We’ve just got back from the Cubbly’s Christmas party. And that’s a much bigger thing than it sounds. OK, so it was only Jen, me, C and James, but it was an official ‘do’ with the company paying. Think about that for a second. Our daughter has produced a business where she employs me (and C to a lesser extent) and the business has made enough cash to take us all out to the pub. I think that’s pretty special.
And it was after a really long day. C finished off about 30 bandanas (bravo) and I slogged through close to the same number of leads and collars. And still the orders keep coming in. OK, we’re not completely swamped but we always have things to make, and with a trip to the NEC next weekend for the big dog show we are now getting a whole load of stock ready for that.
That’s been, pretty much, my life. Four days last week, three this week – and I have bought stuff back with me tonight so I can make some more things tomorrow. I thought at one point that it wasn’t going to work. As you know Jen has had mental health issues and early on I thought I might be the only one making things … but her mood and energy has improved dramatically with the business. Yesterday, for example, with just me and her in her house, she was Mrs Morale. ‘Suck it up, Dad!’ was a call from across the room when I was swearing at the machine that was chewing my latest work.
Today I made a bespoke harness. It was multi-piece and a combination of ribbon and fabric, tri-glides and rings. And, even if I say so myself, it looked really good. For those of you who know me, you know that I like making things. Art has always been something for me, and I guess writing books is all part of that ‘doing something with your hands’. As I get quicker and much more proficient at the leads and collars I don’t find it dull … it is often a challenge and I do find myself taking some pride in the outcome.
Anyhow, well done Jen. We are both v proud of you.
For the record, I have still not got to the end of book 5. I have managed a chapter a week and when I got to the end of Chapter 20 on Sunday (131,000 words) I found that I still had stuff to write. I’m pretty certain the story will be done by this weekend. We’ll see.
I’m off to the school I work with on Friday, then to Mum and Dad’s on Saturday (leaving C with Mary in Godalming) and then back for a few days with Mary before work (work, work) at Jen’s next week preparing for the NEC. It’s all go … !