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Monday, January 23, 2017

Happy Birthday To Me

So I had a birthday yesterday.  And I have a hangover today.

It wasn't the most glorious start.  Despite not having a job, I don't know where the time goes.  I've been way too busy to clean the house recently and it was a fair mess.

Therefore I decided to start my birthday with a cleaning session, bathroom and kitchen mainly - good timing too as my landlady popped round halfway through.


Then my computer crashed again.  Nothing too unusual as it crashes most days, however it would not turn itself back on.  I quickly became consumed by rage as I certainly cannot afford a new PC being unemployed.  That and I recently paid £99 to have it fixed - I was assured that it would last 2-3 more years by the engineer after the work that they had done.  I was proper fuming.

I didn't even want to celebrate my birthday.  I decided against organising a meal as I hate the embarrassment when half the people that promise to come don't bother turning up - hangover, cold, no money whatever the excuse - just don't fucking promise in the first place.  I can cope with one or two not turning up, people do sometimes have genuine reasons - but last year was embarrassing when nearly 10 didn't bother.  The landlady was not amused and threatened to charge me - until she found out who I was and that I was responsible for quite an uptick in her takings on a Sunday.

Don't get me wrong, it was a great birthday last year but I promised myself never to put myself through the stress again.  So if you were wondering why you had no invite to my birthday meal yesterday - that is the reason.  The only people that came were those that asked what I was doing.

Plus I've been a bit up and down with the whole unemployment thing and simply didn't feel like I should be celebrating my birthday.  Thank you to my wonderful sister for persuading me otherwise.

Very much an inauspicious start to my birthday and I was already in the mood to get drunk by midday.  I have been drinking more over the last few weeks - too much...far too much - I know this doesn't help psychologically.  Don't worry - detox 2017 starts next week.  New rules too.

But as soon as I arrived at the pub and saw my sister, I completely forgot about my relative woes (ok maybe an early rant about my broken computer) and I had a bloody good time.

We were in a good little pub in Kentish Town - I had no idea whether the roast would live up to expected standards and I am not going to tell you yet - you know where to look (later/tomorrow) for that.  We had a cute waitress too - really nice breasts.

We then went to another pub to watch the football (apologies to my non-footballing friends for putting you through that) and then back to that rather nice pub in Kentish Town.  It was a jolly good laugh and I went home in the opposite mood and sobriety that I set out in.

Being drunk, I decided that I would have some halal (goodbye racist friends) peri-peri chicken from Tesco which was absolute garbage.  I probably should have had the cold, dry Chicken Cottage chicken instead.  There was nearly twice as much bone as chicken.  Appalling.

And I watched the new Trigger Happy TV show.  What has happened?  Have I just "grown up" (debatable) or is the new show really dull and predictable?  Bar the cyclist.

I did also get a few small gifts.  Some obligatory birthday hankerchiefs to join the other five unopened packs in my thong drawer, a stand for my recipe books and most importantly, some proper ketchup.  None of this basics shite (which isn't actually that bad).


And then I managed to get my computer working thanks to this list of suggested remedies. It took a while but I'm even more of a stubborn sod when drunk, and eventually when I tried the option of unplugging everything, it went into some DOS CHKDSK thing and 20 minutes later, it started up.

Needless to say that I backed everything up today and shall start doing so on a weekly basis.  I definitely need a new computer.  Once I have a job.

My birthday represented my general life at the moment quite well, a bit of a struggle but a good outcome in the end, mostly thanks to having some wonderful people in my life.

A big thank you to those that delightfully forced themselves onto my birthday celebrations yesterday, and those that took their time out to wish me a happy birthday (I will respond).

Maybe next year I will have another crack at the birthday meal thing.  I should be over my strop by then - I am no Ted Heath.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Psychology Of Unemployment

I hadn't forgotten the psychology of unemployment but maybe I had underestimated it - until now I had been generally as positive as normal.  I'm not one of those impossibly-happy types but generally I am positive about myself, the world - bar the odd moan or ten, especially about Brexit.

It's easy to sit here and criticise the unemployed, and there sure is a fair-sized collective of scumbags who simply don't want to work.  I'm sure I could get A job tomorrow if I was not bothered about what I wanted to do.

Maybe I am simply being a bit too precious insisting that I will be a web developer.  Indeed I have just had my weekly soulful job centre session where they again said "you used to be a credit controller".

This week has been a lesson in managing my ego and my expectations in general.  When I left the last job I concluded that I would be back in work by the end of January at the latest.  I also convinced myself that I would get offered both of the jobs I interviewed for last week.  I am (was?) certainly not short of confidence.

Clearly I need to adjust my expectations.  I am a junior.  I have a reasonably decent portfolio, a reasonable grasp of some technologies and just three month's work experience.  I am likely competing against stronger candidates, those with more work experience or those with computer science degrees.

I could easily be out of work for several months.  Maybe until the summer.  This is going to be a long hard slog.

On the face of it I don't mind it.  It is giving me chance to study and learn more, I have learnt a lot more.  I have done some good work, particularly with my portfolio.

But I cannot do what I want to do.  I cannot go out and get drunk.  I cannot go out for dinner.  I cannot go out for roast dinners.  Museums, theatre, football - whatever it is, I cannot fucking afford to do it.  I need a new computer.  I need a new phone.  I need decent DJ headphones.  I need...want some portable speakers.  I cannot afford any of it.

It really hit home this week when I ended up buying Sainsbury's Basics ketchup.  Which isn't actually that bad to taste, albeit a bit vinegary.  But it was like, "this is my life".


Once I psychologically readjust I shall be fine.  It is my ego that has taken a hit.  Part of me wants to just go hide in a hole and be miserable.  In fact I have pretty much done that the last two days and today too.  I haven't done anything vaguely useful, my room is a mess, my house is a mess, my e-mails are unread and there are a few empty bottles of alcohol.

I have spent a lot of time on Facebook though.  Therefore I am considering deactivating my account until I get a job.  There is a difficulty in that I would have to create a fake account to manage my pages with, and probably give someone I know admin rights to the pages in case Facebook realised it was a fake profile.  Sounds like a ballache, doesn't it?

And I have to stop drinking so much.  I don't normally drink this much, but 5 out of the last 7 days I have had a fair amount.  Only drunk once, but certainly drank enough on other nights - don't worry Phillip Schofield if you are reading, it was Christmas booze and cupboard booze - you haven't been funding it.  I wish I didn't have a birthday to celebrate next weekend, or that I was going away the weekend after.  Not in the mood for either and I don't want to drink.

I will of course go away to Bratislava.  Most of it is already paid for already, I have some Euros and can normally find one or two used post-Ibiza notes.  Plus its about £1 for a beer in Bratislava.  And I know it will do me a lot of good, unless I get frostbite - currently -6'C by DAY.

I am definitely not celebrating my birthday though.  I already had concluded against the difficulties and stress of persuading people to come out on the most miserable and skint weekend of the year in which half always cancel.  Annoyingly I am DJing on the Friday night, well not annoying that I am DJing as I suspect I may enjoy the actual DJing, but annoying because I just want to hunker down and start my detox.

Surprisingly I am now really looking forward to my detox.  Just a few days ago I was doubting my ability to complete it, especially being at home and unemployed.  I wish I could start it today but no way am I going to an airport in two weeks time without an airport beer.  Don't even suggest alcohol-free beer.

Fucking hell it's a bit of a gloomy read isn't it?  Sure I am a bit miserable and have been for a couple of days but there is nothing wrong with being occasionally miserable - there are no highs if there are no lows, and boy I've had a lot of highs in my life.  I find writing about bad times quite cathartic and numerous times I have done so and I actually end up cheering myself up by the process of writing about it and realising that in the grand scheme of life, things are actually pretty good.  Just a little momentary shit blip.

Besides, at least I'm not stuck in a fucking boiling hot office moaning about being too hot despite it being fucking January.  Still gets me angry.  Just realised I don't live in Bracknell any more!  Get the champagne out!

Next post will be all about love, joy, peace and happiness.  Or at least one of those.  I promise.

Right, Jerry Springer must be back on by now...