Friday, November 19, 2004

Saw Benjamin Zephaniah at the new Arts Depot in Finchley last night.

I am inspired.

But before I talk about that, let me just say that the Arts Depot is tucked away in a pedestrian precinct behind M&S, and their logo is a large, rounded, green arrow. I went there a couple of weeks ago for Limmud Live, and I was driving round and round this roundabout, looking for it, and only seeing M&S. Now, of course, I know different. So I could get straight there, but a client called me at 7.30 on my home phone, and I ended up talking with him about something that's been sitting on his desk for four weeks. I was running a little late, but then that's the story of my life.

The audience was a heady mix of serious Zephaniah fans, and Jewish people who live in Finchley, who turned to each other in the interval and said things like "wonderful rythmn," and "excellent use of language." Benjamin established that there were a lot of teachers in the audience, and they were all sitting near us.

He makes it look utterly effortless, and I know it isn't. But I left on a huge buzz - a heady mix of great poetry, a relaxed sense of humour (when people arrived late, he said "I'll be late when I come round to your house"), wonderful stories, and the sense that Benjamin is the kind of guy you'd like to have round to your house for dinner.

I ran into M, whose party I'm going to on Saturday night, and Y, with his Mum, who turned out to be someone who goes to my synagogue. This was odd, because I just wrote something in my writing class about coincidence and serendipity. Or you could say I just live in an extremely small world that only extends as far north as N12.

The buzz and inspiration are good, because after the conversation I had with my client last night, it's clear that the project I was supposed to start on two weeks ago might not happen. Because he's told me the contract's in the post every day for three weeks, and now he's starting negotiating some new terms and I'm feeling messed around. And, as you know, the new me doesn't take any shit.

So - like every freelancer out there - I'm constantly revising my schedule. So les of the big f-off project, and more of lots of small projects. And some writing. That, I like. I need to make more space.

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