Thursday, 20 February 2014

'You have so many strings to your bow!'

The strings to my bow sit happily side by side. 
Strands of talent and skill, stretched and refined. 
Perfectly parallel.
Colourful. Plentiful.

The strings to my bow resonate dissonantly, it seems.
A noise that’s certainly memorable but not easy on the ear. 
Leaping out amongst those with clear, basic chords but tricky to understand. 
Harmonies identifiable but not in-tune with the melody they sing.

My bow is stilted in growth. 
Now, the strings are stiff and
sprouting grey roots.
Too soon!

Stuck in a minor key.
Always half-way through a potential perfect cadence.

My bow is put away again.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Six Sochi Superstars

London 2012 proved our female athletes were world-class. Hefty funding and patriotic support helped our competitors to achieve brilliance. Sadly, the legacy of the summer Olympics has slowly waned but excitement is building for the event's cooler counterpart.

As the countdown to the Winter Olympics begins, Team GB stands stronger than it's ever been and many medal hopes lie in the hands of our female athletes. Here are six super female competitors set on bringing home the glory.

Jenny Jones - Snowboarding (Slopestyle)

After 10 years in the game Jones is still going strong. Her track-record is impressive and she continues to achieve in European and Global competitions. Last year, she secured the silver medal at the World Cup in New Zealand. It's the first time Slopestyle has been included in the Olympics, so it'll be interesting to see how Jones performs on this world stage.

Katie Summerhayes - Skiing (Slopestyle)

At 19 years old, she's a young competitor with stacks of skill. It's exciting for GB to put forward such a promising skier. Previously, she's placed on the podium in the World Cup and finished 4th in the X-Games. The National Lottery have invested heavily in the freestyle team and confidence only grows for our cool competitors.

Lizzy Yarnold - Skeleton

Yarnold has a fantastic story. As a talented youngster she initially competed in heptathlon, hoping to become professional in modern pentathlon. However, Yarnold was identified by UK Sport's Girls 4 Gold talent search and put forward for skeleton as a future Olympic medal hopeful. She had huge success as a junior and has continued to achieve at senior level, winning the World Cup just two weeks ago.

Shelley Rudman - Skeleton

Rudman has much experience under her belt. She competed in Turin in 2006 and bagged the Olympic silver medal but finished third behind Yarnold in this year's World Cup. She's secured a number of titles in the past so let's hope the skeleton duo spur each other on to do well in Sochi.

Elise Christie - Short Track Speed Skating

Christie bagged the bronze medal last year at the World Championships in Hungary; an historic performance as the first British woman to ever win a medal in short track speed skating. She held the 2013 World Cup title for 1000m and achieved gold at the European Championships in both 1000m and 1500m. Let's hope the Scot continues to succeed.

Eve Muirhead - Curling

Think curling; think Muirhead. Once again she leads the incredibly successful Scottish team into the Olympics with absolute class. With plenty of titles under her belt, it's no surprise that her and her teammates were the first athletes to be selected for Sochi. Muirhead was just 19 at the 2010 Games in Vancouver, so expectation is high for this experienced and determined young woman.

Let's hope these ladies get heaps of media coverage so that their own wintry legacy can be thoroughly established.

Photo credits:

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Unemployed and 'Overqualified'

Unemployment rate drops to 7.1% and yet I remain unemployed. Where do I fit?

I worked incredibly hard for my GCSEs, achieved good 'A' levels and went on to pass my degree with first-class honours.

I came out of university and couldn't get a job. I ended up in the public sector in an admin role.

I moved on, and on, to the next temporary role I could find. All the while, applying for creative jobs.

I never 'knew' anyone in the creative industry; I never got a job in the creative industry.

I'm now 25 and my CV heaves like a dusty concertina, revealing lines of admin duties and mediocre responsibilities between the dirty folds.

Earlier in the week, I had a second interview. One other candidate was up against me. I was thrilled to be considered and hoped that my thorough experience and creative background would be enough to land me the role.

At the end of the day I am given the news that I am unsuccessful. I am 'overqualified'.

Pipped to the position because my CV is a bit too shiny with my A*s and my experience is a bit too advanced for this particular job.

In the past I have been a cleaner, a retail assistant, a receptionist, worked in IT, for charity, for the ambulance service...

I have taken jobs because I've had to earn money, and have tried to make them as enjoyable as possible by taking on additional tasks and responsibilities. I have managed to build entry-level roles into something really rather skilful and worthwhile.

But in this case, where I believed I had a real shot at something good, my achievements and efforts worked against me and I remain unemployed. What bitter statistic am I?

...Anyway, on to the next one!

*I'm not technically unemployed yet. I finish at my current job on Friday and am relocating to a different area.