Winding down winding up, casting and coughing

Business as usual. I’m picking up a car tomorrow morning and then going to Heathrow to grab a passenger from Switzerland. The spectre of total shutdown hangs frightful over London though, and over every city worldwide.

In the face of a particularly virulent airborne disease that appears to be not particularly lethal, how do governments respond? Is their inaction going to be held to account if this thing suddenly mutates and turns out to be 70% fatal or somesuch? Nobody wants the financial hit of missing out on work until everybody has to. So people will still get up and go to work until prevented. And anything to officially prevent movement brings both panic and huge financial trouble. Both things we have had a lot of recently in the UK anyway so I guess so a bit more won’t be so unfamiliar. The Mekon can try to use it to bang another nail of distrust into the tattered remains of our glorious NHS that they’ve been starving and torturing for so long now it’s a miracle of altruism and the Hippocratic oath that the underfunded undervalued staff are still alive to stop us from dying.

I’ll pick up a passenger from Switzerland tomorrow afternoon. I’ll try not to sneeze as I carry him back to Waterloo. Everybody is worried sick suddenly. If my passenger sneezes, I’ll notice. If I sneeze he might email someone. After all the Swiss have all got fallout shelters in their houses.

This is flu season! This is the time every year where we all get a cold, sniffle, cough etc. Winter into summer or summer into winter. But suddenly it’s loaded with prefab panic.

I have a cough. When I have a cough I always cough hugely on purpose. I was taught by a physiotherapist aged 12 that suppressing it to be polite was what had helped fill my lungs with mucus. I’d had undiagnosed pneumonia for a surprisingly long time as a kid. It was exacerbated by my attempts to keep the coughing secret and away from others. I didn’t want to make a fuss and inconvenience people. I ended up with lung collapse, a whole year off school and a much better understanding of my breath capacity and bronchial system than one normally has. And if there’s phlegm to move I fucking move it but I can hold my breath longer than you can and next time we’re in a swimming pool I’ll prove it.

I still haven’t fully learnt that sometimes it’s important to make a fuss and inconvenience people though. Anyhow…

I’m hoping to meet a Lennon tomorrow who will get past the client. It’s frustrating as I had a fantastic guy who doesn’t even need a wig but was deemed too young. It’s a lesson. Casting: it’s often all about positioning and nothing about ability. Not at all levels, but definitely sometimes. These casting decisions are made on appraisal of a photo sent digitally across the Atlantic. I could send a different photo of the same person with an adjusted name and it might pass the second time. Obviously I’ve not done that twice already honest guvnor but I could’ve…

If you want to get the part, find out what photo the producer has on their moodboard and make sure your hair is similar and your clothes are the same colour. Ugh. Night. Achoo.

I’ve been pounding the streets of Waterloo looking for temporary office space. This former police station is fucking terrifying.


The receptionist literally panicked and walked me outside when I asked him a question, and then when I tried to take a photo of the name of the business so I could email enquire about space to rent a thickset and dangerous man appeared literally out of nowhere and forcibly said “no photos”.

It’s likely a torture house. Or organised crime. I’m glad I escaped with my life. SSCL. “Transforming Services in the Public Sector”. All joking aside, I’m sure they’re a completely legitimate business. Please don’t kill me.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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