Sorry for the extended absence but I have now upped sticks and relocated to the busy metropolis of Liverpool. For the next three weeks this will become my nest, flitting between the flat and the office… I have become a city slicker. Overnight I tossed and turned, waiting for the bleep of my alarm, then when the time rolled by I begged for another 10 minutes; I buttoned my shirt to the top, strapped on my bag, and entered the world of adult work (no not porn). Luckily I can quite easily roll out of bed, down the stairs, down a hill, and I will pretty much be at BBC Merseyside; nestled in the heart of Liverpool One is the hustle and bustle of a BBC newsroom. As I walk through the designer shops and milkshake bars I come across a courtyard. Like something from Alice In Wonderland it is an indoor/outdoor space: faux grass bordered with mushrooms, red deckchairs, and a giant frog; it is at this point I know that I am nearly at the offices, where I must leave behind mushroom seating, and pretend to be an adult. As I entered the building calls went to above that I had arrived; I sat in some kind of bowl seat and intook my new surroundings, oddly more modern than I thought. I was lead into the office like a lamb to the slaughter, I tried to blend in as the eyes darted to ‘the new guy’ that has infiltrated their workspace.
I have developed a new affinity for Starbucks this week, perhaps it is the new city me that has forced it on me? I am not one of those Starbucks junkies that needs their fix, injecting it into their veins before 9am, infact I don’t even drink it; the only reason I am blogging about Starbucks in the experience, and their fantastic use of wi-fi. When I arrived in Liverpool Abbey assured me the internet would work fine, but as she drove off my heart sank, I wanted to run after her crying like the end scene of a romance film; I grimly faced the prospect of 3 weeks…no internet. There is only so much TV I can handle, so without the internet I felt as if one of my limbs had been chopped off; I spoke to reception but the woman was no help, and the internet helpline was closed until Monday. After my second of just television for company I decided to venture out of the flat, I refused to become a shut in like my incident in Leeds; so I through my laptop into my bag and attempted to scavenge any free internet I could find…like a vulture I circled liverpool, sniffing out wi-fi on my I-pod touch. Considering you can’t walk down a street without seeing a ‘Starbucks’ I found it almost impossible, I became the ‘Christopher Columbus’ of the coffee world, boldly exploring new lands. I felt like an American writer, sat in a ‘Starbucks’ with my over priced drink pretending to be working hard while actually going on Facebook and playing games. Quite happily I slurped on my caramel hot chocolate as I ‘raped’ their free internet… I tried to make it look like my drink lasted the three hours I was there, but I suspect they were onto me.
UPDATE: This has become a blog of two halves, luckily for you I have not been swallowed into the abyss, and I have not died. I return to this blog on a stiffling hot Saturday evening for an update on my first week. Proudly I tread the streets of Liverpool, strolling up to unsuspecting member of the public and proclaiming I am a member of BBC Merseyside; as I phone people I hammer home the fact that for once I am not just some annoying student phoning up for a university project. My authority tends to last as I blend in to the role of a journalist, that is until they ask for my email address; they realise I am just some ‘boy’ on work experience using his university email, at this point I become unstuck and people are less willing to talk to me. Everymorning we gather round with our pens and paper, jotting down stories for the day ahead; as soon as my name is mentioned, without fail I will feel a great hotness creeping over my face, bright red I feel like I have done something wrong, and I grab for my water. The same is on the phone, I get something wrong, or someone shouts to me and I desperately try and pass the phone on, red faced and sweating. Slowly I am managing to grasp the names of the people sat behind their desks, working away; if all else fails I just ask Nina , I stick to her like glue and use her to unload my many MANY questions on… she gets her revenge by making we watch hours of old news footage looking for clips on disability. I will sit at the TV and spool through old footage of John Snow, so far the only thing relating to disability was a Newsnight piece on PMT as an excuse to commit crimes. Over the week I have officially managed to get my voice on the radio twice, carefully weaving it in so the package would be useless without it, although my total airtime masses about 15 seconds, this is my current claim to fame. So I will summarise a week of sweltering heat, buttoned shirts, and forgetting names. For me the highlights are the people I interview, each day armed with a new question I ask the general public what they think then mash it all together into a’Frankenstein’ of audio. Three people stick in my mind this week, whilst asking what people thought of a rundown shopping centre I did try to interview a deaf man, I am not sure who was more confused him or me? Secondly I asked a lady whether flying the British flag was patriotic or tacky; she went on a racist rant about how she wasn’t allowed to wear hats in shops, but Muslims could wear ‘masks’. It was safe to say her audio did not make it on the air. Finally is the story of one woman who was quite happily chatting to me, as soon as the microphone turned on she went all ‘Charlie Chaplin‘ on me, waving her arms like in a silent movie; despite talking to me for about a minute she now claimed she had a sore voice and it would go any second…. like all the people that refuse to talk to me I find myself subconsciously swearing under my breath and scowling as I move on. So far the hardest part of work experience is deciding what to wear, each day I rummage for a shirt, run the worlds worst iron over it, then tuck it into my trousers. Skinny jeans and tucked in shirts do not mix, they only seem to draw attention to your lower regions: mental note for next work experience, buy some trousers that are not skinny fit.
I leave you my audience lying in bed, sweating like a pig, with a laptop burning my crotch, about to tuck into a bowl of ‘Crunchy Nut Clusters’. Tomorrow I intend on taking a towel and lying in the sun until I have repeat of the Sebastian incident; afterall red suits me, I’ll have plenty of time to be white when I’m dead. Have a good weekend and enjoy this BBQ weather while it lasts… tanlines ahoy