Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Displacement and good fortune.

Here's my latest piece for TotallyMoney - an interview:

Are squatters criminals? Ask a squatter

In other news… I've been offered a job in journalism.

"Can it be true?" (my mum, freaking out), YES. I can't tell you a huge amount about it yet, as the news platform is completely new, but when we are launched, I'll share my work here…

The timing couldn't be more fortunate! I was displaced recently: For those of you that don't know, I've been one of those dreadful unemployed graduates and a serial intern, trying to "make it" in the capital while crashing at different people's houses. My favourite haunt's been a lovely shed (more like a summerhouse) owned by a friend's parents, who are exactly like old-school heroes in children's novels. They've even got a cat, and a grandfather clock.

The idyll ended for a good long while at 4am last Thursday, when their 20-something son burst back onto the scene from Romania, with two friends. All of their rent had fallen through - the landlord put it up by 30%.

Needless to say I hadn't been expecting them at that hour…

"Argh, sorry," he said. "I didn't think anybody would be in here."

"It's fine it's fine it's fine…" I staggered out of bed, wide awake all of a sudden. He retreated back to the house, but the birds were already singing. I bundled everything into a beach-bag, preparing to head to my sister's sofa, feeling a bit homeless.

… But now I have a job. *Beams*. One of the side-effects of being happy is that more people talk to me, including a massive bloke who squashed in beside me on the bus yesterday with an iced drink. He sucked through a straw and the cup gurgled. We exchanged one of these 'well, this is awkward,' smiles.

"Want some?" he said

"I'm OK thank you."

"Are you sure? There are two straws…"

Ah no, no thankyou.

"Just making conversation. How are you?"

"I'm OK." I contemplated telling him all about my life, and why not… "I've got a job!"


"I've been unemployed for a year, so, it's pretty cool."

"And how are you feeling?"


He asked me if there's anything that I've written that he would've read. I said probably not, but told him about Tim Minchin anyway, (I tell everybody about Tim Minchin).

"And what do you do?"

It turns out that this guy is a youth worker, performer, and ex-offender.

"Wow! That's really interesting." I beamed, although I stopped short of asking him what he was inside for. I love traversing London with former criminals? This sort of thing should happen more often.

It could, actually, because he gave me his card and his youth work looks interesting. Check it out.

Also, Sleater-Kinney:


  1. CONGRATULATIONS ALEX, this is amazing. Well done! Rachael xx

  2. He heh. Beaming too : ). And I like your random bus encounter - his work does look really interesting.