Sunday, 8 November 2009

A Humdinger of a Fortnight

Once upon a time, I thought it would be waaaaaay cooooool to be self employed.

All my pals said "you'll be working from home, no commute time, you can take on work when you want, long holidays, blah, blah" and so it seems from the outside.

So here's the last two weeks ...

Monday, Tuesday - teach Weldtech / Velotech Silver Plus course to young lady from Sustrans. This entailed driving from home to the training centre early Monday (Monday mornings on the motorways hereabouts are impossible) so a 4.30am start ... finished to 17.00, off to pal's house which he had very, very graciously lent me in his absence on holiday (thanks, Lance!), catch up on emails and a few phone calls, started re-write of Bottom Brackets section of our master course manual, bed about 23.45, absolutely cooked.

Wednesday - workshop all day, having started crack of dawn with invoicing & paperwork.

Thur & Fri both workshop days, early starts and late finishes ... lots of phone calls, big struggles with a supplier regarding parts that have been outstanding from early Sept. and are still not in. Works piling up as a result, which of course we don't get paid for until we can do it - bad kharma!
Friday PM also a quick trip to York & back (450 miles round trip) to finish closing up our old premises.

Saturday - various admin issues, a couple of wheelbuilds, one tricky, 2 hrs 40 on the fixie around the lanes.
Sunday - can just squeeze in a bike build, a couple of hours on the bike in the gale force winds and the rain & a trip down to the big smoke to pick up a review bike from a journo to sort out a damaged frame issue.

Monday - off to the training workshops (you guessed it, 04.30 start) for a 1 to 1 Cycle Maintenance and Repair course to our Weldtech / Velotech "Gold" standard. Actually, the lad I'm looking after is very good and we get through everything well on Monday - then disaster - I have to whizz home to try & sort out an internet banking issue (haven't got all the info I need with me), so a crazy-o'clock discussion with my "business relationship manager" in India, nil resolution, 4 hours sleep then in the car back up North for day 2 of the course.

Tue and Wed - minimum disaster region - all according to plan. I am shocked!

Thur - full workshop day "up North", bit of admin in the evening, but frankly I am cooked and a lot of the stuff I am doing admin-wise leaves a bit to be desired.

Fri - the plan is to be home by 12.30 to sort an assortment of issues including that whole banks thing - in practice, doesn't happen quite like that, get home 21.00 BUT OH JOY! a really bright spot - my very good friend & all round sound guy, Brian Palmer of has sent me a copy of Tim Patereks "Handbook for Framebuilders" to peruse ... so curl up with the Mrs and the cat and indulge my wierd passion for bits of measuring equipment, hot metal and dynafiling ...

Saturday - a bit of wheelbuilding, a bit of sorting out in the workshop (domestic duties too long delayed) and catch up on the dreaded email. 2 h 30 on the fixie, 50 miles (somehow!), really, really pretty leaves on the trees and in the hedgerows, fantastic sunset.

The wheels come off the cart a bit on Sunday cos I was up til 05.30 doing a big sort out on software on the business PCs, so staggered out of bed at 10.30 to find my team-mate on the doorstep with a new carbon track frame needing headset & BB installing and assorted other stuff to do - ended up just doing an hour flat out on the fixie in the dark this evening and thence into the office for the dreaded admin ...

And so passes two typical weeks!

Review of the Paterek book coming soon!

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