Falling plates

(originally written 18th August but couldn’t upload due to lack of internet connection)

Since I edited my short story ‘Red on canvas’ (available here) and wrote my last journal entry I have written nothing barring a couple of basic ideas and a sub-plot to a sci-fi story that has been in my head recently. That isn’t to say fiction hasn’t been occupying my head space; it truly has. Predominantly the aforementioned sci-fi piece and two very old stories that are more ‘real world’ although one feels as though the characters and plot would be more suited to be written as a TV show than a novel, we shall see.

Also, I have been listening keenly to my audiobook on creative writing and have definitely found it useful. There have been plenty of suggestions on getting the creative juices flowing, discipline and seeing out a story, structure and editing. I’ve stepped away from that book for a while as the author is now talking about formatting and publishing but I’m nowhere near that at the moment. Also, it can be a bit of information overload so for the last couple of days when I’m out walking or on the way to work I’ve listened to a second HG Wells novel; The first men in the moon. I’m not enjoying it as much as War of the worlds but I plan to see it out and it does seem a much shorter novel so I definitely want to see where it goes. Next will either be another HG Wells (The time machine, I believe) or I’ll move on to the monster collection which starts with Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

As mentioned I’ve had a bit of work the last couple of weeks but I feel the working relationship is coming to an end. The man I’m doing the work for is becoming quite unbearable and simply put takes his frustrations and stress out on me. It’s got to the point he’s making out I’m more of a hindrance than a help even though I know he would have to cancel, rearrange, or spend more time on jobs if I weren’t there (he’s told me this, as has his friend who works with us fairly often). I know my value and my worth to him and I know that, while he has more knowhow and technical skill than me, I do a lot of the grunt work including setting up and packing away and without me there doing the laborious elements of the job somebody else will have to do it, namely him. The money is obviously helpful, although he has recently started paying me less without explanation, and only doing 2-3 days a week usually from around 9 till 4 suits me better than 5 days a week from 7 till 5 as I was working on my last commercial job but it just doesn’t feel worth the hassle of being spoke to like shit, blamed for every little thing and being criticised for everything from how I mix cement to how I sweep and bag up rubbish.

The closing of that door leads nicely on to the opening, or re-opening, of another. Yesterday I completed my enrolment to college to return to studying electrical installations. When I complete this course, I can pay a small fee to do a few necessary checks (site visits, practical exam, regulation knowledge exam) to become a fully qualified electrician. Over the last year I’ve given a few other trades a go as construction is the most viable career but none suit me as much as electrician and with me already having years of experience and a number of qualifications it makes absolute sense to go back to it and become qualified. Finding work will come much easier than attempting to do so as an unqualified electrician too – and the weekly pay goes up to around £20 per hour. As a qualified electrician you go in to a job with that respect too, unqualified you are looked at as a labourer with a bit of knowledge of the electrical industry so you’re job is still largely to carry materials from A to B and pass the actual electricians what they need.

I had a tough day yesterday trying to get a few loose ends tied up. One of this was completing my enrolment for college. I had received a letter telling me to go to a specific building and with it being fairly close to home I walked. Once there I was told I needed to go to a different building to talk with the tutor giving the course first, so I set off. Once there I was told that I needed to go to the construction specific campus, a bit further of a walk but off I went. Once I arrived and spoke to a few members of staff there was some confusion but eventually I was enrolled on the most suitable course and, big bonus, the course would be free! There is some government scheme to cover the costs of certain courses but it’s only for people who were planning to do the course anyway so I had no idea until yesterday, I was expecting to pay between three and six grand (over the course of the year, not in one go) so I’m very pleased.

After a small blip my aim to tone up, work on my fitness and get back into lifting is back on track. I’ve been running two or three times a week and I re-joined the gym a few days ago, returning for the first time yesterday morning. In addition, I’ve been making sure to get out and go on a decent walk on days I’m not running or in the gym. I have to make sure that continues, the benefit to my mental health is massive so it’s definitely not just a physical thing. I’ve found myself starting to enjoy eating a little healthier too. I’m still having the odd treat here and there but only when it’s within my calories for the day. I’m currently at the lowest weight I’ve been since I first weighed myself in May following perhaps 18 months of slowly letting myself go.

Largely that concludes what has been a fairly positive time lately. The biggest challenge is continuing to spin the plates I have going and try to add regular writing to eating right, working out and work. I know that in less than three weeks college, and the homework and studying that comes with it, will be added to that so this will be another plate. I know that I would really like to return to learning languages and studying to be a football coach then getting involved with a local team but those two will have to wait until I’m at least comfortable with college and work – perhaps until the course is complete or even until I’m a fully qualified electrician which I assume will be around 18 months. My aims for the next week are to get in touch with agencies to find some electrical work for at least the next month or so, write out at least a plan for the stories that have been dominating my head lately and continue eating right and exercising. I will attempt to add a few more journal entries with updates throughout the week. If you hear a crash that may well be a plate I’ve failed to spin very well but you can be assured I will sweep it up, without criticism from my former employer, and go again.

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