Records I bought included:
Emperor Tomato Ketchup, All Over You (Caravan re-recordings),
Number One hits in the UK: George Michael - Jesus To A Child, Babylon Zoo - Spaceman, Oasis - Don't Look Back In Anger, Take That - How Deep Is Your Love, Prodigy - Firestarter, Mark Morrisson - Return Of The Mack, George Michael - Fast Love, Gina G - Ooh, Aah, Just A Little Bit, Baddiel And Skinner with The Lightning Seeds - Three Lions, Fugees - Killing Me Softly, Gary Barlow - Forever Love, Spice Girls - Wannabe, Peter Andre - Flava, Fugees - Ready or not, Deep Blue Something - Breakfast at Tiffany's, Chemical Brothers - Setting Sun, Boyzone - Words, Spice Girls - Say You'll Be There, Robson and Jerome - What becomes of the broken hearted, The Prodigy - Breathe, Peter Andre - I Feel You, Boyzone - A Different Bear, Dunblane charity record - Knockin' On Heaven's Door, Spice Girls - 2 Become 1
8/1:96 - 26/1/96: Cafe closed for decoration
12/1/96: Wind In The Willows at Festival Hall
15/2/96: Scanner arrived. S3 screen smashed again! Dieting, losing weight.
24/2/96: IKEA for blinds, CD drawers etc
1/3/96: Saw (!) neck specialist at Chase Farm. NFG.
6/3/96: Afro-Caribbean day at 1BH minus Marilyn
14/3/96: Dunblane massacre.
15/3/96: Marilyn leaves, I set up WinComm & Si dialled in to me!
16/3/96: Carpets cleaned, Nina Coltart pm
22/3/96: Cezanne at the Tate - BSE & CJD scares
22/3/96: In the dentist's antechamber, suffering panics and yuk. Bloody cold today! The Carpenters on the radio slaughtering "Jambalaya" as a pre-torture before the bloke gets his mitts in my gob. If you bend over far enough, someone'll kick you. 10.10 and my appointment is at 10.30 - I could be here for hours. And some little shit is making farty raspberry noises a couple of rows away from me It's fucking cold and miserable and so am I. The "Universal church of the kingdom of God" are in the Rainbow, Vince Power is in the Robey, and rock music is dead - as good as. I just had a Japanese lunch from a suchi bar in Moorgate, that was nice.
Trying to untangle truth from hysteria in this new BSE/CJD scare. I like beef, I don't want to give up eating it, so I'm looking for evidence of it being safe and hoping the price will drop hugely as Mr and Mrs punter decide they don't want to eat it. On the other hand, of course, the price could go UP if the convenience food industry decides it's no longer going to buy mechanically-recovered shite for their burgers. But the evidence seems to indicate that if anyone is going to be infected then it already happened in the late 1980's and it's too late to do anything about it now.
25/3/96: Scroedinger's Kittens, Lanwall systems & photocopier. I finished the first proper draft of the script.
29/3/96: Painting the flat, Paul G out of Chanter. Tumble drier bust.
18/4/96: Went to see Rory Bremner recording his TV show
18/4/96: Yesterday Fergie and Andy were given a decree nisi and "the duchess of York emerged from her Swiss chalet to announce that it was the saddest day of her life, then returned to her skiing holiday".
22/4/96: I'm on a late (with Jon) so I have a little bit of a lie-in first. And, speaking of Jon, I must say I strongly disagree with a lot of what he says - particularly re "positive thinking" and the need to make "action plans" instead of telling one's story... "Truth be known, they're just looking for husbands… They all want to marry a doctor." Jon's opinion of student nurses...
27/4/96: Bowling and pizza with Georgious and Kermodes. Karaoke on TV, not very good.
1/5/96: Bought Office 95 and MS Plus. Boiler dripping so serviced.
I hear that poor Annie Lennox only earned £1 million last year, as opposed to £5 million the previous year. Oh dear, big aah for Annie. I hope she goes bankrupt and never makes another record - actually, no, forget the bankrupt bit, that's unnecessary. But she does embody all that is shite and soul-less about "modern" music - her and Tina Turner and Mariah Carey and all those who mistake vocal gyrations for honesty and talent. "Suddenly my heart goes boo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-ooom" is probably my least favourite vocal line in the history of music. Yuk. Awful.
10/5/96: Stanley Spencer play at National.
Re: 1BH - I feel I really ought to try (again) to get away from there. I feel less and less comfortable with certain aspects of the new broom - on the one hand we're in danger of being stifled by policies (food, music, etc) and on the other hand the looseness and lack of boundaries re "members" and therapy are, in my opinion (and I have discussed some of my disagreements with Jon) counterproductive. I think the "music policy" is a silly idea and if it hadn't come from S (Asian user) it wouldn't have been taken seriously.
And I do think Jon is being rather selective and choosy about who he has a relationship to, client-wise. He seems to actively avoid the community meeting unless he's got a predetermined agenda to talk about (and we're in danger of being snowed under by pieces of paper as well - what does that imply about his confidence and ability to hold on to ideas in a loose, undefined way), and he only seems to relate to the higher functioning cafe users - S and P, to name the only two I can think of at the moment. And JS isn't poisonous, he's just cantankerous! I'm not saying Jon is "wrong" (unless he's saying he's "right") but it's vital that we have different ideas/feelings/opinions, otherwise his word becomes law and/or doctrine - and the music policy is something that he decided would be done before we thrashed it around between the team!
No amount of "policies" will change personal taste. A policy may create more space for someone else - albeit artificially and superficially - but it doesn't change individuals. And that's what we ought to be dealing with at work, surely? Trying to help change people! But Jon's not into "therapy" - God, I resent his pronouncements!!!
He's a strange git sometimes - not knowing Michelle was an art therapist... not even knowing the fucking place's phone number...
Rant, rant, rant.
26/5/96: Went to see "Smoke" - v good. Last Dennis Potters on telly - crap. L applying for Haringey Mind job.
I'm at work now and there's a foul smell downstairs. I noticed it last week (Tuesday) and it's been getting worse, the freezer packed up because it was so filthy and the repair men won't fix it because they say there's a dead rat underneath. I doubt that but it is disgusting.
I had a few words with Jon before we left work. He said he was angry - I could tell that. But I invited him to tell me what he was angry about, and he did: he said he resented having to justify his actions to me all the time. I was surprised, though I knew the specific incident which had caused this current situation (but which I think is probably the tip of an iceberg that may be linked with me not going in on Thursday for supervision etc): (Oh, here we go again...) There was a day trip ticket in an envelope on the wall, with a note saying "reserved for Christina, still to pay" - I'd noticed this earlier in the day but made no comment. So at about 6.30 Jon asked me how many tickets there were and I said 3, but I wasn't sure what that was (indicating the ticket). Jon said it's a ticket. I said yes, I know, but I didn't know why it was on the wall. Join said it's for Christina. I raised my eyebrows, quizzically, and he started to describe her. I said yes, I know who Christina is, but I don't know why it's on the wall. Jon says he put it there because she came in earlier and wanted a ticket and I said I thought we weren't letting people book tickets in advance, that it was first come first served - and that's where the conflict came up. Maybe I'm stubborn, maybe I expect too much in the way of being included - oh, look, he can be hypocritical and impulsive, changing his moods and replies to suit the way he feels. I try to maintain a consistency and it annoys me when anyone - especially Jon - steps in and disregards the decisions we've made.
He said maybe we need a policy for tickets, we haven't got enough policies (irony) - but we didn't have any before he arrived! Now we've got smoking policy, food policy, music policy, ah fuck it.
31/5/96: To Cardiff to see Mame. Long walks.
13/6/96: Gig in Brighton, stayed in Zetters' flat, day trip 14th & Emil & Felix
20/6/96: to Sarah's to celebrate anniversary. Has Matthew quit the band?
20/6/96: I have supervision with Jon later on today, I'm not looking forward to it particularly because I feel I want to criticise him as a manager over certain issues. Most annoying, perhaps, is his inability to do anything about the photocopier - which is still broken after several months and all he will say is that he's written to them and the ball is in their court. But also his continual breaking of boundaries and decisions - the holding back of a ticket for someone, the sitting in the back yard with D and C long after we were shut - and his "care plan" for D which consists of forming a band with him! I can only try and keep my mouth shut, hope that somehow he gets caught out, or someone else will challenge him over something. It's not my role to do that, but I wonder how long I can go on being supervised by (or continue to work in a place which is run by) someone whose practise I do not agree with, or approve of...
Jon said that he thought the biggest problem was in the name of the staff group ("sensitivity group") and Katy described herself as Tigger ("bouncy, bouncy") with nothing to talk about today - conveniently avoiding our disagreement last week. And then later Jon commented that she was dim, and couldn't turn the fire alarms off, but "she looks good, doesn't she?" - wanker. And what about "one of the things we know about black people is that they are loud"? I think someone should thump him!
21/6/96: Tillie came to live with us.
22/6/96: My 40th, dinner in Thai Garden & L, B&G, A&S, P&J, si & Mame. Great, there till 2, home till 4. Cherry tree, food processor, panama hat etc.
25/6/96: Ben over with Si & Andy
29/6/96: Our al fresco jam session garden party
I can't continue to work under Jon, I disagree too strongly with so much of what he's doing.
F wants to leave and I can't be bothered to try and keep him here. He's so hard to work with, won't do anything or say anything except "ah, Jayzus, Jerry, the panic and unreality have been real bad". How do they feel? "Like panic and unreality". He was so bad last week he got up, had breakfast, read the paper and went back to bed. And he blames his current poor state of health on the fact that his local shop had sold out of the Sun and he had to go to another one. Bollocks.
3/7/96: L interview for Mind in Haringey, then William Morris & Harrods.
5/7/96: Scheaffer nib replaced, Barry Linehan dead.
7/7/96: Jesus, he's got a nerve... I was in the office this morning, doing his fucking quarterly returns (and he can fucking whistle if he wants them, now) when I found the minutes of the centre meeting on Wednesday. I thought I might type them out, but the very first thing on the written minutes is "Jon asked did people like the way the minutes had been typed, there was a discussion and it was decided they were too complicated and formal". Well fuck him, I'm not doing them any more.
I'm a bit fed up with Jon again - this time over me implementing the damn smoking policy and then HE fucking overrules me and waives it! Bloody hell, I can't do anything right! So now I'm taking the day off sick. Fuck work and Jon's plans for reorganisation.
I hear from Jane that Jon is planning to do breakfasts here. And I hear from A that he has told her she can come to the catering meetings. I hear from a little voice inside me that once again I'm very unhappy about things. Did I finish my moan about the smoking on Monday? Because what happened was that there was no cook and no food and I stopped people smoking between 12 and 2. There was some complaining and moaning but I stuck to my guns and said that the fact that there was no food was irrelevant, that there was no smoking allowed between 12 and 2. So I went out for 10 minutes, came back and everybody was smoking. Apparently Jon had told them they could - "just this once". What kind of a thing is that to do? It undermines my authority and makes me look a fool. We had decided months ago to be firm about this - and it was this very issue that led to the fight between R and J! Oh, get me out of here...
And Jane says that Jon told her not to bother with sandwiches for a while...
14/7/96: L's pre-brithda at Banners
15/7/96: L's brithda in Cambridge. Also tube strikes, quite a few gigs with Malcolm inc Blackheath and smoky Ealing, Jon annoying me, Alo on rotten drums
18/7/96: Councillor Rossi's visit
18/7/96: Louise's women's day, me exiled up West with wobbly knees to follow
22/7/96: Social do at work with "Take Time Out"
24/7/96: Epson colour printer & Omnipage Pro
26/7/96: L didn't get the job... a temporary breakdown.
28/7/96: Barry & George's garden party
29/7/96: Mental Health Talking Group starts
30/7/96: Placed ad for Canon printer in Loot
1/8/96: I walked into a glass (Woolworth) door. Feeling "weak in the knees", L watching Olympics - holiday in Rome?
10/8/96: Gig with Barry Wickens
12/8/96: Armed siege in Balham, Focus 2001 keyboard fucked
Fucking stinky guy behind me on the bus, serious fag smell - you know like when someone puts out a half-smoked fag and then carries it with them? He smells like he's carrying a hundred of them. I feel tainted.
German tosser on the tube talking about "galfanissed steel scroos, damached sreads, ve tried drilling ze smoll pilot hole but it vould not take ze sree mill scroos" and some English bloke agreeing with him - is this what they do for a living? Manufacture and/or sell screws? And is this the way they talk to each other when they're not at work? Oh dear... "Ve're still strukkling to get our product specified zere"...
13/8/96: No holiday in Rome (no cheap flights), PC graphics card fucked
16/8/96: Day trip to Chessington
19/8/96: Katy leaves - a nice e-mail from Tony Y!
21/8/96: Exchanged spare Office 95 for MGA Millenium
25/8/96: Emil to stay Sat & Sun, Mum & Bakers over as well!
28/8/96: Sold printer to Bosnians
29/8/96: Ben Andy over, me pissed & v hung over next day when Izzy & Anne came to dinner!
31/8/96: Shopping (Tott Hale) for Emil to paint windows, I bought a suitcase, watched Beetlejuice
1/9/96: Eurostar to Paris and 2 weeks in France. Villeneuve-Les-Avignon, Sete, St. Jean-de-Luz, Ile de Re again.
1/9/96: Pinch punch off to Paris for lunch. Well, dinner anyway. L in shower, Tillie romping on top of me in bed, me looking forward to going but a bit sad somehow about leaving cats & flat - worried, too, whether cats will still be here (& alive) when we return. Do cats run away if they feel abandoned? Dunno...
8.45am, train leaves Waterloo 11.57 & arrives in Paris 3 hours later at 3.56 European time. I don't seem to be as worried as I once might have been about going under the channel, I guess enough trains have made it through to convince me that they don't all drown in collapsing tunnels. I only hope we'll have enough money!
A sad (to me) image of little Tillie wandering off into the garden just before we left - oh, I do worry and hope she'll be ok... I'm sure she will, and there's nothing I can do now anyway, so stop it. Look forward to the future, the next two weeks...
2/9/96: Better this morning than last night!
3/9/96: So: We left London 11.57am and arrived in Paris-Nord at 15.56 local time, then a lady taxi driver took us to the Hotel Ideal, on the slopes of Montmartre. A barely adequate room - clean & dry sheets but nothing else to recommend it. Wallpaper peeling, plugs that didn't fit the sink or bidet, no hot water, 2 out of 3 lamps working, you get the picture (yes we see). A balcony with wobbly wrought iron railings overlooking the Rue des Trois Freres - but less then 5 minutes walk from the funicular railway up to Sacre Coeur, our first stop after booking in.
I'm writing this on the TGV from Paris to Marseilles, having decided to go OTT and spend as much as my VISA will allow in order to have a good holiday. Money worries have been much on my mind the last 2 days, with everything being much more expensive than I'd anticipated or planned for, but now I think fuck it we're on holiday let's enjoy ourselves.
Yesterday was the grand Champs Elysees - Eiffel Tower - Louvre tour but we were both knackered and a bit fratchety by the time we went hunting for somewhere to eat (chicken livers / aubergine coulis followed by steak & chips). A bottle of wine cheered us up but didn't solve the problem of aching feet & legs! The previous night we walked round Montmartre looking for a restaurant recommended in the rough guide but it was a bit naff, atmosphere-wise, with hardly any choice to the menu. I had a mixed platter inc pigeon legs & goats cheese, L had something else, then we both had Ris d'Agneau - which I should have known was sweetbreads.
Coffee roughly £1.50 for a tiny espresso, my indigestion has been bad but so far ok today. Back to the scenery...
5.10pm, hotel l'Atelier, Villeneuve-les-Avignon. Un peu plus cher qu'a Paris, mais quel difference!!!
4/9/96: It rained all day yesterday after we left Paris, but this morning the sun is shining, the air is still and luvly.
5/9/96: This morning I 'ave ze constipatione, j'ai pas bien shitte d'apres nous avons quitte Londres. No accents on this so words don't make sense. Yesterday was fab, we walked in to Avignon, where I bought f1,000 on Visa, and then back by bus to Fort Phillippe le Bel, a bloody great stone tower with great views over the Rhone. Back into town & discovered a swimming pool which was incredibly warm so swim swim beer beer back for dinner dinner of baguette (bugger these repeats), camembert, pate de campagne, olives & tomato, then relax on bed & plan, then up to the Fort Castle Andre by floodlight, then brandy. A relaxing day despite all the moving about!
Weather fab & hot today, as yesterday, so (natch) we're going on a bus journey. Only 40 mins and St Remy sounds great, then back later for more relax & swim. Tomorrow we leave here (boo hoo) and go - I think - to Sete (might revise that later).
I bin bit! Bloody mosquitos... Anyway, another nice day. St Remy a bit disappointing but still v. nice, then back for another swim & rooftop dinner. A "siesta" and here I am at 9.20pm. I've booked us in to the Hotel Grand for 3 nights at f300 per night, my bloody VISA bill will be huge but rather that than a shit holiday. Next time be prepared, because £600 will get you nowhere in France!
L bathing, 10.06pm, me reading about Sete. Seems a decent enough place to stay for 3 nights, within reach of Agde and Montpellier. L drying hair now.
6/9/96: Whether to eat here, or go out for breakfast? Me, I think the coffee will be better elsewhere - although the setting is lovely.
7/9/96: Sete is indeed very nice, a bustling fishing port with so many restaurants it's hard to decide where to eat. We stopped off briefly at Montpellier yesterday but I didn't recognise it at all - surprised? The Grand Hotel here is indeed just that, with a central hole with a lounge at the bottom and all the rooms arranged around it. Today we're climbing up the hill through the "forests" to get an overview of the island and see if there are any decent-looking beaches, and that will help us decide whether to stay 2 nights or 3.
8/9/96: Beach good & 13km long - we're staying. Last night was some kind of festival, brass bands playing v. late after river jousting. One more day here then off to St Jean de Luz tomorrow, heading back slowly - sadly!
I'm enjoying myself, obviously. Weather great, not too hot but constant sunshine until about 7pm. Back to the beach today probably, and what else? A slap-up meal tonight courtesy of my Visa card, and an early start tomorrow to Carcassonne en route to the West coast.
9/9/96: And what a journey it's going to be! 6½ hours on the train, through the Pyrenees, via Carcassonne, to the Basque country. Yum. I had bouillabaisse last night and L had sea bass.
On the train, 1h15m en retard, going West at last. Some kind of a fire back at Marseilles? Sete to Beziers (here) then on. I am a bit worried that the train will fill up later (we're sitting in seats which have been reserved from Toulouse) although at the moment it's not too bad. Last night I dreamed of a song "the road behind the lens" which I might try to write at some point. Narbonne, now Carcassonne, Castelnaudary...
The train filled up with "squaddies" in Toulouse - they're very well behaved & I have a grudging respect for their CO. Passing through the foothills of the Pyrenees, sky cloudy but countryside magnificent. Tarbes next, then Lourdes (yuk - hello Katy!), then North and down to sea level. I don't know how much time we've made up but I suspect we won't reach our destination before 8 this evening.
10/9/96: Another palpable hit, this S-J-D-L. More sun this morning, a lovely harbour & bay, dinner last night a decidedly average poulet basqueaise but we'll find better. Hotel opposite the station & adequate for our needs.
Actually Lourdes was in a lovely setting, a pity about all the God stuff. The train journey was most enjoyable despite being nearly 7 hours and me worrying about going through the mountains AND BY THE WAY: "It's abnormal, unusual and unfounded. More people die in cars then planes. When did I last hear of a train being derailed in the Pyrenees? Or falling off a viaduct? Or crashing into another, mid-tunnel?" (WRITTEN ON THE TRAIN YESTERDAY).
Sorry about the caps, forgot to turn them off. Looked at 2 different Basque churches today, in Ciboure and sjdl, very impressive indeed. Lazed on the beach pm, Atlantic warmer than Med! Now 7.50pm, lazing on the bed while L in bath, gamba tails mixing with Grants whisky in tumtum.
11/9/96: Later, we went out for a nightcap - 1 Johnnie Walker + 1 ruby port = f55! Bluddy hell... Out shoppinx this am at "Casino" (= Londis?) for wine and provisions for domani, previously to buy tickets for the TGV tomorrow. Tonight we go to a concert, but Ravel or de Falla? Not sure!
Going out shortly for a meal in la Sardinerie, followed by a concert in the Maurice Ravel auditorium by some pupils at his academy, then home for kip and up & out North tomorrow. No swim today, just wandering... My mind wanders to Janet de Pelagia - who she?
Go to La Rochelle via Bordeaux tomorrow. Schindler's lift!
12/9/96: The concert was very pleasant, some nice pieces including one interesting violin & cello duet by a young composer who was sitting just in front of us. We're on the TGV now (10.10am) just arriving at Bayonne. And now heading for Bordeaux, the train seems to have more Spaniards than French. Perhaps it came from Madrid, or somewhere?
We're heading North on a small 2-carriage train, passing through Saintes shortly. There was a song that I started writing the last time I was here: "Gare de Saintes, 3.45" or whatever the time was then, after chicken & chips on the station platform. Nice it was, too, if I remember correctly! Or was it "... Dimanche matin"? I forget... Anyway I must have changed trains there coming from Royan to the Ile de Re. Yes?
1.35pm, the sky is still blue but clouds are more frequent now as we travel North. The sun feels hot from inside the train but I doubt that it will be swimming weather in an hour or so.
Well I never, back in the old Hippocampe in La Flotte. Lovely little place, I'm glad I came back - and L seems to like it, too. We are both, however, chronically constipated - I haven't been unaided since we left bloody Waterloo!
13/9/96: Friday 13th, last day boo hoo. Breakfasting soon after an interesting night, what with church bells every half hour and a drunken woman trying to get into our room late last night. Beds, also, interesting, springs boinging through thin sheets - fun, though!
14/9/96: On the TGV to Paris, 11.55am. The "Rebus" was very full & slow & I worried about arriving at La Rochelle to find all the seats taken on this train, but all's well. Nice holiday, nearly over now!
And now back on Eurostar on our way out of France.
2.23pm, about 4½ hours from home and everything that may, or may not, await us there. Will both cats still be there, fit and well? Will Emil have painted the windows? Will Izzy & Anne be there, and will they have cooked for us?
Sky cloudy, we have now reached our maximum speed of 300km/h. Hey ho. Due in London 6.13pm local time - "Giles, Honda have reported a motorbike which does 0-60 in 2 seconds" says the git opposite me.
15/9/96: Back home & all is well, that's a relief. Tillie seems to have grown a heck of a lot and Maggie seems even huger, but they are alive and well. Phew.
18/9/96: I dreamed I was trying to combine therapy work with picture framing, and after I saw B in the basement and C in the shop, Don B got pissed and smashed my s3. Somehow I ended up jamming with Dr Strangely Strange on top of the Eiffel tower, but I was scared and came down.
23/9/96: Back to work. Also gigging in O'Neills with Mal, Gubble, and begin to apply for jobs. DB back on GLR, Jon off 2 weeks paternity leave.
3/10/96: Mandy Allwood loses her octuplets, Van Gogh Dave died of a heroin overdose.
5/10/96: Fitted new worktop with Pete
11/10/96: I am going in to work today filled with opposition for what Jon is doing, and planning to do, at Bedford Hill. Louise said, last night, that he is going to try to stop working weekends or in the cafe - what a fucking hypocrite!
And now OMWH after another day of ups and downs, infuriations and achievements. The first with Jon, who pronounces and "states his conclusions at the beginning of the meeting" and is now telling us that different is, by definition, unequal - when didn't we say "different therefore equal" in our policy statement? Oh, he's up the fucking wall... And also my "colleagues", who have little or no respect for my asking them to do something - oh, I want out!
21/10/96: Day trip to Chiltern brewery and Bicester shopping village
22/10/96: Tillie "done"
24/10/96: Went to see HIGN4U being filmed with Emil
Thinking of leaving
I spoke to the DSS and employment agency today, they advised strongly against voluntarily leaving work without any alternative work to go to. And yet... I was thinking, this morning, about borrowing a further £5000 from the A&L on my mortgage. I'd pay back my £2000 loan (PC), pay off Visa, and have about £2000 to subsidise 2 gigs a week. I should be able to survive like that for 3 or 4 months at least, and if I can't get it together to earn a living either self-employed or getting some job or other in 3 or 4 months then I'm a pretty sorry kind of bloke.
And with 3 months off (say) I could rewrite the script, get in several application forms, have a serious go at doing some cards and/or publicity work, and not really be any worse off than if I stayed at 1BH. There seems to be plenty of low-paid work about, and if I have to do a few gigs to subsidise that - well, isn't it better than staying at 1BH? Because the place is dying on its feet, man. Staff are either leaving (if they can, being agency workers) or else so depressed and low in morale that we're just fucking miserable.
SO: On Wednesday I'll go and register with Reliance in Chancery Lane - they have the contract for Haringey's social care staff - and then to the library for some CV samples from Adult Directions, and then to the A&L to see the manager about getting some more money. WHAT HAVE I GOT TO LOSE??? Because, in a way, leaving/handing in my notice would simplify things. Instead of "If I leave, what will I do?", the first part of that is lopped off and the question becomes a simple, rather than a compound one: "What am I going to do"? And there are options. Typing, WP, secretarial, I could do all that - IF I pulled my finger out and also used the 3 months to learn Access/Excel/Powerpoint properly. And improve my typing. I can do it!
I know it's going to be hard to leave the place - not to mention the clients & users who see it all going down the toilet - but I have to accept that I have lost this battle and I couldn't make it better even if I stayed. I've given the place nearly 8 years of my life, that's enough. It's someone else's turn. It's sad if it has to die, but I can't let that ruin my life too.
I looked in the Balham Job Centre today, idly wondering about prospects. There was a job advertised for somebody to turn lobsters over!!! Apparently when they transport lobsters they sometimes get accidentally turned over onto their backs and they can't breathe or something, and so somebody has to keep an eye on them and turn over any that get into difficulties. I could do that - gissa job!
25/10/96: Met Roger and family
3/11/96: Earls Court residency starts, Sat nights, me thinking of leaving BH. CV, job apps...
5/11/96: I'm pretty certain that Jon is getting more than his fair share of scapegoated and transferential feelings from me, but since we are no longer encouraged to explore and work through these things he can fucking keep them.
6/11/96: Fucking hell, Jon's off sick. Bugger him! I'm on a d/o, so it doesn't directly affect me, but Louise rang me from work this morning well pissed off. I bet! Off for 2½ weeks, back for one day and then off sick. Shades of Andrew, or bloody malingering? Fucking manager??? He's useless!!!
It seems like Michelle has a similar feeling to me with regards to working shifts with Jon, ie we don't like it. And L finds him such a difficult man to be with - so do we all, but she's supposed to be his deputy! And he can be so tactless, so unhelpful. He doesn't complement anybody on a job well done, or acknowledge the amount of time and effort that's gone in to something, he just tells us he wants it different.
9/11/96: Bonfire with Will, Jess, Izzy & Anne
12/11/96: Handed in notice.
12/11/96: I think it's today. I think I'll hand in my notice this morning and aim to leave in four weeks and four days, on Friday 13th December, and celebrate by going to Stan Tracey's 70th birthday gig at the QEH. We discussed it last night when I got home after a rotten, busy, late shift, and I really can't see any reason to delay.
Done it. DONE IT! Handed in notice, leaving as above. What a relief! Alam unexpectedly shocked, Michelle a bit less so, L knew, Jon ok, Janet leaving next week anyway, and so it goes. Question is, now what???
Go home and have a quiet panic, I suppose. Buy some ham and some coffee, just as if it was a normal day, then watch Food & Drink, have a couple of drinks, go to bed, carry on for 31 more days. And counting... "What have you done today to move forward"? - Quite a lot, actually!
18/11/96: Wandsworth Arts Festival inc magazine & "Tone Dimension" jazz band (!)
23/11/96: Jan Garbarek @ Festival Hall
31/11/96: To Brighton for w/e
9/12/96: I got the Psion job from over 200 CVs!
12/12/96: Jeremy Browning left No. 1 Bedford Hill
Part 9) Working for Psion Software
13/12/96: Stan Tracey's 70th bd @ Festival Hall
21/12/96: Gig with Narcissus/Pete & blues band
25/12/96: Xmas - Fairport tickets, brandy & glass
26/12/96: Evita at Muswell Hill Odeon
31/12/96: New year's eve in Ilford & Mal, L & Yolanda