I hope to post them up soon but here are some baby photos of me to keep you occupied in the meantime. I dare you not to laugh.
As Pope Benedict XVI writes in his second book titled 'Jesus of Nazareth': 'The cruel consequences of religiously motivated violence are only too evident to us all. Violence does not build up the kingdom of God,the kingdom of humanity. On the contrary, it is a favorite instrument of the Antichrist, however idealistic its religious motivation may be. It serves, not humanity, but inhumanity ... No; violent revolution, killing others in God’s name, was not his way. His “zeal” for the kingdom of God took quite a different form.'
EDIT: This is a good article on why we need to ask what the word 'fundamentalist' means in this context, as well as the importance of sticking to the facts when it comes to reporting.
Writing for a newspaper is completely different. Most of the time the finished article is only half of what you originally submitted, and that's not even including the structural changes or the words you - or someone else - has supposedly said.
It's tough because one ends up feeling a bit reluctant to have one's name attached to a story they didn't really write. Sure it would be published in the newspaper/online, but it's not really one's own work.
Why would anyone want credit for something they didn't write?
Photo credit to ToastWizard
Thrown in the deep end, I went to Knebworth, near Stevenage, for a parish profile I was to write for The Westminster Record. After the interview, I took a look around the church, snapped a few photos and went back to the presbytery for afternoon tea ("Ooh er!" I hear you say). I'll post a link/photo here once the article's published - if I remember - which I think will be in a week's time....
Anyway, I arrived back at London's King's Cross around 5ish and made my way to Chalk Farm to see Linkin Park. I used to be a HUGE fan when I was younger, back in the days when I thought the more piercings I had the cooler I'd be. My friend had won iTunes Festival tickets and had invited me. How could I say no? I've seen them live before at Wembley, so I kind of knew what to expect. I must say though, I was a bit worried that I wouldn't enjoy myself seeing as I had already outgrown my metal-wristband-headbanging phase. To no one's surprise I had a great time.
The Roundhouse is an amazing venue. It's got a really nice atmosphere and is quite pleasing on the eye. Unfortunately we didn't get any war wounds from being in the mosh pit but we had our fair share of headbanging and jumping around. T'was a shame that the people around us weren't so interested in letting loose as much, but hey-ho. The best bit was the encore. They returned on stage to perform some of their older songs as well as an amazing rendition of Adele's 'Rolling in the Deep'. I didn't think Chester would be able to pull it off, but ... his voice. Just, wow.
Tuesday 5th July
Needless to say, I had left my voice at the Roundhouse last night.
Today I had another busy day away from my desk. It was the Headteachers' Conference at the Diocese and I was asked to cover it (i.e. record the speeches, take photos, write up a news story and publish it to the site).
It was a strange prospect to think that I could bump into one of my old headteachers. I mean, I didn't expect them to remember me or anything, but it's always a bit surreal when something from your past crops up. It's like someone's messed with the time continuum or something. Anyway, that's exactly what happened. Although I bumped into someone I didn't expect to - my primary school headteacher. One, because she retired about six years ago, so under normal circumstances she wouldn't be at the conference, and two, the last time I saw her was ... ten years ago. Ten years!
All I really remember from the conversation was her going 'Oh my God!' several times. To me she hadn't changed a bit. Ok, she'd aged (as you do) but her expressions, the way she spoke - just like they were ten years ago. I on the other hand must have looked like a complete stranger; I was only three feet tall back then! It was lovely to catch up. I remember clearly that she didn't have much faith in me getting accepted into the secondary school I wanted to go to. She felt that circumstances at home would be a disadvantage, regardless of how well I may have been doing at school. Just goes to show that you should just do what you think is right. We only get one chance at life, so make the most of it. Makes you realise that you'll never know where life will take you and who you'll meet (again) along the way.
The day's ended but I don't know what it is, I feel a bit low, a bit blue.
I'm disappointed that I'm not feeling a certain way. It took me a while to place the feeling, but I soon realised it was one of inadequacy. I guess I just feel a bit out of my depth - like I don't really fit in. I probably just need to settle in.
Wednesday 10th July
Nothing too exciting to report on. I learnt how to use QuarkXPress to format the newspaper - it's sort of like a glorified version of Photoshop or any kind of design program for that matter.
After work I was off to meet some friends for a birthday gathering. The place I was meant to go to was a Brazilian-styled restaurant. Instead of it being a straightforward A-B journey I ended up going on an adventure.
It was embarrassing. I turned up to the restaurant and said to the lady at the front that I was meeting friends who had already reserved a table. I walked in, it was a small room so I could see everyone clearly - apart from my friends. I was confused. I looked again, just in case (you can never be too sure, especially when I'm not wearing my glasses), but still, nothing. So I rang one of them and said I had arrived but I couldn't see them. And then the dreaded question: 'Where are you?'. 'Victoria' I said. 'Ah ... well ... we're in Putney'. Putney?! That was ages away from Victoria! Now I'm not usually this stupid. I say stupid things, but I can read a map. It turns out that the link that was sent to everyone only showed the main branch *headdesk*
I'd never been to Putney. At first I thought 'Where's Putney? I know it's south of the river, but ... what's in Putney?' Turns out that it's quite a nice place. Anyway, I arrived after an hour to an empty restaurant. Apologised profusely for being such a ditz and we swiftly moved on to a pub. T'was nice to see everyone and catch up. Goes to show that it doesn't matter whether you've not spoken to someone for months on end, if they're really your friend it's as if you just spoke to them yesterday.
I also noticed that I had been out more this week (note, we're only half way through) than I had last semester. Now I wonder what that says about me?
Thursday 11th July
What did I do today? I did something. I know I did. Hmmm.
Friday 12th July
Putting the final touches to the parish profile. I had fun writing it as I didn't have to be as structured as one does when writing a news article. I tried to inject a bit of personality into the piece (i.e. dry humour and some arty babble). I would have included some self-deprecation but I had reached my word limit.
We also had Elevenses which was rather nice. I got to meet everyone in the house and have some tea and cake. It's always nice to get away from the desk for a bit, I get headaches when I stare at a screen for too long.
I then went to a meeting to discuss a press release I've been asked to organise. It was all very exciting. There were so many factors to take into account: the target audience (local/national/Catholic newspapers who would be interested in the story), making sure all the information is correct (names/date/places etc.), asking all the right questions, how many photos to take, what kind etc. etc. It's all good experience. I'm being pushed out of my comfort zone and challenged, which can only be a good thing (I think).
So yes, it's Friday and as much as I'd like to just go home and sleep I have a friend from uni coming to stay over.
Saturday 10th July
Up early (for a Saturday) to go to Portobello Market. My friend had never been before so she asked if I'd kindly play host and take her to see the nicer part of the ghetto. Here's what we got up to: