This February I decided that I had to tweak a few working habits. While most people complain that January in Spain drags on interminably, it’s one of my busiest times as I try and prepare for the year ahead.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not one of those “New Year, New Me” types – but the pressing combination of sorting various bits of paperwork out and some new projects on the horizon mean that I’m making a conscious effort to get more organised.
This, however, is more of a challenge than I anticipated. Being a long time freelancer, my basic modus operandi has been crisis management and chaos theory at all times. It’s stood me in good stead thus far but means that my desk is littered with Press passes, old magazines, petrol receipts and other freelance flotsam and jetsam. I even found my NUJ Press Card from 1996 when I moved one particular pile of papers. It was a reverse Dorian Gray moment, I can assure you.
It’s an, ahem, eclectic system that moved one guest to turn to her children on a first visit and comment “See kids. This is what happens when a man lives alone”.
I’m also debating whether to have a full-scale de-cluttering session with my clothing. There are certain items that, as a 50 something male, I would be foolish to wear again, including black shirts with Chinese lettering, old rugby shirts and anything vaguely skateboarder related. And though some items may have sentimental value, I have to ask myself if I really need to keep hold of a brewery T-shirt from Euro 96.
I also booked in an appointment to change my UK license – yes, I know I should have done so ages ago – and dialed the DGT number. Phonetically spelling out my name to the operator, my brain froze on the first letter. Rather than Geneva or Girona a blurted out “G de Gibraltar”.
“Opps, sorry for that” I said in Spanish, which prompted a burst of merry laughter from the other end of the line. Let’s hope that the rest of the paperwork goes smoother…