Thursday, 9 July 2009

A Day in the Office of...Part 2

  Taking a day this week - the Financial Times Magazine e-mails wanting to get in touch with Wayne about Van-tastic and his van conversions, people who've had them and live in their vans. The Sunrise e-mail wanting Wayne to give a presentation for their traveller festival goers about van customization, do something like workshops; and they've seen Jo's and Mel's pages and want eco-building. Immediately we try to get in touch - not long after (and it can take a while - he lives in a van without reliable mobile or internet signal) we make contact. He's up for doing both, and then we discuss the fee split for Dorchester Play Day who've asked us again this year. Meanwhile Mel says she's up for being interviewed as well (the landscape designer who lives in a van!) and is up for doing the eco-structure/den building part of the Off the Grid event by the Sunrise, as she's done loads of eco-builds as part of the sculpture park, and Jo is in NZ. The Sunrise also book us to storytell. While talking to the Sunrise; 'we want a van conversion' 'what - actually a van converting during the festival? do you have one, would it be a festival goer's? or would he have to bring one? or -?' 'oh we hadn't thought of that' - I suggest a van surgery, where people come in with questions about how it's done, problems they've encountered, like 'I've built a bookcase, but how to I stop the books falling out?' (answer - strap a bungee across on two hooks), and stuff. Then he asks about a presentation and showcase - I suggest one or two vans to show people round, Wayne's own amazing vehicle (the cooker is a lovely old bureau in dark wood), and another...he likes the ideas and books it.  

  Next day the morning, and early afternoon and evening are all spent filling in a form for the Autumn Festival (for a storytelling show), and a query arrives from the Woodland Trust in Hertford wanting a willow artist. Thinking that I too should have gone to Bicton College while the now-legendary degree in Environmental Arts and Crafts was running, we again e-mail Mel, who later e-mails that yes, she'd like to do the event in question. It's great to be appreciated, and good to see the website working for the artists it supports. 
   No two days are the same (though some are crushingly boring - copy and pasting days for instance, filling in too many hit and miss forms for money or other stuff you may well not get, proofing copy, updating the hyperlinks, uploading a far-too-big-website on software not made to deal with it and.....- yes REALLY boring). 
   Why do we do it? The insecurity, the...reminds me of that wonderful quote from Dario Fo's 'Accidental Death of an Anarchist' about touring theatre - 'the nylon sheets' 'the greasy breakfasts'...One reason might be that some people are just too pig headed to not be self-employed... Another might be what Jarvis Cocker once said - 'You're talking very unimaginative people here...just couldn't think of anything else to do...' I think I'll go with that one.      

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