Tag Archives: employment

End of The Beast

It was definitely wet this morning, with a few drops of rain in the air as we walked to the car and puddles where ice had recently been.

The temperature is now a couple of degrees above freezing and I’m hoping that his will continue. If it freezes at this point it will be like being in the middle of the biggest ice rink in the world. The forecast for the next week is rain and rising temperatures. I imagine that the rivers will rise and we will move seamlessly from snow to flooding as our topic of conversation.

It was noticeable that ebay sales were down in the shop over the last week, something we attribute to a general feeling of misery in snowbound areas. The post has been a bit haphazard over the last week or so, with people not able to get to the post to send me things, and our post office not getting a collection sent out  when the van failed to show up. I also had no post at home for two days, followed by a big wad yesterday. None of it was actually important, or even interesting.

In the shop we still saw quite a few customers, both buying and selling, though not on Thursday. On Thursday only the staff turned up, and at least one of them would rather have been at home. I still haven’t really got the hang of this employment thing.

By Friday it picked up and Saturday was back to normal. Hopefully ebay will pick up now.

A New Job and Work/Life Balance

It’s now official – I have a new job. For the first time in 25 years I’m going to be employed instead of self-employed, so it’s a time of mixed emotions.

It’s true to say that it’s close to being a job in a million. For one thing, you don’t get too many job offers when you’re my age and have no proper qualifications. For another, there aren’t too many jobs going in the antiques trade. And finally, a job that allows you Wednesdays off (that’s Julia’s main day off) and regular time off for blood tests is also hard to find.

I’ve also been offered a job as a consultant with the jerk seasoning project. There’s no money attached to that yet but I’ve always wanted to be a consultant so I accepted.

In one way it’s a failure, as my original self-employment plan was to make a lot of money, become a well-respected figure in the trade and go into semi-retirement around the age of sixty.

The reality is that I scraped a living, enjoyed myself and have just accepted a job as a shop assistant in a collectors’ shop. However, I spent plenty of time with my kids and will be in the fortunate position of making a job out of my hobby, it’s hard to see it as a failure. Let’s call it a flawed success.

Watch this space…

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Past Mayoress’s Jewel – Collectors’ World, Nottingham

 

The coming year

Today I have been thinking of the coming year.

We are having a casual January to clear the farm and to set things in perspective. In February I will have to start doing things…

I’m likely to have more time on my hands in 2017 because, as Julia has pointed out in a kind yet firm way,  I’m unemployable. Age, size and lack of formal qualifications are all against me, and that’s before you consider that I’m rude, lazy and look like I’ve dressed in the dark. When looking at job adverts I have noticed that these qualities are not often requested.

On the other hand I do have my own tools and an estate car. If there’s nothing in prospect by spring I can always go gardening again, though I will be more selective with my clients this time. No gardens with steep slopes and steps, for instance.

Extra time is not all bad, as it will give me more time to shop and cook, resulting in us eating food that is better and cheaper. We will also probably lose weight, particularly me if I am doing more gardening. Time, I think, to rearrange our neglected garden on Permaculture principles. I might be poor but I’ll be healthy, and full of fibre.

Work-wise I need something to keep the wolf from the door for the next nine years, at which point I will be able to draw my pension.  Just nine years? Where did it all go?

I’m currently exploring a range of dead-end options to occupy my time until that day arrives.

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One of my favourite farm photos – think in terms of stormy weather or pots of gold.

(To be continued…)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Too Old to Rock ‘n’ Roll: Too Young to Die!

Last week we had ice on puddles that lasted all day in shady spots. On Saturday night we had snow. I say snow but it was less than an inch, so hardly recognisable to those of you in Alaska, Lapland, or even Scotland.

At 5.30 this morning as I took my wife to work (enjoying the comforts of the new car – heated seats and an external temperature reading) I noted it was already above freezing point. Eleven hours later I picked her up and then snow had all melted. I don’t know what the rest of the winter weather will bring but this has been a lucky break.

Yes, you did read that right. After the problems with the Citroen we bought a new car, which allows us to be reliable once more. I tried not to shed a tear at parting with the money, and almost succeeded.In fact I tried to avoid parting with any money at all, but that was what resulted in us having such a bad time with the car in the first place. Miserliness is an unattractive quality in a man, I’m told by my wife, and causes more problems than it solves.

Mentioning my wife, I think it’s fair to mention her stoicism in working ten hour shifts on Sundays so that we can run Quercus Community and afford groceries, a car and children. If she ever has to give it up (or if the council carries through on its threat to take away the enhanced pay for working Sundays) we will have to cut back on something – probably the children.

It is, as they say, an ill wind that blows no good.

In case anyone in the Nottingham area is reading this I am looking for casual work if you have any.

I have no discernible skills, am sometimes described as “difficult” (though only by idiots) but will work for peanuts. At my time of life, summed up by Jethro Tull in the title of this post, you tend not to make too many wage demands.

Yes, they are named after  this man, because one of the band’s management team was a history enthusiast.  Robert Bakewell, to be fair doesn’t have that ring to it that suggests a prog rock band but  Turnip Towsnhend and Coke of Norfolk must be miffed to have lost out.

Meanwhile, getting back to what the blog is supposed to be about, I just have to set the finishing touches to the craft work for tomorrow – icy weather and a group with compromised immune systems dictates that we plan for being inside.

I’m happy with that: at my age I creak too much if I get cold. On Saturday night, as I fiddled with the new combination locks on the farm gates, I could feel my hands slowing down as the cold got to them.

Just when things seemed to be going well…

Yesterday we had a visit from Dr Jo Sempik, a leading academic in the field of Green Care and Care Farming, and five Korean visitors who were keen to know how the concept worked. I’m not sure that we actually know all the answers, or we’d be a lot better off, but we seemed to pass muster.

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This morning I had a steroid injection in the joint of my arthritic finger. I was just congratulating myself on zoning out the pain of having a needle inserted into my joint when the doctor depressed the plunger. I didn’t feel so pain free after that. It’s pretty good at the moment.

I’ve also been picking more of the harvest including my mini carrot harvest. I did mean them to be fashionably small but I might try to get them a bit bigger next year.

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That’s some of the group artwork in the background.

Finally, those nice people from Shipshape Arts loaded up their latest piece on a 40 foot lorry – which was only just big enough to fit everything in and only just small enough to get into the yard. If you think the man in the photo with the butterflies looks familiar, take a look at the Time Traveller scarecrow. Is it clear yet? He denies all similarity but I’m not so sure…

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Of course, there’s always a balance and today it came in the form of something that made my mind up about the way things have been going recently.

So if anyone knows of a job that would suit a fat man with multiple useless skills and a bad attitude to customers let me know – I’m likely to have a few days to fill in the near future.

I became self-employed because I didn’t like taking orders from idiots, but I’ll say no more. It is, after all, not a great thing to discuss in the sentence just after you’ve asked if anyone knows of any jobs going.

😉