Jubilee Gardens

Blogmas 19: Selected photography of London

Over 3 months ago now I had the opportunity to go to BBC Broadcasting House to interview Alex Manzi, Social Media Producer at BBC Radio 1Xtra. This came about thanks to Stephen from the Student Radio Association because I was part of the team that organised the SRA London & East Anglia Training Day – blog post on that will appear soon!

Anyway, a clip from the interview was included in the Student Radio Podcast and broadcast on inRadio back in September – you can listen to that below (I’m about 3 minutes in)

Whilst I was in London I also had some time to kill and thought I would revisit a few special places I had been to before, this time with a camera to capture some of the more hidden gems of London!

(I didn’t actually get a shot of the BBC because I didn’t want to look like a fangirl tourist!)


Blogmas 18: Chart Show stuff and radio airplay

While I was on work experience last week I got the opportunity to write some scripts for the UK Hit Music Chart Show. The show airs on Virgin Radio Montreal every Sunday and reflects the biggest songs in the UK as defined by their airplay on UK radio.

Although I presented an entertainment show on Insanity Radio for two terms and have listened to countless other shows on multiple radio stations, I don’t really know all that much about popular music. My buying of Now! That’s What I Call Music albums ceased at around Now 77, perhaps even earlier, and my main consumption of mainstream CHR (contemporary hit radio) was via the Scott Mills Daily podcast, which does not include music.

Therefore, finding out which songs are big in radio airplay this week was pretty cool and I was reassured that I am not completely out of touch when I realised that I knew the majority of the songs. Having also spent two days in the office listening to Capital for ten hours a day, I completely understand how certain songs have reached their positions in the charts. In fact, it got to a point where every time 24K Magic by Bruno Mars played, I would predict that Say You Won’t Let Go by James Arthur was coming soon (it was hit and miss whether I was right but they did both play VERY frequently).

Actually writing the chart show was really fun though, and the show airs in the small hours of Monday morning, so from 1am tonight I will be awake listening in and seeing how many of the song positions I can remember! The best way to find the stream is downloading the Virgin Radio Canada app for Android/iOS and, as far as I know, it’s working!

Blogmas 17: Emails

Today I have been at work and there’s been a lot of waiting, which means a lot of time to work on other things – namely sorting out ALL of my emails in my general inbox. This is something I do pretty much every time I come to work, and then allow the emails to build up and then have to repeat the process.

However, today was different. I began my day with over a thousand unread emails. It’s coming up to 1pm and I have none. Granted, I have 166 emails in my action folder that need to be dealt with eventually, but nothing new clogging up my actual inbox. I can’t actually recall the last time I had this few emails.

Looking back over my inbox has been pretty interesting too. I have found emails from people I forgot I knew and had some nostalgic moments too. It’s nice to be able to look back on memories in email form but it’s also good to be able to let go of some of the useless nonsense that I archived in my inbox.

So, my tip of the day: have a clear out! You may not be able to physically tidy things, but sorting out your virtual space is also highly valuable and rewarding.

Blogmas 16: BBC News – “Forged rail tickets being sold on dark web”

A couple of months ago I came across an article from BBC News about the sale of forged rail tickets on the dark web, and in the midst of Southern Rail travel chaos now seems like a good time to look back at it.

It is undeniable that rail tickets are incredibly expensive for what they provide. Four days of commuting into the capital from just outside Zone 6 has cost me £17.20 a day, which is a 16-25 railcard price. That’s a total cost of £68.80 for a train that is perpetually late (the 8:23 arrived no earlier than 8:27 every single day). I was lucky to get a seat each day, but the majority of people after my station had to stand for the 30-40 minute journey.

Because of my railcard (supposedly) I also had issues getting through the barriers at the train and underground stations. Most of the time staff are around, but on my final day I struggled to find someone to let me through and almost missed my train. They also never asked for proof of my railcard, although probably because I look about 12.

It’s no wonder though that there’s a degree of money to be made in selling fakes. Not working in the barriers is no problem as they are indistinguishable at a glance from the real thing, and with prices over half of what you’d pay from a reputable retailer, there is a clear market of commuters and leisure travellers hoping to get a good deal.

You can read the full article here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-37800623. This is also a fantastic example of responsible investigative journalism – they didn’t name the company, so they don’t generate business for them, and they carried genuine tickets alongside the fakes. Well done to the BBC!

Blogmas 15: Audio editing and childhood

Today was my final day of work experience at Create Productions and it was another great week of what I hope was valuable contributions to the work of the company. Having been there before, I was able to feed back on what I enjoyed and wanted to do more of, which was audio editing (but actually also a bit of everything!).

Last time I was at Create I spent a chunk of my time editing some poems from a competition, and this time I was allowed to do even more audio editing, which was fantastic. It also showed me how fast the turnaround was for some of the content I was creating. The first set of packages I helped put together were airing on the two following days and the second had a similar ‘deadline’, yet I was never pressured to work faster or finish off swiftly. It also slightly altered my view of childhood character ‘Big Bird’, although having never been a Sesame Street fan I didn’t really mind!

You can hear the Big Bird interview I edited here:


Thanks must also go to Create, particularly Mark, for having me back again and I really hope this is not the last time I associate with Create and Fun Kids!

(In case the embedded player doesn’t work, the link is https://omny.fm/shows/fun-kids/big-bird)

Blogmas 14: A brief interlude

This a post to say that sometimes you just have to say “I am too busy living my life to blog”. Today is one of those days.

Take the time to chill with friends and show them they are valued, or equally allow a friend to do this for you. Eat what you want without worry about the cost and travel your way without thinking about time and money. Make the most of every day, because every day is precious.

Blogmas 13: 3 x 10 List

I am officially over halfway through Blogmas, which must be better than last year’s efforts. Today’s post is inspired by a post on the blog Life Lenses and I thoroughly recommend that you check it out via the link here: http://catrionas-lifelenses.blogspot.co.uk. It is the 3 x 10 List, outlining things about me and my life in 10 lists of 3 – you may find it incredibly boring and I apologise if that is you!

3 things I’m looking forward to
✎ Going home for Christmas
✎ People hearing the Christmas special of ‘Let Them Hear
✎ Seeing lots of friends

3 things I’m not looking forward to
✎ Commuting
✎ Being anxious about work
✎ Potential post-graduation uncertainty
3 things I like
✎ Friends
✎ Kindness
✎ Productivity
3 things I don’t like
✎ Water
✎ Rude people
✎ Pressure
3 things I want to do
✎ 24 hour radio marathon
✎ Drink more water
✎ Go to the cinema

3 things I should do
✎ Write Christmas Cards
✎ Sleep more
✎ Stop worrying

3 things I can do
✎ Edit audio
✎ Write
✎ Buy things
3 things I can’t do
✎ Stop worrying
✎ Ride a bike
✎ Keep my room tidy
3 things on my mind
✎ Anxiety
✎ Food
✎ Work
3 things I talk about a lot
✎ Myself
✎ Insanity Radio 103.2FM
✎ Anxiety
3 things I want
✎ Less anxiety
✎ People to pay attention to what I email/say
✎ Better timekeeping
3 things that make me calm
✎ My bed
✎ My parents
✎ Glenn Miller
3 things that stress me out
✎ Packing to go home
✎ Being on time
✎ London
3 things I’m doing this weekend
✎ Working
✎ Driving home
✎ Carols by Candlelight
3 things I have done these past week(s)
✎ Had my first experience of a drive-thru
✎ Listened to The Last 5 Years A LOT
✎ Written my last essay of the term