I shouldn't have got up this morning. I should have just stayed in bed. It would have been better for everyone. Mostly me.
I went to the studio to complete a piece of work I'm doing for free - the politics of my industry etc. I get a lot of that. I needed to go to Brighton at some point to talk through the work with the client, and - as it happened, another client was at Hastings to see someone else and driving back there after lunch so I tagged along for a lift. I say 'client', I used to work with them a lot but they took on a design manager who hates me and wanted to bring in their own people - so I stepped away - partly for the sake of retaining some dignity - and partly because we have been friends for years and I wanted to keep that intact.
The meeting in Brighton was OK - still have more to do - but hopefully it will lead to something paid. As I was leaving ( remember I still have to get the train home and it's essentially the same price as a return, so I've not saved any money by getting a lift) I picked up a voice mail from a very aggressive woman at the Inland Revenue - something I've been dreading for a while. I have to deal with it in the morning and I'm not looking forward to it. I'm a bit fucked there.
After that - I checked my emails on my phone, and received something that made me so angry and despondent that I nearly burst into tears in the street. Basically - I've been shafted by a client I've worked with for years - I don't think they even realise how shabbily they have treated me - so, that's 2 clients gone in one day - about 30 - 40% of my income. I sat on the train all the way back brooding, with two uniformed police officers opposite me and a bearded lady to my left (I'm not making this up).
When I got back to the studio I was told that another of my main clients has just lost most of their contract work. I literally have no fucking idea what I'm going to do next.
I tried to be practical and decided to walk home, buy a couple of cans of beer to relax, and watch a film - just to wind down - rather than literally make myself ill with worry. In the shop, I bought dog food, milk and 4 cans of cheap beer. Behind me in the queue was a man with a small child, I think he was her grandfather. She was very talkative, and pointed at my basket and said 'look - that man's a drunk'.
I'm now at home, I've already had a couple of really depressing conversations with other designers in the same situation as me - it seems to be the theme for this year already. I'm watching a film about a zombie outbreak in India - it's just far enough away from reality to keep me sane.
Everything is worthless.
Last week I watched a film called 'Frank' based on a book by Jon Ronson about the musician, Frank Sidebottom. I enjoyed it so much I decided to buy the book - it had been serialised on the radio but I didn't catch very episode. I tried Waterstones' and another independent - happy to pay full price (it's only a year old) but with no luck, I tried the charity shops and book exchange - again, no luck. In the end I looked online - I loathe Amazon - but it was an easy place to start. The book was available for everything from £10.00 to 1p. That's the price for a new copy in hard back. 1p. How can a book seriously be worth just 1p. After 10 mins agonising about the ethics, I bought it - having realised that essentially - it's all I could afford.
So - that's a really good book by a well know writer, less than a year old, that was made into a major film, hardback - with a nice cover, brand new, delivered to my house, for 1p. Where is the logic in that? How does anyone earn a living in this world?
I had to listen to David Cameron on the radio earlier - smarming his way through a very sycophantic interview. The next 'big idea' is to cap benefits for the very small number of people that have more than 5 children - a bit like social engineering - possibly to encourage them to smother their children. He thinks the parents should get a job - which is going to be difficult with 5 kids. The savings are probably enough to keep Whitehall in toilet paper for a month.
This Indian Zombie film is actually pretty good.
ps. after the the depressing email and about an hour and a half of deep thought - I sent back an angry reply that will 100% guarantee that they never work with me again.