The Tale of the Missing 18 Days

18 Days it has been since the last out pouring, and I have been horrifically busy doing a millions and one things.

Well, not really. Important (and kinda funny highlights) from the last week or so;

- The man who got his arm trapped in a closing train door.
- Holding the CIS Insurance Cup at the final at Hampden
- Getting a Whisky for Pat Nevin

Mostly my weeks have been punctuated with interviews for Graduate Jobs. My first proper interview was last Friday, where I was to have a presentation before a formal interview. I got onto the train at 10.25am, with the interview at 11am, and plenty of time. Until I realised I had forgotten my bloody pen! So, a rushed upon arrival at Queen St to get one, and then hot-tailed it along George St to the Livingstone Tower, up five flights of stairs... to find that I was the only one who had turned up out of 8 people! The presentation was slightly abandoned. They then invited me to lunch, which I graciously declined. The interview proper went well, though my stomach was going mental, spinning a crazy tango inside my chest prior to entering the room. They called me on Monday to say I was successful, and that I was to come up to Aberdeen for a technical interview. Oh dear...

I went to Jacobs (who I worked for over the summer) for a technical interview, and it was not easy, in fact it was bloody tough.
"Describe to me McCabe-Thiele construction..."
"How would you use an azeotrope..."
"Explain how a distillation column plate works..."
"What measures would you take to make sure a site was safe..."
I got through it, and luckily one of the interviewers was my boss over the summer, someone who knows that I am a superstar ChemEnger.

The highlight of the last few weeks though was flying down to London for a showcase interview for a management consultancy called Accenture. They paid for my flight, so naturally I take Hazel, just so I can still pay for my trip. The parents bank roll our stay in a 4star Novotel next to Kings Cross station, which was immense. I was wearing a suit, carrying my Laptop in a bag, and a Metro, I felt like a merchant banker. The good type. I was dazzled by the incredible buildings, the massive streets, the attractive secretaries, it was amazing.

I walked into the reception area, and was given a visitors pass to allow me past the gates, which were similar to train station gates, but were made entirely out of glass. Forget steel. I was most impressed, that upon entering the lift I scanned the badge on the lift and it said thus:
"Good Afternoon, MARK SHIELDS, 7th floor, ACCENTURE. Please report to the reception."
Christ, it talked to me! I totally shat it. Then, to make me even more paranoid, the receptionist knew my name as I stepped out of the lift. I guess they must talk to each other, the lift and the reception desk.

Another highlight was Hazel being silly and stupid, in that way makes me smile just to write about it. In classic form on Wednesday night, with such incredible statements as:
- "Can you a get a gay straight man?"
- "Men can't be called Lesbians, can they?"
Truly beyond fiction, she is. Brilliant. Mind you, she made the trip more than a business waste of time, so I thank her for coming. :)

Enough of the shitty mushy shite, back onto more interesting topics.

Last week I went to Perthshire, for a weekend away with older scouts and scouters, for the camp we always fancied doing when we were Scouts. Arrival was fun, the road was not iced over (after John told us it would be) but was still a fucking crazy road. Basically driving up Ben Lawers. We cracked open the Ales and Sols right away, and let the banter flow. Car bashing (Colin McCreath, an old scouter from when I were a lad has a TVR Tuscan), slagging of old stories (stealing and crashing of cars), and Arnold apologising to John, which is something that has never happened.

Saturday entailed a hillwalk up Ben Lawers, Ben Ghlass, and back to the Scout Centre, but about 50m from the top of Ben Ghlass my back gave in, and after much deliberation I decided to head back down the hill and sleep it off in Fins car. I was in a fair bit of pain all week leading up to it, and a hillwalk was probably not a good idea in the first place. I listened to the football, talked to some other hillwalkers, and listened to music. At night I won the annual quiz, and also won the Cermamic Arab, the trophy. It is a wondrous trophy, one that I will be proud to show to anyone who is willing to see it.

We paintballed on Sunday, and for anyone who has not done it, it is fucking ace, brilliant fun. Hitting Finlay between the eyes was great, but not so great when Graeme hit me 4 times in the back, from about 15m. Bastard.

Me Colin (and pending Steven and Jonny) are going to a recording of Transmission with T-Mobile tonight (Friday) in Edinburgh, which shall be interesting.

How will we get back?!

For those of you who crave The Tale of Rock Steady series, there will be another installment this coming Sunday, as I am working at Ibrox tomorrow.