I am awkward. Ask anyone, my friends, my teachers from school (many of whom had choice names for me sometimes involving awkward), and my long-suffering girlfriend.
So when set the task of writing and designing a magazine feature it would have been simple to go into WH Smith and buy a magazine, or even if I was feeling particularly bold, go online to buy one.
As I'm awkward, none of this was for me, oh no, do a magazine that someone else might have? Heaven forbid.
So naturally, I chose the Eurostar onboard magazine, Metropolitan.
It wasn't just a magazine I picked out of a hat, but I was one I liked, due to reading it on holiday, thanks to my dads irrational dislike of flying. A fear that has meant I have taken many more sleeper trains (a term I see as being mocking in tone) than I care to remember. But I digress, I wanted to do that magazine and that is what I would do. However, thanks to the fact I now fly places, I didn't even have a few months old stolen borrowed copy of the magazine. And due to being a student I wasn't going to take a trip to Paris just to pick one up.
So I began the route of contacting Eurostars press office and customer service departments, both of whom are now thoroughly bored of me. No. A phrase student journalists get used to, but generally can be overcome by a little persistence and charm. However, my usual box of tricks did nothing to impress Rene, Marie and Co at Eurostar. If they weren't ignoring me, they thought I was crazy. They kept telling me how they would love to help but just couldn’t I offered to pay for their free magazine but to no avail.
I considered giving up and moving on to another, conventional magazine, I wanted my first choice, you should never settle for second best. And you should never give up if you want something and you get knocked back, redouble your efforts and to quote Nike, Just Do It.
So I moved over to eBay if they wouldn't sell me a free magazine I'm sure the good people of eBay would be more thanwilling to dupe some poor mug like me.
There were a few copies around, but they were too old, a previous incarnation, not good enough.
Then I found it. A January 2018 edition, I placed a bid, so did someone else, I raised my bid.
I went to bed that fateful night feeling pleased with myself, I had finally done it.
The next morning after snoozing my alarm a few times, I checked my emails with glee, then the horrifying news hit me.
I had been outbid for a free magazine. Never in my life could I imagine a bidding war for a free magazine, nor picture myself in it, but to have lost it was heartbreaking.
I really thought I would have to change my magazine.
A friend (from Hastings) who shall remain nameless down to this being a fairly creepy idea, had a brainwave. They suggested I should stalk through the tweets of Eurostar support and contact people who looked like they were about to travel and tweet them my solemn plea for them to pick up a copy and send it to me. I said no, @TheVeryRealAlex is a sacred place, and should not be used for such borderline harassment.
Just when I thought all was lost, Gary (aka fabmags) on eBay had just put a copy of the magazine up for sale. I bid. And I won. But would it arrive in time, the next few days were tense, not helped by people laughing at my plight.
I was working on my assignment designing a template for The Times magazine when my phone began tovibrate. It was the same nameless friend on FaceTime, he said he had something to show me. What could it be I asked myself? Had our kitchen tap been fixed? Surely not.
It hadn't but what he shows me was a thousand times better my magazine had arrived, a day after it hadbeen posted, Gary had upgraded my postage. My heart pounded with excitement, I ran home picked up the magazine and ran back to the newsroom, I deleted my half started work and began the new design. I had got what I wanted.
The next day my work was finished, and I handed over my copy of Metropolitan to Ian.
All I can now do is just hope and wait that Ian Reeves will take good care of my hard fought formagazine and return it to me so I can frame it.
Always be awkward- Never give up.