Life in the Circus

Like so many of us today, I sometimes find that working can be stressful. Whether you’re an employee, executive, or freelancer like myself, you often feel like a circus performer: you could be a lion-tamer managing your boss, a high-wire artist trying not to fall, or an acrobat juggling a hundred different hoops at the same time.

Personally, the circus act I feel closest to is the plate-spinner. You know, they have a whole load of plates spinning on wooden sticks, and they have to keep rushing from one to another and back again to stop the plates from falling and smashing on the ground.

Of course, it depends on the time of the year. But just one glimpse at my timetable and to-do list for this week is a daunting challenge. I’ve three main activities: coaching, interpreting and translating so, in reverse order, this week’s plates have included translating the following documents: Air Austral’s in-flight magazine, a European regional funding report, a short film in Mafate and the finishing touches to the Musée de Villèle website and application.

As far as interpreting goes, I need to brush up on my technical vocab for next week’s Iomma, the three day Indian Ocean music market before Sakifo kicks off.

And as for the coaching, every week involves a lot of driving. As I work between St Louis and Ste Suzanne, I usually do an average of 2000 km per month. The companies where I teach business English at the moment work in fields such as sugar cane, automobiles, IT, tourism, construction and regional cooperation.

Ok, this might sound like a lot, but it’s not finished yet! I do my own admin, so there are all the quotations and invoices to send, money to chase up and, of course, taxes to pay! And not forgetting working on’s podcasts and e-learning program with my fantastic friend and colleague Richard, and having the privilege of working with all my fellow English trainers, translators and interpreters. You know who you are!

Like them, I enjoy keeping myself busy. But I must admit it would be nice to work just a little bit less! However, once a plate has started spinning, you can’t let it stop and crash to the ground! Which reminds me, I have to go now, as my circus act is calling me, and there are a few plates which need my attention! That’s life in the circus folks!


whether = si (oui ou non)
executive = cadre
lion-tamer = dompteur de lion
high-wire artist = funambule
circus act = numéro de cirque

plate-spinning = assiette tournante
to smash = éclater en morceaux
glimpse = aperçu
timetable = planning
daunting = décourageant

to brush up on = réviser
to involve = impliquer
average = moyenne
fields = domaines
my own = ma propre

quotations = devis
invoices = factures
to chase up = relancer
fellow = confrère
however = par contre

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