Friday, 14 August 2015

Channel 4

Channel 4's London Office
This has been a slightly longer blog hiatus than anticipated but I've finally found the time (and energy!) to sit down and write a post about the one thing that has been taking up all of my time for the past month: my new job at Channel 4.

As of the 20th July, I became Channel 4's first and only Scottish apprentice. Channel 4 only has one other editorial office outside of London, in Glasgow, home to the Nations and Regions department, the department which I can very happily call 'mine' for the next 12 months!

Channel 4 is what is known as a Publisher Broadcaster which means that unlike the likes of the BBC, Channel 4 does not make any of it's own programmes, instead, it commissions them from independent production companies up and down the UK. As the company is a product of a parliamentary act there are a series of targets that Channel 4 is responsible for meeting. One of these targets is to produce 9% of the channel's content outwith London by 2020 which is where the Nations and Regions department comes in. My department searches for the producers with the best ideas outside of London and puts them in contact with the Commissioners in London who can give the programme the final go-ahead. There's a lot of traveling involved to find these producers and ideas - two members of the team I'm in travel between London, Cardiff, Belfast and Manchester twice a week and the department also puts on briefing events once a month up and down the country - we're in Leeds on Wednesday - where the London Commissioners travel to meet the Indies and give them a heads up as to what they're looking for in a Channel 4 programme.

Now, this all sounds awfully complicated and probably quite dull but I can honestly say that so far, my time at Channel 4 has been more enjoyable and more interesting than I ever thought a job could be. Every day has been different to the one before and I have had the opportunity to speak to some of the most fascinating people ever - I mean not everyone will refer to the people I've met and spoken to as 'fascinating' but for someone who has been obsessed with film and television from a really young age, they truly are! I could honestly spend all my evenings retelling stories I've heard or sharing things I've learnt but somehow I don't think my friends and family would be quite as interested...

As someone who has never worked a full week in her life (or more than 7 hours in a row to be honest) working a five day week with a day trip to London thrown in has been a complete culture shock and I have ended up in my bed before 9.30 every night (except at the weekends which might actually be the problem). However, I have started and finished work everyday with a huge smile on my face and in total disbelief that I really am starting to follow my dreams (I'm sorry, that's so cheesy but it's true)! After all, can I be anything but happy when I get paid for watching TV and talking to super cool people?!

Lots of love,

Heather x

Monday, 15 June 2015

The Juice Garden

Exams are fiiiiinally over and for me, that means university is over too - well, for the next year and a bit at least!

Seen as I'll no longer be spending the majority of my time in Glasgow's West End with it's quirky cafes and gorgeous parks, I have definitely been making the most of my visits there over the exam period.

After one exam, Mimmi and I headed to The Juice Garden which is now very high on my list of The Cutest Cafes I Have Ever Visited. It's made up like a real garden with fences, plants and synthetic grass flooring and serves the most delicious healthy food and juices going.

Of course, I went for the hummus and pita (which didn't disappoint and also came with a smoked red pepper dip which was very nice) alongside a juice called Big Gym which was a blend of beetroot, blueberries, apple and macca - soo good but you could definitely taste the more savory beetroot. Mimmi went for the raw mint chocolate cupcake which was dairy, refined sugar and gluten free but sill tasted insanely good - how?! - and a acai berry smoothie which she also said was delicious.

Despite the white brick walls and floor to ceiling glass windows looking out onto a very grey Byers Road, The Juice Garden felt very cosy and by the time we were ready to leave (a good two hours later), we had both decided that it was one of our new favourite haunts and that we would undoubtedly be returning!

Do you have a favourite healthy cafe?

Lots of love,

Heather x

Friday, 24 April 2015

Bare With Me...


So it's been a while since I last blogged, even my TV Highlights post hasn't been making it's regular appearance.Maybe some of you were thinking that I'd given up and that my six month run with my blog had come to an end but I wanted to let you know that I haven't and it's not!

My TV Highlights post hasn't made an appearance as I can't actually remember the last time in the past couple of weeks that I watched something live on TV! Everything has been all go of recent, since finishing my lectures, I've had a couple of amazing days work experience with the BBC, I've been back running with Freakworks Film Production company, I've started my training to become a presenter on Hospital Radio and I've been on holiday to Germany (okay, that was relaxing!)

However, when I was in Germany, the most exciting and crazy thing happened: I got invited to an interview with Channel 4 for their only Scottish Apprenticeship. A lot of research and late nights went into my preparation but guess what? I GOT IT!! After my exams in May, I'll be leaving uni to work full time for Channel 4 and I could not be happier. Let me tell you, there were A LOT of tears in my house when I found out!

Anyway, the next two weeks will be 100% dedicated to studying and after that I'll be getting ready to start work!!

Blog posts will be severely limited here for the next couple of weeks but I just wanted to check in and let you know that it's a break, not the end. My blog is still super important to me!

Hope you're well!

Lots of Love,

Heather x

I didn't feel I could leave this post without a picture so enjoy this one of my lil rabbit

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

How to Survive Primark

Don't get me wrong, I love Primark, it's one of my favourite shops and I rarely leave empty handed. However, the rails of totally unorganised clothing, the bright white lights, the mile long queues and the seas of shoppers all searching for a bargain which so often characterise Primark do not provide the most relaxed or stress free shopping environment so I thought I'd share my tips on surviving a trip to the delight that is Primark.

1. Go to Primark at the start of your shopping trip when you're full of energy and enthusiasm and hopefully before the masses have destroyed anything that may resemble organisation in the store.

2. Take a coffee (and cake) break straight after Primark so you can restore some of that energy and enthusiasm which was no doubt killed during your Primark adventures (this will allow you to enjoy the rest of your day shopping.) 

3. CHECK THE LABEL NOT THE HANGER - I can't even tell you the amount of times I've ended up in the changing room with an item of clothing that was my size on the hanger but was a totally different size when I looked at the label.

4. Take the sizes with a pinch of salt - Primark may be cheap and cheerful but the clothes aren't the best quality and the sizes most definitely vary from item to item.

5. Conduct a cull before trying clothes on - Primark is one of those shops where you end up picking up piles of clothes because they're cheap as opposed to nice, take a minute to check through everything you've picked up before heading to the changing room to save time and effort.

6. Take a snack just in case you get peckish, Primark is the worst place to be shopping when hangry.

7. Take a bottle of water to help with the inevitable Primark Headache which results from the bright lights, noisy shoppers and effort of carrying around a tonne of clothes.

8. There will more often than not be another stand of the exact same item somewhere else in the shop if you can't find your size - it might be best to ask a shop assistant to point you in the right direction though.

9. Wear a thin vest top so you can quickly try things on over the top in the store and avoid the massive changing room queues.

10. Take your own carrier bag as the paper bags are useless, especially when you live in Scotland and a downpour is never far away!

Do you have any tips to surviving Primark?

Lots of love,

Heather x

Sunday, 5 April 2015

TV Highlights

Happy Easter!!! I hope you're all as full of chocolate as I am!

I'm so sorry I've been so bad at posting these last couple of weeks but the dreaded Block hit and I had no idea what to write. However, the Easter break and the glimmers of sunshine that we have been seeing have certainly helped and I'm back with plenty of posts planned! For now though, here are some TV highlights from the past two weeks :)

23/3/15 - Tom Felton Meets the Superfans

This was, without a doubt, the ultimate TV highlight of the two weeks, if not the month. As I may have mentioned, I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan so Tom Felton's documentary was at the very top of my must watch list. It was so interesting to hear people put into words just how much fandoms like Harry Potter mean to them and to see how the actors and J.K. Rowling herself responded to hearing how life changing their work had been.

23/3/15 & 30/3/15 - Modern Family

I am absolutely loving the new episodes from series 6 of Modern Family which are only just airing here in the UK. Modern Family is such a fun, easy watch a bit like Friends and Lily never fails to make me laugh. 

24/3/15 & 31/3/15 - Ordinary Lies

Finally a series which has filled the hole that Broadchurch left. Ordinary Lies follows the events which unfold after a young British woman, Viv, is caught smuggling drugs whilst on an all expenses paid holiday with her friend, Tracy. Tracy makes it back home despite also smuggling drugs and the series thus far has followed her attempts to save her friend whilst documenting the subsequent drama that fills the car showroom where she works.

I hope you've all had a lovely Easter Sunday, how did you spend it?

Lots of love,

Heather x

Sunday, 22 March 2015

TV Highlights

It has been another slow week in terms of my TV Highlights but a jam packed week in terms of everything else! My week has consisted of lots of lovely lunches with friends, a day trip to Newcastle, a trip to BBC Scotland and of course two hours watching the eclipse - I even squeezed in work and lectures!

19/3/15 - The Truth About Sugar

The Truth About Sugar was a really, really interesting food documentary which explored the relationship that we have with the sugar in our diet; we've heard that high fat and salt diets are bad but now it is sugar that is in the firing line. Scientists were on hand to help Fiona Philips explain the effect that high sugar diets have on our bodies and some willing participants attempted to cut sugar from their diet altogether. Definitely worth a watch if you're at all interested in diets and nutrition

20/3/15 - Stargazing Live

This special edition of Stargazing Live was broadcast at 9am on Friday and followed the eclipse up and down the country. There were reporters everywhere from Lewis to Newlyn ensuring that the eclipse was accessible to everyone even if there were sheet clouds where you were! I really love the way that the BBC uses it's programming to get the nation involved in important and exciting events. The coverage was supported with commentary telling viewers exactly what they were seeing depending on where they were and what was causing the phenomenon. Liz Bonnin was even reporting from a plane above The Faroe Islands where a complete eclipse occurred!

20/3/15 - Coronation Street

I love it when a really old character returns to a programme and that's exactly what happened in Coronation Street on Friday. Bethany Platt returned to the street to add some more stress to Gail's life alongside the whole Michael/Gavin story line. Bethany was only a young girl when she left for Milan with her mum but has returned as a high maintenance teenager and I'm almost certain she'll be bringing some exciting story lines with her.

Did you see any of my highlights this week?

Lots of love,

Heather x

Friday, 20 March 2015

Solar Eclipse

This totally wasn't my planned post for today, but this morning's eclipse was so spectacular that I just had to share my pictures with you. It was amazing how cold and dark it got, it was like night time in the middle of the morning!

The sky went dark and it suddenly got very cold and windy as the moon passed in front of the sun, so eerie!

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon, the sun and the Earth line up, causing the moon to obscure the sun. The eclipse that Britain saw today was only a partial eclipse - the last total eclipse was in 1999-  which meant that the sun wasn't completely blocked out. Nevertheless, it was incredible to experience and won't happen again until 2026!

Did you see the eclipse today?

Lots of love,

Heather x