Shrewsbury School

A Week in the Life of Archie Smyth-Osbourne (Rt UVI)

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Sunday 11 March
Feeling rather worse for wear after a Great Gatsby themed eighteenth on the Saturday night we made our way to Rugby for the National Schools Polo Championships.

Our first chukka was against a Stowe team; although we went 1-0 down early on we managed to pull the game level and forced it to penalties; which comprised spot hit fifteen yards out with an unopposed goal, made trickier than it sounds by the churned up sand playing surface. All level at an awfully tense 1-1 after the first three penalties meant sudden death! Shrewsbury first up, miss! Stowe next, miss! Shrewsbury again, miss! Stowe for the win, miss! After an exhilarating eight penalties Shrewsbury find the back of the net and take the win with rapturous applause from the sell-out crowd. The win meant that Shrewsbury, made up of Will Hunter, Elliot Robinson-Boulton and myself, progressed straight to the final to take on Cheltenham, which after two great chukkas we lost. We came second overall and having collected our rosettes we made the trek back up to Shrewsbury.

Monday 12 March
Monday mornings are always brutal for a Salopian, but luckily my undesirable consciousness only had to last for forty minutes of Spanish before I was able to climb straight back into bed to enjoy a not so productive yet beautiful double PR. Mondays I like to allow myself a no exercise day, thus treating myself to an afternoon catching up on already late work, which usually consists of essays upon essays upon essays. The only factor pushing me to finish this work was the thought of another epic episode of the blockbuster sixth series of Skins which hyperbolically depicts the misery and misfortune that apparently surrounds Bristol teenage life.

Tuesday 13 March
Happy Birthday Mr. Hughes! The day went swimmingly, double French period one and two passed by more quickly than most doubles with the prospect of a double PR to come. Hockey training in the afternoon allowed me to let off a bit of steam in preparation for our cup match against Thomas Telford the following day. In seven o’clock dix we celebrated our housemaster’s big day in typically Ridgemountarian fashion with champagne and bucks fizz in abundance; an ideal start to two hours of top-schools, where I hope any dodgy work will be forgiven. The time between the end of top-schools and bed is devoted to the Rec-room, where we watched the end of a Champions League match where magic Messi tore through the Bayer Leverkusen defence for the fifth time.

Wednesday 14 March
Wednesdays I get my lie in till ten o’clock which provided perfect pre-match preparations, and after lessons we jumped on to the minibus to Telford. Having lost last year we knew it wasn’t going to be easy but when they appeared with one man short we knew they couldn’t be taking it too seriously and consequently thrashed them 5-1. After the match I had to rush back to school for my French oral practice and a well needed trip to the Grot shop, in which an HSR and a red bull restored some spirits again. In the evening I was able to play Power Leagues at Shrewsbury FC where Ridgemount has its weekly fixture against the School House boys; we ran out convincing winners this time stretching our winning streak to three.

Thursday 15 March
I have always dreaded Thursdays and today was no different; it started early with chapel in which Mr. Tonks gave a talk on guilt and shame which turned out to be very interesting. This was followed by a full five lessons and lunch, before I had another French oral practice, this time I was talking about my chosen topic of Henri Matisse, a French Fauvist artist of the early twentieth century. The feedback I got was encouraging although apparently I still need to know more about his twenty-seventh trip to Paris... no rest for the wicked as I bicycled back to the house only to find out my Spanish oral practice had been moved forward and I only had half an hour to prepare; as it turned out it definitely was not enough time, and the lectora was certainly not impressed. The day ended well actually, as I had a tutorial after top-schools which gave me a chance to get away from the chaos in the house.

Friday 16 March
It was a fairly mediocre morning which passed untroubled as I looked forward to having no lessons in the afternoon, which of course meant rubbing it in to my friend who trundled off to the last two lessons of the day. The double PR gave me the opportunity to do some top-schools, which I was going to miss because of the Hockey dinner. For this dinner we went to an Italian restaurant in town, owned by a friend of our hockey coach Mr. Lucas, which gave us a healthy discount, and therefore a three course meal. Towards the end of the meal I was asked, as captain, to make a speech about our fantastic season and also hand over the reins of captaincy which deservedly went to Jimmy Bruce.

Saturday 17 March
The day of the Ridgemount house dance; themed ‘Uniform Dating’ which opened the door for some French maids and air hostesses, which we duly got as well as a couple of prison convicts and plumbers. I managed to miss most of the set up and preparation of the dance as I got the late call up the previous evening to play in the 2nd XV rugby against KES Stratford, disappointingly ending in defeat. When I got back to the house I was surprised at how good it all looked, especially with the three Six-Nations matches distracting everyone. We quickly finished everything off and went through for the champagne reception. Everyone turned up having put in plenty of effort with their costumes, and after the typically awkward drinks and limited conversation everyone knocked back their drinks and moved through to the dance floor, the music provided by the man himself DJ Sparks. The three hours went incredibly quickly, thankfully with no dramas and it seems everybody loved it!

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