Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chit-Chat Wednesday and Making Lemonade

It has been rather a bumpy old start to the year for me. More crumbly old things happening than good but that's okay I do believe when life gives you lemons - make lemonade.
On the crumbly side first, Alfie died and I lost my part-time job which had supported my writing admirably for the last fourteen years. I had began working for a large department store in Sydney when I was at art school. I started as Counter Manager for an Australian aromatherapy counter and then progressed onto a well-known French brand of cosmetics and skin care. I still have no idea of why exactly I lost the job - it was one of those situations where nobody communicates anything to you.
I turned up for my regular shift to find another person in my place. How rude! But not unexpected as sadly this type of treatment is typical in retail. I am more shocked by the fact I was employed there for as long as I was. Consultants are blamed for any drop in sales no matter what outside conditions are. In my best Scarlett O' Hara impersonation, I shake my fist to the sky and vow 'As god and fellow Bloggers are my witness,I swear I'll never work in retail again!'
On the sunny side, I have been watching Midsomer Murders which is a series I came to late. My parents had watched and enjoyed it for years. Being the mad Agatha fan I am, I didn't think it would be my cup of tea but I've come to love and appreciate life in Midsomer. Love the surreal blend of the gruesome and cozy. John Nettles is perfect casting! Of course the true stars of Midsomer are those divine cottages and gardens.
I've been working hard on my mystery, Poets Cottage. I'm very close to sending the entire book to my agent and so fingers crossed it will be sold. With no income at all, publication is even more desirable than usual. I've been loving Poets and enjoying spending time in 1930's Tasmania. The image of the white cottage above was taken when I was on holiday in in Stanley, Tasmania, where I formed the idea for Poets. Two houses in Stanley inspired the two houses in Poets Cottage. If you squint you can make out yours truly, holding up Daisy.
Speaking of lovely houses, I've fallen in love with the blog Posy which a lot of you will be familar with already. During the Easter break, I read a lot of Posy's archives and love the way Jane is so frank about her life, her family and of course her floral, pretty decorating style. Just a lovely reminder of how many great Blogs and people are out there.
Because I no longer have to stand in a department store all weekend (hip, hip, hurray!) I've been loving spending time with my family on the weekends, doing family excursions and bird-watching trips which I shall post about later.
It's a glorious time of year in Sydney with the balmy Autumn weather. So I'm as broke as a church mouse but my soul is now my own and I no longer have to answer to dysfunctional managers. It is time for a new direction for me. I've had far too long doing odd jobs to pay my way with writing and I really have to start to think seriously about retraining in some new field.
But for a short time, I want to enjoy my freedom. Hope all is well with you and if life is giving you lemons, you know what to do with them! Just watch for the pips.xx
Midsomers Image source


  1. Goodnees Jo. That is a crummy thing to have happened. Lots of letting go to be done. Soon the new will arrive - and it will be fantastic!

    I'm sure you will make the best-ever lemonade from it all ;)

  2. So sorry you were treated so badly but I agree life can sometimes be like that and you just have to grin and bear it and get on. I was so tempted to hit the button and go look at that blog you recommened I may yet do so but for now I have enjoyed reading this entry. I hope the book is soon finished and it meets with success. I have changed life three times now not counting my latest venture, I will never make it this time, so I am with you all the way. You might just feel the vibes on the wind if you stop and listen.

  3. Dear Jo, I'm sorry to hear they did that, what a disgusting way to end a 14 year relationship.. I'm sure there are better things to come (easy to be better than retail I am sure!). It would be lovely to catch up for a picnic soon, we were at your local playground through the week, it had been so long since we were in the area, was lovely. Hugs to all, Anne and the boys xx

  4. Thanks Megan. I do see this year as a total change and letting go of the old that doesn't serve. I would have kept that job forever as it suited my writing so perfectly but when things are meant to be up - I believe there's a higher reason. Alfie was difficult however. Sometimes you don't want to say goodbye.
    Hi Ralph, I think Posy might be a bit floral for you but you never know! Girlie not boyie as my daughter says. Any vibes sent are appreciated. After reading your Blog about that dying young boy, I feel so pants and feeble moaning about my tiny cross. xx

  5. Hi Anne, lovely to hear from you sweets. I'll write to you on Facebook. I thought of you these holidays but we were keeping a bit quieter this time as Daisy was so exhausted from first term of big school. It's a wonder we didn't run into you in the park. We are often there. It seems the entire world is there a lot of the time! Thanks for your comment. Hope the course is going well. xx

  6. I found you via Posy's lovely blog, and was immediately forced to read on seeing the photo of John Nettles there!
    So sorry to hear about your job, but wish you tons of luck with the book. I have written my first novel, now it needs polishing/editing and so on, but I really don't havae the heart, so will stick to my local history features and occasional foray in the short story competition arena.
    Maybe this is time for you to find a new path to take, do you believe everything happens for a reason?

  7. I shake my fist to retail on your behalf, Josephine. Grrr! Life is strange and unpredictable ...

    However, as spotted by your lovely self, the benefit is the beauty of freedom ... the world is now your oyster ... Pha what's a few quid, you will tighten your belt.

    A writer's life is not an easy one ... Alas, goes with the territory. xxx

  8. Oh dear! That is bad about the job - I hope you thoroughly complained. Fickleness is no excuse! You gave 14 years of loyalty! You can't have done half a bad job if you lasted that long!!! Still, as they say about doors closing and others opening...maybe this is a great opportunity for you to explore something new! You should have a little brain storm! :) xxx

  9. I am so sorry they treated you with such disrespect. However, I feel sure that you will find something better. I am hoping that this break in employment will inspire you to write a mystery that will be a HUGE bestseller and that you will never have to work again if you don't want to.

  10. Josephine

    I quickly wanted to pop on and say hello and thank you for your very special comments on my post it meant alot to me and thank you for leaving me your lovely, caring words X

  11. it takes a very special person to be able to make lemonade out of life's lemons.....
    we all heart you!!!!
    sorry about the job but maybe there is a reason for it after all (maybe a better job with more money...keep fingers x'd for you)
    even sorrier about you know :-(
    i am SO buying a copy of your book when it hits the shops!!! xxx

  12. so sorry you've been having a rough trot, and it rankles to be treated so badly by your employer. but yes, you're destined for greater things! love your positive attitude and hope things look up soon.

  13. Hello Maggie, It is lovely to meet you and your house is beautiful! Almost like something from Midsomer! Yes, I do believe everything happens for a reason. Congrats on finishing your novel. That's major to have the discipline to complete a full book. xx
    Sharon, my darling Bookish Blonde I do need to tighten my belt it is true.
    Curious Cat I am brainstorming. Can you hear me there? It's painful but I'm trying to exercise my little grey cells.
    Belette, cin, cin to that! And you will write your best selling YA and we will be totally fab, and rich together. Hurrah!
    Cat, you are a darling. Thank you as always. I'm so humbled that you take the time to visit and leave me such beautiful comments. Yes, please buy the book. Oops, when it gets picked up! Good vibes needed soon!
    Thank you Jennifer, fairest of friends. I am not losing anything I loved except for my lipstick money. Sob.
    Mary, I have your hand and I won't let go. xx

  14. I like the " when life gives you lemons - make lemonade." Life sometimes gives us lemons and we have to make the best of it until sweetness replaces the sour part.

    I'm sure that's how it will be with you soon. The publishing of your book, and perhaps some generous work offers will turn your reality into a very sweet one.

  15. Dear Jo,
    I'm stunned that you lost your job in such a way. That's pretty low. Still, family Sunday sounds much more fun, and change is often accompanied by great new ideas. Keep your tales coming!


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