I have over the last few months started and abandoned probably near to a dozen blog posts. It has been a hell of a year – amazing and heartbreaking and utterly bizarre and completely life changing and probably a whole decade rammed into a year.
The short of it all is that we finally won the court case we had been fighting for 18 months for the new house, eventually managed to evict the illegal tenants and got the go ahead to move at the end of March.
I had been prepared for the move to be difficult. Ok, I had been prepared for the move to be ghastly, however it was worse than I could ever have guessed. We had a month to move and it took the entire month. All day, every day, both of us doing loads in our personal vehicles because it was simply too expensive to hire a truck for the sheer volume of stuff we had. We also had no water at Parkhurst for over two months because it developed a mains water leak and the landlord, in trying to force us to foot his bill again (this was the second time it had happened and he refused to do the proper maintenance) had our water cut off. Yes, I know that it is illegal, however we were just not willing to put in the energy to carry on fighting that property, so life was a bit complicated and involved many many buckets and careful rationing of water we got from various neighbours, bird baths and showering at friends so we didn’t smell too bad.
So we eventually got all our stuff, the birds and the small part of Ben’s fern garden that managed to survive the water crisis to the new house and started settling in and getting back to work.
A month after the move when I had barely managed to catch my breath, Ben and I separated.
It had been coming for a long time and it was completely amicable, we are still best friends and business partners, but we are no longer romantic partners. He and his lovely new girlfriend have part of the house, and I have part of the house and to be honest it works perfectly, however it was an unbelievably difficult time for me, and I’m sure for them too.
Shortly after the separation, things also came to a head with my last remaining staff member (I have been sizing down slowly over the last two years) and after a particularly nasty situation in which he vandalized and sabotaged client’s jobs, he never came back to work.
All in all, including the move, I didn’t work for nearly three months. I spent a lot of time in bed watching Dr Who and hoping for the apocalypse.
And then one day I woke up and the sun was shining.
It felt like for the first time in years years, the sun was shining, and possibly it was. When you are in a depression that lasts years, you stop noticing.
I was out of that cursed hell-hole in Parkhurst. Everything that could disintegrate had done just that and I was the better for it and had a completely fresh start and new life ahead of me.
I am now about five months after the fact and have had time to put a lot of thought into things and what to keep and what to let go. And where to from here because obviously not all the plans I had previously started to put in motion would work anymore, and with all the changes, some of them no longer felt right to me.
Going back to not having staff is the best thing that could have happened. I should have gone it alone a while back already, but hung onto having staff for a number of reasons, one of which is that there is a huge stigma against single person businesses, but I will talk about this and my sizing down process in another post.
A side effect of going it alone has been the taking another look from a different perspective of what I want to do, and the joy of it is that I am now actually free to take my business and myself where I have genuinely always wanted to be creatively.
So, I am keeping the five long term ranges that I spoke about previously and will still be working with them in a similar manner, however I am now looking at doing far more one-off items than previously. I am also looking at incorporating my art in a far more meaningful way – one way will be a lot of items which will be hand painted – actual wearable art; the other is that I am going to be selling my paintings and other artworks alongside the clothing and marketing the clothing as art rather than just stuff to put on your body. This means that I get to be genuinely creative and really up my game and you get something that is truly special and that is genuinely made with passion and a little bit of magick.