So, to give an update on my present situation, I am working in a temporary job for an Italian firm. I have very nice boss and it is a lot less stressful than my previous role which was a nightmare from start to finish. With hindsight, I should have turned around and walked out the first day I started the job in London as it was immediately apparent I had walked into a very difficult and explosive situation.
I am now looking for a permanent role. Whilst there are prospects for this one (which would probably mean returning to London) ideally I am looking for a 9-5 job so I can spend more time with my son in his last year of sixth form. That is not easy as it means moving out of retail and, at my age, finding any position, let alone one which is not your area, is pretty damn difficult. But it is becoming more essential I find an admin job for other reasons too as, after nearly two years standing on my feet all day, the pressure on my legs and feet is taking its toll. My knees are now shot to pieces, I have lost all my flexibility and, last night, I noticed that my feet and ankles were swollen. I have started a diet today in the hope that shedding a few pounds will help as who knows how long it will take me to move out of retail and 8 hours a day on your feet are bad enough without them being uncomfortable or painful.
On a lighter note, I have written 50,000 of my new book. I think its just about done. Maybe a few more thousand will wrap it up. I have decided that I am going to use it as the basis of another book and rewrite it into another entirely different format. So you could call it a first draft in a sense but what might ultimately materialise will be very different indeed. I am just going to put it to one-side for a while as I'd like to see if I can push forward with my idea for the TV sitcom or finish the sequel to The Changing Room.
I have also started a course in counselling. I am not quite sure how I will find the time to complete it given I can barely find time in the day to do anything that isn't completely essential or the odd bit of scribbling but it was free and, as a communicator and observer of people, I am very interested in this area. I doubt whether I will ever pursue any job specifically in this area but most jobs, especially at management level, require some sort of counselling or negotiating skills so I think it will prove a useful addition to my CV.
So that's it for the moment. I'm still moving forwards, albeit very slowly and with the occasional backwards steps.