Sunday, 18 January 2009

Escape from the Pit

Free again!

The trouble with day jobs is they often get in the way of the important stuff, like writing. On the whole I do tend to get off quite lightly, especially for an accountant, where a lunatic fifteen-hour day work ethic is still quite prevalent. Fortunately it has been a long time since I had to succumb to such nonsense, and for this I am grateful. I commute by public transport, and although this keeps me away from home for eleven or twelve hours each day, I get to spend two to three of them reading or listening to podcasts; never knock public transport, I get through thirty books a year this way.

But the accountancy world likes to drop one little irritant onto the calendar every twelve months: year-end. This is the time when statutory accounts must be prepared. My year-end is 31st December, so at least I get Christmas.

The photo is of frozen trees in Delemere Forest on
New Year's day, my last day of freedom.

But on 2nd January it’s back to work for a run of two or three seven-day weeks, when daylight and the sight of clouds scudding across the sky becomes but a memory. Each evening I return home in the guise of a zombie, and, although I still manage to write a little, most of it will be edited out of existence during the following weeks of post-accountancy rehab.

But it’s over. I have emerged. My first free weekend. It was wonderful. Sarah and I have done museums, pizzas, gardens... and today we went to Ness, for a lecture about bugs and slugs and their sex lives. (Never let it be said that I don’t know how to give a girl a good time.)

And I’ve worked through a long list of tasks that have been on hold for a while: I’ve booked Wirral Writers a table at next month’s Write Minds event in Ruthin (28th Feb); I’ve booked accommodation for our annual pilgrimage to the Hay Festival in May (accommodation is such a classy word, don’t you think? I'm referring to a 18x6 patch of grass in a field. But it’s a very nice field, and it's one in which we’ve wanted to park our caravan for a number of years.)

This is Hay 2007. I don't have photos of 2008, my camera isn't the underwater type.

And I’ve been booked to play sax/clarinet in two shows in March and April. And I've booked a caravan site for a weekend in London...

Now just look at that, a clear desk.
Sleeves rolled up. Cup of tea. Time to push on with the novel.

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