Last Sunday I got home from Oxford at 5am. Since then, I’ve been playing a game of catch-up, trying to get my sleep patterns back to normal whilst also getting all the work done.

After a quiet Q1 (in business terms, at least) the year seems to finally be gathering speed. All at once, of course.

The other day I looked at my upcoming schedule and felt a rising hysterical panic. Next week I’m doing a sort of tour of the UK – starting out in London, then going to Middlesbrough, then Carlisle, then Glasgow, then Lancashire, then back to London. After that I’m in South Carolina, then Philadelphia, then as soon as I land at 9am on the 9th I have client meetings all day, followed by a conference for the remainder of the week, and then my friend’s leaving  party.

So essentially,  by the 15th of June I’ll need at least a week off to sleep.

But this week was relatively quiet. I like this about freelance life: it’s so varied. Sometimes it’ll be really laid-back, like this week; others it’ll be 20-hour working days + caffeine + jetlag, like the upcoming five.

So, what’s been happening in scar’s world recently?

The Gitoon x UCH exhibition is still going on. It’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is free to attend. To get there, go in the main entrance of University College Hospital (opposite Warren Street station) and follow the signs to the café.

Tint is working with Artsadmin to promote their 2 Degrees Festival, which is coming up at the beginning of June and looks like it’ll be amazing. Key features include TREExOFFICE, which asks what happens when a tree becomes a landlord, and Capitalism Works For Me: True Or False?, a huge billboard which is travelling round London and collating people’s responses to this simple question.


On Tuesday I joined Nuix’s webinar , Policing the Digital Crimes of Today with the Budget of 10 Years Ago. Like all their webinars, it was interesting and informative; I was disappointed that I had to leave before the end to make it to my next meeting, but luckily there’s a video of the presentation:

After that I went to catch up with Hippy Poppins, whom I haven’t seen in far too long and whose office space has managed to become even more creatively beautiful than the last time I saw it. Hippy Poppins designs amazing creations for festivals, weddings, etc. and made my own wedding dress, including the veil, which incorporated a dead crow. I kid you not.

The rest of the week involved trying to work out what will be happening for the rest of the year. I’ve been waiting for a few decisions from several places for quite a long time, and I finally got them all back this week. So then I set myself the task of working out what I’d do with my time, and how I’d structure it in terms of working all my various jobs for all my different clients. In the middle of this, bits of my wall fell off in the study (there was a small storm, but I live in an old building and it’s gradually falling to bits), so I spent the best part of a day moving all my stuff into the living room, which has now become a sort of studio flat. I’m surprised by how much I like it: I thought I enjoyed having separate spaces for each thing, but it’s nicely reminiscent of the days when I first moved into my own place, and it’s also very cosy.

Snapshot of scar's living room (Instagram @scarscarscar)
Snapshot of scar’s living room (Instagram @scarscarscar)

On Thursday evening I clocked off work and went to meet some friends for a drink. At the end of the evening one of them mentioned that she was planning to stay up all night to watch the election. I said I’d been thinking of doing the same thing, but I wasn’t sure if I could stay awake for that long, having gone to bed at 2am the night before and inexplicably voluntarily got out of bed at 5am.

An impromptu election sleepover happened, followed by an impromptu election duvet day (because why would you bother to get out of bed when the country’s decided to re-elect the Tories?). We ranted at each other about politics, celebrated the SNP’s landslide win across Scotland, stayed up until 3am then got up again at 9am to see the result (so much for resetting my body clock), and topped up our coffees with Amaretto when it became obvious that we were in for another five years of Conservative power.

This is one of the perks of freelance life: I’m able to do this. Take a day off and spend it under a duvet discussing the election. Having said that, it’s not quite as free as people seem to think; it’s not like I can do this every week, or even every month. But every once in a while I can take a day off without having to explain myself to a manager.

Photo credit: Maud Chalard (Instagram @maudchalard)
Photo credit: Maud Chalard (Instagram @maudchalard)

I sent off timelines to clients whose campaigns are starting over the next couple of weeks, promised to deliver a few things to them on Monday, did a small amount of work for a digital forensics company (OK, not entirely a day off), and eventually pried myself away from my friend’s sofa at about 7pm.

On the way home I walked past a Japanese restaurant and ended up buying myself a big bowl of commiseratory ramen.

Stuff I’ve written elsewhere:

An overview of a study by de Jong et al, who looked at the effects child sexual abuse has on adult life.

An interview with Liwei Ren, who is a scientific advisor at Trend Micro, holds about a million patents (OK, 23) is an immensely accomplished mathematician and just generally makes me feel like I’m not doing anything with my life. He’s also really nice and we spent one morning prior to a conference discussing artificial intelligence and cognitive neuroscience, which was greatly enjoyable.

A guide to some good blogs for expats moving to the UAE.

Now it’s Saturday, and I’m planning to catch up on a bit of the work I didn’t get done yesterday and  then head to my local market to say hello and try out whatever wonderful local fare they’re selling today. Tomorrow I need to make sure all my travel plans are solid and pack for next week’s gallivanting around the UK.

Until next time… have a good one!


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