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Walking for a living?

April 27, 2013

So…here we are, the weekend and I’m in the house all by myself. Mary Lou’s staying at hers and Stan’s having a sleepover at his mates. just me and the cat! It’s a year since I last had a drink. This weekend one year ago I was still drinking, after starting midday Thursday. It seems like forever ago now. I’d like to see I’m a new man, but I don’t think I am. I’m certainly a lot better for it, but the things I’ve accomplished in the past year have all been possible because of who I already was. Its just that I’ve taken drink out of the equation and I’m a lot stronger, focused and a lot more positive and happy. If you discount the frequent attacks of doubt and existential despair while poring over books of local history in the Reference Library. Of course I’ve not been able to do these things without a lot of help – from Mary Lou especially.

Its also a month since I went Self Employed. Which has been a strange experience, but one that’s been good. I’ve not actually gotten my Tax Credits sorted out yet, so I’ve been living on charity and getting people to fork out for subscriptions for the mag. The forms turned up and I immediately had a breakdown – how was I supposed to fill them in when they didn’t make any sense? Or at least one part of it didn’t. Week before the Bank Holiday, so I left them till the Tuesday and got them off – eventually. Then there was a 2nd lot, which I had a minor flap over. Why? Because I hadn’t registered as Self Employed! Got that out of the way & now I’m just waiting for them to get back in touch. No doubt with more forms. Before I signed off I was worried I’d not be able to do 30 hours – I could’ve gotten away with 16 because I was on the Sick, but it would have meant booking an appointment with a Dr, and I couldn’t be arsed trying to get him to sign something to say I had to do less hours cos I’m a stresshead etc. In the end its all just about how you interpret your time. I’m doing 30 hours a week, easy. So much of my day is spent in reading, then writing up my research anyway, that to be doing this as part of the business is, well, odd. I just hope I can make some money off of it! What I am doing that’s new, is writing about the actual research, as well as writing up the research for the walks I’m leading. In this way I have a manuscript to work on for future publication. Enjoyed the walk? Keep in touch and I’ll sell you a booklet about it!

The research is fun – if you’re an absolute geek anyway. But we’ve got such a brilliant space in the Ref, and the librarians – with the exception of one or two, are really helpful. Research also involves walking there. I’m constantly looking up and around, watching out for interesting things to investigate. And there’s such a wealth of material in the library itself, but not that much on the mundane history of the town. I intend to rectify this. And dig up lots of interesting things to bore people with at parties – not that I ever go to them. My social life has died a death with my sobriety. The Black Light Engine Nights aside, of course. They’re great. I’m not someone who can just turn off at the end of my requisite hours for the day mind. I’ll wake in the middle of the night and jot down something to look into, or be reading my book with a view to unwinding when I’ll suddenly remember something important and go off on a tangent scribbling.  I’ve a walk tomorrow – not a big walk, or at least not in size. Just a small portion of the town centre. But its involved a lot of reading-  which I’ve not finished – because I’m investigating with a view to publishing. I’m also going to bring some laminated prints – something which will help people visualise the places that are gone and I’ve still yet to finish typing up and making a go at memorising my notes. Oh well…I need to go and sit down now, away from the pc, and read. Write up my journal and Work Diary. Let the cat sit in my lap for a while…


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