Returning from Ascot I find my old life waiting for me. Dear friends staying on my sofa, auditions for weird short projects, messages asking me to do acting or presenting or dressing up or facilitating. The house is filled with home made alcohol. Brian has been busy. There’s cherry brandy and various ciders. We have enough to poison a whole church. I’m looking forward to getting stuck in. But now I’m off into a week of work in schools. More early starts. More mentoring. Sure I’m good at it. Sure I care about it. But bring me a role in a play for crying out loud. This is the longest it’s ever been now.

Ascot was like a holiday from myself. Partly because there’s a distance between who I am on the floor and who I am. I’m glad it’s done. I’ll be pleased when the money comes in, but the money is not enough for the work. I do miss the guys on my team. Adversity brings people together. We used each other to make it better. They even bought me farewell chocolates and wrote a lovely note. I couldn’t get them anything. My routine was work drive sleep drive work drive sleep.

Today my body shut down at 1pm. I had to sleep for an hour. It’s like it remembered that it’s normally the crazy time and just went “NO”.

Tara, my old flatmate, used to work shifts like that all the time in Intensive Care. She was stopping people from dying. And earning fuck all for it. I was oiling a money machine and shoving food into peoples gormless faces. At least within that I could make a community. And I’m glad I did. But it’s not worthy work. I want to do it on my terms if I do more of it. On more human, kinder terms. My direct manager didn’t treat my staff as people. It wasn’t her fault, she was in over her head. But when you’re in over your head sometimes you sink, sometimes you swim, and very occasionally you fly. She had rocks in her pocket.

I was offered a meeting for a commercial today, for The Sun. I turned it down. My ethics are confused in the sense that I’ll sell my week to Ascot and give it my all, but I won’t meet for a single day’s work for The Sun that would pay me as much as the whole week at Ascot. Beggars can’t be choosers? I choose not to beg. The right work will find me and I can wait until it does. Says the man that just lost a week.

Post audition I hung out with my friends Jon and Fliss and their little son Ethan who is 1 today. It’s hard not to be broody when so many of your friends have made or are making people. I’m so aware of the inevitability of death. If I had a kid now and I was lucky, I’d live long enough to see them married. I’d like that. This world is a shitstorm at the moment, but the pendulum has to swing. Maybe it’s okay to try and bring another person into the fray, and hope that they’ll be converting negativity to light. I suppose that’s the best we can hope from our kids.


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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