After the stressful mock exams for the Lower Sixth Form, it was finally time for us to relax! So, I decided to join the Boarders’ Cakebake, which was organized by Ms Farrant and Mr Shaw last Saturday afternoon. I was really looking forward to it because in China, ovens are not commonly used in Chinese cooking, so I had never made a cake before! The ingredients were laid out clearly on recipe cards and our task was to bake 4 kinds of cakes: chocolate muffins, carrot cake, Swiss roll and ginger cake; we were given a free choice of any four types of cake beforehand!
At first, I thought that having to bake 4 cakes would be relatively hard and time-consuming even if we did have the whole Saturday afternoon. However, it was not as complicated as I thought it would be and in fact it was an extremely enjoyable experience for me, mixing and adding ingredients like a chemist with friends, although we did manage to make quite a lot of mess! We all had a wonderful time and the end result was very successful. After 2 hours of waiting for the cakes to cool down, the cakes were decorated beautifully by us. Although it was a shame, I could not show my parents, I was able to share my cakes with my close boarding friends and my parents had to make do with the photos! I am looking forward to more cooking next term!
Shi Ying Qu
February 2012: on the way back to Ridgeway after a Russian supper of stroganoff and rom baba, organized by Mike Gibson up at School, snowflakes whirled on the street in honour of the Russian evening! In House the guests were treated to talks by me (!) on Russian music, Alex Kikel on Russian literary figures and Gleb Silyutin on Russian History. A Russian folk dance was then led by Mandy Situ, assisted by Anton Petukhov and guests were given a dancing lesson with interesting results! Aigul Artykbaev hosted a ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’ quiz on Russia to make sure everyone had been listening and the evening ended with a feast of traditional food which Miss Farrant had sourced from a Russian deli, and a variety of Russian games! We left happy – whilst the snow was still falling softly outside in true Russian fashion! Thank you to Mike Gibson and Miss Farrant for all their help and to pupils from across the Houses, especially Lina Badelova who masterminded the event; it was certainly a taste of Russia for all!
Despite being far away from home, it was fantastic that we could go to the Feng Shang Princess in order to celebrate Chinese New Year. The restaurant was truly unusual, a golden and red boat, moored on the side of Regent’s Park Canal and illuminated by fairy lights. At first glance, I felt back home. Both the dining environment and dishes were wonderful, (especially the dim sum) and we all enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. It was a really a good chance to introduce Chinese culture to my friends and other pupils in boarding house, however, having said that, I found teaching people how to use chopsticks quite challenging! After the main courses, Lorna, Nikki and Sam, were joined by Yianni and Toby, singing Karaoke. Many thanks to Miss Farrant and Mr David Tan, who hosted the whole evening; we had an amazing time. Also, Happy Chinese New Year to everybody!
As excitement was building for the Christmas holiday, the boarders took a trip to Somerset House, to spend an enjoyable evening ice-skating and drinking hot chocolate. Despite the rain, everyone donned their skates and took to the ice for an hour of fun accompanied by music, which seemed to fuel the enthusiasm and the Christmas cheer. With the skill level varying from those spending most of the evening sprawled on the floor (looking up at the beautiful surroundings and the towering Tiffany Christmas tree), or using a push along penguin to stay on two feet, to speed skating backwards dragging others along, everyone had a brilliant time. Not only was this trip a chance to show off our moves on the ice, but also it was a welcome break from the normality and routine of school life. All of the boarders had a great evening, with this fantastic way to begin the Christmas celebrations.
(U6, Burton Bank)
Not long after having settled in from the frenzied Christmas break, a group of young ‘scientists’, led by the resident expert, Mr Watterson, went out to hunt for stars on a crisp Saturday evening. As we were setting out the equipment needed, braced by the cold night air, the court was filled with laughter and excitement. A series of ‘Oohhs’ and ‘Ahhhhs’ prevailed as people looked eagerly in turn through the telescope. Luckily, stars like ‘Capella’ and ‘Betelgeuse’ could be seen clearly in the night sky and everyone was treated to a spectacular view of Jupiter and its stripes, along with its moons Io, Europa, and Calisto. We had a magical time spent just gazing in wonder at the heavens, and fulfilment and gratitude could see seen on everyone’s face as they made their way back to Ridgeway. Back home, a wide range of food and drink had been prepared by Ms Farrant after Science evening and we tucked in happily. This memorable night would not have happened without the excellent organisation and support given by both Ms Farrant and Mr Watterson, therefore a big thank you goes to both of them!
As the boarders settled into School ready to start the new academic year, we all joined together in the beautiful setting of the Headmaster’s Crick Garden to celebrate, with an evening of enjoyment and delicious food, kindly prepared by Mike Gibson and the catering staff. The annual barbeque is one of the boarders’ favourite occasions as it is a time when everyone can catch up with friendly faces after a restful summer break and meet all the new members of the community that have come from different parts of the globe. Consequently, Burton Bank, Collinson and Ridgeway all gathered in great spirits to enjoy delicious burgers, hot dogs and ice cream, all of which made the atmosphere summery and relaxed. The sun was shining brightly and everybody was full of joy and determination to achieve the best they possibly could out of the Mill Hill year that lay ahead; not only through the School day but throughout boarding life. The Boarders’ Barbeque is a very special event as it makes one realise that being a boarder is being part of a big happy family; we are glad to be home!
The Ridgeway House bowling evening for all pupils and House boarding staff at the beginning of the autumn term was hugely enjoyable and provided a great welcome, especially for the new boarders at Mill Hill School (like me)! I was able to talk to and socialize with many students from all year groups in a completely different situation, which helped me to feel even more settled into my alternative home. Many battles were fiercely fought and the stars of the lanes were unanimously agreed to be Will Cheng, Yianni Fafalios, JJ Jackson and Marco Wong. On our return to House an American themed feast of food had been prepared and we tucked into hot dogs, burgers, Krispy Kremes, tortilla chips and dips and an abundance of tropical fruit (to dip into the popular Ridgeway chocolate fountain). A great night all round!