Bla Bla 5.9.18 (Bristol)

Still in limbo. Something I should have realised about supply teaching is that it relies mainly on teachers being sick so there is little or no work at the start of the academic year. Very nice to have yet more free time but I really want to work and I need the money. Hmm. I think end of October is when it starts to pick up as the anxiety, tiredness and feelings of being worn down by the youth start to kick in. Tuition starts again next week so in the mean time there is time to fill.

What do I do beyond the mundane chores of day to day life? Write, walk (today, The Ridgeway) and talk (to strangers). Today walk. Tomorrow talk. Hopefully in St Paul’s. Get out there and make conversations. Ensure I have the blog to hand so I’m not thought to be a plain clothes policeman as has been a problem in the past (John, 83, dopesmoker in Bishopsworth / Malik, Shopworker, Bishopsworth). Be good to get people’s ideas about ‘community’, a word bandied around a lot in Bristol.

Haven’t drunk any alcohol for a week; haven’t had a cigarette for 11 days. How long can I last? This weekend will be telling. Am I going to see Gwen? Instead I continue to ingest all sorts of ‘supplements’ with unpronounceable names. I have no idea what they are and have blind faith in there being some sort of positive benefits to taking them. I feel like a man who’s been to see the witch doctor. Magnesium Citrate and Phosphatidyl Serine have become a daily ritual and the last 2 days I’ve been trying something called Anandanol (neural balance powder). Underneath the name on the bottle it has a tagline “The key to calm.” It cost £65 for one bottle. The first time I took it I felt suddenly very dizzy and went to lie down. It reminded me of taking Nivaquine to fend off Malaria in India. After taking some in the evening it initially made me calm but then seemed to exacerbate the fizzing so that I had to resort to Xanax to push me off. Not balanced nor calm and not the key to anything. I wonder if I should sell them on Ebay. Anyway, I’ve started my sleep diary again and I note that the last 3 nights I have been sleeping between six and a half and seven and a half hours which is rosy.

Just descending for the first time into the world of Jeffrey Bernard via ‘Low Life – a kind of autobiography’. I love his honesty, grumpy observations, wit and self professed love of the ‘low life’. I think I only read books where I feel I have something in common with the writers or characters. I’m nothing like Bernard but we share similar interests. I’ve only read the beginning but his work as a stage hand gave me an idea to find some work in the theatre. By chance, Bristol Old Vic are having a volunteer open day this Saturday where “volunteers will support the delivery of our warm visitor welcome and unforgettable Theatre experience. We want you to showcase our revolving exhibitions, graffiti walls, treasure hunts, interactive displays and augmented reality experience, available for one and all to explore.” Hmm, well it’s not quite being involved in the cut and thrust of a working production but it could be fun. As always it’s a chance to meet new people and check out the newly beautified old dear. I wonder if it’ll all be students and worthy pensioners.

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