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Work and play

Back when I worked in advertising monitoring (don’t ask) I used to complain that work flowed over into my home life: that I couldn’t read a magazine any more, because something at the back of my mind would start trying to classify – and to price – all the advertisements. And this was not a good thing.

Yet one of the reasons why I love my job is that work and not-work are so inextricably entangled. Even when we’re on holiday I see things that make me think of clients. In our social life, too, some of our friends have become clients, and many of our clients have become friends.

Which is how we came to be spending last Saturday evening helping Ann Cleeves celebrate her birthday, and hearing her exciting news about spending a day on set with ITV Productions who are filming Hidden Depths, one of her Vera Stanhope novels. We talked, too, about the Shetland evening with Ann and fiddler Chris Stout, which I am very much looking forward to.

The previous Sunday, we had been in Boroughbridge, lunching with the Northern Chapter of the Crime Writers’Association. This was a useful opportunity to talk to CWA members about keeping the web site up to date with their news, and it was also a chance to catch up with a number of individual clients. But it was also a pleasant lunch in congenial company. CWA Press Officer John Dean, who also runs his own PR company, commented that we probably found, as he did, that you occasionally did work for the client, because you wanted to, that you couldn’t fit within the professional budget. We agreed that yes, that very day we had travelled 50 miles to eat lunch with the client… "And we appreciate that!" he replied.

What is more, this evening the Dagger Awards ceremony is being televised: so I am about to go and watch television on behalf of a client. The great thing about my job is, sometimes it really doesn’t feel like work…

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