Sunday, January 22, 2006

Lies and debauchery

Felinity asked 'Is your London full of fancy MeeJa types and rife with fairytale and glitz? Because I work in the MeeJa (not the fancy kind, alas) and live in London, and mine is much less fancy/crazy than the one you see.'

In comparison to other jobs I've had, which have involved me: having to fend off bisexual, drug-crazed truckers: getting covered in human blood and worse of all: working in a pot pourri factory, yes, it's quite tinsely.

This Saturday for example, I shared nachos with her off Hyperdrive, had my hair stroked by Michelle Gomez, bought/received a drink for/from a Vogue model (Rob), gave a birthday kiss to a Guardian columnist (Ori), and had an option taken out on the muji notebook scribblings.

On the other hand however, I'm more overdrawn than I've ever been in my life, mainly because I'm still waiting to be paid for the last three jobs I did (two of which were well before Christmas) while a tax bill that has accumulated from my first two years of writing part time before I had an accountant is now hoving into view like one of those big ships from Independence Day, blotting out increasingly South-Western landmarks the closer we get to the end of the month. Currently people in Exeter Cathedral are wondering why it's gone suddenly dark, and it's my fault.

So you can look at it as one of those swing/roundabout equations. Living in Cornwall does lend a pleasingly 'special outing' feel to my London trips though, hence the way I write about it.

If 'having an option taken out' sounds rather sinister by the way, as though ninjas are even now heading down on the sleeper train, dossiers filled with black and white surveillance photos of me with 'Caution! Subject trained in multiple swordplay techniques!*', what has actually happened is that An Quite Famous Producer (not Vic, she's old news now) gave me an amount of cash, measurable in english pounds, for an outline and the first few pages of an idea I had for a comedy/drama/thing. She then gets limited rights over it, one of which is that she can walk into commissioning editors' offices waving it about, without being thrown to the floor by security guards, which is what would happen if I tried it.

Options are a sort of investment in the writer - no guarantee that it will get anywhere of course, but it's great to have someone like your writing enough that they're willing to put money behind you. And in front of you. Also I have had a number of free glasses of wine and some cheese. And that ain't bad.

So it kind of is fairytaley and glitzty at the moment, but still my tax bill loometh. And if you remember your fairytales, the sort of gold you got given at those particular soirees had a nasty habit of turning into dry leaves in the morning, when you woke up under a tree with strange bruses down the left side of your body, your mobile phone filled with mud. So my advice is, eat the cheese while you can.

* Well, a couple of weeks of fencing and kendo, but it counts.


Dave said...

While you were away I announced that I now have to go to London too, but the timing is such that we wouldn't have met; anyway I don't move in those sorts of circles.

I havehowever fenced for several years in my youth, and still have a foil in my bedroom, so those ninjas had better not follow me back from london Town.

Evans said...

I work in the MeeJa, yet recently I still had to cut a post-operative close relative's toenails for them. I want my money back!

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't eat too much cheese if the money turns to gold I can only imagine what the cheese would become.

Anonymous said...

*I meant if the gold turns to leaves*

woot said...

Whats the MeeJa? I work in a really big building but the building isn't in London, it's in Sydney. Does it still count?

patroclus said...

I work in the MeeJa (well, my office has exposed girders and a roof terrace, so I must do, right?), but no one's ever stroked my hair. In a work context, I mean.

Anonymous said...

You want to watch it with the tax bills. Tax offices have a special kind of hell reserved for those who are self-employed.

The bastards hammered my business to death, insisting on prepayment of a huge sum during a point where I hadn't had any work for three months, and was having to threaten previous clients with the small claims court.

It doesn't make for good sleep.

Anonymous said...

Woot : I believe the MeeJa is some sort of large urban black cat that is resident in the posher parts of London. It feeds off unsuspecting writers that live in the provinces and are unable to stott or pronk. It hypnotizes its prey with its tinsel, nad when they have a suitably large tax bill, it pounces.

As for the fending-off of bisexual truckers and getting covered in human blood, there's a "Bob The Builder" storyline in there somewhere.

Word verification : tiimby : Descriptive of a former member of the Goodies with a morning hangover.

Johanna said...

Ah, the wonder of blogs. It's like stalking semi-celebrities but with their consent and encouragement! I mean TWO different accounts of the same (glitzy, meeja) birthday party freely available online. It's almost like I was there.

felinity said...

My my! I can see I'm going to have to try harder to be glitzy in London. Even when the mundane aspects of life try to muscle their way in the stead of going to glamorous parties.

tax jobs sydney said...
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