Tuesday’s blog rolls back the hours, so back we roll to 1995, when I came back to blighty with the kids. For the sake of sanity, there are episodes in one’s life which are just not worth dwelling on. This time was one such phase in my life. In fact, that might explain why I have no photographic evidence of this phase either! Suffice it to say that I stuck little postcards everywhere; on the window by the kitchen sink, on the bathroom mirror, on my bed headboard, on the car dashboard – everywhere. And every single one read:
And I stand by that.
So the children and I came back to England, moved close to my parents, and I started pedalling like fury to pay the bills. In fact, nothing much has changed! Except the bills have just gotten a whole hellavalot bigger!
P for Perseverance. Well, it would probably have been a lot easier to just go and get a job in the city, but I had made a pledge, remember? To work from home because of the kids? So I didn’t have much choice, except to persevere with what I had begun in America. My parents were brilliant; they helped me look after Grace and Mark so that I could earn a crust and keep going with the Claritystamp adventure. But it was pretty modest in the beginning. I had had to abandon ship in California and start all over again when I got back here. But the lovely Brits really embraced the transparent stamp concept, so it wasn’t such a battle. The battle was trying to develop the business whilst trying to pay the rent! SO. I worked out how much I needed to live on, and then I went out and created enough work to make that amount. Call me simple, but guess what? I always made enough to pay my bills! Ready for this?
Every Tuesday evening, from 6.30 – 9.30, I used to run a stamping workshop at the back of a florist’s shop in Rainham. I was allowed the space free, but I had to keep the shop door open and sell flowers to the husbands who were getting home from London rather late and buying peace offerings for their wives. Now, reading between the lines, you can imagine what I thought about husbands who came home half-cut and late! So not only did the 8 to 10 of us have a grand old time stamping up a storm, I derived a certain sadistic pleasure tapping up these wayward husbands for £30 to £40 bouquets! They’d come in for a bunch of daffs or tulips, and leave with a glorious handheld burst of scented roses and lillies! And my good people would sit quietly behind the trellis partition at the back of the shop, letting me wield Flower Power! But the point was that the group came every week and those 10 good people paid my rent. But only just! So on Sundays I had a 6ft table at the Savacentre in Gillingham. And that paid the other things, like food and petrol. Every Sunday for 2 years, I would pack the kids up in the car (an old Beetle) and then Dad would come to the Savacentre at 6.30am and get them, so that I could set up and work. I never missed a beat. Just like I haven’t missed a beat on the TV the first Sunday of every month for over 5 years now. It’s all about regularity (and perseverance of course!). I call it the Crackerjack effect; do you remember Crackerjack? Because if you do, you will also remember this: It’s Friday, it’s 5 to 5 and it’s Crackerjack!!”
If you are trying to get workshops organised, you need a plan. Let’s talk about P for Plan next week, because I have to get some sleep now; otherwise my plan for tomorrow won’t have been worth planning!