I received an email on the 1st June inviting me to attend an interview in London, at the Historic Houses Association. I didn’t have much time to prepare, I crammed in as much revision as I could which included re-reading my application and mentally making notes for answers I could give if certain questions were asked.
I got the coach up to London, which took me into Victoria Station for Thursday afternoon. My interview was at 10am on Friday, I could have caught the overnight coach up but thought I would feel like death warmed up and look worn out – not a good look. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression!
It was a very informal, chatty interview, as if I was just discussing it casually with family or friends – I asked questions about the course in general, nearly as many as the panel did. Let’s just say it was the complete opposite to my Kew interview!
I felt it had gone really well, and I remember thinking to myself “Well even if I don’t get in I did my best, which is all I could do”. I wasn’t being pessimistic but realistic, as I was informed that ten applicants were being interviewed and only three places were available. This time it turned out my best was good enough!
I’ll receive all the practical information within a few days, like starting dates and which garden I’ll be working in for my first year – it would be handy to know which corner of Britain I’m going to be shipped off to when I finish at Eden!
I had time to do some sight-seeing while I was in London which was lovely. The weather was gorgeous, warm and sunny with blue skies for both days – there’s nothing worse than travelling when its raining.
I’ve never seen so many Audi’s, BMW’s and Mercedes’ as I did in that area of London. I half expected guards to come running out of nowhere to arrest me for taking photos – I look like such a typical terrorist after all!
I went to Hyde Park which was awesome, and saw the Serpentine and Rose Garden. There were beautiful pink and yellow roses in flower which smelt just heavenly. Me and my Mum must have spent a good half-hour just wandering round with our noses in every bush!
When the surroundings go from grey to green in an instant and vehicles change from cars to bicycles it was easy to forget I was in the capital city. The fact you don’t have to pay to go in Hyde Park is astonishing considering you need to pay for virtually everything in London, even to use a toilet!
I was extra lucky because there was a garden party happening that afternoon, so not only did I see the Palace in all its glory but I also watched all the guests arriving in posh outfits. It was hat central, I saw some which looked like flying saucers!
I saw the beefeaters marching through the royal grounds and witnessed a parade of horses trotting past the gates, clearly practising for the Trooping of the Colour next week. Considering I had just planned to see the Palace itself I saw a lot of added extras which I was pleased about!
The main thing I achieved was getting a place on the PGG Traineeship, of course. I’m still in shock but in a good way – I can now enjoy my last months at Eden without wondering what I’ll be doing afterwards. Roll on September! 🙂