Gemma is a 21-year-old glamour-puss fashion graduate starting out in the fashion and beauty industry.
Far away from the fashion hubbub of London, Gemma is beginning to appreciate country life.
To get the big news out of the way first, remember those EMAP Fanzine awards I wrote about last time? Well I managed to get runner-up in both of the categories I was nominated for. I not only got a very handy £500 prize, but also the chance to meet loads of people from the magazine world who wouldn't normally give me the time of day. All the people I spoke to were really impressed with my magazine. After the awards, I got five minutes of fame with write-ups in The Independent and the Guardian. I've now decided that I'm going to attempt a second issue of the magazine if I can muster up the sponsorship and advertising to cover printing costs.
The other news is that I've finally given up my shop job to concentrate on my career as a journalist. It's fun, but it can be a bit lonely and I do miss my friends from work. I spend my days alone at home, working on my computer, and risking repetitive strain injury with all the typing. But I still love it. I thank my lucky stars that I'm one of those people who can honestly say they love their job.
In between random eBay searches trying to find fodder for my latest assignment, Bayraider, I've also been learning to drive. Now, I'm 21-years-old and should have learned a long time ago, but things always took priority, like new clothes, holidays to Vegas, moving to and from London and...anything to avoid actually having to learn to drive. I was scared, if I'm honest. I didn't think I'd be a good driver. I'm not as bad as I thought I'd be, and I haven't killed anyone yet, but I'm so lacking in confidence that I always manage to do something wrong. My instructor wants me to put in for my test, but I have this sinking feeling that I'm not going to do quite as well in my practical as I did in my theory (full marks, I always was a geek). I think I was born to take taxis everywhere; one of my main weaknesses.
"I've finally given up my shop job to concentrate on my career as a journalist."
One thing that has worried me about being home for almost a year now is how easily I've fallen back into small-town life. I went to school in a town known as 'The Blackpool of the Midlands' because all the Brummies go there on Bank Holidays, and I live in the most hilarious village you could imagine. It's like Greendale from Postman Pat. We have a village shop and a village green, a train station where only three trains stop a day, a beautiful old Church, two 'are you local?' pubs, and a castle (where the Bishop of Worcester lives).
It's the kind of place where there's still a milkman who delivers glass bottles of semi-skimmed every morning, and a 'Parish Magazine' full of news from the local W.I. I never realised until recently how much I secretly appreciate the place. Living here drives me mad, but it's nice to know that I have this place to come back to. I wake up to the sound of birds, not lorries, and I look out my window and see the Clent hills, not miles of houses. Though I miss London like crazy and can't wait for the moment I can move back, there is something quite comforting about knowing that I'll always have a home here.
I think I'm getting old...