Friday, 30 March 2012

The Trip To The Corner Shop

I went to the corner shop today.

You'd probably respond in a heavily ironic tone, "Wow, thanks for telling us that Alex. What exciting tales you could possibly share with us?"

Well I'm about to make you look very silly because it was an eventful trip.

It was about 3PM and I realised that it was pretty late to go and buy the newspapers, but I felt after completing my set work for the day that I had earned a little trip into the sunshine. I was also desperate to read the pearls of wisdom that today's Page 3 model had for us. It turns out that Lucy, 22 from Warwick, disagrees with the 'pasty tax'. I think a career in politics beckons for Lucy, she would certainly gain some electoral support for two distinct reasons.

I set off into the sun wearing a very red get up that comprised of a red Hollister top, some pink and grey Superdry shorts and some red Vans. I was certainly reflecting the weather in my clothes. I like to think that weather/clothing co-ordination can be seen as a strong quality in my personality. It is a gift that probably only around 25% of the population have themselves.

I made it to the shop in quick time and purchased my copy of The Sun and the Daily Mail.

I set off the journey home. It is a journey that I have perfected. I say that because it is quite handy how it is the same route to the shop but just in reverse.

I quickly encountered the first sign of trouble. Two kids were walking to the shop and they just had that look. You know, the look that says, 'I'm a chav and I will say something at you that you wont respond to'.

"Do you like my heart, sir?"

Yes, one of the little chav uttered those very words at me. I was struck by two things. First, why would I like his heart? I mean, it's not like his body is transparent and I could see the intricate network of organs in his body. He clearly didn't understand science. Second, he called me "sir". Of all the little chavs, he certainly seemed to be the most polite of the lot.

I walked off having ignored the polite chav and I soon got the edge of my road and that is when I noticed it sitting proudly on the floor, looking majestic.

It was a £10 note.

I looked around. I sussed out my environment. Was there someone in the area who may have dropped the money? Was I being set up for a TV prank show? Was this £10 even real?

I picked up the £10 note and took it home considering my next move. Do I hand it in to the police station like a model citizen or do I pocket it for myself?

I consulted my Mum on the issue when she returned home. "Keep it!" was her quick response. I decided that she was probably correct, plus £10 can go a long way.

I have decided to save the £10 for my next trip to the pub. Each sup of Thatchers Gold will taste even better knowing that it was free.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The Dissertation

Anyone reading this who is British will know one thing and only thing about the country at the moment.

It is bloody hot. Like seriously hot. It feels like summer so I keep having to remind myself that it is only March.

Yesterday saw the highest temperature of the year so far whilst today's temperature is set to top that of yesterday.

"What have you been doing Alex? What thrilling adventures have you been getting up to in the sun?"

I shall dissapoint you with my response, because I would tell you in a stern manner that "I've been writing my dissertation". I would probably also poke you just to hit home the seriousness of that statement.

Yes it's that time of the year when students who have been very stupid and not written their dissertations well in advance suddenly start panicking and spend every waking minute writing what is essentially just a very big essay.

I am one of those very stupid students.

However, I think I have a legitimate excuse for my poor effort so far on this very large essay. You see, it is on what I consider a really boring topic. My dissertation is about House of Lords Reform since 1997.

"What a bad topic to be stuck with!" You would sympathise.

"...I chose it..." I would respond back in an embarrassed and hushed tone.

Yes, I was that stupid that I chose my own topic and didn't think at the time about how dull it would be. I mean, it is seriously dull. I wouldn't wish this topic on my worst enemy.

Therefore, in this unseasonably warm weather, I have been stuck indoors reading, researching, analysing and writing my very boring dissertation. I just want to go outdoors and meet up with my friends, throw a frisbee in the park and have lunches out in the sun. This is like some cruel academic punishment.

I might just pop out for five minutes into the sun and top up my tan. Dissertations write themselves, right?

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The Masters Degree

If you are an avid reader of this blog, which I love you for, then you will know that I am hunting for a graduate job for when I finish my Undergraduate degree at university.

Well, I'm pleased to announce that things have taken a massive change in direction.

I recently applied for a Masters at Kingston University studying Journalism. Whilst it is my dream to become a writer/journalist, I have been lured in by the massive salaries that the graduate schemes offer.

On Saturday, I attended an interview for the Masters. The first part was a current affairs quiz which I scored 14 out of 15 on. A solid effort, I think you can agree. Then I had to write a news story out of a series of quotes and information and finally I had to complete a sub-editing test.

As it turns out, I have been offered a place on the course which starts in September. I am most likely going to accept the offer and hopefully fulfil my dreams of becoming a writer.

I'm pretty certain that I'm probably going to be offered a graduate job now, that'll no doubt throw a spanner in the works.

Monday, 26 March 2012

The S Club 7 Reunion

I didn't anticipate to write a blog about this, so apologies if this seems a little stranger than usual, however I have just seen that S Club 7 are reuniting.

Yeah, you read that right. They're back. Hooray!

Celebrated enough? Right, well I was a young, naive, happy little child when S Club 7 were the biggest thing ever. They were the height of cool. I had all the CD's and I watched their TV shows so religiously that S Club were like a cult.

I wanted to be Bradley's best mate whilst I had my own little crush on Rachel. She was dreamy. My favourite song was Don't Stop Movin' and honestly, what kid from that era can say that they didn't love that song.

The day they broke up was probably the day that my childhood ended. I was devastated. It was the worst possible news a child could receive. I was bereft.

They are apparently going to be touring and creating new music. So, I say welcome back: Rachel, Jo, Bradley, Jon, Hannah, Paul and the other one who no-one can quite remember.

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Saturday, 24 March 2012

The Journey Home

"I don't know which way to go home" I said in as confused a tone as possible to my housemate.

I genuinely didn't know which way to go home. There is a cheap route but it involves numerous train changes and it takes a long time or I can take the quick route but this involves going via the underground whilst it also costs a lot more.

It was a real first world problem.

I decided to go for the cheap option due to my sound logic that the money I saved on train travel could be spent down the pub. I think you can agree that is very sound logic.

After what seemed like a lengthy walk, I finally reached Earley Station. I purchased my ticket as per usual and then I walked to the bridge to reach the appropriate side of the platform.


Eh? What was going on? I turned around, took my earphones out only to be told that the line wasn't working. Great, just what I needed. To make matters worse I was informed that I wouldn't be able to get a refund.

I took stock. I reflect. I realised that I needed to head to Reading Station and take the more expensive route home. Mostly because it was the only way home. It would be a 45 minute walk and it was a fairly humid evening, so I called a cab.

The taxi eventually arrived and I opened the door to the sound of gangsta rap. Now, I'm not partial to a bit of a gangsta rap but I could hardly offend the man who would take me to my destination by asking him to turn down his music.

I climbed into the car and sank into the leather seats. Well, I didn't literally sink, because that would be strange. I explained the train situation and he seemed sympathetic to my plight. I immediately liked this taxi driver. He seemed friendly and he agreed with me about Network Rail being awful.

"Have you been waiting long?"
"No, only about 5 minutes"
"That's good, we always aim to be quick"
I felt bad as I had lied. I had been waiting about 10 minutes and I was actually unimpressed with the length of time I was waiting but I felt in the interests of friendly Driver/Passenger relations, it was important to let this one slide.

We covered all manner of topics ranging from our favourite eateries in Reading, night-life in Reading and my degree. Suddenly, he informed me why women make the worst passengers. One such incident involved being propositioned by a female passenger who couldn't afford the entire fare.

He told me that "She said 'I only have five pounds but you can come back to mine and do whatever you want'. I didn't catch on at first but then I clocked on and was like 'No thanks' but she still got in the cab". "Go on" I proceeded. "Well, we were driving and then I noticed in my mirror that she didn't seem to have any clothes on". "What did you do?" I enquired. "Well, I told her to get out the cab because when I'm on a job, I am professional".

"I bet he's gay" I thought.

"She then called me gay. Can you believe the cheek of it?"

I think it was at this point that the taxi driver believed that I thought he was gay as suddenly said that he has declined advances from men as well.

We got stuck in traffic yet the driver found an ingenius way to get me close to the station and I paid up and left the cab. I strode to the station feeling like a successful man for bonding with the taxi driver over women.

I am left with one question though. Why did he turn down a naked women? Answers on a postcard!

Monday, 19 March 2012

The Saturday Spent Drinking

I've always wondered what it would be like to drink all day in various different places partaking in all manner of activities.

I have spent the odd time when I've spent a fair portion of a day drinking, though that was more sporadic and mostly just down the pub. However, this Saturday that all changed.

It began with a trip to Tesco where with stocked up with various assortments of alcohol. We then made the short trip to Hobbycraft to buy a certain, particular type of fabric that would be very important come the evening. We brought a lot of leopard print and I guarantee that all will be explained later.

After this mini-shopping trip, it was time for the pub for round one. It was the conclusion of the 6 Nations and so we watched the crunch Wales vs France game and drunk many a beer. Wales won so anyone but the French population of the university were happy and spirits were high.

We then made it over to my housemates' friends house where beer pong was played. I will let you in on a little secret here, I have never played Beer Pong. Shocking, I know. I think the reason is that since I began drinking, I have just hung around with people who prefer playing Ring of Fire and other games that involve less skill.

After throwing some table tennis balls into some cups slightly filled with beer, we made it over to our friends house to transform ourselves into cave men. Oh, and to fake tan ourselves. It was at this point that I made a mental note to myself, "I look ridiculous with fake tan on".

More drinks were had and by this point, my memory of the night becomes slightly hazy. So, I will skip to the next most interesting point of the night I can remember. My housemate getting kicked out of the Union. Tragic? No. Funny? Yes, most definitely.

So, I accompanied my housemate back to our house and this was where we ran into trouble. Seeing as we where wearing just some fabric, we didn't have our house keys on us. How the hell were we going to get in?

Through the window.

Yep, we tried to get in through the second floor window that was slightly ajar. To get through the window, my housemate tried to push me onto the roof and then climb through. He boosted me up onto the roof whilst standing on the bin and it is now that I should point out that trying to  climb through a fairly high-up window whilst drunk is probably not the best idea.

We abandoned this reckless idea and went to one of the houses we were at during the evening to pick up our key, yet we were unsure if anyone was in. We knocked at the door. No response. So, we knocked again.Success! Someone came to the door, and she didn't look happy. We instructed her to get us our trousers and shirts and we then apologised for waking her up.

I woke up on Sunday morning with some random slight bruises. I'm telling you now that I'm trying to piece together how I got those very bruises.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The Time When I Tell You To Ignore What You Previously Read

Yeah. Remember that last blog post I wrote? That one where I said how I was giving up with the graduate jobs? Yeah, that's the one.

Well, ignore what I said.

"WHY!!!" I hear you scream. Well, let's just say it is funny how the world works.

I was in the computer room today and my friend quickly looked something up on Milkround. It was then that I spotted it.

Supply Chain Graduate Programme with Associated British Foods.

What's that? Well, it is basically buying and managing supplies. Interesting? No. Exciting? No. Does it pay well? Yes. As you can see my motivations are in the correct places.

I filled in the application form and then I was passed through to the on-line tests which I passed and I have now received notice that I have made it through to the interview round. Huzzah. Huzzah indeed.

Things took an even more interesting twist, I opened up my second graduate job e-mail account and what do I find?

Some random lady from a random company that I don't remember applying for offering me an interview. Spooky.

Life works in mysterious ways. Perhaps it's time to become as mysterious as possible myself. I always wanted to be described as a mysterious individual.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

The Time When I Lost All Sense Of Direction

I write this blog in a state of confusion.

Sure, it's late and I'm tired so that could be the reason why. But, I think there is a further, more important reason behind my confusion.

Recently, I have been attending numerous interviews and assessment centres for graduate jobs. I thought that considering I had quite a few of these, I was sure to get one job offer.

How wrong was I?!

As it turns out, I've been rejected by pretty much all of them. Thus, the application process for yet more jobs has returned to my life and I've spent a fair amount of time filling those long, dreary forms in.

Herein lies the real problem though, what if I don't get a graduate job?

I always thought I wanted to do a Masters if the job route failed, but now that I have an offer for a Masters I suddenly don't want to do that next year.

Then again, I don't want to undertake a full-time job that isn't on a graduate scheme due to the lack of career progression.

I do have a new option though. It's exciting. It's different. It's not fully formed. It's... a bit of a cop out though. Essentially, it suddenly seems most appropriate to get a part-time job the moment I return home from university, re-apply for all the graduate schemes and then once I have an offer secured, I can go off travelling.

It's risky but it seems the most appropriate. I could earn some money, boost my CV yet retain a lot of my independence and then see the world whilst securing a place on a decent graduate scheme.

Anyway, the future is suddenly appearing a long way off now as I've got so much university work to be doing in such little time.

Someone get me a drink please and make it a double!