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Memories That Make Me Smile

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My decision to reinstate the family business has given me new hope that I have something to focus on and make myself useful. I only wish my family had the same view. The negative response from my daughter and also my hubby to a degree, has given me a little self doubt overnight. Will I be able to keep up, will I be able to work long hours and run a household, am I being completely stupid or just simply adventurous?


I found it difficult to even get out of bed this morning, another "I told you so" quickly followed. But the fact remained that I did get out of bed, not for myself but to get the whole family off to their daily routine. My assumption therefore is, it's okay for me to do it for them but not for myself! Such selfishness, I thought. So in fact I'm now doubly determined to start my own business in the form it once was!


It's true that I have run my own business before and also true that I had to let it go because of ill health. But that was 5 years ago (Wow! was it really that long ago?). And I was working long hours and employing people, and doing the books, the tax, the office work, oh! and also the housework, cooking, cleaning etc! Yes! I was wonderwoman! Small wonder I had to give the business up then.


My new idea is slightly less intensive, after all, plants grow themselves, with a little intervention of course. I won't be running around, lifting heavy boxes and working until the wee small hours as before, neither will I be employing the services of other people, except my Dad, of course, who is jumping for joy at the idea! Hopefully it will involve not doing VAT or huge sales and expenditure books and most of all not doing salaries. Actually I sound really callous in saying that! but I really liked all my staff and I guess they liked me because they still keep in touch and still ask if I'll ever start my old business again, so the general feeling is that I must have been doing something right.


Thinking back it was fun amidst all the aggravation. I always had a sense of purpose and my confidence was sky high. I had times of worry though and I think that's common in all forms of business -- cash flow was the most worrysome, bad payers another and just meeting the monthly bills sometimes became more than an headache.


The more I write about the negative side the more I want to shut it out! So let's be positive and think about all the good times which far outweigh the bad. And with that a smile has spread across my face. I remember when we first set up. It was an old disused school and each of the classrooms had been turned into individual units. I had the smallest to begin with, later I learned it was the bathroom, so I guess we started life in the toilet and that pretty much explains why we had so much you know what! from the beginning.


Next door was a small cafe, and the smell of bacon in the morning was just too much -- no wonder I put on weight. We were first introduced to the other businesses in a corridor. One by one they'd arrive for their bacon butties in the morning and one guy in particular was very slow walking and very quiet. "He's a blind man," someone said, so after that when he walked by we'd always leave plenty of room for him to pass. The centre as it was known, had several disabled people who had set up their own workshop, so there were all kinds of folk frequenting the halls. I spoke to everyone each morning but never knew how to speak to the blind guy -- do I just go up to him and frighten him half to death, or wait until I was introduced? Anyway we just carried on as normal until the oppurtunity arose. One day he was walking slowly up the corridor. My husband and I stood back flat against the wall to let him pass. I uttered, "Good Morning," and he stopped dead.


"Whats wrong with you guys" He said. " Why do you pin yourself to the wall when I walk by?"


Somewhat puzzled I asked a question that happened to be the stupidest thing I ever said in my entire life, "Can you see us?" He glared at us and asked if we were okay or a bit crazy!


"But I thought you were, er, blind!" I said feeling very uneasy.


"You are crazy" he said. "I make blinds. Y'know horizontal, vertical, roller... blinds for windows."


We weren't aware at the time but an audience had gathered in the corridor and at that moment they erupted with laughter. "They throught he was blind!"


After that the ice was broke and it was days like that I will always remember. I could write a sitcom on just the antics that went on there. Those are my good points and you wonder why I miss my business so much -- But that was only half the story!

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