When people ask me what I do for a living, I tell them I write food industry related articles. About two minutes into the explanation, their eyes glaze over. In future, I’ll just send them a link to this post and then quickly shift to expounding on my cake preferences.
So, for those intrepid enough not to shy away from more detail, here are a couple of unadorned excerpts from my typical ‘work life’, which…erm… takes place at home.
My punishing daily schedule commences at the crack of 10.30am, when I instal myself at my desk, steaming mug of tea to my right (which I’ve managed to spill all over my keyboard only once so far) and professionally attired in my
pyjamas freshly starched work uniform.
09 May 2013
This morning, I’m researching onions. Get a whiff of that glamour! And since I don’t know my onions (just yet), I’m looking at a French onion grower’s website for edifying insights. Their web designer has gone totally OTT. As soon as I enter, there’s an onion donning pink lipstick coming right at me, followed by an army of whirling dervish shallots. It’s giving me motion sickness. I’m trying very hard not to look directly at them, but to focus on the written info instead.
[It has to be seen to be believed. I dare you to click on this link, and then select any of the onion pictures. If you can gaze at pirouetting alliums for any longer than three minutes flat without getting queasy, I owe you a cake.]
29 April 2013
I’m writing a contribution for a trade journal entitled Nutraceuticals World. They want 2,000 words on the topic “functional food formulation trends”. I’m overjoyed, because it’s essentially a ‘Mary Shelley’ job – I’ll be bolting together three previously written articles to create a new one.
Sounds iffy, but, in this case, it’s perfectly legal. The articles I’m using as fodder have never been published in another magazine, but only on the website of the company who’s shuffling me this job. Ergo, the mag gets a unique contribution, and I get to charge twice for what is essentially the same copy. Everybody is happy 🙂
Although this is much quicker than writing a long article from scratch, the whole cobbling-it-together process is a tad fiddly – I’ve got to link the sections so that the piece flows smoothly, plus write the intro & conclusion and add several paragraphs with up-to-date material. I’m hoping for an outcome that’s closer to David Gandy than to the Frankenstein end of the continuum, but anywhere in between will do.
20 March 2013
The whole of Europe is in the throes of the horse meat scandal, and I’m loving every minute of it. A client asks me to add my two cents, and I gladly oblige. I even make it to “editor’s pick” that week, hurrraaah! OK, it’s not the Wall Street Journal, but better than a kick in the teeth.
Now, you might be wondering how I ever clambered up to these dizzying heights of the writing profession. Let’s just say it was a long and arduous process that entailed, amongst many other inhumane activities, the endless editing of food industry reports written by analysts with eclectic opinions, whose command of English wasn’t always the best. Here are some samples:
From a Russian hot drinks report:
Decaffeinated coffee is in disgrace of public mind for its weird nature
From a weight management products report, Thailand:
Moreover, diet programs are not working very well in Thailand where food is very tasty. Unlike European and other Asian food, Thai food is very tasty, spicy and delightful.
From a health and wellness industry report, Russia:
Among all diets, the most popular are the blood group diet, slag cleansing and consumption of different product categories separately. Slag cleansing include self therapy as one day a week of hunger or clinic therapy which can vary from random visit to a doctor or up to one month in sanatorium where hunger or very limited nutrition is applied together with spa.
You may also be interested in my specialist language blog, see here: http://multilingualbychoice.blogspot.com