Monday, 27 October 2008

That was the week that was

Listening to: Bandwagonesque Teenage Fanclub
Dialect word: Weejie (someone from Glasgow)

Finally! Work!

Well at least the prospect of it, an end to my enforced idleness is nigh! An interview with Social Services on Wednesday and I got offered a job in their Youth Justice team. This was something of a surprise to me as I didn't think I'd done particularly well in the interview, and came across as a bit of a know-all. However they looked fairly impressed when they found out I could complete an ASSET and I guess that probably swung it. The post is only for six months and they needed someone who at least knew their way around.

After the phone call on Thursday, which I fully anticipated to be of the 'thanks but no thanks' variety, I was pretty euphoric and took Jess out for a meal at Tex Mex and very good it was too. To cap a very decent day, John Betjeman's Metro-Land documentary, was on BBC Four and given that it contained Architecture, Underground trains, Social commentary and John Betjaman himself being all charming, it couldn't fail to delight me.

My views on the suburbs have scarcely changed since I was a teenager; their mediocrity and characterlessness bore me to tears a juvenile and patronising attitude I have been unable to shift. Betjamen is more nuanced and ambivalent than me , whilst he pithily comments on the gnomes and car washing denizens of Neasden, and the Croxley revels that "date back to 1952" Metro-land also looks at the idealism and aspirations of those who after the carnage of the First World War desired a rural idyll within easy commuting distance from London and how that informed the deeply conservative, faux rustic Tudorbethan style semis that sprung up in a ribbon pattern along the line. The sheer popularity of this vision combined with comparatively low interest rates, during the 30s effectively killed the vision and led to the anonymous, identikit suburbs that litter outer London.

However if you take a trip on the Metropolitan Line, what is utterly striking is how brave and futuristic the tube buildings are. Eastcote is a cracking exapmple. Designed by Charles Holden, at roughly the same time, they look clean, simple and bright, whilst the suburban semis around them look fussy and chintzy.

Jess was off work this weekend and we went shopping for fancy dress costumes for the Hallow e'en party in Leith, sadly no Robin Hood outfits to be had at short notice and we had to innovate. She opted for Dusty Springfield and got a super maxi dress in the Grassmarket and I've gone for Rod Stewart circa 'Do ya think I'm sexy' I believe that Rod is the patron saint of Scotland and I hope the locals will appreciate my homage to the great man. I was also pleasantly surprised by the ease with which I obtained a pair of l leopardskin leggings for the occasion. My delight at securing the said items almost outweighed the humiliation of standing in the queue in BHS grasping a pair of leopardskin trousers intended for a 15 year old girl.

Almost but not quite......

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Opening salvo

Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome!

Listening to: Vampire Weekend
Dialect word of the day: Piece (Sandwich)

I moved to Edinburgh from a tedious London suburb (or Orbitaland as I pretentiously labelled it) with my girlfriend and am attempting to establish a life in Edinburgh. This is pretty daunting thing to do, especially as you get older and tend to establish social ties in a particular place. Much as I disliked London, there were a number of friends a tube ride away.

That said, Edinburgh is quite lovely and the flat is in a quite nice Victorian tenement block. (Well it was until someone set fire to it ) I stumbled across David Hume's tomb at the top of our road and managed to walk unscathed through a Leith housing scheme wearing a cravat.

I think that I will quite like living in Scotland, any country that celebrates its' national poet with such vigor is alright by me. I still haven't got over the novelty of Scottish notes and Tartans. However such talk does tend to get me in trouble with my girlfriend, who understandably gets narked when I act like the tourist I probably still am.

However certain things still puzzle me, notably the Scottish cuisine. Everything and I mean everything appears to be deep fried! The chip shop across the street appears to exist as a v-sign to the health minister, it sells booze, fags, sweets and fizzy pop as well as deep frying their Pizzas. The orange Cheddar is also taking some getting used to; cheese plays a big role in my life.

The diet hasn't done me in yet, although a car had a bloody good go back in September. I bounced off the windscreen at about 30 mph, although I had the good sense to get myself run over outside a Doctor's surgery and was still wearing my bike helmet. Even so, I got carted off to hospital and they were amazed I hadn't broken anything. I put this down to my languid, limp wristed demeanour .

Anyway that's enough for starters, more later!