Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Time Alopecia

I'm shedding weeks like hair. I have time alopecia.

I keep coming up with these lovely schedules which lay my time out so neatly... in the future. But the future keeps moving. Other things push in noisily at the front of the queue. Things like great black holes.

But yesterday I visited some new nut stores, to see if they would like my nuts. I think they might. I'm going to tailor my nuts specially for these new stores, then package them up and send them off.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Oh Flipity

I changed the name of the blog, and for some reason lost my blog roll in the process. And now I can't remember who was on it.

Guess I'll just have to start all over again. [sigh] Sorry about that.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Utterly Frivolous

Because I fell down a hole and this is my attempt to climb out.

There was a young squirrel named X
Whose thighs were like shiny round eggs
She gave them a shake
Then tripped on a rake
And now she's got yolk on her legs.

If pennies were pinnies
And pinnies were pennies
Then bakers would walk with a clank.
But plentiful piggies
With coins in their middles
Would laugh as they skipped to the bank.
And that being so
If a sow had to go
For a date with a man making bread
She'd raise her head high
- not a word of a lie -
Knowing well that her piglets were fed.

I haven't got a bucket
Or a picket in my pocket
And I divvn't have a hope of making sense.
But at least I'll have a sprocket
And a pippet on a poppet
When I tip it on the Tipperary fence.

I feel a little better now.

Slough of Despond

I've fallen down a hole.

No work, no seeds, an economy in ruins... I can't seem to pull myself out. I've been super-miserable for the last two days, although I have been re-reading Jennings Goes to School in my quiet moments which has been making me laugh, and has placed terms like "super-miserable" and "hairy ruin" into my brain.

I'm supposed to be working on my third major nut design, or pitching nut ideas to national nut stores, or applying to the Nut Council for seeds, or doing any one of a hundred getting-going ideas from my To Do list, but it all feels pretty hopeless.

I know I should be trying to stay positive but it's a while now since I had anything to feel positive about. It's The Nut Festival this week. This is my fourth major nut festival since my second nut design, and during previous ones I've been hyper-aware of when they started and finished, jumping every time the phone rang, watching publications like The Nut in some vague hope that my nut design might be "talk of the festival"... but this time I'm barely aware it's happening. I'm not expecting any news.

The only good thing on the horizon is the Russian nut launch in a few months, but I can't even feel positive about that.

Oh 'eck, this isn't helping. I need something to pick me up - this is just making me worse.

Right. Something utterly frivolous coming up.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Meanwhile... My Career

I saw a friend on Sunday night. I'd been planning to avoid the subject of X. Because...

No, that sentence isn't going to work. I need to explain what X is first.

Basically I, with the help of some savings and some frugal living, have set myself up as self-employed. With the Russian nut deal behind me and enthusiastic promises of more deals, and another nut design in the pipeline, and various other skills under my belt... I thought I might make it work.

And then I proceeded to earn... nothing. Nada. Zilch.

So. I decided recently that late this year, which is about when I'll run out of seeds, I would embark on a Brand New Career. It's something I've always wanted to do, but will be hard work and I'll have to stop nut-designing for a bit. But the hope is that once I get up to speed, I'll be able to do it on a freelance basis and alternate between X and nut-designing.

My friend already has a career in X. She is an Xist, shall we say. And she hates it. And she can get rather insistent and hectoring if she has an opinion on other people's lives (which she always does)...

But in the end the subject of X was just too hard to avoid, not least cos she started a conversation about X and what she should do about her career.

And now I realise my motives for avoiding the subject may not have been entirely healthy...

Interestingly my friend didn't try and talk me out of it, and ended up thinking I might be rather good at it and it may indeed be a good move for me. But in the process of discussing it she reminded me of some things I'd simply been blanking out and, to be honest, refusing to think about. I think I'd more or less decided that MY clients would all be nice. Which of course is nonsense. My friend painted a vivid picture of arriving at the workplace only to be faced by a load of stroppy clients. Every day. And whatever flaws my friend may have, she's very far from being a pushover. If they're like that with her, they will be with me. Of course I'm sure there are ways of learning to deal with all of this and to some extent disassociate from it all... but X is (as I knew) a very stressful profession, and I have a history of mental illness...

Oh yes, and my friend reckons Xism is much much worse when you do it freelance / on short-term contract, cos you don't build up a proper relationship with your clients.

I don't honestly think it would send me mad, but still. I need to think hard about it all.

One of the things we discussed was the various forms of Xism, the principle ones being A and B. I'd more or less given up on B, cos of I'd have to wait for a year to do this. But as my partner said, a career change is not something to rush into. Personally, being Mrs Impatient, I didn't think that making plans in April to do something in the autumn counted as rushing at all, but I see his point.

But that vision of difficult clients has made me think a lot more seriously about doing B instead of A. Also the enforced wait until 2010 would give me a lot more time to (a) think about it really carefully and (b) explore other income-earning options. There is a big problem with it though, re finances. It means I have to fund myself for another year, and even then the seeds available to starters in B are significantly fewer. But that may be a blessing in disguise re forcing me to explore other avenues, and also giving me more time to design another nut. Well, in theory at any rate. Given that I'll have to earn seeds, maybe not.

Anyway... mucho thought, and yet another rejigging of my schedule to allow more time to find proper paid work.

You'd think this might have depressed me, cos it puts my plans all up in the air again, brings seed worries back to the fore, and I do hate not having a definite plan. But actually I feel quite buoyant about exploring other options, and have reminded myself yet again that I have a lot of freedom and time right now, which are hard-won luxuries and need to be appreciated.

Oh, and another worry: Recession. I'm worried the economy is going to go awol in the next 12 months, the government is going to go bankrupt, things are going to decline to a very severe low. By autumn 2010, anything could have happened. What seems a pretty certain way of earning seeds now, may no longer be true. And in the meantime I have to find work / seeds... as unemployment goes through the roof...


Thursday, 16 April 2009



I wanted to write about all the shit that comes with being a nut designer, so here I am. And here is my story so far:

I am a squirrel. I designed a new type of nut. Go me. I sent it to nut stores and nut-designer advocates (lots of them). They ignored me or rejected me. Poor me. Then one of them got in touch: "We'd like to sell your nut." Yay me! I floated around in a cloud of self-satisfied delightfulness. My nut got into the stores. I found a nut-designing advocate. I sold a few nuts. Not that many, but a few. Good for me. My nut store went bust. Poor me. I designed another nut. Woohoo me. My nut-designing advocate didn't like it. Goodbye advocate. Poor me. I submitted to (lots) more advocates. They said stuff like "Well..." and "Actually..." and "You know..." and made lots of promising noises (hooray me), but in the end they all said no. Poor me. But then one of them said "Ooh" and "Ah" and "Yes" and I had myself an advocate. Yippee me! The advocate started sending my nut out and getting good responses (big-up me). But in the end they all said no. Poor me. Until months later one of them said YES (ra me), which was great. But they were Russian, so none of my friends or relatives could enjoy these (very country-specific) nuts. Poor me. But the advocate kept claiming to be on the verge of selling it to a million other exciting nut stores (yip-yip me), but nothing ever happened. Poor me. So I designed another nut. Good for me. But I lost my advocate. Poor me. And I realised I wasn't earning any money and I had a small child to look after and there was a global recession and anyway EVERYTHING I DO IS RUBBISH. Poor poor me.

So here I am.

I worry a lot.

Poor me.