Monday, 29 March 2010

Starting to think my lax approach to selling materials to students might be having an adverse impact on the sales budget.

"erm... yeah... err... an A4 sketchbook... erm... good choice... so, erm, yeah... right, erm, how much does it say on the list?? Hmmm, two pounds... okay... erm... so... err... shall we say a pound?"

"You haven't got any money today... hmmm, right... is that a lie? No? Err, well... oh, okay then. I believe you. But please, you've got to bring it in tomorrow otherwise I'm likely to forget. No, really, I will forget."

Thursday, 18 March 2010


Another doorstop has appeared in Reprographics.

Do I take it?

Tuesday, 16 March 2010


Thought I was hallucinating earlier. Turns out I was only in Pret.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Still waiting on a reply to an email I sent last week regarding some studio space thingy. The TAP project in Southend... don't imagine we'll stand a chance but it was worth a go. Anyway, I've noticed that, whenever you're hoping for an email, the only ones you'll ever get are from eBay or fucking PayPal. Heh. Nothing worse... you log into your account and see there's something in the inbox. The hopes go up. Maybe you smile. You click it... and there it is...

"Adam Gardner, wave goodbye to cheques and send money online for free"

Thoroughly depressing. Especially regarding this particular email. I thought she'd reply straight away... I'm sure it's the right email address as I've had dealings with her before over a similar thing. I just find it odd that a young creative woman doesn't check her emails on a regular basis. Seems highly unusual to me - especially when you're a practising artist and the email address is the admin one from your website. But, anyway, probably a logical answer to it all. I'm definitely reading too much into the delay, I know that. I mean, maybe some people are just busy, as much of an alien concept as it is to me. Heh, I forget that other people have lives of their own to lead.

Ha. I must've gone about 3 years without receiving a single email... not one... but I'd still check my account everyday. So, in essence... pull yer socks up, lady!

Out on another trip tomorrow - the Saatchi and then Tate Britain for the Chris Ofili show. Should be a good day. Looking forward to it.

Not looking forward to the ticket-buying malarkey at the station though. It's, like, one of the easiest things in the world to buy a train ticket... yet, ask for groupsaver travelcards at Benfleet and you're well and truly fucked. I mean, there can't be many things c2c staff enjoy more than that. I hate it. They make it so difficult for you. Always the same. It's blindingly obvious that you're four people in a group; therefore you will probably wish to pay only your share of the fare. Everybody pays their share... no problem. However, they will insist on taking the full amount. They'll begrudgingly break the sum down for you on a conveniently placed calculator, but I'll never understand why - when the change is clearly visible next to the cashier - they won't allow each person to pay their share separately. Because, yeah, it's not difficult to work out - I understand that - but, when you've got students who aren't really familiar with what's going on, it quickly becomes a nightmare. You end up standing there for far longer than you would if the cashier just used some common sense and helped you. Of course, they never will. It's enjoyment. I see it in their eyes.



Sunday, 14 March 2010

Come on Jenson!

Realistically I know that the title will probably go to Vettel, Alonso or Massa... but I'm backing Button. Obviously it's going to be tough just getting the better of Hamilton, but he can only surprise people given that everybody seems to think Lewis will wipe the floor with him. The fact that he had the bollocks to put himself on the line at McLaren says it all for me. As for Schumacher, the backlash has already begun... but I think he's gonna be up there. I mean, who seriously expected him to jump straight back into the cockpit of arguably the third fastest car and dominate? If he hadn't made it through to Q3 yesterday I'd probably feel a little differently now, but 7th doesn't worry me at all. All this shite about Rosberg having the edge over him too... hardly an issue, Rosberg could quite easily be challenging for the championship himself. I mean, If Schumacher's still struggling four or five races into the season then, yeah, there may be reason to worry, but I feel quite confident about him and not surprised by his grid position at all. Much as I want to see Jenson defend his title, I'd love it if Michael won it. Or Alonso. Or Vettel. Or Massa. Or Webber. Or Hamilton...

Just the sight of Fernando Alonso getting into that Ferrari yesterday damn near killed me.


A good race. Not sure I like the no-refueling format much, but time will tell. First reaction seems to be that it takes a major element of excitement away, even though the tyre changes still preserve a degree of pit strategy and luck. Quite pleased with the results though. Although, as expected, my brother couldn't pass up the opportunity to remind me Hamilton got one over on Button, like I didn't see it coming. Heh. He loves the chance to indulge in a little Button-bashing every now and then. Who am I to deny him such pleasure? But, another race or two and he'll come good... I know it.

Anyway, shame about Vettel (again) but massive kudos to Fernando & Felipe for mopping that shit up. Nice to see Schumacher put in a solid, if a little unremarkable drive, to gain a position and a pick up a few points too. On the whole I think it's been a good opening weekend for him. Certainly could've been a lot worse. No doubt the papers will treat it as a major disaster.

But that's enough F1 for now. I seem to have come over all Martin Brundle on yo ass. Not necessarily a bad thing, but maybe there's a time and a place for coming over all Martin Brundle on ass, and that time and place might not be here. So, in celebration of his return to the podium and to finish this entry on a big fuck-off high, I'll leave you with a picture of Felipe Massa. But it could be Danny DeVito, I'm not sure. Over!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

What with all the complaining I was doing yesterday, I forgot to mention something that was actually the highlight of my day. Now, keep in mind that I was having an awful morning, phoning supplier after supplier and trying to find out what was going on with various deliveries that we're waiting on. We've got exams starting in a couple of weeks, see, and it's a little touch and go as to whether I've gone and made a monumental fuck up or two. It's still too early to be sure one way or the other.

Sketchbooks were proving to be a major issue yesterday. We ran out of our little supply of A3 in the staffroom so I went to grab more from my cupboard in the darkroom. Turns out that there weren't any there either... a bit of a problem. I was sure that I'd anticipated this a few weeks ago so I crawled through the shite on my desk in order to trawl through my paperwork. My paperwork is surprisingly robust... but there was no sign of an order there, not good. So I had to start making my calls. Anyway, to cut a long and rather pointless story short, I was told that we had made an order and that it had been received, but they couldn't give me a clearer idea than "sometime next week" as to when we'd have them. The books were delivered in the afternoon. It's either a sign of my laid-back genius or a sign of my extremely good fortune... I don't know which. Although I suspect it's the latter. This is the second time it's happened like that.

So there I was, having a bit of a stress, trying to find out when the sketchbooks would arrive - assuming that I'd ordered them in the first place - and trying to track down the ten boxes of A4 glossy photo paper Jessops hadn't sent us and why, when I'd placed the order nearly two months ago, we were still yet to receive any canvases from another supplier. I knew that I needed to do something that would swing the balance a little. It wasn't even 9:30 yet and I was already struggling. The 12:00pm countdown had yet to begin & I was already in serious danger. I needed to raise morale, but how?

And that's when it happened. It was instinctive; a fleeting moment of brilliance. An opportunists' crime. The perfect crime...

I was down in Reprographics picking up a box of A4 printer paper. One of those mundane little tasks that you just get on with. Our Repro room is quite small; you open the door to a small counter where there's usually a lady standing there, or a chap who'll disconcertingly refer to you as 'Sir'. All the way around the room, at waist height, is some white plastic cladding which covers electrical wires. There are mains sockets set into this, and a couple of photocopiers running from them. It's lovely. Anyway, sitting atop the cladding to the left of the door is a little doorstop. Nothing special, just a small wedge of wood. These things are quite sought after in our college... there never seem to be enough to go around. So, I'd known of this particular doorstop for quite some time - months maybe - and I'd thought about stealing it for nearly as long. Yet something had always held me back in the past. Not anymore though. I took it.

I'd handed the lady my little slip of paper (which I've taken to signing myself in protest of the whole bullshit process of requiring heads of department to sign. It's paper, for fuck sake!) and turned towards the door to leave. She'd never suspect me, I knew that. With one smooth swooping action I flicked open the door and snatched the doorstop, pocketing it within seconds. As I said earlier, it was instinctive & I hadn't planned on doing it at all - I mean, we certainly didn't need one... I'd fashioned a crude yet very effective doorstop out of a 50cm wooden rule and a tin of old ASDA Smart Price sardines only a week before.

Got back to the office and paraded it around the room. But there was to be no standing ovation, no cries of Bravo! and no back-slapping. If anything, Barry seemed nonplussed by my doorstop... a bit of a disappointment... but, hey, you've got to take your victories when & wherever you can in this life. Remember that.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Today Mick Gawthorp gave me a deck of playing cards complete with the faces of Iraqi military generals. An unusual gift.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Saw somebody from work in Superdrug today. I must've been standing next to her for about a minute before I recognised her. I knew that I had to say hello - and I wanted to - but, for yet another reason that I'll never fully understand, I felt too embarrassed to do it. Not too embarrassed because I was in Superdrug or anything like that, but more like because me saying hello would be an unwelcome or an awkward thing or something similar.

It's a weird one... as you can be standing next to somebody you know but haven't noticed yet and feel perfectly fine... but then the moment you realise that they're there you have to do something. You need to make a decision... and you need to make it fast. Either you say hello or you pretend that you haven't noticed. Only you can't pretend you haven't noticed. Because that tiny little fucking moment of realisation means that you can never go back. Things have changed. It's over. You have to say hello straight away. But I couldn't do it... I tried twice but physically couldn't go through with it. I then decided to lean towards her in a subtle & probably quite peculiar way in an attempt to catch her eye. It didn't work. It was an awful couple of minutes. That horrible situation where you've left it too long... and you know you've left it too long... and yet the longer you leave it the more excruciating it becomes. I don't know whether or not she noticed me in the end. But I think that if she had - and considering that unlike me she seems like a normal person - she would have said hello. At least I hope so.

Anyway, as uncomfortable as this whole episode was, it only lasted about 5 minutes from start to finish. Plus, while all the inner turmoil was going on, I was simultaneously chomping on an apple (a Royal Gala) & talking to my mum - whom was also standing next to me & whom I had realised was there. So, yeah, if I was noticed & it gets mentioned on Monday, I can point to the apple as a valid excuse for my ignorance. Heh. On the subject of the apple... when she (my mum) had suddenly veered off the high street and into the shop, I was left standing outside with my apple. I quickly found myself cursing the decision I'd made to start eating it. It was cold and I hadn't thought it through. A few chilly chomps later I came to my senses and thought what the fuck am I doing? I mean, I was standing out there in the cold like I was puffing away on a bloody cigarette or something. It was an apple! I took it inside and continued to eat it. I kept a close eye on the staff, looking for any sign it was causing bother, but it seemed to be ok. It worries me that I was worried I'd be kicked out of Superdrug for eating an apple.

So, if nothing else, at least I can sleep a little easier tonight knowing that eating an apple in Superdrug is an acceptable thing.