Tuesday, January 22, 2008


It’s January and I’m at work, waiting for a design brief. I’m at a creative agency in Shoreditch. Oh look, there’s a photo of my desk.

This is week number two and I’ll be here for a further three weeks. It’s the first time I’ve worked in Shoreditch and, so far, it’s conforming pretty well to its stereotype. Right now there’s a couple of guys playing pool behind me, and over to my right there’s a football match on the big screen, courtesy of the company Playstation. And it’s not even lunchtime.

Not that I’m complaining – it’s a nice place, if a little bit self-consciously “cool”. But hey, that’s Shoreditch for you. A land where Macs outnumber PCs. Maybe.

The work itself is reasonably interesting, though I took the job largely out of fear of an otherwise quiet month. Might as well earn some money while the coldness of January swirls around outside. I had other offers of work but they were all through hard-selling recruitment consultants, and I’m always suspicious of how “exciting” an “opportunity” the work they try to pimp is really going to be. “Oh right, so it’s actually a mindless production job? That nobody else wants? Somewhere out in zone 6?”

I don’t want to disrespect my recruitment friends out there of course, as one day I might need you. But so far the only time that I said “Alright then” to a recruiter’s request I ended up at an embarrassing meeting where the client had been expecting someone with a completely different skill-set and, equally, I’d been expecting a completely different job. Not the best use of half a day and a zone 1-3 travel card.

January’s never been a great month. Nothing much goes on, it’s cold, it goes dark early and public transport seems more crowded and steamed-up than usual.

So bring on February. The work I’m doing now will fund a full four weeks of photography portfolio work. And I’ll also be allowed to have a beer again. Today is Day 18 of a month without alcohol. I did this before, back in 2006 though last time it had a much greater positive impact on my health – because then I was in full-time employment. And that tended to involve at least three four-pint sessions after work each week, so the contrast was greater. Still, I’m enjoying the sobriety, getting more stuff done.

It’s now gone lunchtime and I’ve got my brief so it’s time to post this post and get on with the work. More photos and creative stuff from me next month.

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