Archive for August 10th, 2011

So having traded in my bed and support mattress in a large bedroom with a view of the garden and  London in Highgate, for a futon on the floor of my daughter’s bedroom in Twickenham, my hips and lower back are protesting at the indignity!  The advantage of this new sleeping arrangement is that we get to chat as we settle into bed ready for sleep and she gets to have her feet massaged – my position on the floor at the foot of the bed is ideal for that! 🙂

Monday I woke to a full-blown panic-attack! Suddenly the limitations of my now defunct job seemed very attractive in comparison to having no income.  I had worked on my budgets the night before and went to bed with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.  So first stop was the bank to transfer my hard-earned savings into my current account…..bills still have to be paid. Urgh!  I felt a bit better later in the morning after a chat with my chica and took some time out to start my job-search.  This still feels quite alien to me as I really do want to build my own business….so it’s a case of being between the devil (my debtors) and the deep blue sea (my dreams). A slightly different perspective on the old saying for sure, but a deep blue sea feels rather more attractive than the devil! 🙂

The rest of the day was spent online doing a job search.  During my online search I found that there are a lot of jobs available.  Only hurdle is that they require experience with programmes that are foreign to me.  I did cave in and look for Carer jobs and Housekeeper jobs (time to pull out my Mary Poppins bag).  I found one job that required a VERY good housekeeper to do all the necessary in the house, ‘ironing to a high standard’, looking after 2 girls 6&8, babysitting 2 nights a week and working from 7.30am-7.30pm Monday to Friday, a room with a view of the river and a salary of £300pw. Hmmm. I was tempted, except that I have to set higher goals for myself for the future.

Yesterday I earned my keep for the next two days by creating order out of chaos and sorting the piles of documents, pens (I am sure I counted at least 300 – no exaggeration), notepads and notebooks (I can’t even begin to imagine why Woolworth’s went out of business!), newspaper cuttings, magazines, business cards and much else into a semblance of order.  My daughter is very creative and this is reflected in the ‘artistic’ array of chaos.  As she said….she had a fair idea where things were…..now she has no idea, but at least it’s tidy! 🙂 hahaha.

I have started a list of ‘things I am good at’ and so far it is looking good.  A few years ago I started up a freelance business called “The Money Box”, doing what I am best at: Debt collection (aka Accounts Receivable in the UK), sorting paperwork and organsing a logical filing system.  It worked very well for a couple of months, and in retrospect perhaps I should have continued.  At the time my debts had overwhelmed me and the income from this venture had not yet reached a sustainable level so I caved in and returned to Caring……that was 2.5 years ago!   So now I am quite reluctant to go the same route and take the caring work as an easy solution to the income issue.  I will not resort to calling it a problem, coz it ain’t.  It’s just a matter of facing the errrr……fear…..etc.

Last night we, my daughter and I, sat out on a blanket on the lawn eating macaroni cheese (one of her favourite meals) and chatting about ‘where to from here?’.  We drew up a plan for the londonitinerary.com and 3daysinlondon.info websites and collated the products on offer.  I feel very confident about conducting tours around London now (albeit having to cram my head full of info beforehand), and would love to continue with that.  The only drawback I can forsee is the confidence  of potential clients……I have yet to gain a qualification in this area.  I have investigated the Blue Badge Guides course, and it is £5,000-00 and 2 years to qualify.  Hmmmm, a tad too long for me at this stage. Also, there are 1,000 Blue Badge Guides already operating in London, and they seem to have set routes and tours, and although they are fun (I have done 6 so far), I would prefer to be more creative.

The 3 Days in London self-guided Itineraries I have created so far are in the final stages of testing, and we plan to upload them to the website in the next 2 weeks.  I really loved conducting the birthday tour I did a few weeks ago and hope to do more of that in the future.   No! Actually scrap that….I PLAN to do more of that in the future 🙂  We have also discussed logical products for the site that will enhance a  visitor’s experience to London and provide items of interest for them.  The London coffee-table book is almost complete and that will go up as soon as it is finished.  It looks terrific so far and CJ has done a fab job of it.  It’s really exciting to see my photos in the book and I still marvel that they are mine….they look so good! 🙂   Forgive my momentary self-congratulation, except that I love taking photos of London and when they look that good in print, it gives me a real thrill. Oh! Btw, if you ever need photos of London….I now have over 21,000 in my collection! 🙂 and counting.

Other than that….I have completed my ‘Victorian’ novel….more like a short story actually, but my erstwhile guinea-pigs have read it and loved it!  So that will go up on kindle in due course.  It was quite weird how that came about actually.  I was walking back from the library one day and my route took me past the lower end of the Highgate Cemetery, and as usual I walked and looked.  I love to discover new headstones and am always on the lookout for unsual ones.  On this particular day, a beautiful white headstone seemed to shine out from the undergrowth so I stopped and took a few photos.   When I loaded them onto my computer I noticed the inscription and immediately a story popped into my head.  I could see the whole family and the lass in question.  The story took no more than a few hours to write and after a few days of mulling it over, tweaking and improving, researching life in Victorian days, I completed the book to my satisfaction.   It was originally meant to be a short blog, but the story just built and built till it was a wee bit more than a blog!

So where am I today?  Supporting the local economy of course.  I walked with CJ into town, then took a walk along the river….it was so lovely at 9.30am, not many people about, and I managed to take some fab photos of Church Street (not many cars about), and the river.  Then I sat on one of the benches that line the promenade and read the paper 🙂 whoo hoo.   I never have time to do that.  Of course I took loads of photos and took a walk over to see the ‘Beach in Twickenham’.  The http://www.richmond.gov.uk/play organisation have created a play beach on Champion’s Wharf and it was already busy, busy with toddlers playing in the lovely sand as the Mum’s looked on.  It will be there till 21 August.   The tide was out and I got some fun photos from below the wharf, so to speak! 🙂

play beach at Champion's Wharf, Twickenham

At just after the 10 o’clock bells from the church, I meandered over to Sweetie Pies for tea and scone with jam and cream.  Good for the physche, not so good for the cholesterol! 🙂 🙂  However…..!  Here is a great quote I read on the menu “Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage. Steam rises from a cup of tea and we are wrapped in history, inhaling ancient times and lands, comfort of ages in our hands.” Catherine Douzel.  Just makes you want to drink cup after cup!  I settled for a pot and set my computer up….which is just where I am right now. 🙂  It’s really busy today and CJ is running her feet off.  The scone was delicious and the best you will get anywhere.  I have since then had a 2nd pot of tea and a miniature cupcake; chocolate with chocolate icing and pink hearts!  Yummy! I can truly recommend a visit.  The garden is looking wonderful, as only an english garden can and I enjoyed a brief walk about the courtyard photographing the blooms.

tea and cupcake at Sweetie Pies, Twickenham

Shortly it will be time for me to head off back home and back to the job-search.  No internet reception here, so I will have to say farewell to my chica and see ya later!

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