Monday, 19 March 2012
Well, in my opinion happiness is all well and good and that, but it is also quite the crusher of creative flow, in the case of both myself and Mr Jeffery. Apologies for the lack of blog...but it appears I have lost my inner bitterness and ability to see the macabre joke in everything, whilst the ever delectable Mr J fails to write any new tunes, it seems, unless someone or something is royally effing him over. We’ve discussed splitting up for a week to aid this...but truth be told that probably won’t happen, my laptop could never replace those cuddles!
Since I last wrote, it appears I have quit my old life almost completely, for a new one, in Nottingham, with Mr Jeffery and absolutely no managerial duties whatsoever. Today, on this day of love to all the Mothers out there, I’m recovering from cupcake stall number five! That’s right... Meet Miss Musing Mk2: creative Goddess, homemaker, penniless planner, vintage Del-boy in the making, tea party host extraordinaire and purveyor of cupcakes and other such goodness coming to a stall near you (providing you live in and around the Nottingham area). No more hideous Sunday morning KPI trackers or cursing my incompetent area manager’s daft phone calls...this morning my main concern was to ensure my victory rolls didn’t resemble either a) Gary Oldman in Dracula or b) Wolverine. Suffice to say, they’re looking fierce!
I wish I could say it was a difficult decision to leave London, and all that had come with it. The difficult bits were people shaped – Lovemenot and her hair (not to mention THAT salmon dish she does), MMH and his banter, Goldie and our Food Around the World tour, Stickels and his Veggie Burgers (congrats on the progression to cooking from raw my love) and so many more. But the life-issues were worth leaving; the hour long work commute with nowt but George Harrison on repeat on the iPod to restore serenity in one’s life along the Piccadilly line, the constant pressure from a job you simply don’t care about anymore and sustaining a relationship with the man you love via the phone and National Express coaches. There is only so much one can take when you start planning your life together with miles of the M1 still jarring a wedge between you. Something stopped making sense around Christmas time, there were flying visits to both families, an interesting New Year jaunt at Gunthorpe Village Hall with Mr J and family (a far cry from the gin soaked and mascara stained memory of Proud last year) and, amongst other lovely gifts from Mr J, a house key and a poem – the decision was made. I could no longer live an unhappy half-life in London town, when an exciting full and new life was waiting for me.
As for the business? Well that was easy too. I simply no longer enjoyed managing people, as amazing as my team was and still is, or working in the fashion rat race. I’ve always fallen on the creative side of the spectrum and have forever griped with the idea of putting my creative frustrations into some sort of business venture. I think the fear has always been there as I am, after all, crap with money and can barely work an excel spreadsheet. I remember a certain conversation with an old MD of mine (describe in 4 words…a**ehole in Ralph Lauren) a few years back when I was just a young upstart living in rockin’ Bath. He was the type of man who liked to make women feel small (read: clearly overcompensating for small…personality methinks); I talked about my pipedreams of owning my own boutique, he threw figures and bonds and other such jargon at me which, frankly, scared the living daylights out of me. It’s only now, now that I’ve done the big bad manager’s job in big bad London, that I can appreciate how much I probably really do know about business, things that you couldn’t probably teach on a business management course, things that only dealing with the lowest of all the cretinous public can arm you with. So I suppose with that, and with Mr J’s unfailing support of my happiness, I decided to set up my own catering and vintage tea part business. There were flyers to make, plans to put in place, a Food Hygiene course to pass (BTW High Speed Training is no Ronseal…it took me HOURS) and a part time job to find. Hello Collard Manson, quirky fashion boutique, exquisite jewellery retailer and my new place of work. Things really feel as though they are slotting into place. I’ve traded in the late nights and the stress for doing something I love and though it’s hard work and a level of frustration I didn’t know existed, I have never been so happy as to watch something of my own doing grow. I may no longer have Whistles dresses on tap, but I do have fun and moments of pride and, hopefully, a legacy in the making.
Don’t get me wrong, fellow musers, being The New Girl (in a non-kooky Deschanel way) is not without its drawbacks, especially when one’s other half can be somewhat forgetful with introductions. There are the dreaded ‘Ex-Files’ – they can appear anywhere, at any moment and upstart the most hideous of conversations. I’m lucky enough to have a very honest boyfriend, who has imparted his truths of lives once lived, relationships that shouldn’t have been and bad marriages that are yet to be dissolved with an almost brutal level of honesty. There are no secrets and there should be no faithful inferiority complex rearing its ugly head at sightings of Facebook friends and whisperings of girlfriends and flings past. But it does and it will. My one fear of planting myself in amidst Mr J’s life up here, was just that and this is the only thing that still brings some sadness to an otherwise delightful existence with him; sadness not so much in what has been, but in my inability, still 6 months on, to deal with it.
Still, we can’t dwell on the past, the great Florence Welch sings ‘I’ve been a fool and I’ve been blind, I can never leave the past behind.’ Well said Flo (and, by the way, stop stalking me – first we meet in St Johns Wood, then I look up to see your pale familiar face staring in at my shop window on Carlton Street – it’s not healthy, it’s frankly quite embarrassing), here’s hoping your ecclesiastical sounding teachings will get through to the dwelling melancholy-holic that still feels more comfortable shedding tears at a late night bus stop, one day. In the mean time there are vintage tea parties to plan, Ebaying to be done and a trip to Birmingham as part of Mr J’s extensive entourage (still no new tunes but some outstanding older ones on his new EP). If you are coming to the Yard Bird tonight, I shall be the Merch Girl complete with red lippy and decidedly un-Wolverine like hair!
Love to your Mothers