Another day I miss Ben*’s lesson. And the facts that I find his lessons absolutely useless and that they happen at 9 in the morning are not exactly an encouragement to attend them in the future… I agree that 9 in the morning does not sound outrageously early. But taking into account that the three bus journey takes me about two hours, I look at a waking-up hour of half past six. For some mysterious reason, my body has managed to switch the alarm clock off without allowing me to wake up for the past two weeks. Wonders of nature.

I do not miss the 3pm seminar, though, so it is not that the Ben* in question has stopped seeing my face. A curious power shift has occurred since last year. It happens that this mister is an integral journalist. Last year he spent most seminars asking me about my origins, the customs, the folklore of my home country, etc. It resulted that, more than doing the work he was supposed to do, he was gathering information from his pupils, for free and during salary time.

So far, so good, until one day he suggested that I infiltrate “my local terrorist group” in order to get a good story. My various reasons not to do this were not enough for him – he was actually serious!!! He only left me alone when I told him something on the lines that no story is worth your lifeI would have thought that he, should have known by now, having been a journalist for longer than i have been alive.

This year it looked like he was going to go on like the last one. We were an idea for an article one day; I wanted to write about climate change and the role that the fuel use by planes play. By the way, it is tax free, unlike the one used on cars, where 90% of its price is tax. He started to ask me personal questions and what I thought of low-cost airline companies. In my best style, I abruptly cut him off: “what I think is that you should tell me whether my idea for an article is good enough or not”. Poor thing, since that day I have the impression that he actually wants to help me.

Another factor may have had some influence too: I am finally going to write about the subject he wants me to write on, and not the one I had initially proposed as an alternative to climate change. In the very line of infotainment journalism, of course it is much more sexy to talk about squatting, with its clandestineness, its confrontations with police and authorities in general… than speculation, concentration of property in very few hands and the industry that precarious housing is today (see the February entry).

If I refused to go to the London College of Printing it was precisely to avoid messing around with commercial journalism as Ben* wants me to. Its a relief that, at least, he allows me to write about almost whatever I want. And he has good intentions, too.

*The name has been changed.