Thursday, February 22, 2007


This week, I have begun the first of four weeks working in Camden. Which is quite a departure from my usual Southbank base... and the re-introduction of commuting (after nearly four years) into my life is quite a shock. Normally, I take a brisk walk along the Embankment to work, which sets my head up for a day of air-conditioning and strip-lighting in front of a computer screen. So coughing up £53(!) for a bus pass is quite a shock to the system. I hope Ken is spending my money wisely.

I had envisaged spending my bus journeys immersed in books essential to the MA and decided that this would be a good use of time. But I quickly learnt that buses are full of Other People, which is not a good thing. Other People, it seems, spend their bus journeys talking loudly and pointlessly into their mobile phones, coughing in a disgusting manner, arguing with the driver, and generally dribbling on the windows. All of which makes me feel unwell. So, unable to read, I have spent my journeys plugged into my iPod trying to pretend that it's not really happening. All of this cements my knowledge that surely I am meant for Better Things, but I think P is tiring of my pleas for him to make more money so that I can abandon work and actually live my life, rather than exist in it.

This morning, I noticed an abandoned record shop on Camden High Street, formerly called Reckless Records. The windows were washed with that white paint familiar to closed-down shops... But what was really sad was that, from the inside, the former owner had written "No Hope" with their finger in the paint. Considering that I am immersed in Michael Bracewell's 1980s books about dissatisfaction, it all seemed extra poignant.

A good thing about working in Camden is that I am working with my old friend CG, so I have some moral support in my 'There Must Be More To Life Than This' campaign. Our lunchtimes this week have been spent either devouring chocolate muffins as we whinge about men (her), work (me) and Other People (both of us); or abusing the privilege of working for someone we’ve both known for years and taking a two hour lunch break to go to the gym. Yesterday, I surpassed my own personal best, and ran 5k in 25 minutes. I'm warming up for a charity run in the summer, and hope that at this rate I shall get through the whole thing in 10 minutes. But when I suggested this to Paul The Personal Trainer last night, he seemed doubtful that that would be humanly possible. I shall prove him wrong. In the meantime, please sponsor me, as all the money goes to trying to find a cure for breast cancer.

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