Work, hah! What is it good for?

I work in the arts. I’m glad I work in the arts, and when I’m not complaining about how overworked I am (hello rich person looking for a good cause to put some of your millions into – how about becoming a sponsor for an under-resourced, under-funded and under-staffed arts organisation?) I find it stimulating and love most of my job. Well, the main parts of my job, when I get time to do them, anyway! Most of my colleagues are similarly overworked.

Here in Australia, we are lacking in the levels of sponsorship in the arts that other countries have and, at my organisation at least, government funding at state or national level is not forthcoming, so there are a lot of overworked, exhausted people working full time jobs in part time hours, but sticking with it because they know they get something out of it that they would not get in some soulless job in some mind-numbingly dull business. It’s good to recall that the end product (“Art” in all its shapes and forms, fyi!) has been proved in many studies to be a vitally important part of people’s lives, with measurable outcomes for those who get involved in art projects – therefore it is a crucial part of our lives and culture.

The office supplies I use for drawing up contracts etc at work

But as much as I enjoy it, there is still nothing as nice as a day off work.

Aha! – it seemed like this post was going to be about working in the arts, or the importance of the arts, didn’t it? But no, it’s just a rave about what a nice day off work I’ve had.

Now, it’s true, I do have a day off work every week, since I’m part time, but it’s not often that it rolls around without something/multiple things scheduled that I have to get done. But today nothing was scheduled. No dentist appointments, (that’s next week) no electricians coming round to replace light fittings, (that was last week), no inspectors coming around to make sure the insulation in the ceiling is not going to spontaneously combust (that’s in a month), no dishwasher technicians coming around to fix dishwashers (because this is real life , not a story I’m just making up for my own amusement.)

I must divert at this point to a word on the weather. Weather, of course, is something that anyone who lives in Melbourne is obsessed with, and a topic which will no doubt eventually rival, or even surpass, moustaches and eyeballs as the most mentioned topic on my blog. As a Melbournian, it is hardwired into me: I have to comment on the weather if I am writing about my day at home.

So, if you’re not in Melbourne, you may not realise that the weather decided to pretty much skip summer in Melbourne altogether this year.  I could count the nights that were warm enough to sit outside for drinks/dinner on one finger. Still, given what the weather has decided to do in other places – most recently Christchurch, New Zealand – I have to make it clear this is just an observation, NOT a complaint. I’m not complaining, nor asking for sympathy. My house is intact and likely to remain that way, and no-one I know has been injured or killed in floods or earthquakes. I’m not sorry we missed out on lots of days where the temperature reached a sweltering 40 degrees outside and felt like 60 degrees in our upstairs bedroom.

But although it is still February, and therefore officially still Summer, it feels like the start of Autumn. Suddenly in the last week, the temperature in the morning is quite cool, the sunlight in our back garden is already starting to have that soft, crisp look it has when summer is over, and even the birds sound kind of Autumny. You know what I mean.

Anyway, so, I work in the arts, I had a day off, and the weather is Autumny. You can by now appreciate that I have put a lot of pre-planning into this post, and carefully structured it so that the plot is slowly building the suspense, as we head towards the climax of this riveting story. Wow! The Arts! A Day Off! Cold Weather in Summer! All it needs now is Johnny Depp, and this has all the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster! What could possibly happen next??  Who can tell? Not me, anyway. I’m on the edge of my seat just wondering how on earth I will make these topics come together and finish this goddam post.

Let’s just cut back to my day off. I had a lovely sunny morning in the kitchen, which looks straight out into the leafy green of the back yard, listening to birds singing as I eat toast and read a paper, listening to 3RRR as I do a load of dishes.  (if you are wondering why I don’t pack them into the dishwasher -hello! Thanks for reading! To understand the status of my dishwasher, see here and here.) (This is not compulsory – you should be able to follow this post even if you don’t know whether my dishwasher works or not.)

The day comprised of minimal housework (the only kind I do) and  a trip to the gym, which I loathe doing, but afterwards I felt so virtuous and healthy for having done so that I felt justified in sitting out in the sun and eating a Streets Magnum icecream…yum. Then lunch and a trip to the local Op shop to drop off a bag of old clothes and books, and of course, have a little browse and end up purchasing more clothes and some cds from the same Op shop. Then finally, I sat down at the computer with a cup of tea, determined to write something meaningful on my blog for once. But apparently the only thought I was able to focus on for more than 3 seconds was what a nice day I’d had. So I started to write about that.

So that was it, really, for my day. It’s now 5.30pm. Now the only dilemma left is how to end a post that began with working in the Arts, continued on to having a day off work, sidetracked into a treatise on Melbourne’s weather, and then veered back on to the highlights of my (completely non-eventful) day. Since nobody is likely to have read through this entire ramble anyway,  it doesn’t really matter what I write at this end. I could probably name the organisation I work for and go into a lot more detail about the difficulties and problems it has, and no-one will ever read far enough for me to be taking a risk…..but I won’t. Because I like working in the arts. Hah!

(*accidental alliteration)

Now this post is ready for Hollywood.

PS. I found this image when I was googling images for “art” – after mentioning Johnny Depp – so it seemed like too much synchronicity not to include it! It’s from The Unquiet Library.

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