Monday, 26 July 2010

Commissions, Connections and Canine Affection

Haweswater Lake.  And some sheep and rain.
July has been busy.  First the good stuff.  I got another commission out of the Express after the Peak District travel piece I wrote for them - this time I had to write about the Olympics and it should be appearing tomorrow as it will be two years until the Games begin.  Hedge magazine commissioned me to write a feature about crowd funding, for which I had to interview Charles Taylor, who decided to crowd fund his business after Patrick Wolf did it.  On the back of that commission something very cool happened that involves me doing something at the end of August but I'm not sharing until I'm actually on the plane.  Lastly I've just written a travel piece for The Lady about the Lake District.  It absolutely pissed down with rain most of the time I was there but it was still beautiful.

So how did these come about?  It's who you know.   I'd been following Martin Deeson on Twitter as I'd liked his writing ever since he did a feature about begging.  It was at the time when all the papers were full of stories about beggars making a small fortune and in my hazy memory he tried it for eight hours in the freezing cold and made about £1.57.   Since then someone else I know has suggested that he may not actually have been there all that time but whatever; I thought it was a breath of fresh air against all the outraged bile filled rubbish that the papers were printing at the time.  Where was I?  Oh yeah - I found out that an ex-colleague of mine was working with him, got Martin's email address, did the pitch, added a couple of Twitter nudges and then he got back to me saying go do it.  Hats off to my ex-colleague Eugene Costello, who I think supported my cause by mentioning my email to Martin, probably one of several hundred he gets every day.

The Lady (you have to say it like Walliams don't you?) thing came about because I've done some freelance picture research in there.  Amazing building to work in.  A member of the family that owns it lives in the top part of the building and there are gilt framed portraits on some of walls.  Rachel Johnson's dog, Coco, wanders around whilst you're working and I think every working environment could benefit from a canine presence.  A quick head rub makes everyone feel better.

Three commissions earned me £690 so the answer to the question at the top of the page is, currently, no.  Unless any of you lot can survive for a month on that.  The only answer is more commissions.  Must work harder.  Until next time...

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