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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Last week we hit Cornwall’s beaches for a summer holiday. Postponed to autumn because we suspected a holiday might not be very relaxing with three children under four.

As it turns out, that long-awaited fourth birthday was not a marked transition towards adulthood, turning oldest chimp into useful third pair of hands. Instead, his chimpacity was ramped-up to record levels. Still, the sun shone, and 80 percent of the week was idyllic rockpooling, dam-building, steam train-riding, farm animal-feeding fun.

8 (hours of fun) + 2 (year old toddler) x 3 (ice creams) / no nap = meltdown

The other 20 percent we’ll write off as collateral damage.

As a freelancer I have a habit of taking work on holiday. From my point of view this is no bad thing. Compared to the daily zookeep, a stint at my desk is rather relaxing. But it doesn’t always go down well with the rest of the party. Like the Christmas I eschewed pudding and post-dinner games for 1000 words on stem cell research (true story).

This time I planned ahead and even turned down work (sob) to guarantee a clear week. All the better for starting some long-overdue admin!

Step one was ordering three of my own books, J.R. Hartley style, having lost hope of this particular publisher sending advances before they go OP. The idea is to photograph all my new titles together for my website, so I can totally justify spending £20 on a collection of my own words. Totally. And anyway, they have really pretty covers.

I see, but do you have it for Kindle?

As I was AT THAT VERY MOMENT changing a nappy in the West Country, the delivery driver kindly left the Bookpoint box in our recycling bin. Luckily it was not put out… but nor was the lid put on. I returned at the end of the week to find the books weathered, warped, watermarked and thoroughly unphotogenic.

I’m sure J.R. Hartley never had these problems. But then J.R. Hartley probably knew that holidays are not for catching up on admin, but for kicking back, cracking open a beer, and bingeing on Breaking Bad.

There are fabulous things about freelancing, but being my own IT department is not one of them. Left to my own devices, all my files sit on my Desktop. Or, if I’m feeling really organized, in a folder on my Desktop called ‘Desktop’. Software manuals remain unread. Client-facing websites are abandoned in 2010.

My biggest problem is sharing a workspace with two chimpanzees, who have learned to hack into the mainframe and play Disney movies at will. One thinks the screen works like an iPad, but requires more pressure. The other finds the power cord an ideal chew toy for his sprouting molars. Here is the crime scene this evening.

Even Nemo disapproves

What is the error code for keyboard vandalized by Peppa Pig stickers, museli and Biro scrawl? It’s almost enough to make me back up my files. Almost.

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