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Friday, 8 May 2009

The Congestion Charge And The Unexpected Pregnancy

'Up 'anley duck'
04.05.09 – Bank holiday Monday, the day starts off okay then Dutch says, “Let’s go up town,” I groan then agree. We have breakfast in a café then wander around from store to store, buying nothing and not looking for anything particular. Considering it’s a holiday, the town centre is very quiet. One thing about bank holidays that always puzzles me is, okay the banks are closed but why are most of the ATM’s out of order, is it a conspiracy by the banks to prevent the masses getting their hands on their own money? We take a trip to the local museum, there’s a wall being made up of pottery back stamps that is a celebration of our heritage. For more info go to We take in an exhibition of new artworks, in my opinion all designed to shock rather than anything else, it’s such a shame when people make a blatant decision to push boundaries rather than let it come naturally. It’s like when character on TV swears for effect. I take a handful of photos on my phone of buildings around town and two of which have to be the ugliest I’ve seen in a long time.

05.05.09. – What an excellent shuffle into the office today, first it was Kate Bush, ‘Running Up That Hill, (A Deal With God)’, then Placebo with ‘Pierrot The Clown’, Marilyn Manson, ‘Angel With Scabbed Wings’ and as I pull onto the car park Snow Patrol finish off ‘Black And Blue’. I didn’t even care that the A500 was congested today. The day is running smoothly, nothing major to talk about until my friend Jane calls me to tell me she’s pregnant, I ask her when is it due and she tells me next Thursday. She thought she was on the menopause she tells me and in 25 years of marriage has never used any contraception, as she thought she was unable to have kids. Turns out she thought she had IBS, went to the doctor last week and he told her she was eight and a half months gone. Did she call expecting sympathy from me? No she knew I’d laugh, and laugh and laugh even harder. What makes it funny is she has never wanted kids and now has just two weeks to get her head around having one.

Like many actors I do a variety of other jobs, one is as a mystery shopper, which can be fun if you get a good assignment, just lately the ones I’ve had have been for fast food establishments, but today I had to do a mystery shop at a well known mobile phone company. I entered the store and was approached by Neville: (Not his real name, but he looked like a Neville to me). I asked him to show me a telephone and asked about the features and benefits, it was difficult to do the shop as Neville had a personal odour problem, and kept exhaling coffee breath over me as he made little jokes and observations about the handset. I thanked Neville for his time and left the store, colliding with an old lady in my haste to escape, I apologised and she muttered something about me being a blind little shit. Back home I fill in my shop evaluation form as Tiziano Ferro sings ‘Ed Ero Contentissimo’. Now it’s time for a glass of red I say as I press send and the evaluation makes its way electronically to the mystery shopper HQ.
08.05.09 – Driving to work with Sigue Sigue Sputnik, playing ‘Frankenstein Cha Cha Cha’. (Bloody hell there’s a blast from the past). I watch as a woman driving a white mini bus containing disabled children sits in the inside lane, I’m in the outside as I’m exiting at the third exit and a lorry is behind me, in the middle lane sits a youth in a Saxo. The traffic lights change and said woman in mini bus passes the first and second exits, then causes the lorry behind me to brake sharply as she pulls in front of him, the deafening horn telling her exactly how he feels. Why is that there are people driving that don’t understand which lane to be in at a roundabout? It annoys the hell out of me. In the office today we are making preparations for our school holiday workshops, we will be hosting drama activities for around 50 children aged 6 to 14, we’ve hosted five now and they prove to be great fun for both the kids and for us. The weeks culminate with a public performance for the children’s families. Today I had to deal with an irate actor arguing because she chose not to purchase a ticket to drive into central London and the congestion charge zone, she expects me to foot the bill for her error. Honestly some days dealing with actors is like hand holding small children. ‘Fantasy’ by Earth Wind And Fire starts playing as I upload this portion of text to my blog.
Finally, today we tried the KFC Panini, hoping for a taste of Italy in the office, what we got however was very little taste and a dire excuse for an Italian sandwich.

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