Freelancers

The great thing about working for yourself is that there are no limits. You can incorporate as much as you want into your career – and draw on a portfolio of interests and talents. At times I worry I spread myself too thinly, but as long as my imagination is engaged – and I can pay my rent – I’m a happy girl.

From a Guardian photo feature about self-employed entertainers.

An Escapologist’s Diary. Part 27.

Last week, Typographer Tim and I set out on the Lyke Wake Walk. Though we didn’t do it to make any kind of Escapological point (we did it for fun), it did feel like a New Escapologist field trip of sorts.

I suppose there are connections to this kind of activity and Escapology:

1. Endurance: knowing you can do difficult things yourself increases confidence and decreases dependence.
2. Against-the-grain: because walking 42 miles certainly isn’t normal.
3. Self-initiated: nobody told us to do this.
4. Personal liberty: it’s good to know you’ve the fitness to take flight with minimal equipment or assistance.
5. Minimal cost: in tune with a life on the lam, the best Escapological activities are cheap or free.

I completed 34.5 miles of the 42-mile walk. I had to abandon the last stretch after my knee became the source of a lot of pain. I could have pushed on, I suppose, but I agreed with Haruki Murakami’s sentiment that “suffering is optional” and, ever Epicurean, didn’t see the point in suffering to such an extent. My podiatrist sister (after a very proficient series of questions on the phone: “does it crunch like broken glass or pop like an elbow?”) says that my bad knee can be attributed to simple lack of fitness. This is good news to me as fitness can be improved.

The walk was great fun but not easy. There were swamps to navigate, steep inclines, treacherousness rocky declines, and vast expanses of soul-sapping nothingness. Beats having to stop for cars every two minutes though.

Anyway, I’ll not go on about it. Last time I posted an entry about walking, fifteen people unsubscribed from the RSS! For anyone interested in the minutiae of our epic a-pied adventure and to hear about how much I moaned about it on the day, here is a PDF of Tim’s report to the New Lyke Wake Club with pictures.

Cubicle woes

The Guardian‘s Dear Jeremy column is about work and career-related problems. I read it every week as a way of remembering what employment is like.

I really love this week’s quandary. It is titled “I want to throttle my talkative office partner”.

I share an office with a woman who is in her late 30s. My problem is that she talks to herself – all day, every day. If she is writing an email she reads it out loud; if she is working on her PC she talks through the process. The boss won’t allow a radio and because I use the phone, I cannot wear headphones. I have tried doing the same but she just talks louder.

I have also tried saying “Sorry did you say something”, but this is obviously too subtle. I even said “Shush” once and told her to stop muttering to herself as I was trying to concentrate. She sulked for half an hour, then started again. Help – I might just throttle her soon.

Hahaha! Offices.

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