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It’s been a while, dear friends, since I cobbled up a blog – I have the very topic from my last blog partly to blame but I have also been working rather hard on a new venture which I will explain a bit about now.

If you’ve read my ‘About Me’ (yes, I really do look that airbrushed in real life, yes, I am lying – I normally have the complexion of a chain smoking 96 year old farmhand. A male one at that), then you’ll know that I was made redundant at the end of last year.

Funny old thing, redundancy. Throws up all sorts of uncomfortable feelings, and some quite comfortable ones too, as it transpires. I was managing social enterprises across the south west, had a great team of staff and the job was interesting and demanding. I liked it, very much, but knew it wasn’t my life’s work – I didn’t expect to be there for more than about five years. The decision to cull the services I worked in, was, of course made from financial restructuring and we were no longer part of the core business which was social housing. I understood that.

Anyway – one thing I did know, once I got my head round the fact that come 31st December, I would be out of a job, is that I had an aversion to walking back into PAYE. I’d been in a corporate environment and I didn’t like it. I found it too restricting and controlling. I’m not good with authority. I find it impossible to treat anyone in a senior position as anything other than my equal (in life, of course, that is what they are). I fully respect people’s achievements, talents and those many skills I do not have myself but at this point in my life (actually, at any point in my life thus far), I do not respect the fact that considerable levels of superiority can be self-imposed by those in senior positions, many of whom are incompetent fuck-wits. So I felt it was time to do my own thing and be my own boss.

I’ve had various jobs throughout my life, and have acquired some pretty useful skills for running a business. I’ve always been creative, and keep coming back to the notion that I’ve been working in roles which I have enjoyed and thrived in, but have never been ‘me’. I’ve realised that I need to be doing something art based. I read somewhere recently that life will keep giving you clues about what you should be doing, and it will keep repeating the same ideas over and over until maybe one day, you stop still long enough to listen to what it keeps telling you and decide that you’ll take it up on its suggestion. And this will feel natural. Rather than struggling to settle into a career feeling like polar ends of a magnet trying to connect, you’ll kind of ease into something that feels comfortable and ‘oh yeah!’. Here it is, ‘my thing’.

So, I started blogging last August, when I knew redundancy was coming. This isn’t going to be the core of the business but it’s a useful tool and I enjoy it, and it’s an outlet for creativity so that’s the motivation for the Noisy Café. If I can use it to build my business and signpost, then great. If I can use it to connect to other people, then brilliant. If it makes me any money whatsoever, a bonus. But it’s not the core.

My OH gave me some inspiration for a new project last Autumn. I seem to have stumbled into the world of greetings card publishing. A surprise, but one that now makes complete sense. It’s allowing me to use my arty skills and my business brain. I’ve been developing ideas and setting up the foundations of a business, doing research, completing art work and have just finished the first range of 12 cards, with three more ranges on the way. The first lot are at the printers for proofs. I’m now building a website and I hope the business will go live in the next few weeks. It’s taken me a while to adjust to routine, and to find a pattern – frankly, there is no pattern. I know what I need to do and I have self-imposed deadlines and a project plan. I also have finite financial resources and an income to generate, so that’s my motivation.

Whatever comes of this, however successful it may or may not be (of course it will be successful!) I will know one thing, and that is that I am very glad to be trying hard to do something different and for myself which I really bloody enjoy. And if all else fails, then return to PAYE I will. But I’m not thinking too much about that right now, I have better things to do 🙂