Enough people have asked me if I'm alright, I've started wondering myself.

Last night I was out with Simon and Rachel and it was quite a lot of fun, but quite a lot of standing around playing gooseberry too. I don't think that was bad in itself - I thought we had a pretty good time. I just can't work out if there's something going deeper than that I should be worried about.

I was in bed by midnight last night and slept through my alarm until nearly 10am. Not having a real job right now helps matters in that respect. Perhaps it is respect that I'm lacking right now - I feel rather fat and ugly, more so than I have done in a while. I also feel like there are a number of people I have not been able to help when it has seemed they've most needed it. And I hate that, more than I can describe.

I don't know if I'm a good friend or not. I try to be, but in a way that makes the inevitable failings seem all the worse. And how many of the failings aren't inevitable per se, but only because it's me? I'm not the greatest at social communication. Oddly enough, I'm fine at work - phoning, writing, whatever - but at home I just can't. I've been very very crap to a number of people, and others just seem to have to take what they get from me, and I feel bloody inadequate for that.

Of course, it's not me to decide who my friends are, really. I do care for every single friend I have, no matter how awful I am at showing it.. but if the love appears entirely internal, is it all a delusion? Would people really miss having me, or is it more they'd miss the fact they could approach me if they needed to? And am I becoming less approachable these days?

I really, really don't know how people can call me important. I know I'm not important. I'm not going to change the world. I hope I can, in some way, make a few people's lives better - but I never believe I'm having a overwhelmingly positive influence on people's lives anyway.

Perhaps when it comes down to it, I'm just a raging hypocrite who can't cope with his own life and has to turn to other people's to give his existence some value. Perhaps the only way to measure the value of a life *is* by the effect it has on other people. I don't know.

I want to be there for my friends. Right now, I'm not. Therefore right now, my life has very little meaning. That's not right, it's not clever, and it's dangerous. But fucked if I know what the hell to do about it, eh?

Sorry, everyone. I will try harder.
Can't be bothered to write much.

Lots of people are really lovely.

Jobs situation looking pretty good.

Tired.

I ate too much pizza at the weekend.

Need sleep.

Yeah.
Was in Waterloo office until 7 today doing bits and pieces. Couldn't be bothered to get the tube home so I just walked and walked and walked (round in circles a bit as I didn't have an A-Z, d'oh)

About 10 miles probably. Mmmm.

Looking forward to this weekend :)
I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for your support in what has been a very difficult time. I will keep you all posted as to what happens, I promise. Right now I am rushing around like a headless chicken, but I promise I will respond to each and every message soon.

Humbled by your friendship,
Niall
This weekend is sounding very exciting indeed :)

Does anyone know of any good, reasonably cheap strip clubs in London? :>

(I was going to post an angry entry earlier, but I am not any more. Pfft.)
Was supposed to be going to the pub but Simon appears to be getting laid instead of getting drunk with me :p Oh well :)

Sara came to visit this weekend, and Becky popped over too, and we hit London. Well, I say hit, but it was more like slapped with a wet hanky really, since it took us aaaages to find somewhere to eat and then we only managed three drinks before closing time. Oops :)

Am falling off chair laughing at conspiracy theorists on Channel 4. Evidence, I want evidence, not owl gods!

Black and White earlier was sad and depressing. Not sure I like living in a country like this sometimes. Perhaps Enoch Powell was offering a self-fulfilling prophecy :( Are people really so stupid? :\

*sigh*

Ah well. Tomorrow is another week at work.
I am tired.

I feel a little sick as I have done since yesterday afternoon.

I need sleep.

Blah.

Becky came round again.. was nice nice nice. Yay. :) But she's gone now. :(

Out later with Simon, if I ever finish my bloody work.

And I've swum 3 times this week, tomorrow will be 4, so I am quite pleased (as are my finally-regaining-some-definition biceps). Excellent.

Oh, and I worry. :\
i'm on a roll
i'm on a roll
this time
i feel my luck could change
kill me Sarah
kill me again
with love
it's gonna be a glorious day

pull me out of the aircrash
pull me out of the lake
cause I'm your superhero
we are standing on the edge

the head of state has called for me by name
but i don't have time for him
it's gonna be a glorius day
i feel my luck could change

pull me out of the aircrash
pull me out of the lake
cause I'm your superhero
we are standing on the edge

we are standing on the edge

Questions

May. 14th, 2001 04:39 pm
1. What's the area around Stockwell tube station like? That looks like a good area to go live in, geographically.

2. Did you know there's a community for people in London called london_party? (hint, hint ;)

3. Why am I so ruddy knackered?

4. Did anyone read my review below (and if so, was there really nothing worth commenting on? Apart from those people I talked to about it of course)

5. Hmmm, do you?
So. The End of Politics by Noreena Hertz, or as Neil calls her, the Cambridge Professor for No Logo. Funnily enough that book wasn't even mentioned, although I suspect there was deep inspiration sourced from it.. although the publisher of the book, effectively Rupert Murdoch, was taunted about his intervention over the Patten book denouncing China. Ho hum.

It must be hard to get people interested in political documentaries, although you would have thought that one such as this, with such potential populist appeal, would sell itself.. but just to make sure, Channel 4 employed a cameraman (or in today's liberal society, possibly camerawoman) who obviously had a thing about Noreena, because every interview which took place involved about 50% of her face, 25% panning and 25% of the subject in question. Infuriating when you were looking for people's body language behind the bold statements they were making, only to see gorgeous Noreena pouting and nodding. Yes, we know she's good looking Channel 4, now can we get back to the issue?

The issue at hand being, of course, globalisation. The faked-up lecture scene extensively used, pretending to be from the boards of the lecture theatres of one of my old stomping grounds, the Judge Institute of Management Studies, was frankly awful. No lecture theatre that I know of has a spotlight and a black background (and foreground) - how on earth would you be able to take notes otherwise?

So an academic who is pretty and not particularly skilled at presentation, being awfully directed and edited (or, perhaps, indulged?) by a pretty risible technical crew.. but what of the message itself? How lost did it get in the medium?

The advantage they all had, of course, is that this is fundamentally a terrifying and striking enough issue to shine through almost any presentation - even that of smelly rioters with dogs on string (even if the media pay them to look violent because the actual protests are disappointingly devoid of violence.. doubters should listen to the media camera crews who were told to "ignore peaceful protest and film the troublemakers"). So, global corporations taking over the world. There was the story of Honduras.. on the one hand, with some of its population spoilt by the banana company Chiquita, given housing, schooling, healthcare.. on the other hand gaining from the government there (a democratic constitutional republic, as the programme failed to mention) tax exemption on imports, exports and income and corporation tax, leaving those not working for it, and the country as a whole, suffering. That nicely expands, of course, since Chiquita was the company who effectively forced by lobby the banana war between the US and the EU, by leading the US to raise the issue of the dispute at the World Trade Organization (who I have talked about in my journal before). Given the EU were trying to look after the interests of their former colonies, they were always going to lose - human rights don't come into WTO decisions by definition, only profit and loss sheets and trade barriers - and the ignoring of the WTO's decision by the EU for some years leading European companies suffering 100% tariffs was also covered. I'm not going to go on about the WTO.. I think it's had quite enough coverage.

There was some discussion about the handing over to the corporate world of things the state would have been expected to run previously - most obviously schools - and some discussion of whether governments having provided the infrastructure had their influence diminished as the companies made use of it. Bizarrely in my view there was no mention of Railtrack - despite some nice train shots - who made such a hash when taking infrastructure control from the state. Similarly, where was the coverage of the tube and PPP?

Another issue I felt was skirted over, ahem, was that of gender. The point was well made that many of the slaves of globalisation are women, traditionally not workers in many states of the world. However, any deeper reasons for the sexism and exploitation of women by what are often male-dominated corporations (and certainly male run - all of the company leaders they interviewed were male) seemed to be completely missed by the programme. Instead they quickly returned to this theme of the Government striving to accommodate multinationals. I wonder what the percentage of women in those governments is?

Finally, and an area close to my heart, is that of university research being controlled and stilted by sponsorship of university departments by multinationals, with the money from BAT going towards Nottingham Uni. There was no mention of how the Judge Institute was paid for (with money from, amongst others, KPMG and the Margaret Thatcher Foundation), or the new Microsoft Centre in Cambridge, even though Gates appeared often on the programme and Thatcher (with Bush) was extensively blamed by the two old party grandees (Clarke for the Tories and Hattersley for Labour) for the whole world-wide shift towards globalisation.

There seemed to be some assumption that state running of education was somehow infinitely preferable to corporate sponsorship because of the greater independence the state somehow provided. There wasn't much explanation of this, never mind justification, and when governments are by the programmes own admission already ceding much power to corporations, it seems rather strange to suggest that government wouldn't act indirectly to forward the aims of multinationals leaning on them heavily. Whatever, I felt this was the weakest part of an already rather frail programme.

The programme ended as it started, with Noreena standing in Liverpool St Station with the footage speeded up to let the people around her whiz unrecognisably around her, but muttering a mantra about how the state must reclaim the people in order for the people to feel it worth reclaiming the inheritance of those who fought for suffrage. All very well, but it was at this point things should have got interesting - how would they resist corporate influence? How would they justify the multinationals withdrawing and removing jobs to the workforces who no longer trust them anyway? How can they prove self-worth in the context of people no longer caring, and voting with beans tins and not ballot papers? And, again I must ask, where was the interview with Naomi Klein?

(I have no idea if the woman from the Daily Mirror (Athalie Matthews) who commented ages ago is still reading this, I rather suspect not. But never mind. It's about time I started indulging some of my other interests. So sorry, LJ readers, but there's more of this to come. Feel free to remove me from your friends list now if you don't like this stuff filling your friends pages, but I make no apologies.)
Erm

where the fuck is the poll, then?

Well, it's here, if anyone cares to look.

Hopefully it'll reappear soon.
[Poll #850]
Currently trying to decide whether to keep my paid account or not. Polls were quite fun, but I don't think I entertain enough lurkers who are willing to vote, to make it worthwhile.. decisions, decisions.

On Thursday I went to see Paul play a gig in a pub in Angel. He is pretty amazing, and if there is any justice will be famous (to the extent that 'folk' music singer-songwriters can be). I once played penny whistle with him at a gig in the Cambridge Folk Club, but I was amazingly bad and he never asked again ;) But, anyway. I bought his cd from him and am currently listening to it. Some strange memories from his earlier songs.. some of them have been around for a few years now, and I remember him playing them so many times, officially and not. Brings back memories of places and people long forgotten. I sometimes think I hide from memories a lot. Then sometimes the detatchment between past events and the feelings associated with them comes crashing down and I do end up thinking about how I felt in particular situations.

I'm not sure I was ever that happy at university. It's strange to think back and try to place the overall experience in a box, but I sometimes wonder if I've ever really been happy, or if I'm just bimbling along in some cloud of semi-aware existance? Then again, there's a phrase from a film (and said film's title) that has stuck with me - the only line of the film which really has - when Jack Nicholson has just been chucked out of his psychiatrist's office and turns to the queue and asks "What if this is as good as it gets?"

Is there some hopelessly optimistic desire for a perfect life I will never find? Is the desire for life to be better never going to stop - and do I want it to? I know recently I have been more restless than I ever have before, and am very thankful and needing of this bout of single life. I'm also discovering something I've never really noticed in myself before - ambition. It's been easy up to now to be pushed around and pushed along in my life - school, university, sport, whatever.. and now, I seem to be actually doing things because I want to and not because I think other people want me to. The way my job is going, for example. I was worried when I got what I thought would be my ideal job that I would just settle back into satisfaction.. but I haven't by a long road. Just about the opposite, in fact. Is this confidence?

Anyway, got absolutely lashed last night with Adrian, a friend from the Cambridge office. Always good to talk to him - he's about as cynical about things as I am, and we think very alike about so many things. I should face the fact that I can't in fact afford to get lashed this often - either financially or physically - but it's something I neglected far too much in Cambridge.

My sister is coming to see me today. It will be very nice to see her.. I think it's the first time in a long while that we've both been single. She's not staying over, so we can't go out on the piss together (damn me, stop thinking about beer and women with skimpy tops and buying a decent tin whistle and casual sex and going exercising before work and getting a hair cut, and start getting rid of this hangover)

ANYWAY.

I haven't quoted a song for a while in my journal, so here's one I really love.

(It's not that I'm agrophobic it's just that it's not safe to go out anymore so I stay indoors with my TV Times, my petty crimes and my nursery rhymes, someone said that the sound of a baby crying is the most beautiful sound in the world and beauty is in the eye of the beholder but as my heart grows colder I just feel so tired. The fridge is empty, the walls are damp, there's no hot water and I look like a tramp and tramps like us baby we were born to walk but where does a mother's girl go when her mother's gone? Some you win and some you lose I've spent my whole lifetime falling on a bruise and if I had the chance to do it all again I'd change everything)
typisch: (hypnosis)
Went on the London Eye tonight, with work.

Was fun. I recommend it. Go to the toilet first, though.

That's it. I have marinated tandoori turkey for tea tomorrow, mmm.
Tale of two Oxbridge students on Channel 4 tonight.

The second, studying Chemistry at Oxford, was from a country background, public school, called his parents 'Mother and Father' and had been whisked away to London to be a doorman. Weird to see the transformation, in his manner, his accent, in the short time.. what wasn't recorded is how his boyfriend reacted when he got back (or not that I saw). He was even caught ogling the ladies - was his homosexuality really something that helped him fit in in Oxford which he could abandon once in London, as the film seemed to suggest, along with his manner of speech and his history, replaced with a more North-East London version? Dangerous games filmmakers play these days.

The first was an English graduate from Cambridge, a famous journalist and writer who ended up on the streets after a battle with manic depression. It was hard to say whether his optimism and constant hope was street bravado, illness-induced self-deception, or genuine (inexplicable?) hope. To see him so obviously ill, and yet so determined with such tragic dreams.. and yet, why do I sit back watching that wreck of a man wondering if one day I'll go the same way? Of course I'm confident I won't, but then I bet so was he. Such contradictions. He's dead now, open verdict, terrible shock, family inconsolable, you know, they should have helped him earlier - but he had a bloody film crew following him around! I don't know whether to laugh or cry about this. A tragedy indeed, played out for the voracious viewers to feast on unfortune, but this was a fucking man, forgotten by everyone including himself - but not some film crew who charted his descent into - literally? - hell. Granted he ran away from them and from everyone to die. But something about it just feels so bloody wrong. People shouldn't be left to die like that.

I wonder about finding his grave, and just going to see. Maybe he'll talk to me. What should people expect from this life? To die, mentally ill in a hotel forgotten and alone, seems so inexcusable. Why should that ever happen?

And you know what?

I can't even remember his full name.

*sigh*
I feel rough as fuck, and no mistake.

Friday night straight after work I bombed down to Kings Cross to try and get the early train to Cambridge. Needless to say I missed it by about 20 seconds - as I always do when I try to get that train. Blah. So I had to wait until the 6.15 train, which was packed. I hadn't changed into my suit by this point so I tried to get to the train toilet in the way, but it was broken and wouldn't let anyone in.. and somehow I managed to slice a nice hole in my finger in the meantime. Bastard.

So I got to Cambridge about 7.10 with formal hall starting at 7.30 and me needing to be in a suit by then. So of course, I did the only thing I could - jumped in a taxi and changed in the back of it as it careered through the streets of Cambridge. I've never been undressed in the back of a cab before.. it's an interesting experience.

Anyway, formal hall passed interestingly and the food was lovely for once. We got ratted and hit the pubs before going to a club called 'Life'. The music was pretty good - party cheese - and it was full of gorgeous women, and I actually had pretty good fun for once. Wicked.

Slept on a sofa and staggered out of bed around 10, very knackered. Had a coke in a pub with Paul before wandering into town to see Rachel. I hadn't seen her in a while and it was quite nice to talk to her. She seemed better than I had seen her in a long time, although not totally happy. She also dragged me shopping for new bras for her, which was odd to say the least.

After that I went to my old house and met Steph, who took over my room when I moved to London. She's a lovely lass, really she is, and we had a nice chat. Left Rob some money for council tax (grr) and wandered back, ready to head down to London.

Unfortunately I accidentally got involved in a drinking game in the Wetherspoons and got a wee bit trashed (again) before I managed to get a train, whereupon I sat in some chewing gum some wanker had left on the seat. Bastards.. luckily it's not hard to remove gum when you know how.

Went straight to Simon's for his party. Was pretty good, although no single women meant the atmosphere was a bit odd, and there were a few Oxford people who had their noses slightly high in the air (when I turned up having not shaved for 4 days, long hair in a trashy Calvin and Hobbes t-shirt, goodness only knows what they thought...) but it was still good fun and I got, unsurprisingly, utterly trashed. Left about 2 and walked home - Belsize park down to Camden and then Euston, along to Edgware Road and back up to my flat. No idea how far that was..

So now I feel rough.

I seem to have an enemy in St Albans, which is quite amusing.. but more on that some other time.
typisch: (hypnosis)
We have digital TV. The picture quality is surprisingly good, and it's nice having channels like Sky 1, MTV, Play and Paramount.

I watched a programme called Strippers on E4. Partially because I am utterly fascinated by the female form - the most beautiful natural thing on earth, surely? - and partly because I felt I should start getting my money's worth as I meant to get on. It was surprisingly interesting, though still amusingly titillating.

Work is going a bit odd right now. Can't say why in public, of course. But odd.

Fingers crossed.

I fancy hypnotising someone. Blah.
typisch: (rowing)
I am very very tired. Work was hellish.

I may be moving to the South London office soon. So I might be looking for a place around Clapham or even Brixton this summer.

Becky and I went down to central London have a look at the protests tonight.

We saw plenty of verbal abuse of the police, some amazingly heavy-handed police 'containment' (people being surrounded by about 3 times the number of riot police and only being allowed to leave the area upon giving their names - whether they were protesters or tourists or whatever), some random pathetic mindless violence (a few windows smashed, bins ripped up, and a small fire), and good old-fashioned police brutality to protesters (pushing them over, knocking them off bikes with a well-aimed baton blow to the stomach, trying to get their horses to walk over them) and to their own horses (one poor beast was foaming at the mouth and baring its teeth as some animal rights protesters begged it be allowed a drink).

Oh, and a riot policeman in a police line charged into Becky, which I thought was rather rude.

Tiiiiiiiired. Early night.
Oh, and I got The Best of the Doors for under 12 quid which I was quite pleased about, because I have missed not having any Doors music.

I don't sound that coherant.

Knackered

Apr. 30th, 2001 10:30 pm
typisch: (climbing)
I am exhausted. (this is half 10, not half 11, damnit.. silly body clock)

So. I went to France on Friday night. Had to get my first ever taxi in London from Marble Arch to Victoria cos, frankly, my rucksack was far too big for the packed rush hour buses.

(must get new sleeping bag)

Then met up with Alan et al in a small place called Swanley or something and headed off to the tunnel. Was quite an interesting experience. The ferry is far nicer, and the hovercraft better still, though.

We headed through Paris and down to Fontainebleau (Paul's car somehow driving into the Palais de Versailles) and met up outside the Chateau there (where Napoleon signed his abdication in 1814, oh yes) wondering whether to try and find a cheap hotel for a few hours or piss off our soon-to-be neighbours by pitching camp at (by then) 5am.

No surprises what we did.

At about 11 we got up - having been raining we let it dry out as we ate breakfast (bacon sarnies, mmm) and went for a potter about on the rock. Of course it rained almost as soon as we got there and the rock was pretty much unclimbable for the rest of the day. So we went shopping, and ate out in a nice cafe/bar. I had steak saignant which shocked some of the others when it arrived - I think they were expecting it to moo..

I also went to the toilet there, because the (free) campsite only had two, incredibly rank portaloos which had already been there a month (probably without being emptied). I would have preferred to have taken a shovel into the woods.

Erm, Sunday we picked up some guy from the uni club who was studying in Paris, and got in some nice climbing - quite a few hours worth. I only did one remotely tricky thing - couldn't be bothered with tricky technical stuff really, and couldn't find any pumpy jugs to play with. (And I'm not so strong as I used to be.. no one armed pull-ups for a while, methinks)

Then me and Alan went into town to find more food for lunch etc, and later still after it was dark, a few of us wandered to the village across from the campsite, about a mile away. There were lots of galleries and very expensive restaurants/5* hotels - and a strip club. Members only.

That night Ed found a few young Dutch girls - I still don't know how old, about 15 or 16 I think. It didn't half make me feel old. But they brought us marshmallows and turned out to be very mature and talkative (even in the face of being asked such wonderful questions as "what's Dutch for 'blow job'?" and "do you have a web site? *nudge* *nudge* *wink* *wink*".)

Monday, today, it rained and rained and rained. All through the early hours and into the late morning when we tried to strike tent in some vague manner of organisation and all the way to the shopping centre a little way north on the N7 and then all the way up to Calais. Not the nicest day in the world.

So to Upminster and the tube back home and collapse. Washing to do, things to unpack and work tomorrow. But I'm sitting here worrying about people and listening to the Coldplay concert Becky is at and just wanting it to be the weekend with me deep asleep.

*sigh*

I have missed lots of you. Thank you for those of you who sent me text messages.. sorry for not replying too well, but they are 21p each from France, and reception was crap at the campsite :(

Goodnight.
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