Have a break, have a crème brûlée latté

Today I had a breakdown.

When I rang home only an hour and a half after having started work saying exactly these words, my parents naturally assumed the worst. Dad asked if I’d hit a customer in the face with a frying pan; at least he was joking. Mum genuinely thought I’d verbally/physically abused someone because ‘when people say breakdown that’s normally what they mean.’ Er.. is it? I know she has an active imagination (and sometimes I can be a bit fiery) but come on? I am never anything but super sweet and helpful to customers. I reserve the nastiness for the family…

In actual fact what happened was I walked over to my department, gave my colleague a hug and then suffered a prolonged water leakage from my eyes. Normally if you’re a bit worked up/emotional before work, you find that once you get in there you’re fine. The times that you’re sure you’re going to be miserable and sad all day are the times you go in and realise you were being a bit melodramatic. It’s when you choose to try to ignore the way you feel and keep convincing yourself that you’re OK; that really you’re quite fine, that you’re actually incredibly stressed and don’t realise it.

Those are the times you only have to hug someone and it all goes to pot.

Normally the last thing I think about before I go to bed is what I need to do tomorrow, what I haven’t done that day and clothes. Yes, clothes. Outfits/outfit ideas/clothes I want. But last night I spent ages tossing and turning trying to get to sleep fretting about my driving test and the amount of hours I’m doing at work.

  • Don’t forget not to miss the slip roads on certain roundabouts – they don’t count as exits.
  • Don’t forget to indicate right and stay in the right hand lane if you’re going straight ahead at a large roundabout.
  • Check your right-hand mirror when you’re changing lanes in a roundabout.
  • Don’t slow down too quickly on a dual carriageway when taking the next exit.
  • Indicate if you’re pulling in/out and there’s a car behind you.
  • Remind instructor to go through questions they might ask you, to open up the bonnet, to go through headlight settings.
  • Check your mirrors. Check your mirrors. Check your mirrors.
  • Lesson Tuesday – 8:30-10:30, work 4-10 changed to 2-8
  • Lesson the next morning 10-12, work 12-8, changed to 12-6
  • Work tomorrow, Saturday, Sunday off, work Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday test…

I couldn’t sleep with all of that going on in my brain. I’ve been completely panicking about every thing (though this is standard for me), and although it seems silly – it’s just a driving test right? – passing means a lot more to me than that. Being able to drive won’t just mean being able to go into town to pick up that coffee machine I want, or popping down to Tesco because I fancy some Nobby’s Nuts. It’ll mean being able to get out of Asda, being able to apply for other jobs, trying to get some freelance work with radio stations. It’ll mean partial independence.

I live with somebody who is constantly nagging at me to get in touch with people, to email this place, to call this other place, to work for five places at a time (she goes by the name of ‘mother’). I’m constantly in the mindset of ‘I need to do this’ then ‘this’, then ‘something else’, and after that I’ll start on the next list. There’s so much pressure. I keep having to repeat the same words, that I can’t really do much until I can drive and have a car. It’s been my main goal/priority since I finished uni.

And so, unwittingly, I feel as though I have a lot riding on this test. My sanity perhaps?

On top of this, it’s Christmas. Work is usually stressful, hectic and busy. My job is physically and emotionally draining and I always work unsociable hours. This results in me rarely ever seeing anyone outside of my family, which means having a lot of time to myself, which means lots of time to think, therefore fret/worry about anything and everything. I’m lacking in stress relief.

Then there’s other personal things happening in my life at the moment, which I’ve been coping with, but is shit all the same. Even more shit when you realise it’s turning out to be one of those situations where, when you’re as busy and distracted as I am, you don’t realise it’s bothering you because you don’t have the time to think about it. Instead everything builds up, you have a melt down and then have to face up to things. I’m terrible for blocking things out and not dealing with them as it is – being busy only makes it easier.

It can only take a few drinks for it to all come crashing down.

So… I’m a bit stressed out. But I’m feeling OK. I cried, spoke to my section leader at work, chatted about things and relaxed a little, he sent me home and I endured my mum’s declaration that she assumed I’d been sent home for swearing at someone. Then I made a crème brûlée latté and wrote it all down.

Sometimes life just throws these challenges at you and you have to take a minute and relax. Or, if you’re clever like me, cry in public and work a 3 hour shift instead of 8 hour one.



The Channel4 come down..

Good evening folks.

It’s time for another blog. Writing is just so therapeutic you know? At least it is for me; it’s right up there with baking and mopping floors.

I’m back from my Channel 4 placement which was very, very insightful – it made me realise that I really don’t want to go into TV! Everyone there was great though, it was like a giant family and I felt incredibly welcomed. It was such a chilled out atmosphere as well; when someone tells you that they’re a ‘pop bitch’ you know you’re in a special place!

Having been given an introduction/briefing on pretty much every department the online team appealed to me the most. They choose what photographs go up on site, they write features, music news, go out and do interviews, update Facebook, Tumbler, Twitter, 4music’s YouTube channel. Collectively, they control all the content on the 4music site, and there’s only four of them. What I liked most was the amount of creative license their jobs allow, particularly since they launched the 4music YouTube channel.


What was really great about the work experience too was finding out how everyone had got their jobs at Box TV – nearly everyone had a different story. What put me off TV production actually had a lot to do with that. Having a Masters in Broadcast Journalism means nothing if you want to get into production, at least not in London or at Channel 4… it’s all about working your way up. One of the first things one of the guest speakers at the 4Talent Day said to us was – we don’t care about qualifications, we look for people who are creative, hard-working and have the ability to get along well with others. A couple of people I spoke to at Box started out as runners, on minimum wage, barely able to live. They did that for a couple of years which led to freelance work and then the jobs they have now. I didn’t spend 10 grand on a Masters to earn pittance working 12 hours a day, being somebody’s slave for 2 years in the hope that something better might come along.

You need no qualifications to be a runner or to work in TV Production – it’s not journalism – which makes me glad that that’s not what I want to do, otherwise I’d have wasted a hell of a lot of my time and money.

Although my placement was through Channel 4, Box TV actually makes 7 music channels, including Magic, Heat, Kerrang and Kiss and I did a couple of jobs for Heat TV while I was there which was interesting! It was actually harder than it sounded – coming up with funny comments to go along with music videos, as Heat TV is very text heavy. Nicki Minaj was a piece of pie (it’s Nicki Minaj …) but a couple of the other, more generic shall we say, music videos were more difficult. Carly Rae Jepson’s new vid is so droll.

On the second day I went and acted as a production assistant for the day on a shoot with JLS. It sounds exciting and glamorous, but unsurprisingly being on a shoot is the complete opposite. Luckily the studio we were in was the smaller one, so it was fairly warm, but I was told normally it’s freezing. Being a prod assistant you basically help put equipment together, keep the place tidy (that means being on bin bag duty), cable bashing*, and going out and getting everyone coffees. If you’re lucky like me, you also get a hug off of one of JLS – oh the highlight of my week! (he actually smelt very good, not that he wouldn’t, but I love a bit of man fragrance)

*cable bashing: hold the cables coming out of the camera so that the director/camera operator doesn’t trip over them when he’s moving the camera back and forth across the tracks.

To be fair it’s pretty cool, it’s gets you out of the office for a day and you get to see what celebs are really like (Aston really is that small), plus the catering was amazing. On my last day I went prop shopping, also the job of a production assistant, which involved wandering around soho looking for a Christmas tree, cup and saucer, geek glasses and a cigar. Had I not been ill this would have been a fun job – exploring London ‘n’ all – but I struggled to really enjoy it. Having coughing fits in public, trying not to bash fast-moving Londoners with a Christmas tree whilst simultaneously fishing Strepsils out of your bag isn’t one of my favourite things to do. By this point I’d had a continuous headache for 9 days running, which no amount of pain killers could eliminate. God knows how I survived that week – actually I do know, a shit load of lemsip, paracetamol, cough medicine, cough sweets, fruit juice and Berocca. I’m paying for it now.. I’ve spent the last 2 and a half days in bed.

Only I could get the flu a few days before my placement…

Enough wallowing though. It was all made better by the fact that I had Martha. Martha Nansera looked after me that week; she effectively could have been my mum. Unlike my BBC placement where I was left alone and forgotten a lot of the time without any structure to my days (shame the editor left a couple of weeks before my placement – Lozza luck strikes again) Martha always made sure I had something to do and was always checking up on me to see I was OK. I never felt lost amongst the office, I always felt like I had a presence, that was one of the nicest things about being there. I’d be very happy if I end up in an office like Box TV in London.

But now I’m back in St Austell. And what can I say – I hate it.

Despite seemingly making my mind up about going travelling, the fact that I feel as though I’ve done this all backwards (deciding to do a Masters and then go travelling) is very frustrating. I make contacts through work experience but don’t feel as though I can follow them through because for the next few months I’m planning to save and then piss off to Australia.

I’m constantly doubting my choices, which isn’t helped by having a mother who says every other day ‘there’s a job going for a BJ 2 days a week at BBC *insert faraway place*’ knowing that I can’t do that and live at home, which would mean I’d have to move there, which would mean getting a second job while I was there, which would mean never having any money, which would mean not going travelling. Then Dad saying to me ‘forget the travelling’ despite the fact that he’s been completely behind the idea up until now, and then saying ‘well if this job is what you really want to do’ – when did I ever say that?

No-one listens to me… I’M GOING TRAVELLING. At this moment in time that’s what I REALLY WANT TO DO.

*sigh* it makes me want to shoot myself in the face, for about half an hour, until I write my problems down and gradually the anger, frustration and tension lessens.

I can’t help but acknowledge the fact that if I didn’t want to travel my life would be a lot simpler. But then if you could get a job by just applying for one rather than having to do loads of work experience, building up contacts and working random freelance shifts for however many months first; my life would be a lot simpler.

It would be as simple as going away, then applying for jobs when I get back.

But getting a job these days just isn’t that simple, unless you’re like a dear friend of mine and have the willpower, dedication, tenacity, brains and stamina of Superman. Superman was even a journalist.. ha. I like that.

Unfortunately I don’t have all of those things. I have an inferiority complex. And so I’m right back where I started…

Or am I? Not sure why I’m ending on a cryptic note, but that’s what’s happened. Perhaps because it fulfills the ‘be optimistic’ promise I made to myself. Either that or I’ve temporarily adopted the writing style of a novelist.

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the last post I submitted was titled ‘cough cough’ ; oh the irony

I’m blogging which means I’m either rambling about music or I have something to moan about. Yay.

I have an almost instinctive urge to write when I feel strongly about something or when life is taking a detour down the road to Crapsville rather than to the Town of Raining Marshmallows. Flick through my diary; it’s all neurotic wallowing, you’ll scarcely find anything positive in there. When you’re happy you’re living in the moment; depressed, you’re re-living the moment. Hey, it worked for Adele. Though I don’t think my diary/blog is quite on par with the Grammy award winner..

This week’s been really shit. It seems that God, should he exist, is relentlessly determined to test me by ruining every work experience placement I get. Last time it was fleas, this time I’ve managed to get really sick a week before my placement; it’s already Thursday and I feel absolutely dreadful. Monday night I got no sleep, Tuesday morning I was sick three times, I ate nothing until Wednesday evening and last night also barely slept which was torturous. Today I’ve eaten one crumpet.

Other negatives: I missed work Tuesday, will also be missing work tomorrow and probably Saturday too. That’s 22 hours wages lost, not to mention the fact I won’t be earning a penny next week as I will be on my placement.

At the moment I’m praying the hostel dorm I’m staying in isn’t full of drug addicts or people with a penchant for one-night stands, either that or that they don’t attack me with the minimal furnishings in the room because my hacking cough is keeping them up all night.

On top of that I booked my train tickets and there were no seats available on Sunday during the journey from St Austell to London (damn Cornwall and it’s appeal to city dwellers). The last time I got an afternoon train on a Sunday to Plymouth there were people standing in the aisles.

In my state, if I have to stand I might punch somebody.

So it’s all bloody doom and gloom. Most of all I’m just worried I’m not going to be on top form during my placement because I’m not well.

You try to tell yourself it will be all right but I was born a pessimist and a compulsive worrier. And this is my problem.

I am so negative. I joke about things, I wear a smile on my face to work. To most I am a bubbly, slightly odd person (don’t know where I get that title) but for those unfortunate enough to see my insecure side, when I’m not happy I am horribly depressing.

I focus on other people to distract myself from my own life and the things that I don’t like about it, but it’s a temporary fix. It’s ridiculous. I don’t know why I do it, it’s like I’m bent on making my life harder for myself.

Today I had a revelation (well.. perhaps that’s going a bit far), today I had a think, a lovely little think and I decided that my attitude is crap and that I’m a coward. And that no matter how much it kills me I am going to be more positive.

How hard can it be?

I’m going to start with my Channel 4 work experience which is going to be great! And everyone is going to love me!

Confidence and arrogance; fine line?

But seriously, sometimes things happen that force you to take a look at yourself and realise that you’re fuelling all your energies into the wrong things. I fuel all my energy into telling myself I suck. Where is that going to get me? There’s simply a consensus in our house that everything is too difficult and that anything remotely challenging is not worth doing because you’ve not got a chance in hell. Nothing would give me greater satisfaction than to prove everybody wrong. And so far I’m going the completely wrong way about it.

It’s time to get the big guns out and start believing in myself and putting less pressure on myself.

And it’s time to stop posting blogs before I’ve finished them. Honestly OK, I’m done now.