Monday, March 26, 2007

Discordant Shopping

Things I remember about working in Woolworths:

  • cheese and celery sandwiches from Marks and Spencers
  • serving Frank Bruno Easter eggs for his children
  • Christmas cards; tonnes of
  • a girl called Vicki being arrested for stealing from staff lockers
  • smock-like tunics with buttons that always popped open displaying your knickers to all and sundry
  • resigning (at the age of 16) because I couldn't cope with taking orders from an airhead

Why the reminescences?

The Guardian's editorial In praise of discordant shopping

I was scarred for life working in Woolworths. The very first thing that pops into my head when Woolworths is mentioned is music. (Well, I'm lying slightly; it's the second. One day after work I just had to take my tights off and did so in the street after carefully looking around. Unfortunately, I didn't look up and was greeted by a number of cheers from builders on the roof of a house).

We were subjected to the same music on loop for weeks at a time. Lionel Ritchie. The Carpenters. It was torture. For this very reason I would support shop workers in saying no to Muzak which according to Mr Treasure could mean 10% more sales.

Long and often anti-social hours standing on your feet for not a lot of money is bad enough without being forced to listen to absolute drivel. Let the workers choose.

Monday, March 19, 2007

It's difficult to tell why or how people cheer up and get the feeling they want to work.

'German Measles'. A Winter Book. Tove Jansson.
Everyone must imagine his own snakes because no else's snakes can ever be as awful.

'The Dark'. A Winter Book. Tove Jansson.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Things you don't expect to see walking to work...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

A New Man

I have a new man to add my collection.

My men cause much amusement at school. I was recently left a message by a colleague which said something along the lines of being from the man "fourth in line to your affections behind the gardener, the cleaner and the candlestick maker." (I am slightly concerned he forgot C.).

I'm on first name terms with the man who sells me my newspaper every morning and exchange a greeting with the security men on the door of one of the banks I pass (more than many of the people showing their ID seem to do; how rude). The conversation with the guy who hands out City AM newspapers (I've never taken one) has improved at the same time as his ability to speak English has increased.

Two weeks or so ago I decided to swap the third leg of my tube/DLR journey for a mile and a half walk (thereabouts). This has caused some consternation and comments - including from the aforementioned colleague. ("There's more fat on a single chip"). I love it. I only wish I'd thought of doing it sooner.

The last part involves a walk through the park which is where my new man comes in. He's an older Bengali man on his morning constitutional. We exchanged greetings as we passed going in opposite directions. Somehow our paths converged on Friday and I now have a new friend to be teased about.
The first meal of 2007 eaten outside. Couscous, falafel, dips and vegetables eaten in the glorious sunshine on Whitstable beach. Things are definitely getting better.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

"Is it Soc Ed Day Thursday, Miss?"


"What we doing?"


"Oh, shit".

Thirty twelve/thirteen year olds. Five hours of sex education. Spare me a thought.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Everything has been something of a struggle recently but a good weekend has gone some way to restoring the equilibrium.

Good food from Borough Saturday.

Ranunculus from Columbia Road Sunday. I haven't bought cut flowers for a long time -they're not exactly environmentally friendly - but a girl needs a treat every so often.