Tuesday, October 31, 2006

So, big news on the work front: I’m giving it up. Well, not entirely (a girl’s got to eat), but as of November 4 I will be freelance. Yippee! I’ve been toying with the idea for a couple of years but was always talked out of it by colleagues. Reasons given included “If you leave publishing you’ll never be able to get back in” (what? So all those women with children didn’t take maternity leave?); “It’ll look bad on your CV” (my A-levels looks pretty bad on my CV, but I’ve still been offered jobs); “You’ll starve” (maybe, but I could lose a few pounds anyway) etc.

So I am taking the plunge. After weighing up the pros and cons (pros: so many. A few are: not having to get up at 6.45am; not commuting on steamy, stinky trains; not having to go to Kings Cross every day; not sitting at my desk biting my own hand to stay awake; not having to smile and be nice to Bully Boss; being master of my own destiny. Cons include: no regular income. And that’s about it, really.) and discussing with Steve, I’ve decided to do it.

And now that it’s just under a week away I can’t wait. Am making all sorts of money-saving plans, ranging from the bloody obvious (stop buying so much cheap clothing, spend less on booze), to the so-frugal-I’ll-never-stick-to-them (wearing four layers in winter to avoid turning on the heating, having beans on toast for lunch every day), and last night we even had a House Meeting, with all residents in attendance. I took minutes, we agreed to start a kitty for groceries and basic toiletries, and today I changed our phone contract for a cheaper service. We still need to buy a computer – I want an iBook, Steve wants a PC notebook, but whatever we get it needs to be purchased pretty damn soon, as feeling unconnected and isolated makes me depressed. Part of my daily routine will be checking email, reading blogs, etc, each morning, so that even though I won’t be interacting with people physically at least I won’t go mad with loneliness.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Am wearing skinny jeans. After a year of flirting with this most unflattering of trends, it has finally come to pass. But they were only £12 from Primark, which is just as well as I think I’m getting deep vein thrombosis. Seriously. They’re tucked into my black boots, and my calves are throbbing and hurting like crazy, but short of turning the jeans into cut-offs there’s not much I can do until I get home tonight. Oh dear. It had to happen sooner or later – the first death from DVT caused by too-tight jeans. (For the next Actionettes club night we each have to pick a gristly cause of death (it’s the Monster Mash/ Halloween special), and I think I’ve found mine…)

It's now a few days later (a combination of Blogger being uncooperative, my boss hovering over me constantly, and the run-up to the wretched Frankfurt Book Fair prevented me from posting) and today I am dressed as the Hamburglar. Wearing black trousers, a long-sleeved stripy black and white tee, and a black sweater vest. All I need is a black eye mask and I can begin my burger-stealing spree!

Tomorrow I fly to Frankfurt for the day. I am excited to be going (it's a free trip, I get spending money, I'm out of the office for a day) but not too excited at the prospect of getting a cab at 5am (I'm staying over at my Mum's, as she lives slightly nearer to Heathrow than I do), and then landing back in the UK at 10.30pm, just in time to catch the Vomit Express from London Bridge after midnight. I've been looking on the web for vintage stores in Frankfurt, with no luck. I fear it's such a business town that all the shops sell souvenirs/wine and smoked cheeses/designer clothing. I still, eight years on, think fondly of the amazing, tiny, cluttered vintage store I found in Budapest: Victorian dresses and petticoats hung from the ceiling, ballgowns were crammed onto rails. The elderly woman who ran it wanted me to give her my copy of Time Out Budapest, where the shop was listed. I had to explain that this book was the only thing preventing me from wandering in circles for several days while slowly starving to death, as I don't speak Hungarian and didn't know anyone in the city.