Saturday, 16 September 2017

Dilemma

So I have a work dilemma, kind of.

I guess it's a career dilemma but I don't like talking about 'my career'. It sounds like I'm about to throw you under a bus (metaphorically speaking*) in a cutthroat office environment, and I'm not even sorry because I have to think about my career.

And before you suggest I'm uncomfortable with the term career because I associate it with men and I don't think I deserve a man's success, that's not it.

Some of my friends who are girls (that's most of them) definitely have 'careers'. I wouldn't blink if they talked to me about their plans 'to progress their career', or making decisions based on what's best for their career.

I just don't like the idea of it for myself. I'd rather concentrate on each job as it comes, and obviously I know that doing well it each job will have a positive effect on Future Me, but I've never made plans and so far it's worked out very well.

When you make a plan for the future, you commit to one option, out of literally thousands. Moving to Paris was a plan I made about ten months in advance, maybe a year in advance. But imagine if I'd planned to leave Paris after my first year as an au pair?

Anyway.

Shut up.

My dilemma.

So, at the moment this is completely theoretical as I haven't got a new job yet. But I had an interview last week and it went really well. They want to take me out for a drink next week to see what I'm like as a person in a non-interview situation. (Although obviously I will be treating it like an interview, don't worry, I won't get drunk and start talking about how I don't think of myself as a Career Person.)

Amy, who works in recruitment now (after hating it at first, she's now realised she's exceptionally good at it, as she's a refreshing lovely person in a world filled with aggressive, impersonal recruiters) said people only ask candidates for drinks when they're pretty keen to hire you.

The people I met in my interview seem really nice, and they are kind of desperate for a copywriter. It would be a really good opportunity for me to come in and play a huge part in them winning new pitches and selling in new ideas to their existing clients.

It's also quite a bit more money. I'm not obsessed with money, but it would be nice to jump my salary up, because - well, because it's always nice to have more money for trips away/theatre tickets/paying off debts etc.

If I get offered the job, my only reservation would be that my current agency would be left in a really shitty position. We're in the middle of a massive project, and I've done most of the copy for it already, but I guess they'd like me to see it through and the client has gotten to know me as the copywriter.

The project itself is great, and I should be really excited about it. But...

I don't know.

I've been working on the same client for three and a half years. I'm bored and nothing ever changes. Also, a few months ago, my manager told me I was bad at presenting and that there was 'a negative opinion of me' (she gave no context and no examples). At the time I'd never really presented to anyone, and I thought I got on with everyone, so it was a really weird thing to say. Since then, our boss (as in the boss who rules over all of us, including all the managers), asked me to present to the client and I think I've proved I'm really good at it. (I did Drama at uni for three years and taught in Paris, so if I'm not good at presenting what the fuck have I been doing for most of my life?)

But it doesn't make me think 'wow I've finally proofed her wrong'. I just think 'what a ridiculous way to manage people'. I hope in the future she doesn't write people off so quickly and also that she doesn't give people personal feedback, as it really upset me and knocked my confidence.

So it's all going well at the moment, but I was SO miserable a few months ago, and things have gone well before and then we'll have a lull. When I'm not doing projects with our Big Boss, or other teams within the agency, I'm back to doing the same old shit I've been doing for three years. And it's hard to go back and forth between being involved in strategy, and presenting, to then have everyone discussing my copy without me in the room, and not listening to me when I try to voice my opinion.

It's just so weird how it gets really good and really bad again, and this job has come up and they said in my interview that the recruiter called me 'a real gem' and they agreed with him.

So in terms of my ego being boosted, it was a great interview. I feel like at this new agency I would have the chance to be myself, and I'd have permission to be my best self all the time (yeah, I use 'my best self' quite a lot now, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, sometimes in earnest).

And also, not that I care about having a career, but if I did, this would be like taking the next step.

But.

Is it crazy to leave in the middle of a big project? Is it frowned upon? Is it bad karma? Am I being a horrible person?

I need answers. I'm seriously considering writing in to a newspaper agony aunt or something, as all my friends obviously think I'm a nice person. But what if a complete stranger looks at this objectively and says 'That would be the move of a dickhead'?

Argh.

I don't know.

This is why it's best not to have a career.



*To any of my non-English readers (it could well be just me and Amy reading Left Bank Manc at this point, but you never know, an Austrian girl Googling 'au pair life' might stumble across my blog and so this note is for her): 'to throw one under a bus' it's a great phrase. I won't explain what it means as then I'd have to explain every colloquial phrase I've ever used, or worse, every turn of phrase I've completely made up.

I know what you're thinking: She's just like Shakespeare.

It's about time somebody made that comparison, thank you.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Bedroom and Boobs Online

I love our new flat.

I have even taken some 'lifestyle shots' of my room to share with you, as I am so proud of my intimate space.*

My days of living in a messy pit of hell are over. Anyone who read this blog at the beginning, cast your mind back to when I would post photos of my hideous Frankenstein's Kitchen/Bedroom and talked of cooking spaghetti from inside the shower (it was a stretch, but I could reach out for the wooden spoon and stir).

No spaghetti in this room. I forbid it.



What the hell. I was trying to share those photos with myself from my phone, so I could easily add them here, and I saw an option to share them to Google Photos.

So I did that and then when I opened it on my laptop, there were ALL my photos from my phone including a few of my boobs that I took because they looked really big when I was on my period, and I've always had really small boobs.

I got the shock of my life seeing photos of my boobs staring back at me, with the button SHARE next to them.

I've used gmail at work to open shared documents, for a horrible second I thought is this public??

To be fair, would it be that embarrassing?

If I was a celeb and they got leaked I'd just say THEY'RE MY PERIOD BOOBS LOVE and creepy men would be disgusted by them instantly.

So be careful if you have Google mail, photos or drive or whatever it is!

Anyway, forget my swollen boobs.

I love our new flat, is what I came on here to say.

I don't have many clothes in my bedroom wardrobe as most stuff is in the shared walk-in wardrobe. We've put a picture of Cher inside the walk-in to inspire us when choosing clothes each day.

Now I've discovered all my photos, floating around in the fucking atmosphere for anyone to grab, I might as well put some more up. Here's one of Google's shit animations they make of your photos without bothering to bloody ask you:


It was the Church at Beatherder. Phil, Glasgow Laura, Kayt and Adam went. It was TOO GOOD TO TALK ABOUT EVEN.

Also this summer, we tricked Clare into coming on a girl's holiday in Spain. When, in the Whatsapp group a few weeks before, she asked innocently Shall I bring the spices to make chicken za'atar? I got slightly worried that she was expecting a different type of holiday but we had such a lovely time.

Laura and Clare drove all week so we went to some amazing beaches, hidden down the side of cliffs. There were six of us, so we rented a small people-carrier. Fun fact about being a group of girls driving a big car: every time you park, there will be a man stood watching you with his arms folded, or with his hands on his hips.

One man - and this is TRUE - shook his head, walked into his villa, then came back with his girlfriend and they sat on the step and watched Laura park.

I should have flashed them my boobs and shouted THEY'RE BIGGER WHEN I'M ON THE BLOB just to throw them off.

Here's a pic of one of the beaches, ta-ra for now!



*Not to be confused with my intimate place.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Moving Day

Our Van Man is coming at 12, not sure what to do in the meantime as we're all packed up!

The words 'little blog' popped into my head so here I am.

Everything changes, always always always, and in some ways it's pointless to try and freeze everything every time it happens - HOLD ON! THINGS ARE CHANGING! STOP STOP. LET'S TALK ABOUT WHAT EXACTLY IS CHANGING AND THINK ABOUT THE PAST BEFORE WE- OH TOO LATE IT'S CHANGED.

But I can't help it. I like to chew over the moment I can taste it, but the tasting bit never really comes, do you know what I mean?

I feel like I'm always chasing what it was actually like, so I can relive it again just for a second, but all you ever get are slightly skewed memories, you can't travel back in time even for half a second, even inside your head.

Do you ever try and take a picture of a moment in your mind, not just a picture but a sound recording and a vial of the smell and a crystal of the taste, in the hope that it you store it correctly at full-strength you'll be able to take it out again in the future and really remember it vividly?

We're all packed up, so there's nothing vivid to remember really. I'm sitting on the shit single bed I've slept in for two years. I can hear a plane out of the window rather than the normal OI MEL, FACKING GET IN THE 'OUSE NAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH or the 'foreign' students next door having a very loud kareoke party or the guy who is convinced (we assume from his yelling) that someone across the street has slept with his wife.

I'll miss this house, it's been so much fun. It must be weirder for Jen and Lauren, they've lived her for five years!

But this summer the house started to fall apart, we didn't have hot water for two weeks, and they wanted to put the rent up (a lot) so we're out. Jen is moving in with two other friends in Hackney (one of the friends being Claire, who used to live in this little room) and Lauren and I are moving to...

The Isle of Dogs.

Ironic given my distrust of canines, but it's not too far from where we're living now and it's such a nice flat.

It has a walk-in wardrobe, which we're going to share.

I'm really excited, but of course it's always weird when you're leaving a place even if you're looking forward to going to the next place.

Sorry this has been a very self-indulgent blog post.

Also, can I just say...

I reread some of the first blog posts the other day and the grammar and spelling is fucking atrocious. A lot of it is typos, but some of the mistakes are clearly just me, not knowing how to spell.

Like I'd written 'collinder' instead of 'colander'.

So bad, to anyone is reading this now who read my earlier posts - thank you for looking past the mistakes and reading!

Friday, 9 June 2017

Peaks and Troughs and then Low Low Tory Troughs

Well I always say I don't blog because I don't do anything blog-worthy, and today I ended up on the 6 o'clock news (and potentially the 10 o'clock news).

Another reason I lost my enthusiasm for blogging, is that I suddenly felt it was self-indulgent and that I was being very narcissistic, and I've just proven that theory by writing about the fact that my mug got on the telly rather than the results of the BLOODY ELECTION!

I honestly had lost all hope. Jen, Claire, Lauren and Kayt have ALL said to me this week that hoping is the worst part, and I realised they were right. I couldn't bear the disappointment of another crushing Tory victory, after daring to hope for a slightly different outcome.

I've been so angry this week, walking home from work (it takes 1 hour 45 minutes) to calm down and try to think zen thoughts. But I would get myself all worked up thinking about people voting Tory. Like... I get they might be super rich and have never met a poor person... but can't they imagine for a second what it would be like to NOT be super rich? Can't they screw their eyes up tight and really try to concentrate, and think about what it must be like to be poor in a Tory Paradise with no NHS and no free school meals and no fucking job opportunities and also no benefits?

And if they can imagine it and put themselves in everyone else's place for a second, then why would they vote Tory?? It must be because they don't have any empathy whatsoever.

The definition of a psychopath is someone who doesn't have any empathy, isn't it?

As for Tory voters who aren't super rich... well. What the fuck is wrong with them??

You can see my train of thought.

But then.

Whattdya know?

Not only was it not a landslide victory, but it wasn't a victory at all. It was a hung parliament - is it was anyone's game! Jeremy Corbyn *technically* had as much right to form a government as May...

I woke up to the sound of Lauren, Jen and Lauren's sister (who moved to London last week and got herself a job today, the streets are paved with gold I tell you) laughing and being loud and generally sounding excited.

I got out of bed to discover what had been happening through the night...

Labour had done really well, and all the doubters had to finally admit that Jeremy Corbyn has done very well.

I'm sorry but I hope all the senior Labour MPs who declared him unfit to lead, and who said that nobody would for him, realise now that it DOESN'T MATTER WHAT THEY THINK.

It matters what VOTERS think.

And especially young voters, this time round.

I'm not saying that in a disrespectful way, but it makes sense that if the majority of young people want something to happen, then it will be reality soon enough. That's the future. I hear you singing 'the children are our future' - and yes, that's exactly my point.

Can I just say, also, that a few people made jokes about Jeremy Corbyn coming off his allotment or making jam today... how lovely is that? With David Cameron, people were making jokes about how he put his penis into the head of a dead pig.

Anyway, I was buzzing OFF MY TITS this morning and went to work wearing a red lippy.

Labour HQ is really close to my office so a few of us went to cheer Jeremy as he came out and got into his car. It was mostly TV cameras, but there was a handful of supporters and we stood in the rain and cheered.

A woman asked us if we would mind asking a few questions about why we voted Labour, and that's how I ended up on the news! I was so enthusiastic, she actually said to me 'But Labour haven't won the election'.

But things turned out better than I ever hoped they would, because there would be so many more MPs in Westminster to battle the Tories at every step! And also young people showed they can turn up and vote, which is great.

It was such an exciting day. I felt like a weight had been lifted from my chest. The future might not be so bleak after all..

Until May decided to form a coalition with a party that seemingly beamed into our lives from 800 years ago. I feel really bad for never having heard of them. I literally had no idea that Northern Ireland were dealing with such a dangerous, bigoted party.

And Theresa May called them her "friends".

She's a fucking piece of work, that one.

I took this at 10 Downing Street earlier this evening - the people have spoken:

video



Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Rainy

God I love the rain.

I was just walking back from Canary Wharf (please disregard this as a clue to my whereabouts if you wish to find my location and do me harm... to everyone else: yes, I live quite close to Canary Wharf) and my feet were slipping and sliding round in my ballet pumps (a problem I've had since ballet pumps became the spring/summer/autumn footwear of choice for 95% of English girls about 12 years ago - surprised they haven't sorted it out yet with some kind of water-repellent insole) and my hair was stuck to my face and my jeans were clinging to me and my coat was soaked through (the same thin 'parker' coat Amo lent me the money to buy when I first moved to Paris... it took me ages to pay her the money back, because that first year I got paid monthly, in cash, and every time she came to visit from Disneyland she never picked the day I got paid on, which was pretty much the only time of the month I was guaranteed to have a pocket stuffed* with crisp fifty euro notes) but I was thoroughly enjoying myself because - and I literally just said this in the first line of the blog post but I'm saying it again for effect - I just love the rain.

Phew. I bet you thought that parenthesis-peppered paragraph would never end. (Alliteration always reminds me of writing stories in Primary School. The lovely lion lolled around lusciously! Oh my god. I've just had deja vu. Have I said that exact same thing before in a blog post??)

STOP!

This is why I don't blog anymore, because I have so much to say that it comes out like a stream of lunacy/consciousness.

Basically, I was walking over the little bridge at Canary Wharf - it's quite futuristic especially in the rain when everything is slick and darkened, it reminds of La Defense - and I thought I'd really like to blog about the rain.

I guess I'm talking about spring/summer rain in particular.

I love the smell of it, before during and after, I love suddenly noticing how green everything is. I'm listening to the rain pour down outside as I type, and the sweet sound of birds singing underneath the sounds of falling water. The air feels fresh. Colours of the trees and buildings seem richer and more saturated, everything feels alive.

The thing is, it never rains in London. And I notice when it rains, so I know.

OH MY GOD the rain is so nice. I feel so vibrant, I couldn't wait to get off the tube and walk home in the rain, getting drenched and being surrounded by the noise and smell of a rainstorm. Well it isn't a rainstorm, but it is raining a lot.

I listened to a radio program once about people's accents reflect the landscape they live. So Welsh people have melodic voices that go up and down like the Valleys, Manchester people (used to) have quite nasally voices caused by the pollution from the cotton mills, and people living in the Midlands sound flat, like the flat landscape around them.

I'm wondering if it's the same with rain. You see it never rains in the South, and a lot of Southern people are quite dry.

Not the people I know, who like fancy dress and telling stories and going to sex techno nights with men on leashes (I won't tell you who it is, but it starts with a B) - and I don't even want to set those things as the barometers for being 'not-dry' because everyone's different and you can be 'not-dry' (moist? wet? both sound terrible) in so many different ways and yet.

And yet a lot of people in London are DRY.

I can't even explain why.

I could talk to someone about them buying a house, or about work, and it would be interesting. You talk to someone else about the same things and it's the most boring thing in the world. I guess people are dry and hard to talk to when there's no self-deprecation. I think that's it - if someone's telling you that they are really good at their job and then don't quantify it with a story about how they once slipped on a dog poo or something, then there isn't anywhere for the conversation to go.

I feel like this has been a really mean blog post but it's not about anyone in particular, I was just enjoying the rain and the thought came to me about how dry places beget dry people.

HAHA.

I've just thought about all the dry places in the world that have really vibrant cultures. I'll shut up.

Oh my god. Forget everything I just said.

I'm tempted to delete all of that but I want to try a new thing where I just write without editing and then maybe I can write more on Left Bank Manc.

So I'll leave it there for now. Please don't tell anyone what I said about dry places and dry people. I didn't mean it. I love London and I've met so many nice people, it's just sometimes I end up in the worst conversations with people and I'm normally not that bad at conversing. I'm never bad if I've got someone moist/wet to bounce off.

Let's stop there.

*if you can stuff a pocket with twelve notes... actually that sounds like a lot. I'll let myself have that. Although if I'm being picky the notes were normally hidden in rolled-up socks in my drawer and I'd only ever take one or two out... But I'm not being picky - back to the intro we go! Unless you're reading this at the end of the blog post... In which case, can you even remember what this asterisk is about??

Saturday, 22 April 2017

HIYA LOVE!

JESUS I haven't written on here for the longest time ever, I know Left Bank Manc is kind of over but I can't bear to let it go.

Maybe when I'm an old lady I'll take it up again, and spend my retirement writing about my grey pubes and the queues in the Post Office. If my pubes and the Post Office haven't been obliterated by nuclear war by then. If I'm even alive and not just a sentient binary code floating around in cyperspace...

Do we still use binary code?? I have no idea how the internet works. All I know is when they offer me the chance to live forever in a computer I will say no thanks.

We are racing towards a dystopian future! Maybe that is why I don't blog anymore! Because what the hell am I supposed to say apart from isn't the news shit can you bear to think about the people of Syria because I can't!

Anyway. I thought about doing a blog after the attack at Westminster, because I work right next to it and I wanted to say 'Don't believe the news, my non-British readers'. London did not shut down. I couldn't get my normal tube home from Westminster, but everything was fine a few streets down at Victoria.

I'm not saying it wasn't extremely sad that those people died - I had to switch off an interview with the American woman who's husband had been killed, because I was crying and I just couldn't bear any more Sad News - but it wasn't like the terrorists had had any major impact on London.

Facebook sent me a notification saying 'Your friend Anna (who lives in Manchester and doesn't know whereabouts I live or work in London) has asked if you're safe.' So I selected the 'yes' option and the next thing I know, there was a bloody post on Facebook 'Left Bank Manc has marked herself safe in the Westminster attack' and I just thought for fuck's sake.

If people log on and see that some of their friends AREN'T safe, they're going to panic. I understand why Facebook has done the 'safe in the attack' thing when there is a large-scale attack, but when there is a very concentrated incident it does more harm than good.

It's not like they do it for every crime. Last weekend 20 people were sprayed with acid in a club in Dalston. Imagine the panic if everyone had started randomly proclaiming themselves 'safe from the acid attack that I was nowhere near'. (Don't worry most of the people suffered minor burns and are going to be ok.)

****UPDATE: The victims are not ok. It was so much more serious than I thought after reading the first article about it. Their lives have been ruined forever, it was horrific. I've just read a more recent article about the victims and it has chilled my blood. Those poor people.****

Anyway.

I didn't want to talk about scary things.

I'm actually applying for jobs at the moment and one of them was for a travel company. I wondered if I could link to some of my posts on here in my application... given the lewd, crude and disgusting content I think not.

Pffft.

I've been thinking about quitting my job and going freelance. The only issue is that I don't have any money saved up, and I have a few expensive things coming up (ie. holidays) in the next couple of months.. BUT if I went freelance I would get paid a decent rate, which would mean I would only have to work for one week each month to pay bills and rent.

Obviously I would need to work a lot more than one week a month, but I'm thinking short-term, just when I'm getting started, I could manage.

If I went freelance I would have more time to blog and work on my novel... Even if it never gets published and is a bag of shit, I think I'll feel like a failure if I don't at least write down the story that's almost finished in my head.

Should I quit my job?

It's becoming so boring and samey... I know there are worse jobs (I've had all the worst jobs, so don't even start) but life is too short to feel bored and lost and vaguely frustrated all day, right??

I NEED YOU TO CONFIRM MY LIFE CHOICES

I want to hand my notice in and go freelance. I do I do I do!

But also don't want to be super skint again, and panicking about finding work. I've spoken to a couple of people I know who do freelance copywriting/design and they say go for it.

Hmm.

Let's have a tune to cheer us up: