Friday, 27 January 2012

Living with Doom

When I go to bed at night I sometimes hope I might die. Then the debt collectors won't be able to get me. I wake up some mornings disappointed that I have woken up. At the same time I don't want to be dead. I don't want to miss all the nice things there might be in the future. More importantly, I don't want to do that to Trainboy. I don't want him to wake up in the morning and find his mother dead, I don't want him frightened and bewildered, no breakfast, no Mum telling him to get dressed, the loss of his home... I used to worry almost obsessively when Trainboy was a baby that I might die in the night or fall down the stairs and break my neck and he would be alone in the house, unfed, unchanged... At least I know he is now big enough to seek help if something does happen to me. He is old enough to run next door, to grab the phone and dial 999, I need no longer torment myself with visions of him starving in his cot.
Visions of us starving together in the streets are a bit more frequent, though. And the constant awareness of having no money, having defaulted on all the debts and not paid the rent, having promised to pay rent and debts but having been caught out again by creditors plundering the bank account in the wrong order... I think the dying in the night out of sheer stress is becoming likelier by the day.
What's the good of a blog if you can't just rant on it at random?

Sunday, 22 January 2012

House Envy now very acute.

I used to consider myself someone not interested in houses, really. You have to live somewhere, and as long as where I live is not rat-infested or next door to a crack den, I wouldn't really care. At the same time, I am an architect's daughter and have always had spells of House Envy on spying a beautiful building. When I first started working for Mr Kite, looking at houses and flats was part of the job; I would have to write down descriptions of any dwelling-place that might be of use or interest.

Obviously some did not tempt me that much.

But some houses, some roads, filled me with longings. Sunray glass, curved bays, 1920s flat roofs or Art Deco curves... it's the suburban classics that I love.
At present, delivering leaflets for a variety of concerns rather than specifically estate-agentery, I have to assess a road on the demographics, and the sort of demographics all the clients want tend towards the sort of pseudo-tudo, leaded lights, pointless litte round windows and stuff that makes me wince at the unfairness of a world where I can't live somewhere like that.

I mean, something that incorporates the spirit of this would do...

And at present, the sort of house I dream of has never looked further away. Trainboy and I are about to be booted out of our uninspiring early-Victorian terrace, and due to my horrible credit rating and low income, we are probably going to end up in some ropey mid-60s tower block, or living above a kebab shop rather than the clean-lined, well-proportioned middle class home that I'd love. Maybe I should just learn to deliver leaflets faster...

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Those Hitler Rants and general cinema unfortunateness.

One of my Facebook pals put up yet another Hitler Rant Parody this morning, and yes, it was quite funny. (If you haven't seen one, have a google, a lot of the best ones have been taken down though - they are basically clips from Downfall, mostly of the scene where Hitler has a stropathon, with funny subtitles added in. Though some are funnier than others.) Having seen quite a few of them now, I couldn't help thinking that anyone who hasn't seen the original film (apparently a deep, profound, sensitive, moving, etc account of the last days of the Third Reich) might find viewing the whole thing an unfortunate experience. Because if you'd seen even a couple of the parodies, you wouldn't be able to get them out of your head once that particular scene started, and you would be snurking and spluttering and wriggling and appalling all the serious-minded folks taking the serious film seriously. Well I would.
I have not, so far, taken Trainboy to the cinema, ever. I worry that he might misbehave. Perhaps because I have a tendency to misbehave in the cinema; only a very few friends will actually agree to Seeing A Movie with me more than once. I think they are being wusses; part of the fun of watching a proper film (by which I mean one with zombies, car chases and EE-EE-EE soundtrack music at the very least) is leaping into your companion's lap, screaming, or Making Remarks from time to time. And being unable to restrain moans of joy when Johnny Depp or any cute goth boy appears. Though I only watch proper deep, profound, sensitive, etc films when absolutely forced to, I am more likely to find that moments in those trigger off either the smartarse reflex or the giggle one, and the more intensely seriously the audience are taking the film, the more likely I am to at least want to fart.
I haven't been to a cinema in about 8 years. Aren't you glad?

Friday, 13 January 2012

How To Love A Leafleteer

Obviously you should all love me, because I'm fabulous. Etc. Lots of people think I'm fabulous. Mr Kite thinks so. Several of the Clients do (though maybe not Pesky Paranoid Client). Even Stupid New Client with the food issues thinks so, at the moment. I don't know why you wouldn't love me. In these hard times, I am promoting and supporting small, local businesses and that is a good thing.
But even if you are not disposed to love me, perhaps you could refrain from various ways of making my life hell. Here's how.

Don't have a bitey letterbox.

You know, the sort that won't open at first, then suddenly does so with deceptive ease and THEN snaps back viciously on my fingers.

Don't have a bitey barky dog.

Or at least, if you do, have an external mailbox, or a cage behind the door-mounted letterbox or something. I would like to retain the normal number of fingers. And not have to leap back shrieking and put my foot in the fishpond when the bitey barky dog has been lurking behind the front door right up to the very moment I push the leaflet through, at which point it goes utterly hatstand out of nowhere ie WOOF WOOF WOOARGH GGGRRAAGGH WOOF FUCKING WOOF THUMP CRASH.

Don't live halfway up a cliff with eight thousand steps between street level and your front door. And if you must do this, please be considerate. Just a little bit. Not just of me but of your poor postie who has to come to your house every day.
Nice ways to do this include having a mailbox either at street level or at least only halfway up the eight thousand winding, slippery, steep steps, somewhere among the wonky statuary (and please don't have shit that looks like Weeping Angels in the shrubbery, it upsets me and struggling not to blink for the next 20 minutes makes me slobber) and the killer dripping trees.

And if you hate me so much that you have a No Junk Mail Leaflets or Flyers sticker, put it at the BOTTOM of the eight thousand steps. Don't make me climb all the way up there to find that you have labelled your letterbox NJM in really, really tiny writing that I have to obey. Not only does this tempt me very strongly to leaflet your house anyway, but if I had the anatomical capability I would very much want to widdle through the letterbox as well.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Business Clusters - how does this happen?

Time for a post in the category of 'This is sort of what I meant to talk about when I started the blog actually...' Because I have been leafleting business premises which must be Nothing To Do With Food (which is beginning to make me wonder if New Client is either a health nut or a fatty-with-Issues, particularly as the territory contains a lot of food-related businesses) I have been noting what other sorts of business there are in the designated area. And if they are not accountants, they are hairdressers. Interspersed with floor-covering outfits.
I know everyone deplores the cloning of the high streets and all that, but these roads are not 'suitable/unsuitable businesses in a long row of Boots/Subway/Topshop/Vodaphone/Clintons/Tescos' they are a long string of businesses that go, sort of, Takeaway/Hairdresser/Carpet/Restaurant/Accountant/Restaurant/Takeaway/Accountant/Hairdresser. With nothing else. Reminds me a bit of the Great Bromyard Underwear Debacle. Bromyard is a place with 500 antique shops, 400 pubs, one off-licence and nowhere to buy underwear. This proved unfortunate one weekend last year when I and fellow dancers were performing at a festival and I had forgotten to pack a bra (because I hate them but am supposed to wear one when dancing) and Northern H had forgotten to pack any knickers. Let's hit the town centre, we cried, expecting at least a Marks and Sparks, even if a small one.
Bog all. Antiques, antiques, peculiar country sports equipment, general store with booze and fags, toyshop, charity shop and that's your lot. We eventually tracked down a limited range of nasty nylon lingerry in one of those shops that also sells saucepans, roadmaps, plastic flowers and bogroll and made do. The bra I bought didn't fit and made my nipples itch, but Northern H seemed content enough with the knickers. But I can't imagine being so desperate for an accountant that you'd run down our patch and pass out in gratitude.

Sunday, 8 January 2012


No, I'm not sure it's an art form. It certainly isn't when I do it and I would definitely never call myself a photographer; back in the days of Other Job when I used to go and report on stuff I would always whine and cry when asked to bring back some photographs as well as some words, on the grounds that if I don't have a thumb over the lens then that's a really good day.Mind you, I would whine and cry even more if asked to take a Photographer with me given that the sort of things I reported on were generally a bit, well, confidential (but fine if described in words with no real names or identifying details or close-ups of scabby arses), and a general photographer who is not an oaf prone to sticking a lens in somewhere a lens isn't wanted is rare.
Of all the art forms, photography seems to be the one with the most whangers being the most pleased with themselves with the least reason. Most great iconic photographs are a matter of luck more than innate talent.

That's a hugely resonant. well-known photograph, which was one of a whole roll of film shot by someone who just happened to be in the right place at the right time, rather than someone who thought of the picture and put it together. Most great photographs are taken by someone who happened to be in the right place, at the right time, and didn't have her finger over the lens, or sneeze and drop the camera, at the crucial moment.

I've sort of accepted that the likes of Sharkinfestedwaters

is actually Art, not least because I've done my fair share of building stuff, throwing stuff and propping up stuff to Get The Picture for that lot. But generally when people are making a big fuss about a photograph, all I can think is that, well, you turned up. And you didn't drop the camera. Do you want a fucking biscuit?

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Getting Old. It's getting closer.

Another new client, who wants leaflets delivered to business premises when they are closed. Presumably he'd rather wait and be ignored than indirectly told to sod off, or something. Still, this meant a stroll through the town centre for Trainboy and me after dinner, when the sort of places the client wants to target were shut, but lots of the other sort of places ie pubs, clubs and restaurants, were just starting to warm up.
Now the place we currently live in is not the area where I either grew up, nor is it where I spent the best of my decadent youth falling out of one venue and into another, so there were no sharp nostalgic pangs at the sight of a familiar beckoning doorway spilling out a certain song. I don't socialise locally, not because I am a raging snob who thinks the local nightlife beneath me, but simply because all my friends live elsewhere and if I do get a night out on the rip it's normally two trains and a bus ride away (and four nightbuses home but that's the price one pays. Etc.) There are three or four venues round here that it has occurred to me I might actually quite like - they appear to play rock music rather than hip hop or urban or whatever the repetitive-beat stuff calls itself these days; some of them offer live bands, and sensors did detect the presence of pretty boys in eyeliner here or there - but I didn't actually feel an urge to give Trainboy the housekeys and send him home while I hurtled inside to Have Fun.
(If any social workers are reading this, please be aware that it was a Joke. I would not really send a 7 year old home alone and go and drink beer like a Bad Chav Mother. And I had no money for a pint anyway.)
What I actually found myself yearning over was restaurants. There were loads. And they all smelled delicious and had great big poncy napkins on the tables and people eating interesting things.

I think this is a sign that middle age has finally arrived. Wanting a posh dinner instead of eight pints, a punch-up and a kebab. I'll be wanting a bloody boyfriend next. Or a sofa. Or a pension plan.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Pesky paranoid client!

I see his point. I really do. I'm more than aware that Other Leafleteers are sometimes less honest than me and actually do chuck all their leaflets over the nearest wall and trot back to the office with their paws out. But I have spent the whole day fretting about how come the new client reckons he did a random check and found no leaflets delivered. I know I was in the right road. I know it was a straight road with clearly marked houses, unlike some patches which can be a demented nightmare of back alleys and unmarked offshoots and all sorts. So I have been asking myself:
How many dogs were there on that road that could have eaten the leaflets?
Could the bizarre freak windstorms in fact have sucked leaflets back out of letterboxes and dissipated them?
Are householders with longstanding objections to leaflets (but not such big objections that they actually sticker their letterboxes) deliberately claiming they didn't get leafleted so I do not get paid and then the bailiffs get me?

I have been known to declare, straight-faced, that workplace problems must have been down to 'poltergeists' but not sure that would wash this time. Still, perhaps the client will get some clients and cheer up. And pay us.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Well Today Was A Good Day...

The sun shone, at least while I was out leafleting, producing one of those lovely crisp cold winter days.
The new client's leaflet is of a pleasing shape, can't remember the correct term but it is about a 3rd of an A4 sheet and printed on 120gsm. So it glides nicely through all but the most determinedly deterrent of letterboxes.
The new territory is flat. FLAT! After a month or so of almost vertical hills, every house on which was up or down an additional 15-20 slippery uneven steps covered in wet leaves, houses with wide flat carports outside on wide paved nicely level suburban roads are a real treat.
There were no NJMs anywhere in sight and only one slightly malevolent bit of domestic decoration; someone had put a real holly wreath over the door-knocker and round the letterbox in such a way that the letterbox looked accessible but turned out only to be so if you did a bit of a battle with the holly. I retreated sucking my wounded fingers but victorious.

And then I got home to find that I'd forgotten to renew the payday loan cheques so they'd all gone through and therefore there was no money for beer.

Monday, 2 January 2012

First Nut Of The Year

Would have to be the person who put their washing out.

A whole line full of washing. On New Year's Day. It was pissing down. Now I don't know if it was some sort of OCD issue, or related to some kind of superstition (I have heard of people who have to clean the entire house on NYE to keep the bad karma out. Tinfoil over all the windows is probably less stressful and more amusing for the neighbours), or just someone doing the washing as a way of taking his/her mind off his/her hangover.
Actually, given that there was quite a lot of bedding on that line, maybe someone got so drunk s/he wet the bed, so maybe it was some kind of penitential laundry project.