Plumstead to Brighton

Plumstead. That’s where I had to work today. “A hilly suburb known for its sprawling green spaces.” I didn’t see any green spaces. I saw a screen and a load of faces.

I don’t think I’ve ever had cause to be in Plumstead before. I’ll be there pretty much every day this week. A room full of young people heard me telling them about The National Grid. Maybe one or two of them will go on to have careers as a result of the huge project they are undertaking across London in the next few years. They are going to be a massive employer with hundreds of thousands of jobs attached to building a network of vast cable tunnels stretching under 20 miles of London. Distributing power underground. Better than pylons. It’s an important part of the future. The better the infrastructure allowing us to move the power around is, the better use and yield we will be able to get from our solar farms and our wind farms etc. Efficiency cuts costs so it can get funding. It also cuts waste. The market is always going to drive these things unfortunately, but at least the side effect is positive. Cheaper and easier fuel distribution, and loads of jobs. The money won’t manifest in cheaper energy bills unless the Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come goes into overdrive this year. The money WILL manifest in lots of well paid and respectable safe jobs for lots of young people who honestly don’t know what they want to do. And as I try to point out, it’s not just engineers they need. I’m an actor and for this week I’m gainfully employed because of these tunnels. If they look for opportunity they have the possibility of it coming easier to them than it might have. It’s about targeted seeking, as often as not. I was lucky. This little spot of work just filtered down to me because of availability issues with others, and because of things I put in place before the pandemic and had more or less forgotten about. It’s extremely welcome, filling a gap perfectly between the end of ghost tours and the start of Carol.

I didn’t really get to stop in Plumstead today. I figured since I’m not back working there until Wednesday I’d shoot down to Brighton and see Lou as soon as I was done. We can hang out tomorrow. She’s been mass producing pretty little prom dresses all day while I was wittering on about Net-zero. I’m tempted to try one on but I suspect I’ll rip it.

I have to take my opportunities to see her when I can these days – it’s getting rarer that I’m not brainflooded with something unfamiliar, and she’s constantly got tons of stuff to do. Now I’ve jumped the hurdles of the last few days I’ve remembered how schizophrenic my existence was before somebody hit the off switch. I loved it back then. I’m enjoying it now, but I’m thinking perhaps I could’ve found ways to allow myself a bit more downtime within all the “yes” somewhere. My back is hurting, not in the damage way. It’s just tired. It’s not used to the variance. To the heavy lifting, the long standing, the running around. I had a proper moment of sprint yesterday stopping a van at some lights (don’t ask). I’m still feeling it now, but I told you all I was unfit a few weeks ago. It’s slowly changing. I just have to keep up the random activities.

For now though warm bed, soft sheets, and another human. Mmmmm

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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