Tag Archives: You’re gonna regret sitting next to me

Subway rodeo

The tube. A place of squash, sweat, and occasional eye contact. All in all this leads to enemy number 1, boredom. I have to spend 2 of my good hours on the thing 5 days a week and I’ve been looking in vain for a way to liven up the Bakerloo.

…and then I found this.

I still have my old kickboxing gear, which I think will make a good substitute for football kit. Now all I need is a willing opponent. Lucky you, Bakerloo…


The moment of truth

I’m standing in the queue in Starbucks, waiting for my turn with the frappachino and herbal tea requests.  I’m here for a meeting.  In less than two hours I’ll be at another meeting with an MP – a former Home Office Minister who knows his stuff – and I’m exhausted.

I jolted awake at four this morning from another horrendous nightmare.  My job involves thinking about human trafficking and exploitation day in day out and unfortunately this is not without its side effects.

I also have another minor problem on my hands.  At 11am this morning I realised there was a small hole in my skirt.  Unfortunately this hole is located directly over the butt area.  I quite like my bum as it is, but my skirts do have to stretch a little to fit and tend to give way at inconvenient moments – for example, during 11am meetings with lots of men. (This is me we’re talking about – I mean, my skirt was never going to wait for an all-girl slumber party.)

I quickly excused myself from the manly meeting (walking backwards out of the room as normally as possible) and rushed to my colleague, Gemma, to ask for her opinion.  Is the hole noticeable?  Can I possibly get away with it for a whole 30 minutes in the presence of an esteemed politician?  Her contorted expression, trying to hold back a pained smirk, confirmed the answer as a firm NO.  Five minutes later, I emerged from the bathroom with a safety pin holding my skirt together.  Unfortunately this was not the world’s most sturdy piece of metal and within minutes I had an undone pin protruding out of my bottom, ready to puncture anyone who got too close.

So here I stand in Starbucks – exhausted, slightly traumatised, with a safety pin sticking outta my butt.  If I’m looking for a sign that something in my life has got to change, this is it.


Small talk

I’m on the flight home from Stockholm (beautiful, but freezing, city) where I’ve spent the weekend getting to know some incredible people who dedicate their lives to combating trafficking and sexual exploitation.  When you meet people for the first time, the same three questions usually come up in conversation:  What is your name?  Where have you come from?  What do you do for a living?

The expected response is one of concise, uncontroversial chitchat.  However, for those of us who work with such somber issues, the opportunity to freak people out for our own amusement is hard to turn down. The old favourites of “I work in prostitution” or “I dabble in a spot of people trafficking” usually do the job.

So I’m sitting here, next to a very polite middle-class couple who I’m considering engaging in conversation.  When the inevitable third question comes up, I could just tell them that I’m a charity worker.  However, I’ve had quite an intense few days and I’m tempted to freak them out a little with one of the classic lines.

Or I could just go for broke and tell them I’m a hired gun.  It’s been a long week.