This Was Exciting Six Weeks Ago

Way back in the mists of time, which is to say the very end of July, Mr Litlove rang me early one morning to say he’d just learned his job was coming to an end. The reason was ostensibly reorganisation of the company, and indeed there is going to be a lot of that, none of which would have done Mr Litlove any good. But there were also probably deeper, darker reasons between him and his boss which I will leave alone for now. Suffice to say that the very evening before this happened, I had asked Mr Litlove just how long he thought he was going to manage to hold out in his job, and whether he was ever going to fulfill his long-held interest in furniture making.

So even though the news was a bit of a shock, it didn’t take us long to figure out that now his company was actually going to pay him to leave – before a great deal of confusion and chaos took place – and give him a very welcome boost to his life as a fine woodworker.

At the time this was terrifically exciting and alarming and new. There were weeks when all we did every evening was make plans. What kind of furniture would he make? Were we going to covert the garage to a workshop? What sort of budget could we live on? We began to sketch out a timeframe in which Mr Litlove could experiment and also stockpiled ideas for adjunct businesses that might bring in useful income, like running a workshop, giving woodworking demonstrations in schools, designing plans for pieces of furniture, and so on. I promised to run the social media side of things, and will start a blog later in the autumn – which should be interesting as what I know about woodwork would fit on the back of a postage stamp.

And then we eased from this state into one of waiting. I couldn’t say anything on this blog until an official announcement had been made, and it’s taken this long finally to reach that point. We put a whiteboard up in the kitchen and added any ideas to it that occurred to us. We totted up finances lots of times, and I had one day when I sat at my desk thinking, no income for a while and no stable income for much longer, crikey. So like all gambles, we put a limit on it and decided that a couple of years should show Mr Litlove whether he was really suited to a craftsman’s way of life, and he could rethink at any point.

And still we waited. It’s become, I suppose, a familiar daydream now and although it is actually going to happen, it feels unreal. But we do hope this will be Mr Litlove’s last week in the office and from next week onwards, we can finally start. I say ‘we’ cavalierly as no one in their right minds would put a chisel in my hands. But I will do my research-marketing-publicity bit and act as a general encourager. Something that Mr Litlove is very worried about. ‘I love all of you apart from your Puritan work ethic,’ he told me, and I must say I was rather thrilled at the thought of having a strong, healthy person to exert my plans for productivity upon, when that work ethic has had to make do with a chronic-fatigued me for so many years. ‘I’m going to be very vulnerable to workplace bullying at first,’ said Mr Litlove making a sad face. ‘Oh!’ I said. ‘But all I….’ ‘And you,’ he continued, ‘are going to be vulnerable to sexual harrassment in the workplace. Let’s face it, there’s going to be a tough couple of months ahead and it’s not always going to look professional.’

It’s certainly not going to be life as we’ve known it, but I’m ready now for it to begin.


29 thoughts on “This Was Exciting Six Weeks Ago

  1. Wow! Scary and exciting at the same time – and wonderful for Mr. Litlove to get the chance to do something that’s special to him. Really, really hope all goes well for you both! 🙂

  2. So brilliant! Best of luck and what an opportunity. (And I see you are reading Nina Stibbe. I hope you will blog a review, between your new found blogging interest in woodwork.)

  3. Mr Litlove sounds hilarious and wonderful. I have got all my fingers and toes crossed for you both. This is going to be such an adventure!

    PS: You will keep writing here, won’t you? Please?

  4. It is scary – I jumped into freelance work while H hadn’t yet finished his PhD (he was a mature student) so no guarantee of any sort of income but it worked and was exhilarating. The very best of luck to you both. Looking forward to hearing all about it.

  5. When asked the secret of long life, George Burns replied, “Fall in love with what you do for a living.” That is one of the truest truisms I’ve ever heard! Well, I’m not sure it grants longevity, but happiness surely. Congrats and best of luck.

  6. That last bit there had me laughing. I feel sorry for your Human Resources department 😉 I am glad the whole thing is finally coming to a close and Mr. Litlove’s launching into furniture making is imminent. How is he at building chicken coops? Just wondering in case I need emergency assistance!

  7. Good luck. I’ve no wish to be discouraging, but I was reminded of Michael Faulkner who quit the legal world to make furniture and bankrupted himself. On the up side, he has since found a new life as an author and proof reader. I recommend his book The Blue Cabin, although whether now is the right time to recommend it to you I am not certain.

  8. A bit scary I’m sure but better than being stuck in a job he hated. I don’t know much about wood working either. Is it the same as wood turning g which my dad does. Every time I travel to the states he sends me on an errand to the DIY store because the materials and tools are so much cheaper apparently. The staff take pity on my incoherent explanations pf what I need

  9. Very exciting. I look forward to seeing lots of pictures of finely-turned chairs and other wonderful creations. And you will be brilliant as his website manager! Our technology teacher here is a wood turner and it always fills me with awe when I see what he produces. All the best as you both embark on this adventure.

  10. Oh how thrilling! Good luck and very best wishes to you both, it’s going to be an amazing adventure assuming you don’t end up in the courts for the workplace bullying and harassment. 🙂

  11. Wow, that’s great news! In your Business plan (something I used to do quite a lot in my previous line of work – if needed you can email me separately), you should also include export opportunities! There are people in France who love beautiful woodwork (wink wink)

  12. Sometimes the only way to really get going and just do it is to be pushed, and it sounds like you are both indeed being pushed. I am sure it will turn out wonderfully in the end, but it is a little scary at the outset. And now you’ll have a whole new topic of interest to write about! 🙂 You’ll have to share the progress and Mr Litlove’s beautiful work here occasionally, too!

  13. Wow, what a change! I hope everything goes perfectly for y’all, or at least that the challenges you end up facing are ones that you’ve planned for. (I can face up to just about anything when I’ve prepared for it in advance.) Bah to Mr. Litlove’s boss and workplace, who clearly didn’t know how good they had it, and all the best of luck to both of you with your new endeavors!

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