I have not written anything for absolutely ages and I am sorry if you are one of the few who actually follow my meanderings! I like to think I keep a blog purely for my own amusement but there is little doubt that not having very many people following it or commenting on my posts tends to drain my enthusiasm. So my ego is still alive and kicking!
I haven’t been out on a cruise since I last wrote as work limits my time off and I have been visiting family rather than taking off on my own, but next year all that could change…
The shop I work in is going the way of so many others in ‘these tough economic times’ and will close next year. My employer is saying that he doesn’t want to make me redundant and will find me a job in their warehouse, but I don’t have any desire to work in a warehouse in town. I have only managed to last this long in a mind numbingly boring job because I work in a pretty place with friends about and Bonny to keep me company. I also run the place alone most of the time which suits me much better than having a supervisor breathing down my neck!
So sometime between now and June next year, when the lease runs out, I shall almost certainly be unemployed. I guess being female and just 51, I should feel like I am being thrown on the employment scrapheap, but instead it feels more like someone has just thrown open the cage door! Now the sensible thing to do is to start looking for a better job now but I am past being sensible. Thanks to my step mother’s generosity, I have some savings. At present they are sitting in a bank earning pathetic rates of interest – in fact, taking into account the rate of inflation – my savings are dwindling even though I am not spending a penny! Add to that the fear that Europe will implode and my money will be at risk of disappearing entirely into the vaults of a failed bank, I would rather use at least some of the funds now.
So I am going to cruise and cruise properly! My vague plan is to take a couple of months to go up the Macclesfield and Peak Forest Canals (very rural and beautiful by all accounts), coming back via the Middlewich Arm and the fantastic Shropshire Union Canal. Then I will draw breath on my mooring before going down to Oxford and onto the Thames. The South Oxford runs out of water regularly in the summer so this trip will depend on which season we are in by then. It may be that I spend longer up north and then stop for the winter and then do Oxford in the Spring. Meanwhile I hope to visit all the friends I have had no time for since I left Devon! Also being able to visit relatives without a time limit will be lovely. But the main attraction of all this is being utterly free for the first time in my life.
I will have a real chance to explore not only externally but internally. Having endless time on my hands will not always be paradise. I intend to indulge in mindfulness meditation in order to practice living in the present moment and not to rush around trying to fill every minute of my day. Not having work as a purpose in life will mean that I will have to either learn to live without a sense of purpose or will have to find something else to give my life some focus. Or perhaps I will turn entirely native and dance naked whilst howling at the moon! I cannot tell you how exciting I find this suddenly open and unknown future.
My fluid sort of plan is to take a year from when I leave the shop without looking for work in order to do all the above. However I will keep my eyes open and if I happen to fall across a part time or seasonal job that suits me then obviously I’ll take it. After a year I will need to seriously look for work but I could continue to manage on part time or seasonal work so hopefully it won’t be as hard as trying to get a ‘proper’ full time job. We will see. I
I will endeavour to keep this blog apprised of my progress. meanwhile here are a couple of photos of Bonny at work!