Sunday, 22 April 2012

Getting in some practice

My boss knows that I want to leave; we have been discussing this on and off for several months.  There is a degree of reluctance on both sides to accept this.  It's a family firm, and I've become part of the furniture, and though we both agree that I have my down side, I am dependable and I am the person they call when anything computer-related goes wrong, and thus far it has always ended up being sorted.  For my part, despite my desire to change my working life completely, I am very fond of some of the people there, not least of all my 80+ year-old Chairman who still comes in from 7:30 to 12 each day, rain or shine.  Love him to bits, have for years.  I go back a long way with this firm, to my early twenties when the software house I worked for sold them a computer system.  Even when that firm went bust, I still used to swap Christmas cards with Chairman and his secretary.  And eventually I ended up as an employee.

I am used to having some money plop into my bank account every month.  That is going to be hard to give up, emotionally speaking.  I have been used to defining my self-worth by the status of my job, and my attitude towards it.  I don't think that this is healthy, and it's one of the things I hope to change.  I genuinely believe that any job well done is something of which to be proud, but I don't seem able to think that way about myself, only others.  I sometimes wonder whether I may have tiny self-esteem issues.

Other revenue streams need to be found, so that when my company finds my replacement I stand a chance of continuing to eat - something of which I am overly fond.

King-size Granny Stripe Blanket, original pattern courtesy of Attic24
Loads of yarn!

As previously mentioned, I crochet.  Of course, so do a lot of people, and I can't claim to be any sort of genius in this area, but I do quite like some of the things I make, and at some point I hope to open an Etsy shop (or similar) and see whether maybe anyone else likes them too - enough to actually pay for them.  This will bring in peanuts at best, but that might be ok, I can live on a lot less than most people, I reckon.

Then of course there's the idea of buying cheap and selling a little less cheaply.  I've made a bit of a start with this original drawing, purchased on eBay for £3.  I collected it, avoiding postage fees.  It is of a boat called "Vere",  and was drawn when it was moored in Birdham in 1984.  I've done a bit of Googling, and apparently Vere was built in 1905 and was one of the flotilla of small ships that went across the channel to rescue soldiers stranded in Dunkirk.  Despite breaking down twice on the way, she is credited with bringing 346 men home, probably saving their lives in the process.  Since then she has served as a house boat to three successive families, and at some point sank at her berth in the Chichester Canal, passed through the hands of the Official Receiver of Wrecks and one other owner before transferring to her present owner.  In July 2007, Vere underwent restoration at Cowes, Isle of Wight.

My thinking is, if I can find out who owns this boat now, they might be interested in buying my picture for a little more than the £3 it cost me.  In the meantime I have it on my wall, because it is a jolly nice picture and I've always had a lumpy-throated soft spot for the Dunkirk evacuation.

So a very small start, both of which ideas may of course come to nothing, but my outlay has been modest (although I've drawn a line under how much I've spent on yarn in the last few years.  I don't buy expensive, but I have bought lots).

There are a number of other issues that I have to address if I am to take this monumental step.  But for today I'm happy that I at least have some ideas to follow.  I won't be leaving my present job for at least three months, so that's a minimum of  three more paydays' worth of money off the mortgage before I have to worry about how on earth I'm going to keep up the payments on it!

It's a nice sunny day and I'm now going to sit outside without a glass of wine, because one day soon I hope not to be able to afford such luxuries.


  1. I think selling your stuff is a great idea. I also think that teaching a class could be really fun. I have a dear friend who quit her job to pursue a dream of being an artist. She LOVES to paint, and is really good, but it's hard to make enough money as an artist.

    Anyhow, she's started teaching... but not in the traditional sense. She hosts painting "soirees" where people pay a fee to come paint for the evening. It's a structured event designed for people with little or no experience. She provides all of the supplies - as well as refreshments - and everybody gets to go home with a finished painting. But the real draw is that it's a social experience... sort of a "painting party". Anyhow, maybe you could come up with something like that.

  2. That is one brilliant idea! I suspect you'd have to not mind hardly anyone turning up for the first few whilst word spread, and of course a suitable venue would have to be found, but that could be a really creative way to hone my teaching skills (currently minimal) and start building some confidence and experience. Thank you very much for the suggestion!