- I only have to go and do my regularly scheduled work at the World’s Worst Company five more times. After that I can work almost exclusively from home, wrapping up a pile of outstanding admin that I don’t need to be on the premises for.
- The Person who I’m not really supposed to love and who is emotionally erratic is vaguely hanging around me in a way that suggests they are more than usually scared of me but still can’t quite leave me alone. Plus ca change.
- My commercial business is doing great. I am doing some work right now with a client who I know well. I like her a lot but she is very demanding and assertive and takes no prisoners. There’s another agency working on the job as well and right now she is punishing them while I am teacher’s pet, which is a very happy situation for me, if not for them.
- I am preparing to get my life back. I am learning all about being Frugal, which is a massive thing in the UK at the moment, so I am taking notes and learning about how to get the best deals from supermarkets. Tonight I am going to do a bit more work on cleaning my house.
- My headache has temporarily abated again.
Everything is basically okay, when is the last time you heard me say that? Everything is going to be fine. Five more long, long days at the WWC then I am once again fully in control of my diary and my life, which are the same thing.
Yesterday, my headache abated. Today it is back. I cannot avoid doing work today but I have some choice in the matter of what type of work I do. If I still feel ill tomorrow I’ll have to see a doctor. I would rather avoid this if possible because I don’t have any spare time.
Last night I cleaned the house for 3 or 4 hours. It actually feels more manageable now I’ve realised I don’t have to do it all in one go. I made reasonably good progress; changed the sheets, took a lot of rubbish out, cleaned most of the kitchen, bleached the kitchen bin.
Today I’m working on my own commercial business because it is Sunday and I am not contracted to work for the World’s Worst Company on Sundays. Tomorrow – dentist again. I’ve been ill for a week and that always makes my dental routine fall to pieces so my dentist is not going to be impressed with me at all.
Two more weeks of having to go to the WWC, assuming I can get well enough, otherwise I don’t know what happens.
I realised that the holiday that I need quite badly is four months away and by that time I either won’t need one or I will be on a business trip somewhere. So I am shelving the idea because it is too far away to be of any benefit to me. I decided to concentrate on Xmas in London and getting as much value out of it as possible. I just took delivery of a PlayStation. I am going to attempt to fix a monitor to a stand and set up the whole thing myself, so wish me luck with that.
Now I need to go and lie down for an hour and then attend to business.
I passed through the other day on my way to a client’s office.
In 2017 I am going to enjoy London. I am going to have only one full-time job and I will go out and enjoy this city.
Borough Market. Premium prices but also premium quality food. I was glad I only had a small amount of cash on me. Enough for a meat pie and about six pieces of lemon Turkish Delight.
This is a huge effort. I’ve been off sick for a couple of days with a persistent migraine that’s been hanging around since last Friday. I’m writing this as I’m starting to feel better.
I’m trying not to use my PC for too long, not just because of my headache but because it has developed another hardware failure and I don’t want to push it too hard and make it break down completely – ha, I have JUST realised what this is a metaphor for.
So I’m not at the office and I’m not at work at my desk, which is an unusual state of affairs, to say the least, and I look around for the Next Urgent Thing and it is the state of my house. I need to clean up, it is derelict.
I am trying not to waste any precious energy on being annoyed that the Person with whom I’ve enjoyed a close relationship for the last year cannot be bothered to email me or send a message asking how I am when they must be aware that I’ve been off sick for most of the week.
While I don’t have the energy to really care too much about that situation, it does throw the present circumstances into sharp relief. And the present circumstances are that no-one is going to help me with jack shit. I am on my own here and I have always been on my own. If I don’t do things for myself, they don’t happen. My flat is not suitable or hygienic habitation for humans and I think I’d better go round with a bin bag.
Two more weeks of having to go to the office all the time, then I can stop going there. I will still have a bunch of work to do from home but home is better and there is less travelling time and laundry.
I am about to spend Xmas in London. It will be the third time I’ve done this, so I should be getting good at it by now. I am focusing on it now because it is something to look forward to, especially as I am leaving my job at the World’s Worst Company and it doesn’t look like the Person who has been sporadically lighting up my life for the last year or so is coming with me.
I just had a look at the last 2 Xmasses, as reviewed on the blog. 2014 was slightly better than 2015, because I had more time to play with. This meant that when my precious Xmas holiday started, this being the only time of year when it’s easy to get time off work, the house was already clean and I was all set. In 2015 I still wasn’t ready when Xmas started happening, which was slightly less good.
So for that reason I am going to work towards the 2014 model. I still have time to do this. I just looked at my diary and I am starting the XMAS HOLIDAY 2016 on Weds 21st December. That means everything needs to be done by then, not forgetting my festive Xmas tax bills and other such urgent stuff.
The house is filthy and will take days to clean but at least now there’s a schedule. I cancelled the Scandinavian scientist until further notice because I was too busy at work but I will let him back in my life when I’ve left my derelict job and cleaned up my derelict flat.
Brace yourselves, then, for another The Xmas You Want campaign. I have:
- started a new Trello board dedicated to it, so I can organise it and make sure that all business is taken care of and I can have all the rest I need without leftover housework or unexpected work-related surprises (inasmuch as they can be avoided)
- ordered the Xmas food from the supermarket one month in advance because I am ORGANISED and that’s how I snagged a prime delivery slot on Xmas eve.
Not as simple as you might think.
- Jamaica. Good winter temperatures, shortish flights and nice beaches, but way, way over-priced. Shocking. I should have gone in the 1990s. The all inclusive resorts look a bit annoying, I don’t necessarily need flashing disco lights and Bob Marley all day long so much as I need peace and quiet, good catering and wifi.
- Belize. Good temperatures and reasonable flights but not that easy finding an excellent business hotel that also has a private beach.
- Chennai! Formerly Madras. I thought this was going to be PERFECT. Great temperatures in December and January, the Intercontinental looks well equipped and is reasonably priced. I thought I had cracked it, then I looked at flight times. Those are long flights and I can’t do that long in economy, which would mean waiting for a business trip to India to come up. Premium flights make the flight part too expensive.
I am starting to give up. I looked at Qatar and they have some good hotels there, the Middle East is a relatively short flight from London, I quite like it as a single female traveller, you can get reasonable deals on hotels, however – the temperatures don’t really get to swimming-in-the-sea levels in Qatar until March and I need some hot weather.
So my new plan is this. Celebrate Christmas in London, I know lots about how to do that, I’ve done it before and had a great time. Then go to Qatar, probably Doha, in March or April when the weather heats up.
Look at that. That’s where I should go, isn’t it. When the spring comes. Should have done that last time I went away in the spring instead of going to Spain.
As my two full-time jobs are very much in full swing, I am still completely exhausted. I think nothing of getting up at 4am or even 3.30 every day and putting in a full day of work before I go to the office. My head aches, my sense of humour is suffering.
- Three more weeks and counting until I don’t have to go that office several days a week. Just three more weeks to go. I can physically survive until Friday 9 December, then I can sleep all weekend, then I can work from home and do more tax returns.
- Business is booming. New client talking about a project in January. Current client happy. Previous client talking about sending me back to Africa because they want me to become an expert on African brands, retailing and shopping, so that means visiting lots more countries. We are looking at Ethiopia (Selassie I! Rastafari!), Cote d’Ivoire and another one TBC in the first instance. This would be great for 2017. Send me home to Africa. I feel it is where I need to be. I might have an epiphany in Ethiopia and stay there.
- As long time readers may remember, the one shining light of 2016 that kept me going while I endured a whole year of daily work hell was the Person who I’m not supposed to be in love with. We were together all day the other day and it was a really nice day, then the same evening he suddenly became unpleasant. He had a funny turn like that, where he just became a complete bitch out of the blue, in August, that lasted two or three days. At that time, I complained. He apologised and made an effort to be nicer. Then this week he did it again. I have no words, except I do, actually, and complained quite bitterly, but he doesn’t have the balls / cognitive and language skills / necessary motivation to take any action to make amends, so I take it that we are through with each other. Thanks, buddy. You really could have waited until December because I have another three punishing and thankless 80-hour working weeks to get through. I really didn’t need you being a little bitch right now.
- ONE OF MY CLIENTS HAS FINALLY PAID ME. Fucking hell. I finally got paid for that US trip I did in the summer. As a result:
It is the obvious solution, isn’t it. I haven’t counted but I think I go on holiday on average every two years and it has proved to be great at restoring my health and helping me to resolve life’s big problems.
- Jordan, 2013. 2013 was a tough year, in lots of ways. It was pretty horrible. The Head Honcho didn’t help. At my lowest ebb I went to Jordan and stayed at the Intercontinental in Aqaba. It was great, the weather was great, I went to the gym every day and lost weight and fell in love. One of the best holidays I’ve ever been on.
- Spain, 2015. I returned to the UK, was the victim of major crime, flirted with anti-depressants and my business went off the rails. By Easter of 2015 I was having a one-woman economic crisis and career apostasy so I went to a resort in Spain, read some business books and re-designed my life from the ground up.
- Destination tbc, 2017. Following Spain, took a second job which could have been the start of a second career, but wasn’t. Worked insane hours. Got my business back on its feet and started believing in capitalism again. Quit the second job. Experienced romantic trauma. Went on holiday to a luxury resort in (TBC) where it is hot and I can swim in the sea and get some outdoor exercise and also rest.
Decision made. I am very tired and a bit broken. I’m going to start looking at destinations with the right weather for this time of year. I’m thinking maybe it’s time to visit my brothers and sisters in Jamaica.
Sing along. Jah. Jah. Jah-maica.
Dr Alimantado: Johnny Was A Baker (1978)