In the paper and studying for the life in the UK test

This past week has been a very busy media week for me. As part of my volunteer role with the Aberdeen Cycle Forum I respond to all queries from the media and they seem to come in waves. For months it’s quiet and then suddenly everyone wants to write about cycling and they call the Aberdeen Cycle Forum for an opinion.

There was quite a bit of media interest in the council’s plans to widen South College Street for cars. I got interviewed by The Press & Journal, The Evening Express, and a local radio station. I was very pleased to get such good publicity.

Then on Thursday the TV station, STV, contacted me for an opinion about a new bill which will allow local councils to introduce a workplace parking levy. They came and filmed me riding my bike and it appeared on the evening news. They put the go-pro on my basket at the front of my bike and filmed me from below, looking straight up my nose. It wasn’t a very flattering angle.

Then on Friday the Press & Journal rang again to get an opinion about an active travel survey the city council is running. Elizabeth and I both appeared in Saturday’s paper:


I’m really not qualified to do all this as I’ve had no media training whatsoever. However, I’ve picked up little bits along the way like don’t wear sunglasses for photos and have some talking points ready and stick to those main points you want to get across because they will edit out most of what you say. If anyone has any other tips please let me know!

It has been five years since we moved to Scotland and we’re now entitled to apply for indefinite leave to remain. This will cost us nearly £10,000 (£2,389 each) and Ben and I have to take the life in the UK test and get 75% or higher. In it there are questions about British kings and queens, wars, the judiciary, British sporting heroes, and books and plays. If you’re interested you can sit a practice test here. There are some very easy questions too so I don’t think we’ll have too much trouble but we’ve started studying nevertheless.