Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had a steady, delicate stream of blossom blowing past my studio window. Some years, the local trees deposit their pink cargo in one wallop overnight – dumping a burst duvet of spring petals on the road around their roots in a gusty turn of weather. This year, it’s sort of strewn gently down the road like it’s welcoming important business visitors to a five-star suite in a Chinese hotel. Pretty.
So I’m in a committed mood of summery optimism. This is based entirely on short-termism of the most childish kind. I just want to go on holiday – awake, this time – and tinker with bits of music and go have coffee with chums.
Yes. You’re right, I can see this isn’t even a shade of a different mood to normal, at Momo. But sometimes I jest about being a lazy, arty blighter to remind myself of these cherished values while working my proverbials off and talking very sensibly to people who are paying for my professional help. A sort of reality check.
Of course, in the creative business, you are terribly prey to desperately un-creative businesses – and we are having the young mother of ‘reality’ checks at the moment.
Housing and money and blaaahhh. So the banks were over-ambitious and complacent in their lend-some-to-make-some strategies and now they’re being reactionary and petulant and mela-dramatic. Snatching away the toys. It’s not like we didn’t all see this coming, is it? Just like the other millions of unqualified laypeople who said that the idea of putting western tanks into the Middle East in 2002 would be a poor piece of politics and defense strategy. Yep, we may all know nothing, but we were right. And now again – what a shocker, overnight Credit Crunch.
Although much of my sensible work is connected with the property market in different ways, the debates and dramatic language quickly bore me. Don’t they you? I mean, it’s all a worry. But let’s listen to a bastion of common sense in such times – a comfort and a no-nonsense guide – Kirsty Allsop.
She was on Today this morning, basically telling us all to get a grip and not panic. And it made me think that Relocation Relocation – despite looking ever more like a guilty pleasure – should introduce a new feature to its weekly format, to give us all succor and good cheer in these choppy waters of sudden economic panic.
Allsop’s Fables. I need not elaborate further, need I. Just matronly, green-wellies-with-skirt, ‘pull your pop socks up’ common sense. Sponsored by ING Direct.
You never know when the weather will change. Beams of sunlight through the clouds can be a welcome relief, but they can close up just as suddenly. And lounging around on the cabin top in the warmth is certainly some of what you put to sea for, but stay there too long under your sunnies and you might find yourself in a squall in your speedos.
Well, however choppy the waters ahead, I do of course know how to make a small cabin feel like home at 45°, as you know. I’m a seasoned salty old sea dog now, famously. And my oft-clung-to kids lifering of jollyness might look stupidly inadequate at sea, but it does keep my head above water.
I can think of three or four or five or six sets of circumstances around me that feel like being pitched overboard. People and things I wish I could throw a sturdy, reassuring tether to. The best I can ever do, I’ve come to realise, is throw a flimsy floatation aid with an inflatable duck’s head attached to it – not because things around us are only bathtime deep, but because it might make a moment of funny where there shouldn’t be one. And at least help buoyancy a little.
So I’m trusting that the little Momo boat will turn into the wind and ride the swell okay. And if I sprang a leak and had to jump ship to Tesco, all other hands lost, I’d hardly be able to complain. I’d have the memories of weeks like this one, where the combination things on my list of things to do may still be ignominious, unglamorous and only subtly paid – but sounds like the lifestyle of a There’s No Shame In Saying It To His Face: Jammy Bastard. Believe me, I do know. And I am enjoying it like a kid, for as long as I can get away with it. Which probably won’t be all that long.
What makes up this combination of JB work at Momo? Oh, sheesh, it’s just the usual stuff, really; it’s nothing special. I’m just a jobbing creative and it sounds like fun when you talk about it. But I think when you get to write bonkers copy for a range of organic kids snacks, you just start to feel good about the world. I don’t know what passengers would have thought, had they looked over the shoulder of the sensible-suited chap in the middle carriage of the train back from London yesterday, if they’d actually read what he was studiously penning.
SPLOT! FRRRRRAAPP! SPLOOCH! CLONK!
I went out last night, still suited and sensible looking, trying hard not to punctuate everything I said with energetic, made-up verbs.
Anyway, the point is that doing this AS WELL as designing comprehensive rebrands for property companies; presenting large website projects for social sector housing associations in the morning, and recording trumpet parts with session musicians in the afternoon… all sounds like a sodding nice time in life. One that might be little more than a short-term series of distractions from the big waves of Oh Buggery piling up astern. For sure. But I have no idea how to command the waves. And I’ve learned this much: there’s a time to strap on your oilies and bare your teeth at the perfect storm, but you’ll thinking of the blossom blowing past your window at home when the mast breaks.
..I just KNOW Kirsty would tell me to get a ruddy grip and get on with my work. So I shall.
..Tinkle of chardonnay, anyone? Let’s pack up early tonight…