Thursday, December 28, 2006


Got through Christmas. My plan to comfort eat myself stupid worked perfectly.

Have spent most of the festive week downloading things and then transferring them to DVD and then copying the DVD's so both me & my mum have a copy. This has taken over my life. At night I think about it: What speed has it downloaded, how many re-writable discs do I have left? Can I re-download the episodes that won't burn? It's been at 93% for a long time now, has it frozen? I need my life* back.

I have to get back to Cornwall. I hate Stoke.

But what the f**K am I going to do for New Year.

Phobia of the day: Emetophobia — fear of vomiting.

* I define my own terms.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Spirit Of Christmas

Unbelievable as it was, I was actually having a smooth train journey. Travelling back on a Friday and just before Christmas, everything had been comfortable and not too badly crowded.

But then, as I reached the final leg of my journey, and my last change at Birmingham, I yanked my case from the others in the rack, dragged it outside, checked that I had everything, and discovered I did not have any of my train tickets - part of which was my open return ticket.

People were crowding into the carriage, how was I to retrieve my ticket? I spoke to a man on the platform (a knob), he tells me to tell the train manager at the other end of the train, which is too far away and would require me to leave my case. I try to get into the carriage but the crowds won't disperse and I have to get off before the doors close.

All I have is the first part of my ticket used as bookmark in Tom Baker's Autobiography, so I can at least get all the way to Stoke. When I get there, I go to most well hidden customer service counter in the world, and plee for their help in getting a replacement ticket. But their computer system is down, the train can't be contacted, and the tickets can't be replaced because they were my responsibility. I plead with them, this is a £70 ticket, can they at least take my number and get in touch with the train when they can.

Instead, the guy there says he'll do what he's not allowed to do, write me out a replacement ticket, because it's Christmas.

Proof if any that the Christmas spirit is still alive. And that not everyone who works for Virgin trains is a w****r.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Days Of Loaded III

Sorted and distributed the mail like a pro. Given my best job so far: I went to collect the editor’s dry-cleaning. Later I got to make a photocopy of the whole new edition of the magazine. Then I started researching kiss and tell stories for men who used to go out with famous woman. It was not a good day.

Somehow ended up in the pub with all the writers, and found myself sat awkwardly to the editor and the deputy editor. They were talking about the editor’s friend who works for the sun, where behind the scenes the serial killer had been dubbed THE SUFFOLK-ATOR, but not even the sun was brave enough to put that on the cover.

They asked me what I was up to and I told them about how that afternoon I was going to be filling up boxes to send to the archive – I got to make the boxes in the evening. He said I ought to be doing something better (the man whose dry cleaning I collected).

Helped to clear out the cupboards to help do their Christmas sale of unwanted promotional stuff. I hulked a heavy trolley to the floor below where the selection wasn’t spectacular. When what good things they had were sold, I was sent back to get the editor to empty out his office. We found a sandwich toaster, full sized Predator head and then there was this stereo. The editor didn’t want it, the features editor didn’t want it, did I want it? All ill will suddenly forgotten…

My computer password expired. While I waited for it to be renewed I asked if there was anything I could do that didn’t involve a computer. The deputy editor suggested I should go through the newspapers and try to find anything that might make a good story, and if I found anything, I could write it. My big chance had come at last!!! Unfortunately, a moment later, one of the guys from the picture desk sent me to Oxford Circus to fetch some DVDs they needed screen shots from. When I returned the computer was working again and I went back to my research into robots. Sigh.

Finally got all the bloody table top game pictures and most of the desired camping gear was delivered and completed. They said they’ll post the stereo too me. They seemed genuinely pleased with me when I left, although I’m sure they say the whole ‘keep in touch’ thing to everyone. I was told to arrange a return visit with the office manager and although I’ve been pretty sarcy about it, it was worth doing and I might get trusted some new tasks if I go again. They might even let me feed the fish.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Days Of Loaded @

Day four is a blur. It involved research on Shanghai I think, and there’s a blur of elevators and floor I took things to and from.

Sorted and distributed the mail. Sent out to buy the ingredients for an expensive Christmas pudding – just for a photograph, no pudding was being made. Found out that Marks & Spensers at Marble Arch had the biggest food court but they don’t sell things like flour!!! or sugar !!! So I go to Selfridges next door where I can’t find anything cos they’re in funny places – raisins in the Mediterranean section? Still all the ingredients are not there and the Selfridges manager tells me to go to Waitrose in Marylebone high st. Is there one there? Is there fuck!!!

Sorted and distributed the mail. Whisked off to Leicester Sq with one of the writers to buy a chefs hat and apron, then to his home in North London to collect some supermarket curries, then to an award winning curry house in Hackney where they were tasted by an expert. I took the photos. Then back to central London to buy an £8 curry (no rice) from Selfridges and then back to the office. As a writer I feel very proud to be getting a photographers credit in the magazine.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Days Of Loaded

Sorted and distributed the mail. Got security pass. Forgot which floor was I going back to and had to go back to reception to find out. Researched the life story of Jimmy Savile. All the features team went to pub at dinner and did't come back. Had nothing to do. They sent me home early.

Sorted and distributed the mail. Sent down to reception repeatedly to fetch models to the office. Sent to local newsagent to buy £40 worth of porn to help compile their porn-a-likes section. Phoned companies to try and blag free equipment for a travel adventure feature. Then compiled a list of ten table top games and the websites that sold them and then contacted each one to get a photograph. Savile unused.

Sorted and distributed the mail. A nice feature writer wrote me a map of the office to show me who was who and where they were sat - this will make things much easier in future. Researched strange valentines gifts. Chased up the equipment enquiries and table games photo's - three now retrieved. May get two free backpack and might be allowed to keep one. Researched more valentines gifts - may have gone overboard. Researched the life and times of the rapper Ludacris.

Oh and I passed by the way.