Hmmm. Well, we didn’t carry on with the Joy of Love photo thing — mainly because a lot of it was based around portraiture type photos, by its very nature, and that’s Emily’s least favourite flavour of photography. Instead, I think we’ll try a more abstract approach – possibly something like this lovely word prompt photography inspiration list. I did take some photos I liked out in the garden in the rain this afternoon, experimenting with a faster shutter speed to see if I could catch rain drop ripples.
Which handily masks the fact that we haven’t actually done any work of any kind, including photography, since my last post. Oops, let the cat out of the bag there. Sigh. Emily has happily amused herself doing who knows what this last week – we’ve barely seen her, but she seems happy enough 🙂 while Jon and I have been somewhat less amused trying to get a head start on February’s work.
Speaking of work, the news is not fabulous. Lost another contract, last week, in the US, one we’ve had for about six years. They loved the work, it was delightful working with us, but they need to save some money, blah, blah. Another one bites the dust. Meanwhile, the BBC contract was late paying, which meant that our tax bill wasn’t paid by the 31st Jan and has only just been paid. Never been late with tax before. I wonder whether they’ll come and visit us in the night with balaclavas and stern voices. The BBC payment is apparently, finally, on its way – but has come with yet more dire warnings that they don’t think they’ll be able to continue the contract after March. Had that one since before Emily was born, and it’s our largest single contract. Although I don’t like working on it….losing it after all these years, and with nothing to replace it, is a mite angst inducing.
Which brings me to my main point of the post. We’ve been bumbling around for too long, both work-wise and home ed wise. I was furious during the week to hear my father in law telling my sister in law in Canada that we don’t do any work, scrounge off him constantly, are too lazy to get jobs, etc, etc, etc. He does that a great deal, but it’s never any less irritating. He doesn’t understand how we earn a living because he doesn’t understand either the internet or self employment, so the writing, the directory work, the shop sales…all are beyond his ken. More the point, he doesn’t understand why Jon and I would have given up good careers in order to just scrape by.
We chose to become self employed in order to spend our time together and then, when Emily came along, to make the most of every second we could have with her. We could earn three times as much if we both went back into the world of work – and some people, like my father in law, equate that to us being lazy. The fact that we both work all hours is neither here nor there. We’re not fulfilling our earning potential, so that Must Be Bad. Gee. Quality of life another concept which escapes him, clearly.
Anyway, I digress. Where was I? Yes. We’ve been bumbling around for too long, both work-wise and home ed wise. We need to Do Something About It. And Fast, with BBC warnings echoing in our ears.
I need to get my non fiction book proposal sent out. It’s nearly ready, but then regular readers will note that it’s been nearly ready for nearly 18 months. Jon needs to deal with his book plans. Jon also needs to re-investigate the possibility of online retail – the online mind body spirit store we used to have did fantastically well until around 2007, when google snapped their fingers, we fell out of the search engine results and never were able to figure out why or to claw our way back up. The shop is all but gone now, but it could – and should – be revived. I need to get back to work on articles and stories and start some serious talent hawking in that department.
The problem with all of that is time, time, time, time, time. Isn’t it always? I refer you, gentle audience, to my post from last autumn about Excuses. It’s always the same. How to stop it being the same? No clue.
And then there’s the home ed. We’re falling into complacency there. The problem is that so much of the stuff for 12 years olds is inane, boring and pointless…and so much of the stuff for adults and older children is just that little bit too demanding; adapting it takes – you’ve guessed it – time. I really cannot see the point of most of the key stage 3 curriculum – it’s pretty much common sense with a bit of general knowledge thrown in and I’ve yet to find anything in it that Emily doesn’t either a) already know or b) find incredibly boring and I can’t find the heart to force her into it. I don’t think she necessarily NEEDS to be doing much home ed at this precise moment in time, so long as she’s happily amusing herself with xyz….but then, at this rate, I could still be thinking that when she’s 16 and suddenly everyone else has qualifications coming out of their ears and is off to conquer the world.
But. Monday is a new week. We’ll try again to get back into some sort of rhythm. I think we’ll try to focus on violin, photography, politics, economics and English for a while. I’d give that about a week before I panic about not doing science, history, geography, maths – oh good lord, maths – and other stuff.
And then there’s the small issue of my personal satisfaction. I have hobbies I want to develop. I want to do a lot more astronomy and I desperately want to learn, properly, how to do photo manipulation in paint shop pro, to professional standards. Neither of which earn money, and neither of which count as educating Emily unless she expresses a huge desire to join in. So neither of which are likely to happen.
And then there’s my master plan to get us all fit and healthy, with lots of exercise each day.
I need an alternative universe to go and live in for a while.