I talk about my sister, Rosa, a lot; my usual joke is that telling the stories of what she gets up to halfway around the world makes me seem way cooler. But for a couple of weeks in the middle of summer, I finally got to share a bit of her life in Berkeley, California, and come away with some fun stories of my own. We spent days wandering the hills of San Francisco; crossed the Bay to check out Marin County; made our way to Land’s End to paddle in the Pacific; spent a day in Davis where Rosa first lived in CA; and even navigated to Muir Woods via public transport.

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Friday 7th June 10.30pm day seven: 6.15pm¬† Calm day on the whole, but a bit gloomy also. Couldn’t really work out why, but my violin lesson didn’t particularly help, unfortunately. School was slow and quiet, and things felt as though they should be stressful but weren’t. It came to a head in French, as per usual. Raged over small things, but got better in the car on the way home talking to Dad.

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Thursday 6th June 8.40pm day six: 8.00pm – back to school I was right, it was very strange having to get up so early. We were bombarded with messages about deadlines and applications and open days in assembly, but the rest of the day was taken up mostly with introductions to our new courses, as we start A2 work today. This will all culminate in coursework followed by a set of exams – just three for me – this time next year, which will then decide which university I end up going to after my gap year. No pressure…

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Wednesday 5th June 10.30pm day five: 8.45pm – scroll A calmer day than I had anticipated. Got up later than I wanted and practised my instruments. Springsteen tickets arrived – Rosa and I got excited. Eventually I got my act together and went for a short run – a few weeks ago I went out for the first time in months and discovered just how unfit I am, so now I’ve recovered from exams and so on I am starting to make an effort to get my fitness back to what it was this time last year.

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