Thursday, 24 March 2011

A bit of news.

  So I got a job. Finally. And I got my cat neutered. Big earth shattering news we are dealing with here, huh?
Again, I have so much to say, and then I log on to find myself utterly tongue (finger?) tied. Come on, Matilda. I now work for a local arms-lengh management...thing... that deals with council tenants, as well as locals in the area, and their benefits.

   Whilst at the Job Centre most of the staff have been long-term unemployed at some point, my colleagues have not. Having to deal with a humanity which is frequently rude and demanding, and coincidentally receiving benefits has made them all quite derogatory about people on benefits and the wasting of their tax money. Having spent six months on the dole, I find this attitude pretty irritating. No one is having fun on the dole. Ok, that is not quite true. But if all you have is your dole money, there simply isn't enough of it to be living the high life (a life which to be honest, I despise anyway), and by that I mean a financially free and loush life, full of material consumption. I sound like a wanker. And yes, there are people who take the piss out of the system, but the system is there to help. Just because some people manage to work it does not mean the system is wholly corrupt, or rubbish. Now I'm not quite on the other side of the counter (like the Job Centre staff), but kind of worse. At the Job Centre they deal with the 'finding a job' bit, the bit that is so frustrating, because you deal with people who, like me, perhaps, want a job, but who struggle to find one, especially because they do not already have one (fucked up trap?). This is the frustrating, depressing bit. But the stuff I deal with, people's payslips, their bank statements, their sick notes, their applications to have a council house, and their stories (and I mean this in a truthful rather than fairytale way) is truly harrowing.

  In a way I like the job because I like people, and I'm interested in politics and social studies. But really my job is (when you remove the people) a very repetitive, quite boring, and very tiring way to spend my working day. So here I am, complaining again. But I'm not. When I got the job, I was over the moon, just at the wonderment of getting a job, finally! When you want a job, and you get one, you overlook the fact that, wait, this is not what you wanted to do, not even slightly. This post, dear reader, is starting to sound depressing, sorry for itself, but it really isn't, I promise. I am happy. This job will help me get other (yes, other rubbish) jobs in better places, and then hopefully I can get better jobs in better areas. You see. Horizontal movement, then onwards and upwards.  And while I have said I despise a life of excessive capitalism, money is a useful thing. Money, when you don't have any, feels like the most important thing possible. But when you have just a little bit you can almost forget about it, a little at least. The experience of being on the dole has definitely taught me, at the risk of sounding like someone's grand-dad the 'value of money'. Hopefully I won't unlearn that.

   And now, having said that I hate excessive consumerism and now know the value of money, I will just add a little disclaimer. I have done some shopping! Three fantastic late sixties frocks from a local charity shop (a fantastic find!), a long skirt that looks like it should possibly have been curtains, a velvety number that reminds me of a psychedelic stained glass window, a black velvet dress with bell sleeves that has made it's way from the US, to me, back again to the US, and now, hopefully, is returning to me, a 1920s silk lined fur hood, and a 1950s wedding veil, which I have not stopped prancing about in since I found it two weeks ago sitting in the window of the charity shop I used to volunteer at. A rather large amount of stuff...I'm hoping to take some photos and show you, since my words can only stand for so much in the absence of pictures.

  But really the relief of having a job and therefore some money is not that I can now start living much differently from how I was materially, because I have always shopped secondhand for more or less everything, and cut my own hair and such, but that I can now envisage a future. I don't care that I want to believe that money doesn't mean anything. It does. Money means choice. Money means a freedom. It means, depending on the way you look at it, either an autonomy or a further involvement with slavery of free will. Since I am happy, I choose to believe it gives me autonomy I did not have two months ago.

I'm sorry if this post is convoluted, a mess, hypocritical, indecisive, all of the above, I wrote this at 5.30 am, and am still recovering from getting my cat neutered... (!). If you got this far, well done, have a cup of tea and we'll forget this ever happened.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010


For some reason I think I might find it easier to post actual entries once I've shown my face. So this is my face.
Horrible horrible picture but at least the only way is up! Excuse the smirks (hello, duck face) and extreme close-ups.
I'm going to cook some dinner now, and then I'm hopefully going to go and see what's going down at the Dalston WI. I will report back!
I'm wearing a vintage velvet dress with vines on (so much less showy than florals, huh?) that I bought from a charity shop and vintage 1970s Lilley and Skinner shoes. There's my drum bits in the background, we only just moved in. This is one of my favourite winter dresses, but I'm pretty sure I wore it when I joined the Shoreditch WI this time last year! oops. Pretty embaressing considering my groaning wardrobe.

Monday, 29 November 2010


It is too late to pretend I don't exist, as I have just commented on TWO other blogs. Oh dear.
Length of posts suggests perhaps Twitter would have been a better choice for me...

Stage fright

I will post on you, Blog. I will!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Gruß dich meine Freundin

This feels incredibly strange. Talking to people I know are out there but not (yet?!) listening. It isn't a conversation yet, just a monologue, one which I haven't prepared for. Except in a way I have been preparing for it. I have been reading blogs for literally years and following, nay stalking, a few. I feel a bit of a creep actually. A peeping tom. I have never ever commented on any of the posts I wanted to, or said any of the things I was thinking, or offered suggestions even when I had some. This was stupid. For some reason I felt crippled and silenced by self-conciousness, but only online. In reality I am confident, comfortable and affable, I think...

Anyway, this is all a bit too pathetic for my liking, so I'm just going to start.
My name is Matilda. I live in London with my boyfriend and my so-sexy-he's-edible kitten (His name is Kitten, obviously, but when he gets bigger he will be called Chairman Mao. It just seems a bit grand for a small fluffy kitten. He will eventually be manly though. Boo!)
I am a keen maker of things. Anything. I love to sew, draw, paint, knit and cook. I think I like to write but my reluctance to start a blog says different.
I graduated this year, and surprise surprise have found it near impossible to get a job, so I am currently unemployed. I studied Joint Honours English and Film Studies. You imagine I like film, and you are not wrong. I was going to start a Masters in Film in September but then I realised (I had realised months ago, but I was in denial) I just couldn't afford to do it. For a few weeks i refused to read fil critics, watch films, etc. The shelf of film theory books mocked my naivity. I just felt like an idiot. But it was also a blessing because I had also started seriously doubting my desire to do an MA. I originally wanted to be a lecturer in Film Philosophy. But the thought of the pressure and the young people all needing you and having to sit in front of a computer for hours and having to do so much sodding admin all made me think that maybe it isn't for me. My ideal job would go something like this;
Get up. Earlyish, I like to get up early and go to bed early, much to the chagrin of everyone I know (except my mother of course, who thinks I am very sensible indeed and follows suit). Eat something delicious. favourites include Eggs Benedict, Bircher muesli and the most buttery crumpets you did ever see.
Catch up with the blogosphere.
Play dress up.
Get on my extremely heavy bike and cycle to somewhere with lots of charity shops. Hey, this is my ideal job in my ideal world, so let us say there are as many hours in the day as I wish, and there is also an incredible jumble sale on the way, with only old ladies to fend off.
Cycle home, picking up a Salt Beef bagel with sweet mustard for lunch. Or two. Yum.
Then spend the whole afternoon listening to the radio, watching rubbishy telly, or decent films and doing stuff. A little knitting or what have you. Accompanied by treats, and kitten.
Then have a delicious dinner, possibly with some nice people, maybe a beer, and fall asleep, relaxed and happy.

Sounds good yeah?
So I decided that I want to be self-employed. I am not cut out to work in admin. I am too lazy, I am wrong for it. It is wrong for me. So recently I started saying, when people ask, 'Oh, I'm kindof self-employed', to which they reply 'Doing what?' and I say, 'A bit of everything really', and then either reel off a load of things I'd like to do, or change the subject, because I'm not really.
But I am working towards it. In January I start a Pattern Cutting course at my local community college. It won't leave me qualified as such, but it is the only course I can realistically afford, and it will give me a flavour of whether this is what I want to do. Ideally (this word is cropping up a lot) I would like to trade in Vintage and Secondhand accessories as well as my own knits and clothing. And some hats. I have currently reserved all the millinery books in London Libraries, and they are winging their way to my branch. 'Practical Millinery' arrived last week. I am lost with it. But I will keep trying. I am currently making a blue wool minidress with 3/4 sleeves and a matching floral half hat. But the tits are all pointy, and I'm not good enough to know how to fix them.
So I think I'm starting the blog in order to feel less isolated, to vent, to acknowledge enjoyment of life and the internet, to get in touch with people I like. University was a bit boring for me. No one wanted to 'do' anything. I love London, and I love being here, but I have managed to cut myself off from people. When I meet people I enjoy myself and it reminds me that people seem to enjoy my company. I like that. But the people I like most are also the people who are doing the most, and are so busy that I feel intimidated in to not even trying to fit myself in to their lives. And then I go back to hibernating, and plotting my return. It is pretty funny really.
I am worried I am being too candid, too pathetic, and just embaressing myself. But I want to do this, and I need to be this in order to start the 'journey', har har. I'm self-concious that I am making myself look like a self-absorbed, depressed, whiney arse.
But I promise, Dear not-there-yet readers, I will prove to you that I am not.
 (how do I end this?!)


(I am not German, but I started German classes (and never finished them- Sorry David) and 'grüß dich' and 'tchuss!' were two of my favourite phrases.)