October 17th, 2009

an 'i feel i should update' update

I'm sorry I'm not managing to keep up with my F-list. It's not that I don't want to, it's just I'm struggling a bit at the minute. It's a good struggle though because I'm managing to go to college three times a week. The struggle is not going mental at some of the other students, and trying to keep my head together when the job centre want me to find a job.

I've now been without any means of income for over 4 weeks - my ESA was stopped, and they haven't processed my JSA, even though I've been looking for jobs non-stop. I've explained that I don't mind working as long as it's not stressful, I can still go to college, and I'm not financially worse off. It'd be hard to be worse off when no-one is giving me anything to live on, except for Ian. I'm managing bits of mystery shopping here and then, and you may have noticed I'm catching up with my commissions - this is partly cash related, but also because I'm kind of getting bogged down in college homework.

College is a bit of a lifesaver. The only fly in the ointment is that my usual way of acting (ie listening to people tell me their problems, giving people things when they do stuff for me, being helpful if I can be and so on) - which is wonderful, and I'm proud of my personality etc etc - has given rise to me being the class representative. Ian is worried it's going to tip me over the edge again. it's nothing really. I'm getting more annoyed with them not cleaning the sink to be honest, and he's not completely understanding how annoying that is.

the worst thing that's happened is people going through my pencil case, using things, and either nicking them or not putting me back and leaving me to find them on their desk when i clear up after them (I know I shouldn't clear up their shit, but when it affects me, I will do). this is because my pencil case is a see through tupperware box. I've changed it so it looks like a handbag. they'd better not fucking go through there and steal my pens again. Three (purple, silver and black) of my fine liners have gone missing so far. The college population as a whole is nice - people seem bewildered by someone (ie me) being nice to them about their artwork without being asked or knowing who they are, but never mind. Smiling at strangers in the corridor and telling them you like their choice of leggings is treated first with suspicion, and then with genuine pleasure. The vigilant watching of my pen box and continuous scrubbing of old paint off the sink isn't as nice.

College work stops me thinking self-critical thoughts. Consequently I've probably done too much college work. I haven't had my first one to one tutor session yet - I did get sent a leaflet for the counselling service though - so I can't be sure, but I think the 3 tutors I have are happy with me. I'm battling with myself to not do too little or I'll disappoint myself, and not to do too much so I don't annoy the other students. If they do mention how much I've been doing, I have to remind them that a) we have no kids, b) i have no job and c) i'm a bit mental.

I've not covered up my mental health at college. It didn't seem right to. I tried that at work, and I ended up breaking down. Being honest about my head will hopefully mean I don't strain myself covering up the loonies, and I shouldn't end up breaking down. That makes sense in my head. I should maybe stop being quite so honest before I get a reputation as some sort of Van Gogh wannabe, especially as we're off to Amsterdam.

Everything is sorted for the trip! I've got my passport and tickets and everything already inside a little handbag. The bed lifters arrived, so we can use the rented hoist, Ian has booked a taxi to the hotel, and back again when we leave. The trams are accessible and they go past the hotel. We seem to be all sorted. I'm nervous, but excited, particularly about flying.

Locked update - college big brother

Just in case you're interested... I've been at college for a month, so I'm going to keep track of what I think about everyone as the time goes on. And we can also see who drops out of course.

AM - very nice. Brum accent, red hair and sings her own versions of songs on the radio. I like v much. Says 'chicken pants' and 'pickle' a lot. Favourite song is 'don't stop believing' by journey

Crystal - also nice. American, but not annoyingly so. Dreamy, over-serious sometimes, bit sarcastic - worries about upsetting people. I often give her a lift home and she tells me lots of stuff

Kathryn - acerbic, but nice if you need a laugh. Laughed at the 'come in we're cunts' sign and we've been quite friendly since. going to the art gallery on tuesday with her.

Kim - tattoist. Got me a form to apply for a job at Starbucks. Says i'm the kindest person she's ever met because i gave her a small picture as a thank you. always wants to see my sketchbook

Paul - older, bald, and a bit of a charmer. Washed the sink for me when I was getting upset, and said it was because he wanted a picture as well. doesn't like anything we do, but does it anyway

Sara - young single mum, into 'Black Ops' and polyvore. enigmatic. into older men - we have a sort of bet on to see whether she'll get together with Paul as they share the bus home

Bez - I like her because she gave Crystal her old phone (so i gave her a picture as well) she wants to design t-shirts. totally obsessed with Call of Duty

Mia - drives me absolutely mental. continually asking if she needs to know what we're being taught to be an interior designer. Thinks '60 minute makeover' is what interior design is about. never does her homework. takes inordinately long time to draw anything

Gemma - very dizzy and young, been living at home too long. I like her though. Loves pop art and photography, and wanted a jacket with huge shoulder pads for her birthday - she got an iPhone

Malackey - raps a lot, very funny and caring beneath his gangsta outside. But also steals my pens. makes the sandwich shop ladies laugh by singing 'who let the dogs out'

Andy - a pain in the arse. doesn't like anything we get given to do, gets stoned at dinnertime, whinges continually. Never does his homework.

Aaron - really nice when he's on his own, not as friendly when he's around Andy. Wants to be a clothes designer, has really fantastic red sparkly trainers and those tramline things in his hair

Dale - very shy, possibly the shyest person I've ever met. Always wears a baseball cap. Very soft voice. Amazing artist, very delicate and exact drawings, even if they are of things i'm not interested in like cannabis leaves

Bernadette - wears blue glasses due to some undisclosed condition. Quiet. Hardly speaks, but laughs a lot at what AM and me are talking about. dark horse.

Charlotte - did fashion and wants to learn to draw - has now dropped out to go back to fashion

and of course, me. I think I've probably got a reputation for being an arselicking teachers pet because I know things and do homework