Friday, 18 August 2017

Friday (the real one, this time)

Yesterday’s post was titled ‘Friday’ - it was actually Thursday. That’s what my life is like now. I came into work early and the main door had been left open all night. I’m really pissed off about that. Last time it happened a prostitute spent the night servicing customers on the stairs (we have CCTV). Insurance won’t pay out if the door has been left open.

This morning a skip appeared outside my house. I really hope it is next door finally gearing up to selling their house, although it might be the new guy opposite. At this point there is absolutely no chance of me having the work done on my house - It’s just not possible.

I have a meeting with a client at 11 - one of the few people left who actually pays their bills.

One if the reasons I’m annoyed about the front door is that we now have a local drug dealer - who doesn’t have a doorbell so someone has to shout up to their window if they want ‘service’ - it’s right outside the studio. He has a lot of customers.

Later today I have to talk to my ‘in-between’ person at the job which appears to have gone horribly wrong. I’ve pretty much completed everything but the organisation is fairly chaotic and not well run and someone has decided they don’t need the work I’ve already done. In other news, a client has told me they need to hold a project for the duration of their children’s school holidays… which is nice for them, but not great for me. I think I’m probably too nice to people, a big part of being freelance is getting on with clients and building trust - but it’s a two way relationship, I seem to have forgotten that one. I’m getting walked all over.

Hazel O’Connor liked one of my tweets, which was actually a joke about her. This was almost as exciting as that time Toyah sent me a get well soon card after I came out of hospital.

A friend sent me a copy of ‘Hollywood Babylon’ that they had intended to give to charity. It was the same edition I bought from a shop called 69A in Liverpool when I was about 16. I loved it at the time, it was an ugly, lurid, sensational bit of trash that was from a totally different world that I inhabited. It was also incredibly badly written - not that it mattered. I suppose it’s what the internet has become now. I am looking forward to reading it over the weekend. (when I say ‘reading’ - I actually mean looking at the pictures and reading the captions). I find it hard to believe that Kenneth Anger is still alive.

Talking age - an aunt is in hospital at the moment. My family all seem to have lived to a great age in relative good health - all tall and slim, and active - but they seem to be entering their 80’s (and 90’s) now and time is catching up on them. Aside from the obvious - I have never actually been ‘ill’ as such - neither have my brother or sister - nothing more than colds and flu - or just working too hard. Probably ideal as none of us will ever be able to retire.


Whilst I’m on the subject of film, I have a close friend in that industry who knows a lot of very famous people and ‘cultural figures’ from the last 30 years (Including Toyah - which is how I ended up getting the get-well-soon card). It’s very strange and unnerving when they are on Facebook and interacting with people that I used to idolise or who are really quite well known - although at the same time - they appear generally quite dull in real life and most of their jokes are rubbish, and they all share click-bait, like real people. Without going into too much detail - I was on the sidelines of an exchange last week with someone who I expect you would all know and is a bit of a current pop culture hero - with a very high and positive profile - but who is actually quite cold, hypocritical and callous. It was chilling. Obviously - this anecdote is not particularly well written because I don’t want to say who they are - but it’s quite disappointing when you realise that everyone eventually lets you down, one way or the other.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Friday

I’ve had a ridiculous few days and I’m feeling a bit disorientated - more than usual.  I’m at home with a Vincent Price film on in the background after working 11 hours for the 4th day in a row - and tomorrow will be the same. Work is far harder than it should be, I’ve been let down really badly by someone technical and I have a couple of very difficult clients I need to deal with very carefully. I’m basically working harder than ever but I seem to be losing money hand over fist. To make it worse - a big project I’ve been working on for weeks has ‘gone toxic’ - not a phrase I usually use - but it’s possible I may be about to lose enough money to pay my mortgage for a year. And. It’s not my fault. I’ll probably talk about this another time.

Being tired and run down is starting to make me depressed and bad tempered - something that hasn’t happened since before my accident. I’ve found it quite difficult to keep up with this blog over the last couple of years - I’m not the same person I used to be and there is no point pretending I ever will be. I have bought of killing it - physically and metaphorically - partly as a gesture and partly because ‘he’ really is dead. I even thought about writing in the third person until I felt more comfortable with who I am. I still have to work that one out. To be honest - I’m frustrated more than anything else. I’m still struggling with writing by hand and my perception of what is written on the page or screen regularly seems at odd with what is actually there. Aggressive spell correction software makes things much worse. Don’t ask me to look at numbers, there is no point.

I’ve been dealing with my mortgage - I have secured an offer from by current lender that is actually very good. Fixed for 5 years at less than half the rate I pay now - the valuation they gave me was much more than I expected and I’ll be paying about 200pcm less for the same term. At the end of the 5 year fixed period I will be in position to sell everything and buy a flat for cash (probably) or at least be almost solvent. It’s actually everything I wanted - and I don’t have to go through the accounts stage so I can legitimately make a loss last year - which will save me a lot of money. I think it’s all OK - but I have to go through it all again in detail over the weekend. I tried talking to my brother about it but it wasn’t making any sense to me. I did think about going for interest only for a couple of years - but I can’t face that - it’s everything I scoff at.

I really don’t know where things are going with work - I honestly need to take a break from it all. I can see my future in this industry getting shorter and shorter.

3 people have been openly quite hostile towards me this week for no reason that I know of, it’s a bit weird - we’re generally quite friendly - but there has been the same odd ‘edge’ across all of them - they all know each other. I’m not being paranoid. It reminded me of being in school.

I had to spend some social time with the worst person I’ve met in years this week. I now fully understand the expression ‘virtue singnaling’ - it was excruciating. Smug white middle class privilage is a real thing.

My greyhound is showing his age more every day - it will be endgame soon. My whippet now needs to piss in the dining room at least 8 times a day. I will never be able to let anyone into the house again as long as she lives - and even then I’ll need to replace the floorboards.

I am struggling with the thought of getting through tomorrow - if I don’t get paid by someone I’ll literally be penniless. Which is quite absurd, as I don’t spend money (I live on nothing) and on paper - I’m somehow in excellent financial position,  I work 6 days a week, owe less money and have more equity and assets than at any time in my entire life - but can’t afford to by a loaf of bread. It’s fucking stupid. I don’t even have a credit card.

One of my clients sent me a crate of craft beers as a thank you. That hasn’t happened in 20 years. Nobody ever says thank you.

I have a client meting tomorrow, and then I need to deal with a lot of work and a couple of really difficult things that will probably upset me. At least it’s Friday.


I don’t know why I bother worrying about anything - the world is in Chaos, The Trump disaster is crawling towards an endgame - and it will be messy. I can’t bear to think about what happened in Spain today.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Sunday

I'm spoiling you with two posts a week.

went to work today. Didn’t really want to - but I had stuff that needed peace and quiet and Sunday is the best time. I was in the studio at about 10 past nine. I walked past the central Yates’s bar on the way in, there were people sitting outside drinking pints of lager. At 9am. On a Sunday. I don’t understand any of that.

By about lunchtime I’d done perhaps half of what I needed. Then it all went wrong, I was told anecdotally that the contact I have been dealing with on a large project (that has been dragging on for a while but is quite high profile) - has resigned and left. It is quite a lot of money, also - I have a suspicion they have not formalised the project with their managers and I am going to find it very hard to convince them to pay me or even continue with the project. This happened once about 15 years ago with Habitat and it took nearly 2 years to get paid. I really need that money - and I have been putting projects to one side and turning stuff down because it has been so complicated and time consuming. I was so pissed off I came home and went to bed for 2 hours. I’ve woken up with a  really bad headache now.

When I woke up - I could hear raised voices outside. We have a new neighbour. He rents a large house opposite. He has 2 small cars and 2 ‘4 by 4’ types and goes out at weekends somewhere rural and brings back a lot of mud that he never clears off the road or pavement. He’s very selfish and parks on the grass and clogs up the street. He was shouting at another neighbour because this guys car was parked too close to his.The other neighbour is about 75 and has a tiny Micra (he’s also a milkman with an actual milk float), I had to stand at the window waiting in case it all got out of hand and I needed to intervene - it went on and on and on for about an hour.

I’m incredibly tired and incredibly pissed off. I’m hoping that this week the mortgage thing goes through without too much drama - but I’m not banking on it. I have another really good reason for ending it to go through smoothly and without any distraction - but I’ll talk about that later.

The events in America this weekend have left me feeling sick and angry. I have fallen out with quite a few people over the last year because of this and things like it - in particular the trendy, middle class idiocy of people on the smug left who moaned that they didn’t want Hillary but were prepared to accept Trump instead. This is all as much their fault as anyone else’s.


It’s hot and sunny outside, I’m going to have pasta and ten get an early night - next week looks rubbish already.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

More new stuff.

It’s that time of year when everyone is on holiday - so nothing gets done except emergencies at 9pm when people in France remember the stuff they forgot to tell you about, nobody answers your emails or pays your bills - I am struggling to get things completed but project creep is making it impossible. Frustrating isn’t the word.

I’ve been let down badly by a digital supplier, again. They always let you down.

The automated payment process for my Council tax ended so I signed onto the system provided by my local authority - due to my fucked up head and the appalling interface I accidentally paid a years council tax by mistake - cleaning out my bank account. I can’t get it back and have complained - according to a friend who works there - it happens all the time. I am quite pissed off about that.

Additionally - as I’m sure you are bored with me mentioning - my difficulty with dates and numbers seems to have fucked up my mortgage - or possibly not. Still not sure.

I bought my house on August 28th - 10 years ago. I had it in my head that was the date when my when my mortgage ended, however - it actually finished a month early - so at the point when I was attempting to transfer to a different product online - it refused to offer me anything other than interest only, also - it has dropped down by £200pcm because I’m no longer on my old repayment rate.

It would seem to me that the new offers are all around 2% interest only - with the ability to pay up to 10% per annum of the outstanding balance on top - without penalty….which is somehow a much better deal than any of the fixed rate repayment mortgages I have been offered… I am going to mull this for a few days but if I stay on the interstate only fixed for 5 years and keep paying the same amount each months I am now - I’ll be better off ad pay off more of my balance… I have about 100K equity in the house now - but everything is getting on top of me with work and house stuff so I’m starting to get into debt - I’m seriously looking at making some drastic changes to my life - I can’t really keep stumbling along like this. I should probably talk to someone about my selective short term memory too.

I spent half a day with an old friend from college - she spent 3 hours unloading 30 years of disappointment and frustration caused by the failures at RCA. So. It’s not just me, then.

It’s Saturday - my day off - I have to go into work tomorrow. I’m exhausted. I woke up at 5am as usual and have been busy ever since. As I still have not replaced the washing machine, this included a lot of hand washing.

3 different people made rude comments about the shirt I was wearing yesterday (striped number - I like it) I've been asked not to wear it again, and was asked to move by one person because it was getting I the way of a photograph. 


I found a G5 apple Mac in the street - about 3k worth. Booted up straight away. 2 hard drives. People are insane. The case alone is worth 30 quid as scrap.

Monday, 31 July 2017

an update

I went to see Dunkirk yesterday - I thought it was very good. I was a bit annoyed by the frequent famous faces and too much harry Styles, but that didn’t detract from some very fine craft film making. In particular - as I live on the south coast - I really ‘got’ the big sea and sky throughout - very beautiful.

Last week I went to see the 2nd part of Angels in America - also excellent. I prefer theatre to theatrical so part 1 was more engaging for me, but once again - Andrew Garfield was the star of the show. Money well spent.

I have had a lot of work to do over the last week and IO’m getting increasingly run down - project creep is agonisingly annoying and impacts on my income. I’m ‘up against’ the end of the month so I have to make a decision about my mortgage in the next few weeks and sort a few other problems out - and try and persuade people to pay me. But, I’m sort of getting by.

I’m eating more protein at the moments I feel a it better but I would like to lose a bit of weight in the middle, or just get more exercise, or just possibly have a break. I have no real free time at all and I’m constantly tied.

I’m not sure if I got round to mentioning I hit 51 a couple of weeks ago. It wasn’t welcome.

‘The tiny ‘secret’ house directly across the road from me appears to have sold for quite a lot of money. I’m not sure why the Address is Fairlight Road - it should be my road - they even have a plaque on the fence. This morning one of my colleagues told me he’d been there this morning to pick up some chairs that the new owners were selling on eBay.

It’s becoming increasingly urgent to find a way to fund the front of my house - I need to get the mortgage thing out of the way first.

I trued to figure out what was wrong with the washing machine - when I turned it own, it started smoking. I guess that means it’s fucked. I don’t need a washing machine that catches fire. I managed to get through 25 years with just 2 washing machines, this one has lasted about a year. More money I can’t afford to spend. I’m really pissed off about that one. I really don’t seem to be getting a break here.

I broke my can opener and had to open a tin of chick peas with a hacksaw yesterday. The shame.

I’m sad that Jeanne Moreau has died - she was probably my favourite actress.


One of my mates witnessed quite a typical Hastings incident yesterday. It’s carnival week so much drinking and carousing everywhere - after the annual tug-of-war on the seafront, he witnessed the climax of a large family feud - an old woman on a mobility scooter (quite drunk) was repeatedly ramming a very large man (who had been part of the tug-of-war) and shouting ‘come on then. fight me’. Hastings.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

An update.

Yep. I know - I haven’t been around much recently. I’ve had a lot on my plate - I’m working really hard and frankly - I don’t seem to enjoy talking about myself any more. I’ve been writing this blog now for 10 years and I can’t quite remember why I started. I often think about writing something but my attention wanders or I forget what I was going to say.

In brief. 

Quite a lot has happened over the last couple of months. The election was a farce - and to top it off, because I gave some professional help to the independent candidate I was formally expelled from the Labour party by some legal department. Personally I found the whole thing hysterical. There is no point in my pretending I have any faith in Corbyn - I don’t and I will never come round to him. I think he’s a disaster waiting to happen. Sadly - that has meant me falling out with quite a few people.

I had my birthday in London with two old friends from school and their families and a few close friends from London. It was actually very nice. I don’t socialise much now but it was a lovely day.

I had the two year anniversary of my accident. I’m still having trouble with my memory - and I still get confused and stammer a bit when I’m stressed (usually with people I don’t know). I also still have that deeply frustrating and embarrassing thing where I get very emotional and tearful for the slightest reason. All typical, dull brain injury stuff. I’m used to it all now. The biggest problem is that I tend to blot things out - like money - when I don’t have the mental capacity to deal with something. This resulted in the deeply upsetting incident when I came home to find someone waiting to remove my furniture to pay for the charges on being 2 months late with my council tax over a year ago - even though I paid the bloody thing off early in the end. It was quite frankly a fucking nightmare and I still don’t understand what was going on - they were lucky I had the cash in the bank (just) It cleaned me out. 

As soon as I get paid by anyone, presuming they do pay me (I am on my 2nd non payer of the year) the money has to go straight out again. I can’t work any harder than I already do. Project creep is an absolute killer at the moment - things that should take weeks are taking months. I’ve done a lot of very good work recently - it seems to be my main focus and the only thing I get much satisfaction from. Which is useful because it’s basically all I do.

One strange thing  - I had a birthday card from my oldest friend - except she died just over a year ago. She’d written them and arranged for her sister to send them. It was quite overwhelming and upsetting - but good at the same time.

I took the older dog to the vets and we had a long talk about his age (17 - ancient for a greyhound) - his general good physical health but declining mental health - his teeth and the small tumor in his jaw. We have decided to let him be for the time being - he’s never going to cope with aesthetic and he’s quite happy - there is no point in treating his cancer. He’s the human equivalent of about 90.

I’m really tied and run down - I need a break but I don’t have the time and I certainly can’t turn work down, 

I went to see ‘Angels In America - pt1’ broadcast live from the National Theatre at my local Odeon. It was superb. I hated the TV film version - but this was quite something. Andrew Garfield in particular. I would never have been able to afford to see this in London, so the broadcasts are a Godsend. Alas - it was ruined a bit by the awkward woman who insisted they show the 2 foot high subtitles throughout - the manager apologised and gave us all free tickets for part 2 next week - which saves my 15 quid and takes the edge off things.

I had an email conversation with the now former best friend of someone I went out with years ago who took a lot of money from me - seems like they have done the same again (and again and again). I’m amazed there is anyone left to bleed dry.

The weather has been very good but I haven’t done much cycling - It’s actually been too hot for me so I’ve avoided it - and I’m not feeling too energetic, but I could do with more exercise.


If you want to keep up with what I’m doing - I am on Instagram and I actually really like it (for a late adopter) but I don’t tweet much - it’s not a very good environment for me. I will try and keep up on here - but mostly I just feel like keeping my head down, the world is so messy at the moment - I don’t need to add to the chaos.