You might have gathered that I’m not a creature of habit. I’m closer to a creature of havok. But every year for about a decade I’ve had the same diary. Wildlife photographer of the year. I love the pictures.

Today I think I tried to take it with me in my pocket when I went out to work with the kids for my volunteer after school club with Scene and Heard. I just spent the last hour ransacking my flat in search of the thing to no avail. I think I put it into the big pocket of my ski jacket and it fell out on the tube without my noticing. Either way it’s surely lost.

It highlights an operational problem with my existence. I genuinely don’t know what I’m doing tomorrow, ever, until about 10pm when I consult the oracle. That’s how it’s been for years, obviously with alarm bells installed in my head for times when I have to get planes etc. I don’t miss vehicles. That’s all rooted into what I consider to be my professionalism. I always know if there’s something coming related to the acting because acting > everything, sadly, and so it must continue until the shift (when when?) I have no pension. I can’t relax unless I know that if my body fails they’ll get me in to the occasional telly sitting in a chair. I’m not there yet.

Thankfully my occasional dayjobs, despite deliberately being jobs I can’t live off, have an email chain, and my short term memory can hold a fair amount. So I think I know where I have to be at 9 tomorrow, and I think I know what’s happening for the rest of the week. But after that I’ll have to dig around the email chains which isn’t easy with catastrophe phone and broken iPad and so forth. If it’s a social engagement you’ll definitely have to remind me.

The loss of my diary has caused a big lump in my throat though. It’s terribly important to the way things operate for me. I can’t hold all the organisational stuff in my head. Just this morning I was asked “What would you say to someone who is considering embarking on a peripatetic existence like yours?” My response was “Are you completely fucking insane?” I meant it.

I’m lucky not to be driven by other people’s targets – only by my own. I’m lucky to know that hierarchy is bullshit. I’m lucky to be able to see outside of the reward mechanisms that keep people eating shit until they die.

But I’m not lucky that after digging around fruitlessly for ages for the concrete extension of my memory, my arsehole phone crashed forcing me to rejig the whole pile of words I’d spewed into it and now it’s past midnight and I’ve still got fifteen words to write despite having written this whole mess twice and I’ll have to try and take a photo of last year’s diary with this bastard awful phone and then watch as it repeatedly crashes on the upload.

The very fact that you’re reading this is testament to human stubbornness…


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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