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Family watching television, c. 1958

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It’s August Bank Holiday Monday here in the UK. I don’t think anyone knows why we have them any more. I’ve always found them to be a horrid distraction to the routine and more recently a time when I experience a real drop in income as students want to take the day/week off.

Self-employment has so many wonderful benefits, not least being able to pick one’s own hours, but it does mean that any time off taken is unpaid. I remember in my first proper paid job (as in, one where I wasn’t just casual, but paid tax and NI), I was working in a very cool record shop in Wales. I booked my holiday time and was just about to leave when my boss gave me a stack of money.
‘What’s this for?’ I said. ‘It’s your holiday pay,’ says he. I looked at him a bit confused. I come from a long line of self-employed people. I can’t remember my father or mother or grandfather or uncles ever working for anyone else and so had no concept of being paid for time taken off. It was a pleasant surprise, but short-lived, alas. The self-employment gene is hard to shake and so the  perk of being paid for not doing anything is no longer mine to enjoy.

So, although many of my students are taking a gratuitous day off to do very little except watch terrible films on TV, I will work with those who do show up and continue in preparing The Darkling Wood for its send off. Last night I wrote the draft of a cover letter, today I need to re-chapter the document after I butchered it and the whole thing lost its structure.

The epic Ebay sale is drawing to a close, though I still have quite a bit of stuff to sell should I want to.  I am very near my total needed to pay for the edit. Tomorrow needs me to buy more brown paper to send off my quality merchandise in and hopefully clear the decks a bit.

Evensong went well. Picked a bit of Grieg to play as a voluntary. Glad it’s over for a bit. Next performance is harp at a wedding show thing next Tuesday.

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