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8.01.09 by Buffalo Bill

A while ago a young man asked himself the question should I quit my desk job and become a cycle courier? After nine months as a courier, he is now living in a Mayfair squat and, last Tuesday, gave a talk titled No Fixed Ideas about what it’s like as a job and a subculture and how/why it connects to squatting.

A Moving Target correspondent attended, and here are his impressions:

It was a stimulating place and discussion. Alex told us his story honestly and engagingly, commenting on the ways in which couriering and squatting could be considered complimentary activities. The idea that both involve a feeling that you can access all areas whilst belonging nowhere was raised. non-couriers asked about the job, couriers answered. non-squatters asked about squatting, and were answered. There was even a lorry driver there who asked how it felt to be ‘in the shadow of death’ as a cyclist in London, to which Alex answered that you generally don’t realise you’ve been in the such a shadow until the clouds clear, as it were. There was a general consensus that trucks should be left well alone.

We talked about the ways in which the job and the lifestyle might facilitate other activities or projects, or whether they constitute an end in themselves (something I’m a bit way of). We all seemed to feel, however, that there was an element of ‘the journey is the destination’. One thing I’ve been thinking about since is the degree to which the physical fatigue of the job (though undoubtedly one of the things is enjoy most about it) prevents me doing much in the evenings during the week. But this is a minor gripe. I felt that sticking in the job to the end necessitates the transition to controller (sorry Bill), or general wasteman (sorry everyone else).

Then we had tour of one of the most incredible buildings I have ever been in, and a nice cup of tea and a chat. It was a pleasure to meet you all, couriers and squatters alike, and congratulations Alex on a lovely evening. Hope you get more jobs today akeley, will and emily. I’m still avoiding work! Jon (hackney dude).

Thanks to Jontyponty for the report. More from our friend on his blog, which is here.

LCEF makes the London Review of Books blog and Road.cc
Alley-fox-cat-hunt report from Jontyponty

  1. Oi,pay your road tax and your f*cking rent and er..get a job!
    That is all.

    — overly driven    8 January 2009, 10:39    #
  2. Sounds like a really interesting event – how did you find out about it?

    — Simon    8 January 2009, 22:07    #
  3. www.guardian.co.uk/s…

    — overly driven    9 January 2009, 09:34    #
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