Orchids, spring-cleaning and raving: Bring on the “Free Range” life!

The legendary Winston Hazel and friend at work

The legendary Winston Hazel and friend at work

I finished my full-time job on Friday. I hadn’t visualised what it was going to be like. Back in March, when I told my manager that I wanted to take the redundancy option, the end of April seemed a very long time away. That was the day before the big snow-storm and as you can tell from my other blog posts, a lot has happened. My notice period has gone remarkably quickly and I’ve found out a lot about myself and other people.

Firstly, I’ve been really pleased with the reaction of my colleagues at work. No one was negative about my decision. In fact, the comments were all along the lines of “well done”, “brave decision”, “go for it!”, “I wish I could escape too!” As this was a job I’d landed in “by accident” and I’d never worked for a large corporate company, I’d made lots of assumptions about my colleagues and their outlook and never felt like I “fitted in”. Of course, I was wrong. As I started to reveal my plans for my career change, I realised that many colleagues had fantastic hidden talents and interests. Here’s a small selection: one of my colleagues is a country music DJ and one of the founders of internet radio station http://www.2country.net/ The lady who is taking over most of my old responsibilities brought me gifts of amazing watercress, grown on her family’s farm. There are lots of talented musicians in the company too. One of the colleagues I’ve worked with  closely over the last five years, leads a sporty, sociable lifestyle and volunteers for charities while living with Epilepsy. And in my last half an hour, I had a great conversation with the IT guy I was talking to on the phone and he writes about science and technology in his own blog: http://hattix.co.uk/blog/. People are amazing.

My last day was lovely. I was in a great mood and got loads of loose ends tied up. I brought in a cake I’d made (chocolate fridge cake – see my Food page for the recipe), and I was presented with some lovely cards, an orchid and a lovely bottle of bubbly. My colleagues had even checked that it was suitable for vegans! It was great to leave my job with a smile on my face; with hugs and well-wishers. My manager gave me a lift home and we had a brilliant, philosophical chat. It might not have been the job I wanted to do for life, but it’s given me skills and the discipline I’m going to need to run a business.

Yesterday, I  started cleaning the house from top to bottom. I sorted out two bin-bags of clothes and took them to the charity shop. I’ve dropped at least one dress size since last year and I also wanted to get rid of the more boring items from my work wardrobe. Our bedroom was also suffocated by a thick layer of dust, so a determined vacuuming session was also needed. After I’d struggled up the hill with the bin-bags, I felt a sense of relief: I’m finally letting go of the baggage that’s dominated my life for the past few years. In the past few weeks, I’ve been putting myself forward for opportunities, giving myself chances and being determined to make my new “portfolio” career work. This has been combined with the total exhaustion of commuting 100 miles every day, so imagine what I can achieve with more time and energy! My diary for next week has already got some very interesting things in it, and I’ve got a long list of “things to do”.

And last night, after my partner had gone to bed, I headed out for a night of partying with Angelina, a friend I’ve known for 9 years, when we met at work. (She also teaches dance – see The Dance of Life” blog post!) We were meeting other friends and heading to a Kabal party. Kabal parties aren’t some kind of religious cult, just a very DIY style club-night, in the true spirit of the old warehouse parties, but all legal and “above board”. Since our first Kabal party, Angelina and I have always got in free, in return for taking photos of the festivities and sending them to the party organisers. This was the first Kabal party in over a year and we had a great time, dancing for hours in the dark womb of an old industrial building in Attercliffe, and being startled that dawn had arrived. Not bad going, considering that I’d nodded off at 10pm the previous night! I woke up this afternoon feeling tired, but alive and happy and raring to go!

Last night, we had a great time with the wonderful Kweku of Ghana, who I hope to do some work with in the future! Another example of my amazingly cheeky new attitude! http://www.kogmusic.co.uk/

Here’s an interview with legendary Sheffield DJ Winston Hazel, who is always the mainstay of Kabal parties. http://www.djhistory.com/forum/winston-hazel-forgemasters-interview


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Amanda
    May 05, 2013 @ 16:49:03

    Anne, what a beautiful light you have brought my afternoon. Thank you liking my post on http://theanjananetwork.net. She is an amazing spirit, isn’t she!? I am overjoyed for you. What a brave soul you are. You are an inspiration to me and the women I am speaking to in my every post. Would you like to do a guest blog post on your experience? So many of us can learn from your heart and courage!

    With love, Amanda


  2. Trackback: Switch off your phone and dance – and put to shame by 60-year olds! | Anne Grange - the random notebook

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