In light of my failure and my not really applying to very many firms in the first place, Dad wants me to do a law firm application every day until the GDL starts. Not to mince words, I don’t think that’s even possible; just doing one in a day is a very tall order (they are viciously  demanding forms), and doing that day-in-day-out will make me hate myself and everything else with bitter wordless impotent fury. But! I do work best under pressure, and as Bernstein said – “to achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.”

Time to dust off the thermos flasks.


Thank you very much to everyone who wished me luck. Enormously appreciated.

The assessment day went well (ish)! I wrote up a long blog posty blow-by-blow report on how the whole thing went, but I imagine the firm would rather I didn’t share the details of their interview process to the whole wide world – so if you want to see it and I’m reasonably confident you’re not going to post it all over the rollonfriday forums, drop me a line.

The odds against me are actually far less awful than I was expecting, but still not favourable. Fingers crossed – I’ll hear back on the 18th…

Doing research work at the National Archives; the field (British military assistance in Africa in the 70s & 80s) isn’t one I know much about, but the old sarcastic officer wit is extremely familiar.

MO, SD. My dear good friends,
I’ve studied both the scenes;
The former formulates the ends ,
The other finds the means.
But Maggie (Allah bless her name)
Is tough on cash restrictions.
And men need more, to fight a war,
Or stake a claim in a new Great Game,
Than the courage of convictions.
Policy and money hand in hand
Can spot the gaps and span ‘em
– But you can’t outplay old Ivan’s hand
On three per cent per annum.

[11:10:21 PM] Brosencrantz: good hoax story went round tumblr today
[11:10:36 PM] Brosencrantz: involving samsung paying apple with 20 billion nickels
[11:22:50 PM] Hovercraft: 20 billion nickels would weigh 100 million kilograms
[11:23:21 PM] Hovercraft:
[11:23:23 PM] Brosencrantz: the hoax did involve a fleet of trucks
[11:23:35 PM] Hovercraft: “You can research this information easily by yourself on the Internet.”
[11:23:45 PM] Brosencrantz: that’s what he’s doing :D
[11:23:52 PM] Hovercraft: I googled “weight of a nickel” and got that page, yes
[11:23:55 PM] Hovercraft: what a fuckass
[11:24:46 PM] Hovercraft: how much do you think a truck can carry?
[11:25:06 PM] Hovercraft: righto
[11:25:27 PM] Hovercraft:,mod=13&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#hl=en&safe=off&sclient=psy-ab&q=75000+pounds+in+kilograms&oq=75000+pounds+in+kilograms&gs_l=serp.3…1369.8338.0.8453.…0.0…1c.bFaCccByV2c&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=e66a99fc09647756&biw=1858&bih=1019 okay
[11:25:43 PM] Brosencrantz: 34 tonnes!
[11:25:45 PM] Brosencrantz: not bad
[11:25:50 PM] Hovercraft: so about 3000 trucks would be needed
[11:26:02 PM] Brosencrantz: or a hundred journeys by 30 trucks
[11:26:15 PM] Brosencrantz: the logistics is not the biggest plothole here
[11:26:27 PM] Brosencrantz: the biggest plothole is why samsung has a billion dollars in 5c pieces
[11:26:50 PM] Hovercraft: do 20 billion nickels even exist?
[11:27:02 PM] Brosencrantz: I… dunno
[11:27:04 PM] Brosencrantz: probably
[11:27:23 PM] Brosencrantz: fucking coppers accumulate everywhere
[11:27:43 PM] Hovercraft: nickels are silver
[11:28:08 PM] Hovercraft: FUCK
[11:28:08 PM] Brosencrantz: shit, so they are
[11:28:18 PM] Brosencrantz: probably not then
[11:32:12 PM] Hovercraft: hmm
[11:32:35 PM] Brosencrantz: are you a bad enough dude to copy that into a spreadsheet?
[11:32:58 PM] Brosencrantz: nickels have been minted since the civil war
[11:32:59 PM] Hovercraft: so they produce about 1 billion nickels per year, but don’t know how long they stay in circulation for
[11:33:05 PM] Hovercraft: probably several decades though
[11:33:18 PM] Brosencrantz: the hell happened in 2009?
[11:34:08 PM] Hovercraft: dunno, there didn’t need to be much of a top-up?
[11:34:28 PM] Hovercraft: so it’s feasible that 20 billion exist
[11:34:34 PM] Hovercraft: but getting that many in one place is absurd
[11:35:19 PM] Hovercraft: …why would I want to copy that into a spreadsheet?
[11:35:36 PM] Brosencrantz: I looked up a graph of the price of copper
[11:35:52 PM] Hovercraft: did it spike?
[11:36:05 PM] Brosencrantz: ish, it was at rock bottom early 2008 and climbed steeply, but carried on climbing
[11:36:11 PM] Brosencrantz: peaked mid 2010
[11:36:23 PM] Brosencrantz: looking at nickel now
[11:37:01 PM] Brosencrantz: nope, same story, very low through 08 then rising steadily
[11:37:38 PM] Brosencrantz: and nickel’s prices were highest in mid 06
[11:37:49 PM] Brosencrantz: when production was a billion and a half
[11:38:06 PM] Hovercraft: needs must
[11:38:25 PM] Brosencrantz: americans suck at seigniorage
[11:39:16 PM] Brosencrantz: I love that we can actually research this sort of shit effortlessly
[11:39:21 PM] Brosencrantz: for no better reason than because we’re BORED
[11:39:25 PM] Hovercraft: o/\o
[11:39:45 PM] Hovercraft: and to give us a sense of smug superiority over tumblr halfwits who swallow anything they’re told
[11:39:55 PM] Brosencrantz: like, in a shitty thriller twenty years ago researching this sort of information would involve an attractive harvard grad and a romance subplot

Tomorrow I have an assessment day with a London law firm. It’s the third and final hoop of assessment to jump through; although I applied to several firms, this is the only one with which I’ve got this far.

If I get the place, it guarantees me funding for two years of law school, two further years as a trainee at the firm, and, barring screwups, substantial likelihood of a subsequent job in one of the last remaining sectors where “job security” is a legitimate concept rather than a bitter joke. If I don’t, my future is in some doubt; no worse off than most of the rest of my generation, really, but rudderless and with personal debt that invites vice-like metaphors.

I’m already basically resigned to not getting it. To call the odds against me horrific is to powerfully understate the size of the mountain of corpses you need to scale for a training contract.

Wish me luck.

Today we got a letter addressed to “The Gentleman of the Household”, with the subtitle “GENTLEMEN – RESTART YOUR ENGINES”. It was from somewhere named “Nutritech”, but my guess was still Viagra. Close – it was “testosterone replacement therapy”, with a list of “symptoms of testosterone deficiency” vaguer than your average horoscope and even more slimily phrased.

I wish for days when this sort of scam was run by a chap in a shabby hat with a coatful of bottles marked SNAKE OIL. So much more entertaining :(