Then yesterday, I watched the film ‘The Lives of Others’ which I heard good things about but failed to see at the cinema. The film is about Eastern Germany in the 1980s and a Stasi employee whose job it is to listen in on the bugged apartment of a playwright. I was slightly concerned before it started that I might fall asleep – not because of the plot or the subtitles, but because I’d had a heroic number of cocktails the night before so my mind wasn’t at its sharpest and it was over 2 hours long (I’m normally a stickler for the 90 minute film). But I needn’t have worried. It was absolutely brilliant and I’ve seen some pretty good films recently.
So it got me thinking about the job with MI5 and this morning I looked on their website and started the application process. Much to the bemusement of the OH, who asked me why I was interested in the job and looked wary when I mentioned the previous night’s film. He didn’t seem to think this was such a good reason to apply. My others reasons, I’m nosey & like listening to other people’s conversations and I’m unhappy where I am, didn’t seem much better. But pig-headedly I applied for an application form (this is how complex the process is – you have to apply to apply!)
But on the way to work, I was hit with some clarity and have abandoned my idea of becoming a low-level spy for a combination of the following reasons.
1. It was London-based and ideally in the future I want to leave London and don’t know what use they’d be for a former spy in Cornwall
2. The pay was less than I earn now and involved shift work
3. I wouldn’t be able to tell anyone other than my partner what I did for a living & I certainly wouldn’t be able to blog about it.
4. Discretion was vital and to be honest I’m not great at keeping secrets – I’d have to tell my mother and she always tells my sisters and aunties everything
5. I may not pass the security clearance thing – I went to some political meetings as a student and have read a lot of books by Che Guevara and Mark Steele so I’m probably already on a list somewhere
6. I don’t think my hearing is actually that good – I’m terrible at making out song lyrics so I’d probably be pretty useless at this which could led to all sorts of trouble on an international scale!
So I'm not going to join the ranks of James Bond and Jason Bourne. I always wanted to be a detective anyway, not a spy.