The Secret Door by Ronan J

Posted in Writing we do at school

The heat and smoke that I’d been enduring for years was finally getting to me. I could feel my lungs burning as I swung my pick for what could be the last time. The mines were where I had been working since the age of seven, working hard for eight hours a day to feed and nourish my family. Only to die six years later from lung cancer at thirteen; as my weary mottled hands swung the axe into the stone wall I noticed a bright white light emanating from the rock. My curiosity spurred me on and in less than five minutes I had revealed a door. It was made of a varnished mahogany with a large silver lion knocker centred in the very middle. The bright white light that I had seen was protruding from the sides of it, lighting up the cave with its eary glow. I instinctively hit the lion knocker. I don’t know what I was expecting but it certainly wasn’t what happened next. The large Imposing door swung open revealing… The greenest place I had seen in my entire life, I stepped through and fell into a swirling lake. Instinctively, I shouted out as the cold hit me but my mouth filled with water as I drifted below the surface. Living my whole life in a mine I had never taken the precaution of learning to swim therefor I was helpless to the power of the great lake as it dragged me under. Luckily I passed out and floated to the surface of the water. I drifted for miles until I was awoken by the sound of rushing white water. Looking around me I remembered where I was, trying to remain calm was getting increasingly difficult due to the Growing sound of crashing water. Strangely my cancer had become non-existent. Not that I’m complaining of course. The water was becoming unbearably loud and I was looking around, trying to find the cause of the noise. As I turned left I saw that the water abruptly ended in a waterfall. Panicking profusely, I tried kicking away from the waterfall but to no avail. I was dragged over the edge and fell into a deep pool at the very bottom. My legs had been shattered by the fall and woke up screaming to the excruciating pain. I stared straight into the eyes of a snake. Petrified with fear, for I had a snake phobia. I was baffled and joyous when to my great relief the snake ignored me and slithered away. My moment of happiness dissipated as soon as it had arrived for I realised that there was no way for me to get back home. Even if my legs were working for I had come here by some unimaginable force. Whilst I was thinking these thoughts I could feel myself drifting away from the world and as my eyes closed for the last time I wasn’t aware of my death. How strange…

Flashback by Ronan

Posted in Making Waves, Writing we do at school

I’ll never forget the day I witnessed the Godly Pip Staffieri, ride his titanic oak board towards the glinting golden sand of Towan Beach.
I was on holiday in Newquay, Cornwall, to escape the loud busy city of London when that unforgettable memory was embedded in my mind.

The fiery heat of the August summer sun drove me to the ice cream of Staffieri’s Cones, which I now know evolved to be the famous Kelly’s.
Queues are officially living nightmares; I had been sweltering under the steamy unrelenting sun, for a quarter of an hour or so, was starting to seriously regret not sticking a hat on my sweaty head this morning. The constant swell from the Atlantic Ocean was almost hypnotic… then, I realised that I was at the front of the queue. I opened my mouth to speak, and then noticed the distant look in Pips’ eyes; I didn’t blame him I had almost drifted off myself. Suddenly he announced most apologetically; “Sorry folks surf up”. NO! It can’t be. I was outraged and furious at Pip.

A few minutes later Pip emerged from the back of the aluminium van in a knitted bathing suit. Pulling a metal trolley from the underside of the van, I realised what I had earlier thought to be a huge ice cream cone, was actually a titan like board unlike anything I had ever seen. Coffin lid boards I had seen before, there were even people using them right now in the four 4ft swell, but never had I seen something so mind blowing as the colossal surfboard Pip managed to drag onto the trolley. Shouts of complaint followed him across the beach. I noticed that one of his legs was shorter and weaker than the other. That didn’t seem to affect the way he grappled the board of the trolley and walked it into the waves.

Most of the tourists looked worried or expectant, waiting to see if the ice cream man would ever make it back alive. The sun was just starting to set when Pip emerged from the glinting sea, riding the monstrous waves like God himself. Everyone was applauding and cheering when the surfing master arrived back on Towan beach and shouted joyfully: “ Ice creams on me.”

Papino Staffieri Biography

Posted in Biographical Writing, Making Waves, Writing we do at school

Pip Staffieri was the godfather of surfing and the 99 cone. His parents moved to England at the turn of the 20th century, Pip was born 18 years later in Lanhurne Avenue, Newquay, Cornwall.

Augustine Staffieri [his dad] was born in 1878 and died in 1918 Pip was raised by his mother Phillippa Staffieri. He had polio at two years old, but despite that he was still a long distance swimmer, and joined a canoeing club at the age of twelve. His early schooling and childhood are unknown but we do know that his career in his young teens and early adulthood was as an ice cream man. This job ran in the family and Pip rode horse drawn carriages down the beach selling ice cream for many years before he was inspired to surf.

Pip Staffieri was inspired to build his own surfboard after seeing the legendary Jimmy Dix, and his wife’s, Hawaiian boards lying in the sand at towan beach in Newquay 1939. Pip had already seen a board like this, in his dentist’s surgery encyclopedia. In fact it was the same encyclopaedia Jimmy Dix was inspired by. Within weeks of seeing Jimmy’s board, pip had created a 13ft tall, hawaiian,Tom Blake style, oak board, with brass screws and a nose plug. Pip varnished his board with care and eventually retro fitted the first fin in the country. He carried this behemoth down to the beach every day after he was done selling ice creams. At this time in Cornwall people were belly boarding on planks but not stand up surfing like the amazing Jimmy Dix and Pip Staffieri.

Pip received the first fibre glass board in England from an American surfer in 1962. In later life he travelled to Waikiki, Hawaii to meet the people who had been surfing for hundreds of years before him. Papino Staffieri Sadly died on the 28th of June 2005 and he will surely be remembered as the first stand up surfer of the 1930’s.

Visit to Telemark

Posted in Ronan's Norwegian Adventure

Last weekend on the 17th – 20th my family and I went to visit friends in Telemark, a county to the west of Oslo, to go skiing. It was the beginning of the school holidays so everyone was going to their cabins in the mountains (it is axiomatic for a Norwegian to have a cabin). We stayed in the attic floor of a big wooden house, which overlooked the lake and had an amazing view of the mountains. Early the next morning, our hosts took us up a winding path through the mountains to go to a groomed cross country skiing trail. My brother couldn’t go skiing (obviously) so we were given this sled mobile like thing that you pull about behind you when you ski (it’s called a pulk).

We started out the skiing day by going down an incline to get used to the feel of it. Soon after we sat down to enjoy a snack called kvikk lunsj, which is technically a Kit Kat with a different cover. Later in the day after many fails and discoveries we sat down to roast some sausages on a campfire; it was delicious and was namely one of the best bonfires in my life. After that we decided to head back. I was glad about the progress I had made in my skiing. On the way back we went swimming at the local pool.

Next day was taken up by skiing again but this time we were to go on a non groomed trail. We started down the first hill and… I fell over, not a surprise. A little after my mistake we came across a steep incline. My mum had to transfer the pulk over to Lars, the dad of the family we were staying with. As I was going up I realised that we would have to go back down this killer hill (I was not looking forward to it). We carried on skiing for a while until we came to an open plain were we slid off the track to have our lunch. While we were there I discovered that this snow was great for packing so I rolled up some snow and made a snowman. The 3 year old of the hosting family loved it and so did Leif (my brother).

Next we set off back: as our group got to the killer hill I tried to think up a plan for going down it. I could think of nothing other than falling down, which when we came to it was exactly what I did. Later that day we began our trip back to Oslo and I thought whether I would see any snow again: I hoped so.

Snowy Day

Posted in Ronan's Norwegian Adventure

Today my family and I decided to go skiing seeing as it was the first time that we had a chance of going up to Frognerseteren (the end of the Metro line). We caught the 9:40 Metro and were at Frognerseteren in half an hour; by the time we had got there the Metro was so full that it was actually slowing down! Once everyone had gone their separate ways, we decide to cross the tracks and go down a separate ski trail, which was recommended by a lady on the Metro. After me, my parents and my baby brother had got suited up for our trip we set off.

This was only my second time skiing and I was not a pro yet so I had some failures and mistakes, but after 20 mins I was getting the hang of it: until I came to a hill and fell over face first. A little after that we came to a crossroads in the path, we carried on going straight and emerged into a open space of snow, which was actually a lake frozen over. As we were going through I realised that it was the place that my school had gone sledging two day’s earlier, I told my parents so and they said they already knew: well mum did.

Soon after, we came to another crossroads and went straight on again then we went up a steep hill which ended at the top in a proper ski lift thing. We realised we had made a mistake and went back down the hill with a few falls from me and dad, but got down safely with no injuries. We went back the way we had came and turned off to go to the Frognerseteren restaurant, were we sat outside and had lunch. On the way we saw a snowbow, a rainbow made from snowy mist; I was amazed and awed at how pretty it was. Next we decided to check out the toboggan renting place and found out that for a kid it was only 50Kr 5£. Then we returned to the Metro and thus was the end of our day in the snow.

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Winter in Røros Norway pt.2

Posted in Ronan's Norwegian Adventure

When I woke up in the morning I decided that I was going to explore the town, so at 10 in the morning I got out and noticed a kick sled [which is like a sled scooter half-breed] and took it through town with my dad. It was an amazing sensation and it was one of my best moments in Norway so far.

At the end of our route through town I noticed a little road leading to a load of snowy hills, I asked if we could go but dad said that I should have lunch first.

A little after lunch I went out with my sled and went down the road with dad. When we got to the top of the hill I asked what the hills were and I was answered with the answer of… “These aren’t hills they are slagghaugen waste from the copper mining”. We spent all day on those hills and when we got back we were cold and wet but had just had the time of our lives. [To be continued]

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Winter in Røros Norway pt.1

Posted in Ronan's Norwegian Adventure

This winter was probably one of my best Christmases ever. I had so much fun in Norway; I would recommend it to anyone who likes snow.

My Christmas started in Oslo Norway where my grandparents had just arrived and I myself had stopped school, so me and my relatives booked an eight hour train and went to a small snowy white town called Røros.

When we got there I immediately jumped into a snow bank and all the water soaked into my jeans. Our converted barn was amazing but its doorways were so small that only I could fit through without banging my head. The beds were very comfy and I never had less than 10 hours of sleep. (to be continued)

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Winter Sports!

Posted in Ronan's Norwegian Adventure

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Two weeks ago we went to a flea market in a school called Hasle, where we bought three pairs of skis, ski poles and a pair of skates; this is a picture of me trying the skates on. There were loads of people and loads of second hand items so it was incredibly crowded; it was really cold too and my feet were stinging by the time we got on the bus.

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This weekend we went to Frognerseteren the top of the t-bane where we tried to ski but there wasn’t enough snow so we went on a walk. We also went to winter land (vinterland) which is only 10 minutes away from our flat where we went skating. The Ferris wheel is awesome and I really want to go on it. The skating went really well seeing as I’ve never gone before: I was standing up by the end and I think I’ll be a master by the time I get back.

Snow and Games

Posted in Ronan's Norwegian Adventure

Last weekend we moved but I didn’t blog about it because it snowed for the first time. We moved for the third time; it wasn’t hard because by that point we were becoming experts on moving house. The snow packed really well on Saturday and I had loads of fun making snow forts and having snowball fights. In the afternoon we went to XXL [which is a sports shop] to buy proper gloves and a sled. By Sunday more snow had fallen but it wasn’t good for making stuff. That didn’t matter because I was planning on using my sled. It turned out that the sled… worked really well!! I had loads of fun going down a hill in the park until I fell in the pond.

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Fox Island

Posted in Ronan's Norwegian Adventure

Oslo is in a bay by the sea so there are loads of ferries leading to different islands. Last weekend we went to an island called Hovedoya; it was one of the biggest islands and was closest to Oslo. We had been walking around the island and had just sat down to eat lunch when a fox appeared looking for scraps. We finished our lunch and had set off again when two foxes came and walked across our path: I was amazed. I had never been in such a close proximity to a wild fox before and they both looked really healthy too.

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Roald Amundsen vs Captain Scott: a Norwegian Perspective

Posted in Ronan's Norwegian Adventure

Roald Amundsen was born in 1872 and died in 1928. The Norwegians described him as the greatest polar explorer ever. He was the first person to ever travel through the Northwest Passage and to the South Pole. We went to the Fram museum last Saturday which is named after his ship. We learned at the museum that the key factor in his success was that he new how to use sledge dogs because he learned from the Inuits. Amundsen and Scott were trying to reach the South Pole at the same time: Amundsen arrived at the South Pole on the 14th of December 1911 3pm; Scott arrived on the 17th of January 1912. He died on the way back to his camp on the 29th of March 1912.

The amazing thing is that I only live 5minutes away from were the ship set off. I also went on the actual original ship that went to the South Pole. It was amazing because all of it was made out of wood and a lot of the original fittings, like the wheel, were still in place.

I also want to tell you about my new school; I started last week and it’s not that bad. Our topic is the body so it’s not new, but I enjoy the lessons. I’m already learning a lot of Norwegian but I’m not that good.

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Oslo Reptile House

Posted in Ronan's Norwegian Adventure

Hello everybody, on Saturday morning I went to Oslo’s reptile house. It was awesome. I am showing you some of the most interesting creatures but there were loads more amazing animals: tarantulas, black widows, annacondas, geckos, axolotls, tree frogs,caimans and many more.The pictures show a snapping turtle with the adaptation of having a fake worm in its mouth, a scorpion eating a cricket and a massive iguana.

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City in Norway

Posted in Ronan's Norwegian Adventure

This a photo of Oslo that we took from the plane. It shows you where we live(red circle), mum’s work(blue circle) and my school(yellow circle). My school isn’t close but I can take the metro to get there.The metro is basically a train that stops of at loads of different places , a bus train.My school stop is almost in the forest and if you take the metro further you can ride a toboggan back to the school!

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Ronan’s Norwegian Post

Posted in Ronan's Norwegian Adventure

Hello everyone! I’m finally in Norway after two planes two 1 hour car drives and a hotel. Our flat is brand new and right in the middle of the city so some things don’t work: e.g. wifi, lights and Leif’s cot.

Here are pictures of the remarkable amount of luggage we took, what’s above the clouds and Norway in general: lakes, hills and mountains.

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Iceberg Acrostic Poem by Ronan

Posted in Frozen, Writing we do at school

Icebergs

Immeasurable glaciers alter and shift making a slow course towards the Atlantic Ocean.

Crushing layers of ice carve their way through Greenland’s mountain ranges.

Extraordinary sheets of frozen water level continents and flatten mountains.

Bellowing icebergs dwarf man’s biggest buildings.

Explosions in the glacier send chunks of the cliff face tumbling into the seething ocean.

Rugged blocks of solid water flow gracefully through the sapphire sea,

Groaning as they split into more frozen wonders as they float away to isolation,

S lowly melting and flowing into the endless ocean.

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