So, Sheffield is home for the time being, and I am home alone. Durham was class and I loved all the moments of it, but now is the dark, murky reality of a summer holiday. Alison is out working and I have the flat to myself.
Let’s start by reviewing that list of things to do
Volunteering – what a joke. What should be the easiest thing to do has turned out to be a wild goose chase with little constructive help in the search. It would be much improved should volunteer agencies actually act as a middle man and introduce you to people, rather than just give you sheets of contacts, and are actually positive about you and your situation and want to help. I think somebody like me, a professional 23 year old would be exactly the kind of people who would put a lovely bright image on them they would want to embrace, but I haven’t felt like that.
I’m also frustrated by CRB checks, I know many roles need them, and they have some purpose I guess, but I find it very dubious anyway. They are only reactive documents after all. Also, a little research into them paints a picture of ineffectiveness. Firstly, checking people’s details for employment needs to be a free thing for all organisations and should be something in the 21st century developed states we have as a basic human right. Setting it up was the wrong idea as well, it has made it more short-term efficient, but to out-source from the police organisation has made it harder to co-ordinate how and provide the easy and accessible and obvious service it needs. With the wonders of internet and databases for example, checks could be done at police stations with documentation ready there and then, which in 1997 we never would have thought possible.
It has been a barrier to volunteering too, as almost all roles are not going to be available because I live in Sweden, so have different checks. Hello – EU – where are you? I had a look for what the EU does, and my first google search came up with CBBC. Nevertheless, it broke it down nice and easily. In the aims of the EU it says: 4. Develop Europe as an area of freedom, security and justice.
Help Europeans to live in safety, without the threat of war. Sounds useful. Well if that is so then surely these checks need to be consistent across the entire EU, and we need to at least now be working towards a system for our member states to hold and share this information to all who are allowed to access it, to ensure that it is an area of equal freedoms and security, which by me being unable to find suitable volunteer placements it is not.
I have something though, covering on a Wednesday manning the desk at the South Yorkshire Energy Centre, which was of everything my preferred option – always good to keep up some environmental knowledge on my CV. But what a farce and it got me angry about things politically for the first time in a while. Maybe after this experience I will find European Parliament more interesting…
Planning a holiday – actually, we’ve done very little. We are planning on starting together with SchlagerPride, despite the high cost it feels like a fun obligation to do and Alison, virginal to these experiences should witness it. We might not be able to do the full week on the waters, but I hope to as much as possible out with her. We should make a list of what we need…
Entering Melodifestivalen – a big blow to this has happened with the lack of Webbjoker – thanks SVT – just the year when I had worked out a strategy to get all the votes I needed. They are still having an amateur selection, but they will pick one song from it. Which could work, but means I need to be even more professional with it – I need the production to be slicker – I need a photo to show my cute side – and another haircut to match and all these things. All in all, it is unlikely to happen this year whereas I would have been more confident the other way. Recording, I had already planned to leave to Stockholm – and I don’t see that changing.
Getting fitter – this is going ok – not perfect – but ok – I’ll be swimming today and tomorrow and stuff like that – and I’ve doing something each day so I’ll take that. I’ve also been in charge of making dinner each night, which has led to typically odd Ben dishes but two that have worked very successfully. And been healthy too. Winning!
Finding somewhere to live – not thinking about this until I go back to Sweden again – it is more longer term than just the Summer anyway, and I need to know some other plans before I commit to this.
Teaching innovation – Will be done too – and will be amazing – just waiting for my final schedule before committing making it
Busking – I have a keyboard waiting for me in Sweden, and hopefully I’ll get some good weather for when I return. I have found about 90 Eurovision/Melodifestivalen song chords I can play and will spend time at home printing these into a book I can take back with me.
Learning Swedish – I did about 20 minutes last night after my watching the tennis/playing ESCRadio really loud/dancing with full water bottles in each hand routine. Kul!
And that’s it for the build up. There will be two guaranteed blogs coming your way soon. I went to my first ever wedding on Saturday, and I have lots of thoughts of that I will want to share, plus some thoughts on Sheffield, which I might leave publishing until I leave this city.