Come on pumpkin, connect.

Someone sang that to me in a dream last night. And I woke up struggling for breath and had to write it down. Then I went back to sleep and woke up this morning to find that phrase written on the piece of paper in handwriting totally unlike mine. Not just sleepy-me handwriting, but someone else’s neat and well-formed letters instead of my normal scrawl (“I think he writes too fast so he can get all his ideas out” my teacher said when I was 7, and it stuck in my head, because she then went on to say that it was better to lose some of the ideas and write down only what you could write neatly, which I thought was most odd in a 7 year old way and seemed to quite defeat the object of being in a place that was supposed to make you cleverer).

Freaky, deaky banana-brain. Anyway, if you type 2 disparate words into Google Image search, you sometimes get a nice surprise.

And now I remember that school teacher confusing me I also remember that the self same teacher was in charge of who was going to “go up” each year. Going up was a strange construct in which the chosen two, one boy and one girl, from each school year would jump up into the class of the kids a year older than them for half of the school year. Me and Sarah Golding it was every f–king year. It was like punishment for being clever. Everyone of your own age decided that you thought you were better than them and everyone in the class you were joining thought you were a baby from the year below. Pure torture it was and me and little Sarah stuck together like glue. Oh, and to top it all, on the first day of the second time it happened I was introduced to my new scarily older classmates and then asked whether I would like to hold the class hamster? Well, yes I bloody did as I thought maybe that will make me one of the gang. It didn’t, as no sooner had I picked up the equally terrified rodent, than the little bugger went and snuffed it right there, right in my hands, right in front of my new class mates. My least favourite teacher then panicked and said it was probably because I was breathing on it. Fan-effing-tastic. She then decided that we had to go through a funeral for this doomed critter and that I should be the one to dig the hole and drop in the flaccid fluffy corpse and “say a few words”. This I miserably did while my new best mates mouthed “murderer” at me behind her back. You know those people who end up going on a shotgun rampage through small town shopping centres? It’s nothing short of miraculous that I didn’t end up doing that in later life.

Sorry about that. It all just came back to me and, well, this is stress relief for me as much as anything.

Anyway, deep breath. I Went and saw Lara Fisher-Jones at Stopgap just the other day to try to get some well paid, low responsibility temp work in Market Research so as to get a much needed pre-Christmas cash injection. She was very nice and the interview was straight forward in the way that only interviews for a job you can do, standing on your head, one arm tied behind your back, can be. She sounded very hopeful and was apologetic that the day rate was low in comparison to my previous salary. I had to point out that in comparison to my CURRENT salary, it was pretty good.

Oh yeah, and who was the lady in the picture in the last post? Corinne from Swing Out Sister, that’s who. Swing Out Sister not only still exist, but are also ace. You don’t believe me do you? I saw them on Friday night and grinned from ear to ear all the way through. Buy this if you want to make your ears very happy…


If you sit staring at a computer screen for 19 or 20 hours your eyes begin to hurt. You knew that right? Well if you didn’t it’s true, look out for it.

Had a nice meeting yesterday with Paola Campari. How could a meeting with someone called Paola Campari not be nice? She’s the advisor for the Creative Enterprise Initiative, she’s Scottish Italian, and she doesn’t think you can do what I want to do for a business using a digital camera from Dixons. I felt better after talking to her.

And now I’m setting up another business, which ideally will support the first one while I’m trying to build it up. The first one’s tricky you see cos no-one knows they want it yet. Everyone knows they need a computer fixer though. That’s the second business and I’m a cheap one!

MMMMMmmmm when my eyes hurt I like to make pictures. here’s one..

night… x

he he…

Here’s some computer techy jargon stuff…

Iran, Islamic Republic Of
( woman&FORM=QBNO

You know what that means? That means that some poor sod from Iran, ahem, came across my site by typing “pikchers woman” into the MSN search engine. You have to feel his disappointment don’t you?

squirrel calls

Ok, today I saw two things, a grey squirrel and a grey man.

First the grey squirrel. This was clinging on to the top of a small tree, staring at me and shouting its head off. REALLY going for it. I went right up to the tree to see if he was stuck or injured, gave it a bit of a shake to see if that’d move him, but no. He was just up there having a good old shout at me. So here’s a question for you; what does it mean when a squirrel is up a tree and shouting at you? I felt like Damien in The Omen, except that was monkeys doing the shouting and he was the son of the Devil, and I’m not… I don’t think… I haven’t had the police report yet… you think they’ll mention it on there?

Second grey of the day, was Brian Titten of the Surrey Business Advice service. He was a nice man, who reinforced to me the fact that I’ve managed to choose to set up a business for which the customers are nigh on impossible to identify or contact. Thanks. I knew that. But I like a challenge… This is VERY challenging but my rapidly dwindling finances help to concentrate the mind nicely… OK press release time…

Talking of press, The Daily Show is on More 4 most days at 8:30. Watch it, it’s very funny.


Another day, another damp squib of a marketing attempt.

Day started badly. In fact it started badly before it was even day as I tossed and turned and generally failed to disappear into slumberland last night. Of course that led to massive oversleeping and stupid rushing around cleaning teeth while trying to pull on trousers hilarity, for today was go-to-the-job-centre-and-get-signed-up-to-be-one-of-Thatcher’s-millions day.


You may remember that a couple of weeks back I phoned up the Job Seekers Helpline and was told by a very nice chap that it was OK to sign up for their wonderful free money scheme when setting up a new solo business because that counted as “Job Seeking”, and, in order to entice me to do so, they would offer all sorts of setting-up-a-new-business type help to get my enterprise up to 30 hours work a week, at which point they would send me off into the world on my own, waving and dabbing away their tears of pride with starched white hankies as the theme music from Gone With The Wind played rousingly and emotionally in the background as I walked off into a bright new future…

ahem… he lied.

I filled out the stupid convoluted forms, gathered together all the paperwork, bills and bank statements, P60’s and passports, and toddled off to see my “client advisor” this morning. When I got there I had a clerk go through the forms and tell me they were well filled out, (that’s what years of market research does for you, helps you fill out benefit applications) and that claims were being processed in only a couple of days at the moment. “This is all going swimmingly” I thought, and off I went to see the “client advisor” for I am a customer of these people, nice euphemism huh? She looked at my forms too and smiled and off we went with the interview proper;

“So what kind of work do you want to do?” she asked.
“I am setting up my own business” I replied proudly, no scrounger me, I’m an entrepreneur you know.
“So when would you be available for work?” she asked.
“Well I’m constantly working setting up my own business at the moment”
“But what kind of job would you be AVAILABLE to do?” she asked.
“Well ideally none. I’m here for the Setting-Up-A-New-Business service”, I countered, just trying to get things clear between us and the conversation back on the free-money, lots-of-support and Gone-With-The-Wind-music track.
“So you are not looking for us to help you get employment?” she asked.
Ah that’s better, we’re getting somewhere now, “Yes that’s right”
“I’ll have to check with my supervisor”
Ah the supervisor will get me the right service I thought.
Back she came and smiled sweetly before saying “I don’t think we can help you”

That’s when I realised that my Job Seeker phone buddy had lied. So no free money or support for me. Bugger.

Next up off to see my sisters Boss and to set up his new computer in his office, cloning all the information from his old one and transferring it across, setting up all his emails (15 email accounts for why?) and installing his network. That went much better and he paid me money for doing it. Less than the going rate ‘cos I’m not exactly a professional, but nearly 4 weeks worth of dole money all the same. That felt better! Having seen the half arsed job that a proper company did for a friend of mine with nearly exactly the same requrements, for more than twice that amount of money in 3 times as long, I didn’t feel guilty though. New business idea 2. Computer support for other small businesses. I’m good at making computers better. It comes from years of breaking my own ones and then having to fix them.

Final installment in this long old post is my second attempt at handing out flyers and business cards to the auditionees for the local music contest down at the shopping centre. Last week it was postponed due to lack of entrants. Tonight they went ahead with two entrants. Both 14. Both girls. Both unaccompanied. I’m soooo not approaching people like that until my police check comes through…

I can’t see…

..the wood for the trees… So today I’ve (with some very welcome help) got the forms so I can say that I’m police checked. Costs a tenner to get a copy of all of your dealings with the Metropolitan cosmopolitan Neapolitan police, ever. Scary huh? What if they’ve investigated me for something without me knowing? Not that I think they might have but… well you know… ulp…

Other things?

Got in touch with the advertising people at all the local papers and at the local shopping centre (Mall) for their advertising rates.

Got details about the Creative Enterprise Initiative and the Surrey Business Initiative to see if they can help.

Emailed all the music teachers in Surrey to see if they fancy the idea of passsing my details on to all of their students.

Posted off a few more bits and pieces on Ebay. Tried out my new shiney microphone that looks like this…

and a load of other things…

Look! there’s the wood!

Mall Stars

He he, welcome to the “John shares with the group about setting up a new business” blog!

Went down to the auditions for Mall Stars last night (a marquee set up in what they call The Market Square. There’s no market, and it’s not square) and they were damn well cancelled through lack of interest. Welcome to Epsom, the best place to live in the world. No you are. Welcome to Epsom that is. Just take it. No one will miss it.

I did speak to a very nice lady from Radio Jackie (“The sound of South West Luuuuundaaaaaarn”) though who has promised to phone me today about what I’m doing as it fits in nicely with her remit to get “the kids” interested in music. Oooooh I might be on the radio! “Epsom calling, this is Epsom calling”.

So what do you do in a situation like that? Go for a curry with your mate John, and then go and get drunk that’s what. It’s the grownup reaction to marketing failure.

Where’d you go?

Ooooops, disappeared there again for a minute. Sorry. Been a bit busy busy busy like a busy bee!

“Doing what?” you may ask, and you’d be right to because I have the answer for you.

Doing this is what…

Click on the logo and hey presto! Look! I got a business! How scary?

Tonight I’m off on my first marketing jaunt with flyers and business cards and everything. Well not “everything” just flyers and business cards, oh, and a rather fetching RecordU T-shirt that I haven’t actually made yet but will do this very afternoon. I’m going to hassle the entrants to this delightful competition and make them give me their money. Mall Stars. I ask ya!

Wish me luck!