2018 is the year that Mrs. Monkey finally hung up her work suits and court shoes and cried, “Enough is enough”. As the sun bore down upon us during a seemingly unending summer we contemplated our futures. Now, both of us were out of work. What can we do – what do we have – what knowledge or skills can we apply – to put bread on the table? We have a bread making machine, but we will need flour.
Simplest idea to begin with was to try using our spare room as a bed and breakfast option for people visiting the area. We weren’t entirely sure that we would be happy opening up our house to strangers so I put a lock on my workshop door just in case we unwittingly took in a serial killer. To our surprise, we found that we enjoyed the experience of complete strangers coming to stay and getting to know them. In the early days of our Airbnb experience we have met some interesting people willing to share their stories for ours and we hope it continues. It has turned out to be quite fun, although hard work sometimes with all the extra laundry.
But that’s not going to feed us. One room for sale now and then. The next step was obvious. We decided to draw upon Mrs.Monkey’s passion, knowledge and skills in floral design. We – I say “we” – usually it is Fi with the inspiration and me with the labour – have provided wedding flowers before for family and friends, all to some acclaim. So it seemed that if we could be brave enough we should give it a go.
Then the work really kicked in. Branding, web design (with WP) has been slow but instructional to say the least, networking, checking out the local market, setting up trade accounts, and now, preparing for a photoshoot of Mrs.Monkey’s creations on Friday.
When the alarm pierced the silence at 5.00am this morning we shuffled shaveless into our clothes and headed out to the nearest flower wholesaler, about an hours drive away. The place was already busy at 6 when we got there. It was a cool autumn dawn and having checked in at the desk with our new business name everything suddenly felt real. We were here, with other flower traders, to get to work. Part of a closed circle of people who get up at daft hours to begin the days toils.
“This is it,” I thought, “this is going to be our future. At least part of it.” And it felt positive and hopeful. After years of stress, for both of us, the BMWs are gone. We’re much more modest in our transport now. But we got up together, put smiles on our faces, and surrounded ourselves with flowers in preparation for Fridays shoot. Driving home in the rush hour with those up later and rushing to work, we felt on the verge of a new beginning. Life is going to be so different.
The weight loss will be good for us, too.