Keeping up with the Quranteens
Keeping up with the Quranteens

It’s the half term holiday and our Quaranteens are taking a break from their home schooling efforts

HORRIBLE things in life come along every now and then – I know that’s not a massively positive thing to say in a cheery column reflecting on lockdown life for young people – but they do.
Sometimes, these things are a shared experience – the example that comes most obviously to mind need not be named, but I’d wager that this pandemic is the biggest shared horrible thing that’s happened in the lifetime of any young person reading this.
Other horrible things in life are much more personal to you and your situation, and you can feel alone and that no-one else is going through what you’re going through (though this isn’t the case).
Rejection is one of those things; and it’s inevitable in day-to-day life. Perhaps you’ve missed out on a sports team; not been elected to the school council, or perhaps – specifically a Year 13 experience – you’ve been declined a place at a university. Towards the end of January, I was rejected from a university that I’d fallen in love with – and it’s really tough. But, like I said, these fairly horrible things happen – and as corny as it may sound, they happen for some kind of reason.
While I think it’s important that we understand that these things happen, to me it’s equally important to consider how we respond.
As I’m sure you’ve heard before, your reaction to a situation is just as important as the situation itself, if not more. After all, there’s good to be found anywhere you choose to look.
It can really be as small as making a great cup of tea, or finding the time to listen to your favourite song. Or maybe it’s bigger news, like a vaccine rollout.
Rejection is redirection. After the horrible things do happen, something else happens – another day, another shot, more good. And that’s life.
Every day may not be good. But there is something good in every day. Have a brilliant one, dear reader – and if it’s not, I hope you take time to find your good and appreciate it, no matter how small.
Evie Brenkley

Isaac's perfect recipe to sweeten lockdown

A WORLD without flavour is one without humanity.
I am a foodie. I think that food is awesome – it is a source of nutrition, joy, different cultures and so much more. Recently, I have been reading classic sci-fi where food is served merely as a source of nutrition.
It may be goop, a pill or another form that is anything but appetising. It all makes for a great story and helps project this idea of tech propelling us forward.
However, I thought to myself how drab that would be; think about how much you look forward to a good meal, the joy associated with making food at home with family and asking to lick the last bit of hot caramel off a spoon you’re done cooking with. I think that all of this is especially poignant in the context of lockdown when I’m mooching about the house waiting for the next day to arrive – except when it’s pizza night.
Every Tuesday and Friday, I make pizza, and it’s the highlight of my week. I love the taste, smell and texture, but the endless possibilities of flavour are the crowning jewel.
So much diversity can be applied to your pizza – you can have Neapolitan, Chicago/Detroit deep-dish; the cheese, sauce and topping can all be changed... I think you get the idea.
As much as I would love to continue talking about pizza, I’d also like to emphasise how it applies to a far wider brush. This shows the uniqueness of humans. We are the only species that combines ingredients and makes sensory necessities fun. Food is something enjoyable, like listening to music, smelling candles, and appreciating art.
At Christmas, I dug up my great-grandma’s ancient fudge recipe and everyone loved it. Now is as good a time as ever to try new cuisine and cook at home – lockdown may just get a little sweeter.
Isaac McAreavey, 15

Keeping Up With The Quaranteens is edited by Evie Brenkley and Amelia Oates.
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