Monday, 2 April 2012

His Girl Friday

I worked at the Guardian today. EXCITING. Unpaid work, starting at 11.00 (very civilized) but work all the same.

I haven't worked in an office since 2001. I've never worked at a newspaper. It wasn't like I'd pictured it, being all sleek and spacious and shiny in its new building in King's Cross, not all dingy and cramped and hectic like you imagine Fleet Street to have been, with fags burning in ashtrays on the desks and bottles of gin in the filing cabinets and men with rumpled hair and pencils behind their ears pounding the keyboards.

Bloody hell, it's nice to be among the grownups. I'm sure there is stress in these jobs, and though we were in the midst of the news desks I wasn't working in the news department but in research (what used to be called the library), where it was very mellow, but it's just so... so peaceful in offices. I'm always amazed at how colleagues can actually hold a conversation with each other at leisure. You just don't see that in schools. And the fact that you can concentrate on doing one thing at a time. And the fact that there seems to be so many staff. And so many computers. (BTW, I really don't like Macs. They are a pain in the arse. They remind me of that smartarse animated paperclip that used to pop up in Word.)

I did one tiny thing that may feature on the website, if not in the paper. You know those 'on this day in the past' features from the archives, I had to find one of those for 13th April. It took a long time of digging through the archives but I think I found a good one.

What else? It may be because of spring friskiness but there were lots of good looking men there. Tall, good-looking, wearing glasses. Eye candy all around. Oh, so this is where they're all hiding. Should have gone into journalism.

St Pancras. If you haven't been yet, go and check it out, it's really beautiful since the renovations.

Betjeman statue in St Pancras. Lovely.

the Canal.


  1. that sounds great. Did you check out the new Kings Cross too? It's beautiful.

  2. No, I haven't. I'll go tomorrow.

  3. Was wondering how you got on. Hope you get a paid job there!
    The unrecognizable Kings X. In '79/80 I would commute from there after bussing it down the Caledonia/n? Rd - oh the filth. I'd like a makeover like that please.

  4. I wish. They do seem to have an awful lot of staff. (Today I sat down at someone else's desk by mistake - this older lady came and tapped me on the shoulder. I heard her say "this is Nancy" on the phone - I wonder if it was Nancy Banks Smith.)

    I remember when our Canadian friend lived in King's Cross just opposite the Scala. It was pre-gentrification, not that it's really gentrified now. He said he and his housemates barely watched TV, they just looked out the window to see what was going on.

  5. Go have a drink at the Booking Office bar at St. Pancras. amazing spiced beers. Have one for me. I have to be dry for the next couple of weeks.

  6. Aw. You can take this being healthy thing too far you know.

    I had a look at the Booking Office bar, it looks lovely.