Friday late night chatter – a title only to be used when tired and out of creativity

Friday night, and a gentle bus back home leaving school at 21:30.

I’ve given this week a really really good go – 21:30 I think being an average time for when I have left school.  I managed to get a two day turnaround on test marking on both classes who had test and managed to make more posters for the school (my new favourite hobby).  I managed to negotiate our fiendish puzzle of preparing documents for our school conference next week – as well as host an evening for our class parents.

Most importantly, you could say, I am still undefeated and top of our group in our school FIFA 13 tournament.  I know some readers will be delighted to hear how I had a temporary collapse in one game from a 3-0 lead to clinging on 3-2, until I kept the ball in the corner for the last five minutes of game time.

I have also, this evening, found a bit of time to prepare the final touches towards my work I need to do for the October Eurovision season.  And no, I actually don’t mean working on my critically-unacclaimed entry for Switzerland (which I should probably try and get some internet publicity for – because I still naïvely believe the song would be great there if bizarrely different – and it’s always fun to be talked about), I actually mean the collection of fan club annual meetings that this year I luckily can attend both in Sweden and in the UK.

The format of both is very different.  The UK meeting has a collection of minutes and treasurer reports hidden at the back somewhere – a short 10 minute top Presidential Intro – and then it is fun fun fun!  Sweden – it is serious – there are elections, motions, debates, arguments, and it is as formal as can be – I would liken it to a Student Union meeting and I expect my Swedish will fail me next week.  I don’t have an issue with this per se – but I would expect a more representative function from a group that had an election format, which it does not have.  OGAE, as a stereotype, is afraid of open discussion and comment – using the links it has to make suggestions and give ideas as a representative body to the EBU and to member broadcasters.  OGAE should do that, carefully and politically delicately.  At the moment, it feels like fans get treated well, but only because it is ok for it to be the case.  I’m sure constructive advice can be given from both OGAE UK and Sweden to the BBC and SVT, and do not believe this would harm our reputation.

I go to the Sweden meeting in Eskilstuna as the Stockholm co-ordinator.  It is one of the most difficult jobs out there – so much of my trouble is finding a suitable room for our events.  I’m already being asked, as per Swedish social planning laws, when it will be, but to be honest I’ll take any date I can get a venue for – even one when I can’t be there myself.  I’m attempting to hold a meeting the morning after in a little café there to get some ideas for the Stockholm group going.  I want to make this the most open and the best example of a local official OGAE network anywhere – a true example to share of best practice.  I’ve had 4 years doing this before, so should be able to again I hope.  Ideas float round my head of a hardcore group to meet each week to watch National Finals – a trip abroad to watch an NF – a local karaoke night – a local quiz night – a debate meeting experts and former artists.  Of course – a lot here will sound similar to what we did at Durham – but that worked – there are huge memories of these occasions – and I hope there will be new ideas from elsewhere.  Stockholm is known as the world’s schlager capital (and let’s remember, this city should be hosting Eurovision next year) – but that is no thanks to myself yet and I have important to role to make that.  If I organize a National Final trip for our members – I want to have the same level of support and welcoming to make contacts and new Eurovision friends that I would give.

With the UK group, I’ve fell into writing the quizzes for the magazine every quarter, and I make the quiz (with a friend – who again I fell into working with) and the booklet for the event.  Quiz writing at this level is Eurovision geekiness is hard, I can’t just bank on my knowledge I have to search the web high and low for good ideas – and it is definitely a least a full day’s work in putting together – almost certainly more.  They are though, nice roles for me to have – my book design is safe, economical compared to previous – and my quizzing is the kind of role I will happily take the needed time out for.

Where are required democratic process is avoided in conflict in UK (if anything is needed, it is often discussed remotely), Sweden has created what is only just an understandable system for me – you don’t nominate yourself to stand – you get nominated – and even then, when you write a little information to say why you should be selected, and a committee pick the people, but there is still a vote to confirm that or pick the other candidates.

It needs a nice flow chart, which I volunteer my services to write!

I was nominated – which stunned me – but despite writing all the information and my experience well, I wasn’t a preferred candidate so I stepped down.

I accepted the nomination for a few reasons.  Firstly, having heard of nothing about any candidates, and seeing all the resignations, I like many others was worried about the club in this important year.  If somebody out there thought I would do a good job then I would of course give it a go.  I was scared there would be nobody else!

Secondly, I am interested in doing more with Melodifestivalklubben – there is more I want to do to keep improving what we do.  I have been running and working with Eurovision fan groups for many years already before moving to Sweden last year; it is something that I genuinely love doing.

Thirdly and finally, and also decisively, it was the importance of this year for the club too which was pivotal – to work on some of the tasks the board will face in the new year is something that Eurovision fans like myself dream about doing for years – and who knows if we would ever get the chance again.

Standing down, I can give the politician answers of being too weak at Swedish, or there are better candidates (maybe?) – or a more truthful one in that it is probably better for me to try and do the impossible and make this Stockholm group a world leader.

I’m looking forward to a crazy October of making friends from one of my greatest passions.  That is what it should be.

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