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Posts Tagged ‘UK’

My Saturday (J-O Visit to Southampton)

Okay so I know it’s only been a few days since I declared this blog to be over but, considering what happened when I saw J-O yesterday, I thought I’d want to share it. I thought about doing it through my Twitter account but it would take too long, I’d have to do it here on my blog. I mentioned this on Twitter and my followers persuaded me to share it here. I don’t think any of you will like what you hear though. I am sure many of you will think I am crazy, I am an idiot. You are probably right. But I did it. I don’t regret it. Now you will know it, after the ‘read more’ link.

P.S: I am not ressurecting the blog, this is just a one off, though what I said the other day still applies.

Read more…

Thinking About Jobs

Recently I realised that my time at uni is swiftly drawing to a close and I will need to being looking and thinking about jobs right now. One thing I’ve been thinking about in the last few years is entering the Civil Service. The only trouble is that currently there is a recruitment freeze, with the only way to get in to the Civil Service being the Fast Track scheme for graduates. Looking at it a few days ago I was shocked to discover that the deadline for applying for next year is at the end of November. I began looking on the internet to see what it was all about and discovered that in 2008 there were 22,000 applications for the 500 places on the scheme. I’d dread to think what that number is now.

It’s also quite daunting to read about. As it’s a scheme for “future leaders of the civil service”, you are posted to several different departments over a number of years then thrown fairly quickly (by most standards, by govt standards especially) into management. Thinking about me, somebody who is just coming out of university, with no relevant experience, to be thrown headfirst into something like that is crazy. Not that I’d get onto it at this stage. The only thing working in my favour (well, in only one sense) is that the tests for the opportunity for an interview (which is basically what the initial online tests are) is based on competency rather than experience. I say in only one sense because I have no experience, but at the same time I don’t know if I’m going to be any good at the competency tests. If there are any that involve maths, I’m screwed.

Even if I do pass these online tests, I doubt I’d get any further. They’d take one look at me, a fresh-faced uni graduate with no experience, not even involvement in running a uni society on my CV, and say “next!”. So, I am thinking about doing some unpaid internship work with a local MP. Sure, it’s not exactly great work, in a constituency office (since I doubt there’s any chance of getting anywhere near Westminster) with no idea what work you’ll be trusted with, outside making tea and stuffing envelopes, but it’s a start.

Although, saying that (the not-getting-anywhere-near-Westminster bit), my mum’s friend’s son has said that he knows a Lord that is in need of an intern. I’ve said that I’m interested but would like to know what sort of work I’ll be doing. The thing is, I can’t imagine that Lords need many staff. Most of them only turn up a few times a year, vote on something, maybe debate a bit, then leave. They certainly don’t have constituencies, or being a minister (usually; there are one or two Lords that have govt jobs I believe) to worry about. He could be a Lord that sits on a Committee, which would need some extra work and so maybe a few staff, but surly those would be permanent staff, paid by the House? I can’t see Lords needing their own staff to do that work. Anyway, who knows. It might actually be interesting, useful. Certainly it would be nice to get a taste of the real Houses of Parliament, even if I would be dealing with Lords, the less interesting people (certainly compared to MPs).

Who knows what will happen. Certainly if nothing comes of these things I will have no idea what the hell I’m going to do for a job that would actually give me the sort of experience that might help me get into the Civil Service another year (the Fast Stream scheme not just being for graduates straight out of uni). Certainly if nothing comes of it then I will have no reason, I should think, to move to London  and have another shot with J-O…

The Fateful Day

Yesterday I wrote about how I pissed off J-O on Friday by saying I would not be able to meet her at the airport on Sunday (today). Well, I managed to talk to her yesterday and, although she was still annoyed with me, I think she realised how unreasonable she was being. She was still upset though, this time because she found out that she was not going to be the au pair of the family she thought she was going to, it was a new lot. (Although, to be fair she had turn the others down so she shouldn’t really have been surprised). She was upset because she didn’t know who they were, what they would be like, and if she would have any problems getting to them, as they lived on basically the other side of London from the airport, right on the outskirts. Which is understandable. She was worried if they would exploit her in her job, like asking her to do things for them outside her work hours (if it does indeed work like that, and not the entire day).

I received a text from her this morning, and it made me feel relieved – I was worried about her traveling to this place on her own, across a foreign city. It said “I am on the train to Earl’s Court. I enjoy it, London seems fantastic. Talk to you later”. So it looks like she is finding it ok. We are hoping that she will have internet access at some point this evening so we can chat. Hopefully she’ll be feeling a lot better.

It’s hard to believe she is finally here and that (hopefully) we will see each other next Sunday – finally. It’s unreal. I can’t wait!

Just A Matter Of Time

Well, yesterday J-O got her last offer from her unis, and on Monday she had an interview for a farm placement thingy at which they said they’ll call her when they have a position ready for her. So now it’s just a matter of time before she’s here. She hopes to be here in less about a month. The only trouble with the this farm thing is that – if I remember rightly – she only gets one day off a week, and also it could be anywhere in the UK – I’m not sure if she did/can say where abouts in the country she’d like to work or if they just give her any available place, take it or leave it kind of thing. I hope she’ll be able to visit, but I’m not 100% sure. I’m not even sure if we’d ‘get together’ then – we’ll see what happens. I really hope it works out well.

Quite Interesting – Dinner For One

I was watching QI on Dave the other day (for non-UK readers, QI is a British TV panel show where points are awarded for being ‘interesting’, and Dave is a TV channel that shows BBC repeats), an episode on Germany. At one point they started talking about this comedy sketch (‘skit’) that is British-made, but completely unknown in the ‘English-speaking world’ but very popular in Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, where it is shown on New Year’s Eve every year. It is called ‘Dinner for One’, and is about a English lady’s 90th birthday and her butler who has to impersonate each (now dead) guest that used to attend her birthday dinners at each course. I thought it was kind of funny in places but not that brilliant, but then everybody’s taste in comedy is different! I’ll post the two parts here and you can judge for yourself: (It is introduced in German but the actual sketch is in English)

Save The BBC!

The BBC is being attacked from all sides, and somebody needs to help it!
Labour is attacking the BBC: http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/tv_and_radio/article6837699.ece
Newspapers are attacking the BBC: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/media/article6814178.ece
Govt departments are attacking the BBC: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/media/article6836014.ece
At least the Tories are defending it: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/media/article6829661.ece

To those who complain that the BBC’s commercial arm makes lots of money and the license fee is too high, do you realise profits from the commercial arm help subsidise the license fee? Get rid of the commercial arm and the license fee will go up! Do you want that? I didn’t think so!

To those who want to top-slice the license fee, why would you want to do that, I ask?! The BBC are the only ones who make decent programmes, especially news programmes. ITV is the worst for news, 99% of their headlines involve celebrities, they’re the TV equivalent of The Sun and don’t deserve license fee money, since they’d only waste it on making more rubbish than they do now. BBC News is the best news organisation in the world and completely unbiased. If the license fee is ‘top-sliced’ this would be ruined. Don’t ruin the BBC, and especially don’t scrap the license fee: the BBC is the only decent TV company left!

You’ve probably heard that the BBC is rubbish from whereever else you get your news, but they would say that, wouldn’t they, since they’re competing against the BBC! They know they can’t compete with them becuase the BBC are so fantastic, and the license fee is the reason why they’re so good: if they were a commercial company, they would have to make awful, ‘popular’ programmes like the other channels do and so most people who like the BBC would switch off their TVs altogether. I know I would, if the BBC was privatised.

At least the Conservatives are talking sense when it comes to the BBC, compared to Labour’s stance. The BBC works fantastically as it is, and to change how it operates would be to destroy it. Those who don’t see how valuable it is shouldn’t be allowed to watch any TV at all.

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