Working girl

The sound of fireworks is fizzling out only thirty minutes into the new year.

Bye bye 2003, I hardly knew ye. I’d do a best of list if I could, because I did see films and I did read stuff and I did hear music, but I really don’t remember much other than that there never seemed to be enough time to enjoy anything.

I won’t remember 2003, the year I turned 40, for much else than the fact that I turned 40, that I did it in London and that I was surrounded by good people. Everything else is a blur.

My temp job lasted and still lasts, though probably not for very much longer. It’s been mostly good – it covered the bills (but not much more), but there was always the pressure of budget cuts and reorganisation, of being understaffed and overworked.

Apart from the full time job I wrote two books for Omnibus Press in the evenings and on weekends. I have no idea how I did that. The first one nearly killed me. The second one I would have killed not to do.

Somehow I managed to run my websites as well. thrived despite my involvement, survived by some clever hiring of staff.

In the second half of the year most of my energy went into ‘supporting the arts’, playing personal googlist and — I believe it’s called — confidante to an entertainer. Of all the work I do, this is the closest to my heart. It’s also the most draining. The judges are still out on whether it’s the most satisfying or frustrating.

So I worked. I worked. And I worked some more. Yet I feel as if I accomplished nothing. I’m tired of tying up the loose ends of other people’s lives. I’m just tired.

If I believed in New Year’s resolutions I would promise to live more and work less. As unemployment is a very real possibility this year, that doesn’t seem too much of a challenge.


My cousin’s a man who won’t take no for an answer. Maybe that’s what makes him a good salesman. He insists you haven’t lived, or won’t know about life if you haven’t been to Asia. He insists I should go to Indonesia. Says it’s part of me and I need to know. Never mind I’m not interested. Never mind I couldn’t care less.

He idealises his world as much as I’m aware of the complacency of mine. He’d be persuasive if I didn’t have that family streak that hates to be told what to do. Honestly, any suggestion of ‘must’ and I rebel.

If I had plenty of dosh I suppose I would go. But never mind the disinterest, I’m also bound by a thousand what-if’s. For the last 15 years my life’s been dictated by music: “What if so and so tours, I need to be ready.” And I’ve lived by it, flying off to Dublin or London, or going to Germany, Belgium, France, at a drop of a hat. That’s where I get my happy.

Am I wrong to hold on to that, the trusted, sure-fire instant fix and forego the sweaty discovery of my so-called roots in the tropics?

{ The photo features myself, my aunt and two cousins in Indonesia, 1975. Eating, natch. }

French flash. First, the site

French flash. First, the site for Yves Saint Laurent’s new fragrance ‘Baby Doll’. Remember Gene Kelly dancing that surreal sequence in an American in Paris? It’s a sweeter, pinker version of that. Too bad about the ‘untitled documents’. You see that a lot in Flash sites – I take it the animators haven’t a clue about html. I quite like the drawings on Stephan Eicher’s site, not a typical popstar site. Don’t like his music. Heineken France have a nice darts game. The beer still tastes of piss though. On the Dutch Heineken site they’re holding a beermat design contest.