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December 19, 2019

What were you doing in 2010?

What were you doing in 2010? What were you doing in 2010?
Words by: Phoebe Ryan

It’s the end of an era. Yep, those cool and glitzy drop-waist Great Gatsby-esque outfits of the 1920s were from a whole CENTURY ago! 

As we enter the 2020s (gulp!), we thought it’d be fun to look back at what our stunning Chapter 81 team were doing a decade ago. 

What were you doing in 2010?

Phoebe Ryan, Head of Content at Chapter 81.

“Well, first things first, I have no concept of time, so I totally just had to have a facebook stalk of myself to work out what on earth was going on in my life in 2010. So, as it turns out, 2010 was (most of) my first year of Leeds Uni. That’s probably why I couldn’t remember it then…

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I was a fresher in September 2009, so 2010 consisted of me living in halls in the now-demolished Bodington (RIP), and seems to have been made up approximately equally of me going to lectures, and me being a bit of a twit. I remember very much enjoying my first year of university, and getting to know Leeds, but these pictures are relatively emblematic of the general levels of maturity on display at this point…

Has much changed? Well, we certainly don’t take obligatory cameras on nights out anymore (we see you, camera wrist strap). Unfortunately, I do still get *that* into a good track. My bad.

I’d like to think I’m not quite so much of a twit, but that may be up for debate. Since 2010, I have lived in Venice for a year, got a BAHons degree in English Literature, worked in brain-numbing boredom at several PR companies, gotten married, become a (much happier and proud of my work) freelance copywriter (and ethical floral events designer on the side), gone back to Leeds Uni and completed my Master’s in literature, worked in the world’s biggest (only?) Caribbean & BAME publishing house, had a baby, and moved to Cumbria (reppin’ C81 with my onbrand hat in Cumbrian cafes, obvs). I still love to travel, and love to eat.  When you say it all at once, I have been quite busy, I suppose! Bring on the next decade…

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Simon Fogal, Director

Simon Fogal, Founder of Chapter 81. 

I also used the fabulous ‘history of my life’ tool (facebook) to check what the hell I was doing in 2010. It looks like one of my more interesting years, that is for sure! Yep, 2010 was a big year for the Fogal. It started by finishing off the recording of my band’s (I Like Trains) second LP, “He Who Saw The Deep”. 

We recorded this somewhere in the Yorkshire Dales and we had a lot of snow that year, I seem to recall. I had what you might call a ‘normal’ job, and I also seem to have had a mascot meerkat (Simples).  April of 2010 saw the band tour in Europe supporting Editors, playing a mixture of large up to arena-size venues. We also had our towing trailer break down en route to the first gig in Belgium. We got to play some great venues and former factories in hidden forests in Germany, a massive tennis centre in Austria, and finished up at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam.

It was not all amazing though. July 2010 saw me break my leg playing football (the band had a team in a 6-a-side league). I ended up not playing drums on the album tour (but my pal Scotto helped out massively), and I went along for the ride.

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I Like Press, my previous PR company, got our first proper PR gig during this time, ‘PR-ing’ the Constellations festival at Leeds University. 2010 ended with my return to the kit in December, as we played a rock show in Paris supporting the White Lies and some band called The Vaccines, who opened.

The actual decade seems to have been a mix of 80 other chapters, more broken limbs, new companies, three food festivals, working on over 600 events, music festivals in mainland Europe, taking part in a film on the band, one cat called Erik, and buying my flat.

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Beverley Reinemann, Head of Social 

Like Phoebe and Simon, I also delved into the Facebook archives for this post. I must have been having far too much fun though, because my statuses from that year are few and far between! Thankfully, 2010 was quite a significant year for me, so remembering what I was up to wasn’t *too* much of a stretch.

I’d graduated from Leeds Uni in 2007 with a degree in Media and Marketing and gone straight back to my hometown, finding a job at a local advertising agency. You know those tiny ads you see at the back of the nice mags you get with the Guardian and the Times on a weekend? Yep, it was my job to fill those. 

I hated that job but had no idea what I really wanted to do with my life, so when my then-boyfriend broached the idea of spending a year living and working in Australia I jumped at the chance.

Oh wait, no, I didn’t. I said no. I shouted a lot about how I couldn’t possibly leave my friends and family behind. I might have cried. In fact, I definitely cried. Looking back, I think I was just scared. I’d never been on a plane before, I’d only left the country once at that point, and the whole thing just felt like a Very Big Deal.

Thankfully I came to my senses and the first part of the year was mostly spent scrimping and saving. We’d been accepted for Working Holiday Visas and booked one-way flights for June 2010, so staying in was the new going out. Maybe this is why I didn’t update Facebook? I genuinely wasn’t doing anything!

By the end of June 2010 I was living in Sydney. I’d got a job at an events company, which eventually saw me cityhopping; helping to run events in Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth, and every moment I wasn’t working was spent exploring the city. I climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge and did the Bondi to Coogee walk along the coast. I went to cool cafes in Newtown and got the ferry to Manly from Circular Quay. I sat in bars in Surry Hills and spent an inordinate amount of time staring up at Sydney Opera House. Basically, I was having the time of my life.

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In December 2010, we sublet a flat from a Kiwi couple and spent two months over Christmas and New Year living opposite Bondi beach. Celebrating Christmas Day on the beach was strange but heaps of fun, and seeing in the New Year with a huge beach party was an experience I’ll never forget.

I ended up extending my visa by working on a vineyard just outside of Bendigo and spent all of 2011 and some of 2012 in Australia too, moving to Melbourne and then driving from Sydney to Cape Tribulation in a campervan, before heading to New Zealand for a year and eventually coming back to the UK in July 2013.

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Since then, I’ve worked in London as a digital PR consultant, moved back to Leeds, started freelancing, and travelled to America, The Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, Denmark, Poland, Germany, and Italy. Not necessarily in that order. Fingers crossed the next decade will be just as exciting as the last!

Michaella Biscomb, PR 

I’m still on the right side of 30 (hehe!) so I was only 16/17 back in 2010, getting my first taste of freedom as I left my High School in the suburbs to do my A-Levels at Park Lane College in Leeds City Centre. I celebrated my 17th birthday with a girls’ trip to London in 2010, where my sister gifted me my provisional license so I could start my driving lessons!

Alongside college, I was holding down a couple of jobs including waitressing and nurturing my love of stationery at WHSmith’s in the White Rose (probably the longest job I’ve ever had!). It was a year of very questionable decisions, from bad outfits to bad boyfriends, and I took full advantage of my older sister’s ID, drinking plenty of alcopops in rubbish nightclubs!

I also went to my first Leeds Fest in 2010, and went home after one night because I was just not cut out for camping (later as an under-grad I challenged myself to volunteer for my university at Leeds Festival, pitched my tent by myself, stayed by myself and had a great time – perhaps it was the company back in 2010!). Also, 2010 was my last ever Party in the Park at Temple Newsam (it stopped forever a couple of years later!).

 

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I’ve had a pretty hectic decade as I’ve gone full force from teenager to *adult* – I eventually went to university, graduating with a first class honours in PR (woop!), and managed to squeeze in seven months of study and travel in Australia too! 

I’ve done some pretty adult things in the last decade, including buying and renovating our first house, adopting three cats and a dog, starting my own business and becoming a vegan, so I’m very much looking forward to making far fewer grown-up decisions in the next decade, and finding the balance between working hard, travelling more and enjoying life!

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Rosie Booth, Events

Like Michaella I was a teenager at the start of this decade so 2010 was a big year for me – I turned 18, did my A-Levels, left school and moved out of the countryside to teach English in Thailand for a year. Apparently I also thought tiny eyebrows were the best way forward. 

I survived my gap year and came back to the UK in time to start my degree in History in 2011. I spent a term in Venice during my final year and wanted to do some more travelling after graduation so I moved to Plzen in the Czech Republic to teach English. I ended up staying in the Czech Republic for two years before deciding to move back to the UK. I came back to live in Leeds in 2016 and did a Masters in International Events Management at Leeds Beckett, and managed to grow (most of) my eyebrows back after years of bad beauty decisions. 

 

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In the past decade I’ve learned that everyone is disappointed with a history graduate who can’t answer pub quiz questions on all of world history ever, to always carry lip balm and how to say “one more beer please” in Czech. And that narwhals are real. 

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