Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Past Visions of the Future

Don’t worry, this post isn’t quite as spacy as the last one… I’ve just found some funny pictures of how a Parisian in 1910 expected the year 2000 to look like. So, here goes… [source]

villemard-1910-2000 (1)


villemard-electric-train (1)




Monday, 28 March 2011

Time Capsule Goals

I sometimes like to write down my goals and imagined future so that in a year, or five, or ten, I can look back and see what’s changed, what’s worked out and what’s stayed the same.

So right now, academically, this is my plan (since I don’t want to plan who I marry when and how I have kids and where I live):

I’ll be commencing my 4 years BA in German at University of Oxford this coming October, including a year abroad in a German-speaking country. Though Oxford has links with Bonn, I will hopefully be pushy enough to persuade them to give me either the whole year in Munich, or 6 months Munich, 6 months somewhere else. Perhaps Berlin, or, if I’m really persuasive, somewhere further afield – I’m thinking anywhere from Wellington to Amsterdam. This degree, though I am not expecting it to inspire me much, will hopefully interest me and give me a boost in my future. I want to meet friends and start lots of new things. Like sport. And Spanish dancing. And maybe pottery.

After that, an MA in Anthropology (Social), and I’d quite like this to be outside the UK. Right now I’m leaning towards Canada. I don’t want to be tied to just German for ever, and I certainly don’t want to be tied to the UK.

This is where it gets vague. I’d like to do a PhD, largely because it’s necessary in order to even consider become a University lecturer/professor in something people-related (Anthropology, Modern Languages, Ethnology…). However, I don’t know if this work will interest me in ten years. I’ve heard staffroom politics are very important and I hate that kind of bullshit. So PhD is still up in the air.

Other things I’m thinking about are: working for the UN, an organisation like Liberty or an NGO; working in the tourism and travel sector anywhere in the world; working for the EU in the capacity of helping improve how immigration works, and allowing people to have the lives they want, not just the lives the Western governments deem appropriate and desirable; doing TEFL (though that’s not really a long-term thing).

I know I want to travel, and I know I want to help people. But I have no delusions of grandeur, no superhero complex. I’m not charismatic or tough enough to approach the Big Guys, but I am a good teacher and a good linguist, and since I believe that speaking a language of business (be that English, French, Spanish or whatever) will really help people both financially and personally. I love multiculturalism and want to make supporting it my life work.

And I didn’t know that before I typed that sentence.

My life goal at the moment: to support multiculturalism!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

All the little things

I’ve figured out why I never read at home. It’s got to do with the fact that I would rather watch television, and the fact that I sometimes travel to a coffee shop just to read, and to do with the fact that I think the coincidence of my A Level results and last years’ political excitement were significant. If the election hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have become obsessed with politics, and I wouldn’t have done all my A Level revision with BBC Parliament running in the background.

I need noise around me. I don’t mean music, or lawn mowing. I mean people talking – be it the television, the radio, the coffee shop chatter or the house of commons balderdash, I get bored after a few pages if there’s no background people blabber. I don’t just get bored, but I feel empty and unfulfilled and sad – how silly is that? – when I read a book in a silent room.

Anyway… I have a sort of job. It’s not really anything special, it’s just babysitting for 8 hours a week, but since nobody else seemed interested it’s what I’ve got to stick with. The baby is sweet and the family nice so I don’t foresee any major problems.

I just have to try out the local coffee shop. ‘Cause I can’t keep going into the town centre just to read my book!

It may also have something to do with the fact that the books I read are largely dry German literature. I want to get some proper fun books!

Any ideas?

Wednesday, 16 March 2011


I’ve applied for another round of jobs. These are really cool ones as well, like being a tour guide in Reykjavik, or a youth camp leader in Devon, or a barge deckhand in France.

I’m not feeling hopefully but maybe – maybe – I might actually get something.

Thing is, I’m going crazy here. All the people I know are out of town, and the two friends I have who are still in Reading are so consumed by their art degrees (not knocking it; it’s awesome to have a passion) that I nearly never see them. I miss people. Being with other young, inspired, up-for-anything people.

I’m starting to doubt everything about myself; whether I’m likeable, whether I’m any good at music, whether I’m a traitor to my own convictions, whether I’m boring… Bullshit questions like that which I know the real answers to, not the ones elicited by loneliness and feeling sorry for myself. I’m pissed off at myself for being so shy and lazy and I can’t keep comforting myself with spinach omelettes and sitcoms.

I hope I get one of these jobs. Especially working on barge. Because god help me, I am never happier than when my hands are dirty, my back is sore and there’s a song in my throat. I want to be a sailor, not a half-hearted student on pause.

Ahoy there captain. Whisk me away.

When I have some good news I’ll let you know. Sadly there is no news at the moment other than; oh, there’s another job I didn’t get or, oh there’s another person who’s bailed on me.

Sorry. I try not to blog like this. Sometimes I just need a place to vent.


Y, hola, Gaby! Disculpa me, este blog no es muy alegre. No soy siempre trista. ¡Sólo tengo hacer algo! Me gusta que tu es aqui. :)

Friday, 4 March 2011


No longer do I feel crap!

I feel spiffy Smile with tongue out LICK.

I wrote three songs, I snuggled up in my blanket, I made mint tea with real mint, I plaited my hair and wore flowers in it, I ate a spinach and feta omelette, I did the laundry, and I built a shelf out of a cardboard box lid and some tape.



I don’t know these people but this is what today felt like.