Tag Archives: royal wedding


Besides the Orange Room, and the old faithful, 1C, the newly renovated I-Lounge may just be the hub of the University of Birmingham’s Main Library. Home to the early-bird students who prefer working in the greenhouse effect to the icy chill of other floors, the I-lounge serves coffee when we need it most and tempts us with muffins when we’re penniless. It is in the I-Lounge where I started to think about my latest blog, whilst on a quick-trip from my desk to fill my water bottle up (who says I ain’t leading the high-life?!)…

Third year has turned us all into crazy people, animals who wander around the library until midnight with tongues hanging out and odd socks on, caffeine-ed up to our eyeballs. And part of the desirable third year package is an agonising hope that someone may be worse off than you. And that maybe, just maybe, you won’t get the lowest mark in the class.

When crossing a few coursemates in my now-fully-H2o’d-state, the immediate reaction was mixed. The still-properly-working-human inside me was pleased to recognise a familiar face, a friend perhaps whom I hadn’t seen for weeks. I wanted to know how they were, how many Easter eggs they got and most importantly when we’re all next going out for that drink. The student in me enquired how their workload was going and whether they had found that elusive article on WebCT that we needed to read for Jim’s class. And the frantic-working-to-the-deadline-freaking-out-dissertation-writer in me buzzed, interrogating them as to how far they’d got with the word count, how many sources they’d referenced and how many more days they were going to need to write. Am I the only one who’s freaking out? Are they ahead of me? Am I behind? They’re struggling? Great, I’m not the only one…

In a time of desperation, we seem to thrive on other’s misfortunes. We all know the burst of excitement (albeit small) when you see all of your coursemates on Facebook the night before the deadline, all ignoring each other in an unspoken recognition of your naughtiness. And the secret smirk you give when you hear of someone who wrote ‘fuck this’ in the middle of an essay as a joke that they no longer found funny once they’d handed the essay in…

The tiara; proof that I was still very much in a delusional Royal Wedding state…


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Who do you think you are?

The anticipation is killing me.  In just a few more days, the nation will join together in force to laugh, joke, sing, dance and be merry.  There will be ladies, gentlemen, children, cats and dogs, Nannys and Grandpas all preparing for that big event that will be screened to the masses.  Some are for it, some against but we will all have heard about it.

Britain’s Got Talent. Of course!  Back on our screens and better than ever, BGT provides the platform for Brits –  young and old – to grace the stage, perform their ‘talent’ and be judged through to Boot Camp or back to reality.  Every year we are surprised, shocked, impressed and miffed by some of the acts.  The tear-jerking stories of a one-eyed, three-legged dog dancing whilst holding an umbrella tend to steal the show, somewhat, but through the gimmick and dramatisation, a small amount of humbleness can be felt for our Great Britannia and its people. 

My favourite from last week’s show was a young guy who sang Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car, dressed in his ‘sherbert lounge wear’ and looking as if we was about to go on a long haul flight ‘on Easy Jet’ – as one judge so eloquently put it.  But after the preconceptions and first impressions had settled, he opened his mouth to reveal true talent and unassuming modesty.    

The boom of judging and panel shows that appears on television now is phenomenal.  X-Factor, BGT, America/Britain’s Next Top Model, So You Think You Can Dance are just a few.  And then there are the mocumentary style shows, TOWIE and My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, further examples of spectacle that allow us, the British nobody, to judge and stereotype to the high-heavens. 

I went for a job interview this morning for a temporary admin role at University and was confronted with a panel of three ladies with clip-boards judging every word I said, what I was wearing, how I spoke, how long I paused after hearing the question… Although I got good feedback from the interview, the concern over how one is judged still affects performance and confidence. 

I’m procrastinating hugely from Nineteenth Century working class fiction and a dissertation that needs writing but I thought I’d leave you with one thing.  Steven Hall is a 53 year old Telecommunications Engineer and in the build-up to his act, I think you’ll agree that we all judge him wrong.  The grey suit might, but those hips of Steven Hall’s do not lie.


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