People often tell me how exciting my job seems to them. However, if they ever saw me collapse in heap after 8 hours straight of editing pictures on my computer, they may change their minds. I have to admit though, a lot of the commissions I do are not too bad: from jetting around the continents for a rebranding job, to meeting top celebrity divorce lawyers. Exciting as these are, rarely do I get an assignment that feels like the full-blown holiday many of my friends imagine when hearing about my work.
If I were to choose a good weekend away in Britain, I would happily opt for Kent’s countryside with the winding roads and stunning coastline. Add a spot of wine-tasting to it and it is no surprise that Kent has recently been voted one of Europe’s top holiday destinations. It just so happened that my recent commission took me to the Gusbourne Estate where I was asked to create an image library for various promotional uses for the vineyard. The light was gorgeous, the people fascinating and I spent two days on the estate getting to know the ins-and-outs of producing top-notch wine in the UK. I made friends with Andrew, the chairman of the estate who upon his retirement as an orthopaedic surgeon bought some land and fulfilled his dream of owning a vineyard. I discovered that ancient as the craft of winemaking is, there is plenty of very modern science involved and I thoroughly enjoyed how the vineyard dog - Hamish - followed his favourite human John the vineyard manager around.
It is commissions like that that throw the whole work/life balance debate out of the window for me. Why not just enjoy both work and life at the same time? For more of these commissions I am happy to do twice the number of hours in front of the computer. Well, almost.