Matt le Tissier (all in one take, might I add!), talking about his academy’s new partnership with the football club. We’ve nearly reached 500 views in just 2 days, let’s keep it going!

 

 

Welcome to the life of a 3rd year University student…

I am happy to admit that being a third year sports journalism student is chaotic, frustrating, time-consuming and draining. But it is possibly the most rewarding thing I will ever do in my career. It will be setting me up for life!

So I thought it would be a good time to show you exactly what our university students do when they aren’t drinking to drown their sorrows! Here is only our 2nd ever fully live broadcast that went on air from Solent University.

Me and my team of five created the last package on celebrating 130 years of AFC Totton, a local football club who have had more then their share of ups and downs. Watch the video, feel free to share as much as you like and comment away!!

Snipers Cheerleading Head Coach is vying for top spot at Nationals with brand new squad

11130226_10153831678254922_6390578610167157099_nSnipers Cheerleading Academy may have only been up and running since Easter, but their coach targets a National title in their first full season.

The squad, based in Hounsdown in the New Forest, are aiming for the same success they had with Southern Sirens Cheerleading Squad, before relations within the team broke down and all members made the transition four months ago.

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Head Coach Sam Youren is taking 7 routines to the Eastbourne competition in just 10 weeks’ time

Sam Youren, Snipers Head Coach, sees their first competition in Eastbourne in early November as a warm up to the National Championships in March, but doesn’t want to pressurise her new team.

“We’ve had a lot of success in the past few years at Eastbourne and I want the team to do well after putting in so much time and effort over the last few months. But I know that it may be a little scary for some of the newest members.

“There’s a lot of good competitive squads going in November, but I don’t see why we couldn’t place in the top three – our stunts are harder, our dance is faster and tighter, we could do really well as long as no-one panics.”

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Lia Jackson raised over £300 alone to help Snipers reach their target

However, it hasn’t all been plain sailing for the new team, and uniforms do not come cheap for cheerleaders. To kick-start their sponsorship, one plucky parent completed a 10,000ft skydive just two weeks ago raising over £2300 to cover the costume costs of everyone in the squad.

There are other fundraising ideas coming up for Snipers, with bag-packing at their local stores and performing at events being the main options for new safety equipment and training facilities.

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Lia caught in the act on the way down

If you would like to donate to their JustGiving page, please follow this link:

http://www.gofundme.com/y8wa9h6x?fb_action_ids=10154061945224922&fb_action_types=og.shares&fb_ref=fb_cr_n

To hear more on the skydive story, click the link below for video footage:

10 things to give up for Lent!

So I’m fully aware this was a couple of months ago, but this was a fun article to write for my magazine production class. The thought was there, unfortunately the timing wasn’t!

So it’s that time of year again. 40 days that can be religious to some, or just a reason to kick-start your healthy lifestyle in the vain attempt it might last this time!​ It may be a bad habit you just can’t bring yourself to stop, or maybe it’s something you eat after a stressful day. Or a long day. Or any day! Either way, we know how difficult it can be to get yourself out of that rut and back on the right track, so here are a few ideas to get your teeth (quite literally!) stuck into.

untitled (13)Chocolate:

Okay, so we’re all guilty of the occasional small chocolate bar as part of a quick lunch, or the rare whole Terry’s chocolate orange to ourselves if we’re feeling a little emotional. But chocolate doesn’t always have to be the answer. Instead of being addicted to huge amounts of cocoa, try substituting that urge with an actual orange. Yes, it may not be the best substitute for the sugary goodness, but you never know, it might even become your new treat.

Crisps:

…Or to give them their full title, small slices of salty potatoes baked to perfection. The taste of some Thai Sweet Chilli Sensations can send you into an oriental whirl of happiness. Although, if you fancy trading these in for lent, replace them with a cereal bar if you’re running to your latest meeting to make it on time! It will fill you up just as much and could even give you more energy for that lecture you normally fall asleep in.

Smoking:

untitled (14)So this is one of the biggies to give up for Lent. It won’t be the easiest of journeys; get a friend to either quit with you, or give you moral support over the next 40 days. It will be so much easier to stop if you’ve got another person kicking you into shape! By giving up together, you’re four more times likely to quit for good. Maybe spend that extra money on that pair of shoes that have been staring at you for the last month – it could be those Louboutins you’ve been desperate to buy for a night out, or even the Nike trainers just waiting in the shop window, begging to be bought.

Cake:

We’re all allowed the odd slice of birthday cake, but when it turns into a slab of Battenberg every night for dessert, that’s when it becomes a problem! If you’ve got a case of the midnight munchies and reach into the cupboard for a chocolate cake bar, someone needs to stop you. Looking for something different for your taste buds to enjoy? Have a yoghurt and feed that need for something sweet.

untitled (15)Alcohol:

One too many jägerbombs in the week? Wine acting like the devil’s drink and leaving you with the mother of all hangovers? Surely by now, you’re fed up of hanging your head over the toilet, or even worse, holding someone else’s! Cut the alcohol and feel slightly more refreshed in the mornings. (But if you’re not a morning person in the first place, there’s not a lot we can do on that one!)

Social media:

99% of us are constantly glued to our phones, refreshing our twitter feed every two seconds. When we wake up, our first port of call is to find out the latest gossip about our favourite musician, or who the latest celebrity is to either be quarantined in a psychiatric ward or busted for drugs. It’s starting to become an obsession now… why not take a Twitter ban for lent? Most of the tweets are pictures of cats, or a ‘not so’ indirect status about someone – you won’t miss too much!

imagesMJVGWUNQSwearing:

Truthfully, it’s not the easiest to stop doing. But there has to be some sort of punishment system if you attempt this; invest in a swear jar, adding 50p every time you slip up. If you really want to push yourself, every swear word results in five push ups. Let’s see how often you swear after that, especially if someone else gets to see you suffer every time! To make it interesting, get people at work to set up a sweepstake; if you have to give something up, they should give up their money, no?!

TV:

Now we’re not suggesting throwing the TV out the window, but everyone has that one programme we love to hate. Maybe it’s Jeremy Kyle you find so compulsive and have it series-linked or endless re-runs of Top Gear on Dave. For the science geeks among us, it may be The Big Bang Theory (we all fit into this category secretly!) Delete the link and take that extra hour to catch up on that book you’ve been dying to finish off. One better, go out for a jog round the block – maybe test out those new Nike trainers if you’ve also quit smoking.

Soft drinks:

There’s nothing like having a glass of lemonade after a long morning at work to quench your thirst, but an ice-cold drink of water will have the same effect. May even give you that ‘pick-me-up’ to keep you going for the afternoon session. Water helps to improve your concentration throughout the day – might give you that extra energy to get on with that task you’ve been putting off for months.

imagesX1TAWZGOTime for a little exercise:

We can all be held accountable for driving round the corner to the shops, or taking the lift instead of the stairs. Some of us may even testify to getting our other halves to run upstairs and grab something for us in the bedroom whilst we’re sobbing on the sofa. But if you’re feeling the need for that extra push, sign up for 30 days at the local gym. Whether it’s a dip in the pool to give you that adrenaline rush, or a quick 10 minute jog on the treadmill, it’s time to get back into those dusty trainers!

Chapter One – There’s nothing like a cosy hospital gown

Fresh Prince“Well this is a story all about how, my life got flipped, turned upside down” – The Fresh Prince himself, Will Smith, explains this adventure perfectly!

So I’m a little late in writing this stupid story, but apparently I’ve been told it needs to be documented. Welcome to the most injury-prone person and her story about recovering!

10441024_10205130183636521_7271573235238543644_nAs some of you will know, I’m a cheerleader: (well, ex/retired cheerleader now… Had to hang up my cheer shoes and poms for good after this joyous exploit) actually, that’s partly how I ended up here!

Quick background for why I’m having shoulder surgery – about 3 years ago, whilst warming up at a competition, someone fell in a stunt from more than twice my height. She landed on my nose, then both of us landed on my shoulder. That’s about it.

images (11)Ended up competing twice before being sent to Manchester A&E with concussion and a broken nose. Overall, a pretty standard day… Since then though, rounds of physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, all the ‘therapies’ basically (even the Electro shock treatment was fun) led me back round in circles.

In hindsight, working on a checkout probably didn’t do me any favours when it came to Repetitive Strain Injury, especially now I know I tore all the cartilage in my left shoulder. I realise now that possibly wasn’t my best move.

So it was pretty surreal to get a phone call whilst sat in a KFC in Eastbourne (so us cheerleaders don’t always keep to a ‘healthy’ diet) on the Friday of a competition weekend, to come into hospital just 5 days later!

Stuck in Southampton General Hospital on a freezing cold Tuesday morning in November wasn’t exactly part of the plan. Neither was having to wear the most ill-fitting, tasteless and thinnest hospital gown known to man. The only place those gowns belong is in a fire because no-one would willingly want their ass on show to a ward full of people they’ve never met before.

imagesBV2J115RAnd yet, that’s where I found myself – the youngest person on the ward by about 30 years and surrounded by women wanting to tell me their whole life story. I could have been at university writing sports stories and videoing events, but no, I was in my own personal hell; the hospital version of Loose Women.

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Post surgery selfie with the monkey mum bought!

The only joy was going down to the operating theatre and being knocked out by the anaesthetic! At least I had a bit of peace and quiet for a couple of hours. But of course, my dearest mother was by my side on the ward, so I sent her away to do the one thing that would take her mind off the operation – Christmas shopping. She’s like a machine!

Coming round after the surgery was hilarious – for the rest of the day, my whole arm was a dead weight. They’d given me a nerve blocker and couldn’t even hold anything in my hand. Turned out to be a bit of a problem going to the toilet though.

Despite being told I’d be in overnight, just 8 hours into my stay, I was happily discharged and flying as high as a kite on medication! This was clearly just the beginning of my recovery, I had no idea what was coming.

Honestly, I don’t think I prepared myself for it very well!

Is now the time to be changing the face of Formula One?

imagesQR4ZK13OAfter recent Formula One races, everything has been called into question about the integrity of the sport – from the infinite lack of safety features (due to Jules Bianchi’s horrific crash in Japan) to the financial situation of the lower ranked teams.

Caterham and Marussia have fallen by the wayside in recent seasons, causing them to plummet into administration, despite Bianchi’s heroics in Monaco, handing the Marussia team with their first ever points in the sport.

images20DMV7R7This year’s racing appears to the fans as a transition season; new regulations have been put in place left, right and centre, leaving the action more exciting, but some of the fans less enchanted.

So is this really the time to start discussing the possibility of three-car teams? Most of the die-hard F1 supporters are still trying to get to grips with the new double-points system for the final race in Abu Dhabi. Something that championship leader Lewis Hamilton disagrees with.

“It sucks,” were Hamilton’s exact words, considering his title challenge could be wiped out with one poor race, gifting the championship to his biggest rival and teammate, Nico Rosberg.

Whilst both Mercedes drivers are sitting pretty at the top with the Constructor’s championship and every other accolade already bagged for the season, the future seems much bleaker for the teams who won’t be participating in this weekend’s American Grand Prix.

imagesLFG09J5SThe race in Austin, Texas, has been utterly overshadowed by the Caterham and Marussia teams who will be absent. However, this could be an unfortunate sign of things to come if the three-car teams structure is approved by the FIA.

If these two constructors are struggling to compete on race days and keep up to date with the tax man, it is near impossible for them to form a team of three drivers on an even lower income.

Formula One wouldn’t be the global sport it is today without smaller constructors coming through the ranks. They have made it to the grid on merit, so they should be given a fighting chance to stay there.

One main example is Toro Rosso – Whilst they may be the sister team to the Red Bull garage, money (or a lack thereof) has always been a main concern; they have found a way to make it work, though, and with top-class talent consistently being brought through the ranks, the team should be safe in future seasons.

imagesRPE3GUUHBut the FIA look as though their sole priority are the biggest teams and giving them more opportunity to increase their finances, rather than helping the lesser-known teams cope with the overwhelming demands of the sport.

So many drivers, including heavyweight of Formula One Jenson Button, are decidedly against this new idea, due to losing too many teams who can’t afford it, even if it means he keeps a driver’s seat for the 2015 start in Australia.

Surely if drivers are willing to risk their seat in favour of keeping the system the same, the FIA should be taking them seriously. These are people with a love for the sport, not out to destroy its integrity.

After all the new regulations, they have to give the teams time to adjust to them, not create more and send F1 into disarray.

Anti-social doesn’t even cover it!

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Every relationship, no matter what age you are, hits that stage where social media and technology overtake love. All of us just get to live the dream, don’t we…? It just depends on how far into the relationship you can get before your other half starts twitter stalking over spending time with you.

Some girls are lucky; their boyfriends will lavish them with perfume, flowers and sparkly gifts – which guys can never go wrong with. All girls are like magpies; anything shiny and we’ll dig our claws into it. – But these guys are like finding a pen at work; ridiculously hard to find, very unpredictable when you do have them and you never quite know when the nib is going to break.

And then there are the majority of girls who walk in their man’s bedroom to find him glued to his PS4 controller, and being thrashed on FIFA 15 by a ‘friend’ you’ve never even heard him mention.

Humiliating doesn’t even begin to describe it when they are losing 9-1 and have to write a Facebook apology, explaining how they never had the right to play them in the first place and will always bow down to them in future. As a girl, I don’t think we’ll ever fully understand this concept of ineptitude, but it’s easier to go along with it, rather than have someone explain it to us.

But whilst all shreds of sanity are disappearing watching your other half scream at a TV screen, us girls decide to enter our own world of social media. Whether it is seeing yet another ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ video, or finding out yet another person we went to school with is pregnant, nothing ever surprises us anymore.

If our boyfriends have really pissed us off, that’s when we get our revenge though. We’d dust off the one book out that all guys despise – 50 Shades of Grey. It’s just a shame that they’re so entranced in their football game that they’re completely oblivious to the irony of the situation.

Obviously, there are some girls that can be just as bad, I can’t blame it all on guys. I’d say most girls would fit into one of these three categories:-

  1. The ones who spend their whole day with their phone glued to their hand and constantly pressing the refresh button on Facebook if an argument is breaking out – I’d say that’s pretty standard.
  2. The girls that take it one step further and send texts to people in the same house as them; what happened to conversations with family? Am I the only person who actually talks to their parents?! (Admittedly, the language in our house could rival the gangs in The Wire…. But we don’t have a normal household and I’m happy to admit to that!)
  3. Then there are people that take it to the extreme. I’m talking about examples like picking the phone up during sex to organise a girls night out! There have been cases like this, but surely that’s just taking multi-tasking to the max?! Although, would guys be able to do it? It is a skill in itself….

I suppose the main thing about all this is that people in relationships don’t actually spend time with each other anymore. I genuinely don’t get that concept though. A couple of friends have just started dating and can’t keep their hands off each other, whereas if I spend too much time with my boyfriend, we want to kill each other. But at least we’re going out and seeing fresh air!

Yes, there is love in most relationships, I just think we’ve all got a different way of showing it; some through expensive gifts, (and if you have the money and you want to, go for it!) some express love by cooking a romantic meal – or in my case, a meal. There’s nothing romantic, or remotely nice about my cooking – and then some share their true feelings by killing someone on Call of Duty.

Maybe it’s just a generational thing, but somehow I doubt it! The games may change over the years, but the bickering always remains the same!

The King of clay marches onto the final

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Rafael Nadal dispatched of former World number 2, Andy Murray, to face the current number 2, Novak Djokovic, in an enthralling French Open final on Sunday.

The Spanish star comfortably won in a 6 – 3, 6- 2, 6 – 1 straight sets victory over the two time Grand Slam champion, proving his utter dominance in Paris.

The win takes him to an unprecedented 64th victory in 65 matches at Roland Garros; a record spanning back to 2005. His sole loss came at the hands of Robin Soderling five years ago.

Murray staked his attacking claim with the opening point of the match, as a sizzling forehand winner down the line stunned Nadal into submission. But it didn’t take long for the eight-time French Open winner to return to business as usual, taking the crucial first game.

The Briton’s first service game was relatively shaky, after a double fault and two unforced errors gifted Nadal an instant break in the first set, before consolidating it, taking a 3 – 0 lead.

By this point, you couldn’t help but feel the Scotsman could be in for a not-so-long, but painful afternoon…

World number one, Nadal, had won all five previous meetings against Murray on clay, and it was becoming clear that there could be a similar outcome in this match, as the Spaniard raced to a 6 – 3 lead. Advantage Rafa.

Whoever decided it would be a good idea for a pasty Scottish man to wear an illuminous yellow shirt in searing heat does have to question their fashion sense, but Murray’s first love service game came at the beginning of the second set. Maybe it was a lucky colour for him, however unfortunate that may be for our eyes.

Camera-gate was fast becoming a problem in Murray’s service games in set two, and even discussed the issue with chair umpire, Damien Dumusois, after Nadal broke his serve for the second time in as many sets.

Despite playing two five-set matches on the way to the semis (against Phillipp Kohlschreiber and French favourite, Gael Monfils) the British number one didn’t appear to be flagging in energy as he aimed to become the first Brit to reach the Roland Garros final in the open era.

The changeable blustery conditions were beginning to wreak havoc in the French capital, as the Spanish favourite pounced on the first of two break points, extending his advantage to 5 – 2 and a chance to serve for the second set. He took it comfortably. Suddenly, the prospect of a shock victory for Murray was fading further into the distance.

The outstanding statistic for Nadal and the secret behind his success for the second set, was winning every point on his first serve. The Scotsman is arguably the best returner in the game, but it was obvious nothing was going to deprive Spain’s class act of his ninth final in ten years.

Unforced errors continued to decimate Murray’s game, with the net proving to be his nemesis in the third set. Another two breaks on the Murray serve all but ended the match, however, the lack of pressure on the Brit gave him an impetus to show the 15,000 strong crowd glimpses of what he could do before his back surgery in September 2013.

The final straw and match point came from a forehand smash, and although the game may have been 1 hour and 40 minutes of unadulterated pain for Murray, there was nothing more he could have done against the seemingly invincible Spaniard. He can walk away from Paris with his head held high and marching on towards Wimbledon in two weeks’ time, hoping to reclaim his title as champion.

As for Nadal, the final awaits him and is a repeat of last year’s title line up. Djokovic v Nadal, who do you place a bet on…?

My week of sleeping nightmares.

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Coming to the end of my first year at university at 19 means the stresses and strains can become a little too much. I’m generally a happy person for most of the year and like to get on with most people. But I have one main rule; disturb my sleep at your peril.

Now, my problem is that some people are determined to break this rule… This is where the ranting, bitchy side of me comes out, because I clearly don’t react well to a lack of uninterrupted rest. Every day this week without fail, something has woken me and I am fully prepared to get my revenge.

No-one messes with a university student who has pulled an all-nighter writing a 2500 word essay to make the deadline, especially when they have no clue as to what they’re talking about, and they are desperately trying to catch up on sleep after going out clubbing the night before instead of getting on with the essay… Typical student lifestyle, leaving everything to the last possible minute.

9am is still seen as the middle of the night to a bat, and I happen to abide by similar rules. So being rudely awoken by my DIY-loving neighbour first thing on a Monday morning came as a bit of a shock to the system.

He decided to start hammering a sheet of metal directly opposite my bedroom window, prompting my response of threatening to go over the fence, find the power saw he holds so dear and re-home it in a very uncomfortable place. At least he might refrain from starting his pointless shed renovations until after midday.

Sadistic repair men turned up in their van on Tuesday to fix downstairs’ signalling problems with the Sky dish. Once again, before 9 in the morning. Does no-one care that if I don’t get a decent eight hours sleep, I turn into the three-headed dog in Harry Potter?

After an hour of relentless drilling and constant yelling from the repairmen to the neighbours, it was obvious my night was over. Cue day two of constant bickering. By this point, warning people at work to stay out of my way seemed more than appropriate if they didn’t want to get beaten up.

Wednesday seems to be a personal favourite of mine; the bin men’s 6am alarm was a stunning way of waking up. The reversing noise was unfortunately not quite as high pitched that only dogs could hear, so returning home at 4am left me with 2 hours sleep, and another day of dark bags under my eyes leaving me looking like an Alice Cooper tribute act.

Whilst the men in yellow high-visibility jackets leave me so sleep-deprived I may have to be taken away by the men in white coats, the road sweeper does his weekly clean up. I’m starting to come to the conclusion that I should have moved into uni halls instead of choosing to stay at home.

A rare once-a-month treat awaits me on Thursday – why the council can’t coordinate their schedule so that the bin men and the bottle collectors come on the same day baffles me, so a second 6am awakening in a row leaves me grouchier than one of the gremlins being drenched in water…

And this morning seemed to be the tip of the iceberg; there’s nothing more confusing than not being able to breathe because of some furry animal sitting on your face. Being suffocated by your own cat must be one of the worst ways to go!

Between the household feline trying to kill me with the fur (and putting so many claw holes in my arm because he’s hungry that I look like a cheese grater!) and the birds outside chirping away louder than a 30 piece orchestra, I have no hope whatsoever.

Surely the best solution would be to feed the screeching birds to the furry bugger like a Sylvester and Tweety-Pie moment. It gives a whole new meaning to killing two birds with one (cat-shaped) stone.

I’m praying my sleeping patterns will improve at some point so I actually GET some shut-eye. But I have learnt one thing from this week of hell; I clearly have more tolerance for the animal kingdom, but when it comes to humans, my accepting nature is wearing pretty thin. It’s just a shame I never follow through on my elaborate threats…