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But pleasures are like poppies spread,
You seize the flower, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snow falls in the river,
A moment white—then melts for ever;
Or like the borealis race,
That flit ere you can point their place;
Or like the rainbow’s lovely form
Evanishing amid the storm.— Robert Burns

I was reminded of this passage from Tam O’Shanter this morning. Shining from an otherwise dull, grey sky was a beautiful rainbow arching over the rooftops.

As we hurtle towards the end of the year and the start of 2014, it is time to reflect on the year that has been and make plans for the next. This year has seen some changes for me. At the start of the year, who could have foreseen that I would now be out of work, and trying to build my own business and that I would now have a remarkably silly Collie. Certainly not me.

I am currently (and very happily) off the great, monotonous hamster wheel and am no longer peddling frantically just to stand still; no longer am I under huge amounts of stress for very little money, wondering what I will be told I have got wrong next; no longer is my mental wellbeing at the whim of someone else, my every move scruitinised, only able to leave the office when someone else is ready to.

The downside, of course, is that I don’t have an income. I am surviving on benefits which is not easy. The past 6 months though have been relaxed and I have had a sense of freedom that I have not felt in a long time and that is worth far more than money. However, I can’t live on fresh air so not only have I been looking for a new job so that I can pay the bills, but I am making plans for my own business.

I don’t consider redundancy to be the end of all things, but rather the start of new ones. Someone said to me that it was karma telling me that I needed to give the business a push and I think that they are right.

At this time of year, I seem to decide to do work on the house. I went to the sales today (not something I usually do on the first day, I generally have more sense) and bought tiles for my kitchen and bathroom. A simple task, tiling, except in my house where not only are there lots of strange shapes, but the tap end of the bath has a small, wiggly splashback which is going to be a complete nightmare to tile around. There will be either a loud hurrah, or a great deal of swearing and my money is on the swearing.