Ever since leaving school I've attempted to stay true to myself and live life guided by the values and beliefs which had been adopted during those formative years. Can't say that I'm any kind of saint because of this, nor particularly different from the rest of humanity, but what I can say is that I remain an individual and proud that I've stuck to my guns, particularly during periods of adversity. Never sold out, certainly never sold my soul to the quest for the mighty dollar yet, somehow, I've made it to here and find myself in a very comfortable position. Yes, indeed, I've been incredibly fortunate with the way my working life has evolved. If I ignore that fling (1974 -79) with The Medical Research Council (The Lister Institute of Preventative Medicine, Dagger Lane, Elstree, HERTS - I'm actually a fully qualified Medical Lab Technician), then my whole working life has been factory/warehouse based, shop floor pure and simple, for just three employers; Kodak, Unilever and, now, Fujifilm SIS. Loyalty is a fundamental belief in my way of thinking, these three multi-national organisations have provided me with reciprocal treatment, helping to guide me through many of life's challenges. Certainly stuff you didn't get taught at school. Marriage, divorce, birth, periods of ill health and death, these companies have been there to support me, when asked, through some of the toughest periods of my journey. Human Resources departments aren't just there to administer warnings over piss taking of the sickness rules or unacceptable behaviour within the workplace, they exist to assist members of their staff to seek help with problems, of whatever nature, well placed to offer sensible advice and point individuals in the right direction of where to find this information.
I'll happily admit that factory life isn't for everyone, especially the limp wristed, office dwelling, feint-hearted, it can be brutal at times yet, for me, it is a place where I'm well within my comfort zone; having a thick skin and more than two brain cells between my ears certainly helps! The banter, the camaraderie, the whole factory vibe is why I've stuck with it and enjoyed the experiences along the way. So what's this all about? At 12.40 hrs, today, I left site knowing that I won't be going back for three weeks due to being "furloughed". It will be the longest period I've not been at work in my entire working life and I'm not too sure how I'll cope?
Gavin Haig has blogged about "Plan B" - I don't even have "Plan A"! Steve Gale ends the "laid back garden challenge" on 7th May. What to do next? Well, as an individual, the #BWKm0 will continue until the "lockdown" is officially over, it's been a brilliant distraction from the reality of this current madness, thus far. A garden safari might be a project worthy of further exploration? I simply don't know because I've never been here before. A new moth trap might well be in the equation if things don't look like changing any time soon, then there's the garden foxes to photograph - a bat detector? Now there's a thought.
The garden will be central to whatever happens over this next three weeks, thus the feeding stations, bird and hedgehog, will play a major role in the way my days pan out. That hedgehog house will get built and there's a chapter for Ben Ward's Tring Angling History to get completed. I'm not without projects, it's simply the unknown pathway this current situation could lead, that is causing me so much angst.