42. Shaken but not stirred




I might have been relaxing too much recently. Above, Maureen captured me in happy repose at Bradwell 12 days ago.

A few days later an e-mail from my editor at Croner Publications popped into the in-tray. When the word ‘unfortunately’ cropped up in the second line I sensed what was coming. My contract with the company has lasted for over two decades, providing my first independent earnings as a journalist back in the mid-90s, and laying the foundation to eventually go freelance. I have often wondered in recent years if they would lessen their magazine publishing in a world where digital content is now king.

The answer came from the editor: all their content will be digital from the New Year. Still bits and pieces for me to write, on a quarterly basis, but no longer my two monthly contributions: a finance feature and a news round up. Never too much effort required to earn the £405 each time. Not a fortune, but a good earner beside my two bigger regular gigs.

It’s more than likely that the news was a factor in my weekend slump. I kept it from Maureen until yesterday, when she was in a relaxed mood. She responded well: that it’s an opportunity, rather than a crisis.

Spot on. I highlighted in Blog 1 that my enthusiasm for work has long gone. More specifically, for the subjects that I have been covering for two- and a half decades. Trade finance and oil and gas.

Do I try and win new work in the old niche or see what else is available? Despite the greater risk, we both see a no-brainer. To move on and create a new learning curve. I have recently fobbed off a new possibility to regurgitate the old themes. My song sheet is Maureen’s hymn.

Which doesn’t mitigate our serious financial shite. We were operating with virtually no spare money anyway, to the extent that we had already negotiated a zero-present Xmas with most of our regulars. On the other hand, these things are always good for a philosophical re-evaluation. We have each other, a roof, warmth, food, a car and we never lack for pussy.

Interesting, tough times, with everything still to play for.

And we’re off to Cornwall this weekend for a wedding. Hotel room paid for by our friends, who kindly recognise our tender situation. And then popping in to see Rory in Cheltenham on Sunday.

Full moon tonight.





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