A Christmas season, personal post for a change.

Even after 6 years solid graft in the London wine world, I still get asked (or scanned with a sceptical eye) ‘Er, who are you?’

So then, this is who I am, with homage to Dr. Seuss, one of my very few writing heroes: 

A Architect. Must be the only person to be sacked for ‘inability to sit still’. 

B Business. Yes, I have set up and run one. Yes, I know how to make a profit. No, I do not want to work just for dosh. 

C Chalet girl, never was. Interview went well (20 ways with potatoes and all that) then on way out, receptionist whispered, with Mvnch-like face, “Don’t go”. So I didn’t.

D Dancer. Ballet Rambert, part-time. Horribly competitive. Luckily was too tall and liked eating too much to get sucked into the madness. Put the Disco on.
E Editor, production. All the work of a proper Ed with none of the kudos. Still, teaches you how to get a mag/paper out. Have never drunk so much coffee.
F Fund raiser. Tele-sales by poshies. Absolutely hideous.
G Gonzo. Catered through college degree with chemical fuelled 80s dinner parties. Am amazed anyone’s still alive.
H Hero. Mine – Roald Dahl. The Twits, Esio Trot etc.. read ’em and weep. 
I Island Records. Went for interview as a graphic designer. Lovely bloke recommended art college. A turning point. Had forgotten that one ’til now.
J Journalist, never was. Went for many interviews including Private Eye. Sat there, was ignored for an hour then left. Only went ‘cos fancied Richard Ingrams. Went off him after that. Rude.
K No K so another J – Jazz lover. Perhaps if hadn’t spent the O-Level years in London’s music pubs, might have learnt how to pass exams.
L Librarian. Spent entire primary school hiding in a cubby hole of books. Made a system and taught the other kids to read. 
M Mother. Unpaid and unappreciated. The best.
N Novelist, never was. All those hours and ripped up manuscripts. Have given up. Maybe.
O Olive picker. Fed up with My Family and Other Animals, ran away to Greece to look for Gerald Durrell. 
P Proof reader – first full time job aged 17. £40 for a 40 hour, 4 day week, 4 editions of the local rag. Still remember the thrill of those presses cranking up at 7pm on Thursday night. Massive crush on the chain-smoking dudes in ‘newsroom’. The building is an internetty-biz office now. Or a loft-apartment complex. Or a trendy wine bar.
Q Queen. If a man doesn’t treat you like one, move on.
R Retailer (see B). Started from a market stall at Camden in the last recession. Once a retailer, always a retailer. Here’s a tip: employ pretty girls, don’t meddle on the shop floor and focus on profit.
S Sandwich maker. Turned up to do a day’s work, boss put in car, drove around, poured out heart on current divorce, asked to be his girlfriend and when refused, was hoofed out. Was really pissed off as needed the wages. This scenario occurred in numerous jobs.
T Toolbox. Far more B&Q than Jimmy Choo. Most likely found rodding drains not shoe shopping.
U Unpaid therapist. That’s what big sisters are for.
V Vini/Viti – a brief taste of wine making is enough to know you want to make your own. However.. (see B & R).
W Wine world – writing, teaching, judging, studying, whatever. Only 6 years and know nothing, but smitten. Who knows why? Jeez, it’s like a no-love-back-lover, but, que sera.
X No X so another W – Waitress. Always loved it: great money, great fun and you can do another job before or after your shift. Genius.
Y You? 
Z Zzz, still awake? Thanks for reading. X

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