Friday, December 08, 2006
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Friday, October 13, 2006
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Mr Mcleod: I shan't read all the parts today. Let some of you do some work. Who wants to read? Right, you can be the second courtier. And now we need someone as the first courtier. Yes, you. Who else is in this scene? I'll read Claudius, of course. Hmm, and Polonius. I had better be Laertes and Ophelia as well. Hmm, I think I can manage Queen Gertrude. Who would read Hamlet best? Right, that's settled.
On one memorable occasion he actually took his jacket off and stood up and came out from behind his desk to act a particularly important part. That was the first and last time I ever saw Mr Mcleod's legs. The speech was of course 'To be or not to be'. Today and yesterday it was Student Discount Night at Topshop. Twenty percent off everything. I bought some good stuff but am kind of tempted to go back and get some more... The place has got to be what Dante's Inferno would be like if he was writing today. New Flatmate has a George Foreman Lean Mean Grilling Machine. It's amazing. Best steak I've ever had outside of a restaurant. And vegetables. And toasted sandwiches. I've thrown my sandwich toaster in the bin. I've seen the grilling light. See below for my dream coffee-maker...
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Thursday, August 10, 2006
"I know, let’s make the boys fight like gladiators in costume they’ve knitted themselves like Mexican wrestlers!"
Lovebird was after more of a debating club system; each of us have five minutes to state our case. I wanted them to be set three tasks like princes in a fairy tale. We drank our beer miserably. Clearly a democratic vote was out; Lovebird and New Flatmate each had their man, and no one wants me to have sole responsibility for any kind of important decision, least of all me.
Finally we settled on tossing a coin. Long interlude while they discussed the relative merits of sudden death and best out of three. I decided not to move in at all; instead to cut my hair (ok, unnecessary) dress up as a boy and run away to sea to seek my fortune. Was dragged back to earth (from swordfighting with Johnny Depp) by Lovebird handing me a sweaty two-pence piece. The tension mounted. I flicked it once- heads. Michel. Twice... we held our breath. Heads again.
N.F hurried off to telephone the glad news to Michel. 'Can you definitely commit to paying rent every month?' she asked... and then it turned out he couldn't, due to cold feet. Honestly! 'Give it to the other guy,' he mumbled. 'I might need to stay with my parents for a bit and save some cash...'
I guess the best man probably won at the end of the day.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Monday, July 24, 2006
- Go to the seaside. Proper seaside like Margate or Shoeburyness. There's a great cockle place in Leigh on Sea.
- Walk down to the Thames path on your lunch break, pull up your trouser legs, sit on the cool edge of the quay and dangle your legs in the breeze. Preferably drinking gin and tonics from tins.
- Spend the hottest part of the day in the BM. There's nothing cooler than a load of bits of rock stolen from hot countries.
- Drink beer on the Tatteshall Castle, a floating pub by Embankment Station.
- Go to Barnes and look at birds in genuine wetland environment at the Nature Reserve. Actually I've never done this, but I find the mere word 'wetland' most cooling.
- Have a picnic and play cricket at Greenwich. Drink beer, eat food, toss a frisbee around and sing along to your transistor radio. With all the people you love
- Go swimming at the Oasis Leisure Centre, on the corner of High Holborn and Endell Street. As mentioned in previous blog, it has a fantastic open-air pool, it's luscious. And since I mentioned this before as well, there's no better place to revive after too much sun than Freuds, a refreshingly dim underground cocktail bar where the mint never wilts.
- As befits the greatest city in the world, there are loads of great free live music events every summer. These are apallingly badly publicised. Go to the ones you don't think you'll enjoy. I guarantee you'll be surprised.
- Walk in Epping Forest. Then go to the Robin Hood.
- Cycle to work. It's actually incredibly breezy and a dream come true afte the revolitingness of the Jubilee Line/Sweatbox.
Friday, July 21, 2006
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Friday, June 16, 2006
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Friday, May 26, 2006
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Monday, May 08, 2006
Friday, May 05, 2006
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Saturday, April 29, 2006
Friday, April 28, 2006
- Leaving my job for a new one where I can use the internet and where less than 33% of my colleagues have BO. Cos here, it's at least one in three. One in seven dribble when they think.
- Being the queen of the world
- Not having that feeling in the pit of my stomach everytime I hear the words 'council tax'
- Tracking down every single person on this planet who tells you to 'watch yourself' when they mean that they are about to get in your way and should therefore be saying 'excuse me' and killing them
- Getting a six-pack. (Obviously this is to compete with someone I know who has a six-pack. Why else would I care?
- Finding the perfect summer dress. I saw a red one with white spots, sleeveless with a scooped neck and a mini-skirt in Ireland. Anyone who knows where I can buy such a garment in London, please let me know.
I keep meaning to have a party now I'm not actually starving through poverty. My sister had a great party a couple of weeks ago while my mum was on holiday. When she got back from holiday she assumed it was me! (That's a great compliment to my sister, I think.) But since I have my own home it might be slightly less sad to have it at my own, spacious and comfortable flat. ( Who cares about Lovebird and flatmate? Not me!!) Well, I'm still undecided. Suggestions to our usual PO box, thanks. Maybe fancy-dress...?
One of my best friends from school called me on Wednesday night. She's getting married this weekend. I remember us designing our wedding dresses together in the back of maths class in about year nine. Seems like yesterday- she's by no means the first girl in my class to get married but the first of my friends. I hope she's really happy. Dunno what to wear for the wedding- shalwar kameez ( but mine is a bit risque for the afternoon) or just a skirt (but I might look like I didn't make the effort.)
It's so nice to see the sun shining again. And not to wear horrid black tights. The council has planted beautiful orange yellow and red tulips all around my work and in about a week it will be warm enough for me to eat my lunch in Central Park. Not the one in New York, obviously. A different one.
My work is closing for six weeks for (half-arsed and cheap) refurbishment from next week. this is the bestthing that has happened to me for ages. I still have to come to work (God knows I need the money) but the public aren't allowed in the building. So we can play music and eat doughnuts while working!!! Even NOT WEAR UNIFORM!!! I can't wait.
I might even be able to blog a bit more regularly during that time.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
So I’ve suddenly got a new job; it’s always a shock to walk into a new place of work and observe the staff’s little group idiosyncrasies. This lot are classic old-school librarians and therefore incredible case studies. The whole group is there.
There’s the couple of giggly girls who only talk to each other, studiously patronized by the rest of the staff in general, who enjoy the superior feeling of writing them off as air-heads. Based on the fact that they read fashion magazines at lunch while the other library workers enjoy the odd spy thriller and dipped into Jack Kerouac at university, and could even locate Kerouac for you on the library catalogue if they wanted to. Which they don’t because they don’t like the way you look and they were busy reading the TV guide before you walked into the library and started asking them stupid questions.
The only interesting thing about these two girls is that they are the only normal, sane people who still work in the library. There used to be some others, a long time ago, but they left because of the cuts. Now there’s a motley crew of misfits and obsessives that can be roughly divided into two groups; those that can’t leave as they are unemployable in the real world, and those that don’t want to leave because they are psychotic.
Next in the pecking order comes the rather sad pale, skinny lad who could be any age between seventeen and twenty-nine. He only speaks when he is spoken to, when he is gloomily polite and extremely helpful despite a complete inability to meet your eye. He cultivates a morose, worldly cynicism about everything apart from graphic novels and his passionate hatred of the council. If he ever realized what a cliché he was, he would probably kill himself. He lives with his mum.
The supervisor who irritates everyone and has an appalling sense of humour to match her appalling, hoarse, booming laugh is hated by everybody in the building. A shared loathing of this woman brings manager and dogsbody together, united for once in an unbearable urge to put their fingers to their lips and sternly say ‘shush’. For some reason, perhaps a bylaw set in stone back in the dark ages before the cuts, nobody ever stands up to her. She rolls in late every morning on her bicycle, never does a tap of work, complains constantly about being undermined and/or overworked and applies for promotion every year and never gets it. Her main topic of conversation is her son, who is 13 and has recently been suspended from his fee-paying school for sniffing glue. Her main occupation is shouting at teenagers at the top of her voice across the library to stop eating, drinking, chewing gum or, best of all, to cut out the noise.
The very tall African man who works the inquiries desk is greatly respected by the rest of the staff because he appears to have a social life, a real, proper social life of the kind you conduct outside of working hours with real friends, not just people you work with. This consists of going to places like bars and restaurants in the evenings and then complaining the next day that he feels tired. His colleagues are not overly jealous though; they know that someone who is as polite and helpful as he is to library users will never get anywhere in life. It must be something that he picked up in Africa, he can’t have learnt that kind of tolerance and patience on this continent. The other day he actually looked up a book for someone with body odour, who didn’t say please and didn’t have his library card on him! Everybody knows Andrew Carnegie never meant us to serve people like that. He also loves the archaic library computer system because it makes him nostalgic for the days before Windows.
A very serious woman comes and goes around the reference section, but it was only recently anyone realized she was a member of staff. She has very long sandy hair in a plait and a long, thin face, and is studying for a degree in Russian Literature by correspondence course. She runs the toddlers group in a very quiet manner. She doesn’t like to be touched, especially not by the toddlers. She often spends her tea breaks wandering around putting books back into exactly the right place.
The Assistant Librarian (not to be confused with Library Assistant) is well into his sixties. Actually, no one’s ever asked, but he’s been well into his sixties for so long now that he might just be well into his seventies. He’s very proud of his alpha male status in the building, not realizing he only keeps it by tacit agreement of the rest of the staff. He is the one who unlocks the big oak doors in the morning and the one who closes them at night. He also enjoys telling adolescents off and sharing trivia about the library building and the history of the area to anyone who will listen.
The Head Librarian wishes they would change her name to Library Manager, it sounds so much more modern. She’s new; has only worked in the borough for seven years and so has yet to earn the respect of other head librarians across the borough, despite frequent email communiqués. She doesn’t understand why there’s never enough money or why the staff aren’t excited about their roles. She wishes so much she could modernize the library but her hands are tied. So she mostly sits in her office where she doesn’t have to listen to her staff moaning and bitching, and reads novels which she thrusts under the desk when someone knocks. No one ever knocks. Each time a new temp. is hired to cover a desperate shortage she prays she’s found an ally who will help her get loans up and make her name as the Librarian who changed the face of libraries in the borough. Each time she is disappointed. She comforts herself with the fact that she is the only person in the building with a happy, normal home life and looks often at the framed picture of her smiling husband and their two adorable little girls on her desk. Actually she is wrong here; both the cleaners are happily married with lovely children.
Monday, March 13, 2006
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Friday, March 03, 2006
When I delicately led the conversation away, they turned to the numbers of Them living around here these days. I said brightly 'Would anyone like another cup of tea?' At this an old man stood up and addressed us all; 'All I want to say is, when was the last time you climbed to the top of a bus and saw a white face?' He then left, slamming the door behind him.
The problem is, these old people don't realise that the reason they 'never see a white face' is not because there's so few of them; it's due to poverty. My old people are poor. So are a vast number of immigrants to the borough. There are 196106 people in this borough; 100799* of them are white. Many of these white people are pretty well-off. However, these well-off white people don't ride on buses. They don't shop in the market. They don't go to the library or hang out in the street during the day. They don't wait until after 9.30 to use public transport. That's because they're at work, like all the other successful, professional, middle class people of all colour and origins in this borough.
The people who aren't at work, or who work night shifts and other antisocial hours, who can't afford to drive or use the tube and so sit on the 25 or the 15 bus all the way in and out of town, who are queuing at the post office at the same time as my old people; they're the ones who are predominantly non-white. Is anyone surprised? No; it suits everyone else to have this underclass doing the jobs we don't want. Everybody except very poor old Eastenders living on a pathetic pension; they alone don't benefit from these cleaners, caterers, casual labourers at all. They just see their
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Saturday, February 25, 2006
- I'm getting my hair cut next week. For 6 months I've been cutting it myself; it works out OK-looking but takes bloody ages. So I'm very HAPPY to announce I'm off to a salon for a sharp new cut.
- I really LIKE being inside my work on a cold, crisp sunny morning. The beams of white sunshine through the coloured glass panels are almost church-like.
- Last night Lovebird and myself stayed in and ate pizza and drank beer. It was wonderful. Lovebird was in ectasy because Channel 5 was showing 40 Most Embarassing Moments of the 80s. Lovebird's favourite things are TV countdowns and 80s pop music. I was in heaven because of those little Terry's Chocolate orange eggs. It's the best packaging ever. You get four eggs in an orange egg box and you scoop the gooey stuff out of the chocolate egg with a tiny plastic spoon. It really doesn't get any better than that.
- I've been reading Villette by Charlotte Bronte and was pleasantly surprised to find I liked it better than Jane Eyre. The heroine is way cool and the hero a hundred times more real, likeable than that fool Rochester; you kind of breathe a sigh of relief for Bronte's new attitude to men.
- There is the HOTTEST man sitting opposite the reception desk at my work today. Chizzy and I haven't been able to get hardly any work done today because we've had to sit here and monitor him. He's tanned; kind of Mediteranean with longish brown hair. About every two minutes he runs his hands appreciatively through it; we're trying to see if we can make him do this using only the power of our minds.
- Yesterday some of our unruliest little children (and amazingly, one boy of twelve who can't read or write but normally won't admit it) were temporarily calmed while I read them the new Lauren Child book: for oh, at least twelve glorious minutes all was quiet in the children's library. Bliss.
- I'm going to Ikea tomorrow. OK, this not that exciting, but I've never been before: anything could happen! It's curtains for me!
- Puns make me happy, and I have made several today. Oh shit, I'm running out of stuff to be happy about now, aren't I?
- Hot Guy is stroking his hair again.
- In 38 minutes I can go home and enjoy my weekend...
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Thursday, February 16, 2006
- How embarassing that I just looked for a book for over half an hour, was unable to find any of the thirty-odd copies on the sytem, called two other libraries and they couldn't find it either. And what was the book? Cinderella. (I tried explaining Cinderella wasn't looked on as a particularly good influence on your little daughter anymore, but the woman was having none of it. Neither would she accept Prince Cinders by Babette Cole, one of my favourite children's books ever.)
- I love it when the weather starts off miserable; cold and drizzly and grey; and all morning you feel it pushing against the windows to upset and oppress you. Then you step out for your lunch break and the sun bursts out like something from a bible illustration. All the horrible English puddles and damp are made beautiful. There's a rainbow so long and clear there might really be a huge pot of gold somewhere in Bromley-by-Bow. It puts a smile on my face... and believe me, it's not often I aprove of English weather.
- I just found out yesterday that ipods only work with ipod headphones. Had I wanted an ipod in the first place (I'm old-fashioned and still rely on a good book on my way to work) this would probably put me right off.) You're not allowed to use ipod technology unless you show it off with the trademark white earphones, the dumbest status symbol since Louis Vuitton luggage.
- Reading an interesting collection of essays called On the Move about feminism for young women today. Some of them are ghastly (Oona King bigging herself up) and some of the schoolgirls writing are pretty depressing but overall they're pretty good. At seven years old and talking a lot about the end of Thatcherism and 'Girl Power', it's already a bit dated...
- Good luck today brother... let me know how it went. And if you want to come on the trip to the Tower of London tomorrow, meet me at my work 9.30 with your library card.
"Earlier this week, the two ringleaders of the so-called Bali Nine were sentenced to death by firing squad. Australian prime minister John Howard said: 'Let this be a lesson to every young Australian.' "Shy superstar finally speaks out
"Singer Chris Martin dropped to his knees on stage and said: 'It's hard for us sometimes because we're English and don't get to admit we are great, so tonight we'd like to agree with you for giving us these awards.' "And my favourite... Metro publishes Real News
"New Zealand: A love rat tried to make up for his infidelities by sending his girlfriend a plastic rodent with roses in its mouth for Valentine's Day."
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Monday, February 06, 2006
- I kept my New Year's resolution not to smoke, but not the one about swimming and exercise or the one about not being bitchy about Asab at work.
- My blog of the month was a librarian and my site of the month the inspiring illustration friday.
- My house was very very cold.
- I neared the end of my bloody course, only to get ill just before the last hurdle. Oh well, the end's in sight now.
- I thought very hard about my financial situation. And could not find a solution. Suggestions/cheques/postal orders welcome.
- I selected Paula Danziger and (hooray!) Josephine Cox as authors of the month at my work. Mostly because we had a lot of copies lying around going nowhere fast. This month; Jean Ure and Ian Rankin. Any suggestions for my new Book Club's reading matter would be gratefully received. Actually it's getting urgent since I have to order the books yesterday. They need one serious book and one trendy.
- I decided to keep this monthly list. This blog is kind of a diary, but definitely a very jumbled one, with a random mix of stuff written for me and stuff written at other people. So it's not a bad idea to think about what's been going on at the end of every month- straighten my head out a little.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Golden Time Goes Platinum… New and Improved! Our weekly coffee morning for senior users. Come along to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. Chat with staff and other Idea Store users. Golden Time has never been so exciting. Come along and enjoy new books, local history, monthly movie matinee, discover computers, games music and lots more. Every Friday 10:00 – 12:00 noon Book Group Discuss your favourite books with fellow readers at our free monthly meetings. Last Friday of the month 10:00 - 12:00 noon Chatterboox club Discuss your favourite cool reads and find out what fun reading can be. Join the Chatterboox club today – for teenagers and children aged 8-15. Play reading games, write reviews, take part in competitions and win prizes! Every Saturday 2 - 4 pm
Friday, February 03, 2006
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Friday, January 27, 2006
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Beat the January blues with the group to liven any party! From the choreographer and owner of the first ever Village People tribute come THE VILLAGE PEEPLE! With a 60 minute show featuring non stop disco classics etc. etc.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
- Food poisoning 1 (dodgy kebab/curry/scampi last night)
- Serious exposure to children with chicken-pox / mumps.
- 'Personal problems'
- Sprained ankle while decorating the attic (play up humour)
- Gastric flu (no one knows exactly what it is, so take two days.)
- Red spots
- Liver/ heart pains
- Explosive diarrhoea
- Dizziness upon attempting to get out of bed.
- Food poisoning 2 ( I should never have eaten the egg rolls at that wedding. The whole party has gone down.)
- Blinding headaches.
- Temporary deafness (play this up when phoning in)
- Pain 'down there'
- 'That' tummy bug that's going round
- Broken finger
- Develop and maintain a physical condition that regularly gives you pain, that your GP insists you always go and see him about; but that is a little bit mysterious and nothing you could be hospitalized for. My 'dodgy' kidneys (which are actually a bit fucked up) give me all the time off I need; even let me go home early/ come in late when I feel like it.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
"There's no room for class in my ideal society. Or money, come to think of it. Flatmatewas wasted last night and declaiming that the ruling classes are a necessary part of any society; a hierachical (good word, huh) structure is needed for those workers who cannot make their own choices or motivate themselves to improve. How did I wind up living with such a reactionary pile of nonsense? His girlfriend (who hasmoved in for a few months) buys the Daily Mail. I guess Flatmate needs to justify the fact that he works for his Daddy, a confirmed member of the ruling classes who has made his fortune out of pushing up theprice of poor-quality housing for all Londoners. Prat. Last night.I stayed home to work and didn't do a single bit of my assignment, due in Tuesday. Then Lovebird and his adorable friend came in plastered so we had a few drinks and the two of them slow-danced together to the Beatles. Thank God I'm coming to the end of my course. Actually I can even fail this one and still pass the whole thing. Maybe I won't do it at all... do you know any good games/activities/tasks to improve intermediate reading or listening skills? Don't worry about your social faux-pas... I went to a librarian party on Friday, said it was dry to the woman running it, slagged off the DJ (a tutor whose lesson I had to observe the next day) within his earshot, made a sarky remark about strings of emails to the woman I have to get a teaching job off (who never answered the hundreds of emails I sent her before I started the course), called a senior tutor the devil and laughed at his dancing and finally got rollicking drunk in front of my boss and said he was so cute I'd like to put him in my pocket. I'm never gonna make Head Librarian at this rate. But I did have a good time. I'm going on a trip with an ESOL class next week, on a boat up the Thames and walking around the Pool of London (Tower Bridge to London Bridge). Then we're having a sleepover at my work; I get paid to sleep.What an exciting life I do lead. My tutor gave me a real bollocking on Thursday when we fed-back about the lessons we taught. My lesson was actually better than everybody else's, which she admitted, but I guess she's on to me. Once more I had to hear a whole lecture about wasted potential and not enough effort, just like being back at school. Hello, I work seventy hours a week! I'm doing what I have to do to pass the fucking course, sue me if my lessons could be better. I'd rather sleep occasionally. "
Friday, January 20, 2006
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
...the time has been, That when the brains were out, the man would die,And there an end; but now, they rise again, With twenty mortal murders on their crowns, And push us from our stools... (III, iv)