For the last couple of months, I have been working on a wonderful project at work, called A Postcard from the UK. It’s aimed at people 25-45 who are thinking of moving to work in the UK, and as a result I have been speaking to an incredibly varied bunch of individuals, each with different but equally amazing stories.
I became a journalist partly because I wanted to entertain people, and partly because I am FASCINATED by people but don’t want to dig through their bins. This project means I get to listen to stories about amazing lives.
I am speaking to a man who fled Tasmania to the UK because he was gay, being gay was illegal in Tas at the time. He started out selling theatrical make-up, then took a night course in PR and worked his way up to being a consultant – and on the way he met his now civil partner.
Then there’s the girl who moved from Zimbabwe. Her descriptions of how living in London compared to Harare are not only beautiful, but eye-opening. Although after a few years she left London in search of sunshine in Lisbon!
There’s the girl from Hamburg, who grew up in a family straight out of The Sound of Music, moved to London, got sacked and then decided that she was better off as an entrepreneur and now runs one of Britain’s foremost cultural agencies.
Just as brilliant are the people I have been able to commission for this project. I have been a slavish fan of Maria Smedstad’s cartoon Em since she was thelondonpaper’s cartoonist, and she is doing a cartoon for each of Postcard’s five instalments.
And then the utterly tremendous comedians Henning Wehn, Tony Law, Deborah Frances-White, Sarah Kendall and Daniel Simonsen are giving their take on living in the UK.
On this project, I just want to clap all the time.