Thursday, 26 November 2009

We Need To Talk About Morag

Yes, it’s finally time. After all when I started this blog I promised it to follow the trials and tribulations of a job seeker and all I’ve really discussed on these pages has been my rather pleasant social life. Well, despite appearances, I have actually been trying to get a job, quite ardently in fact and so I will describe an average in the life of a dead beat job seeker.

830am The buzzer goes off. I get up in the vain hope it’s the postman with a surprise parcel, but its always the junk mail man pretending to be the postman. I go back to bed disappointed.

9-930am I wake up properly, have shower and make myself presentable.

10am I watch ‘Homes under the Hammer’ onn BBC1 and have my breakfast .

11am I switch on the computer and start my search. This consists of searching some pre-selected websites. I write down any possible jobs, BUT I do not apply for them yet. Instead I complete my search so I have a nice list.

12pm Go down the list and decided which ones I want to apply for and read the job description in more detail.

1230pm Stop for lunch. It is hungry work. This usually consists of some sort of beans/cheese combination. However, if I’ve had to run any errands earlier in the day, I often treat myself to Gregg’s pastry. Oh the fatty delight! I watch Scrubs and wonder why being a doctor wasn’t like that and wonder why anyone would stay with Carla- I mean she is the most annoying, unpredictable, self-obsessed twit. Plus she’s a nurse.

130pm Back to work. Of the fated list of jobs that I have got more information on, I apply for the ones that seem suitable and that I am qualified for.

330pm I furiously scream at the computer when after spending 2 hours filling in an application form, it inexplicably presses the back button and I lose all my work/an error message comes up on the last page not allowing me to send my application.

430pm I think about what to make my good wife for tea and if I have nothing, I nip out to the Tesco metro and curse it’s lack of range and high prices.

445pm on return from Tesco metro I have a well deserved cup of tea and a sly biscuit (my current biscuit of choice are the delightful Christmas cookies from the firm of IKEA).

530pm I start making tea even though I know Sarah won’t be home for another hour and instead I’ll have to keep turning down the oven/stirring whatever I have cooked to ensure it doesn’t burn.

630-7pm Sarah arrives home and tells me about her day. On asking what I did, I tell her about an amusing story I heard on the radio like it was my own life.

730-10pm Sarah and I watch TV whilst playing on our laptops. Occasionally we go out and see the world. Last night we went to her ex’s house (ex-flatmate that is) to play Cranium. FYI we won very convincingly- we destroyed the opposition and just because most of the other teams had a non-English speaker on each one, it in no way diminishes our superiority.

10-11pm Sarah says she has to go to bed, I agree but take some time doing so.

1130pm I write my diary and scrape the day off my face with some apparently non-toxic chemicals from Clearasil (but it’s blue so that can’t be natural- right?)

12- 830am I sleep until awoken by the fake postman. The day begins a-new.

So that’s about it. Obviously there is some variation. I mean very 2nd Wednesday I have to go sign on at 11 and I miss ‘Homes under the Hammer’. Also, I mentioned last time I had an interview that went badly. I was right it did. I remain unemployed. I have another interview tomorrow which I’m convinced I won’t get either. I mean I got a rejection from Boots the chemist last week. I mean come on, I’ve got a friggin' MD. Yes, so anyway I’m not bitter that a certain charity with their offices a 5-minute walk from my flat didn’t decided to employ me after giving me 3 interviews and raising my fragile hopes. I’m completely over it and in no way hope that every one of their 19 employees and associates get the hideous ailment that they are campaigning about. In no way.

So that’s my life laid bare, a whirly gig of excitement isn’t it? I think it would make for a scintillating docu-drama. It could be shown on channel 4 at 8pm between the news and Embarrassing Illnesses. It could be called

Morag: The Perils of the Over-Educated Unemployed (a waste of her time and your money).

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Wedding Days and Dancing Frenzies

I’m going to veer away from my usual mild cynicism to tell you about the joyful occasion at the weekend. Despite being unemployed, my old friends from uni haven’t disowned me (yet) and I had cordially been invited to my dear friend Lori's wedding to another Aberdeen medical school 2006 alumni, Dave. The happy event was held firstly at Lori’s home town church followed by a rather decadent reception at the splendiferous Dunblane hydro hotel.

My seemly constant companion Andi picked me in Edinburgh and we travelled upward to Stirling to our B&B where we changed in a frenzy and got to the church in (plenty of) time. There was a reunion with a vast majority of my uni friends with the notable presence of Katy May and Laura Armstrong who are doctoring it down in England-shire and Suzie, a halls friend unfortunately seldom seen. Unfortunately, there were a few notable absences including Anthony and Cat both gadding about in Oz (‘working’ is their excuse). The church was a grand affair and I could barely contain my excitement waiting for the bride arrive. Typically when she did, I was so overwhelmed my photography suffered, however my vision was not and what a vision she was. Lori looked absolutely wonderful, I can’t gush enough about her delightful strapless dress with a lovely splash of diamantes and she also had a really wonderful veil which sparkled like frost on a spring morning! Yes, I was slightly overcome with emotion, but I did not cry, go me!

The reception followed afterwards, as is the custom and despite a bizarre sat-nav incident where it tried to take us on to the railway track, we successfully got there. Suzie had a room and kindly allowed to check my hair and make-up where I discovered my hair was still perfectly in place (in fact I put so much hairspray into my improvised ‘up-do’ that it remained that way overnight and for a large part of the next day). However my tights had ripped in the most spectacularly bizarre fashion, where the leg on the left side had met the crotch there was a massive hole! What to do? My dress was long and it could not be seen, but what if the ladders spread?! Fortunately Suzie had clear nail varnish and I generously applied it to the hole and the underlying leg. This would become a problem later on that I will return to.

The reception was lovely. Gush gush gush. I was a table with my two wives (as they became to be known that night), Andi and Sarah and several other delightful friends. We laughed, we ate, we drank and we whoop whooped at the speeches (or was that just me). I’m not saying we had the funnest table, but on discovering we had two surname place settings with ‘cock’ in them and with Andi surname of Ma, we did arrange them in rather amusing fashion- hohoho. You can see the rather hilarious outcome of this high jinks on my facebook photos album cunningly labelled ‘Lori’s wedding’.

And then the best part of the wedding began- the ceilidh. Just like Nicole Kidman says in her rather sickening advert for Chanel no5 ‘I love to dance!’ and I do, especially ceilidh dancing. On moving through to the hall area, a few uni friends gathered at a small table were instantly, seemly with powerful psychic powers of observation, inundated by the waiters bringing through all the left over wine from the meal and placed it on our table- the joy. In fact by the end of the evening, our small take contained about 8 bottles of rather fine vino that kept us all in merry spirits. There is something to be said about being a layman at a Christian wedding....

Anyway soon the band started, my shoes came off and the dancing began. And it went on. And on. Even when the band took a break and put a cd on, me and my two wives could not be persuaded from the dance floor and some rather amusing dancing with small children occurred. In retrospect, Sarah and I grabbing the ankles and wrists on Lori’s cousin, Amy the flower girl and hurling her around, whilst amusing, was perhaps not the safest procedure for any involved. Fortunately, no serious injuries were incurred. After a very vigorous Arcadian Strip the Willow followed by a enthusiastic Old Lang Syne, the wedding was finally over. Andi and I had opted to stay at B&B as mentioned and had to get on the free bus to get to our beds. We were joined on this by several of the guests including Karen (currently in Dumfries) and her rather delightful boyfriend Michael whom I had just that night for the first time. Karen and Michael were both enthusiastic ceilidhers during the wedding and the four of us sat on the bus rather loudly discussing what fun we had and singing various songs. Curiously their destination was the first the bus stopped at, followed by our own and I have to suspect that the bus driver in fear for his ear drums ensured our abodes were the first arrived at. Or perhaps I’m just being paranoid. On retiring to our room, it was then I discovered the error of using half a bottle of nail varnish to affix your tights- it sticks to the skin. I near gave myself a free wax getting my hosiery off.

Lots more happened at the wedding than I was aware of. The down side of dancing near every dance at a ceilidh is that you lose the opportunity to talk to people, so I send my apologises to all my friends that I barely spoke to during the happy occasion. But you should all know, I just do love to dance! A major thing that was missed during my dancing frenzy was the presence of some of the Celtic football team in the adjacent bar. To be honest if I had seen them, I wouldn’t have been aware of it, such is my lack of interest in football. However by all accounts, many of my fellow guests were greatly excited by this. One of those similarly unclued up by footballers was my landlady wife Sarah, who on looking for her jacket in the cloakroom inadvertently asked one of the Celtic players to fetch her coat only to be informed the man she had asked assistance was not on staff. One thinks the Celtic strip he was wearing was a clue, but may I just remind you there were 8 bottles of free wine on our table.

The next day I felt surprisingly clear headed, but my body ached. My legs, my calves epically told me in no uncertain terms that in future I should stretch before embarking on a 5 hour ceilidh dance marathon. But it was worth it.

The rest of this week has been fairly standard. Looking for jobs, an interview (which I did not feel went well, but I’m yet to hear), eating crisps with Sarah and watching Buffy. I did go see a Eddie Izzard gig in Glasgow with my landlady wife and her brother last night which was funny and makes a change from the usual. However, despite this respite from the norm, the seemly unending days of unemployment are beginning to take their toll. Mainly on my shoulders as hours hunched over my laptop scouring for jobs is playing havoc with my upper back and that combined with the uncomfortable seating at the Eddie Izzard gig and the mad dancing of the weekend, I’m beginning to feel rather stiff and crippled.

Perhaps its time for a holiday?

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

The Witching Hour

Now not to give you a false idea of unemployment, but I find myself continually writing about going to parties on this blog. Being on the dole isn’t all fun and games you know; it can be quite hard work.

In fact just yesterday I ripped my favourite jeans and had to go out and buy new ones. As most girls know, finding the perfect fitting pair of jeans can be an troublesome and lengthy process, but I had set myself to task and was not to be thwarted. I even had to face the terror of shopping on Princes Street as, as much as I enjoy adventuring to the small boutiques of Cockburn Street and the like, affordable denim is not really their forte. So I bravely marched up and down the ghastly congested hell and tried on about every pair of jeans in the city.

I find it odd when in one shop leg length 32 is too short, then the next too long. Same goes for the waist. In New Look I tried on a size eight that was too big and in H&M a size 12 that I couldn’t do up. Now I know a little variation is to be expected, but this seems like madness to me. I thought the whole idea of standardisation of sizes was for the that very idea- to be standard. When buying jeans are you meant to to take three sizes of waists along with three sizes of leg length? This would result in approximately (to get all the waist and leg combinations) 9 pairs of jeans per shop multiplied by each shop say 10, meaning that to buy one pair of jeans, you have to try on 90 pairs. Pure madness. I didn’t quite try on that many pairs, however it did begin to feel that way. You’ll be glad to know, that yes I was indeed eventually successful in my quest and yes, I did go back and buy the first pair I tried on. I now have the unenviable task of wearing them in- it is a hard life!

Anyway back to parties! It was Halloween on Saturday- what a fortunate day for this holiday to occur. It’s always rather disappointing (unless you are a lazy student) when this occasion falls on a Tuesday or the like as often the opportunity of having a party to attend is reduced or the length of time/effort of the costume is reduced by work/time/getting the blasted make-up off in time for work constraints. Not that these things currently affect me.

So the lovely kiddie doc Jenny and I attended a party of one of her colleagues which unsurprisingly was me and a bunch of doctors and curiously a stop motion animation producer. Her friend who had thrown the party had put a terrific amount of effort in to the affair. Her entire (rather spacious and delightful Morningside abode) flat was transformed into a terrible cocoughany of fake blood oozing from the walls, famous art work given a Halloween make-over and an array of ghoulish sweets and nibbles including punch with eyeballs floating in it. I was very impressed.

Also impressive were the costumes of her attendees. I was concerned, it being a house party that people wouldn’t make the same effort. I was wrong. There was some real blood and sweat put in to these costumes, of particular note were the Ghostbusters who came complete with Slimer and Janine the secretary. Their ghostbuster backpacks were spectacular. On the other hand while some people put effort into their physical costuming, others put their effort into the idea behind their outfits. Without question the two men who came dressed as Joseph and Elizabeth Fritzl certainly made the biggest impact on me for inventiveness, but that is not to say I shared their taste in this rather interestingly themed costume.

Personally, I use Halloween to dress like I never normally would- a harlot. This year I dressed as the iconic Sally Bowels from Cabaret (I just love Liza) and enthusiastically attempted to recreate her costume from the show stopper Mein Heir. I thought I’d done a pretty good job, when my mother and fancy man came to visit the night before Halloween and suggested I should get a cheap wig as my hair is brown and long whilst Sally’s was short and black. I wasn’t sure I would be very successful in this mission, but I found one I thought looked appropriate and on Halloween I brought it round to Jenny’s to ask for her help in affixing it.

On looking in the mirror, I got quite a shock. Below I have put some photos (I’m getting the hang of it now, well almost). You can decide whom I looked more like- Sally Bowles or my mother.