Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Will I Stay Or Will I Go?

The Partners were meeting today to decide on the future structure of the firm. They will announce the redundancies on 5 December. They can't do it immediately as it's less than three months since they made the first round of cuts. I've spent six of the last seven months in uncertainty. It's been Hell.

I could spend the next eight working days striving for professional perfection, pulling rabbits out of hats and generally outperforming any previous outstanding performance. In Hull.

Or I could use up my last eight days' holiday entitlement selling wares at the largest Bike Show of the year. In Birmingham.

If I'm not back within a fortnight, I have ridden into the Midlands on the back of a batty biker.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Amazing Grace


I've got to say Grace tonight to a roomful of fine folk including my local MP (who has kindly offered to give me a lift there and back) and a former Cabinet minister.

I meant to Google for something witty. I also intended to print off menus and write a welcome note for the tables. I got distracted between my lunch appointment with a legendary saxophonist and my dinner date with our premier performance poet.

My cupboard is bare.
Can anyone help me out there?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Oestrogen For You To Say

I'm not keen on weekends at the best of times. All that enforced relaxation, time to do things in and around the home, sit for hours waiting for the phone to ring, hoping someone somewhere remembers I exist followed by sustained stroking of the scabby cat, the weekend's only companion. Perhaps a little rocking motion. Some faint and prolonged moaning. A tear. Sobs.

This weekend was worse. My mood wouldn't lift, weighed down with the heaviest and blackest of black thoughts. I had to force myself to go to places where people gathered, to protect myself from my own actions.

Imagine my relief then, when I woke up Sunday morning in pain, a sickening feeling at the pit of my stomach. Who knew Feminax could cure suicide?

PS. To the friend that helpfully suggested my extreme hormonal imbalances may be the onset of the menopause - try fucking saying that when not separated by a phone line.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A Bed Idea

Don't despair when your only child departs into the wild world. See it as an opportunity.

There's an empty room there. Use it.

1. Put a weekend aside to sanitise. Remember to tell a friend where you are going and arrange to check in by a certain hour. If they have not heard from you within an alloted space of time, they know which part of the house to send the emergency services to cut you free from the Nuts magazine avalanche.
To sanitise: to remove germs and other abhorrent matter; to render clean; to make habitable for rational folk.

2. Be prepared. Wear rubber gloves and have breathing apparatus within reach. Double-bag anything suspect.

3. Make it comfy. There's probably no need to spend £300 on new bedding, but make sure the mattress and pillows are protected, preferably with deep-quilt, the bed has clean, crisp linen(300+ threadcount if you are going to do it properly), a scattering of cushions, a contrasting throw and a fluffy rug.

4. Make it homely. Travellers rarely pack bulky items such as bathrobes or slippers. Fold the fluffiest you can find and insert towelling slippers salvaged from hotel stays. Dig out those scented candles you got for a birthday. They won't light them but it makes you look cosmopolitan. Same goes for any interesting or intellectual books you've never read, leave them by the bedside.

5. Don't forget the bathroom. Go to work on the grouting with a toothbrush. Go to work on the toilet with a loobrush. Have an ample supply of every kind of new brush. Stock up on toilet roll. Polish the sink bowl.

6. Put out the cat. Hidden little messages undo all your hard work.

7. Put out taxi cards and timetables. You might like living in the 'sticks' but your guests may prefer civilisation.

8. Cleanse the fridge. You may have gotten used to the rotting fish smell of the chilli sauce stored in an old Kronenberg bottle stolen from the kebab shop on the High Street last February but your guests might not have the same affection.

9. Don't offer extras. If all you are charging is £15 a night, that £7.95 bottle of Rioja your guest just drank eats heavily into your profits.

10. Promote. Ordering free business cards from Vistaprint is a false economy. If you do it after one-too-many Sauvignons, you will end up with 5 years supply extolling 'Leaning's Lodgings' in fine italics with a strap-line ' Never Not Knowingly' and a picture of a sharp-breasted dominatrix with a haircut uncomfortably similar to your own. It could lead to an entirely different business venture.

Take it from one who knows.