Home (less)

I arrived home from my trip to London roughly ten minutes ago and it got me thinking. Over the last three days I have experienced many different versions of home. All of them are so far removed from each other that they almost feel like something completely different. Yet they’re all homes, they’re all versions of ‘houses’ that we live in either on our own or with other people.

I walked into a house full of students; a bunch of lads sharing a house. I don’t know how well they get along, I imagine there are times when tensions can be high and problems arise. Whilst I was there they played Fifa on the PS3, they watched television, they drank alcohol and they talked about things that people (namely boys) talk about. They may all have other homes somewhere else, but for the university year they share that place and in a sense they’re a family.

The film I helped to shoot involved strangers living together, which is a concept quite alien to me. I’ve stayed in hostels where strangers spend a night or so in the same room together and I suppose it’s a little like that. Except that you have two choices: you can either get along harmoniously or fight like hell. Like the situation above, issues can occur and it’s not always going to be plain sailing. But once again, it’s home.

I also went to see a photography exhibition about homelessness. Each and every picture told a story. They were all people in the public eye (actors) but in those pictures they were playing a role. Every photograph told the story of a life that is different to many people’s. Living on the street, sleeping out in the open, struggling to feed yourself or keep yourself clean. It’s a world apart from the other homes. Yet, the absense of a home is sort of like a home itself. It’s just extremely different.

I’ve lived my life in the same house. Even if I hadn’t, I imagine I would feel the same way about the house I live in. It’s home.

When I looked at the photographs at the exhibition I realised a couple of things. One photograph in particular stood out for me, the focal point was the person, but you could see where he was. It was a tunnel of some sorts and there were people in the distance. When I saw that something hit me which I never really think about when I think of homeless people. The usual thoughts around not having enough to eat or drink, not having a warm place to sleep weren’t there. Staring into his eyes and watching the scene made me realise that one of the biggest things a homeless person is faced with is a lack of security. Whether they become desensitised or not, the situation they’re in is not entirely safe.

Having lived in this house for all of my life I feel safe here. When I walked down the street, when I stroll towards the shop or the park, I feel safe. On a dark night, at three am, in a storm, I feel safe to be in this place.

If I take a trip away from home I often feel a certain level of fear, how well I know the place I’m going determines the level of fear that I do face, but it’s usually there in the background in some capacity. I used to feel an immense fear when in London, so much so that I almost held my breath until I left. I don’t feel that anymore, but there are still aspects of London that do scare me. Being out at night, in the dark is a big one. Taking a trip outside of Central London, as I did this weekend, scared me.

Arriving home, I went to type the words ‘home sweet home’ into Twitter and that’s when I connected the dots. When I feel fear about a place I am in, I always have the comfort of knowing that I can come home. No matter where I travel to, no matter what I do, eventually I will be on a bus, train, plane or even a bike, on my way home at some point.

Homeless people who lack security don’t just face potential dangers on a daily basis, but they don’t have that safe place. They don’t have somewhere where they can go that is constant, that is their home.

Living out on the street is hard, I imagine. Not knowing where your next meal is going to come from, not having the money to buy a hot drink on a cold day, being moved on by police from a location you were hoping to sleep in. I imagine you get used to it, you probably learn to live with hunger pains, learn to adapt to the cold, and just deal with being moved along.

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been living on the streets for days, weeks, months or even years. I wonder if there’s ever a point where you actually feel like you’re in a safe place.

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More filming and babbles

Another day has been and gone, and it’s been yet another great day. It’s always a pleasure to spend time with lovely people doing enjoyable things and being productive while you’re at it. I returned to the film set, partly because my plans didn’t last for as long as I was expecting. But I was partially glad that I had an excuse to return, I had such a good time yesterday and I really do enjoy working. I know it’s only helping out, I’ve always just preferred to be doing some productive.

I’m really excited about the film, seeing it develop over the course of the two days has been brilliant. The actors are really putting everything into it which is really helping it to all stand out as a fantastic piece. It’s all credit to the writer, really, because without his hard work we wouldn’t even have a script to film.

It’s hard work getting things just right.

Any hint of noise in the background can ruin a take, whether it’s an aeroplane travelling across the sky or noisy neighbours talking too loudly. It can put a dampner on a scene. If you have two people living alone in a house then there’s not going to be any noises, in reality. It’s more natural to film without any sounds other than what is happening in the script.

Then there’s continuity which really is vital, it’s also quite a messy thing. One thing out of place and a whole scene is ruined. You have to keep topping up plates, moving things back to where the scene started and constantly changing outfits. It’s been quite relaxed in this film, that’s not to say continuity hasn’t been important, it is. I think the larger the film, the longer the scenes, the harder it is. When you film in a studio where the light is all artificial it’s a lot easier. But when you’re filming in a house you have so much natural light which changes or ruins a scene. We’ve managed to film everything in a few takes, which means we don’t really need to take photos or keep track of what is where because we’re not continuing with a scene on another day. It really takes some of the strain off.

Maybe I sound like I know what I’m talking about, maybe I don’t. I feel like I’m learning a lot here, however. Perhaps it’s a little bit pointless learning from this as I’m not going to be helping in many films again in the future but learning new skills, experiencing different things, is fantastic. If I ever find myself in a position to record sound on a film again, I know what to do. I even know a bit more about shots and such.

Overall, this experience has been enjoyable. I could have spent the last couple of days wandering around London looking at buildings. I’ve done that in the past and I don’t hate doing it, but it can get tiresome. Doing it for days in a row when you’re on your own is rather boring. Not having anyone to talk to can get frustrating. Having a reason to spend time with people is one of the best things, ever.

I’m feeling a little sad that I can’t be here for the rest of the filming, it would be good to see it through. I’ve been here since the start and having to go before it’s done feels unfair. The world shouldn’t work this way, except that it does. If I wasn’t potentially going to be doing an overnight shift where I volunteer on the next weekend they’re filming, I would definitely be there. I would survive missing the evening shoot as that’s just a couple of hours on an evening.

I appear to be babbling now, I’m attempting to get my blog and my 750 words for the day completed before midnight. It’s hard work because I’m running out of things to say. I hate rambling on a blog, but when you’ve had a really good day it just doesn’t matter. I don’t mind.

I can’t wait for tomorrow, though, even though I’ll be spending it alone and wandering around Lonon. I look forward to seeing some photographs at an exhibition that I came down here to see. Luckily, I’ve managed to do all of the things I intended to do whilst down here. Bar one, but that wasn’t going to happen, so it’s not really on the list anymore.

Until tomorrow, bloggers.

Filming at a random house with random people

Fig Rig, a camera stabilization device for smaller film/video cameras, designed by film director Mike Figgis.

Did you know that? I didn’t until today. When I first saw it come out of the equipment bag in the random little house in Woolwich, I would have sworn it was something to do with driving. As it turned out, I was on the set of a short film, so I knew it had to do with filming.

The day began at 7am on a Saturday morning. I rushed along to the tube station (Regents Park, and what an empty platform it was!) changed at Waterloo and got a train from London Bridge to Woolwich Dockard. That in itself was an experience. I’ve never been outside of Central London on my own before, unless you count a few trips to Barnes and one brief trip to a Waitrose. I’d forgotten about those, so this morning it still felt like my first trip outside of the centre.

When I got to London Bridge, I had no idea where to go so I rushed along following signs. I had just 8 minutes to get from the tube to the platform I needed. I didn’t even know which platform it was. Two trains were leaving at 8.08, from separate platforms (which had different entrances). A lady told me it was platform 1, so I listened to her and went to the barrier. Not before asking if I could use my Oyster Card. I didn’t realise how far out of the centre you could go on those things.

So I sat on the train eating Coco Pops out of a plastic bag that they came in in those little cereal boxes, coasting along through London and I pass by a cafe called Cat and Cucumber. What a wonderful name. It made me think of Alice in Wonderland or something.

I arrived at Woolwich Dockyards, I made my way from the station to the house we were filming in and I knocked on the door. A random guy answered. I assumed I was to be expected so I sort of half stepped inside as he was questioning me as to who I am. Then I went inside and sat on his sofa watching the end of Thor with him when I didn’t even know his name. I’d never met him before and as far as I knew, the house belonged to people I don’t know. A little scary but also, really not.

Once everyone had arrived we got started, and the day turned out to be something completely unexpected. I didn’t really know what I was expecting, it’s very hard to know if something is to be expected under those circumstances.

I was the sound lady for the day. I’ve barely even looked at a boom/mic before, I have used one in the past and done a little filming, so I’m not a complete stranger to the situation. I am, however, very new to sets. I’ve only been to one before and for the majority of that I was sat in a different room watching clips they’d shot on previous days.

I learnt very quickly that sound people get everywhere. We’re talking about back seats of cars, crouched on the floor, or even stood round corners. I rather enjoyed lying on the backseat of a car watching the action happen before my very eyes. Seeing something being filmed is generally rather interesting. I know some people find it boring, to see the repetition of lines and scenes, but there’s nearly always something interesting in the way these things are done. Whether it’s a seatbelt not working, someone messing up their lines, or a random stranger walking past in the line of the shot.

So, that fig rig I mentioned earlier. I got a couple of photos of it without the camera. Instead, you get the random faces of a guy called Jamie who was one of the stars of the film. He’s a lovely guy who stepped into the role at the last minute, and quite frankly, has kicked butt. Both the actor and actress involved in today’s filming were fantastic. They delivered on their lines, they got along well but were still able to act to the contrary and they made the whole day so much fun. Very, very funny people, even if they weren’t always intending to be.

I also got a free lunch – who would say no to that? Thanks Mr Director!

You know something else that is fun about filming? Setting up a room to look just right. We were using someone’s bedroom and as he is a friend of the production crew, it was more of a favour than a paid requirement. Yet we got to go in there and move some of his things – mostly a couple of dozen pairs of shoes and his duvet covers.

I’ve definitely learnt a lot today – how much fun film set can be, the process of shooting (Camera Rolling, Sound Recording, Scene 5 take 2, Action) and how to use some very interesting and useful equipment. I learnt a little bit about ISO, how to use a microphone thing that attachs to a boom/mic and a couple of other things besides.

Most of all, I just really enjoyed spending time with some lovely people, doing some fun and productive and having a good time whilst doing it. I’m only sad that I won’t be helping again tomorrow. I cannot wait to see the final edit!

Here are a couple of photos from the days:

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The Script!

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The sound equipment!

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And again…

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Jamie with the fig rig.

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And again…

The Oddness of People

Today has been…unproductive. And yet I’ve travelled 220 miles across country (and then some). I set out about 12 hours ago. Since then I’ve been in a van, a train, a coach, a tube and I’ve also walked. I’ve eaten very little and drank even less. These things happen. I have also come across many unusual people, heard a few random stories and learnt a thing or two along the way (about them, not necessarily about anything important).

It all started, really, when I was sat at the bus/coach station in Manchester (Shudehill, not Chorlton Street). I arrived to find a man asleep (from a distance without my glasses he looked like a bag which has been slumped over a seat) and an overweight couple.

The lady had bright hair – I’m talking blue, purple, maybe even a touch of pink. Within seconds of my arrival she was on her phone informing someone that she’d missed her coach. The taxi driver’s fault, apparently. He didn’t know where he was going, which she thought was rather ridiculous. They should have got the Metrolink (tram). They had to wait until 3.15 for their coach, they couldn’t go anywhere.

I wonder if the woman realised that there was a shopping centre a stones throw away, with cafes and open shops?

She sent her husband on a trek (we’re talking a hundred yards or so) to get a sausage butty. He came back and asked her if she wanted one or two, I sat there thinking ‘one, get one, you don’t need two’, thankfully she saw sense and went for the one. She wasn’t impressed with the coffee and tea on offer. Who knows what she chose to do about a drink.

They didn’t leave the bus/coach station the whole time that I was there. Their original coach departed at 8 am. I arrived in time for a coach that was due to depart at 10.30.

It didn’t. It arrived at 10.35, brilliant. I stood up at 10.20 (just in case, wanted to be at the front of the queue for boarding) and I wanted for half an hour before we even got through the doors. First the driver wanted a cigarette (really? you’re late and you keep us waiting because you’d rather talk to your mate for five minutes BEFORE smoking your cigarette? Thanks for that) and then someone had been sick (the other man turned up with a single mop, one mop, no bucket, no extra water. I’m not sure what he did with the sick or how he cleaned it up, but thankfully I avoided the back end of the bus so I never got to find out) and finally we were on our way. Unfortunately, someone got through my ‘don’t let anyone sit next to you ploy’ and I was forced to share the two seats with him.

He slept, thankfully. He was the perfect seatmate. Except that he was there at all. There’s just less room and it makes it harder to get things out of your bag and eat your lunch.

Which I saved until after I arrived.

Over an hour late. (We were due to arrive at 15.00, we arrived at about 16.05 and then I had to get across to my hostel.)

I ate my pineapple though, mostly because I had a litte sleep myself and when I woke up my mouth was so dry. I decided to eat pineapple instead of open my water and risk it spilling in my bag. (That would have been a disaster – books plus water equals disaster.)

I queued up to put money on my Oyster card. I queued up for at least ten minutes. Only one of the two machines that accepted notes was working. People were being let ahead who were paying by card or coins. I didn’t mind that, it made sense. When I finally got to the machine I realised I had £3.70 on my card anyway, which was enough to get me to my hostel. Oh well. I’m now topped up which will make tomorrow’s journey easier.

There was a woman in my room, the hostel is dorm rooms with bunk beds, so she was supposed to be there. She looked a lot older than some people who stay in hostels, which is a good thing. I’m hoping that means she won’t be staying out all night. I’m not sure about the other people in my room.

I ate my chicken which I’d saved from lunch. It wasn’t cold, which was good. But it was a bit like eating in a goldfish bowl. I felt like that anyway. The room was quite empty and the lovely lady at reception smiled at me, so I felt more self conscious about eating my food bought from somewhere else in a place that does sell food.

I went for a walk after that. I didn’t go far – Nandos. I wanted gelado. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as gelado (I’ve heard of gelato) but it was nice. Pretty much what I imagine gelato to taste like. So, ice cream, kind of. It wasn’t worth the £2.95 price tag. I paid, I ate, I left.

I went book shopping.

Well, I wandered along Oxford Street for a while. There’s something really weird about Oxford Street. It’s always busy, all of the time, and some people are a little bit crazy when it comes to crossing roads. Buses pip their horn at other people on the road. A road they’re entitled to be on.

I finally found Waterstones. I was going to go to a different book shop but that one was a lot further away and I didn’t fancy getting the tube (I’m £2.10 better off!). I’m glad I went to the Waterstones I ended up in. I’ve been to a couple in the area before, they were okay. This one was good, it was great even.

As soon as I found the writing books section (beeline for the writing books, no matter what, even though usually I don’t buy any) one of the employees asked if I needed any help, or something like that. Naturally I was just browsing, but it was nice to be asked. Looking back now, maybe she was overkeen. But that’s okay.

Whilst I was perusing that section, a young man and another employee came over. He was looking for a theory test book to study for his test…which is tomorrow. She handed him a big, thick, official manual. He looked a little bit put out, then asked if they had a shorter version. Of course they don’t. This is a theory test, the Highway Code, rules of the road. You can’t create a York or Cliff’s Notes version. They had a laugh about him reading it as he walked down the street. Too right if he wants to pass. I’m not sure he will.

Someone else was looking for a book on Health and Social Care, a very specific book she needs for her course. The first employee I came across was helping her, they couldn’t find it, though it was on their system as being there. I just so happened to be looking at books on Sociology and noticed a few up top about Health and Social Care, so naturally I informed them of the fact. The employee was ever so nice, they both thanked me in fact when they found the book they were looking for. The employee told us it was her first day, I felt like telling her she was doing an amazing job. But I didn’t see her again after that.

I finally settled on a couple of books in the Buy One Get One Half Price deal, and I left. It was dark. Not pitch black dark, city dark, which is actually quite enjoyable. The temperature outside was actually not bad, it felt like I was back in the summer again, only it was darker earlier.

On my way back to the hostel I noticed a Big Issue seller sat on the floor, I’ve supported the Big Issue in the past. I spent money on it every month for at least a year when I was a teenager. He wasn’t like the Big Issue sellers in my town. They all stand up, and they’re pleasant and don’t ask if you want a Big Issue. I prefer when they don’t ask. This man not only asked, but when nobody responded or bought one he said “somebody say yes” in a really snippy tone. I don’t care what sort of life he might have had, you don’t talk to potential customers that way.

I wandered around Debenhams after that, then walked home. Well, to my hostel. It’s been a good day. I showered and now I feel rejuvenated. I’m ready for tomorrow, an early start, breakfast on the go and hopefully a really interesting day to blog about.

Blogging Fatigue

I’ve blogged continuously for days, more than days. By the end of September (which is Monday) I will have been blogging for two months non-stop. I don’t mind blogging continuously, but when I don’t have a specific blog theme, it makes it harder and harder to come up with ideas.

Anyone who has been following my writing dreams will know that ideas are something I’ve struggled with a lot. That hasn’t really changed. I’ve had an idea here and there, just nothing that can withstand another month full of blog posts.

So next month (that’s Tuesday) I will slacken off the blogging until I’m blogging maybe once a week. Perhaps twice, if I can find something else to blog about.

It also means that I will have to pull my finger out and start writing something other than blog posts in order to fulfil my 750 word a day requirement, as dictated to me by the 750words.com website. Of course, that’s just a minimum and it’s a motivational goal rather than a dictatorship.

I’m actually quite looking forward to only blogging a couple of times a week. It was suggested to me by my friend tromana that I blog about projects I have undertaken. Namely, baking projects. I really like the idea. I started a project recently but it’s sort of failed and I figure it’s best not to start again until after my trip to London (this weekend) as it requires daily activity in order to make it work. Anyway, I will have to restart that again when I get back from London so that I can create a blog post about it in a couple of weeks when it’s finally finished.

I will hopefully spend some time in London figuring out some projects I can work on in order to share them with you. Suggestions are most welcome!

(Another reason I can’t blog about baking projects every day is that my parents probably wouldn’t be too happy if I was feeding them cookies, cake and breads every single day. We’ve been trying to diet, after all. Even the healthier baking projects are still a little unhealthy.)

Thankfully the final few days of blogging have already been set (aside from one day but I’m sure I’ll find something to write about) as my trip to London will provide me with some interesting experience. I cannot wait to share with you some of the things I’m going to be getting up to. Hopefully there will be many more things besides. I have three and a half days, after all, with only one day full and another day only partially full.

Until tomorrow, bloggers/readers. You may be hearing from me from the coach, since it should have internet and a plug socket and I’ve got four and a half hours to fill.

Technology has changed the world.

Technology has changed the world.

It’s become almost unthinkable that there are some people on Earth who do not use computers and mobile phones. It’s even more unthinkable to know that some of those people live in developed countries where access to such things is actually really easy.

I’m lucky enough to still remember an age where mobile phones and the internet wasn’t a requirement. There are a lot of people out there, actually, who will. But we’re reaching a point in the world where our teenagers have grown up using such technologies.

When I was a child I ran about the streets with my friends, playing games where you bounce a ball off the opposite kerb on your street (are kids even allowed outside anymore?), building dens on land round my schools (I task you to find a school that isn’t surrounded by large metal fences) and having sleepovers where you watch a scary film on a VHS (hello! We’re even past DVDs, Lovefilm Instant anyone?).

It feels like a lifetime ago that I lived a life where I called my friends up on the house phone. I remember when someone who I didn’t really consider a friend, but we hung around together sometimes, was messing about on a very steep hill and I went home and called her mum. I wonder how many children and teenagers these days have very little, if any, contact with their friend’s parents.

I did my work experience in a nursery school when I was fifteen years old, the three year olds had access to a computer where they were beginning to learn how to use them. A decade later and those tots are now teenagers, most of which will probably have a mobile phone, many will have computers or iPads and some will access the internet without their parents ever knowing what they’re doing.

I didn’t get my first mobile phone until well into secondary school. I got a Trium Mars one Christmas and it was such a wonderful day. I’d wanted it for a long time, it was a bit different, not the same kind of phone all of my friends were getting (Nokia 3210/3310) and it was worth the wait. I suppose I was one of the curious teens, I purposefully got a phone which had access to WAP. I’d walk around the streets near to where I lived doing my paper round and looking up jokes on a very slow version of mobile internet. I loved every minute of it. It was new and no one was really doing it.

It’s not new anymore. I don’t have the latest phone, or the best operating system on my phone. I have a Nokia Lumia, it’s just over a year old and I can’t even upgrade to the latest OS, and it could be better. I don’t mind so much because I can’t really afford to buy anything better. Besides, I like to get new phones so in theory it’d be better to keep buying cheaper phones every year or two than to buy one expensive one and feel like I’m stuck with it for years.

When I browse Facebook, I see people I went to school with buying their children mobile phones and iPads. Seven year old children being given expensive pieces of technology. And they know how to work them, too. So many children know how to use apps on phones. The amount of times I’ve seen babies holding a phone, their parents thrusting it into their sticky, chubby fingers to keep them from fussing whilst they’re too busy chatting with their friends to talk to their child. It’s not necessarily like that for everyone, but there are an awful lot of children who seem to be pacified by technology.

Aside from all of the dangers that there are supposed to be around mobile technology, these children’s lives are changing. They’re not growing up in the same way we did.

I consider myself to be part of the modern world, the technological world. I am one of the first generations to grow up on technology. But I haven’t truly grown up on technology because I can remember before. I can remember going to college and my Sociology teacher said he wasn’t really bothered about getting a mobile phone. He eventually got one after his car broke down and he found himself unable to call for help. But to actively make that sort of decision now is a lot different to ten years ago.

If you don’t have a mobile phone these days then you can be so far out of the loop. People can’t phone you when you’re out of the house. Some people don’t even have a landline. And as for computers and the internet, if you don’t have access then you will struggle with a lot of things.

Applications for jobs are often done online, too. Job searches are all available on the internet. Finding out about council services can be done on their website. Looking for a fast food restaurant, for an address, for a telephone number; it’s all done online. If you don’t have access to the internet, you just can’t be part of many aspects of society.

I wonder whether people are happy to be on the outside; to not know the phone number for a local plumber because they’ve not had a Yellow Pages delivered in years; to be unable to find that DVD, that CD, that gift that someone they know is after because they don’t have access to online shopping.

I wonder whether those people feel like they’re missing out, or whether, as an internet and mobile phone user I just can’t understand how they might not be.

Missing the Dream

Domino’s pizza hand out free condoms.

For the last two days I’ve been volunteering at a fresher’s fair. For anyone outside of the UK who might not know what that is, it’s an event where companies and non-profit organisations promote their services/opportunities to students at university. Fresher’s week is a very popular period for many people as it’s an opportunity for students to meet new people, drink a lot of alcohol and pick up freebies (I didn’t buy a pen throughout my university years because of the free pens I got at the fresher’s fair). It’s known for being a big party week and safe drinking and safe sex are often the topic of conversation for those outside of the student activities (and maybe for some inside, too).

Today I was given a free condom as part of a goody bag from Dominos. It made me laugh. Since when did the pizza guys start making/handing out condoms?

I digress.

I was at the fresher’s fair because I was helping out on one of the stalls. Talking to students about the work that the organisation I volunteer with does and how they might be able to get involved themselves. It was a successful event; we handed out many, many leaflets and spoke to a lot of people. We even took down a few names and contact details for some people who were really interested in volunteering.

My background is in the voluntary sector. I started volunteering when I was sixteen and have since clocked up thousands of hours donating my time to a number of different charities. Whenever any charity collectors stop me on the street, I don’t give them money, because I feel like I do enough for good causes. It’s part of me and it gives me something so important; it’s given me a purpose, it’s given me friendships and it’s give me confidence.

When I went to university I didn’t do a standard course (e.g. psychology, history, English, they’re all quite popular), because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. The only reason I went to university at all is because I wanted to do a very specific course which fitted around the idea of charity work. I learnt about project management, funding, youth led regeneration and many more subjects besides. It gave me a thirst to do more, it gave me confidence to go out there and be someone others could look up to.

The year I finished my degree course was the same year that the financial crisis had begun to kick in (it started in the UK in 2008 and I graduated in 2009). The first thing to go in financial crises are funds, whether they’re funds for activities run by the council or funds councils allocate to voluntary groups in the area, or funds for jobs full stop. Money had to be cut and everywhere you looked, people were chopping up budgets and starting again. They went and they went hard and fast. A lot of money that is usually up for grabs was funnelled into the Olympic Games and voluntary organisations that worked around sport related activities. The funding for everything else vanished, or at least severely diminished. Over a few years a lot of charities closed their doors for good. Some after being around for a decade, two decades, maybe even more. A handful merged together, solidifying their futures. For the smaller charities, it was the nail in the coffin in an otherwise difficult funding climate.

So here I am, years later, wondering where I am going with my life. I sit around, I volunteer, I look at job adverts and I wonder what I want to do with the rest of my days. The more time goes on, the more I wonder if working in the voluntary sector is for me. The longer I wait for the perfect jobs, the further away I get from an old dream and the closer I get to taking anything that will come my way because there’s just nothing else available.

The fresher’s fair reminded me of something. It reminded me of my dreams; it reminded me of the things that I would happily do for a living, the tasks I would willingly take on, work hard at and do a darn sight better job than some of the paid workers I saw over the last two days. I don’t take work lightly, whether it’s paid or voluntary, I give it my all regardless.

Despite my dreams still sitting there, on the periphery of my life, I know that the chance of getting a job that fits those dreams is hard. It’s harder than hard. It’s actually pretty darn near impossible. There aren’t enough jobs in all professions, lets alone the professions that some government people consider to be unpaid positions. I wonder if I should dig my heels into my volunteering and take on more activities. But people worry that I’ll burn out; they worry that we shouldn’t do too much in case it is too much. Except that I don’t work, I don’t do anything but sit at my computer, eat, sleep, eat some more and read my books. I don’t live in the way some people do. I don’t go to clubs or pubs, I don’t socialise and I don’t meet people. My recent volunteering has given me a lease of life; it has given me somewhere new to spread my wings. And I so desperately want to spread my wings and fly. I want to do more, I want to do things I’ve never done before, and I don’t think it’ll burn me out. I think it’ll give me more passion, it’ll push me further into a place I want to be and it’ll make me wish that I could have it all in a paid environment.

Dreaming is hard sometimes, it’s fierce and fickle and more often than not the world doesn’t always help you along the way. Obstacles crop up, obstacles that quite frankly are near impossible to overcome and there’s very little we can do about them.

But hey, at least I had a good couple of days.