Charlie tagged me with the 4x4 meme so here goes.
4 jobs I've had
Waitress - I worked in cafe for a year in between doing a degree and a postgrad. The family that owned it were quite eccentric and ran it more as a hobby than a business so everyday was an adventure. There was definitely a novel in there somewhere. It was never too busy and there were lots of regulars so I spent most of the day cooking and chatting to people. Probably my favourite job ever. It was completely stress-free. Even now in a coffee shop I want to jump behind the counter and froth the milk.
Dole clerk - And my least favourite, working in the DHSS for 3 weeks. I was signing on during the summer as a student (when you could still do that) and they said "we've got a job here" so I could hardly say no. It was really miserable, not because of the jobseekers who were fine, but because of the little Hitlers running the place. I was glad to get out after 3 weeks.
Librarian - This covers about 10 years of work, which I really enjoyed for the most part. As a bookish, indie-loving teenager I felt that I'd found my calling. I started as a library assistant (moving around different libraries over the summer) and decided that was what I wanted to do with my life. Studied librarianship, got a job as a cataloguer and spent the next few years classifying and indexing books in a university library. I loved looking at books all day and enjoyed helping people to find things. It started to go a bit pear-shaped when there was a crisis of confidence and library became a dirty word. It was all learning centres and information centres. That drove me mad so I became a...
Web manager - Which is what I do now. It's the sort of non-exciting relative of web developers and web designers. I have to manage the editors, figure out where the website should be going, make sure it's maintained and meets various standards, teach people how to write for the web and generally just make sure the customers are getting what they need. Try as I might I can't make it sound exciting but still it's the right job for me at the moment except when I find myself wishing I was back in the cafe.
4 shows I never miss
It's quite hard to find 4 but at the moment - Harry Hill's TV Burp, Skins, Hotel Babylon, That Mitchell and Webb Experience.
4 places I've been
I've been to lots of places but these are the 4 I'd most like to go back to:
Malta - We had our first family holiday here when Tommy was a baby. I love islands and Malta is tiny so it's easy to see all of it. It's nice and quiet and full of beautiful buildings. Whenever we can afford a foreign holiday we're going back.
Dunedin, New Zealand - I had a sort of epiphany in Dunedin. I'd travelled half-way round the world because I liked Flying Nun and got there near the end of a long trip backpacking down from Auckland. I was on my own, a not-very-brave 26 year old and I felt proud and relieved to be there. As it's modelled on Edinburgh and has lots of Scottish connections I felt at home.
New York, New York - New York had a big effect on me when I went last year. At the time I felt a bit sad, as I'd missed it at its best but it's been a slow burner. So many times I wish I was back there, just wandering around Manhattan. Next time I'll go to Coney Island too.
The East Neuk of Fife - Quite possibly my favourite place ever and the only one of the four I've got much chance of getting back to anytime soon. The East Neuk is so close to home and yet so foreign. The architecture is totally distinctive - more Scandinavian than Scottish, and there's nothing much to do but you can spend hours wandering around harbours and eating chips. I'd like to retire there and have a little house by the sea with a boat in the window.
4 music artists I'm listening to
I'm really rubbish at listening to new bands, relying on the radio to tell me what to pay attention to. So nothing new I'm afraid but I listen to these a lot:
- Belle & Sebastian - I never tire of them.
- The Smiths - the band that means most to me. I listened to them every day at school, then not for years after Morrissey went solo. I'm now enjoying their later albums (Strangeways era) which I didn't rate much at the time.
- The Association - 60s sunshine pop from California. I really, really love harmonies. Their career travelled the same sort of trajectory as The Byrds going through folk, pop, psychedelia and country rock so there's a lot to enjoy.
- LCD Soundsystem - the one new album I have bought recently (and that was a while ago). I love listening to Sound of Silver when I'm out and about. It's uplifting and quite tender at the same time.