Is this a record absence? Who knows? I was pulling one of my periodic Garbo periods as I do when I'm under pressure. It's all too dull and a bit legal to go into here but suffice to say lawyers are involved and I have been given a date to be cast on to the dole.
On the subject of the dole I was perusing The Scotsman website and foolishly read the comments. One chap was arguing that everyone who is unemployed should be compelled to work a forty-hour week in return for benefits. Pray that he doesn't take power before November otherwise I'm doomed. Not I may add that I'll be taking a penny in benefits. I would rather starve than submit to fortnightly interrogation by the civil service for a paltry sum that doesn't even cover half my mortgage payment.
On the plus side I may have some customers for the business I've been working on starting during the year. Not enough to allow me to give up employment but it's a very encouraging start and fingers crossed will lead to more work and eventually enough to herald the beginning of really standing on my own to feet whilst working a twenty hour week.
I've also acquired an occasional market stall at the Dennistoun Craft Fair, again this is nowhere near enough to live on but it's enjoyable, creative and liberates me from having to answer to complete arseholes.
Other than that it's been a frenzy of job application forms, nail-biting, bingo and gardening. Oh and I also took Mr Clairwil to the theatre to see Sunset Song. I don't want to be too mean about the play because the odd wooden actor aside the cast were all excellent and struggled gamely with an over-ambitious production. There are worse sins than trying to do too much. Nevertheless it was for me a very tense evening. I had forced Mr Clairwil to go despite his protests that he 'hates all culture'. Any time the subject of the play is raised he looks stricken and slowly mumbles 'we will never speak of it again'. I can only pray that I haven't done him lasting damage.
Speaking of prayer I was delighted to find that a number of Christians and Muslims are saying regular prayers for me regarding my current woes. As I'm trying to look on the bright side I will overlook the Jews, Hindus, Sikhs and Pagans disgraceful indifference to my plight and comfort myself with the knowledge that I've got two of the big world religions on my side. More seriously I am genuinely chuffed and by the time work was over on Thursday felt a little tearful at the kindness that all my clients believers and otherwise have shown to me.
Realistically I can't devote the same amount of time to them unpaid as I did through my employment but I very much hope to keep up the good work on a regular informal basis if I can find cheap enough premises. This isn't me being a bleeding heart or a do- gooder (why is that an insult by the way?). It's just an acknowledgement that you cannot abandon such strong and rewarding relationships built up over years in some cases because the money's not in it anymore.
That's it for now. I shall be back over the next few days wowing you all with my thoughts on Sarah Palin, Ruth Kelly and anyone else who strolls into my line of vision.
Finally you can stay abreast of my gardening antics here.