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Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Soap! & a minor moment of oops

No blog post over the weekend, for the simple reason that we just lost the internet. No clue why, or how, but every time I went to log on the modem hiccuped sadly and started flashing wildly, like the strange kid wandering around the school disco with Christmas lights. (You never want to see that doing the Macarena either. Just saying. There is not enough mind-bleach.)

Eventually I gave up and spent the weekend making soap, and body scrub, bath fizzies, and bath tea. So the flat smells pretty cool, and I've been lugging my stuff into the day job and flogging it for Valentine's Day.

It occurred to me this week that I've never not done additional work, except for brief periods of time - six months here and there, throughout my working life.

In my first reception job in a factory (back in the mists of time, when dinosaurs ruled the earth and I once pitched up wearing my slippers by accident), I made a few spare pennies by hand-drawing cards and flogging them to the floor staff.

In my last bar-tending job, I made more money selling lighters and loose cigarettes most nights than I made in tips. (Drunk folks like to light up, even the ones that normally view smoking as akin to offering the pope a lap dance.) I sold paintings, hand-made coasters, painted back-drop cloths for photographers.

Since I've been in London, I've been more focused on the writing side in my spare time, but I love making the soaps & body stuff. It lets the creative side out in a practical way, it's nicely regulated, which keeps my inner compliance manager happy (although certification hurt. Staying legal is pricey, sometimes.) , and it makes people happy. And I must admit, it's the best form of pocket money I've found ever. What I don't sell I can put in my stock cupboard, and if that doesn't work, I get to use it and smell good. What's not to love?

I got annoyed at the amount of time I have to wait for affordable labels to come in, so decided to try printing my own. I haven't used the printer since I moved two years ago, because (a) it's a temperamental wee beastie and not me-proof, and we both have the scars to prove it, and (b) I couldn't find ink cartridges that fit. I gave up after three different purchases that didn't work. So last week I whimpered and ordered the labels, and the last attempt at cartridges, because if these don't work the printer is going to find itself in the charity shop. Everything came in, which was great - until I realised my cable had gone walk-about. No clue where it is. It's entirely possible the Chingford spiders took it to use as a skipping rope.
Got the printer cable to today, so after posting this I'll give it a bash, hopefully without putting a hole in the ceiling, wall, or myself.


Dinner tonight was curry. It started flaking - powdery, fine snow that melts almost before it lands - and it's bloody freezing, so it's perfect weather for it.

After dinner I picked up the bowls to take them downstairs, and promptly lost my grip. I ended up juggling two bowls, two forks, me, and the carpet. All in front of a very amused flat-mate. Nothing broken, but I'm going to have a very impressive bruise on my wrist where both of the bowls attempted the Great Escape by clambering over my arm. I swear the little buggers grew legs and danced onto the carpet.

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