Weightless Grey Poppies

Journal Entries, July 2009

Fri 3: Several weeks ago I sent an e-mail to J Bunce at Stokes asking of they were recruiting – I think one agency even rang me about a post there – and finally today I had a reply saying ‘no thanks’. Am watching ‘Chromophobia’ and drinking dry sherry. Still no response from Indescribable about my CV, except that one muted acknowledgement. Last week I e-mailed SRG with a list of three items.
It is customary nowadays to dispute all decisions; if a child gets a grade ‘B’ at A-level, the parents promptly fire off a letter of complaint – their little treasure was under extreme stress/suffering from hay-fever/faulty biorhythms etc. So perhaps Andy Murray (Scottish tennis player who hates the English) should lodge a protest against his defeat in the semi-final match at Wimbledon. As Jemma would say: ‘It’s not FAIR!’ (In an update from June 2016, Maria Sharapova has been given a two year ban for using prohibited pharmaceutical performance-enhancing substances…naturally, she is going to appeal against this decision)

Sun 5: Yesterday met B- in town: Outpost, Churchill’s, and Paddy’s Goose. Had a takeaway from the Naz – not much meat, v little flavour.

We are in a recession, with thousands of jobs being lost all over the place. Meanwhile the FT Weekend edition carried adverts and articles about how there’s still a lot of money around, with suggestions on ‘How To Spend It’. Rolex – Chanel – Safari Holidays, £10k for 6 nights – YSL Blazer (£1640) – Corum watches and Graff watches and Chopard watches – Sterling Montague boats – seventeenth century paintings (£1.75m) – rollerball pen (£1370) – Grenbel Forsey watch (£335k) – Berandi shirt (£882) – leather sandals (£1174) and so on…

A big project has been announced where Advantage West Midlands is to oversee the formation of a ‘Thermoplastics Cluster of Excellence’.

Mon 6: Today sent e-mail applications to Listgrove and Coventry Uni asking about the new Thermoplastics Cluster. Returned home & found rejection letter form Brothers Robinson (stomp all night) – incredibly clumsy and inept, erratic grammar and punctuation.

Wed 8: I am a wretched miserable failure. When I was younger I never took the 11-plus (cos neither I nor my parents had heard of it) so I ended up going to a bog-standard comp called Thomas Telford High – although at the time I had no idea that any better option existed…

Yesterday I looked up an auditor’s website about their AAT training programme which requires 8 GCSEs including English and Maths at grade ‘A’. But I only got seven ‘O’ levels, with grades B and C. And now I find myself applying for dozens of lab technician jobs and being turned down cos I haven’t enough experience of management or team-playing or excellent communication skills, whatever they might be.

Mon 13: Today Andrew Foster called in at work to see Katie, and a few minutes later Steve S turned up to begin sorting out his EC PLC stuff. Steve got rid of AF last year, so no love lost. Anyway, S- couldn’t even use his own office cos the Dominion Colour crew were having a meeting in there (with Kev Smith of all people). He started going through the filing cabinet of stuff meant for DCC and found that a load of R and D stuff had been included – which apparently they had no right to keep. Meanwhile, Bruce and Poggy’s old R and D lab books have mysteriously disappeared.
Phone call from Peter Davys – there’s a job going at Prisma colours for a dispersion manager; I went with Andrew F and Mike Allen there last year. And at work we’ve been sent a copy of ‘Entrepreneur’ magazine which carries an article about Escort Agencies. ‘Everybody knows’ said one, ‘that our services are not simply social company.’ But I think that the mag referred to all the clients as being male and all the escorts as being female.

Fri 17: Well, if I get killed tomorrow by a meteorite or a tiger, at least I won’t have to endure another portion of charred, tasteless fish and chips from my local. They were so good years ago – gone downhill.
Today at work had a phone call from Gtr Manchester Fire Service asking if they could make an appointment to inspect our premises for risk assessment. ‘Well’, I said, ‘perhaps you’re already aware that we burned down last September, and the only people in the factory area are the burglars who broke in last week.’

18 Jun: Went to PC World, bought headset, rang Andy P on Skype Tonight Pet Shop Boys are playing Manchester Apollo. Last night Ye Britney of Spears (pop singer who turns men on by wearing the skool uniform of a 12-year old) played the MEN Arena and yelled ‘How ya doing, London!’

November 2007

The drops of rain carved spreading eyes of pain
Upon the half-remembered street.

It’s late at night; I’m standing on the bridge
Ahead of me the street recedes eternally
And just like twenty-something years ago
I wonder when my life is due to start.

The keenly shadowed gaps that interrupt
Remind me of the people, books and things
That meant so much, but now I don’t recall
Exactly why they made me think of you.

Renting one or two blank rooms with curtains frayed…




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