26 July 2007

The Story So Far

Quite frankly the diet is a disaster.

I feel it's time I came clean just so no-one is under any illusion that behind the scenes I've still been counting those calories and avoiding the carbs.

What with the whole Fopp disaster, the frantic job hunt, and the £ situation - the last thing on my mind has been the cheap food I've been forced by circumstance to keep on eating. Although, obviously it's actually the first thing on my mind. Constantly.

But just so you know, I'll be starting The Diet again (I promise) when things have settled down in the bank account department - and I can yet again afford the fresh fruit and vegetables on a daily basis.

Just when that will be is anyone's guess however. Given that I have yet to receive any money from those incompetent fools at the jobcentre + or indeed the Government department responsible for paying off all us poor old ex-Foppers who got shafted without pay....

Ho hum. Life (and weight it seems) goes on.

23 July 2007

The Deer Hunter

A lovely weekend was had in the country, with The Most Beautiful Baby in the World. As ever she was a complete delight...

We went to a stunning National Trust place in Sevenoaks (called Knole Park I think) to chase the deer on Sunday. Being wild, they didn't unfortunately just sit there and wait to be stroked, and it broke my heart when she said "They don't like me"...luckily the Tea Room had a healthy stock of both Mini Milks (for her) and Citrus Cake (for me) to help ease our joint pain.

17 July 2007

Second Chance

So I finished the lovely proof that my friend Suzie got for me from her friend at Pengiun of the new Jane Green coming in November Second Chance at the weekend.

True to typical Jane Green style it's funny and sad in equal measure, telling the tale of a gang of friends who have lost contact since leaving school, how their lives have turned out so far, and how they all meet up again following the sudden death of one of their mutual friends (Tom) in a terrorist attack on a train in the US. The central characters of Holly, Olivia, Paul and Sabrina are all very different and hold their individual stories well and the supporting roles of Will, Anne and Sarah are just as strong. Holly is in a loveless marriage, Olivia is single and sad since being dumped, Paul and his wife are desperatly trying to get pregnant and actress Sabrina is a recovering alcoholic. The twists and turns of their lives are brilliantly told, and, as seems to be usual with me, I was really rooting for a happy ending for all the main characters....and I wasn't disappointed.

My only critisim might be that maybe this is a bit too fluffy, and a bit too similar to many other books out there - but none the less, it's a story told with great sympathy for differnet peoples needs and wants, without being super super sloppy. Perfect for a day in the sun - should the sun ever appear....

13 July 2007

Great News

I'VE GOT A JOB!! I start on Tuesday and I'm very every excited. Unfortunately the offer came just moments before the firm that had offered me a part time role then upped that position to a full time role - which meant I was caught in a complete quandry and now feel terrible about having to turn one job down, and fearful that my decicion to stick to my original acceptance might prove foolish. However, I've gone with my gut decision, and feel that everything potentially happens for a reason....at least I bloody hope so.

To celebrate I've eaten some jammy dodgers.

Now I feel a bit calmer, I hope I'll be able to get this show back on the road and re-start (again) The Plan to loose weight. I do very very much hope so.

12 July 2007

What a week

Phew. My week has been somewhat disjointed to say the least, so many apples for not posting since last Friday.

To bring you right up to speed, I went for drinks (well, a single diet coke and a glass of free bubbly) with The Girls at The Pub on Friday to celebrate Shiv's birthday. Lovely evening, but would have been somewhat more enjoyable for me if I'd had enough money in my purse to buy the birthday girl a drink. And myself a bucket of wine.

Saturday involved waiting in for the boiler man to come and fix something that wasn't, as it turned out, broken at all. Taking some clothes that are now too big for me to Oxfam. Doing a pump class. Epilating my hairy legs. Doing three loads of laundry. Ironing. Fake tanning. Hoovering. Completing the stupid Ernst & Young forms. Food shopping.... in Iceland, for cheap lard. Spending hours surfing the internet for a BLOODY JOB. Blah Blah Blah.

Sunday I did a conditioning class at the gym. Walked a bit. Sat in the park next to the tramps and the wino's (its amazing how much I relate to those sad fuckers now), reading my fabulous proof of the latest Jane Green - "Second Chance".

Monday started bright and early with an appointment at an agency to register for work, then an interview at a publishers, then a conditioning class at the gym.

Tuesday started equally as early with a Pump class, followed by more hours that I ever imagined possible at the Housing Benefit Office; filling in more forms and trying to explain to more people who JUST DON'T GET IT, that I haven't been paid since 31st May and I'm skint and don't have a job, but YES, I did work for the month of June, but NO I didn't get paid for it. And NO I haven't received any redundancy, or notice period or holiday in lieu. And NO, I don't have a secret stash of money I can tap into to pay my rent. Or council tax. Or gas, electric or water bills... Or buy my travel card to get to the interviews I'm desperately running around London to attend. Or buy fresh food. Or Tampax. Or my pension. Or my contents insurance. Or my TV licence. Or my mobile phone bill....

Feeling thoroughly humiliated and drained I then went to my Mums and sat on her sofa and bawled my eyes out for a while.

Wednesday I just couldn't be arsed to go to the gym, but did have another interview up town...and bumped into Gary Linekar. The two are in no way related.

And then today I did a Pump class this morning, then sat in the JobCentre+ (what's the + stand for by the way?!) to sign on, which basically involves completely ignoring the fact that you have an appointment at an allotted time, and just sitting on a hard bench waiting for someone to mumble Zara Pippa about 45 minutes AFTER your appointment, incoherently asking you what you have done to gain employment and have you considered applying to work at the local newspaper in the classified section, cause that's apparently what the world of publishing involves if you work at the JobCentre+ ....

I then hopped, skipped and jumped back up town for the millionth time this week for a second interview at the publishers, and I'm now killing time/updating my blog whilst waiting to have drinks (tap water for me please!), with some of my lovely old mates from The Big W.

Boo has said I can use his tinternet tomorrow, so hopefully I might have some time to do a far better post all about the food and the food and the food I've eaten this week and what not... but until then - have you tried Pret's Carrot Cake?!


6 July 2007

So very very touched

I am very very lucky to be able to call some very very important people in The Industry my friends.

One such friend is Emma Barnes, MD and fabulous bigwig of Snowbooks. She has written me a supplier reference...

"I worked with Sara-Jade during both her Waterstone's and Fopp roles. In both roles she was efficient, utterly organised, bright, responsive and original. She was a delight to work with and easy to collaborate with. Her extensive knowledge of the book trade has always been impressive - she has a rare ability to get things done whilst making people love her. A more detailed or tailored reference is available on request."

I don't really know what to say. I'm too busy feeling totally chuffed to pieces. Thank you Em. xxx

Oh What A Week...

Blimey, its a mad mad crazy frog world when you don't have a 9-5 routine. Did you know there is a whole section of society that actively don't work? Ever. Literally they never get up, go to work, go home, go to bed, get up, go to work blah blah blah.....I've met some of them this week. They don't all smell of wee. They don't all have small children. They don't all have serious issues that prevent them working. They just don't work. What they do do though is play music loudly on the bus through their mobiles, hang out at Shepherds Bush Green blocking the path and spitting whilst swearing, and they shop very very slowly in the supermarket...

I hate them.

They don't seem to be running from recruitment agency to interview, to internet cafe to housing benefit office and back again as I seem to have been this week. Trust me, I'm exhausted. I've applied to literally hundreds of "could be made up and probably are" jobs online. I've written directly to 6 employers I would love to work for. I've registered with 4 employment agencies for PA work and filled in the same form 4 times. I've spent 2 hours in the jobcentre explaining to a lovely lady why I don't want to stuff envelopes for a living, but would really appreciate financial help whilst looking for a job. I've chased up The Administrators, to find out exactly what my employment status is, and asked why I don't have anything confirmed in writing. I've argued, loudly, with The Bank. I've cried alot. I've had 2 "meet and greet" interview type appointments and 2 actual interviews. I've used 3 different internet cafes around London, and have found Just-It in Ealing to be the most hospitable and easyinternet to be the most unpleasant. I've taken 12 different sets of PC skill tests and found out my ideal role would be as a data entry clerk as my results for that particular test were OUTSTANDING. I've bumped into an old Golds Gym buddy who now runs his own private practise in Harley Street who offered to get me fit by November. I've been offered 2 jobs. I've done 6 classes at the gym. I've almost finished reading a hardback debut novel that my friends at The Friday Project kindly gave me on Monday called "In Search of Adam" (FYI - brilliant). I've met up with my lovely friend Peter from The Big W for a diet coke (he paid) in Old Compton Street. I've bumped, literally, into Lenny Henry on Charing Cross Road. I've ridden/road (?) over 50 buses. I've eaten peanut butter sandwiches every day for lunch. I've met my lovely author friend Louise Candlish for drinks in Covent Garden, and had just one too many gins. Again.

As I say, it's exhausting being unemployed when you actually want to work. I almost wish I was one those people who didn't care and didn't want to work.....only almost mind.....

Ooh, before I forget I also gave in and finally joined facebook, so I could be a part of the gangs of ex-Foppers having a right good old bitch about the incredibly shabby way we've all been treated. Such fun.

3 July 2007

Part 4 - Concentrate

So now the whole hideous death leap is over, I can concentrate on Getting A Job and Earning Some Money...

The whole "loose weight and stop drinking diet coke" plan is so on the back burner for now. I am eating like a wild beast. Eating all the wrong things. All the cheap things. When Mr Sainsbury prices a filling salad at the same cost as a loaf of sliced white, then I'll be able to get back on track. Until then, back off. I'm high on caffeine and carbs and ready to do battle with anyone who questions me.

The news updates about my ex-employer are funny. Neither funny ha-ha or funny peculiar to be honest. Just funny. And of course, shit.

As before, I have heard nothing from either Fopp or indeed Ernst & Young, although according to the various facebook groups set up in the past few days, all 700 staff were due to get a letter from them yesterday. Thank God for Scott's blog. Otherwise I'd know nothing.

Back to reed.com and the jobcentre for me.

Part 5 may very well see me down Kings Cross where I hear the going rate is about a fiver. That might pay my electric bill anyway.

Part 3 - N A T A L I E

So, my friend David from the Big W came along. So did Nat and Karl. And Boo of course. And we sat and waited. And I had a wee. And waited some more. And 2.30pm came. And went. And I had another wee. And 3.30pm came. And went. And I had another wee. And then at about 4pm, I was literally pushed off a ledge 180 meters high into NOTHINGNESS, and I zipped along. And held my bladder. And screamed like a baby. And then it stopped. And I cried a little bit. And had my picture taken. And then went home. Via Pizza Express. And had two bottles of Blush and a couple of Gins and a large slice of Chocolate Fudge Cake with cream.

Thank you everyone who sponsored me at on justgiving website. So far we've raised £512.95 for the zipline (including giftaid). That's a total so far to date raised for Macmillan of £4621.55.

To actually see a video of me zipping (and indeed screaming), this youtube link should be ready to view tomorrow....

Part 2 - The Morning After

Body Pump with a hangover, or indeed, whilst still a little drunk, is a suprisingly fun activity. The coffee and muffin afterwards with The Girls is however, more fun. Add into that mix, the fact that this Saturday my friend Nicky will travel up north to become Mrs Darling (I kid you not), so last Saturday we gave her some chocolate willy's and edible undies in the middle of Starbucks - and that, my friends, makes getting up early on a Saturday worth it's weight in gold.

Thank you Lorrie for letting me use your PC all afternoon. Love you. xx

Part 1 - The Wedding

Step back in time to Friday morning. Obviously, with no work to attend (fucking bastards) I was free to start drinking far too early in the day. So I did. By the time I arrived at The Wedding, I was plastered. I then proceeded to get steadily more plastered on the terrace with Pimms, at the dinner with Wine, at the toast with Cava, and in the bar with Gin.

Thank God some other friends were there to both join me in getting drunk and indeed take me home when I nearly fell over.

Here are some photo's of said wedding. As well as being plastered, I also spent alot of the time crying, as the speeches were truly touching, and the couple looked so damn in love it was beautiful.