cybermule: (Default)
There's a big catch-up needed her on the intersection of the sets "cybermule" and "vegetative matter", which has become non-negligible in size these days.

- Today I went to a basket weaving course which was run by the lady who owns the permaculture-orientated smallholding where the sprog's toddler group is held. I'd had a vague notion of doing this for a while - it's interesting to me, something with a reasonable likelihood of cybermule success, and it would be handy for turning out small droves of wicker-made garden nicknacks for good profit. Having it run by Permaculture Toddler Lady (PLT*) made it affordable and in my comfort-zone. Turns out I was pretty gosh-darn good at making baskets (picture will follow in a phone test post) and the event also turned into a fabbo networking opportunity. The lady running it has snagged some cards to pass on to some people she knows, and the other two people on the course were organic self-growing florists.

*(abbreviation use will become necessary over the course of the post)

- Working as a gardener has now become a matter of fact rather than daydreaming. So much so that more clients aren't strictly necessary - I have four now: Composting Quaker Lady (CQL), Helpless Psychotherapist Lady (HPL - she has an absolutely top notch garden), Occasional Goth Cousin (OGC) and Elderly Pot Lady (EPL). All have very different set-ups and pretty much fill my time. I need to update my website to include some portfolio work (my new phone will help with this) but I'm not entirely sure what people would want to see - any thoughts?

- I was discussing my philosophy of gardening with HPL. She wants a lovely garden, but really no time or real inclination (or tools!). My life-coaching skills actually came in handy with her, and she offered me more work. But really I love gardening as my ultimate balance of art/craft and science. The science of looking after and nurturing plants, and the art and craft of making the garden look right. You can't really explain that very well.

- I'm doing a fortnightly session of horticultural therapy at the stroke centre at Frenchay. I'm not gardening in schools any more - it was badly organised, which made me feel like a spare wank, and I have a yearning to spend that time instead setting up some sort of transition town/permi initiative in the local area rather than travelling to Easton to essentially spend time doing sod all. I think it's the right thing.

- RHS course is just having to go on the back burner. My idea at the moment is to book into the February exams to force myself to do it over the winter. But I won't have to decide until November or something so we'll see. It does need to be done
cybermule: (Default)
Good question. I've not felt much like posting recently, being knackered both mentally and physically. And up and down like a yoyo. i didn't really realise how much of my identity was sunk into having employment, and that's been hard to adjust to. There have been knock on effects on other areas of my life, and at times I may have panicked.

For the sake of sanity and having what I think is my most coherent and sensible outlook down in pen and virtual ink... if I think about it logically, moving heaven and earth to get back into a data/admin job is a bad idea. I didn't like it,I’d feel guilty and would miss the child, and what is the point of doing that for a job that I always wanted to leave? It came to me while I was gardening on Friday that this is the job I really love - it keeps me cheerful and active, allows me to engage with people on my own terms, and I can use all the different bits of my brain. Win!

So really I should just try and expand my gardening clients. Carefully (I spent half an hour on the phone to a total knob chasing one advert). The voluntary garden therapy work is nearly nailed, and that will lead to a much better chance of (a) getting a job in the field when I need one, and (b) starting up my own consultancy in this area.

In the mean time, I have a couple of job leads for regular (if boring) income - one with an interview! Yay! I'm vastly over qualified, but it works around the child issue and has potential to be quite interesting (working as hospital admin, but also triaging calls from patients and doctors).

I think one thing that has really been bothering me is that I suspect none of this psychological drama would be occurring if I was male. I have a lovely husband who supports me, and the men I know are also fair-minded and great guys, but the odds seem really stacked against females with children, and that pisses me off. [livejournal.com profile] maetang posted a link to the male privilege checklist, and it just concreted some ideas I've been having (http://www.amptoons.com/blog/the-male-privilege-checklist/).

I don't know many couples with children, but it seems to me however wonderfully fair and equal minded and supportive the man is, the woman takes the crunch as soon as kids come along. It's sad...I suspected the world was slightly unfair before I had kids, but now I'm sure. First solution is that one of you gives up work. And unless there is a huge preference due to one of you loving your job (and how many people can swear that?) logic says it should be the lower wage earner. There are other factors I'm sure, but despite about a decade in a technical field (so about 5 years longer in a higher paid field), guess who was earning less in the partnership? Me, of course. So given that like most people, I don't "love" my job, it makes sense that it's me staying at home.

Second option is basically full-time childcare. Given that I can smother my guilt, resolve the fact that I'd not see much of Ben, and find somewhere I think would be a good influence, even in a well-paid job my wages would effectively take a massive hit from paying for nursery. Now in most parenting situations, the woman organises childcare and does a lot of dropping off and covering for sickness. Probably doubly so if it's family based favours. It's not that my husband wouldn't, it just somehow works out easier that way. The expectation that mothers stay at home to look after children has somehow morphed into an expectation that they take responsibility when they choose to delegate childcare. After all, the least they can do if they can't be bothered to bring the children up is to ensure someone else does it properly, eh?

Third option is some sort of hybridised care package. It's what we plumped for, and it has it's ups and downs. It's fair, but fair in that we both suffer the pain to some extent.

It's a lot of generalisations, and random thoughts spewing out of my brain, but it's been niggling me and I need to put it out there for future thought.

The other thought I have is organising some sort of North of Bristol permaculture group. There's plenty going on in the city centre, but nowt out here.

In other news, the garden is slowly but pleasingly progressing, and my running has got both faster and longer. And I've decided to do only half of my RHS exams in June because I need to take it easier on myself.

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