Monday, 21 February 2011

2-week Holiday, Rubbish Weather And A Town I'm Starting To Be Able To Pronounce

Sometimes you just have to take your hat off to the French: they're barely back at school for six weeks and they decide to have another holiday. Magnificent. I remember the agony of the Michaelmas Term at school, lasting all of 78 weeks with a measly 9 days for half term (weekends either side included) and cannot help but feel that this truly is the life. However, it does raise an interesting point: aged 7 to 18, I spent roughly 40 hours at school every week, holidays aside, and thought nothing of it; it was just what one did. Now, however, owing to the vaguaries of a languages' degree that rewards end-of-term assignment and end-of-year exam cramming, without any sort of continuous assessment, I find the notion of a 40-hour week utterly abhorrent; surely that's some form of child/student/Charlie abuse!? Case in point: one of my BTS classes (they're doing archaeology) never seem to cease working, being made to do hours upon hours of coursework, exam preparation and other dossiers. I can only imagine that this activity is vaguely reminiscent of what I probably had to do at school (albeit at a younger age - these students are between 19 and 22), but that part of my life has completely fallen out of my memory now; anything beyond 14 hours per week is now beyond my comprehension. I feel reality may hit me rather hard when I arrive in Frankfurt to commence my internship...

You might have noticed that the titles of my posts sometimes don't refer in any way to the content of the post itself. I have; I quite like it; it keeps people on their proverbial toes. For that reason, I shall be talking about neither the weather nor the town I can now just about pronounce (Mansles - I blame the southern accent of the person who first told me how to pronounce it...order has been restored now). I shall instead leave you.

Charlie x

Monday, 14 February 2011

Some Updates

We can start with the exciting news: after several months of searching, I have finally been offered an 8-week internship in Frankfurt at StateStreet, though I'm not entirely sure what my role will be there; hopefully my chronic lack of financial experience won't count against me too much. My general attitude that common sense tends win out may in fact help, though whether this is wishful thinking on my part remains uncertain. Indeed, while at AGI Lux, I managed to acquire a sufficient amount of knowledge to allow me to survive the month of desperate tedium and lack of work - this time, however, I'll actually have to do things, which is both a breath of fresh air and positively cheeky on their part; expecting me to work? Dear me...

Re French things, I discovered a suitably exciting salon du thé yesterday; it basically involved wandering into some chap's (converted, I hasten to add) house, ordering a hot beverage from a friendly man with an intruiging beard and plonking yourself down on his eclectic collection of settees and armchairs with gay abandon. I had a "thé chocolat épices"  (chocolate and spice tea), which, to be honest, tasted of neither spices nor chocolate, but had the reassuring presence of fruit tea, whereby you're sure there's a satisfying taste somewhere, but your tongue hasn't quite located it. All in all, I was impressed, and will definitely be returning.

Looking back over some of my previous posts, it appears that I have fallen prey to the Eton comma; I suspect this only offends me, but if it does happen to irritate any of you (of my roughly 3, I imagine) readers, I urge you to accept it as being intentional; I can justify it (ish) by using the somewhat conversational tone of my posts.

That's all for now,

Charlie x

Monday, 7 February 2011

February Already? Here Goes...

It has come to my attention that the Science Museum now has exhibits dedicated to homeopathy, acupuncture and Chinese medicine - something which must come as a disappointment to all real scientists who would rather proper science be taught and promoted in such an institution. Furthermore, they actually state that homeopathy helped a girl who "had allergies". Instead of telling us what the allergies were and how the homeopathic treatment helped her, they just leave it at that. Really scientific guys - congrats etc. Chaps, if you want to be taken seriously in the world of science/technology, appealing to the woo-woo merchants (horseshit peddlers) of society isn't a wonderful way of going about it.

Something bizarre happened today in the otherwise-uninspiring world of my local laundrette. I was sitting there, merrily reading a book while waiting for my drying to finish, when 3 boys of a similar age to me walked in, one of them bearing one of those large, fluffy microphones that people use for television. They proceeded to approach one of the empty dryers, stuck the microphone thingy in the drum, left it there for a few seconds, recorded whatever sound was made (very little, from what I could tell), and promptly vacated the premises, giving me (the sole witness to this aberrant behaviour) a cheeky grin. I was most amused.

Charlie x