Life & Arts by Victoria Maw

Monday, 21 June 2010

Last night I found myself in a screening room in deepest Soho, at a preview of the new film about Serge Gainsbourg. A lover of all things French, and having a particular penchant for old Gallic popstars (Johnny Halliday, Le Forestier – legends, I tell you), I was in my absolute element. Just one of the little perks of life on the Life & Arts desk.

Passing time surrounded by towers of books, submerged in food and films, and researching holiday destinations is, in my opinion, a good way to spend a weekend. But it appears that this is how some lucky people spend their working weeks.

My life as an intern involves helping the editors with a whole array of different and often weird and wonderful things. My daily tasks - leafing through advance copies of books, carrying out telephone interviews, planning a summer special feature, writing pieces for sidebars, forward planning for future articles - mean that I leave the office each night filled with ideas and inspiration.

I’ve found myself ordering in bottles of wine from British vineyards for photoshoots, quizzing campsite owners on what one might get served for breakfast in a luxury yurt, interviewing German chefs, sprinting across London in search of a book and chatting to Andy McNab about his favourite films.

Despite clearly being fabulous, it is also hard work. Fact-checking exercises are laborious, research needs to be done thoroughly and carefully and the work comes with a high level of responsibility. Thursday, which is press day, can be frantic and I feel under huge pressure to help the team quickly and efficiently. But I am surrounded by interesting people, I feel my contribution is appreciated and I love being a little part of the mechanics of the Weekend FT. They will have to drag me out of here kicking and screaming.


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