We need some light relief at this point I think. At least I thought it was light relief until I sat down and looked at the timing and the title – Spring Clean Your Fridge.
This was written in March and it looks to be a time when restaurant reviews, new ones, were not being done as much as the magazine was sometimes bumping mine for translated ones from the Turkish version of the magazine. I was still producing a fair amount of content though so was becoming the go to if ever the editor needed something quick.
That’s a work ethic I’ve always had when writing. Be fast and become indispensable. It worked. There was an issue around June where I had seven pages in the magazine with my byline on. The pay was terrible, 50 krus (like 1/3 a penny) per word but I was writing so much for them that I was picking up a fair chunk of cash some months.
This Spring Clean thing was a callout under that theme and other pieces were sourced from the global Time Out pool and were equally lifestyle magaziney and had no place in a travel guide magazine. It was a bit of silliness but I still quite like it. I think it was the first time I can see that, even with no real meaningful content I could write something for a theme.
And the theme….clean out your life. Clean up your act. Get rid of things that aren’t working. Cut off the mouldy bits. Something’s turning to acid – throw it out. Detox your life.
Except there I was clinging onto the actively poisonous and harmful elements. Turn the acid into sangria, salvage the part underneath that hasn’t gone off yet, use the flat coke to stop the nausea you’re pretending you not to feel.
Loud and clear, lady, LOUD AND CLEAR. But, no, she wasn’t listening.
I needed to have been ending the sinister and unpleasant dalliance with my student, who by this time had roped me into other classes in his company that were pretty much my main source of income for a few cash hairy months.
And, once that was spring cleaned out, I should have been clearing out my other relationship and maybe leaving Turkey. Instead I was masking my lack of belonging with being taken out for lunch or dinner, occasionally cooking for the slimy student, increasingly distant phone conversations with my boyfriend, very sweet visits when we could, and writing for Time Out.
I don’t feel I can regret writing though. It was the start of really writing even if I did drop it for a couple of years in any serious way. The seeds were planted with feeling like part of the team and seeing myself consistently churn out good material for over a year.