Today's soundtrack: The Who - Quadrophenia
Well, that could have been an awful lot worse than it was. I parked up well in advance of my signing-on time (what happens if you're late?) in the retail park over the road, and had a quick browse round Borders before heading across to the Job Centre (although mine is actually a Job Centre 'Plus', whatever that signifies). Pitched up ten minutes early, and to my dismay entered a crowded waiting area - it looked like a long wait was in order.
The system is a little bit Heath Robinson - basically everyone has a little plastic wallet with their paperwork inside, which you put in a box placed on the edge of a desk, then you wait until your name is called. It feels almost like a raffle - you half expect the wallets to be shuffled then drawn out with a flourish by a minor celebrity....but no. After being moved around by a security guard ("you can't stand there, sir") I eventually got a seat and people began to get 'processed'. Whether by chance or design my name was called just about on the appointed time, and I took my seat opposite a very nice lady who asked me a few questions about my job search, apologised for the confusion around the waiting area (apparently they have recently changed systems so now people have appointed times to turn up - rather than just turning up when they felt like it on the appointed day).
So after about ten minutes of this, I got to sign my name on a slip of paper and that's it for another fortnight. Still not a pleasant experience, but nothing like as bad as I was expecting.
Earlier in the day I finally submitted my application for a job over in the Leeds area, and spoke to a recruitment consultant about the possibility of some temporary work. The same firm had called me last night to talk through another opportunity but unfortunately the level is too junior to be of interest....yet! Still, they are happy to talk to me and do have me in mind for opportunities out there.
The daily trawl of the web produced little of interest, but there's one other role that I'm going to go after that was advertised in the paper last week. Bit of a long shot, but still....
Loads of messages today from ex-colleagues up and down the country, which was nice. Well, better than nice, actually, good to know that I've not been cut adrift and that losing a job doesn't mean losing friendships as well. It would also appear these daily ramblings are attracting some attention as well!
Initial lineup for the Latitude festival announced yesterday - well, just the headliners, really. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Grace Jones and the Pet Shop Boys, with Editors, Doves and Bat For Lashes also announced. Not one to immediately set the pulse racing, and I'm seeing the Pet Shop Boys in Manchester in June anyway (and saw Nick Cave in 'Grinderman' guise at Latitude last year) but still tempted. Can afford to wait, can't see this being anything like an immediate sell-out. Latitude was superb last year, loads to do and an excellent set of bands right down the bill on each day so I might yet put my money down. Might be on my own though, the boy isn't interested this year and my attempts to cajogle a couple of ex-colleagues along have been stymied by their general lightweightedness (you know who you are, chaps....). Still, done that before and it's not a problem. In any event, Glastonbury is already bought and paid for, so the festival itch will still get scratched this year!
Yet to be let down by the random soundtrack to my typing (although since I'm only playing music I've chosen and bought myself, what would it tell you if I didn't actually like what was playing?) I've liked The Who from way back - Who's Next was the second LP I bought with my own money and I saw them for the first time in 1975 when Keith Moon was still alive (and no doubt before half of you were born). Quadrophenia is a particular favourite and is even pretty well served by the film of the album, even if it does have Sting in it. Excellent turn by the very young Phil Daniels, long before Parklife and latterly his stint in 'stenders. Also a very young Ray Winstone and a pre-trout Lesley Ash. But however good the film is, it would be nothing without the music it was based upon (and the concept it was built around).
Toad in the Hole tonight, I've decided - and the batter is mixed and 'resting'. Bit of an experiment, not cooked this before and the batter looks ominously runny at the moment (even after a flour top-up) but we'll give it a go. I can always pull the sausages out and chuck the batter away. Oh, and onion gravy. Yummy! Mrs W will have a fit.