Where there's a Willesden there's a way

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Remodelling- day one

Mog's nearly finished packing up the flat. There's boxes everywhere, and she's got no TV for the first time in three years. And I'm starting to realise just how big the flat is.

As Mog's off tomorrow, I'm going to be alone here for at least a week before my new flatmate arrives (Blog name to be revealed soon). And rather than sit round staring at the walls, I'm scrubbing, rebuilding and repainting the flat. It took three hours, but I've done the kitchen window, a row of tiles and the sink. I'd just always assumed the sink was a dirty brown colour.

Soon, the whole place will look like this. Five days of cleaning, and then painting starts. I think the place could be bluer.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

...the only way to happiness

We're all throwing things out today. Meg and Mog are starting the first stage in their packing, and for the first time their leaving is actually starting to look like a reality. And I'm throwing out my OU timetables and deleting all references to speed-dating and the depressing fact that I seem to have been rejected by 15 women in one night. Somehow, I doubt the wheelie bin's going to be big enough for the shear amount of disappointment and clutter that's being poured into it tonight.

I'm finding it difficult to concentrate at work at the minute, due to the shear fact that I don't want to be there anymore, the job now seems rubbish and unfulfilling and there's a growing gap between my earnings and my expenses. And for all the difficulty involved in doing the job I want to do, I still cannot believe that the only thing holding me back is the fact that I just can't pass my test.

I need to focus. New car, job and flat first, absolutely everything else second. Because I know that we're going to get through this, but all of us just really have to want this to be over.

On the bright side, I might just have met the perfect new flatmate. It's the first time someone's really wanted the flat, and her only difficulty is the notice period on her old flat. Once she lets me know that will be one less thing to worry about. And I might just be able to imagine that things won't always be this demoralising.

Oh, and my colleagues apparently spent a whole meeting saying nice things about me. Comments such as "All the things we throw at him- I don't know how he does it." Northern Nurse let it slip there's even a bouqet heading my way.

But let's face it, I'm just the secretary- they're the skilled workers doing the difficult work. And as I near the end of my two years working for them, I still don't know how they do it.

But I want to be doing that too now. So it's time to get through this. Bring on the binbags.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

On the bright side, here's some ducks...  Posted by Picasa

And it's a date!

I'm trying desperately to restart the conversation as the girl opposite me scarcely masks her boredom. Things took a bit of a downward slide when we realised all we had in common was social services except from very different perspectives. I'm beginning to wish I'd said I worked in Tescos.

Yes, tonight was speed-dating, and I'm quite glad I got out of there. I felt a bit awkward when I arrived to find I was the only person who hadn't brought a friend. And the layer of ice around us took a long time to melt, not aided by the extortionate drinks prices. I did, however, meet some very nice women. I might even have managed to go most of the evening without embarrassing myself. It probably helped that I left straight afterwards

I'd be up for doing that again, but not with these people. Given that the point of the evening was to get us to meet, the music was a bit too loud for conversation and the sheer cheek of charging 7.50 for a coke when you've already paid 22 for a ticket was also dispiriting. And the staff were just a little on the pushy side.

And, let's face it, how can you really know get to know someone in three minutes?

Alright, maybe I'm just bitter because I've got no matches yet. The others are probably all still out partying.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Quick question

I'm bored, and flicking through old blog posts. Damn August 2004 was a good month, and if I kept up that level of blogging this site could have become a (deeply unsuccessful) book. Maybe published by these people.

I think I'm starting to realise why that didn't happen. It's because I went too far with this one, isn't it?

Losing my staring match...

I've been staring at this a lot lately. I need to get out of the house.

Although it sounds nice that I haven't been to work for two days, I also haven't been further than the local shop all day and haven't gone to the pub for almost a week. I'm still a bit on the dizzy side, but I think tomorrow's the day to get out and face the world again. Unfortunately, if this goes badly I may never want to get up again.

Against my better judgement, I'm going speed-dating tomorrow. I've never (knowingly) been on one before, so I'm a little scared. Particularly as my nose is starting to resemble a particularly poorly maintained tap, and the longest conversation I've had today has been with my voicemail.

Usually peoples advice on this sort of thing is "just be yourself." Mog's given me the exact opposite advice.

Oh, and just to add to my concerns, I'm in the 23-35 age category. Which seems so wrong. I'm reminding myself that we are all busy young professionals who don't have time to meet people*. And it's absolutely not going to be full of husband hunters and mardi mares.

Assuming it works out, it's going to be one hell of an reintroduction to the real world. And just in case, I reckon I could run to the tube station in less than two minutes.

*Incidentally, my bookcase is currently arranged according to category, and then size.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

You actually feel better if your tablets are huge

The instructions are quite amusing:
"See your doctor straight away if you notice your faeces (otherwise known as poo) becoming paler." Posted by Picasa

Position Vacant

"Well, Becky said she'd call me back today."

"She was the one who came round Sunday, right?"

"No, that was Claire. Claire was the sassy Australian who Mog liked."

"Why was that then?"

"Well, she said we needed a woman with a strong personality to share with two men. Ah."

"Ah. And she didn't like the vet did she?"

"No, I liked the vet though."

"That's probably why she didn't call back."

"Well I didn't think I made it that obvious."

"Right. Has anyone said they're interested in the flat yet?"

"Not yet. Although Katherine said she liked it."

"Which one was that?"

"She was the PA from Ladbroke Grove."

"Wasn't that Marie?"

"Oh yeah. Hold on, wasn't Marie the translator?"

"No, that was Sara. I think."

"No, she was definitely the Kiwi chef."

"Was she?"

"No idea. Which one was Katherine then?"

"Not sure..."


I'm passing the time by trying to work out what we're all doing here. In the case of Bandaged Man and Hobbling Woman, it's quite obvious. Baggy White Tracksuit is lying on a gurney and howling in pain without obvious cause. I have a theory about T-Shirt on Head, and I'm wondering if Baseball Cap is there to have his mobile phone removed from the side of his face. It looks fairly acute.

Implausibly my ear infection has landed me in hospital. With my GP currently fully booked, and the Jubilee Line at a halt, the local surgery recommended I visit the local walk-in clinic at Central Middlesex Hospital to get my much-needed antibiotics. For "Walk-in Clinic" read "Crowded A&E Department". After a while I get comfortable, and it really doesn't seem too bad watching the world and all its misfortunes stumble past. I just feel a bit of a twat for being here with my ear. Without my ear I'd feel far less out of place.

Sports injuries, pregnancy hiccups and hours go by as I start to realise that I should have eaten several hours ago, and I actually don't believe it when they call my name. I start by apologising for wasting their time. She looks up; apparently everyone says that.

Afterwards, I also feel the need to apologise for screaming when she stuck the tube in my ear.
So it's been a productive sort of day. It's nice to be told you really are ill and not just imagining it. And I now have antibiotics which I didn't have to pay for, courtesy of the hospital.

On the downside, I really do have two middle ear infections. So I may just be spending a bit more time in my room this week.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Defiance free zone

Posted by Picasa I've had a lot of visitors in the past week from around the world. Being a London blog, they're probably looking for me to give some message of hope and defiance* against the fear of terrorism. Saying something like "Hitler never broke London's spirit" or "We are not afraid." But no, no defiance here, just random shit and whinging about my health. This is London after all.

Maybe it was different in Madrid or New York, but I didn't see many people bigging up London or taking to the streets with candles. And I don't think any of us are "brave" or "defiant" for getting back on the tubes or buses. They may have taken away our sense of security, but they haven't taken away our credit card repayments and our angry managers.

Speaking of which, by a strange coincidence Manager sent me to Hertford yesterday. This always tends to happen when I'm ill. I just don't think she likes looking at me when I'm sneezing all the time.

The route home took me down Holloway Road and towards Kings Cross. Battling a high temperature on the streets and on my skin, I looked for the fastest way home. It just had to be the number 30.

Eyeing my fellow passengers with just the slightest hint more suspicion than usual, I repeated the usual platitudes to myself:
  • "Lightning never strikes the same place twice"
  • "Grow up"
  • "It's just a bus route you hysterical idiot"
  • "You're more likely to die under a bus than on one"
  • "Especially the way you cross the road"

And I am right; compare the number of people who died last week with the number of people the M25 took out last month, or the deaths from substandard light fittings or Kilburn Primark. There's no point in changing your habits to avoid the tiny chance of being a victim of terrorism if you're not willing to take on the far more significant risks of smoking, drinking and/or driving. And you're not brave if you travel by tube when just driving to the station was far more dangerous. If you take account of what's really dangerous there's no need to be afraid.

But still, I held on a bit tighter than usual. I'll probably be doing that for a while.

*Or they think I'm dead.

"I saw this and thought of you"

Very kind of my colleague. And possibly true. Posted by Picasa