When I first came to Newcastle I was seduced by the majestic sweep of Grey Street on a lovely spring day.
‘I could live here,’ I thought. And so I did.
I was back on Grey Street this morning, but it felt different. I was scheduled to sign my life away as a temp.
‘You will need to come in and fill in all the forms.
So you've been doing the childcare - very brave!
Is that your daughter in the background?
Eee! She sounds lovely.
A bit distressed.... but lovely.’
The girl had a sing-song Geordie voice. Of course she did.
I’ve been fruitlessly applying for jobs for some time now. I rarely even get the courtesy of a response. I feel like the Celie character in ‘The Color Purple’- the one who writes letters to God.
‘Just go and see some agencies. Temp a bit. You can catch up with the housework at the weekend.’
Maude, as ever, gave astute counsel.
I approached a busy junction in central Newcastle and felt a little fazed. I don’t get into the city much and it all felt a bit hectic.
I could see into the temp office from across the road. It had a cheerful colour scheme of bright primary colours and young people were moving around inside, carrying pieces of paper.
I was a few minutes early and well-dressed urban types were enjoying coffee outside Blake’s Café. I wasn’t early enough to do the same. I was early enough to stroll up and down outside for a while looking a little odd.
The young people carrying the pieces of paper didn’t look very formally dressed. This was good news - as I had opted for chinos and casual shirt.
A part of me had a very potent urge to just strip off on Grey Street. To strip right off and announce myself in the office in a state of absolute nudity.
I would be 80-odd kilos of pink flesh thrown into glorious relief against the cheery coloured interior that was fooling no-one.
I would be a newborn delivered into the world of work.
‘Livery me as you please and point me at a job!’