Starting from Scratch: a business venture…

Days like this were invented to sleep through… But no. Instead there was work.

So, a quick shift up the M9 to visit a distressed wummin seeking advice and support. Job done. Now home.

Things have been slow recently. Or maybe ‘slow’ is relative and is in fact what happens when you want to crack on – get started – but have to endure the frustration of anticipation; the drag of preparation; the slow-burn torture of knowing that where you currently are is not where you a) want to be OR b) will shortly be… when things are ‘ready’.

I never did apply for that GS/CEO job. Not only would it have been wrong for me, the chances of me actually getting it were nil. I say that informedly. I am no defeatist.

By way of encouragement/discouragement (you tell me) I was told – by the manager in charge of recruitment to the post – that I was ‘too young’.

Ha! Was it the hoodie gave me away? Youth! ‘Too young!’ I’ve never been told that before. And I daresay – from a shallow, vanity perspective it would normally have tickled me. But. I am nearly 47. No child. No inexperienced whipper-snapper. And in most arenas I would be written off as ‘too old’ – equally iniquitous of course.

Yes, yes. I could sprint off down the age discrimination route. But what’s the point? And anyway I need some income – and the raising of any ET action would really (maybe not legally, but mentally and emotionally) require that I walked out.

My hearts not in it. Nor is my head. Not in claiming and not in staying long-term.

It wasn’t the worst of moves. I did need to kick myself out of the ease of my last job – before I found myself at 67 yrs, still trooping off to the Sheriff Court to repel some appeal or prove some pair wee wain should be taken ‘into care’. I had to (for my own sanity’s sake) cut the cords tying me to what I knew and then I had to land somewhere.

The somewhere just isn’t where I am.

So now I’m planning to do something so strangely un-me that I cannot quite believe that I’m even thinking the words. That is, I am going ‘to launch a new business’. Concentrating on an HR/employment law/training/employee engagement + mediation offering.

It’s taking time. I’m talking to a very bright insightful woman about a joint venture – but if that isn’t going to work I’ll be on my own. Though I’ve been approached  by a couple of lawyers looking for escape – they too are interested in mediation – so there are other possibilities.

I need to sever links to my current position gradually. Weaning to half time around August/September (I’ve asked – and it seems it’ll be granted). Unfortunately it takes time to build a client base…

In the meantime, all business tips will be gratefully received. And anyone looking for HR/employment law/mediation – please contact me. Please.

I’m good at this stuff. Honest.

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Early Excerpt from "The Mother, Lover, Wife" (working title)

The Mission was full. Stuffy hall throbbing with distinct and Scottish fervour – unseemly to put on too great a display – but the bible surely said God deserved our worshipful respect. And it was respect indeed to come with a fine hat and buttoned gloves and patent heels. A coat that you really needed – just then, before the Preacher visited. A little lipstick. Rouge. Foundation. The powdered curious scentlessness of middle-aged women who had turned their faces against their marital beds. And the desiccated men.


And then the teenagers. Eyes shining. Filled with the vision of entangled Saltire and Stars and Stripes. Eating up the drum-kit and cymbals and tambourine and that mirrored sheen of red and blue and white guitar. They were glazy for the Preacher.


Old Mrs Wilson, helped to her seat by the Pastors smooth-tongued son, mouth pursed in a cats-arse “o”. This was no good day. Before her were the instruments of the strumpet. The temple was to be defiled. She was drafting the letter to the brethren in her mind. Hot with anger. There – she could feel that feeble heartbeat quicken, strong with a sudden imagined righteous and bloody vengeance.  


This is what happened, Molly thought, when you were too weak to say “no” to your best pal. Your only pal. A pal who was newly born-again. Following daily praying-over by that plain faced lassie in the 5th year. A pal who masturbated to thoughts of the Pastors blonde son and who knew, knew mind, that he wanted to take her to the loch, out in the car, out in the dark, to sample her flesh…


Molly was here out of duty, she told herself. She was watching over Fi-the-flirt. She was also tired from a night spent worrying that she would be struck down by God and then stagger to her feet from the hall floor, testifying she had heard the word and was born again… 


She had been here before. That night plain-face had talked gibberish and been joined by swaying gibbering adults who had plainly lost their minds. That was the night Fi had slumped in her seat and slithered to the floor and arose, crucified between a brethren-watcher and the blonde son, crying and shaking and praising the lord in a voice Molly thought was high on Carlsberg.  Had Fi winked at her before she had succumbed to the pressure of the lords voice? Molly had been certain she had. But Fi said “I did not. God spoke” in that final petulant way of hers and Molly had decided it wasn’t worth pursuing.


So, she sat in the hall. Clutching her offering in one hand and a bag of bonbons in the other. Fi was sticky with excitement and stinking of YSL Opium. Her bright blue eyelids fluttered and twitched every time blonde boy came near. As far as Molly could see, he was unaware of the trembling Fi. No sign of life there. He hadn’t looked Fis way. At all. Not once. Molly had been studying him and there had been no sign of reciprocalove (lust as Molly well knew).


Molly found his smooth bland beige appearance unpleasant. He had put his hand on hers as they had left that night of Fis conversion. It was oily. He was oily. He was two years older than her and he had patted her hand. Uncle George did that – and he was repulsive. Not only had bland boy patted her hand, he had held her shoulder as he said “and I will be praying that it is you the night the Preacher arrives to spread the lords word”.


Ugh. There it was again. That same creeping tingle of repulsion. She shivered and looked up, just at the moment bland was looking over. He winked. Deliberately. A loaded, conspiratorial wink, heavy with presumption.




(this is from the beginning of Wife, Mother, lover. Molly, the central character, is she of the love affair below)