Sunday, 14 February 2010

Sick of being sick

This is going to be another moanfest so if you don't want to know the score look away now....

I am really feeling the effects of my first winter in 2 years. The snow was great and then some more snow was nice but now that the cold and the wet and the grey are going on and on and on and on, my body is having problems coping. I have been ill in one way or another since the beginning of 2010 and the last straw came this weekend. On top of the 3 week sore throat and bizarre cough that only strikes once a day at precisely 3.10am, I suddenly got gout. Yes gout!! What is going on?? I thought this was a disease of overweight, rural, port drinking old money landowning types and bon viveur farmers? Apparently not. It seems that my complete absence of lifestyle is contributing to extreme dehydration. ie. continuous cold symptoms plus continuous central heating plus zero physical activity which results in an apathy that makes putting water in a glass and drinking it seem too much like hard work.

On the job front there was an announcement last week that the Cultural Olympiad (cultural programme to accompany the 2012 Games), had been quietly dropped. So no more prospects there then! Since my last post I have filled in two proofreading tests for a part-time job on a school leaver's salary, applied to work freelance for an online business that proofreads (?) student essays and sent desperate emails to various people trying to generate some interest in my unique skills set. Resounding silence all round so far.

It's grim. Reminds me a bit of Thatcher's 80s which is doubly disturbing. I managed to leave the country for much of that but leaving again now is out of the question so I guess it's payback time. Rather appropriately the Linton Kwesi Johnson song, 'Inglan' is a Bitch', has been thrown up on random a disturbing number of times recently. Unfortunately no one I've come across seems to quite relate to that sentiment. Everyone has their own more specific bitch - the immigrants, the politicians, the banks. In some cases I've been the bitch and  have already offended several (now possibly former) friends by culturally ill advised comments relating to burn up on re-entry to this sceptred isle. Maybe I should stay in more...

PS.   If anyone in the UAE still reading this drivel is considering coming back to the UK in the near future, DON'T!! 

Monday, 1 February 2010

Double dips

I am still unemployed but am becoming rather more philosophical about it now. In fact am considering myself fortunate for being able to retire in my 40s. My social life has definitely improved and although I don't have the lifestyle that I would like to accompany my early retirement, I do have a PhD in living well on a budget so it's not too bad.

I will of course continue to tout my ass around the market place even if it is just to reassure spouse that I still have earnings potential to contribute to the marriage. However, my prospects are looking grimmer this week because the UK is apparently in danger of a double dip recession. I know all about double dips. Having not had a cold for 2 years I am now getting double dip colds all the time. One ends and within 24 hours of leaving the house that telltale sore throat is with me again.

Apart from double dips the other main conversational trends in the UK these days seem to be migration (more hysterical than 2 years ago), the 'broken society' (political shorthand for election on the way) and paganism (challenging Islam and evangelical Christianity for the fastest-growing-religion-in-Britain prize). Of course some things stay the same and the old favourites as always are the weather, sport, paedophiles and the property market.

Tony Blair's appearance at the Chilcot enquiry caused a conversational ruffle even though everyone knows it's a waste of time and public money. It is very interesting to see just how raw the Iraq issue still is and how much anger it still generates.  The appearance and subsequent press coverage meant there were about 24 hours where it felt like the last 8 years hadn't happened which was very odd.

On the art front I gave a talk this week about the UAE art scene which was fun and have a couple of potential shows - one in May and one in October - so those should keep me occupied. I really need to risk the triple dip cold and venture out into the wilds of London exhibition land too....

In the meantime, here's a pic that encapsulates the contemporary British weekend....