Week 26 already – half a year of being self-employed. How the time has flown by, and what a great decision it was to go freelance!
Monday turned out to be quite manic, as I had an email from my education client first thing asking if I could squeeze a couple more articles in over the next couple of weeks. So I have been frantically writing all day trying to make a headstart on the ever-growing mountain of work. I also finally got round to updating my expenses spreadsheet for the first time since the start of the year, which was a bit of a pain (sorting through months of receipts is never fun – I really must try to do it more often!).
In the evening we went to a most interesting evening at the airfield all about flying safely, organised by the General Aviation Safety Council. The sky looked quite brooding when we arrived:
We learned (well, I learned and Lee refreshed his memory) all about the various things that pilots should be aware of in order to fly safely – things like how to avoid infringing controlled airspace, how to plan your flight properly, human factors (e.g. if you show off to your mates, you’re asking for trouble; or if there are two experienced pilots on board each expects the other to have noticed a problem and doesn’t say anything) etc. It was really useful and I got a stamp in my logbook to say that I’d attended and this handy free Cockpit Companion, which has all the radio frequencies, procedures, marshalling signals and so on.
Afterwards there was an update about the future of the airfield. Things seem to be progressing in the campaign, which is good. I voiced my opinion that the airfield, on account of its historical importance, should be listed – apparently this is something they are going to try to work towards.
A busy day finishing off two more education articles. All these articles are 2,000 words each, so finishing each one feels quite an achievement! We treated ourselves to lunch at Subway (not really that much of a treat tbh), and also called in at the garden centre to get some more flowers for the garden and some compost. I planted out these, which I bought at the weekend:
On the left is a strawberry plant, in the middle are white onions and on the right is a tomato plant. I called it a day work-wise at 4.30pm and made some more scrummy ginger nut biscuits.
More education articles today, primarily an enjoyable one on famous opening lines of novels and what makes them so brilliant. It’s been nice being able to refer to my own extensive library, writing about such brilliant lines as “It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love” (Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez), “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” (A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens) and “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit” (guess).
In the evening we went for a lovely local flight, which was a great way to unwind at the end of the day. Here’s a photo I took of Stratford; you can see the church in which Shakespeare is buried:
We also saw a herd of wild deer, but unfortunately I didn’t have the big camera with me so I only have a lousy iPhone one, which I won’t bother sharing. They had no idea we were circling above them, and were seemingly untroubled by the engine noise. The evening is a wonderful time to fly, as the sky is much calmer and the winds have died down. It’s so nice to have longer evenings again.
I’m feeling rather knackered as I spent the morning at the Guide Dogs Training School on my first proper shift. On the way there I listened to In Our Time on Radio 4, which was about the ancient geographer Strabo – that took me back a few years! When I got to Leamington I had a brisk hour’s walk into Warwick and back with Blakey, pictured below in a rare moment of calm:
He was generally good, but there were a few challenges to contend with and at one point he actually tried to eat a holly leaf. When we got back we took a couple of the other dogs into the maze and another pen to get them charging around and burning off some energy. They’re sweet souls, but quite a handful at this age!
When I got home I had rather a job motivating myself to get on with some work. I managed to get a bit of writing and research done though, so it wasn’t a wasted afternoon.
Today marks exactly six months to the day that I left the world of employment. It’s hard to believe how much life has changed for the better in the past six months, and I was reminded about this fact when I stopped work mid-morning to take a trip to the farm shop for the weekly fruit and veg shop, followed by calling in at the airfield to see Lee. We went to the cafe and sat outside in the sunshine, listening to the beautiful sound of the skylarks and watching the world go by.
When I got home I continued with the article I’d been working on in the morning and also had a nice call with a potential new client, who found me through this website (it seems to rank well for location-specific searches, which is perfect for me).
Saturday and Sunday
We had the day off on Saturday and used it to go flying. Back to work today and I’m about to start work on an article about movie adaptations of books. Should be fun!