On the Proliferation of Employment

I presently have 5 jobs:

    Learning Support Teacher - supporting a boy with Asperger's Syndrome
    Metro – handing out free newspapers to passers-by
    Gardening – for 4 households just now
    Business Matters – doing some admin work for a networking/resourcing organisation
    RMPS Teacher – teaching two seventeen-year-olds their Highers

As you may or may not remember, this is a far cry from Oct2006-April2007, wherein I literally couldn't get any work of any description, no matter what I applied for.  That was horrible & left me feeling helpless & pretty hopeless (Job Seeker's Allowance + CVs + regular rejection will do that, especially if you're attempting to look like a prospective son-in-law), but now, with things kind of the other way around, I guess I need to make sure I don't go after 'being successful' as a means to justify my validity as a human being.  Plus, as my bank balance FINALLY strays into the black, the temptation to call it 'mine!' will continually increase.  For as the poet says:

                            The man with nothing blames society or the devil.
               The man with much pats himself on the back and calls it his reward.

                                                                                                                  [D Rowe, 2008]

And now, having successfully quoted a line I spontaneously made up, I will conclude this message by pointing out the two other jobs which I may have added to my list by the time you read this:

    Hibernian FC – selling programmes outside the stadium
    Cards from Africa – promoting this Rwandan fairtrade business in Scotland (with Tom)

Festival Review – Dorian Gray, New Adventures

Matthew Bourne is a famous enough choreographer that I've actually heard of him, despite my less-than-miniscule knowledge of ballet in general and contemporary dance in particular.  I know that lots of people regard him as a bit of genius – a cutting edge, risk-taking trend-setter.  Whatever. In my humble opinion, this production was balls.


Maybe I'm just prudish and all (in which case I should apparently avoid Will Self's update of Wilde's novel, with added orgies), but if all a story has to offer is a character 'falling for' (ie. having sex with) person after person, I don't think that any intricacy of dance or ever-so-creative updates (the 'picture' is now an advertising board!  Amazing!!) could drag this out of its dirginess.  It's just boring!  Maybe Bourne is a genius, but in that case I would suggest that his genius is being wasted orchestrating orgasms – he comes across as another soulless try-hard.

So, I didn't really like it.  In fact, I walked out.  Before the interval.  It probably transformed itself into a highly thoughtful redemptive classic in the 2nd half, but I had gone looking for something fascinating and beautiful, and it was neither, alas.

Glimpses of Normality

Hi.  I'm kind of aware that, on this blog at least, I often seem to end up describing lots of things around me, but avoid talking about myself.  Obviously, that may be a good thing, and it may also reflect a bit of uncomfortableness on my part to share all the deep-things-of-the-heart.  MMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmm …  While I go and ponder that, here are some photos.


With a Temporary Landlord [Sandy]:



With a Flatmate [Clare]:



With a Girlfriend [Princess Maria]:



With a Pout [?]


Fringe Review #2 – DIRT

     Chris Dirt

Chris Domig is an Austrian-American (ie. from Austria & living in America) and the one-man play he performs – about the experiences and internal conflicts of an Iraqi immigrant – has travelled too.  It was written in Germany in the early 90s (in the aftermath of the Gulf War) and became quite well-known at the time.  Following the most recent Iraq war, Domig remembered the play and embarked on a bit of a mission: contacting the original writer; convincing him to oversee a translation into English; and then performing the resulting piece.  Coming to the Fringe marks one of the final chapters of the story.

I saw Dirt because Domig is a friend-of-a-friend from New York and I'd got in touch when I heard about his Fringe run.  Turns out he's an absolute gem of a guy.  The play is quite a difficult experience to go through – you are seeing the world through the eyes of a man who is in love with the idea of The West, yet in reality is constantly belittled and abused as he scrapes a living selling roses.  This is not the sort of thing I would normally go to see, but it was really good for me.

The character – Sad, from Basra – will not tell us his surname because of his illegal status in the country.  He is, however, happy to tell us about park benches, philosophy, the rights of natives, and the delights of raw onions – my favourite bit is when he eats one, mid-speech.  The problem for the audience is attempting to discern what Sad believes in theory and what he knows in practice, because his monologue is full of contradictions.  But that, seemingly, is the life of the immigrant – torn between the hope of a new land (bursting with art, literature, and explanations for everything) and the loss of his own home, culture and language.

Dirt was not easy going, but, like I say, it was good for me.  On the one hand, it was good to be shown someone else's difficult life (without the temptation to 'try to help'), but also it was helpful for me as a writer to know that a character does not have to be coherent in order to make sense.

After the performance, Maria & I took Chris out for lunch and he told us how, the night before, he'd checked the show's bookings only to find that just 4 tickets had been sold, and 2 of those were critics.  He was so happy to see me in the front row!  In the end, the show was actually quite full, but was nice to feel appreciated 🙂