I’m still here. I’ve been in the same city for almost five months which is quite an achievement for me. Here’s what i’ve been doing, seeing and thinking since i last wrote a load of guff in February.
I bought a mountain bike which put a sizable hole in my savings account and a large smile on my face. I cycle out through the small village lanes and farmers tracks just north of Leeds every weekend where i stamp on some peddles, eat some dirt and generally annoy motorists which i recommend to anybody. The sun in your eyes, the wind in your face and farm animal shit in your tyre tread makes working all week almost worth it.
Work is a strange place. It’s mainly strange because it’s just an office – nothing more, nothing less – but some people there treat the place as if it were the command centre for the Apollo 13 mission. Failure is not an option. People react to mistakes as if you’ve just thrown a grenade into a crèche or pushed a disabled woman into a canal. It’s really not that important. It’s just monkey work in an office. Have a cup of tea, nibble on a biscuit, dream of somewhere else and shut the fuck up.
In a similar vein some of the people of Leeds seem to overplay the importance of the city. As if it was a place to be seen and a place to on up. To me, Leeds is a bog standard relatively small English city and it always will be. Nothing wrong with that. There’s some nice shops, some great architecture, plenty of local tasty beer and more live music than you could ever wish to listen to but if a city didn’t have a least a few of those things then it wouldn’t really be a city. For some reason though half the population of the place seem to disagree and prance around clutching an iphone in one hand and sizable amount of bullshit in the other as if life’s one big catwalk and everybody’s watching. But it’s just Leeds. It’s not NewSanFranShangRioKongTown. I don’t get it.
I do get teaching and travelling though so that’s the plan as it stands right now. I applied to do a CELTA course (a certificate for English teaching) which starts at the end of May and lasts for a month. Part of the application process was to go for a group interview so there was me and two other applicants as the people who run the course like to see how candidates interact and communicate as part of the selection process. One requirement of the interview was to do a five minute lesson to the other people present. We were told we could teach anything. I racked by brain to try and think of something. There were two other applicants who did the same. One of them did some origami and tried to teach us all how to make a bird from a sheet of A4 paper. The one i made looked liked a dragon with leprosy. The other guy told us how make the spaghetti he had the previous night for dinner. It didn’t sound that appetising. I gave a short five minute lesson entitled 10 Easy Steps on How to Change a Flat Tire On a Motorbike in a Mongolian Rainstorm. I quite enjoyed myself. And i got selected for the course so fingers crossed with that and then hopefully i’ll find a job in the summer teaching somewhere in Asia.
Unfortunately though i’ll still be here when it’s General Election time. It’s unfortunate because for a month you have try and avoid watching TV or listening to radio or reading websites because you know you’re going to have your intelligence insulted by a prick in a suit. Here’s my plan. I’m going to vote for None Of The Above. Join me on May 6th if you've still got the will to live. At the ballot box don’t vote for any of the dithering, sanctimonious, condescending fuckwits that feature on the ballot paper but instead just write None Of The Above at the bottom and then make a little box of your own and tick that. It’s not a political opinion that will feature heavily on any news items in the coming weeks but it’s the only thing i can think of that makes sense. So there.
Thanks for reading. Hope you're doing well. Have fun.