I got bored with being in bed, and I felt better so by 3pm I was downstairs. Bored - and stressed out by having spent far too much time thinking.
I've not had a single work related email or call today, that's unusual and very unnerving. I've dropped off the map. January is actually quite a rubbish time anyway. I'm supposed to be developing some ideas for something happening in March that I'm helping another agency with, and researching for a print project that won't generate any income - just exposure. Both of those I'm happy to tick over in my head for a day or so - and I'm waiting for feedback on a project I completed last week that needs to be seen by the client (in Nigeria) before I can invoice. These things go one of two ways - the end client goes off on a tangent and the project is dropped (that happens I lot) or I get an email asking for something totally different - which means I was mis-briefed, and I have the difficult problem of getting the client to admit it was their fault and pay me more money. There is a regular client who is in Hong Kong at a trade fair, so they are quiet - and they have taken on someone who doesn't like me and I can feel that one slipping away. Another project was half finished before xmas and needs finalising - but I have a horrible feeling they may get someone in-house to knock it together to save money.
Work does not look great this year ( although to be fair - it is early ) and 2015 will be a slow start. I don't really have the funds to sit it out and I've been trying to come up with a strategy to manage survival and getting in more income. Being here ( Hastings ) is quite awkward. I really like Hastings, but it has aspects that really bother me - apart from the overwhelming drinking culture (I'm not talking about the Yates's level piss-heads and the street drinkers - but all the way up to the 'down from London' types and regular artsy crowd who basically live to drink and drink to live).
I think it's a very introverted town, quite tribal and clique-y - and the transport is just awful. If I am to earn more money - I need to pick up work in London - and it's just too difficult to get in and out, and expensive. Today was the first 'Express Service' - much heralded by my awful MP who is convinced that it's all her own idea and do-ing. We now get a single service every day in to London at 8.04am and one back at about 4pm - it stops at only 5 stations rather than the usual 15, yes FIFTEEN!!. It's 'supposed to be' 90 mins to Charing Cross - but that's just bollocks, it's 90 mins to Waterloo East - after that you need to change to a different service because of the works at London Bridge - so expect another 30 mins to travel 15 mins walking distance - in one of the most spectacularly over crowded routes in Europe. Of course - it's a waste of time - unless you can persuade your employer to let you work 10.30am - 3.30pm, it's also about £33.00. The Train people have also been warning everyone for a decade to avoid that route now for at least a year because of the re-build at London Bridge. The Ashford/St Pancras service is much better and could probably do with being 5-10mins faster on the Hastings/Ashford side - but it's really expensive - and the Hastings / Brighton service would be at least 15 mins faster if they just turned Hampden Park into a transport hub for the fast hourly service and cut out Eastbourne. That would totally regenerate the town - making it far more attractive to students, and people who can't afford to live in Brighton but work there.
One of the projects I'm looking at now requires me to research this stretch of the coast towards Kent and as far as Margate and I'm starting to like the idea of Folkestone. just over an hour to London, just under 2 hours to Paris, lots of great cycling opportunities (really easy quiet rides all the way to Dungeness on the coast road) and cheap property. I can't imagine not living by the sea and I'll never move back north again - Brighton and London will never be affordable again, Eastbourne is nice but dull with the same transport issues as Hastings - if anything, it has less to offer - and I have never liked St Leonards - despite what the papers keep telling everyone. I also have this really irrational dislike of anywhere called the 'New' anything else - New Brighton, New Hackney, New Shoreditch, New Dalston. The are just silly names dreamed up by estate agents and property speculators - or people trying to pretend they didn't move down here because they were priced out of everywhere else. I also kinda like the idea of being able to get places without having to change trains constantly.
It's something I'm going to have to mull over this year - if things don't improve I'm not going to have any options, but I think I perform better when I have something to work towards - which I've not had in a long time. I've lived here for over 7 years - longer than I've lived anywhere in my entire life, and I don't seem to have much to show for it, and at my age - the constant, relentless, grinding uphill struggle is getting to be a bit of a bore. I'm probably just feeling a bit overwhelmed by everything, including the weather and time of year ( 'Blue' Monday is apparently in 2 weeks), perhaps a bit of decent daylight... and the odd break in my luck.. would help.