Monday, 19 August 2013

England- what a crock of shit.

What the fuck am I doing?

People keep asking me, "What are you doing now? Where are you living? When are you moving to London?

I don't know, I don't know, I don't know.

When I first came back to Manchester, I stayed at my mum's house for three days, then I had to get out. It's not that I don't like my mum, but I was sleeping on a mattress, wedged in between her wardrobe and her desk and my stuff was everywhere and she kept asking me when I was going to unpack my bags and put my things away and I wanted to scream:


I couldn't look for jobs because I left my laptop in London. My mind felt all messy and there was always my stepdad's electric guitar screaming out around the house, because he likes to practice in the hallway outside the little office where I sleep, not in the garage where I wouldn't be able to hear him.

Then there was the dog.

When we got home from Cambridge, my mum pulled up outside the house and gave me a manic smile.

"Right! Here we are!"

She was talking in a shrill, sing-song voice and looking excited, or anxious, or both.

Then I realised... The Dog. I was about to meet The Dog and my mum wanted it to go well.

My stepdad's cat was sitting on the wall outside the house, simultaneously sulking and relaxing in the way that cats do. As I passed him, the cat looked me in the eyes and we exchanged a look, a look that said, "Fucking dogs eh?"

I walked into the house with trepidation and was running out again, screaming, in ten seconds flat, after feeling two huge paws on my shoulders. I didn't even see the dog until I was safely outside, glaring through the window with disgust as it stood up on its hind legs and nuzzled mum's hair, probably trying to find a vein it could rip out.

It was huge and it was only three months old.

Dogs are a lot of hard work, aren't they? I couldn't go one cup of tea without somebody yelling GET DOWN, GET DOWN or telling the dog it was a BAD NAUGHTY DOG. It wasn't even allowed in some of the rooms. When I woke up in the mornings my mum told me that I had to completely ignore the dog- that's what they'd told her at Puppy Training.

Hum. Seemed to me that instead of having a huge monster galloping about the house and having everybody ignore it... They could have saved all that cash, not bought the dog and visited me in Paris instead. (Or bought me a birthday present. I can't bring it up or I'll sound like a spoilt brat... but I didn't get any presents from anyone in my family this year, have I done something wrong? Is it because I always forget to send Thank You notes? Is it because I got horrendously drunk at my cousin's wedding? Forget it, I'm not even arsed. I'm going to take all the money I would have spent on Christmas presents for everybody... and buy a bag of crack with it. "No more turkey for me, mum, I'm fucked. I mean stuffed. I mean on crack.")

Those first three days at my mum's house were spent sulking under a dark grey cloud of my own making- I had no phone grumble grumble no job grumble and my stuff was all over England grumble grumble.

Then one night, my mum passed me the home phone.

"Hi darling, it's Clare. I hope you're enjoying doing nothing," came clipped tones, marching along the telephone wires all the way from London, "Because it ends tomorrow. I'm coming to Manchester this weekend to sort your life out."

I was terrified, but relieved. The next day I met Clare and Amy in town and we took the metro (the tram in Manchester is now called the metro!) to Amy's new flat, five minutes from Piccadilly. It's lovely AND Amy and her boyfriend pay the same rent for a two bedroom flat that Clare pays for her little room in London.

That night Amy had to work, but Kayt came over (so strange how both her and Amy have ended up living in my home city) for 'supper' as Clare calls it. Kayt and Clare decided to 'wake me up' to my situation by telling me how worried I should be as I have no job, no money and no prospects. By the time Amy came home from work I was just about ready to jump off her balcony, but she had good news- they needed bar staff at the restaurant where she works, so she'd told the manager about me and he'd said I could come in for 'a chat'.

Excellent- I could stay in Amy's spare room, work in the restaurant until September, then move to London with a bit of cash in my pocket.

Amy told me that Fernando (he's Spanish) was really nice but quite pervy. She said I'd be sound if I wore a skirt and a bit of lipstick- BAHAHA! I'm a feminist and I would never do that.

I did it though.

I borrowed a tapestry-style pencil skirt from Clare, which I wore with a silky blouse and embellished sandals. On Saturday evening we accompanied Amy to her evening shift, as instructed by Fernando.

We got to the restaurant and a serious-looking man called Clive was the manager. Amy told him that I was applying for the bar tender job, so Clive sat me down for 'an interview'. He looked like he meant business. He asked me for my CV.

"Fernando told me I didn't need to bring a CV..." I said, looking over Clive's shoulder in the hope that Fernando would suddenly walk through the door, clacking marraccas and singing, "Nice skirt! Can you make Sangria? You're hired!"

Sadly Fernando didn't come to my rescue. Clive asked me lots of questions which I think I answered very well, considering I wasn't expecting a formal interview, then he told me to go home and email him my CV. He mentioned they were interviewing other people. I emailed my CV the next day but didn't hear back from him. Pfft.

On Sunday, me and Amy went to the Asda and bought lots and lots of food. Me and Amy planned what meals we'd cooked over the next week and I got all excited, thinking about food I hadn't eaten for months and months. We also bought everything we needed for a roast dinner- Kayt was coming round and so was Beth, my only Manchester friend still living in Manchester (she's moving to London too next month). Clare was shopping in town and she said she'd brought me a little present for 'being a good girl and sending my CV off to places'.

We got back to Amy's with all the shopping and I asked if I could check my Facebook on Amy's laptop. There was a message from my mum, sent thirty minutes ago. It said:

Call me ASAP.

My first thought was, shit, what have I done wrong. Has mum found something incriminating among my open suitcases? I called her from Amy's phone.

She said my stepdad had left her, as in she'd gone out for a few hours and returned home to a note- he'd left her for somebody else, a woman he has known for two weeks. (I know what you're thinking, but we know for a fact that he really had known her for just two weeks.)

My mum told me not to write about it on my blog, but how can I not mention it? It was a pretty cataclysmic moment. Amy mixed some whisky with brown sugar for me and I sat on the balcony with my drink in one hand and a rare daylight cigarette in the other, in shock. Fucking hell, how must my mum feel?

I got the next train back to Northern Mill Town and I've only left twice- once for a night out with Amy and Kayt and then last week I went to London for three days, for two job interviews.

Both interviews were for 'hospitality temp agencies' i.e. odd-job waitressing gigs. I sacked off the first job interview for No Reason. I went for a drink with Olivia instead and the whole time I felt sick with guilt, I have no idea why I did it. People tell me I'm being stupid when I voice my worries about being a Fuck Up, but they are real concerns. I feel like I have no control over my actions. One minute I'm going to an interview, the next minute I'm having a pint instead and I don't know why.

The second job interview went well- although the guy was thirty minutes late and I first I thought my whole trip had been a massive waste of time and money- and I can now sign up online with the agency to start getting work. Except... I haven't signed up yet. I don't know what I'm doing. Do I want to move to London straight away, just to do odd waitressing jobs? Clare is going away for two weeks and has said she will give me her keys, but I don't know what to do.

I just don't know.


I really don't know what to do. I don't want to do anything.

Me and my mum have been watching cheesy rom coms, drinking wine and eating crisps. My belly has now become a sort of pet to me, I know it's chubby and annoying and it follows me everywhere I go... but I've grown fond of it. I picture it like this:

How can I get rid of that little cutie?

In all seriousness though, I feel like a sad little pudding and I don't know what to do with myself.

Obviously I want to move to London, but should I wait it out up North for a bit? Should I get a shit job round here, so I can save up some money and stay with my mum for a bit longer? Part of me thinks there's no point wasting time in Manchester, because we all know I won't save money anyway and if I want to be in London, I should just go, right?

But should I go, like, tomorrow? Am I just getting cold feet?

Am I wasting time going up and down the country? On Friday my Megabus took almost NINE HOURS from London and in the end our driver ABANDONED us at a service station. He said he needed to take a forty five minute break 'by law'. One and a half hours later, he still wasn't back.

England- what a crock of shit.


  1. LBM,
    Having read your blog for ages now, I feel that you are among my closest friends. I've never commented, but watching you despair breaks my heart, so my silence, too, must now be broken. I know what you should do. See below.

    Here is the plan:
    1. First of all, you need to monetize your blog. You have pretty sizable readership, not even including all of the undocumented readers like myself, and they are probably mostly young adult females... the easiest demographic to make money off of. It looks like you are running off Blogger? It would be easier with Wordpress, but can still be done. Look into LinkShare and AdSense. This blog could easily be profitable.

    Plus, your blog is your biggest asset (at least professionally). It proves that you possess dedication and are capable of sticking with something. Even though you think you're a fuck up... you have created something that other people are interested in, and you have CONTINUED to create it, literally for years. Most fuck ups don't have that.

    2. Get a prescription for Adderall... or whatever the British equivalent is of ADHD medication. I don't necessarily think you have adult ADHD, but you seem like you're close enough that you could convince a psychiatrist... and that's really all that counts. I ABSOLUTELY do not say this to be rude. I was told i have adult adhd last year after spiraling into despondency as a result of many of the same feelings you've described. I can't tell you how much the 'going to an interview then ending up getting a pint and having no idea how that happened' bit rang true for me. Like my fuck ups did not feel like conscious choices, I felt like i couldnt control myself at all. but since i got mEdIcAtEd, my life LITERALLY did a 180. i get shit done now and things are happening for me because at last i'm able to focus. you have the creativity and ability to do great things, just not the attention span perhaps. easily fixed, that.

    3. start writing a book or a play. you have a great inherent understanding of storytelling, as well as great wit, as well as the ability to romanticize and dreamy-ify normal life and make it feel cinematic. that is key. i really think you should write a novel, loosely autobiographical but not exactly, about paris, au pairing, etc. it's actually not that hard to write a book if you get a schedule set up... you've written a few book's worth of words in this blog, but you did it in such small chunks that it didn't hurt.

    i sense that you want a creative career but that you're a bit too humble and/or self conscious to really shout that from the rooftops and charge full speed towards the goal. so understandable. it's SO HARD AND EMBARRASSING to admit that you're trying. like at anything. but no one will come and get it sorted for you, the only way to make things happen is to start producing products to push. and if not a book, write a play or a one woman show or something. maybe you're already doing this, i dont know, but it would be a good outlet for creativity (like the blog) but then it would ALSO have potential to one day pay your bills. make a schedule and set deadlines for yourself.

    4. Get a shit job around there and find some way to MAKE SURE that you save. like have the money go into one of your friend's bank accounts or something... i dont know, but find a way to live super cheaply for 4 months and save almost everything you make. 4 months will give you enough time to find a job in london and save enough to land on your feet when you get there. personally, i think if you go to london now, while you dont feel in control of your life and you dont have enough money, you might just drown. but 4 months is nothing in the scheme of a life, but it will make all the difference i think. plus it would probably mean a lot to your mom to have you near for a bit.


  2. (CONT.)
    5. by the time you move to london, you should have some kind of writing project finished. at least some short stories, but preferably a proposal and first few chapters of a book. then try to leverage that stuff + the blog to get an agent, then use the agent + that stuff to get a book deal. just cold call, send emails, do whatever it takes to get meetings/contacts/whatever. the more emails you send, the higher chance you have of being successful. you make your own luck, but i really think you have the raw talent.

    then if all goes well, within a year you live in london, have a job and a profitable/popular blog on the side, are on your way to becoming a Real Writer, and the rest will be history. then down the road you can write yourself a movie to star in and BAM you're an actress, too. i've always seen and heard that it's easier to build street cred as a writer than an actress. baby steps girl, you got this.

    god sorry about this. is such a thing as too much adderall. im so passionate and horrified. byeeeeeee

    some dickhead

    1. Woah, woah... thanks for such a heart-felt comment, I've been meaning to reply for ages. You have given me a lot of really good advice and you understand exactly what my biggest problem is- I DO kind of sit around waiting for things to happen to me but is Adderrall the answer? Only in the USA, kid. Thanks so much for caring and for taking the time to write out that massive comment!!! Keep reading and don't be afraid to comment again I enjoyed reading it, a lot. xxx

    2. LOLOLOLLLLLLLL just re-read my comments. printing them out to take round the bars later. showing my friends first, then my therapist. <3 if i'm ever that earnest again, someone plz destroy me + my kin.

      anyway no regrets. but don't think i don't realize that a double dose before laying down on my bed to read your blog was a weird choice. speaking of the drug: the brits love the rave, i prefer my drugs by day. medication=recreation... "same diff" -my immature aunt. my british roommate is always "expressing concern" about my "prescription habit" ...but he was arrested for mdma possession 2 weeks ago, whereas i just sold a spec script to paramount. and after having been voted "most likely to die young" in high school, no less. anyway i still think you might enjoy and benefit from the med in question, but to each his own. <3

      in closing, Liz (below) is right that your experience/worries are entirely normal. but all i'm saying is they're not mandatory. for Mary Lou Average maybe they are, but she's boring and has nothing to offer. you do. xoxoxoxo i'll keep reading til i (or you) dieeeeee

      with love,
      same dickhead

  3. LBM, I'm having withdrawal symptoms, please blog again soon!

    I hope the well-meaning (but in parts a bit crazy) comments above haven't put you off. A lot of the advice is good - you SHOULD write a book. But I don't think you need medication. You're experience and worries are entirely normal for us 20somethings.


    1. I will be blogging again very soon! I love my controversial comments- do you remember when that rich Parisian mother said I was a princess who needed to grow up?? All comments are good comments. I promise I'll write another blog post soon!!