Wednesday, 16 July 2014


Such news, such news!

So up first: a while back, I badgered you on and on (and on, and on, and on) to click on a link. Apparently a few people did and, while I have absolutely no idea if it contributed in any way, thank you so much if you did because I actually won it! If you'd like to read it (and let's be honest, why would you not want to read it?) you can click here. (Last time I'll ever plug it, promise.)

I won an internship in an incredible and exciting firm in London and I'm still a bit surprised. I'm incredibly pleased and excited of course, but now I'm just itching to know when I can start - if only because carriage all the way down to London is going to cost me some serious pennies, and the sooner I can book it the fewer pennies it will cost.

Fun fact: these are worth more as scrap than their face value!
And yet we keep making them. Glorious.
And then? And then it will be London for four weeks. I cannot express my excitement: I am a child on Christmas Eve whose birthday also falls on Christmas Day and is also flying to New York in Concorde to experience Christmas and birthday all over again.

Whew. Convoluted but I'm sure you'll agree it was totally worth it.

My other job chugs along quite nicely and my dissertation is slowly taking shape, that shape being a vast and looming behemoth growing and spinning and writhing out of all control. I now have to face up to the fact that I have been attacking this from an entirely Euro-centric view, which is lovely but would be a very valid criticism and one that I could potentially deflect if I tackle it now - so it's time to look at Iran and Turkey for alternate views of secularism to see if we can perhaps fit that model to the French.

I'm also realising that it's going to be impossible to cover all the bases in this paper, so it'll essentially be entirely hypothetical followed by a crushing "Well, this is all very nice, but it won't happen in a month of Sundays so essentially this has been a total waste of 8,000 words with no practical, real-world applications. However, I clearly understand that so could I have high mark please?"

Dammit Mr Ball! Sorry, Professor. Professor Ball.
Other things that are new? There was a reshuffle in the UK Government, and there are now five women in Cabinet instead of three which is excellent news for progress and also terrible news for progress, because on the one hand women in unrepresented areas is a huge positive while women who believe in capital punishment and voted against equal marriage is less positive for progress.

Something to struggle with. Luckily we can all unite in hatred of the Daily Mail, the contemptuous rag of a newspaper which today had a double page spread on what it charmingly called "The Downing Street Catwalk," because who the fuck cares what these women think or their careers when we can judge their clothes, hair, age, wrinkles, and OH YE GODS WOULD YOU STOP.

The word "catwalk" is also a stinky little word which brings up other words like "catty" and "catfight". These women are people and while I am not going to be going for a beer with Pritti "Bring back hanging" Patel or hanging out with Nicky "Gays aren't equal" Morgan, the reduction of these politicians and working women to clothes-horses and objects is creepy and shit.

Also Michael Gove got booted from Education, which has pleased...well, everyone, it seems, but mostly teachers according to this +BuzzFeed article.

Palestine and Israel are still killing the hell out of each other, although since Israel's got superior everything the first Israeli casualty was yesterday, when Palestinian fatalities were at 109. It's an incredibly complex and brutal struggle, but it got even worse when a video of Israelis apparently watching the bombing of Gaza with popcorn.

Yeah, I know. You were wondering how it could get worse too. Isn't it nice when people surprise you?

All told it's been a pretty hard week in the world, and everywhere that's not here. So I'm just incredibly thankful that I've won this competition, and that I get to go and learn from some of the best. If I keep going at this rate I might be able to effect change by the time I'm, ooh...35?

Ten years away. There's time. Besides, someone recommended an excellent Masters programme at the other end of the country. I've always wondered what it's like in the West Country...