Monday, 25 August 2008

what it comes down to

Much to my surprise, I have a second interview with the Law Firm. I am mostly surprised by this because I appear to be losing it; I typed up that anecdote about my Oxford disasters in two successive posts. It's not even that interesting.

I must revisit the tired Oxford story once more, I'm afraid. I performed poorly, that is true, but I'm also pretty certain they knew I just didn't want that place. I am sure people go in there to fight, and to win, and I didn't care by then. Oh my, how much that sounds like postoperative bitterness.

I know that my major stumbling block is convincing the Law Firm that I want this job. My clearest memories of my first interview are trying to explain why I want to be a lawyer. But there was no burst of brilliant inspiration, no desperate conviction from a young age. I went with something about long-standing undercurrent of ambition and a ramble about my transferable skills in the end. To me, jargon of that sort always translates to there is something I'd rather be doing.

I realise it is then paradoxical to claim that I want this. I do, though. This job would justify the path I am about to take. It is the goal that will push me through the tedium (and the preparatory course is Very Tedious).

And right there, in those few sentences, is why this is soulless, and why I am sad.

Saturday, 23 August 2008


I wouldn't come too close. I've got food poisoning for the second time this summer.

Dad got stuck in the lift the other night, for over an hour. We bent all the utensils trying to lever the doors. I think he was happier in there than in our company.
My mother was more concerned about what time the poisonous chicken needed to be removed from the oven.

Albahaca means Basil, and as such has nothing to with any of that, but I am in Spain and it is a Spanish word. Check out that craziness.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

I Don't Think I'm Ready Yet

I had an interview last Thursday.

When people ask how it went, I answer: It wasn't as bad as my Oxford interview.
It wasn't. In the second Oxford interview they showed me a picture of a large structure and asked me what it was. Clearly, it was a tomb, but I said watch tower. Oh yes. I also told Robin Lane Fox that there were multiple versions of Homer's Odyssey. My explanation of this sort-of truth was not sufficient, clearly.

There were the required amount of fatuous questions. I gave equally pretentious answers. I felt hardly myself, playing this game of pretty platitudes, jumping through hoops.

Good Things: (to distract me from silly interview) moved into new house (beautiful), listened many times to my new purchase- Patrick Wolf - The Magic Position, tiptoed around family, begun watching the first season of House (watch it watch it watch it) and revisited my Eels collection for comfort. (Check the title).

I don't think I got the job. But - watch this space.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

measuring up

I know you've missed me. Of course you have. I've missed you too.
A story. About bras.

"My daughter would like to be measured."
No. No, she wouldn't. The daughter, me, is hovering in the door of the shop, deeply regretting having pointed out that she has returned home from five weeks travelling with no bras. The rucksack ate them. Or an American stole them. That's another story.

"Mmph" I offer, sidling towards the saleswoman. "I've, er, never been measured."
"Oh. Really?" She is looking me over. I am wearing a bra that, I believe, fits. I haven't been this nervous since my Oxford interview. My knowledge of all that is womanly is about to be tested.
She gropes me.
"What do you wear?"
Clearly, this is the wrong answer. The expression on her face is akin to the moment when I told the Oxford professor that the tomb he was showing me was clearly a watch tower.

She gives me something to try on. It is enormous. Briefly, I contemplate putting it on my head, then I remember I am not a boy, and put it on properly.
"It's tight." I moan, when the lady reappears.
"That is how it is meant to be. In fact, it could be tighter." She pulls at it. "See how it sits at the sides?" she makes me lift my arms "That's how it's meant to look."

After many many repeats of this same conversation, we settle on a size. It involves compromise, and mutterings of a 30 back ("Ow" I say, though apparently that is Good) and an F cup (too big. Thank God).
"32E." She announces to my mother, proudly, like the baby is healthy and has all its toes.

The upshot is, I spent the rest of my student loan on underwear, and I now have bras people can wear as hats.