I’ve come to the conclusion that need to take a sabbatical. A month should do it, possibly two.
Why? There is just too much going on in my life, to fit into the hours that are left after i do 11hrs or so of work & travelling a day, plus giving every other weekend over to T and his Chilrens.
Number 1 challenge: The house is still chaos.
It’s getting me down seriously. Progress has been made, don’t get me wrong, but it so slow! There are certain things that I just can’t do on my own, and certain things that I refuse to do, as T has “owned” them. There are some massive highlights however, and in the last month some massive progress has been made, and so some more House pictures will be coming soon.
There is also simply too much “stuff” just lying around the place, which seems to grow of it’s own accord.
Money is also an issue. I finally bought the house back in April, and the Mor tgage is more expensive than the rent was. Given that I bought a month after we also stopped having Weekend Overtime available at work, I’m a seriously large amount of money down each month on where I was 6 months ago.
So, to combat the “No Money to rebuild and Too Much Stuff to fit in ” axiom, I’ve decided to sell everything I own that is irrelevant to immediate life on eBay.
Given that both T and I are massive hoarders, that’s quite a large amount of stuff; things like my yarn stash, odd bits of electronics, a couple of broken laptops, the telly which hasn’t been turned on in 6 months, some of T’s random posessions as well…
However, the combination of too much ruddy stuff in the house, working too damn long to have any spare energy when I do get home to do any sorting out, and not having nearly enough time when i do get home if I also want to eat, sleep and socialise means that actually gettting the time to take the photos to put on eBay hasn’t yet happened for anything but 2 laptop bags yet.
Mum came to to the recuse here though, and has taken on the job of selling my stuff rather well. She sold the Queen Collectors edition albums I (used to) own, which put a nice amount in the Sabbatical fund! But talking about Mum brings me on to…
Number 2 challenge: My Mother.
I didn’t ‘blog it at the time, but about a month before my birthday, she fell and fractured her skull. Luckily, it has not affected her too much, she still has all her mobility and more importantly (most of) her marbles.
I’ve always had an “entertaining relationship” with my mum; I know that some of my more combative/stonewall type conversational cues and responses have been programmed into me by our interactions, but generally, as long as we keep it all neutral, we get on OK.
Mum is mercurial by nature, never sticking to more than one concept or choice for long, usually embarking on a massive circle of ideas, which are thought about and discounted before usually then arriving back at the original option, which is then carried out. That circle can happen 2 or 3 times before an action is taken sometimes… frustrating for someone as linear as myself, who makes a choice and generally sticks with that choice, yet retains enough flexibility to roll with punches and change tack if required to suit the situation, whilst retaining the original goal.
The bump on her head seems to have emphasised the mercurial parts of her personallity, making it even more challenging to anyone that isn’t in her head to follow her thought paths, as well as seemingly taking the moderation off of her emotions. She is now too easily and irrationally moved to tears&begging when something is said that she doesn’t like or does not want to happen.
Which makes our rather fragile relationship even more brittle.
Number 3 challenge: Finding time for a new business venture: Fibres Exotica
I’ve owned Fluffenstuff as a business since 2007, which as you will all know, has a mission statement to produce Knitting goods for people that like BIG yarn. It’s a niche, (one as a Knitter I inhabit myself) as nigh on all of the hand dyed yarns and stitchmarkers on the market are for small yarns and needles, ie the sock and shawl knitters.
People that have been following my ‘blog will know that I bought a whole load of Yarn, both as random lots from eBay and from yarn suppliers in India and China. I beaded and dyed like mad, set up a web-shop, and also took a huge leap and booked a stand at The First International Stitch’n’Bitch Day.
Things went really well and I was very optimistic that with some work I could transition my life over to Yarn Dyeing and Selling.
However, when we decided to start the renovations in 2008, the dye pots had to get put away, and the clear space to photograph and upload lots of my yarns was not easily obtained. The fact that the renovations have gone on far longer than anyone would want, and I also wasn’t uploading fresh content, meant that between that and the shopping cart breaking without my noticing for about a year (Which I wasn’t happy about when I finally discovered!), and also despite runing advertising in “Simply Knittng” and “Knitting” magazines during 2008 I just didn’t generate any more sales.
At the beginning of this year, I updated the WP-Ecommerce software again (vast improvements!), as well fettling the underlying WordPress Installation, uploaded some better photos in general and in particular for Recycled Sari Silk, and I added an item for the sale of “wholesale” bundles of this yarn.
That has lead to quite a small sales, and a few shops contacting me, generating a couple of “big sales!” of Sari Silks.
I still have some stocks from the 2007 show of Recycled Sari Silk, so I was able to fulfill the orders, however, I then thought that I should just check that the suppliers in India were still in business, as me advertising their wares without me being able to provide the, wouldn’t work!
I e-mailed, and they are very much still in business, have branched out to teh US as well and and so my interest in making a success of a yarn business was rekindled, and that in turn has driven me to explore a wider partnership with that company.
You see, not only do they make Recycled Sari Silk and the Aran weight Silk that I love dyeing, they also produce many other silk yarn, fabric and fibre lines, that have no place at all in the Fluffenstuff mission statement, but very much should have a place in every UK knitter’s stash! 😉
Curiously, no-one had registered http://www.sarisilk.co.uk.
So, I went and did so.
Some intense negotiations enterted into and a formed partnership later, and Fibres Exotica was born!
We are going to be in attendance at The Knitting and Stitching Show, Alexander Palace in October. Stand D16. Do come see us!
So, that is a huge challenge, there is so much to do! Websites to form/upload, advertising materials to create, Letters of introduction for the Chaps to come over and be part of the show… IT has deadlines as well, as you can imagine!
However, it’s also being hampered by challenge number 2. Yes, My Mum, and her emotionality.
After I’d talked with her about my plans etc, she was initially every enthusiastic, wanting to help etc etc. However, she then went and looked up the company on Google and Facebook. Coming from India, they naturally have other business contacts in the middle east, Iraq, Saudi Arabia etc etc. So, Mum freaked out, as she has unfortunately bought into the propaganda that all foreigners are terrorists/not to be trusted/out for all they can get…
She also feels that the name I picked is very unsuitable. Her brain threw an R in there rather than the X.
So, her initial enthusiastic offers of help with the new business have very much been rescinded. Not good.
Number 4 challenge: Finding time to update my other website Low Carb in the UK
LCUK was a Website I created way back in 2000. You can go read the “My Story” link for the full details, but the long and the short of it was that 160 odd pages of 10 year old HTML4 wasn’t easy to maintain or manage.
A CMS was required, and WordPress fits that bill (naturally 😉 ). Getting the nuts and bolts in place is easy enough, but the time it takes to re-load all the content! Cutting and pasting the “body” section from the old web-pages works, but there is still reformatting that needs to take place after that. Again, it’s all time consuming… I’ve taken to taking my Laptop to work, and sitting in the kitchen with it on my internet dongle, uploading stuffs!
I come back to my original point, I need a month off and I need the money to be able to do so, and also find some additional money to complete the house renovations as well as accomodating taking yarn to Alie Palie from what I have available (which is possible)
I’m currently trying to fit a quart of stuff that needs doing into a pint pot to time available, and it’s just not working!