|Uncommon look, common object, by Suzy Lelievre|
My suitcase and I are grounded, tethered to the earth by the vagaries of the ailing global economy.
So grateful was I for the unexpected influx of US work in September that it didn't even occur to me to check the financial health of my client. Had I done so, I would have learnt that they are on their death bed and that accepting work from them was unlikely to lead to payment.
On Wednesday, the unlikely turned into a definite negative courtesy of an email from the company's accountant, prompting an entire day of intense fretting until I finally settled for the resigned gloom of shit happensiness. The way that particular industry works, there is absolutely nothing I can do to change the situation.
I am a freelancer, which places me at the very bottom of the compost heap – below the slugs – in terms of operational hierarchy. Like many freelancers in that sector, I often have to shoulder considerable financial risk just to get some work. It is a sick system, it is very wrong but because many people who do this job have independent means and regard it as a cool hobby, plebs like me are powerless.
Just as well this is just a sideline, even though said sideline was going to support me until the end of the year.
After pacing the living room for so long that I dug furrows in the rug, I sit down and start pondering how to solve a problem like Christmas, because, in true contrarian style, what is a source of merriment for many is a bit of a challenge for me.
And now, to make the dreaded festive season extra difficult, said challenge has grown into a double-jeopardy.
Not only do I have to figure out where to go, but also how to get there.