Monday, 4 January 2016

Freelance Woes

  'But Iestyn, you're freelance. You can be at your desk that any time. We're coming down to Aldeburgh.  You must be wanting to see us. But we can only fit in taking you for tea at four on Friday, so if you can please be standing on your balcony when we give you the heads up to watch for us coming round the Meare, then you can run downstairs and be by the roadside ready. Can you also ring down to Choppings Hill in advance and make sure they have a table? And you won't mind walking back under your own steam, will you? Three miles along the disused railway track, you're always saying you love that walk. Oh, a bit of sleet won't hurt you.  What about your new wellies? Now, don't say any more about needing to get to your desk, please; makes us feel unwanted.'
  Because I'm freelance I have to get to my desk whenever I can, thanks. My fridge gets emptier than Joan Collins's botox syringes. Not to mention that my agent thinks that the right person to ask for advice on publishing my book about entertaining Marines on the frontline out in Afghanistan would be Lionel Blair. Or a producer on the variety circuit owes me such a backlog of fees I'm putting him down on my HMRC return as a tax-deductible dependant. And that a lovely and timely corporate at Cafe de Paris for a second batch of Norwegians may fall by the wayside because though the first batch of Norwegians in October last year gave me a rave testimonial, they were a Trondheim hairdressing convention and this second batch will be Bergen plumbers. 
  'We simply have failure to see how you may think the vibes described from that "peppery" event could be directly transferring to this "salty" one!'  
  So I need to get on with my work.
  But still I will ring Choppings Hill in advance, stand on my balcony, smile and wave as the car rounds the Meare.
  I should do a Jessie Matthews. When was starring in a revue some time in the late sixties Will Simms, who I knew from teaching, was in the chorus. 
  'Miss Matthews.'  Will nervously approached her before a Saturday matinee. 
  'Yes, dear?' Miss Matthews smiled benignly at him. 
  'My nan's Gertie Bell.  You were in - '
  'Gertie Bell?  Gertie?  Oh!  London's Calling at the Duke of York's. Oh, Gertie, never! We were in digs together on tour before that as well. Great mucker of mine. She isn't?...oh!'
  'No, she's in this afternoon watching the show.'
  'Oh, how lovely, dear. Gertie, well now!'
  'And she's going to come round afterward, Miss Matthews, so I can bring her to see you.'
  The smile stayed benign as Miss Matthews said, 'Oh, no thank you, dear. I don't want to see her.' 


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