Attempted Getaway

In the past few days my mind began to wander. It drifted to the other side of the Atlantic, thinking about the time I spent in the USA working for a summer camp. My mind tends to do this when I want to escape from my current conditions, and that thought comes around regularly at the moment.

It was at that point that I realised that maybe it isn’t too late to do the whole thing again this summer. Oh, how I wished I’d had this thought a couple of months ago. I went around, frantically e-mailing the few contacts I could get hold of over there, eventually getting the details of the one I wanted.

Then, the bad but totally expected news. No positions available. I’ve been desperately wanting to do the summer camp thing again, just one more time before the door shuts forever on it. But each year I’ve managed to contrive an excuse for not doing it. I should have done it last summer, but I thought I’d be too busy. I should have done it this summer, but I thought I’d have a job. You know, one of those things where you do work in exchange for money.

In my desperation I thought that maybe they’d still have one or two openings in there somewhere. But, as we all know, the recession is biting, especially in the USA, so I’ll bet they were inundated with applications this year. I know they would have had me back, but there’s nothing they can do about it if I leave it too late.

Briefly my mind had already drifted to what I’d need to do in the event I got the go ahead. I was thinking about the clothes I’d need, some new shoes, etc. You know me, always wanting to be prepared for any eventuality. I don’t know why as I knew there was no hope. But it was an entertaining diversion nevertheless. Lord knows I don’t get many of them these days.

Next summer, maybe? I’d be nearly 25 then. While there’s no real limit on ages in the camp I would go to, there’s a certain feeling in my head that if I haven’t got a full time job sorted out by then that there’s something drastically wrong with me. But then again, the months seem to go round so quickly at the moment. Day after day, ticking by with no hope, no prospects. I’m still desperately waiting for someone or something to give me a break, but once again, my latest attempt to fashion one out has failed miserably.

There will be no getaways this year. I suppose my life is one continuous holiday at the moment, so what could I possibly want to get away from? Such is the mysterious nature of the human existence. Boredom is a very powerful emotion, but I sure as hell have had enough of it now.

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Not The Apprentice

The Apprentice is one of my favourite TV shows. I’m no fan of reality TV, but I like this show in particular, not for the unique blend of arseholes they manage to bring together every year, but for the fact that I’ve always liked business, and it’s intriguing to see how people rise to the challenge they set.

Of course, there’s always an element of schadenfreude in that we can’t help but watch and think “Oh, how could they make such a silly mistake!” – and I always sit there wondering if I could do any better in their position. Probably not. I find it amazing how basic mistakes are made all the time, ones that if they had just spent a little longer to think about it they wouldn’t have occurred. But the fact that they happen all the time makes me think that it’s just part of being human to make silly errors – and so perhaps we shouldn’t laugh at them too much.

The reason this whole philosophical musing has come into my head this morning is that I am contemplating how on earth I managed to make a £58 loss from a computer I’ve made. I bought all the parts for the damn thing about two months ago, made it and thought I could get rid of it at a profit. I haven’t. No one’s interested. Either it’s “the recession” or no one likes the specifications of it. But I think it’s a decent machine and well worth £200. Unfortunately, no one else agrees.

So I stuck it on eBay and got a little over half of that. But when I take out the costs of postage, of PayPal and eBay fees, the loss is not good at all. Sir Alan Sugar would not be pleased. “You went out there and lost me money!” he might quip, while poking an accusing finger at me.

I really want to be able to sell PCs alongside PC technical support. Mainly because PC building is easy, but also because it’s interesting to me. A regular sale of just one PC a day would be enough to provide a basic income to allow me to get some proper business premises. There are 60m people living in the UK. Most of them are being conned by buying PCs from PC World, Currys, Comet or whatever. My PCs are so much better quality. The price is roughly the same, sometimes a little cheaper, sometimes a little more, but I have no doubt the components are better than the rubbish PC World, et al put into their computers.

There must be one person in the UK every day who would buy a PC off me. The tricky part is convincing people to trust me. And that’s not easy when you invite them to buy with PayPal.

The perils of business. I’m trying to fend off despair by the fact that I actually had a customer the other day, but I need to generate more to tide me over. To that end I’ve run the classified ad again, and now that the weather is improving my thoughts are turning to getting out there and sticking flyers through letterboxes in this local area. It can’t hurt.

But still I’m waiting for a genuine break. I would have thought by now that something would have turned up via my network of friends and acquaintances. Perhaps they really are as useless as I think they are.

Axe The Family

In recent weeks, I’ve become increasingly despondent due to the relationship with my family. I know I love them really, but it’s just one of those things that really needs a bit of distance.

It’s not good to live with your close family all of the time. In the end, you just get frustrated with them. Their quirks, habits and annoying features all get under your skin. If I wasn’t living here, I wouldn’t be witnessing them on a daily, if not minutely basis.

The problems range from my younger sister who incessantly watches television, no matter how crap. From soaps to reality TV, from Hannah Montana to The Suite Life On Deck – no insipid dross is bad enough for her. It all just flows in. And then there’s the obsession with the Jonas Brothers, and her constant desire to talk about every last detail of what happened in school that day.

My brother in university is something of a joke. He should have gone away for uni, like I did. He’s trying to live his own life, trying to be different, except it’s being frustrated by living at home. Such a rebel. If he wanted to drink till all hours, come home whenever he feels like it and stay up all night watching shit on YouTube (or worse) then he should have found his own place. While he’s here, his anti-social behaviour is disrupting the rest of us.

Worse, it is a terrible example to my other brother. He’s still in school, but thinks he’s such a big, tough man. The language from him is absolutely disgusting, especially when he’s on the Xbox 360. I’ve never heard anyone filled with such bile, such bitterness, towards people he hasn’t even met. Stereotyping people on the stroke of a pen, my brother’s degenerate behaviour really has been something of a shock to me since I moved back home.

So, basically, I want out. My parents are OK, but they’re useless now. They’ve clearly given up on the rest of the family. There is no way that me or my older sister would have got away with the way this lot behave. And I recognise that my attitude towards life has become so down and negative simply because I’ve been the one having to tell my brothers and sister off if they do something wrong or inappropriate, as my parents just don’t seem to care any more, letting them get away with murder.

There’s just a slight problem with my master plan. No job. No money. Business is a disaster right now. Even if it wasn’t, I don’t have a reliable source of income. At any moment I could get work and then the work could dry up, and I’ll end up with nothing and still be left paying rent (because a mortgage is never going to happen).

So I’m stuck here for God knows how long. Stuck living with a family that I can’t tolerate for much longer. Depression is returning, I know that for sure, as I’ve been extremely down for more than a week now. I just wish someone would give me a break.

Early To Bed, Early To Rise

These days I go to bed at about 10:30pm, meaning I get up between 6:30am and 7:00am. During the week that’s not much of a problem, as my mum and dad are up, as are my brothers and sister. Everyone has somewhere to go and something to do.

At the weekends, or at holiday times, the problem is that I am up, like now, and have nothing to do, no one to speak to. Just sitting at my computer in the loft trying to keep quiet. Right now that’s difficult due to the endless tapping of keys…

In the past six months, though, I have taken something of a vow to get fit. Though I’ve done not much about this in terms of outdoor activity, every day I do about 150 situps, 50 press ups and a number of pull ups on the stairs. It’s not exactly good aerobic exercise, but, I have no doubt about it, it has made me fitter and more muscular.

The only problem is that all of these enhanced muscles are at the top of my body. My legs are just as wobbly as before.

So the idea struck me. Well, it’s not much of an idea as I tried it two years ago and ended up losing interest. But, perhaps I could spend my time on these lonely mornings going out for a jog. The weather’s nice, it’s not slippery or frozen… what better time could there be to do it?

This morning I actually did. I managed to run for 13 minutes. I could have gone on for longer, probably, as I wasn’t totally shattered, but I think you’re supposed to stop before you reach exhaustion anyway.

13 minutes running isn’t exactly far. But last time I did this running I could only manage between 8 and 10 minutes. So there has been some progress, and all without me really trying.

I’m happy with that. If I can stick with it, doing this run at least twice a week, trying to make it a little bit longer each time, I will surely achieve my goal of being much more fit and healthy.

The only downside is that in recent months I have noticed just how much hungrier I am. It takes a lot to satisfy me now. A hell of a lot. I’m eating more healthily too, but, somehow, a jacket potato and salad just doesn’t do it. It’s gotta be two jacket potatoes. With beans and coleslaw.

I obviously need it though as my weight hasn’t changed in months, hovering around 65kgs. But more food = more cost. And as someone who still isn’t earning anything (much to my despair) that is hard to justify.

But, as a morning person, and with the much brighter mornings now that we’re finally getting spring-like conditions, I like my new regime. It makes me feel happier, and if it gets me fitter too, then at least there will be one part of my life that’s going right…

At Least I Have Hair

Things have ground to a halt around here lately. The school holidays have begun, which has led to the inevitable transformation in the weather from good to bad, and the customers have dried up. Maybe that’s because I’m not doing anything to bring them in, but that’s more to do with the fact that I can’t decide which advertising strategy to waste my money on next…

So last week, in order to try and kickstart things, I went to have a meeting with my “business partner” and very long time friend. He says that he will join me in business if I can prove it’s worth it. He has a paying job, you see, and it’s not something he wants to throw away. Fair enough to him, he has a lifestyle that needs cash. Lucky old me doesn’t – though I more than pay my share around here with the housework I do.

Anyway, I decided to meet this friend for another reason too… because, on reflection, my last blog post was rather depressing. It was a stark realisation that my social life is precisely nothing at the moment. So, a catch up with an old friend would work wonders in comparing our lives.

Unfortunately, he comes out top in almost every department. He has a job, he has money, he has a long-term girlfriend, he is saving up for a deposit to get his own house/flat, he has lots of friends that he meets regularly, he doesn’t spend most of his day on computers or moping around the house…

But there’s one thing he doesn’t have which I do. In abundance.

Hair. I can’t believe it, but every time I meet him he has less of it. The old thatch on the roof is seriously thinning, and in a few years time I can’t see him having anything on top. Fancy that, having an egg in the nest before the age of 30. I suppose, at the very least, he doesn’t have grey hair. It’s just madness though, so I have to count myself lucky that, apart from a little thinning at the corners, where a receding hairline is beginning, I am blessed with a full head of the stuff.

After I had recovered from the shock, we spent some time discussing what to do. I came to him for help really… I rather hoped that he could spread the word about the business in his work, and I might get some sales. Sadly, it hasn’t happened yet, but he assures me he has told everyone he knows. I suppose spending £200-400 on a computer is a big commitment that requires careful thought… but dammit, I need some business!

But in any case it was nice to catch up with him and we got some good ideas together for some progress we might be able to make in terms of drumming up some business. He’s a very good friend like that, always creative and full of possibilities. That’s why we would be perfect in business… we complement each other well.

Argh, this just has to work.