Friday, June 24, 2005

London's Burning

And so my fifth day of unwanted self-unemployment begins, and the sky is no longer on fire. And I’ve got yet another day of fruitless job-hunting ahead of me.

I haven’t had the chance to do any writing of any kind for the last week, and I fear this may turn into a permanent state of play until I start carving my day into immutable chunks: family time, job-hunting time, writing time, etc. At the moment, it’s just a huge lump of shapeless hours that disappear quickly and before I know it, the sun is setting again and I haven’t got anything done.

I’ve been battling a particularly virulent bout of hayfever for the last week, trying to get stuff done with my head swollen, a neverending supply of mucus clogging up my nostrils, strangling my brain, coagulating on mountains of tissues strewn all over the house. Lovely.

On top of that, London has been melting for the last week, a wall of heat pushing down from above, not a breeze in the air to take the edge off the fire. Yesterday, on the hottest day of the year, with temperatures topping out at around 31 degrees C, I bravely / stupidly (delete as applicable) ventured into the heart of London for a press screening. Which meant tackling the horrors of the unventilated subterranean inferno that is the London Underground, drowning in the sweat of a thousand commuters, my skin permanently slick with a sheen of bubbling perspiration, rapidly darkening with the grime of the Big Smoke clinging to me like a black membrane of ash.

And to make it worse, the air-conditioning at the cinema was broken…so there was a room full of film critics pumping out acrid heat, listlessly fanning themselves with press notes, swilling warm water that was supplied to try and keep us from passing out.

After the movie, there was a bit of a party thing going on, so I grabbed a couple of ice-cold beers and propped up the bar, with the beer turning into steam the second it touched my lips. I didn’t stay for long: I didn’t recognise anybody I knew there, so I headed for the exit soon after.

What else? The last week has included my leaving drinks from my last job; Father’s Day; my second wedding anniversary; Batman Begins…but I haven’t got time to get into all that now. There are jobs to find, writing deadlines to meet, facial hair to shave. Otherwise, before I know it, the demands of family life will interrupt my already fractured flow, and it will be the weekend again.

I’m busier now than when I had a full-time job! Where the hell has that 40 hours a week gone?

No comments: