Saturday, 16 May 2009

Quality of Life

For a while now I've been questioning what gives someone a good quality of life. This has lead me to two conclusions:

1/ Someone has a good quality of life if they are happy in their professional life. If they have a job that they are passionate about, that they are satisfied with and they are proud of.

2/ Their social life is complete. They have good friends and a great family life. The relationships in their life provide them with strength and make them happy.

Everything else in between can fall into other catagories or fall into insignificance when compared to these areas in my opinion. For example nobody could claim watching the X-Factor makes them truly happy above having a good job or friends and family. Likewise nobody could say going jogging makes them happy above all else - not without sounding crazy anyway!


My problem recently is that I have found the two areas almost impossible to run together and I have started to question which one is more important - both immediately and in the long-term.

I moved to London as I really want to work in TV and make dramas which influence the way people think and stir emotions within them. I felt that was what I wanted to do and it would make me happy in the long term. Unfortunately I think at the time I took for granted how happy my friends and family made me.
This has become apparent to me since moving to London and having to cope without them all. As I type this it is 5:20pm on a saturday afternoon. I haven't left the flat and haven't spoken to anyone all day. This is not untypical of a weekend for me in London. Over the last month or so it hasn't been as big a problem as I have been working a lot more so had less time to spend alone but it is on days like these today where I recognise what is important in making me happy in life.

I remind myself every day how lucky I am as I truly believe I have the best friends in the world.

My school mates are amongst the best people I know. Everytime we are together we never fail to have a laugh - we look out for one another when on nights out and there is always one of us there for each other. If proof was ever needed of how good my mates are then jump onto my facebook and look at the photos entitled "The Weirdest Day of my Life" where you can see where my mates held a day "celebrating" me.....yes me. They had t-shirts with my face on it, masks of my face, business cards and a 10ft by 10ft poster of my face all of which they took clubbing with us that night and spread the word of "loving Chris Hall". Has anyone ever heard of people doing something similar? I've not, it was very touching but also a little scary - it was like I had cancer and only a few days to live or something! Added to this it was held on Valentines day where a few of my mates had to blow out their girlfriends to enjoy this day - how awesome is that! Evidence indeed of how lucky I am.

My uni mates equally are very supportive. Nicky and James didn't bat an eye-lid when I asked if I could move in with them when I got a job in London - I lived with them for over 2 months and they wouldn't take any money from me....and they never rushed me to move out and were there for me when I went on and on about missing Shona and everyone else - they've always been there for me. People like Malky as well lets me stay with him without any question whenever I visit Glasgow - it's like a 2nd (or third) home for me.

When I graduated Uni I was in a place where I was living in the happiest time of my life so far and what makes being away from Scotland so hard is worrying if I'll ever get these moments spent there back. Upon leaving I was sure that my professional life was going to make me happy....I was wrong.
I now know nothing will make me happier than being with the people I love. I don't ever remember being around my friends and being unhappy. I can think of plenty of times I have been at work and been unhappy! Looking to the future I can't see where I could possibly go in the world of TV which would come anywhere near to making me as happy as I am when with my friends.
Hypothetically if I can find a TV job in Scotland it will go help a lot.
What I do know however is that if I stay in this city much longer it could kill me. Maybe not literally but as the person I am when I'm at my happiest and the person I want to be. I need to go home soon, I don't want to become the person London and the TV industry makes me....

There is a relationship as well I am not mentioning which went alongside my friends in making me happy. That I am not mentioning as I am pretty powerless over it. I know what I want to happen there but it's not something that is purely down to me. I do live in hope that it will be as it once was before but stronger some time soon.

In conclusion - friends = good, being away from friends = bad.

Never underestimate how rich having greats friends makes you....

Over an Oot.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Tell me why I don't like London?

So it's Saturday and it's my last day off (my first 2 days off in a row for agggeesss!) and I just came back from Wood Green High Street which in comparison to London is a very small high street but it was so busy and loud and cramped it was depressing.

At one point some kid came up to me and said "Oi! You got any fags?" to which I (reasonably) politely replied "No". The young cunt then decided he could swear at me and call me a poofter (on another note I haven't heard someone use that phrase in ages). I challenged him and almost instantly 5 other little cunts surrounded me in what can only be described as an aggressive fashion. Luckily it was busy enough for me to slip away without any more trouble but I felt so angry.....because I didn't have a cigarette to give this little scrotum he was justified in calling me names.

Now don't get me wrong - this type of stuff probably happens on most high streets round Britain but what was very London about it was the two guys who were caught in the middle who instead of helping or at the very least sticking around to make sure I wasn't attacked. Instead they moved away from the kids as quickly as they could with their heads hanging low.

Now there are a lot of reasons for me not being a big fan of this cest-pit of a city but I think above all else is the lack of.....community spirit that occurs. In Glasgow if something simil carridge ar were to happen I'm pretty sure 9 out of 10 times someone would hang around and help someone who was in potential trouble. In this city you keep your head down and look after number 1, it's so depressing.

There is this thing that is in-built in London citizens to look after yourself, focus on what you're doing and don't interfere. If you go on the tube they can be absolutely packed but very quiet. Nobody talks to strangers, whereas on a Glasgow tube if someone speaks to you, you speak back - it's the Glasgow banter.
I think it's the same reason why Londoners don't appreciate the gentle ribbing banter which is common in Glasgow. If you were to gently mock someone (even if you know them) they take it as an insult as you in a way are entering their personal space. It's so bizarre but it's also the reason why I enjoy using it so much - I have started to love winding up up-tight Londoners....

Now I can live with the over-crowding, business and pollution this city has to offer but it's the closed-off nature of the citizens which I think drags me down the most. Worse than anything else though - I find myself fighting to not become one of them. I feel really guilty now when I ignore someone and try every day to be more of the person I wish your typical Londoner was but there is something about the place which makes people more inclined to close them selves off.

Not sure what the purpose of this post is - I suppose I just miss Scotland and the people that live there - I can't wait to move back....sooner hopefully than later.

Stay tuned - next week I'll be writing about the value of friendship.

Till then,


Over n Oot.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Secret Diary'd

So as I work it out I'm more than half way through this job, which is scary for many reasons:

1/ I will be finishing (reasonably) soon, which means I need to find more work at some point between now and then, which opens up a whole new kettle of fish i.e. taping up contacts in the way I hate doing.

2/ If I don't find work what then? It's bloody tough at the moment, and this job was handed to me on a plate by my old boss and my job before that I kinda got by accident and minimal fuss. There are people I know in this industry who have a lot more experience than me who are struggling to find work....personally I blame ITV.

3/ I had always wanted to move back to Scotland before the end of the year but I didn't want to move without finding work first - what's worse - being unemployed in London or Scotland? Actually I know the answer to that but it's more likely I'll be unemployed for longer in Scotland as all my contacts are London based and I don't really know anyone in the Scottish industry.

Which brings me to my main point - what's more important? Being happy with my career or with my social life?
Granted if I stay in London I could potentially get work constantly enough to live but truth be told I'm not very happy in London.
I don't get to see my friends and family often at all (except the awesome James and Nicky and they're moving back to Scotland soon) so would I like to pursue this career at the expense of being happy? This in turn makes me think can I be happy working in another industry? I always had police officer as a back-up career idea but after my run in with them at Xmas last year I was put right off and now struggle to consider another path.

I had always thought of London as a short term plan but now I'm here doing it everything is not so clear - this isn't work experience - it's work and part of me feels leaving London undoes all the hard work I done over the last year....

Added to all this is another certain relationship problem I'm not going to go into but needless to say would benefit from me being back in Glasgow.....

I think everything would just be easier if BBC Scotland gave me a job developing dramas for them. That would be nice - my rate is (at least) £375.

I look forward to hearing from you and coming into the Quay for a meet and greet over coffee.

Over n Oot.