Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Shoes, Glorious Shoes

I'm sort of avoiding my blog at the moment, because I went for the interview with the TV network yesterday and I'm now completely superstitious about it, despite never having indulged in these kinds of beliefs before in my life. I'm afraid that if I talk about it, I won't get it. As simple as that. This is a ludicrous idea, I know, but you can't really blame me, can you? I wax lyrical about the fabulousness that is this new job I am applying for, only to get told in the end that I'm not quite what they're looking for, thank you very much. It has started to mess with my head. I actually think that by not talking about it I may have a shot. Ok, so, moving on from the apparent loss of my rational mind....

The weekend was pretty damn cool. On Saturday we went to Verve Bar for La Poo's 21st, and in true 21st birthday style, she got absolutely legless and suffered a 24 hour hangover the next day. I was on my best behaviour, and emerged from the bar at the end of the night barely even tipsy. How boring. *sigh*

Shoes was the Awesome Foursome's public enemy of the night, as he got the most pissed and decided, as he often does, to pull out mid party. Well, not quite mid party, but at 10:30pm, when we were only planning on leaving around 12pm to catch the last train home. I was having a great time, despite the fact that we'd already spent our (small) drinks budget by that stage, and was keen to stay. Shoes magnanimously offered to make his own way home, but I was not about to fall for that one again. I have suffered through a fair number of drunken Shoes nights where he falls asleep on the train/bus and overshoots his stop, landing up in the sticks somewhere (literally, there are small towns with bales of hay in outer London) and needing an £80 cab ride to get back home again. That was more than we'd spent on drinks, and I was having none of it, so I opted to accompany him home.

We walked to Charing Cross and stopped off at Burger King so Shoes could get his late night On The Piss snack, and then we jumped on the train. I had been wearing my brand new leopard print peep toe stillettos... shoes I bought about three weeks ago in Camden and that I had been dying to wear out. Due to the extremely annoying fact that my left foot is substantially bigger than my right foot, the left shoe had clamped around my toes like a python round a fatted pig and was not going to give even a milli-inch for one second's relief. My second-from-left-toe (What on earth do you call that one? The little piggy who had none, maybe.) was permanently bent upwards, like a meerkat keeping lookout. The result was that I had to take that shoe off at the bar every half hour or so and massage it (the shoe, not the toe) in an attempt to soften the material and prevent my toe from getting gangrene. So, I had wisely brought a pair of slip-slops with me, and I wore them to and from the bar. Shoes had brought a backpack for me to keep my spare pair of shoes in, and when we got on the train, I put the pack with my stillettos on the rack above the seats. You can see where this is going.

Shoes ate his burger as if he was going for Gold in the Food Gobbling Olympics, and fell asleep straight away, as predicted. Luckily I was awake and alert, and I stayed up watching the stations go by and thinking random thoughts. If only I had chosed that time to think about my shoes.... We reached our station, and I tried waking Shoes up. He was vas aan die slaap however, and was not waking up for love or money. In my panic to rouse him and get him off the train before it pulled out, I TOTALLY FORGOT ABOUT THE BACKPACK. It was only as we stood on the platform watching the reatreating train, me congratulating myself on successfully dragging my drunken boyfriend home, that I realised. Fuck.

I've done all the necessary like file a lost property report, and phone them every day day to check on it, but I know deep down I'll never see those shoes again. I hope the bitch who's wearing them now breaks her fucking ankle. You see how shit hits the fan even when I stay sober? I might as well just get pissed!

Friday, 26 October 2007

Let's List Again

Having a minor lack of motivation for blogging at the moment... perhaps because I have nothing of major interest to say? Life is perfectly ordinary, but there isn't anything in particular that I feel like sharing with anyone, nor is there any great event on my mind that deserves to be written about.

I'd call this writer's block, but it is clear from previous posts that I am more than capable of rambling on about jack shit when I have nothing of substance to say. I am merely trying to avoid that here.

Instead, I will make a list of upcoming happenings in my life and pro and con for them for our collective amusement.

1) La Poo's 21st birthday party tomorrow at Verve, Leicester Square
Pros: Excessive drinking, ho-like dancing, unveiling the new and improved me who can hold her liquor without being the centre of attention in a very bad way.
Cons: Feeling every single second of my 27 and a half years, and perhaps a few more besides.

2) Watching X Factor on Sunday afternoon (yes, this is a big enough event to get a metion on my blog, and no, I don't care if this makes me a sad sod)
Pros: Daniel (what a hottie) and Leon (bit of a Mama's boy, but we loves him anyways). Also what Hope, the Girl Group from Skankshire, will be wearing.
Cons: Getting shouted at by my housemates for my constant sarcastic jibes about how the show really works behind the scenes, thanks to Chart Throb by Ben Elton, which has forever changed the way I view reality TV.

3) Job interview on Monday
Pros: Prospect of a new start in an industry I desperately want to get into.
Cons: I don't need to expain these since they're are detailed at great length right here once a week - the potential bone-crushing, breath-squishing disappointment if I don't get it, the self-esteem barometer freezing way below 0, etc etc.

4) Halloween Pub Quiz on Tuesday night with workmates
Pros: Possible free booze, wowing everyone with my extensive knowledge of pop culture.
Cons: Revealing my complete ignorance of British politics, being drawn for the uncool team (you know all the cool people end up in one team, watch my luck to get picked for the other one)

5) RSPCA Microchipping Course on Wednesday
Pros: Learning to microchip animals and thereby doing a good service for a charity that is important to me.
Cons: Accidentally maiming the real live practice cat with the needle.

6) Roger's Leaving Drinks on Thursday night
Pros: Raucous night out.
Cons: Hangover next day.

7) Friendz Boat Party next Saturday
Pros: Mayhem mayhem mayhem sailing down the River Thames.
Cons: Where?

I should do this more often, it puts life in persepctive. A very special happy birthday to Black Velvet, we will call you later when drunk to shout obscenities down the phone ;-)

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Die Another Day

Don't really have time to post today - for the first time in a long time I have loads of work to do and am feeling quite frantic. But.... there is some good news: I have an interview with a major TV production company on Monday. This one is through the Coven that ignored me for two months after I went to an interview through them and didn't get the job. Not surprisingly, I am a little mistrustful of the Witch who blanked my attempts to contact her, but still, she did just get me this interview, so I'll call a truce for now.

The position is for a Planning Team PA and involves all the usual duties plus assisting with other things, like research and co-ordinating company events.

I love this stage of the job hunting process. I am quietly satisfied that I have an interview, hopeful that it could go well and secure in the knowledge that it's something I'm qualified to do. Even the next stage - the actual interview - is fairly trauma-free. It's only after the interview is over that the shit hits the fan, particularly if it has gone well and I think I'm in with a shot. Oh well, no point in thinking about that now. If it's meant to be blah fucking blah and all that crap.

For now, I'll just bask in the contentment of someone wanting to see me. That's good enough for today.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Old Before I Die

The green eyed monster from yesterday appears to have gone back into its cave for now. I didn't do anything specific to chase it away, but I'm grateful it's gone for now. It's unbecoming... I'd like to say green isn't really my colour, but unfortunately I look pretty good in it. ;-)

I had a look at myself in the mirror last night, and I can't see any signs of aging yet. My skin doesn't have that youthful glow anymore - although maybe that's just paranoia - but there are no wrinkles and no grey hairs and I'd like to think I don't look my full 27 and half years. Is this what it's going to be like from now on? Will I be constantly on the look out for signs that I'm no longer as young as I feel? Because I still feel 21 inside - I think I stopped "feeling" older after that birthday because the spirit of a 21 year old is worth hanging on to. You're at a stage where the whole world is at your feet and you probably haven't had the chance to be jaded by life yet.

Today I think I'm being more rational about this than yesterday; when I was actually feeling quite panicky in the morning. I know, how pathetic is that. Still, I can't help but wonder how on earth I am going to cope with turning 28, let alone 30 and then 40 if I am having heart palpitations and the urge to maim everyone below the age of 25 now. I have to get used to this. Maybe that's why people have kids, so they can feel vicariously young again. Lucky for me that I want a baby. Perhaps I'll have to have 4 instead of one; everytime one reaches school going age, I'll pop out a new one so I can see the world through another toddler's eyes. Oh crap, this is beyond sad. Somebody save me from myself. What was that about being rational?

Monday, 22 October 2007

I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues

It's the morning after a victorious weekend, and I feel slightly out of sorts. Not least because I was supposed to be home today, pulling a sickie, but instead I am at work where I am actually working, worse luck. I decided last minute that I wasn't feeling bad enough to warrant not getting paid for a day's work (the life of a temp: you could be run over by a bus, your lungs collapsing and your heart arrhythmia-ing and you still don't get paid a penny's sick leave). Shoes and I had previously concocted the Great Monday Off, whereby we would both suddenly come down with a mysterious ailment which would render us unable to come into the office, although we would have made an heroic effort (involving getting out of bed to grab the phone in order to call in sick). We had visions of spending the day curled up under the duvet, sipping hot chocolate and watching 24 whilst the elements raged outside.

Anyway, our night on Saturday didn't quite go as planned and we felt 100% this morning instead of badly fatigued and hungover, so it seemed a waste of good sick days - paid or not - to stay at home. Also, the elements were hardly raging; it's just annoyingly cold. So we struggled out of bed at 6:50am through pitch darkness - already, and it is only October - and made our way to work like good little rats. Shoes the skiver has since gone home, after looking suitably sorrowful enough to elicit sympathy from his manager who insisted he take the afternoon off. Honestly, why I can't look pale and tired just by longing for my bed and a bit of UFC? He's quite pleased with himself, which perhaps accounts for at least some of my crankiness.

The weekend was great, although somehow not the super weekend I expected it to be. Of course, I am so incredibly proud to be South African right now; not that I'm ever not so, but being in England while we won that trophy feels that extra bit gratifying. I have a constant urge to stick out my tongue and waggle my fingers behind my ears whilst chanting "neh neh neh neh neh!" in the manner of the 5 year old bully who always hogs the best swing at breaktime. I have been very sporting, however, and I have not once said I told you so, despite putting up with some serious lip on Friday. I feel that at this point, words are unnecessary; our boys did the talking with the ball (ok, so it wasn't the most exciting game and we didn't score a try, but honestly, when you win the world cup, who really cares?). I won't lie, I had a tear in my eye as John Smit hoisted that trophy for the first time. Our country needed this, our spirits needed this, and even though I know it will not have even half the impact of our 1995 win, it's still a big moment for us and a day when we can all feel united in celebration.

Then England's hopes were dashed yet again as Lewis Hamilton saw the F1 Championship slip from his grasp. This was another day of good news for me, as I am a staunch Kimi Raikonnen supporter and it made my day to see him finally win the title he has had to fight very hard for over the last few seasons. So why the not so super weekend?

I don't know! The party at Koko on Saturday night was fun, but we were tired from a long day of drinking and adrenaline, and we left pretty early. The whole day yesterday I felt a bit flat, even when I was watching the F1 interviews and I saw Kimi give the first genuine smile I have ever seen (he is well known for his lack of emotion; they don't call him the Iceman for nothing). I was thinking a lot last night about getting old. Not old old, but just hitting 30 and the years beyond. I was imagining myself with wrinkles, watching as gravity takes its toll on my body, and I was getting quite heavily depressed by my thoughts.

This might all be down to the fact that next week is La Poo's twenty first, which made me think in turn of Scarf's twenty first that she is having when we go to home in Jan. I'm hardly over the hill yet, but suddenly I realise why there is this eternal quest for youth. How can you look at a person 7 years younger than you and not wish that you had those extra years too? I don't wish to be younger really, and I don't wish to be more like my younger friends - I will be very clear here; I don't want to regress in terms of knowledge, experience or maturity. I do however, want to be 27 when Scarf turns 27, instead of the 34 that I will be. When I turn 30, she will be turning 23. How am I supposed to not hate that? It's a terrible thing to admit, but I am completely jealous that she has all this extra time that I can never get back. Maybe this is what they mean when they say stick with people your own age.

So there you go: I had a nice weekend, surrounded by all my friends here in London; I was victorious in terms of the teams I support and I even went clubbing wearing a brand new dress and boots which, if I do say so myself, were pretty hot. And all I can think about is how I'm going to get old and my friends are going to stay young (relatively speaking), and I don't have a career to speak of, and I'll be 30 in 2 years and 5 months and I'm still stuck temping in London after more than 2 years here....

Is it the winter blues, or is it just me?

Friday, 19 October 2007


Again, I am having trouble working today. This is because my inbox is being bombarded with rugby related e-mails, everything from the Brian Habana song (creativity at its worst, people) to the True Springbok Supporter chasing the cheetah that's chasing the springbok, until he catches him and scoops the springbok up and away from the cheetah's clutches (quite enjoyed that one). Everybody who has any connection with South Africa is in a fever today. Thabo Mbeki appealed to the nation last night to wear the green and gold with pride today in support of our boys, and I am doing my part by sitting at my desk decked out in a springbok beenie and scarf. Of course, this kind of patriotism will always attract derision (read bad sports) and so I have heard every chirp in the book this morning as people cannot stop themselves from making a detour past my desk and having a go.

None of them have had anything particularly witty to say, though. They just bluster on about whipping some South African arse (in plummy tones that make it sound like they're talking about pruning roses) and threaten to strangle me with my scarf. I sit stoically through it all, blazing with pride brought on by total belief in our abilities and the irresistable chance to piss off the English.

We're having about a million people over tomorrow for drinks and a braai before the big game, and afterwards - after our sure victory - we will go and celebrate to the vinyls of Paul van Dyk at Koko in Camden. I couldn't ask for a better weekend line up.

And now I must rush, as I have been charged with the collection of supplies from the saffa shop in Charing Cross.... savannas, castles, boerie, biltong and a few rugby memorabilia.

GO BOKKE GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shosholoza!

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Gimme More

I am currently in an absolute frenzy of imaginary shopping. Rather than being 'wishful thinking' shopping, this is shopping which I am going to do in the near future, but which requires careful and meticulous planning. I have not done a stitch of work all day. Instead, I have been sitting here making lists and e-mailing frantically back and forth with the female members of my family to determine what presents I will be buying everybody when we go back home for a two and a half week holiday end of January.

Shopping is my first and foremost love. It's better than exercise (not that that's actually any good in the first place), better than getting a promotion, better than eating that ginormous chocolate eclair when you're pmsing hard enough to commit mass extermination, almost but not quite better than sex - basically, it's the most fun a woman can have on her own or in a group of other woman (unless you're a lesbian, I assume, but as I'm not I can't comment on that). There's nothing better than the smell of a sale (it has a musty, metallic smell, like money raining down in buckets), the feeling of euphoria as you grab the last dress in your size, the taste of victory on your tongue as the cashier rings up your purchases.

The third best shopping experience, following closely behind 1) being out in the field, dressed in full battle gear (slip-on stilettos, skirt and a top with no ties or buttons, for adept stripping and reclothing) and 2) the stomach knotting tension of bidding on ebay, is the shopping projection. Here you plot future shopping trips with military precision. While this has none of the immediate tangible rewards, it leaves you quivering in anticipation of the big day ahead. It contains its own form of adrenaline rush, which is mainly linked to the gene that senses you are going to be spending a lot of money soon, and releases endorphins into your bloodstream in sheer anticipation.

From my extremely productive projections today, I have the following list:

Flea (Shoes' 9 year old niece): MotoX gear, including but not restricted to boots, breastplate, knee/elbow guards and pants (she recently received an off road motorbike for her birthday)

K (Shoes' 14 year old sister): Ipod

BlackVelvet (Shoes' sister) and OtherHalf (we have not yet met OtherHalf, so he will receive a proper name once I can channel his personality into one that fits him): A big bag of sweets and chocs from London, plus ???

Mama Shoes: ???

Daddy Lopz: Diabetic chocs for Daddy Lopz (SA does not cater for diabetics in terms of chocolate, perhaps because they're not supposed to eat it? Just a thought), plus ???

Mama Lopz: ???

G (Mini-Me's boyfriend): Sports autobiographies, cookbooks (totally gay, but Mini-Me is making me do it)

Mini-Me: an entirely new wardrobe of clothes, a couple of bottles of perfume, a few books from the bestseller list, disney soft toys, cold hard cash (give an inch and she takes a mile)

I still have a lot of work to do.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

The Nicest Rejection Letter I've Ever Had

from LabelManager
date 16 Oct 2007 17:28
subject Application - Fabric


Firstly can I take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to come in and see us for a second time yesterday.

As you may know we had an amazing response and our decision was made even more difficult because the candidates were without exception of a high caliber and all fully employable.

Nevertheless and after careful consideration I am afraid we will not be taking your application further.

On a personal note, although I am sure it is of little consolation to you, I was extremely impressed by both your skills, your desire for the job and the way you conducted yourself, please do not feel too disheartened.

Once again thank you for the time you have put into these interviews. I really am sorry – PA and I feel really flat! However we really appreciate the interest you have shown in Fabric and wish you all the very best for the future.

Yours sincerely


And then, on my reply in which I thanked him for his e-mail and asked if there was anything I could have done differently, this:

from LabelManager
to lopz@lopz.com
date 16 Oct 2007 19:25
subject Application - Fabric

Hi Lopz

Truth be told you did absolutely nothing at all wrong there was just another candidate who had a direct skill set that would add real weight to our business.

When its so close between candidates it might only be the smallest thing that tips it so certainly don’t change your approach.

Thanks again for taking the time and I wish you all the best

Kind regards


Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Waiting On The World To Change

I've been waiting in anticipation all day for a call from Fabric. My interview went really really well yesterday - the Label Manager complimented me afterwards on an excellent interview and said he was very impressed. *big grin* I was the last person to go - they had a total of 160 applicants for this position!

I know I have a real shot at getting this job, and now I definitely want it. However, it's not in the bag yet; besides the fact that there could quite easily be several other people who he liked as much as he appeared to like me, there's also the money issue. I told him what I want, and I said straight up I would not consider any less than I earn now, and he didn't fall off his chair. But he didn't say that's no problem, either. He just remained poker face - damn!

So we'll see. I've decided I can live with the hours - it would mean getting up at the same time in the mornings and going to gym before work (ok, trying not to cry at the thought), but I would manage.

And now I'm going to stop talking, because it just makes it that much harder to move on if I don't get it, so cross fingers for me and hopefully I will have good news soon!

Monday, 15 October 2007

It's My Party And I Will If I Want To

I am sooo tired this morning, and usually I would take that as the mark of a great weekend, but I'm afraid it might be because I'm getting sick instead.

It was, however, a good weekend. Saturday night was by far the highlight, when the boys went clubbing and Scarf and I arranged a chicks' night in at home. Mello, Mandz, La Poo and the ArtyOne descended on our front doorstep bearing truckloads of booze, and the minute the rugby was over and the guys left, we cranked up Gwen Stefani full blast and proceeded to have a night of drinking, dancing and enough screeching to send any lurking testosterone fleeing the building in terror. We spent most of the night flinging ourselves around the lounge in a euphoric state, and whenever anyone stopped for a breather or attemped to have a moment's coversation, they were dragged relentlessly back to the 'dancefloor' (our now stained and dirty lounge carpet) and made to whirl and jump around like they were possessed. As a result, I now have to get together with each girl separately at a later stage to actually catch up on what's going on in their lives.

We absolutely trashed the house. It was obviously going to get dirty, what with the drinks and snacks being ferried from one room to the next as we raided our cupboards to try on clothes and accompanied one another to the bathroom. However, it is Scarf who gets the prize for Caner of the Night as she was responsible for the start of the popcorn fight that was the end of any semblance of order in the lounge. My defining memory of the party is crawling around on my hands and knees at 3am, frantically trying to vacumm up popcorn kernels that kept getting stuck in the pipe, while Scarf just kept on throwing them as fast as I sucked them up. Good times! I maintained my dignity in keeping with my new Drinking with Moderation and Class programme.... ok, maybe dancing like an epileptic chicken and shrieking along to pop songs is not the epitomy of class, but I didn't throw my name away either.

Yesterday we spent much of the morning cleaning the house and absorbing barbed comments from the guys - just wait until they have a booze 'n braai next, we will be merciless! I was hangover free and wide awake at 9am, which is partially repsonsible for my fatigue today.

I am going for my second interview at Fabric this evening, but unfortunately the only slot they have left is 6pm. So I'm going to get home really late and can't go to gym.... and it just occurred to me that if I'm already moaning about this now, how much more would I moan if I get the job and I have to finish at 7pm? I'm hoping that the money issue is going to decide for me, because if they're prepared to pay me what I want and then offer me the job, I know I'm going to be quite torn.

Must give a quick mention here to the Boks for their drive and spirit. We are very much looking forward to them taking their deserved place as Champions on Sunday. Viva South Africa!

Friday, 12 October 2007

Beautiful Day

So, my interview at Fabric yesterday was pleasantly surprising! I walked in expecting to hate it, and really thinking the job was not for me, and walked more than a little excited. :-)

Still, I don't think it will work out, but it was a nice interview and it was certainly good to know I was well received. I was interviewed by the PA to the Director, and it was more an informal chat than a structured interview. She said she'd seen about 25 people, and was hoping to start second interviews this afternoon. She gave me a second interview on the spot.

The whole working environment is very much like working for DMP, the production company I spent three years at in CT. A little chaotic, very fast paced, always busy, everyone pitching in to help everybody else.... basically organised mayhem, which is exactly the type of thing I'm looking for. Everyone wears jeans and tackies to work, and the office is open plan but they all sit close enough to absorb each other's roles. Also, the role I went for is working directly under the Record Label Manager, so it cracks open the door to the music industry.

The reason I don't think it will work is money. She said the salary isn't set in stone, and it would be discussed at the second interview, but I know what I want and I still don't think they'll pay that much. So that's really the main issue. Of course, I was surprised once, and I could be again. The other thing is, I didn't manage to work up the nerve yesterday to ask if they work flexible hours, so for example could I come in at 9am and finish at 6pm. I somehow doubt it, but I will ask at my second interview. So what it comes down to is this: if I go and they like me and they're willing to pay what I'm after, then perhaps I have a real shot at this. If I actually get offered the job, I would have to decide if I can live with the hours, assuming they don't have flexi time.

However, this is all what if what if what if, and at the moment, although it's really nice that I have a second interview (my first ever!), it doesn't mean that this could actually be the right thing for me. I am leaving it in the hands of Fate.

The best thing about yesterday though was walking into a place that felt instantly familiar, and having my interviewer immediately recognize in me the traits that connect me with a place like this. She knew I was the right kind of person, and I knew I'd be a good fit. So even if this doesn't actually work out and I have to keep looking, that moment where I got her approval made me feel for a second like I could conquer the world. And sometimes that's just as important as actually getting the job.

In other news that doesn't involve my work situation, Shoes, Eyes and I are completely obsessed with a series on Sky called Ross Kemp on Gangs. It's a documentary style show that has former EastEnders' actor turned investigative journalist Ross Kemp travelling the world in search of the meanest gangs on the planet, and then burrowing his way through the layers of hierarchy to the Dons to find out the truth of what they do and why they do it. So far we've been introduced to the Crips and the Bloods in America, neo-Nazis in Russia and California, teenage delinquent gangs on the council estates of London, Polish football hooligans, the criminal underworld in Kingston, Jamaica (aka the murder capital of the world) and The Numbers Gang in South Africa, where he spent time in the cells of Pollsmoore with the leader of the 28s. It's absolutely fascinating watching, and the high levels and rapid spread of violence linked to poverty is eye-opening. Of course it doesn't hurt that Ross himself is a bulky skinhead with the look of an army colonel and the diplomacy of a politican, and he is as compelling as the bellies of the monsters he visits. Stirring stuff, and a good andtidote to the excesses of reality tv.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Hole In My Soul

Apparently I have another interview today! I picked up a voice message at 11pm last night from the PA at Fabric, saying they want me to come in for an interview today. I am duly waiting for their offices to open so I can call and make arrangements.

The thing with this one is, I almost know before I go in there that I don't want the job. I know that's a bit presumptuous, but it's based on three factors.

One: their office hours are 10am to 7pm. In Cape Town, I would probably consider a job with those hours, as it would take me 20 minutes to get home. In London, it takes an hour an a half, and I can't abide by the thought of arriving home at 8:30pm every evening. I would never go to gym and so become a big blob, I'd have to eat really late and everyone else would be doing sundowners in the park in summer while I was stuck inside. It's one thing to have office hours of 9:30am - 6pm - the norm in most media jobs - and maybe work late the odd evening; it's another thing to officially finish at 7pm and then still have to work late sometimes.

Two: I don't think they're going to offer enough salary wise. Of course, I am prepared to be pleasantly surprised, but from the conversation I had with the PA when I first applied, it looks like they're aiming to pay a good £2000 per year less than what I want, and if that's the case there's nothing that could make me take the job. It's not set in stone yet, as she assured me, but it doesn't look great.

Three: the role itself seems very very basic. The reason I applied in the first place was kind of on a whim, thining that maybe there would be an opportunity to get into the music side of things, as they run their own record label. That is something I would definitely be interested in, but there isn't any evidence based on the job spec that this is a possibility.

So why am I still going? Two reasons. One: the small possibility that this could be a foot in the door into the music industry. Two: self esteem. It would feel really good right now to go for an interview, have them decide that I am exactly what they want, and then decline because they are not exactly what I want. Not that I am using them just to give myself a big head.... all interviews are good practice, so I'd be getting that out of it too. And despite what I've written, maybe they'll surprise me and I'll be a whole lot more enthusuiastic once I've heard what they have to say.

Most of all though, I have absolutely nothing to lose, so therefore it can only be a good thing.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

The Sun Always Shines On TV

My friend G-Days has just bought himself an £850 tv set. I don't usually devote entire posts to my friends' activities, but since I don't have anything particularly interesting to report by way of events, thoughts or issues, and his buying this tv is clearly an alarming event and points towards some serious lack of thought issues, it seems a worthy replacement.

Who in their right mind buys an £850 tv set? The four of us discussed this over supper last night and came up with a list of all the (much more worthwhile) things one can do with £850:

1. Buy two return tickets to Cape Town off season (give or take £50)
2. Buy one return ticket to Cape Town and use the rest of the money to have a moerse jol
3. Go on a weekend break to Prague - twice (and that's for a couple)
4. Go on a Victoria Beckham style shopping spree (ok, it would be a VB style spree to us, since us spending £850 on a day's shopping is like her spending £8500)
5. Buy three really good tvs - one for the lounge and each bedroom

The guys were bandying about phrases like 'sony bravia' and 'superfast refresh rate', none of which mean anything to me but apparently explain why G-Days thought it necessary to part with that much cash for a telly. It's HD compatible, but that comes with its own set of problems, such as the need to buy a £200 Sky TV box that supports HD, which he is now planning to do. I certainly hope for his sake that it makes the movie characters come to life in his lounge, otherwise I can't help but feel he has pissed his money down the proverbial drain. He's not even staying in the UK permanently!

I just had a phone call from someone at FabricLive, the UK's most well known electro club. I applied for the role of Club Secretary a while ago, but hadn't heard back from them so I'd forgotten all about it. The PA to the Director had just three questions for me: Have I been to Fabric before (yes, once last NYE), What did I think of it (Fantastic, awesome atmosphere and really good music - now this was a lie, because it sucked, but I figure only because we chose the worst night of the year to go. I therefore think that had it been any other night I would have enjoyed myself, and elected to project my feelings about any future nights at Fabric rather than the night I actually went) and Did I know about their record label (Yes, having looked it up on the website when I first applied for the role). Incidentally, the record label thing was why I applied in the first place. Getting into music is even harder than getting into tv or film, at least with my luck, so I didn't think I actually had a shot. The PA told me that's all she needed to know, and she'd be in touch.

Why can't all interviews be that easy! ;-)

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Desecration Smile

I didn't get the job. My agent phoned yesterday afternoon just before I left work. Apparently I am overqualified. The HR manager said it is clear I am looking for the opportunity to develop and advance, and that coupled with my experience and capabilities means that I would be bored, as the role is simple, straightforward PA position.

So on the way home, as I sunk into a pit of self-loathing and humiliation, I wondered to Shoes if I shouldn't just take accept the offer of going permanent in my current job. Cons: there is no room for growth and it would pretty much seal the deal that I'll be a PA for the rest of life. But pros: I'd have security, £500 a year more than I get now, holidays (they go overboard here - staff get 30 days annual leave), sick leave and of course, being able to stop this seemingly pointless and very unsuccessful job hunt. I was so down, so despairing, that for just a couple of minutes I made the decision to come in here today and tell them I'd take it.

I just got in right now, but I'd already changed my mind.

After the initial shock had worn off - I was 100% certain I'd get to the second round on this one - I got pissed off. What gets to me more than anything is that the HR manager made a choice that I feel should have been mine. I knew what the job entailed before I went for the interview. If I'm fine with doing it, and have shown enthusiasm and the required experience, who is she to tell me I would be bored? That should be my cross to bear. She acted like she was doing me a favour. I think it's just a cover; a cop out for whatever the real reason is that I didn't get it. I'm struggling to believe that's all there is to it.

When I got home, after burbling to Shoes for the whole journey, I decided against going to gym; when one is upset, exercise becomes entirely optional. Of course, I knew I could have pounded out my frustration on the treadmill, because that is a fool-proof way to release tension. However, I decided to take the time honoured woman's tradition in hand instead - comfort food. Shoes went to gym, I went straight to the chocolate cupboard. As my hand reached for the M&Ms, I saw my unopened box of garlic and herb crackers and remembered the sizable chunk of brie in the fridge. After giving myself a brief talking to ("You know exactly what you're about to do. If you do this, I forbid you from feeling guilty afterwards and thereby making the situation worse. If you open this box, you will enjoy every moment, especially the empty space where the guilt would have been were you not such a rational person."), I ripped open the packaging and devoured half the crackers and nearly all the brie in about 5 minutes flat. Felt a bit better. After that I finished my book, and then, since no-one was home, decided to play mournful songs on my guitar, as I could wail along in peace without my housemates shooting concerned looks at each other and making discreet calls to the men in white coats. I wailed away for a while (songs included Cigarettes by the Wreckers, which has the following lyrics: Someday maybe somebody will love me like I need / Someday I won't have to prove to somebody who'll see all my worth / But until then I'll do just fine on my own / With my cigarettes and this old dirt road - Oh yes, I can be quite melodramatic when it suits me, makes me wish I still smoked so I could suck deeply on a ciggy whilst staring moodily out the window), and then finally Eyes came home and I thought I'd spare him my abject misery, so I stopped.

I feel slightly better today; at least well enough to be driven by the rejection to increase my intensity in the job search. It still stings, and I don't get it, and I'm hard pressed to believe I'll ever get anywhere at this stage, but I haven't quite given up yet. I'm sort of hanging in between thinking they're just idiots, and a place where my self doubt in growing alarmingly by the minute; a place where I question whether I do in fact have anything to offer that anybody is actually ever going to want. I've only had two interviews, but I've been looking on and off for 6 months now, and of the 5 or so agencies I've joined and the 50 odd jobs I've applied for, all I have to show for it are 2 rejections in first round interviews. It's a shit track record, there's no getting around it, and while I'll keep looking and keep hoping because I simply don't have any other choice, it's not as easy to believe in myself as it was before I came to London.

Monday, 8 October 2007

I'm With Stupid

Aaarggh, Monday mornings at Woolwich train station. Nightmare. Woolwich is a nightmare at any time - think Woodstock in CT but with no evident drug trade and just a handful of reported murders as opposed to a multitude - but it goes out of its way to be unpleasant on Monday mornings. There are never enough station staff, the trains are always overpacked ("Move down please, MOVE DOWN!" should become the South Eastern line's motto) and it smells even worse on Mondays than any other day of the week, although how that's possible it's hard to say.

We have long since gotten over the seductive charm of our modern, spacious apartment, and can no longer overlook the fact that the town we live in is an absolute shit hole. Of course, we've known this for ages now. Whenever we're bringing a hapless guest to our house for the first time, we do the stock standard introduction to Woolwich: "Welcome to Woolwich, please excuse the mess / delapidation / lack of middle or upper class people, but wait til you see our flat darling, it's just divine, so worth putting up with the surrounding crap." The fact is, as nice as our apartment may be, we've been deluding ourselves, because last May when we signed our lease for another year, we were too lazy to bother with the rigamarole of moving. How we do regret our apathy of 6 months yonder.

This morning the trains were delayed outside London Bridge for half an hour due to signalling problems. There is nothing I can say about this that has not been lamented about at extraordinary lengths in the British press. The poms just love to alas! about their transport woes. So I got to work late, which was just the start of what has been a slightly irritating day, but for no reason I can put my finger on. So I'll drop it.

Saturday night I went out with my cousins, Chatterbox and ArtyOne. I say went out, but actually we went to Chatterbox's boyfriend's house, where I proceeded to stay perfectly sober in my fledgling programme of Drinking with Moderation and Class. Falling over, crying, permanently injuring myself and blacking out are a thing of the past: I am now a Grown Up and as such will remain either sober or pleasantly tipsy at all times when exposed to alcohol. I have decided to maintain decorum when in the midst of boozing, something which I believe has always eluded me due to a mutated gene: I am not an addict, but I am incapable to getting pissed like a normal, well-adjusted person - it always ends in tears.

So there I was, sitting very high on my horse, surveying the potential for catastrophy around me and smugly congratulating myself on how wise I have become. However, there's always one that has to fly the family flag high, and whilst I know Mini-Me has been doing me proud in CT, it was inevitable that someone had to do their part on this side of the pond too. On this night it was ArtyOne, the one person I know in London who does not regularly drink herself into oblivion. To be fair, she'd barely eaten the entire day (rookie mistake) and when she did get pissed, it was cute and giggly, the kind of pissed I have always wished I could be. If I could get pissed like that, I'd never be sober - what's the point?! Ok, that was a joke, no lectures please.

So I was chatting to her, and we were joined by a complete loser of a guy who we shall from hereon refer to as Major Prick. Major Prick found out we were from Cape Town, and he then proceeded to go into an elaborately pathetic role play where he pretended that he was gay. He seemed to think we might approve, us being from the gay capital of the world and all. I am still at a loss as to what he actually thought he was going to achieve with this charade. I can only conclude that it was a horribly misguided attempt at a pick-up from a guy with the social skills of skunk. ArtyOne was of course going with it, being naturally polite and sweet and now a little tipsy too, so she was amiable and indulgent. I was bored to the point where I was about to chew my own ears off and so I was blatantly rude to Major Prick. I told him I was really bored. I told him the conversation was completely pointless. I told him I couldn't bear to spend another second listening to him blather on like an idiot, and I stalked off to take refuge in the kitchen (only to return seconds later to rescue ArtyOne, who had begun waving frantically and making not so subtle hand gestures that I was to come straight back and rescue her, which I did). Then later, when our paths crossed again, he continued with the little joke, stopping to tell me that he really didn't mean any harm, but he really was gay and what did I have against gay people (he wasn't gay, not even close). I told him he could never be gay because a) he wasn't fashionable enough b) he had the conversational skills of a toad on crack and c) he had awful hair. I was going for the crushing an fly with a boulder effect, but all he looked was a little put out, and told me he was only taking the piss (really? noooo, I never saw that coming). Seriously, I can't remember the last time I was that rude to someone's face and they still didn't get it. Here's your sign.

Friday, 5 October 2007

Forever In Blue Jeans

I've been very busy writing personal e-mails today. Sometimes you just need to take that time out to check in with your family... and if it's your company's time, oh well, it's not like you can pick the times your family may need a word, can you? Family first, always. So sorry, dear boss, that I have not done a stitch of work since 12pm (and not all that much before 12pm either), but cultivating good relationships is important to me; it's what makes me the compassionate person that I am.... and sod it, it's Friday anyway and nobody works on Fridays!

In one of my e-mails to Shoes' sister Black Velvet, I was lamenting the fact that I can't find a decent fitting pair of jeans in this country. Now, jeans are supposed to be the staples of one's wardrobe. One should have light jeans, dark jeans, plain jeans, embroidered jeans, stonewashed jeans, jeans with stripes, jeans with rips or material patches, blue jeans, black jeans and, if you're Liz Hurley or have a figure anything like hers, white jeans (NB If you are not Liz Hurley or you do not have a figure anything like hers, avoid white jeans completely - this is not optional!).

I have always had enormous problems finding jeans that fit me properly. I am rather short and have a classic hour glass shape with just a hint of pear in the direction of the thighs, but my womanly hips are my most embattled body part, ie that is the first place I put on on weight. In all other aspects I am an easy to find UK size 10 - torso and crotch length, waist span (admittedly not a factor in hipster jeans) and buttocks width. Size 10 fits me like a glove. Except.For.The.Protruding.Hips.

If I am at my best physically, which I haven't been for at least a year now, I can slither into a size 10 and it looks fabulous. However, if I'm not, if I have just one slice of pizza too many, my hips expand by the width of a removal truck, and they snicker at me from their place of comfort hanging over the sides of my jeans. So, bitterly ignoring their evil cackling, I make my way over to the size 12s and resignedly wriggle my unbending loins into them. And of course, my hips snuggle down contentedly and drift off to a peaceful slumber. There's even room for a couple of fingers in the waistband, in case I want to hang my thumbs on the edge of my jeans to affect an unruffled, so slick right now look. However, muffled wails come through the thick fabric from the direction of my ass, which is now drowning in baggy folds, and when I look down I find the crotch of the jeans hanging almost to my knees. The thighs are rumpled, and when I sit down I look distinctly as if I am sporting an undercover penis.

I've concluded that what I need is a size 11. Either that, or I need to pay through my ass for a pair of Rock and Republic jeans, or some other high profile brand that I can get custom tailored to fit like a glove, no matter how much of an off day my hips might be having. For someone who is as deep in debt as I, paying £80 - £100 for a decent pair of jeans is simply not an option. And, from the state of my current collection, neither are £5 jeans from the market.

And so I live for the day in January when I go back to SA for a visit, and I can fling myself upon the wonder that is Truworths, they of the world's most perfectly fitting jeans, and tear up my hopefully by then not maxed out credit card. Til that day, I will continue to send my hips to coventry and wait in vain for that moment where I might stumble across That Perfect Pair in the bargain bins.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

My Guitar Lies Bleeding In My Arms

This is just a quick update; for some reason I have been insanely busy today and now I've run out of time to do anything! It's been rather annoying really.

So, my interview yesterday went well, I think. I am fully aware that what I think is successful might be just the opposite, as evidenced by my last experience with this, so I'm not getting too hopeful, or indeed anticipating much at all. It was only the first round anyway; if I get through to the second, I'll meet with the two Directors I would be supporting. The interview this time was with the HR manager, who was lovely but most employers tend to come across as congenial on first meeting; it doesn't mean anything. She said she hoped to be able to tell me by the end of this week if I had made the cut or not, so perhaps I will hear back tomorrow.

Last night the others were all watching footie, and I had some to kill so I decided to pick up my abandoned guitar. I've had it since January, and like anything novel, I couldn't put it down for the first few months, as I listened to Eric Clapton make his magic on my mp3 player and imagined myself wowing the world with my incredible skill. Then, as with anything else that requires major effort, I sort of lost interest once I realised I would have to practice every single day, and do boring things like scales and strumming patterns if I wanted to play properly. I am of the instant gratification generation; when I want things I want them now, not in 6 months time. Patience is not my strong suit, and it annoyed me to find that even if I practiced religiously every day for 3 weeks, the improvements at first are very marginal, and I didn't pick up my guitar one day and find I was suddenly pinky perfect.

Everyone has a rock star fantasy. In some people's dreams they are the singers; until recently so was I. However, let's face it - playing the guitar really well lends a moody, rebellious nature to the musician, plus they have a claim to fame that few can dispute. There are no guitar players on stage today who cannot play, while there are many singers who cannot sing. It's infinitely harder to fake playing an instrument. I should probably mention here that my guitar is acoustic, so it's not exactly dripping rock n roll. But you can't run before you can walk, and acoustic is the easiest thing to learn on.. plus, if I'm honest, I doubt I will ever find it in myself to devote enough time to this hobby to warrant the purchase of an electric guitar.

Both my parents are musical. My mom plays piano and sings, my dad plays acoustic and bass. I had piano lessons when I was younger, and if I remember correctly, my teacher told my parents I had talent but, surprise surprise, I was lazy and wouldn't get anywhere because I didn't practice. Even as a wee lass I wasn't interested if it required hours of repetition. In fact, that is very much a theme throughout my life, which possibly explains my penchant for last minute cramming during exams, projects only started the night before the deadline and why I like alcohol so much - it doesn't require an awful lot of repetition to get to where you want to be.

Anyway. So I really do want to play the guitar well. Not brilliantly, but passably enough so that if someone walks into the room and I am wailing along to my plucking and strumming, they might stay and listen and nod thoughtfully instead of look at me in horror and dive for the ear plugs. So last night I played, I'd like to say til my fingers bled, but that would be a lie - it was more like til they went rather pink and puffy looking. This didn't take long, as the slight callouses I built up 6 months ago are long gone, and it stings like a bitch while you try to build them up again. My problem at the moment is trying to get a strumming rhythm right according to the song I am playing, while still changing chords and singing the right words. It's like rubbing your stomach and patting your head - when you manage to get the pattern right you realise you are two chords behind and you're singing the chorus when your fingers are trying to play the first verse. I must say, I am grateful for the fountains in our pond that mask the cacophony; we've just made friends with our neighbours and I wouldn't want to be responsible for the erosion of good will.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Jailhouse Rock

I have a job interview! I know I'm not supposed to get overly excited about this, given my atrocious track record with job hunting (unhelpful covens, cvs put forward but no interviews, then finally an interview which I thought went great but they gave me an almost instant no), but once again I can't help it. I suppose when you apply for so many jobs and never hear back from 90% of them, when someone finally shows interest you can't help but be the dog wagging it's tail joyfully at the sprinkling of crumbs from the table.

The position is for PA to the joint MDs of a TV production company, and the interview is tomorrow afternoon. That's all I'll say for now; heaven help me if I've jinxed it already just by mentioning it, but since I'm not superstitious I'll take my chances. And I'll wag my tail in delight until the outcome, when my luck will either change or prove yet again that I am obviously a test case: how long can one person stay motivated and retain her self respect whilst getting knocked back over and over again for no apparently good reason. To be continued.....

Last night we watched the second episode of Prison Break Season 2. The plotlines are as nailbiting as ever, if no longer quite so unique. We were trying to imagine what the writers will come up with for Season 4: "After breaking out of Sona, Scofield goes on the run while attempting to clear his name and expose the sinister group behind his incarceration; during which he is betrayed by one of his Fox Rover cronies and gets banged up in Thailand's notorious Bangkwang prison from which he is forced to escape on pain of losing family member/loved one/former prisonmate."

Good, exciting stuff - the first time, anyway, and quite possibly even the second, to a lesser degree. But really, they have to know that unless they change the name of the show to Serial Prison Breaker, they aren't too many hours of fun left for Scofield and friends. Perhaps they should have a spin-off show, the classic move when writers have run out ideas for their main ensemble cast (think Joey from Friends and Private Practice from Grey's Anatomy). We could have a brand series called Linc the Sink, in which Lincoln Burrows attempts to cast off his former criminal self and learns to button his shirt using all the buttons, instead of just the middle one. Or perhaps Sarah In Chains, where Sarah Tankrety flees her current captives and opens a clinic for drug addicts who have served their time in jail. The possibilities are endless.

Monday, 1 October 2007


Gwen Stefani rocked the house on Friday night - Scarf and I are now officially her biggest fans. One and a half hours, a 7 piece band, 6 Harajuku dancers and one remarkably tiny woman packing some huge punches.... we have a new saying: "No-one is cooler than Gwen." Is it ok to be a bit star-struck at the age of 27? I mean, I thought I was too affectedly world weary and mature for that. If I was chatting to Shoes' 14 year old sister, for example, and she started going on about how rad the Band of the Moment is and how brilliantly Elektra dances / Mos Duidelik raps / DJ Tjek-My-Tjoons mixes, I would smile indulgently and feel very grown-up and sage. Oh my good Lord, I have become my parents. Except with Gwen, I felt far closer to K's 14 than I did to my own 27. Scarf and I jumped around like morons and all you can hear in the video clips we took is us bellowing at the tops of our lungs - Gwen, microphone and all, didn't stand a chance against our trumpeting rendition of Hollaback Girl.

In what turned out to be a very chick weekend, we left the guys again on Saturday morning for our first foray into the world of London's fashion elite at the Natural History Museum. The problem is, it wasn't very elite at all; in fact, it was nothing like I expected it to be. For starters, you'd think Fashion Weekend would be very larney. Lots of fashionistas in the latest catwalk-inspired creations touting big bags of designer gear and saying things like "Daaahling, you absolutely MUST visit Crystal for your next eyebrow wax, she's just genius!" and "Have you seen the new Marc Jacobs sailor-striped muumuu, it's just faaabulous sweetie." You'd imagine the decor to be understated and elegant, yet with an obvious throwback to the days of Old Money - not ostentatious, but no shrinking violet when it comes to showing one who's boss either. What we got was a temporarily erected white (washed) plywood structure, closely resembling a marqee but with slightly more reliable walls. Still, you had cause to be grateful you were not window-shopping in the hurricane-prone Pacific, as you know you would have been the first to touch the eye of that storm. The "designer stores" were no more than hastily set up stalls a la your local Sunday flea market, and their contents were, erm, bordering on the ludicrous. I'm not sure whether the whole thing was an inside joke, as in "Let's put this over-priced junk out and see how many people accept it as the latest style." Either that, or I just do not have Designer Taste. Excuse me for wanting to look a little more classy than your average London chav or stick thin supermodel parading around with clothing schizophrenia (because let's face it, that dress may look good on THAT person at THAT angle for the magazine spread, but you and I would just look like severely misguided children playing in the school dress-up box). Maybe it was Chav Fashion Weekend, and the real deal was rather more exclusive and open only to the likes of Victoria Beckham. There was no sign of Posh - in any sense of the word - at this extravaganza, let me tell you. I needn't have worried about having no money; with the exception of a few pieces of jewellery, I didn't find a single thing I would have wanted to buy, even if I was loaded.

On Saturday night we had a braai with G-Days, OJ and Lareye. Halfway through our second bottle of wine, Scarf and I managed to convince them to go down to the offy to get more beer, and hey presto, we were free to watch Grey's! We were a bit worried about watching Grey's pissed, but luckily we managed to piece together all the major events the next day, and we caned it again on Sunday - 5 episodes throughout the course of the weekend. The reason for the hurry is that Season 4 has just started in the States, and we want to be done with Season 3 by the time it comes on Sky. We've been through a dry spell in TV land recently, what with all our favourite shows finishing and only X Factor to warm our Saturday nights (ok, we're not that sad - we go out on Saturdays and watch the taped show on Sunday). Luckily Prison Break has just premiered its third season, and Ugly Betty and America's Next Top Model are both due to start within a couple of weeks. This is good news, as with our lack of funds and the wintery weather rolling in, the need to live vicariously through others will only increase until our lives are exciting again.