I use this blog to vent and just get stuff off my chest - I forget that sometimes people I know read it, I find it really helpful to just unload - and then walk away - and it's similar to the process of verbalising or talking things through - this is a lot easier than dumping shit on my mates - and living on my own - I find that the dogs have no interesting in heart to heart conversations unless there is a tasty treat at the end of it. I'm not really interested in some of the confessional blogs you get - I actually think that some people make stuff up for effect - I see that a lot in real life. This is just my basic day-to-day reality.
Yesterday was a very long day. Started at 4am. I woke up with a start - realising it was Monday 1st of June. Generally - that's not a problem, but being a complete moron I'd forgotten it was the start of the month and I hadn't checked that I had enough in my household account to pay my mortgage. I didn't. This was entirely my own fault and too late to fix. I was livid.
I had a full day in Brighton booked up with meetings. Went into the studio first to pickup some samples I needed to return to a client and then up to the station for an overpriced train ticket and over long journey. I arrived at the station slightly early and caught the first train available. It 'stops' - so it eventually arrives at the same time as a train that leaves 30 mins later. The weather had turned and it was cold and windy. Fortunately I had dressed correctly for a change. I did leave the house wearing a lightweight jacket - but half way down the hill realised the cuff on my expensive jumper had started to unravel and it wasn't the kind of day where I could get away with that - so I went home to change and 'traded up' to something more robust.
The train was full of really annoying posh teenagers who hadn't bought a ticket, made a total performance of buying them from the guard, and managed to miss their stop. They were talking about the battle of Hastings not actually taking place in Hastings, but in nearby Battle... who would have thunk it? They were also disappointed that it had taken place near an ugly roundabout. I had to put my headphones on at this point. In addition - whoever was on the tannoy had a screaming baby in the compartment with them, regular updates were like eavesdropping on Hell on a bad day.
The train was full so I was trapped in my seat - not normally a problem - until the seat opposite was occupied by a man with industrial strength halitosis. I was in a nightclub once where someone set off a tear gas canister 'for fun' - it was a lot like that. By the time we got to Brighton I was practically drunk on the fumes.
Around Hampden Park - over the wetlands - I saw my first swifts and swallows of the year.
My iPhone resolutely refused to connect to the internet all day - being away from the world was simultaneously challenging and liberating.
I had a really good meeting with a client in Hove and I need to complete some work for them today. I had several empty periods between meetings that meant I was stuck in coffee shops or window shopping - in Brighton, a town I generally hate. As a result - my feet are raw this morning (wearing the 'wrong shoes') also, too much coffee and being out all day left me with a headache and the constant feeling my hands were dirty (they were). I can totally understand why people develop phobias about touching door handles.
Everyone in Brighton was young, shopping, good looking and had a beard, or an over dressed small child. There were also a lot of homeless people, including one who had created an entire bedroom outside the main COOP on Western Road - with mattress, bedding and a bedside cabinet. I saw a young bloke being arrested for what looked like shoplifting. The arresting officer was about 25, had a hipster beard, fancy hair, horn-rimmed glasses and short sleeves displaying whole arm tattoo's of a modern design. Is nothing sacred.
I spent some time in Waterstones, There is a vogue for 'adult' colouring books - they are probably very successful, very 'on trend' - they are absolute tripe. Complete garbage for people too insecure to make their own decisions and too rich to have any perspective. There was a large section of books by my Booker nominated neighbour, I had a flick through and they looked terrible.
When I was in a Cafe Nero in the Laines, I suddenly remembered what it was like living there - whenever I was outside the house, all I ever wanted to do was go home.
I had two more meetings yesterday - one with people who I have worked with for nearly 20 years. I'm working with them at the moment - in truth - I'm actually sub contracting, they are getting paid a lot more than me to pretend I work for them, and I do all the work. They are managing it quite badly and I'm quite frustrated. It was not a formal meeting, I had arranged to drop by semi socially and to touch base on this project as it's ongoing and something else that's supposed to be coming up. In fact, it didn't work like that. I don't know what was going on but they were really offhand and actually quite rude, I think I know why - it's an embarrassing oversight on their behalf - having a very junior person in doing work I normally do for them on another project (I already knew they did that, I'm not bothered by it). I've worked really hard for these people and helped them out a lot. earlier in the year I did a load of work for them for free, and I'm much cheaper than anyone else with my experience. Clearly friendship and history counts for nothing. I didn't say anything but I was angry, embarrassed and quite offended, I can't see myself ever wanting to work with them again.
Later - I had a meeting with another client who bought me dinner. I'm not a fan of Jamie's Italian and I KNOW when there is ham in the supposedly vegetarian sauce. It was a good meeting, very positive work wise and someone I like very much. Later we had a long conversation about work and the industry. A big part of what they do is in career development and understanding my industry. Essentially - she made it clear to me that I need to either move back to London or somewhere commutable - which would either be Brighton (can't afford that) or Margate / Folkestone. She right, of course - and something I've already considered more than once. It's something I've been blanking out for a while but it's getting to crisis point now - I'm really busy - constantly working with people who have no money and no imagination - I'm running on empty and if I don't do something soon I'll go under. This is an incredibly scary time for people in my position, Industry, my age and with economy the way it is. One thing I can't afford to do is leave the property ladder - I'll never get back on. The logistics of this are going to be very difficult and I don't know how it's going to work out, but frankly - I have no choice. Either that of find myself pushing supermarket trolleys around the Asda carpark for a living for the rest of my life.
Every single person I spoke to yesterday owes me money.