I hopped off the train at Tamworth; looked to my left and I saw a Dominoes sign; looked to my right, and I saw a Jewsons; looked center, and I saw a warrior queen sculpture. Yes, that was a parody of “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus. And yes, I did say warrior queen. Gotta love the UK.
Popped in for a latte at a cafe where I had the most delightful chat with the waitress. She was born and raised in Tamworth. She also raised her three children in Tamworth. She was a most wonderful welcome. She shared with me that when she turned 40, she decided she wanted a change. She completed a two year course to prepare her to go to University, and then decided not to go. “I should have been braver, I shouldagone.” I said that there was still time. Also, having three babies exit your vagina is fucking brave. Uni is easy in comparison.
She then asked me, “So what do you do in London?” This is a tricky question at the moment. I definitely didn’t want to say I’m unemployed, as that’s just embarrassing. “Well, I’m changing careers. I used to work in publishing, I’m going to be a Secondary English teacher, but right now… what do you do?”
“I work at a cafe. People always judge me when I say that, they always go..uhhh that’s it. But I love it. I meet interesting people, I have lovely chats, regulars who become friends. Nice old ladies from the senior living center down the road come in for company. I’m happy.”
I agreed. People care too much about careers, and not enough about being happy. I had a career and I was miserable, I’d much rather be unemployed and happy, then miserable and employed. Hell, bored and employed is shit, too!
I finished my latte and paid the bill.
“Why are you in Tamworth?”
“I’m here for the Tamworth Literature Festival! Going to an event tonight. Here have one of my zines. ‘Giving a tit about lit’ That’s my nipple in a snake skin pasty. Well, bye! Nice to meet you.”
Then I left, bought a dress for £3, painted a plate, and played on the swings.
Check out some other things I wrote inspired by Tamworth: