Wednesday, November 22, 2006

We have the internet! Yes, Steve and I have finally joined the late-20th century (I may have made that joke already)! I feel much less isolated, and also by 10am I am usually working but today am playing on the web instead... oops. Thanks for comments people have tried to post: not sure what I've done to my settings but basically comments get sent to my hotmail for approval, but when I approve them they link back to blogger and I get a 'post not found' message. Suck! I think I did something to accidentally ban all comments except those from Rachel.

So, a typical day in slackerville goes something like this...
8.30 get up, shower, dress, make the bed, put on makeup, make porrige and coffee
9.30 sit down at kitchen table (desk not yet bought...) to work
1.30 break for lunch, half an hour or so
afternoon: more work, maybe a nap, or a long walk to Sainsbury's or Dulwich

It's fine, but I think I need to go into central London more, as my world is slowly shrinking to a few square miles, and I can see how people who rarely leave the house start wanting to never leave the house...

Friday, November 03, 2006

Last day! And it’s probably the nicest day I’ve had here since joining the company. Whether that’s cos people are being kind or because I’m leaving and so am naturally happy, I don’t know. Less than two hours left and it feels like Christmas, my birthday, and the day before a holiday, all rolled into one.

Last night Steve and I celebrated our one-year cohabiting anniversary with a nice dinner at Konstam and an argument about laundry. Ahh, domestic bliss. Konstam sources all its food from within the M25, but the thought of eating a London pigeon in London was a bit too disgusting so instead I had a roast artichoke salad and pork belly, and a delicious glass of English white wine. A few hours later I sullied my palate with a couple of glasses of vile Italian Pinot Grigio, which tasted like fruity paint stripper, its only redeeming features being that it was icy-cold and would get me tipsy, which I needed to be in order to dance on a stage in front of 100 art-school hipsters. The Actionettes had a gig at Legal Tender, a club night at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club in East London, and we were the first act on stage. It was a breeze compared to the earlier run-through, when all the bands and their trendy mates were sitting around, and we had to dance on the floor, sober, in work clothes, with bright overhead lights. Imagine dancing in front of a group of strangers, on command, and they’re all watching you. Yeah, exactly. My left leg kept shaking and I was scared everyone would notice. But the band tuning up behind us joined in on Have Love Will Travel, and there was a mildly enthusiastic round of applause when we were done.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Less than two days to go

I will sort of miss one or two of my colleagues, but on the whole I am glad to see the back of a few of them, and the feeling’s probably mutual. The irony is that I like the people I’m working with now more than the ones I was working with for the first five months at this company, before I was moved over to another imprint. The first imprint was chaotic, bitchy, backstabbing, and ruled by (but not run by) a bullying, egomaniac workaholic. My boss, a quiet, slightly awkward, woman, was out of her depth and knew it. She went home one day after a meeting and never came back. It was several weeks before we were told what had happened, with a brief announcement for both the company and the trade press, stating that she’d “left the company to pursue other interests”. In the meantime, egomaniac workaholic (EW), who was boss’s harshest critic, and had even gone as far as googling her and telling the entire office she’d been signing up to dating websites, got his own imprint to run. Thankfully he would be doing this at another location. So the “team” was split in two, with EW’s cronies moving to other offices, and the rest of the staff staying here, getting a new boss. New boss used to be commissioning editor at another imprint (are you still with me?), so when she was promoted to publisher there was a position to be filled. This is where I was moved. With two days’ notice and no choice. But seeing as I’d been miserable at the first imprint, I figured I’d give it a go. And although the people were helpful and pretty friendly, it was glaringly obvious to me that I just didn’t want to do this. I just didn’t care. Despite my job title, I was suddenly doing the job of an editorial assistant, and my self-esteem was non-existent. I was getting everything wrong, it was two weeks before the biggest book fair of the year, no one had time to train me, and I think I just sort of gave up. I wanted a break from 9-6 work, a break from commuting, a break from bosses, office politics, egos, filing, meetings.

Anyway, I’m just writing this now because I have nothing – literally, nothing – to do at work at the moment. Which of course makes the hours drag…

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Am counting the days until I leave work… only two to go, and each one is passing slower than the last. The hardest thing is feigning interest in what I’m doing. Mentally, I’ve already left, so it’s tough to pretend I care about stuff I won’t be working on.

I’m so excited about working from home. At the moment this feels like the best move I’ve ever made (ask me again in a few months), and here are my plans for week one…

Steve will be off work too (yay!) and we’ll be tarting up the mansion, so a trip to B&Q or Homebase is high on the list of priorities. We’re painting the office pale lilac (apparently this colour stimulates creativity. Whatever, I just like it and think it looks good with hot pink), and the bedroom will be very pale pink. The kitchen and dining room will be baby blue. If we actually get around to painting more than one room I will be amazed, but it’s OK to be ambitious.

Riding an open-air bus. Yes, I realise it’s November. But Jean got me two tickets for a hop-on hop-off bus ride, valid for 24 hours (so I’m planning a day ride and an evening ride), for my 30th birthday, and in a year and a half I still haven’t used them. For shame! We will don our warmest coats and hats, fill the hipflask with whiskey, and pretend we are in a giant double-decker convertible (well I will anyway).

Doing lots of work. My first official freelance proofreading job has landed – and it’s 1,000 pages long. I made a dent in it a few weeks ago when I was at home ill, but at an average rate of 17 pages per hour it’s going to take about 58 hours to plough through this bad boy.

Taking advantage of lunch specials. Mclean’s, a nice little cafĂ© near us, has crazy specials with buy-one-get-one-free meals for £5.95. We’ve been there for breakfast and it was great. Also, a new tapas bar has just opened round the corner. I walked past last night on my way home and it was heaving. They had opening specials (doubles with a mixer for £2.50, cheap tapas) and I am very excited.

Sleeping a lot. And just lying in bed. Maybe having coffee and breakfast in bed. Maybe reading.

Decorating the office. Although it’s a shared room, who are we kidding, the office is mine. We’re visiting Ikea for a spending spree, to get a desk, shelf, desk chair, and lamp. I want to make a shade for the ceiling light, and wrap clean tins in paper or patterned fabric to make pencil holders. I want to get lovely patterned paper and use it to cover files and folders. I want to buy a plain blind for the glass door, which leads onto a small balcony, and decorate it.

Sewing. The next Actionettes club is a Monster Mash on November 11th, and I need to look scary. Found a black brocade minidress in Primark for £10, but it’s a bit plain. Needs a black-and-gold sparkly bib front, or pockets, or a collar.