NYO, yo, yo! Getting down and groovy into concert mode.

It’s currently day 10 on the NYO Spring Residency. We have one more day of rehearsing before we are off to Liverpool for our first concert, wahey.

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Chamber Music on NYO’s Inspire Day

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A comparison between the music of Strauss and S Club 7

I’m currently on day 4 of the Spring NYOGB Residency. There’s definitely a different flavour about this one. I don’t know whether it’s because I’m even more stressed than normal, or because I’ve been sleeping at ridiculous hours? I’ve been going to bed before 9pm every night. This is not normal.

NYO had Section Night last Tuesday. Djeikub hosted a great one for the Second Violins. He organised a ‘Children’s Birthday Party’ which involved face-painting, pass the parcel and musical chairs.

Music included the Benga Boys and S Club 7. For all the 90s kids.

(It’s scary to think that in some years all the members of the orchestra will have been born after 2000… It’s 2014. A thirteen year old born in 2001 could join. I feel so old.)

Thanks to the Section Night I made a startling revelation. It turns out that S Club 7′s chart topping song Reach For The Stars is actually rooted in music from the Romantic era, namely the Strauss period.

I realised this the day after Section night when we rehearsed a segment of Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben. 

Listen from 0:24 – 0:30 and then from 1:00-1:10.

Let that tune sink into your brain…

Now, compare with Strauss Ein Heldenleben:

Listen from 28:15 – 29:13, especially to the last ascending notes in the strings.

Can you hear it now?

“I’ve … got … you … and … you’ve … got … me … so … REACH FOR THE STARS!”

Mind = BLOWN.

…You will never think of Strauss in the same way again.


NYO are rehearsing the Ecstasio movement from Asyla today. (See this post.) You all know what this means. Relentless raving.

I better go to breakfast now. Have a splendid day everybody!

A snapshot of my mind at the moment



rights Alokpa
Third country nationals
are treated unfairly I have
exams in 4 weeks and two essays
but I have no clean clothes for NYO and I
leave London tomorrow yet my flat is in a tip
of my tongue I can feel the essay forming in my head
all those cases were worth reading all SEVENTEEN
were worth analysing because the essay will be
better however I haven’t touched my violin
since Sunday so I might fall apart too
at rehearsals from half nine till five
every day for a fortnight but no
worries dear at least you are
playing music with friends
dancing classes on two
nights it’s worth the
endless fun and
lack of

I have remedies for these things. All will be well.


Strauss gives everyone inspiration in Ein Heldenleben. Take on the world like heroes and all will be fine.IMG_2405

There are actually a lot of high passages in the second violin part.

Only time will reveal the outcome of the forthcoming weeks. Hopefully it will not lead to this – me being the shattered wine glass. 


Have a happy Easter holiday everyone!

Final week of 1st year

Lectures have just ended. Just like the last drop of water from a closing tap. No more 9ams. No more soggy hair from 08:30am showers.

Came back home by 11:30 and sat on my bed doing some reading.Trying to teach myself the latter third of the Contract Law course. And everything else. Murrrrgh. Cheered up by some weird-ass judgment from Lord Denning:

I soon begin to get out of my depth. I cannot swim in this sea of semantic exercises – to say nothing of the different degrees of probability – especially when the cause of action can be laid either in contract or in tort. I am swept under by the conflicting currents.

Oh bless the lovely Lord Denning.

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Oh dear… It’s a Monday.

So I get up for my 9am and miss some of the lecture because my bus arrived late. What on earth she talking about? No worries, I thought, I’ll revise it later…

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After filling page with random pieces of information, my hand fell into a trance. The pen felt ill-tempered in my hand. All the while my hand was moving properly, and I felt confident that I was writing good, legible lecture notes.

But soon the hand had a life of its own. I lost control. The information processing ceased to function in my brain. I was going on shut down.

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I was sleep-writing.

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What even is this language?!

In the break between lessons I looked at those papers and laughed a bit too hard for a Monday morning. It’s like I wrote that with the pen held between my toes.

Law is not the subject to study when you’ve had a bad night’s sleep. Or in my case none at all. Lesson learned: do not drink a cup of tea before you go to sleep, even if you have 30 words to cut from your essay.

(Below is not my work, but a very funny first draft written by one of my friends.)

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Good night all.

Friday March 14th 2014 – Woop, woop

Guys, I did it. I wrote that damn essay in two days, and now all I have to do is cut out 230 words before Monday. Before the last hurdle I’m going to tap some words onto this space…

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As much as I dread starting essays I quite enjoy exploring the library for readings. Yeah, yeah, there’s WestLaw and LexisNexis, those banks of legal gobbledygook stored online. But nothing beats a shelf of rusty red Law Quarterly Reviews. Oh the perks of being an academic, I realise them now.
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Tuesday March 11th 2014 – Don’t do that, please.

Today, 6 days before the deadline, I changed my essay topic for my Contract Law assignment. I did this last night at about ten o’clock after giving up on an attempt to complete my previous title. It was one of those occasions where time spent too long writing and editing destroys the entire piece. I was crying inside: how could an essay of such little significance in my life be so dull and frustrating?



My decision received mixed response from my classmates and friends. One old lass encouraged I start afresh and that emphasized that time was still on my side. My flatmate advised me to chill, since she too had not started to write. All in all, very supportive.


But all I want to say is this: a person who claims, pompously, that, because of my late switch, my chances of success in this essay are extremely low should know better than to dampen a classmate’s spirits. You do no dictate my chances, and I won’t let you. 


You have no idea how much your negativity fires me up.

I feel like a raging bull.

But one which beams happiness, glory and excited energy in the course of my rage.




…I’m going to go to orchestra rehearsal now.

I made a mask!

FRIDAYS. Everybody loves Fridays, especially the first-year law bunch. Most of us don’t have classes so we enjoy a three-day weekend! I was looking forward to it so much. My last class on Thursday finished at SEVEN. Seven o’clock, god forbid. Despite the scant attendance (7 people) it was good class on Judicial Review problem-solving with a fab professor. He’s a big name in the Public Law field who wears nice ties and asks scary questions which nobody can answer.

When I returned home I sat by my desk and wrote a to-do list for Friday. Naturally, as tired students do, I slept through my 07:00am alarm and hence failed to follow my own instructions…

I failed at all but one task: making a mask! Why do I need a mask? Well, tomorrow night my university Law Society is hosting a masquerade ball at the Natural History Museum!

Initially I planned to purchase a £3 mask from Amazon or eBay, but as the week progressed I couldn’t bear the thought of becoming any poorer. I had already bought my week’s shopping at Marks & Spencer’s (I know I’m a student, don’t ask. I just wanted a change from Sainsbury’s!) and arranged a violin lesson for this Sunday – ha, ha, the day after the Law Ball. A further three pounds would hurt too much. Also, I quite fancied creating my own mask. It’s been so long since I doodled or attended art classes.

Over the term my room has welcomed a lot of pointless objects. For instance on the floor there’s a cardboard box from about a month ago which previously contained goodies from home. There’s nothing inside. It’s just an empty waste of space on the floor.

But with junk comes creative freedom. I didn’t pay for any materials.

This is how I made my mask.


First, I googled ‘venetian mask template’ to find different shapes and styles.

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I wanted a simple shape. Nothing too ‘flowery’ or ‘fiddly. The task of finding a suitable one took quite a long time. An elegant ‘flicky’ shape seemed ideal at first. But after careful scrutiny of its effect on my face I realised that it made my nose look fat. No thanks.

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Some of the eye-holes were equally unflattering. I had to adjust the angle of the slant to fit my own peepers.

Eventually I chose the template in the top-left photo.

The next step was to cut the shape. I had some hard yellow paper from an unused folder. After tracing and trimming I coloured it in with black pen.



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Most party masks are decorated with beads and jewels and lace. I didn’t have any trinkets! Eventually after searching my supplies I found an old jewellery bag in my drawer lined with silver swirls. I cut the seams and stuck the material over one eye. Asymmetry is cool. photo 93E33549-71C5-42AB-B458-09F2756894B2-2031-000001BA128D6F24_zps47e1f7af.jpg

I had a pencil from last term which I received at a law firm event. I never used it and left it on my desk completely unsharpened. Today I mounted it onto a piece of card and superglued it on the inside of the mask.  photo 7B408665-A6D2-41AA-80D6-892E207A307F-2031-000001BA1B5E7B59_zps4a5b8d7b.jpg

Then the glue had to dry, so I ate a chicken drumstick.

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Ta da! photo 9FBE5EA2-3C8F-4818-ACB1-E13822753C76-2031-000001BA25162548_zps48163762.jpg


Isn’t it cool? photo F8D2D495-1829-4C6C-9EF9-3A2FB380F4E0-2031-000001BA3B63DDAD_zpsd0a32506.jpg


It might clash with my dress and jewellery, both of which are gold and bronze. But I love it! Can’t wait to go to the ball tomorrow!

Also I’m sorry for the gloomy face. I think the mask forces me to try and look more demure.

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Have a good weekend everyone!


Brodsky Quartet Binge

I’m ill today. I missed two lectures and could hardly follow my EU tutorial.

I spilt cough medicine over my notes. I knocked over the bottle and pink splodges oozed over the black ink. Tissues were not enough so I wiped off the highly viscous substance with baby wipes. It looks like a rosy watercolour wash now.

I had a nosebleed in bed. The last thing I want to do is scrub my sheets.

I’ve taken medicine, drank tea and eaten a banana. I don’t intend to move until the KCLSO rehearsal tonight, nor do I wish to do things which require deep contemplation. The bed has a new sheet and I am slumped against the wall with my laptop on my legs.

YouTube beckons me. Look what I found? The Brodsky Quartet.

Nerdy, sweet, quirky, cheeky. Charming. Really cool people. Skip to 3:08 in the video below for an extreme dose of flirt.

More classics:

And a hypnotic number to finish:

KCLSO are starting new repertoire for the Spring Project! So tonights rehearsal will comprise sight-reading, yay. I better take a nap now.


(You’ll have noticed that I made a massive apostrophe error in the paragraph above. I can’t even write a sentence of sound grammar here let alone my own coursework. I’m not going to edit it; I’m leaving it for my own amusement.)

Nice Reading Week. Nice.

Date: 23/02/14

Time: 14:35

I’m typing this blog post in transit on the Northern Line. In my bag I have a Criminal Law textbook. There are three hefty chapters to read for tomorrow’s tutorial but I’m not really feeling the vibe for academic reading on this train. Maybe in three stops when I change to Victoria the opposite will happen. After all the Victoria is the most inspiring and joyous of all London transport routes.

My second reading week of year 1 is coming to a close. I’m feeling good about what I’ve done and have much to share.

- I played Scheherazade last Sunday eve with King’s College London Symphony Orchestra.

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- I went to my Yoga and Mindfulness class.

- I studied law. Footnotes dominating every page of this article.

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- I went to an open day at Norton Rose Fulbright, one of the top global law firms in the world. Did you know that all new trainees undergo a medical procedure before they start work? The distance between you and your computer screen is measured, they give you a special seat if you have bad back problems and likewise with keyboards and mouses. Winner. Absolute winner for me. Also the office is situated beside Boris Johnson’s digs and has a view of the Thames.

- London Fashion Week was on next door to King’s. I received a free bottle of coconut juice (with orange flavouring) in passing, but other than that the event was a nuisance! Try getting to the library when the pavement is blocked by people dressed like… No, I dare not insult the fashionably intelligent. But they were just dwindling around the entrance with arms hung like limp chimpanzees and expressionless faces. All I’ll say is this: the stylists and bloggers look normal in the context of a fashion magazine, but ridiculous amongst the normal dressed folk.

- I went swimming and swam two length short of 60 because the swim team kicked everyone out the pool. I fumed because I didn’t reach the next ten.

- I performed in the University of London Symphony Orchestra last night. Again I was ladled the task of printing concert programmes. It was worse this time; I was printing them 45mins before the concert began and so went on stage with an empty stomach! But some fellow violinist friends donated a pain au chocolat, a hot cross bun and a ham and cheese sandwich in the interval. It turned out to be a great night nonetheless, for many other reasons too which I shall not disclose right now.

- I’ve started wearing my hair in a ponytail.

- I attended the KCL Annual European Law Conference.

- My application to study abroad was successful and I was selected to study at Strasbourg University in my third year.

- I dropped my phone on concrete.

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A nice packed week coming up. Never a dull moment! I take inspiration from my friend’s words:

I refuse to live a dull life! I don’t want my tiredness to stop me from doing things.

(But within reason.)