Monthly Archives: May 2012

Upcycled

I just love creating something new and beautiful from something that has been discarded. I am renowned for rummaging through skips to find stuff, or scrap bins, or even the local tip. I picked up a set of bar stools, an outboard motor and a set of Audi alloy wheels on my last trip. Oh, and a Sony car stereo 🙂 My Dyson was dumped at the side of the road, all it needed was a new filter.

So, from waste Welsh slate, I have been very busy making pendants. By adding some sparkly CZs and an accent of solid silver, I’ve turned somebody’s crap into one-off, designer jewellery. This is the first batch, priced at just £24 each with free postage to the UK and available in my ebay shop. If you’d like one with a specific combination of stones, do get in touch!

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Meh.

Ok, I’m officially bored with feeling weak and willowy so I went for a walk up to Lemon Blues. Less than a mile. When I got home, I fell asleep for three sodding hours! So maybe I’m not quite there yet on the recovery front.

On the plus side, I’ve been bundled up on the sofa with my knitting. When not working on “The Sock That Is Taking Forever”, I’ve been knitting a lipsalve holder. My son thinks it’s hilarious.

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Taking it easy

Well, I’m out of hospital now and settling down for my second night at home. I’m quite disappointed by how weak I still feel, even something as low impact as a coffee up at Lemon Blues and a little rummage in a charity shop has left me feeling utterly wiped out. I found a nice hand embroidered tablecloth for 50p though 🙂 And some purple buttons. Still, my blood sugars have been quite good today, so I think things are getting slowly back to normal.

I. Just. Feel. So. Tired.


Bed Blocker

Still on the HDU and feeling pretty rotten about it. I’m waiting for a bed on the ward so that I can be transferred there but in the meantime I’m sat in a very expensive bed chewing up valuable NHS resources. This unit is soooo high dependency that there isn’t even a toilet as the usual patients are either bedridden or use a commode. I have to go sneaking off to use the staff khazi…

The food was slightly less awful today, or maybe I’m just getting institutionalised. Sweet and sour chicken was actually edible 🙂 And I quite like jelly and ice cream, which is the diabetic option…

Beardy brought Scroticule to see me today, which was lovely, I’ve missed my boy soooo much. He was full of it, of course, because they came by bike and he just can’t get enough of that. Speaking of which, they’re on their way here now 🙂


Thanks, medics!

I’m still in the HDU at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, out of the woods now thankfully; so just wanted to thank the fabulous doctors and nurses for quite literally saving my life. I only found out today just how close to death I really was and it’s a very sobering thought.

Thanks doesn’t quite cover it, really, does it?


Proper ill

Greetings from the high dependency unit at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital!

So why am I here? Spent all day yesterday puking and really shaky, thought it was either my migraine getting worse, or due to eating an out of date yogurt. It got so much worse as the day went on, eventually I took to puking in a bucket cos I couldn’t make it to the bathroom. I started hyperventilating, and my heart was really racing so Beardy insisted on calling an ambulance. I was (and still am) tachycardic, and all my blood chemistry is still well off. Their biggest worry is a very low potassium level, which is what is keeing my heartrate so high.

What a great start to being self employed! One complete working day and here I am in hospital!


Proper ill

Greetings from the high dependency unit at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital!

So why am I here? Spent all day yesterday puking and really shaky, thought it was either my migraine getting worse, or due to eating an out of date yogurt. It got so much worse as the day went on, eventually I took to puking in a bucket cos I couldn’t make it to the bathroom. I started hyperventilating, and my heart was really racing so Beardy insisted on calling an ambulance. I was (and still am) tachycardic, and all my blood chemistry is still well off. Their biggest worry is a very low potassium level, which is what is keeing my heartrate so high.

What a great start to being self employed! One complete working day and here I am in hospital!


Made of Wales

My first working day of being self employed and I’ve been taking a long, hard look at what I’ve sold most of so far on eBay and Etsy. Despite my love of funky silver statement pieces, the things that sell best are the “Made in Wales: Made FROM Wales” pieces. The slate domino pendants and earrings and the square bead bracelets in particular have been literally flying out of the shed! Often with a little added engraved personalisation, names and personal messages, these pieces are very special to the folk who buy and wear them.

I have drawn up some more designs for pieces using little square slate tiles, so watch this space! I feel a choker coming on…

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Business in Focus? Out of focus, more like!

Well. I went on an introductory course last week for people thinking of starting their own business. Funded by the Welsh Government and provided by a private company, Business in Focus, I came home fired up as a result of the advice I’d been given. Turns out most of it was misleading at best and total bollocks at worst.

So I thought I’d write this as a little warning to other startups to triple check any advice they get on similar schemes. ESPECIALLY advice relating to tax and the HMRC, as this is where they got it spectacularly wrong.

I was told quite specifically that I could claim 45p a mile for the first 10,000 miles of any business mileage and they would actually give me money up to the full £4500 limit. This is BOLLOCKS. You can claim 45p a mile as relief on the income tax you’d be paying.

The bloke said if you work from home you can claim 20% of your household utility bills back from HMRC. Guess what. All BOLLOCKS. If you don’t have a dedicated room set aside for your business, there are very complicated calculations based on the hours you work and how many rooms you have, or you can just claim four quid a week. As relief.

They also told us that if you don’t take any income from your business, and leave the money within it, the profits aren’t taxable. Big, fat, HAIRY BOLLOCKS.

So following a very interesting chat with a lovely if slightly scary lady from HMRC this morning, I just thought I’d share my experiences with you. Two things are certain in this life: death and taxes. These courses are all very well, but check, check and check again that the advice they give you is accurate. I made a point of clarifying everything that the tutor said with him afterwards regarding my particular circumstances, and he firmly said that I could basically claim several thousand pounds a year back from the Inland Revenue even if I wasn’t making enough to pay tax. That HMRC would pay me to sit in my shed and play with my toys.

So if something seems to good to be true, is invariably is. I wonder if they are giving people false information so that they go ahead and start a business to make the economy look better than it really is? New business startups mean we’re turning the corner out of recession; and then there’s the people pressured into starting up by the Job Centre, which reduces the unemployment figures.

Or maybe I’m just being cynical.

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Thanks for the support – please keep it coming!

Well, after all the procrastinating, I did it. I am now a self-employed sole trader with my own business and am officially trading as such.

So thank you for all your encouragement and support, please keep it coming!

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