Visitors meeting

George is my contact on this new NoBorders business. We meet in a bar in zone 2 for a coffee. I thought it weird to have a one to one conversation about volunteering over a coffee, but when I see George he is at a table talking to some five other people. We all introduce each other and then they resume the conversation, which seems to be at the stage of the actual travelling to the detention centre, somewhere in zone 6. (note below)

No Borders

On one of the email lists I am in, there is an email from No Borders. The work they seem to do now is the punctual service: visiting asylum seekers locked up in detention centres.

‘We need people to help / visit detainees, asylum seekers that are awaiting deportation’, the email says.

My mind goes to the gospel, to the bit where God rewards those who visited people who were ill or in jail.

This is punctual help to individual people. Mostly men. The women seem to be locked up in another detention centre, too far away from London for unemployed or low-waged volunteers to afford to go regularly. So they stick to the detention centres next to Heathrow, one tube ride away.

Visit detainees. That is not going to tear apart the borders, NOBorders. But it is (sold as) part of a wider strategy, against all borders. This is the ‘detainee support group’ part of NoBorders. Because it is not fair that people have (or not) the right to live here based on where they were born.

I write back to offer to volunteer.

The Guardian

Very first day at The Guardian. Some kind of induction day.

A tall guy who seems that will be my supervisor spends too long explaining how the articles are classified, tagged and formatted, ready for uploading. I am also supposed to read them and pick up mistakes that may have slipped through the several layers of sub-editing. These are articles that have already been sent to the printers; any correction will only come up on the online version.

London home

London room

I live in a shared house in London. I don’t know any one who doesn’t. Most of the people I know have moved in houses already inhabited with strangers. Then we make friends, or not. It seems easier to just find a room in the kind of house you like than getting together with friends, decide to look for the same kind of accommodation and then once found, distribute the very different bedrooms among the, in principle, similar people.

Offspring

Got a friend with her son at home today. Children are great, if and when you can afford them. I don’t think humanity can afford to have children any more.

Underground

I had to get on the tube today because there was such a big jam. It may have been half a year since I last used it. For non frequent users, the first thing that strikes is the obscene amount of advertising present everywhere, at least once you pass the barrier gates.

Anniversary

Many and very varied things have happened since I came to this Country 10 years ago. According to different witches and other friends, my personality has radically changed various times. Just in the first year I had my first job, I was sacked because I was useless, and before two weeks, I got a new one where my abilities were venerated – doing the same thing.

Hacklab

This came from Germany:

[1] http://hacklab.org.uk/
[2] http://www.hacklabs.org/index_en.html
[3] http://london2600.org.uk/
[4] http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/london/

Ben II

Dear Ben goes and says today that my final result on the current assignment will depend on the level of the other people’s articles. To make it even better, I tell the story to the angels of my guard and they answer that it is not that horrible.

Angel

When I first arrived in London, Angel was the first area where I lived – or, as I have heard from some old londoners, and read in “Oliver Twist”, by Dickens, “The Angel”. I actually stayed there for quite long, one and a half years, which is my current record in one address. I remember this big green that was surrounded by a high wall. Every time I returned from Chapel Market, I would see this graffiti on the wall: