Wednesday 26 February 2014

This morning III


This morning II

Cow Tower, Norwich.
From my walk this morning.

This morning I

Most weekday mornings I try to start the day with a walk, often by the river. It was such a lovely bright morning this morning so I took my camera, just in case. I love the shadows the trees cast. I likes trees.

Tuesday 25 February 2014

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Job Centre Plus. But plus what?

I’ve been to the job centre again today. Had my first work search review. If I’d have blink I could easily have missed it. So far on two visits I’ve spent more time sitting around waiting than your actually being interviewed and ting. They seem to specialise in keeping people hanging around. It’s a waiting game.

Architecturally they through the rule book out when they built this excuse of a public building in the eighties/nineties. It has windows. But those windows are large but next to useless; one side looks out to a shear concrete wall of another building literally a few feet away; the other side brick and concrete with a hint of daylight. It must be horrible to work in. And that’s without having to deal with the clientele!

There can only surely be one thing worse in the employment stakes than being unemployed and that’s working in a job centre. God that really must be soul-destroying. Apart from a few bewildered folk like myself, who sit wondering what to make of it all and what they have done in a previous life to deserve this, most of the punters are either clinically obese or malnourished and radiating varying shades of miasma/effluvia. A lot of these people seem to have given up all hope of a meaningful life, with or without gainful employment. It makes you want to weep. But it would seem that rather than helping them this evil government of ours just wants to beat people with a stick and generally grind them down.

As far as my future is concerned I feel very up and down about it. Today I feel quite upbeat but Monday and Tuesday I felt very down. What’s changed? I don’t really know. My employment prospects haven’t greatly changed but my attitude towards dealing with it is currently realistic but upbeat. And that’s how it is; you win some you lose some. The emotional roller coaster continues its white knuckle ride. Deep joy!

Tory politics - beating the masses with a big stick!

The raison d’être of the Tory party seems to be to make shed loads of money for themselves and their mates and beating the shit out of the 99% of the population that aren’t wealthy. And working-class* people vote for them!

*you can call yourself middle-class if you like, but if you don’t own the means of production you are working-class!

Monday 17 February 2014

The Avant Gardener

A name dear to the hearts of music lovers who have been grooving at least since the seventies is Rough Trade. They were a lifeline in 1977 when this spotty Herbert was desperate to acquire hard to come by and much needed punk platters. They put on low key performances in their Rough Trade East shop from time to time and last Saturday they came to my rescue again; a promotional concert by Courtney Barnett. Yay!

We arrived in good time on Saturday lunchtime enabling us to get quite close to the front. It’s an intimate gig in what is a long thin record shop. Courtney Barnett and band took to the stage looking slightly surprised at how many people had turned up. The record shop was packed. She also commented how surprised she was that people had travelled from quite some distance to come and see them. A two hour train ride for us along with walking at either end. But why wouldn’t you to see something that good?

If you’ve never heard of Courtney Barnett then why not? What’s wrong with you? Wake up! Consider David Bowie meets PJ Harvey meets Neil Young and they invite the US Nirvana* along for good measure. She writes clever, witty songs, is a great guitarist and together with the two guy rhythm section forms a really tight and most excellent band. They make a full and round sound; post modern folk grunge. Courtney’s dulcet Australian vocals enhance the lyrics making the sound enchanting with a natural edge. It’s a voice of galvanising honey. Nothing forced or false about the songs she sings.

The three-piece played an exciting, action packed set lasting almost an hour consisting of many of the songs from their ‘double EP’: A Sea Of Split Peas plus a new number possibly called DePreston (?) Great sound quality and a jolly good time seemed to have been had by all!

If you’ve never heard her music then you need to. She is the next big thing! Catch her on tour in the UK in a few months time.

Check these out:

*you probably know them as Nirvana (those of the teen spirit smelling) but they weren’t the original band with that name. That accolade goes to a British band; check out Rainbow Chaser by Nirvana.

Tuesday 11 February 2014

100% Unemployment

Day two of unemployment. Going well so far. Yesterday I went out for a celebratory breakfast. The full English. I considered it a rite of passage. I also realised that if I am to survive this ordeal I need some structure to my day. So last night I set the alarm. First task of the day is a brisk walk for an hour. I need to keep up with my exercise levels. Don’t want to turn into a slob. Then I’ve spent the day searching for jobs. Trying to get to grips with the DirectGov website which is actually a pile of piss and very user unfriendly. A bit like the ConDem government so no surprises there then!

Tomorrow I have my initial ‘Job Seeker’s’ interview. Wish me luck. I think I may need it and a nosegay apparently.

Friday 7 February 2014

Banking for the future

Today I made an investment in my future; a deposit at a nearby clothing bank. Pretty soon someone in Eastern Europe or the Third World could possibly be wearing my ex-work corporate clothing.

I finished work yesterday although my official leaving day is today. As of now, and for the first time in my working life of 42 years, I am redundant; unemployed; no longer required; on the scrapheap!

As I didn’t have to work today my first task was to ceremonially remove my work clothes from my life; hence the contribution to the clothing bank.

I have no idea what might lie in store for me work wise. Given that there aren’t enough jobs to go round and given my age it’s going to be very difficult to get any kind of employment I suspect. I’d be more than happy to do a series of temporary jobs or contract work if I can get something as I just really need enough to pay the bills and not much more. If at least the hint of an opportunity doesn’t present itself in the next week or two I have decided to take myself off to an industrial city and absorb myself in my art and attempt to get any job, even a minimum wage one, just to get by. I need to move forward.