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May. 8th, 2012

default

I made a thing...

Jan. 4th, 2011

thought

AV, STV, WTF?

I should begin by saying that this entry isn't an argument against STV, AV or anything else - I've yet to make up my mind on the systems as a whole. However, I do have one major concern with the AV system, and that is the likelihood of coalition governments.

Because there is a wide range of opinion and belief in the UK, and because, if anything, alternative voting systems encourage the growth of minority parties, coalitions are inevitable. It's a bit unlikely that any one of 8 or 9 political parties is going to get over half of the national support.

It's not that I think Coalition governments are inherently weak or ineffective, nor do I think party tribalism is necessarily healthy, but it seems to me that they are fundamentally undemocratic, and as such undermine the strongest arguments FOR AV.

I agree, First Past The Post rarely elects a majority government either, in voting terms. But the party that gets into power on a 30% mandate does at least have that - a mandate of 30%. A coalition government has a mandate of 0.

Like it or not, most people in this country vote for a party, not an MP. Very few people can even name their local MP - they're casting their vote for Cameron, Clegg or Miliband, and the party ideals they represent. Let's say I voted Lib Dem in the last election. Supporters of AV may well argue that under AV I might have more chance of the Lib Dems forming part of a coalition, and that will ensure my vote is represented. They may well argue that a coalition of 3 or 4 main parties represent the views of supporters of 3 or 4 main parties, and that is fairer than only representing the views of one. Which would be true if they did, but they don't.

As the recent coalition has shown us, coalitions do not reflect the needs and beliefs of two parties - they represent neither. Are there any Lib Dem supporters left who feel that the coalition has allowed their vote to mean something more than in would have had the lib dems remained the third party? Yes, they're in power now, but the agreement means they've had to abandon many of the policies their supporters voted them in on in the first place, so how is that a reflection of their votes?

Would the Lib Dems and the Tories of the country have voted for the coalition manifesto? We'll never know. In fact, these policies have never been mandated by the voters - you may have given Nick Clegg your mandate, but you didn't give him your mandate to increase fees. Many voters may have actually changed their minds, voted Labour or whatever, had they known what the hybrid policies would be, but again, we'll never know.

I worry that essentially AV allows for Charismatic individulas to get elected on wild promises that they know they won't be held to in a coalition government (like tuition fees, trident, affordable housing, economic cuts etc.) only to make up whatever they feel like behind the voters back when the election is said and done.

Anyone?

Oct. 21st, 2010

blind

Lets play a game

Step 1: Imagine the following

In the year 2015 a great plague and a great blessing came to earth in a single form. This form spoke directly to the people of earth and told them what was to happen. This single form, neither male nor female, rich nor poor, old nor young, did not speak of why, or how. They spoke of when, not if. They did not speak of who, for this message applied to all that heard it, and everyone heard.

“We have finished updating your world. Systems will be shut down in order for these changes to take effect”

“Everything will be reset. Material wealth and experience will be set at zero. When you wake up, you will own nothing. You will know no one. You will have no qualifications, no work experience, no inheritance. You will have as much as everyone else on earth. You will have who you are”

“When you wake up, you will not be yourself but someone else entirely. This person already exists, in the life you will soon take from them, as they in turn take the life of someone else. You will have not what they have, but be who they are. You may be male, or female, old or young, you may be of any colour, any creed, in any town in any country. You may have children, or dependants. You may be naturally bright, physically strong, beautiful, articulate, and healthy. You may have learning difficulties, a disability, physical deformities or suffer from illness.”

THAT ISN’T FAIR! Said the developed world.

“You will be reset from zero. You will have as much as anyone else on earth”

Was the only response.

“The system will be reset in 100...99...98...”

The call went out to all people in all places – the end is nigh.

“82...81...80...”

Politicians gathered as the people of earth hoped and feared.
WE’VE GOT TO CHANGE THINGS. They concluded, frightened, as they saw the way the world was laid out.

WE’VE GOT TO MAKE THINGS FAIR. People said, for the first time ever.

The call went out to all people in all places.

“Keeping in mind that you may wake up tomorrow a disabled orphan in an African village, what should the rules be?”

61...60...59...

Those who had spent years shouting their opinion of how the world should be were mute. Those who had been stuck mute for years spoke out.

“Do you want to know how to avoid the hardships of being us?”

36...35...34...

And so together they worked, as quickly as they could, knowing that when there could be no change made after the reset. That people would wake up able bodied and strong and no longer care for the people they would never be. That they themselves wouldn’t care were it not for the fear.

17...16....15...

Step 2: What are your recommendations for the post-reset constitution?
Tags:

Oct. 19th, 2010

Eddie

Choose

I’ve been financially fucked for so long that as a general rule i don’t even notice anymore. I say ‘can’t afford it’ in response to most invitations before I’ve even considered the offer. I never think about the things I can’t buy anymore – when fidgeting on my broken mattress it no longer occurs to me that I should get a new one, I’ve accepted that my teeth just look like this, I have managed to avoid walking in circles thanks to my broken headphones. But still, occasionally, there are times when I think ‘I wish I weren’t always broke.’

Take yesterday, for example. It was hard enough balling up my dignity and telling my co-worker that I couldn’t afford the train ticket to my first client presentation. What makes that worse is getting to the tube station and watching her Oyster it through the barrier, with me standing hopelessly on the other side waving for attention.

“You don’t have an Oyster card?” she asked in the sort of tone you ask “You don’t have ears?”. No, scrap that, I know that look – it’s the “You aren’t on facebook?” look. And no, I don’t have an Oyster card. This was followed by the amazed “How did you get to work?” to which I shyly admitted that I walk from Charring Cross. And that I didn’t have £3.20 to pay for the tube. So she had to tap her way back through, buy me a ticket and get her non-journey refunded on her Oyster card, and as a consequence we almost missed our train.

At that point, had someone offered me £200 to be sterilised and I would have gleefully accepted.

Not that I think it would have been a good idea, mind, but that’s my point. It’s an accepted concept that a choice made under duress is no choice at all. We have all at some point been offered an opportunity that we wish we’d not been offered – the chance to screw over a friend, the chance to sell something more valuable than money, the chance to trade the alright for the unknown. All jokes aside, if I were homeless, desperate for drugs, cold and hungry I think I would find it difficult to turn down any offer of £200, regardless of what it cost me. That’s why it’s illegal to sell organs. If someone offers a girl in that position money for sex, it’s considered immoral, exploitative and, by some, as rape. In spite of the fact that the girl in question may have evaluated her options and said yes, in spite of the fact that the long term consequences are arguably fewer, a man making that offer to a woman in such a desperate circumstance would be very poorly viewed and rightly so. And yet

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-11545519

I doubt that these people are being given the opportunity to make the informed choice that is forced upon less needy people making the decision. I wouldn’t be allowed to be sterilised without a thorough consultation, and owing to my age and the fact that I’ve not had children, it would be firmly suggested I reconsider. I as a young person have no idea what I may feel later and therefore cannot make a reasoned choice. Not the way I could if I were off my head, knackered and coerced. In those circumstances I’m more than capable of weighing up my options, apparently.

I’m not denying that it’s a difficult area – children born to homeless addicts have a bleak start in life and most of them will face hardships that never dent my mindset. But that doesn’t mean we can choose to say it would be better if they’d never been born. I could make an argument that children born to parents with a genetic condition face a lower quality of life, but I don’t think we’ll be coercing them all into sterilisation – there’s a word for that, and it’s not a good moral concept.

This programme reduces people to the level of animals, pests that can be spayed to avoid over population. It suggests that because a person is homeless, or an addict, we have the right to take from them the chance of parenthood later on. We make them less than human, devalue their lives and the lives of children born in those circumstances by saying the basic natural rights of humanity don’t apply to them and that they form nothing more than a social problem we’re trying to wipe out. Many addicts turn their lives around, and that’s what we should be aiming for. If that’s what we’re aiming for, we can’t start demolishing their rehabilitated life before they’ve reached it.

What gets me is the quick fix attitude, the idea that alternatives don’t need to be considered for something as unimportant as a drug addicts right to a family of their own. Why not offer a financial incentive for women to turn up to a family planning clinic, pay them a smaller amount each time they turn up for a contraceptive injection – at least then they’d have a choice later on, if they turned their life around, to stop having it.

So yeah, that annoyed me.

Oct. 7th, 2010

morning

Things that are annoying

  1. My headphones have broken. To be fair, this batch have had a good run, but none the less I once again find myself walking to work whilst wiggling the cable, desperately chasing the crackle that precedes three seconds of stereo. Then of course it crackles again and I’ve once again got 3000 decibels blasting into one ear. It’s infuriating. Because I get through headphones the way most people get through train tickets, because I can’t walk anywhere without my music, because I can’t afford new headphones until the 28th of October and because having one ear piece stop working knocks me off balance. What, it does.
  2. Not knowing whether you’re hot or not. Which is to say, feeling chilly, pulling your hoodie on, feeling uncomfortable, pulling your hoodie off...and so on until my co-workers begin to worry.
  3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11485987 I have probably mentioned this to you at some point before, but I’m too posh to push. Which is another way of saying that I as an adult have made a decision about my body and my potential baby that takes into consideration the risks and have reached a conclusion about the healthcare and pain relief I want to receive. But we’ll go with too posh to push. Makes sense that I should be lumped in with everyone else who has made this decision, regardless of motive, and have the whole world make a judgement about a decision that has nothing to do with them. This is of course permissible, although I have since been told that calling women who have a natural childbirth ‘too stupid to know better’ is not. Funny that.

    I am kidding, of course – about that last bit. I don’t think women who elect to have a natural child birth are stupid. I’ve not met and interviewed any, for a start, so I wouldn’t begin to make assumptions. I simply object to the fact that such assumptions are permissible the other way. I digress.

    The reason I am too posh to push, is mush the same as the reason I have pain killers when I go to the dentist. Now, I know that the painkillers they use add an element of risk – I may be allergic, I may have a bad reaction, they add another element to the procedure and hence another element that may go wrong. I am aware also that my grandmothers generation and, indeed, all ‘proper, strong women’ who went before her have managed without. I know too that my taking these painkillers represents an unnecessary cost to the NHS and the taxpayer, given that they’re not necessary for the success of the procedure and millions are probably taken needlessly every year. And yet. I’ve come to the conclusion that if medicine has advanced enough to allow me to go through less pain than my grandmother and if that allows me to have an experience that is no more unpleasant than it need be, I’m morally within my rights to expect the state to provide those pain killers at my request.

    C-sections carry more risk than a pain killer, I’m aware, but that is my choice to make. Child birth in and of itself is very risky, more so than the average filing, and some of those risks are countered by a C-section. Thus my personal choice is made. I know too that they’re more expensive for the tax payer, but if you need the tax payer to stop you feeling something as mild as dental work I’ve no objection to avoiding the unparalleled agony of childbirth. You’d never allow anyone to go through pain on that level unnecessarily for any other reason – at least not if men were also likely to suffer the condition. I know too that there are supposed to be all these ‘bonding’ elements of forcing a baby out of you (most of which I find a bit odd – I suspect having just been through agony like that might have made me a tad distant and resentful, but I’ve never been there so I don’t know) and health benefits to the baby....none of which seem to get mentioned to the thousands of women, mentioned in the article above, who HAVE to have a C-Section.

    “I’m sorry Mrs Simm, the baby is breeched and we’ll have to do a C-section. I’m sorry to say that this means you may never be quite as close to your child and she may lack important antibiotics that would ordinarily have been transferred in childbirth”

    No? Because there is no element of PUNISHMENT there, you see. This poor woman, this good Christian woman, has tried to take on the pain handed on to her by Eves original sin, she has tried to have her baby the way God intended (but in a hospital with modern medical care that Jesus certainly wasn’t afforded...) but she couldn’t. No reason to make her feel bad. But me? I’ve chosen to be a heretic. I should be labelled, judged and scaremongered .

    Shant. Quite frankly.

Oct. 5th, 2010

from Deniz

Who do you think you are?

My company wanted to get to know me. That is to say, my company as an entity. So They asked me some very stange questions and provided me with the following summary - what do you reckon? Accurate?

Restorative
Instinctively, you characteristically notice how people are distinct from one another. These
insights automatically prompt you to find ways to work better with them. You are apt to
discover how you can partner with others in the group. Driven by your talents, you frequently
put your talents, knowledge, and skills to the test by comparing your scores, results, or
rankings with those of your rivals. You naturally look for opportunities to enhance your
chances of victory. Because of your strengths, you frequently think about ways you can to do
a better job of underscoring the good things people do. You intentionally downplay the bad
habits, mistakes, or shortcomings of others. You prefer to help individuals realize what they
have done accurately, properly, brilliantly, or right. Chances are good that you are mentally
quick and highly resourceful. You constantly consider how you can upgrade all sorts of
things in your personal or professional life. You eagerly seek and find opportunities to better
yourself. By nature, you frequently identify parts of your life you want to change for the
better. You also seek ways to upgrade things. You feel renewed mentally, physically, and
emotionally each time you turn around a situation with your innovative thinking.
Input
It’s very likely that you enjoy reading, but you refrain from accepting information on its face
value — that is, its seeming worth or truth. Typically you examine ideas, suggestions, or facts
from a variety of angles. Only then do you judge what is worth filing away, taking notes on,
or remembering for later reference. Chances are good that you read to stimulate your mind, to
broaden your perspective, and to explore familiar as well as unfamiliar subjects. Reading is a
solitary activity, which is one of the reasons why you like it so much. You are quite
comfortable being alone with your books and your thoughts. By nature, you believe you make
great strides mentally when you have opportunities to exchange ideas, theories, or concepts
with intelligent people. You delight in accumulating unusual insights. Often you expand on
these thoughts. You probably are eager to test them during conversations with other
intelligent individuals. This is one way you broaden your knowledge base. Because of your
strengths, you are devoted to reading books, publications, or correspondence that uses many
of the sophisticated, difficult-to-understand, or technical words you know. You have
discovered that your vocabulary is a linguistic powerhouse. The ease with which you insert
these terms into everyday speech or writing places you in a dominant position in others’
minds. These words give you an air of authority that compels people to do what you say or
accept your views. Driven by your talents, you continually sharpen your methods for adding
new words to your everyday vocabulary as well as your academic or professional vocabulary.
You frequently use sophisticated terminology to make sure people who are well-educated
about a topic or an issue really listen to what you say.
Intellection
Instinctively, you need uninterrupted quiet time to be alone with your thoughts. Seldom do
you automatically accept all the ideas of someone who has authored a book, been interviewed
by the media, or been invited to address an audience. Instead, you scrutinize the theories and
concepts of writers, speakers, and philosophers. You probably are a critical thinker. By
nature, you have a rich vocabulary upon which to draw. The words you choose often expand
and challenge your listeners’ or readers’ thinking. Because of your strengths, you pay close
attention to current events. Numerous people merely recount what they heard, saw, or read.
Typically you dive deeper into the topic. You are likely to generate theories, concepts, or
philosophies to explain the reasoning behind newsmakers’ decisions. You routinely gather
information about events, policy statements, people, or crises. Your fresh insights are likely
to draw equally engaged thinkers into the conversation. Chances are good that you engage
others in conversation about the meaning of life. You discuss subjects beyond the
understanding of the average mind. You afford individuals an opportunity to be creative,
study, reflect, speculate, or tell stories. These activities stimulate your thinking. Undoubtedly,
you prefer to spend time with intelligent people who can understand what you are saying.
Driven by your talents, you gravitate to conversations in which intelligent, unemotional, and
reasonable thoughts are freely exchanged. These give-and-take sessions inspire you to
consider what you need to upgrade, perfect, or raise to excellence.
Connectedness
Instinctively, you may enjoy the company of people who have faced and conquered some of
life’s difficulties. Perhaps they have gained wisdom you lack. Occasionally you benefit from
their philosophical insights. Because of your strengths, you occasionally are curious about
people’s diverse philosophies of life. Maybe you search for ideas that link one person’s
fundamental truths with another person’s core values. Perhaps you realize human beings are
linked to one another regardless of their age, language, education, socio-economic status,
nationality, race, religion, or culture. By nature, you have no doubts about being linked in
some way with everything in the universe. This includes all creation and all humankind.
Driven by your talents, you consider people more important than things. The value you place
on humankind guides your decision-making. It also influences what you say and do as well as
what you choose not to say and do. Chances are good that you may be guided by the notion
that no one can live life without some help from others. Perhaps this idea compels you to
consider how what you do and say affects people you know and individuals you will never
meet.
Ideation
By nature, you occasionally contribute more innovative ideas to group discussions than some
people do. You may help strangers, newcomers, or outsiders feel they can share their
thoughts. You might welcome their ideas. Why? They may stimulate everyone’s thinking,
including your own. Because of your strengths, you automatically think of new and different
ways to do things. Your mind is brimming with ideas. You probably are eager to share them
with whoever will listen. Driven by your talents, you favor conversations where information,
facts, or data are considered objectively — that is, emotions do not distort the truth. You pose
questions, evaluate answers, and figure out how things work. Reducing an idea, theory, or
process to its most basic parts provides you with many insights. You are likely to archive —
that is, preserve — your discoveries so you can use them later. It’s very likely that you might
generate certain types of ideas quickly. Occasionally you draw links between facts, events,
people, problems, or solutions. You may present numerous options for consideration. Perhaps
your innovative thinking fosters ongoing dialogue between and among associates, committee
members, teammates, or classmates. Chances are good that you sometimes feel comfortable
sharing your original ideas with groups. Perhaps they welcome your innovations. Maybe they
realize you suggest novel ways of doing things they would never have considered.

Oct. 1st, 2010

blind

I am not a number

I can’t believe I’m going to admit this, but here it is: I am a character in Doctor Who. I am also a character in Eastenders occasionally, or Coronation Street, or Buffy, or anything else I happen to be watching at the time. I live in hope that everyone will read what I’m about to write and, openly or otherwise, admit to doing the same. Either that, or I’m a nutter, but bare with me.

Sometimes I’ll be watching a program and I’ll imagine how I would have sorted things out. I day dream about being Sophie and Sian’s mate in Corrie, so that I could defend their relationship with all the eloquence that the other characters seem to lack. When I pop up in Doctor Who, it is not as a bad-ass dalek-killing defender of the universe – it’s usually to jump in and say something meaningful about the nature of love or life or generally make everyone feel better. And when I watch Eastenders, sometimes I imagine being Syed’s wife, so that I could have told him that it wasn’t his fault he was gay, and that we could work out an amicable split between us...well, sort of. The trouble I have with that last one is that Syed’s wife is necessarily Asian, and I’m not.

I say ‘necessarily’ Asian, because it means more to the story line than the colour of the actress playing her. I could be Martha Jones’ girlfriend, even though she’s black and I’m not, because I can play that role and still be me. Her blackness doesn’t define her, or her relationships. But in the case of the Eastenders storyline...well, Syed can hardly have been strangled by tradition if he was allowed to marry a white, western, smoking, bisexual woman, now can he? So, in order to play that role in my own head, the character I play has to be Asian....and yet.

You would think that wouldn’t bother me, being entirely unracist and all, but it’s not a question of whether or not I’d want to be Asian, I’m just not.

I mention in response to a number of people I’ve heard say that Black History Month is racist, or that we shouldn’t need prantagonists from different cultures if we’re all the same, or that being allowed to be gay is as good as having homosexuality accepted in the community. These comments tend, I’ve noticed, to come from people who are generally in the majority. They don’t celebrate their whiteness, their maleness or their straightness, they argue, so why should anyone else need to celebrate their identity?

Well, for one, because you do celebrate your whiteness, straightness and maleness all of the time, you just don’t realise it because that’s the mainstream. If Will Young writes a love song about a women, no one considers that to be ‘straight pride’ but it would take on a political edge if the song were explicitly written about a man. Stephen Gatley’s decision to work with a male model on the set of BoyZones last music video attracted a lot of attention – even though his band mates were expressing the same level or pride in their sexual identity by posing with female models. Jordan is a role model to women – good or bad – on account of being one, Alex Reid is never asked what he’s doing to ecourage young men. He’s just male, default setting.

Of course, in principle, I’d love their to be no BHM, because I’d love a world where we didn’t need one. I’d love a world where our view of history was made up of the important players, regardless of race (or gender, or sexuality). But we don’t live there. As humans we are naturally drawn to what we recognise and relate to, which means minority interests are often left out.

I take for granted the impact of seeing things I recognise throughout the media, education and everywhere else. If I really think about a world where all characters on television not only look different to me, but all have a different religion, different moral codes, different music, different interests, different clothes, different humour...I begin to feel rather lonely and left out. So i wonder what it must be like being black in this country, or Indian, or Polish.

We’re all equal, yes, but we’re not all the same.

Now, it’d be lovely if we could just include black history in mainstream history – that would be the ultimate aim, obviously. But we have expectations based on what went before us, we still accept as ‘normal’ what we’re used to seeing. And even the most open minded of us is guilty of never thinking about minority issues because we’ve never had to think about them – so why would we think to include them when putting together the ‘mainstream’ world view?

History has been formed by minorities fighting to be noticed, forming a niche, being normalised and finally being accepted. I just think we’re not quite there yet, is all.

Sep. 30th, 2010

Fail

I am fail.

So I got lost on my way back to work. I went out for lunch, to the place I have lunch every day, came back to the office that I come back to every day... and got lost. I was 20 minutes late back to the office that I was only five minutes away from in the first place. Eventually I had to phone Myles and ask him to Google where I was.

How grown up and capable do I feel?

If I deviate even a little bit from the route I know then I lose all concept of where I am. I can never keep an idea of relative distances or directions in my head. I turned a corner, saw something I didn’t recognise, and that was it. I might as well have been in Tibet. This doesn’t bode well. It’s like how so many people here have said ‘you walk from Charing Cross? Oh, that’s quite a nice walk, isn’t it, through Covent garden?’ and I just sort of smile, because I don’t go through Covent garden. I go the way I went on my first day. Actually, that isn’t quite true. For the first week I was walking a good ten minutes further, because even though I could see the road I was meant to be on at the other end of that side street, I’d still been walking all the way to the end of the road, round the corner and back on myself. Because I just didn’t have any concept of where I was walking or that I would have double back. Were it not for the day that I saw someone standing in that side street from both ends I would never have figured it out. Ever.

And do you know what I told my co-workers when they asked me why I was late? I told them I’d gotten lost. Between here and Holborn tube. Good effort kid.
thought

2 entirely unrelated points.

1. I was on the train this morning, and I happened across the most feared sight in all of middle-class-commuterdom. A women who might have been pregnant. Not very pregnant, but possibly pregnant. Possibly just fat. Now, obviously, when you have a seat of a packed train and a pregnant person does not, it is morally unforgivable to stay seated. Also obviously, if you ask a woman with a bit of a belly if she’d like your seat, she may well guess what you’ve incorrectly assumed and be rather put out. Out of interest, what would you guys have done?
2. People do talk – and, crucially, accept – some total bollocks, don’t they? I mean, how many stories have you seen which are casually prefaced with the assertion that ‘in these bleak times of cuts and recession, people are turning to X, Y or Z to cheer them up...’ And we all just nod along, as if to say, yes, I am in a fairly grey place, thinking of the economy often, and a colourful postcard right now would make me feel a lot better...really? I worry about the economy, I do, I read about cuts and do my little left wing intake of breath etc. But it doesn’t really affect how I feel about life generally. If I were to come in to my office eating a slice of fudge cake 1) no one would ask why I was eating it – its’ fudge cake. The reason for buying a fudge cake is that you get a fudge cake out of it 2) if someone were to ask me, and I was to answer ‘I thought it’d make me feel better about the recession’ they’d all look at me like I was a mental.

It’s not that I’m saying that the recession hasn’t had real effects for real people – my brother has been unemployed for 6 months and I’ve given every penny of my wages to my mother for over a year now. I know the stress and anxiety the recession causes. But it doesn’t make the whole world grey, and it doesn’t make me any more or less likely to go to see the latest Pixr film.

Is this just me?

Sep. 27th, 2010

just cool

Here's some stuff. Here. Stuff.

I would like to begin with an apology. I am so sorry, but there is nothing I can do to halt the changing of the seasons. Although I am able to herald the starting of winter, I would like everyone to know that I don’t make it happen. I’m just unfortunate enough to be the One True Sign, of more import or authority than the clocks going back, the little printed notification in your WHSmith diary or whatever the weatherman tells you, that winter is here. And there is nothing more I can do to deny it, and I’m cold. So I’m afraid to say, ladies and gentlemen, The Parka Coat is out.

The look on poor Myles’ face when I told him. I’d have loved to have relented, given just a week more of hope, but it’s nearly October now. My being cold wouldn’t have made it summer, I hope you all understand.

Apologies too, I suppose, to all of the co-workers and friends who will spend the next six months kicking it, treading on it, startled by it, tripping over it and finding that it has taken their chair. If it helps at all, I will be happy to carry up to 5kg worth of stuff in it if we’re ever going out together.

So yeah, I’m all snuggled up in my layers of clothing here at Millward Brown, still thrilled beyond belief that there is no dress code to adhere too. I’ve not done anything productive yet, but that’s mainly because there is nothing productive for me to do. I did do my first piece of real work on Friday – as in, mine from the outset, for an account I will soon be working on, as part of a project I am involved with. That was exciting. Rather hoping I’ve done it all, or done it right, but I suppose only time will tell. (After which the pod spend the last hour or so of Friday swapping youtube clips of 90s dance and 80s hip hop – hey, if you’ve got no work you have to make some, right?) Now it’s back to standby, waiting for this morning’s briefing meetings in which I don’t say much and my lunchtime catch up with my manager during which I probably won’t say anything – still such a teacher’s pet, honestly. Like I’m actually really looking forward to my little feedback session, and properly nervous about what she might say – like, what do I think they do to the ones that don’t make it, you know? But, regardless of this, I’m still all wound up about it, for I live for the opinions of others and the hope of future praise. I think, also, it’s a very telling meeting.

This is my fourth week here. In some ways I’m still new, and in others I don’t feel it. In some ways I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone, whereas in others I feel like I’ve been here forever. I don’t know whether I’m a little frustrated or just a little nervous at how much support I still need, or have much of a concept of how I’m doing, relatively. I always said, it’s important not to judge a job on the first day in terms of how you felt at the end of your last one, because it isn’t like for like. I’ve been saying, give it a month, give it six weeks, then see how well you’re settling in. Thing is, I still don’t know. So, faced with this large and ill defined question on the very nature of myself and my place in life, the new chapter in my personal story and the place and people I now find myself tentatively forging relationships with...I’m changing the subject.

Went to the natural history museum over the weekend. Martin bought me a Lion. His name is Richard.

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