People often say to me - 'Sean, you are very lucky, you are devastatingly handsome, unutterably witty, and you're a fantastic novelist and lover.'
OK, they don't say that. But what they do occasionally say is - 'Sean you are very lucky, your job is great. It must be fab to be a freelance journalist, travelling the world, doing all those interesting assignments...'
When they say this, I snort in derision. Then I point out a few sobering facts about my career, such as: I don't get paid holidays; I don't get a company car; I earn bollocks money half the time; and I never get to go to the office Xmas party and snog that cute girl from accounts who I have secretly fancied all year.
Somehow, though, this doesn't seem to cut the mustard. These people still insist that it must be marvellous to travel on expenses, to do different things all the time, to go to glamorous sexy places, blah blah blah.
How can I prove my point? I'm going to do it now. The two photos I have appended below of are of me on a recent, hard-hitting assignment. The job was to go undercover and explore the darker side of the German sex industry, for the Telegraph magazine (hence the way I am slightly disguised). The two photos specifically show me conducting an in-depth interview with a relevant party.
Nuff said? I think even the harshest skeptic will agree that these photos reveal, more than words ever can, just how bloody TOUGH my job can be.