Ah. The joys of being self employed. You’re the boss, you’re independent, you get to choose when you work and if the office politics stink, you only have yourself to blame. The downside? Sometimes people don’t pay you. At all. Shameful. I know. That’s exactly how it was this year and the year before, for me.

Sometimes clients just plain forget. I sympathise. I’ve even forgotten to pay myself from time to time (true). I get it, you’re disorganised. For other clients the faux “We never received the invoice” simply sounds hollow, especially after two years. I know you got it, I copied myself in, along with my accountant and we both got it so unless there’s a black hole sucking invoices out of your company that NASA should be informed about, we both know.

It’s a dance of sorts. We do a polite little shuffle where I pretend I believe them and they try to avoid payment a little longer. After nearly 12 years. I’m getting quite good at it. Now I can spot them after a while and politely revoke my services by stressing how busy I am elsewhere (that’s right, busy with clients who pay). The upside? Sometimes, they pay. Hurrah (the peel of bells in the distance). No matter how long it takes them, when they do, it’s like Christmas all over again. In fact, this year, it was Christmas. Even better.

What to do with a sudden influx of cash? I hate shopping with a passion. I’m not interested in cars. I don’t keep up with the Jones’s. It’s not like I have a wish list. I could leave it there for a rainy day, but in the north west it rains. A lot. Permission to live in Paris then? Or at least think about it. Six hours later I’d popped my Airbnb cherry and rented a flat in Montmartre.