Monday, January 23, 2006

Valley Girl

I'm standing in an unheated Leisure Centre in the Welsh Valleys. Next to the National Orchestra of Wales (string section). Handing out postcards to disinterested schoolchildren. While wearing a t-shirt that says HERE FOR YOU.

I am not happy. I am just very cold. The girls from the Catholic School turn up wearing high heels, micro skirts and unimpressed expressions. Even their highlights are sulking.

It's a relief that the girls are so highly sexualised ("I'm pretty. I know it. You can fuck off. Unless you've got fags."), but the boys just aren't. They've not even looked themselves in the mirror for three years. So I emerge with dignity intact, beyond a momentary flutter about a tall teenager with careful hair.

After lunch everyone starts speaking Welsh. Even the tea lady.

I get so cold I tip scalding coffee on my hands to warm them up. My scream of pain nearly makes a schoolchild look up from the lino.

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