It's Festival of Arts time in Adelaide and like several of my fellow-bloggers I am so flat out at the moment I scarcely know what day it is. My Festival commitments include a heavy Fringe (as it were) theatre reviewing schedule and several Writers' Week duties, a timetable into which I need to weave the counterpoint of my share of family support for my sister (who had reconstruction surgery on her right hand last week and has it wrapped and strapped and slung and completely useless for weeks and weeks), plus the ground bass of the ongoing patchwork duties of the freelance littery person.
(I got a letter last week addressed to '[Insert Real Name Here], Freelancer', and it made me think momentarily of myself as some sort of medieval mercenary, with a pen for hire instead of a lance. But I hope it won't come to that.)
As I read with foreboding the news that Qantas is going to take advantage of the new anti-worker legislation to slash the wages of the people who keep its planes safe and in the air, and contemplate with even more foreboding the Qantas flights to which I have just committed myself, I find time to thank the gods for giving me an opportunity to set up life as my own boss.
The excessively modest turnover of this one-woman small business -- for which I work not only as primary producer but also as unpaid accountant, typist, filing clerk, receptionist, tea lady, driver, cleaner, courier and cat wrangler -- is compensated for, a hundred times over, by the freedom of it.
For even when driven by external schedules as I am at the moment, there's still the extraordinary freedom and happiness of not being a creature of the institution -- any institution -- and not having to play by anyone's rules but my own. I finished work at 3 am this morning when I hit the 'Send' button on the third of three theatre reviews, drained the glass of lovely lovely Nepenthe sauvignon blanc (budget priorites firmly in place here), and stumbled off to bed, which is why I've given myself permission to spend this morning blogging and gossiping on the phone.
What keeps me one step ahead at times like this is my love of the list as a literary genre, which reaches its apotheosis whenever I have a party and begin with a list of the lists I have to make. Today's To Do list looks like this:
* read 2 late-submitted Honours theses and write examiner's reports
* pack for overnight stay at convalescent sister's house tomorrow
* set timer for premiere of Commander-in Chief (Donald Sutherland rules)
* clean out cat litter tray
* rig up Heath Robinson arrangement with extension cord from kitchen to laundry now that laundry power point is comprehensively stuffed and lethal
* research adult entry one-semester Home Maintenance for Dummies course
* pick up new glasses (first pair of THREE: can't wear graduated lenses, and need prescription sunnies)
* mortgage cats, house, soul etc to pay for 3x new glasses in spite of Extras "cover" in insanely expensive health "insurance", snarl, spit
* chase up tickets for Wednesday's Fringe show (al fresco commedia dell'arte -- the mind boggles)
* go to Bunning's to buy lightweight folding picnic chair for al fresco etc, to be used again on Friday night when the Festival proper opens and the spectacle of painted and illuminated giant hot-air balloons will float across the night sky above the river as we scoff our gourmet picnic supper and local wine: Adelaide at its best
* rearrange all this stuff into a logical running order.