Long time no see

I’m a bit rubbish at this blogging lark. Been months since I even thought about posting something, which rather defeats the point of this kind of site. Still, absence and hearts et cetera et cetera.

What I have been doing is being a bit busier in the dog walking department while also supplementing my meagre pooch-related earnings by writing engaging, witty and eye-catching online content for a variety of sites. No, really – genuinely engaging, witty and eye-catching stuff. Well, obviously you lot are not reading my online epics or you’d certainly be able to discern its quality from the mindless quantity swamping t’internet.

Unfortunately, I have also been continuing to maim myself on a weekly basis. I confess I’ve always been a bit of a klutz, effortlessly able to fall upstairs or walk slapbang into the middle of very closed doors. But now I am seriously outdoing even my best childhood effort – the one where I was walking down the street aged about 8, holding on to my wee Auntie Pat’s hand. I had on shoes with slippy soles and was stretching my foot forward on each step as if I was taking giant steps. Cue an unexpected splits at the bottom of Wiltonburn Road. That hurt.

But not as much as actually breaking my middle finger on my left hand did about a month ago.

Even I am struggling to explain exactly how I got my finger caught around a lead that was attached to a very big, very strong Staffie called Chip. What I am clear on is what happened next – Chip leapt from the van, pulling vigorously on the lead and my finger was mashed in between.

Five weeks on, the enormous swelling has gone, leaving me with a horribly bent out of shape tip that is still agony to touch. I should go to the doctor but I fear that the cure may be much more painful than the finger even is now.

Luckily I have still been able to function, to drive, to walk the dogs and even to type – tho, as a touch typist, it’s weird to have to avoid tapping with that finger. I was reminded how lucky I was not to do more damage that would have put me out of commission by my sister-in-law Liz last weekend.

Her accident gave me a shudder and has been a bit of a wake-up call

Liz is a self-employed hairdresser. She’s also a human dynamo and a Billy the Whiz who never sits still, as anyone who was at our civil partnership parties this year will testify. But last Sunday she slipped while ice skating and broke her left wrist in two places. Ouch ouch ouch.

She can’t drive. She can’t work (and therefore can’t earn). She can’t even peel a tattie. She may need an op to put a pin in once the orthopaedic surgeon examines it when the swelling reduces. She is properly insured so could claim to cover her loss of earnings. But her accident gave me a shudder and has been a bit of a wake-up call.

If I fall and, heaven forbid, tear a muscle or break a limb while I’m out dog walking, I will be up the proverbial creek. And with my track record of outlandish clumsiness, who would bet against me surviving the winter unscathed?

I haven’t earned anything proper in a year. I’ve been living off my savings (thanks to the amazing support of Debbie) and putting all my efforts into getting the business off the ground. Other dog walkers warned me it would take a minimum of a year to get enough clients to be making a living. At the moment I’d say I’m halfway there, about halfway through my first year.

The clients I’ve got have been great – they’re regular, they pay on time and their dogs are brilliaImagent fun to walk. I just need a dozen more!

And if not? The economy is in the brown stuff. The newspaper jobs I once could have done standing on my head have all but gone. The policy area that I was keen on during my uni years and my enjoyable year and a bit at GCC is virtually redundant as local government cutbacks bite.

[On a side note, it’s been eye-opening to see the relish with which some English councils are slashing services, using the Coalition rhetoric as an excuse to get rid of all those pesky things that cost money – like libraries. And nurseries.]

So, lots of things to contemplate over the festive break. Will 2012 be the year I finally make a living doing what makes me happy? Or will I have to bite a rather bitter bullet and look for a return to the ranks of the employed (assuming anyone wants to employ me!)?

Happy Christmas, everyone!

*slinks off after spreading doom and gloom to all*

3 thoughts on “Long time no see

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