I thought I’d better start updating again, or something, in that vague way that crosses your mind whenever you Make A Major Life Change. “I’m a blogger!” I still think, occasionally, swiftly followed by, “No, Natalie, you haven’t posted for over a year; just because your HILARIOUS blog on how certain politicians look like Thomas the Tank Engine characters went viral that one time, that does not mean you are a BLOGGER. If anything, you are a twitter-addicted MICRO-BLOGGER. You are the ADHD scum of the blogosphere.”
So! A proper update. The LP version of all those twitter EPs that keep flying off the shelves.
I live in LONDON now. I work in NEW MEDIA in SHOREDITCH. This is hilarious to me. Whenever I am feeling a bit stressed, or like I am a child pretending to be a grown-up (i.e. most of the time), I remember this and then everything is amusing again. I am a SELF-FACILITATING MEDIA NODE. So far it is my third day here and no one has yet offered me a line of coke OR a game of ‘Cock Muff Bumhole’. I have also failed to work the adjectives ‘bum’ or ‘well fucking jackson’ into my everyday rhetoric. I am almost saddened by these facts.
I work for a company called Ixxus, who design and implement content management systems and are the UK specialists in Alfresco open source software. Which basically just means we make websites & that. My bossman is tall and stern-looking, like an eagle, and also he is bald, like a bald eagle. He has a very tiny curly-haired poodle that looks more like a TY beanie-baby blacksheep than an actual dog, and he plays catch with it up and down the office. A thing that I like about my new job is, there is free fruit and coffee and tea and biscuits here every day. Mental! A thing I do not like about my new job is, sometimes people make me do work. As usual, my office is very male-dominated (there are only three girls; Marketing, Marketing and Secretarial; hurrah for gender equality!), and full of techies; that said, I have already had to explain what memes are (along with examples) and describe the point of leet-speak (i.e. none).
Speaking of memes! I went to Hay Festival again the other week, and attended a lot of ace internetty talks with exciting and adorable people like Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing and Ben Hammersley of Wired Magazine. I mentioned the Adam Curtis documentary All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace to Ben during his talk, and got told by the chair to shut up since it was too niche for the audience (pfff); afterwards, Sue Blackmore (the world’s! leading! authority! on memes! also she is amazing! and does talks at TED! and has great hair!) literally LEAPT over the room to talk about it with me afterwards. Tl;dr I was pleased by this and am now showing off about it? I might try and be her when I grow up, if being Caitlin Moran doesn’t pan out.
Speaking of Hay! I helped my good friend and book-bummer extraordinaire Lauren Smith out on the Voices for the Library stall a lot during the festival. They’re a really great organisation who are campaigning against library closures around the UK in the wake of coalition cuts, and are deffo worth a look at if you’re into, y’know… books, or literacy, or learning, or children, or any of those important things that we’re supposed to value in an enlightened society. You can follow them on twitter @UKPling.
Here are some things that I have found out about living in London:
- It does not take very long until you get annoyed by very minor delays in public transport. Back in Shropshire I had to wait for two hours to get a bus, and drive for an hour to get to a city; now I get irritated if the tube is more than three minutes late. Last week I also got annoyed because I literally had to go right to the end of my street to find a shop that sells HP sauce, as the shops at my end didn’t stock it.
- Salgam is disgusting. I am kind of against savoury drinks in principle, but this one is the worst of the lot. It is made out of radishes. Radishes are bad enough in solid form.
- Nearly everyone in London is gay. Probably?
- Going on the tube with a hangover gives me panic attacks.
- All of the pubs are too small to actually fit everyone in, which is fine in the summer, but I am not sure how this will work in the winter.
- If you are a girl and have dyed red hair and dress a little oddly and perhaps maybe just happen to be covered in glitter from a gay disco, then blokes will yell “VIVIENNE WESTWOOD!” at you in the streets as though they think this is an insult or something.
Here are some exciting things that I have done so far:
- Been swimming in the outdoor bathing pools on Hampstead Heath. They are very very cold and have enormous fish in them. I quite like it because you can swim after passing ducks and coots. Coot.
- Blagged my way into a party on the Commons Terrace at Parliament and got very drunk on taxpayer-funded wine and a bottle of whisky signed by Nick Clegg.
- Been mugged.
- Watched two seasons of The Vampire Diaries.
- Waded through the fountains in Trafalgar Square and got told off by the police during London Pride.
- Hung out with boy-blogger Rhys Morgan who is a bit of a Skeptic hero of mine for starting campaigning against homeopathy and other such quackery at a young age.
- Arranged to start a ‘zine with my friend Bill and then failed entirely to follow up on it.
- Referred to myself as being “in my mid-twenties” for the first time ever.
- Invented a new euphemism for ones lady-parts. CAT-FLAP. It is totally classy and will definitely get you laid.