Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Hello, is that Ms Blamey? It's the office at the bottom of your garden here. We think you should get dressed now.

There are many advantages to working for yourself: your hours, your home, your garden, your dressing gown, your biscuit tin, your dog (there can be drawbacks to this), your child (see caveat for dog), your partner (see caveat for dog and child). 

But I am not sure why working for yourself is held up as the bastion of 'having it all’?    

I mean, don't get me wrong there are some definite advantages.
From not having to ping-pong around the office politics of 'who's hot and who's not' this month, to not having to request time off to do 'basic human functiony' things like the dentist/doctor('Oh, really, what's wrong...?' *Office quietens to a hush as you decide whether to actually say 'anal polyps'*), not to mention being able to scoff custard creams like a spotty piglet without saying 'I know I shouldn't...' to colleagues every time you put your hand in the tin.


However, working from home is hardly Club Tropicana - sitting on an inflatable, laptop in one hand, Pina Colada in the other.

Yes, there are good days, and, yes, my freelance tan is coming on quite nicely thank you, but some days it can be hard to get motivated, especially when there is so much other stuff going on around you.  

For example, the door bell.  I had no idea how much action this little button, the tease, was getting until I was at home during the day.      

As well as becoming the cul-de-sac post office collection point ('Oh good you're in, would you mind taking in parcels for numbers six and ten?), I have made new friends in the form of the-man-who-sells-fish-that-no-one-wanted-at-the-market-that-day (mmm, yes please) and, the rag and bone man, who I thought was a fictional character made up to scare the bejeebers out of small children. Turns out he is alive and well and after your tut.


My neighbours also provide a never ending source of fun and distractions for someone, like me, seeking distraction.

Firstly, there are my immediate neighbours. 

Like a mature version of Tom and Barbara from The Good Life but with Jerry's wine cabinet, they have the wonderful - and very welcome - habit of calling out 'fancy a jar?' over the hedge. 
Three holiday measure G&Ts later and I am fishing newts out of their pond to 'watch them wriggle'. 


Also, I have noticed that our cul-de-sac is one of those very British enclaves where people hang on to their homes until old age makes them a) as crazy as mud bug on a griddle or b) spontaneously combust in front of Question Time.

This means that every day life is a bit like an episode of Last of the Summer Wine - there is always something 'going off'.

In the last four weeks:

Someone bought a classic motorbike

Someone fell off a ladder

Someone ‘allegedly’ made moonshine in their shed

Someone's grandchild pepper sprayed them in the face by accident

Someone cut their hedge into a topiary Thomas the Tank Engine.   


There has also been:

A garage sale (with bunting)

A street barbecue (with bunting)

An autumn ramble (with bunting around the sign announcing there was an autumn ramble).

I know all of this because I have the pleasure of working from home.  And, quite honestly, now I am on this side of the Thomas Tank topiary, I wouldn't swap my cul-de-sac colleagues for the world.

Home Brew or Home Stew, what's your working from home experience?

Lots of love, the Fat Controller x

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