Saturday, 28 April 2012

Banana Loaf

So thats that then. I worked my last day this Wednesday so I'm now a rather rotund lady of leisure. To say it's an odd feeling is a slight understatement. I have worked since the age of 12 so to not be working (indefinitely) is quite strange.

My career so far has consisted of the following jobs:

Older Brothers Leaflet Stuffer - Age 12
As my dad had to bring up 3 kids on his own, money was very tight when we were growing up. We didn't get pocket money so learnt pretty early on that if you wanted something, you had to work for it. Or sell snails to the neighbour which I did try but it wasn't very lucrative. (100% true even though it sounds slightly insane). Living in a small village in Essex, career opportunities for a slightly eccentric red headed 12 year girl were rather limited to say the least, so when my older brother offered me my first job I was over the moon. He was 2 years older than me and got himself a job delivering the local free paper, The Yellow Advertiser, on a Friday after school. He had to deliver 500 newspapers which always needed stuffing with various leaflets before he delivered them which is where I came in. He paid me £1 every Friday to leaflet stuff. Looking back it was not the best position I have held in a job capacity, but was probably a good indication of how the future would pan out. Hence my brother now lives in Sydney running his own company, owning several properties in Oz + the UK and I live in Hackney in a 1 bedroom flat and am going to be an unmarried mother. Hmm, I think I can see now where my problems started. I should never have accepted that leaflet stuffing position.

Baker - Age 13 to 16
To say I was an actual Baker is stretching the truth somewhat. I worked in a bakery on a Saturday, Wheatcroft the Bakers in Brentwood Shopping precinct, with about 5 other teenagers and I loved it. I got £12.60 cash in a paper bag each Saturday for working from 8am - 2pm and still think this was the best job I ever had. It was brilliant. We had the best view of the 'hunky' skateboarders who used to skate around the precinct, Chocolate Eclairs cost 28p and I had a uniform. A yellow coat and a dark brown tabard. My hair always smelt of bread at the end of my shift but it was a small price to pay for my first proper wage packet. Happy days.

Child minder - Age 16 to 17
When I was 16 my dad asked me to give up my Saturday job to look after my little brother. He said he would pay me the same money as the Bakers to stay at home and look after him while my dad went to work. So, I quit my dream job and my dad never paid me any money. I was gutted and probably never forgave him for ruining my life and stopping me from being able to spy on the skateboarding hunks.

Dorothy Perkins Shop Assistant - Age 17 to 17
After a year of sulking I begged my dad to be able to get another Saturday job and ended up in Dorothy Perkins in Brentwood High Street. I hated it. The shop was narrow and claustrophobic and the clothes were awful. Although this didn't stop a couple of girls from school coming into the shop under the pretense of seeing me but actually shop lifting. Nice!

Burton Menswear Shop Assistant - Age 17 to 18
I think the Manageress of Dorothy Perkins knew how much I hated the job which is why she suggested I transfer to Burton's at the other end of the high street. A Saturday job transfer was probably quite a rare thing but I thought it would be worth it to get away. This ended up being a great move on my part. Burtons, although selling awful slacks, was really good fun. All the other staff were really nice, one of them had a car (this was most impressive to me) and we got to go on 'training days'. It was awesome.

Burton Menswear Shop Assistant  - Age 18 to 20
After I completed my A-Levels I went to University. Not coming from a family with any money I could only go if I worked to pay for myself, so I got another transfer! From the Brentwood Burtons to the High Wycombe branch. This was another job I loved. This Burtons was huge. It had a whole wall of jeans that I was so proud of being in charge of I took a photo of which I often showed to people. Also the other staff that worked there were brilliant. I can still remember them now which is saying something considering how booze addled my brain is. There was handsome Christian (he had amazing eyes and was very posh), young Mike (he lived on a nearby army base and had a small crush on me. One day he brought me a tape single of Will to Powers version of 'Baby I love your way'), Paula the Deputy Manageress and Graham the Manager who ended up making twins together!

Next Shop Assistant / Hostage - Age 20 to 21
I had hoped that in my final year I could concentrate on my studies / Kiwi 20/20 consumption at the Student Union and left Burtons. Considering I had never asked my mother for a penny for anything before, I enquired as to whether she might like to help me out in my last year of studies. She didn't, so I was on the job hunt again and ended up getting a job in Next. To this day I can't walk past a branch of this place without getting a sweaty top lip. This job was like a bad dream.  Not only did I have to wear their clothes the Manageress was insane. Literally. The final straw was when she locked me in her office for 20 minutes one day as I said I couldn't work on the Boxing day Sale. Unbelievable. So I complained to their head office about my false imprisonment and she got sacked. Apparently several of the staff had complained about her so they had to let her go. Total nutcase.

Blink Productions Receptionist, PA + PM - Age 21 to 27
My first proper grown up job. On completing my Degree I needed to get working properly. Most people on my Film course said they were going to move to London to be 'runners'. I had no idea what this meant but knew these 'runners' worked in production Companies. So Auntie Margaret photocopied me the names and addresses from the Yellow Pages of all the Production Companies in the West  End. I only got as far as 'B' before giving up but luckily thats all I needed. I had 2 weeks left in my house at College and managed to get a job in what is one of the most successful Production Companies in London. I still don't how I managed it. I was very lucky. And I didn't have to be a runner! I went straight in at reception! I was pretty useless and pretty terrified. I couldn't turn the reception computer on, had no idea what a cappuccino was and had never met so many posh people in my life, but somehow I didn't get the sack and stayed for nearly 7 years. I made some awesome friends, friends for life hopefully and worked my way up from Reception, to Production Assistant to Production Manager. It's also here where I got to do a lot of travelling. I went to Spain, Kenya, Arizona, New York, LA, Austin, Portland, San Francisco, New Orleans and Dublin. Screw you mad lady from Next!

1997 Production Company of the year Party. 
Incase there is any doubt, this is a wig. Don't ask me why.

I took my role as front of house VERY seriously.

Free trip to Arizona courtesey of the travel agent we used to use.

Budweiser shoot in Kenya.

Sky shoot in Sussex.

View from my room at the Mondrian in LA for a Land Rover shoot.

Sony shoot in Barcelona. We were there for 3 weeks. I learnt how to say 'Son of a bitch' in Spanish.

'Fill Her Up' by Mark Denton, Short film shoot in Spain.

Adidas shoot with Dave. I took him his lunch, burst into tears and had to be escorted off his winniebago. The happiest god damn day of my life.

Me on the Blink Bags. Still see them every now and then even though this was taken donkey's years ago.

I met Orville. I'd left Blink by then but went back to give this bird a little grope.

Another Film Company PM Age 27 - 35
I left Blink to try my hand at being Freelance but ended up almost immediately joining Another Film Company, another Production Company in the West End. It was here that my interest in dressing up really took off.

MacDonalds Shoot. I did not love it. This is irony.

Mexican Wrestler.



Dodgy wig with my friend Theo in a dodgier wig.

The Honey Monsters shoes.

A long Venetian nose.


Aerobics' instructor.

I also got to travel some more too. I went to Argentina, Prague twice and Cape Town twice.

Mastercard shoot in Prague with Pele. He's front row wrapped in a flag.

Diet Coke shoot in Cape Town.

Nokia Shoot in Argentina. We chartered our own plane.

NPower shoot at Wembley Stadium.


Some famous Rugger chaps at Twickenham Stadium for 02.

I even grew a moustache one day.

100 years of M+S at Borough Market.

Freelance PM - Age 35 to 37 
Then for the last 18 months I've been working Freelance (having to do your own tax is a headache) doing a couple of jobs at Mother:

but mostly I've been working at The Moving Picture Company:

Mother was an interesting place to work but I have really loved being at MPC. Its a huge company with some very clever people working there. Again its a miracle to me that I managed to winkle my way in but I did and it was all thanks to my old friend Mole (we worked together at Blink). When I first started there we had to share a desk and a phone, you could only work that close to someone you like and luckily for Mole and I, we get on pretty well. We are both wally's basically. So thanks for all the work Mole, but most importantly, thanks for the memories.

Mole, he looks a bit like Chuck Norris.

Roundhouse kick to the chops Take 1.

Roundhouse kick to the chops Take 2.

Lucky Voice.

Wheres Mole?!

I actually feel quite proud looking back at all these pictures, quite a journey really. So even if I never work again I've not had a bad innings although I hope to god I will work again. I'd definitely be a baker again although I'm not sure I fancy revisiting the leaflet stuffing days.

So now, I'm at home trying to relax but trying not to get too brain dead, I have been making sure to go somewhere each day or at least make something so yesterday I made a Banana Loaf. I've never made one before but must have my finger on the pulse since in today's Guardian they have a recipe for Banana Loaf! Anyway, here's the recipe I used, it's really easy, extremely delicious and good for using up ripe banana's.

To make 1 Banana Loaf

Shopping list:
125g Butter
75g Caster Sugar
75g Demerara Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Beaten Egg
190g Self Raising Flour
3 x Ripe Bananas, mashed with a fork.

* Pre-heat the oven to Fan 150 C.
* Line and grease a loaf tin.
* Melt the butter and sugar in a pan and add the Vanilla Extract.

* Once melted, remove from the heat and add to the mashed banana's. Mix together well.
* Add the beaten egg, stir again.
* Finally stir in the flour, then when it's all mixed together pour into the loaf tin and sprinkle with demerara sugar to give it a crunchy top.

* Put into the oven and cook for a long time. Initially it was meant to cook for 40 minutes but ended up taking over an hour. You basically need to keep checking on it through the door of the oven (don't open the oven door) and wait for it to go darker on top. Once you think its ready remove from the oven and poke with a skewer. When the skewer comes out of the loaf dry, its ready.

I didn't have a tin to keep it in so have wrapped it up like this, I think it looks quite nice and tastes lovely.

No comments:

Post a Comment