Thursday, 12 September 2013


Thursday morning in Brixton. From Clare's rooftop I can see across rainy London to St Paul's. To be honest it might not actually be St Paul's but the point is... I'm in London.

Hold on.

Clare just called to me from the bath, telling me to take some bacon out of the freezer for her. I asked her if St Paul's was visible from the living room window and she said she didn't know. Then her Gentleman Friend Ed joined in the conversation and I realised he was in the bath with Clare. They are just casually bathing together, with the bathroom door wide open so that they can still converse with me. It's so nice that Clare has met someone with as little regard for boundaries as herself.

Staying with Clare is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, she leaves me little notes saying 'help yourself to cake and there's roast chicken in the fridge SMILEY FACE' and there's always fresh flowers in the flat and she has crates of Fever Tree (a really delicious tonic water that makes the best gin and tonic with Hendrick's, but they also make lovely lemonade and ginger beer) knocking around because she sometimes does promotion work for them; and on the other hand, on my first morning here I woke up to see Clare stood in the doorway, telling me in a pleasant but stern voice to get out of bed because it was ten past nine and she thought I'd slept in long enough FROWNY FACE.

I like it though, I feel as though she is turning me into a Productive, Valuable Member of the Great Unemployed. Today I am up and blogging for example and it's not even half nine.

Yes, I'm still jobless. The Japanese restaurant offered me a job after my trial shift, but they wanted me to be a Food Runner rather than a Waitress, just for a few months while I sussed out the menu and got used to the place... At first I said yes, because they were still going to pay me £17,000 a year which seemed like a lot, especially as I want to do Social Media on the side, but when I got back to Manchester I realised I was already dreading my first day. Absolutely dreading it.

The trial shift was ok, but there was no interaction with the customers, my job as a Food Runner was literally just to put down the plates and take them away again without speaking. How would I be able to do that job full-time, with no knowledge of the food and without the authority to take orders? I'd feel like a mute servant girl.  I thought it would be hard work, but I didn't expect such a high-end restaurant (the first customers during my trial shift were British B-List couple Rochelle from The Saturdays and Marvin from GLS) to operate in such an impersonal, mechanical way. I imagined myself sashaying around, serving sashimi, suggesting sushi to sample and saki to sip, plus many other activities beginning with s. Instead I was rushing around trying to be invisible, getting told off for not putting a glass down in the correct position on the table.

There's hospitality work and then there's soul-destroying menial labour.

There's been a lot of talk recently about people in their twenties not wanting to pay their dues, but I've had Saturday and after-school jobs since I was FIFTEEN. I don't think I'm being unreasonable, wanting a job that doesn't depress and drain me.

Luckily, when I was on my way to my trial shift at the Japanese restaurant, I got a phone call from a bar I'd handed my CV in to. The guy was really nice on the phone and as we were talking I walked past his bar, so I popped in and had a quick interview. He told me to email him if I didn't enjoy my trial at the Japanese restaurant, so I did as soon as I got home. Since then I've spoken on the phone with the manager twice and he's said he'll organise a trial shift for me and then he hasn't. Why do men just keep you hanging on, for no reason, ALL THE FUCKING TIME?

Anyway. Last night I asked Clare's Gentleman Friend Ed if he knew anyone that runs a bar in London. He texted some friends and within five minutes he had three replies. He passed on my number and they said they'd call but as they're all males I won't hold my breath.

I want a lady boss to call me. A nice lady boss who will just tell


As I was writing that Clare handed me the phone, it was a lady who is looking for a babysitter. She'd been given Clare's number but Clare has too many nanny jobs already, so she mentioned her friend who recently moved to London and has lots of nanny experience (me) and I'm going to meet the kids tomorrow AND they might need a nanny after school AND when the lady gave me her surname I noticed it was Greek so I told her how I worked in Corfu for the summer when I was eighteen and she said her kids speak Greek so if it works out I can practice my Greek with them!

I have to go now, Clare is pacing around trying to tidy up and I can't concentrate.

YES I hope I get this nanny job.

I know I said I'd never nanny again but it's nice work, if you can get it.

Ohhh I'm starting to miss my old life in France. Last week I dreamt that I was back in Paris. I realised that I'd never left and my new life England had been a dream that I'd just woken up from. When I really woke up and realised that Paris had been a dream, I started crying.

But London will be good. The clouds have cleared since I started writing, I can see right across the city to The Shard.

By the way, did you know that Drake is my guilty pleasure? Well, I admit it. Anyway, he's done a song with Sampha! I wonder how they met? Wait until 2.26 when Sampha starts singing. It makes me feel like melting into a heap and never getting up again.

Quickly, before I forget, has anybody checked that Miley Cryrus isn't trapped in a #thicke web of human trafficking? Have you seen her new video?


  1. LBM! Good luck with the job-hunting, if it's any comfort I've been there. In fact I'm there about 5+ times each year because I'm a QUITTER and I suck at all jobs.

    Arrived in Paris a week ago and I've already been through two family's. What am I like eh?

    Anyway just wanted to say that Iove love love your blog and it's such a good read! It's been such a solace as I feel like I can relate to all you've said/felt. (and espesh more recently with Blurred Lines...grrrrr...dont even get me started...)

    Une question: how was your French when you arrived in Paris? Did you ever feel completely out of your depth with the kids? My kids speak French sooo fast; I thought I could speak 'basic' French before I started this and realised I can only speak 'baby' French i.e. about 10 words, all of them shit.

    Keep us updated with the job-hunting!

    luv ur ever faithful reader and shit french faker

    1. I couldn't speak any French when I arrived, only basic phrases I remembered from GCSE like 'ou est la gare'. My French hardly improved at all the first year I was in Paris, even though I had six weeks worth of lessons. Really I should have had lessons all year but I couldn't afford it and as I had to speak English to the kids I worked with, work didn't improve my French. Talking to people on nights out helped, seeing French everywhere on signs and adverts obviously helped and I suppose the lessons helped a bit, but really if you are allowed to speak French to the kids... that's great and your French will improve quickly. It takes time but if you are speaking French at work your listening will get better quite quickly. Good luck with the au pairing and thanks for commenting!