Posted by: phynbarr | June 14, 2015


It’s been a long time since I’ve been here.  And that, in itself, is indicative of the hole I find myself in right now

Is it going to be like previous occasions when I knew that something was wrong but chose not to see it, not to act on it?

Or is this situation going to be different?  Do I really not know, am I really unable to discern a way forward?  THE way forward?

So what are the facts of the case?

Here I am, halfway through a Foundation Degree in Animal Behaviour & Psychology; enjoying the relevant stuff I’m learning  but unsure (to say the least!)about all the other “fluff” that goes round it.  Personal Employability Skills Development.  Business Skills.  I’m not saying I’m acing them with high scores, but . . . .

So on the one side of that particular set of scales, I have a track record of starting things and not completing them and on the other, the strong desire to so any form of learning and get the animal behaviour  and/or nutrition knowledge.

So what is more important?  Get the degree and actually completing something or getting the knowledge that will actually be useful to me?

Then there’s another set of scales.  The financial one.  Yes, I have sufficient capital to wait it out for another year.  Finish my degree, consider my future, not grasp at that bird hovering so close to my hand but wait and see if there is anything in that bush.  Staring that in the face is the fact that bush could be empty and no amount of waiting will fill it in a year’s time or any time.  So I could end up still waiting, with rising property prices and less to spend.

And the final set of scales is location.  The fact is, I like it here.  I love the landscape, Tavy’s OK, Plymouth’s nearby.  Not only do I have reservations about the actual cattery at Chudleigh, I’m not even sure I like the town (village?).  It is closer to Exeter and virtually on the A38.  And yes, and yet, I keep resisting.

I need to respect my instincts, that way they grow more reliable.  And everything is shouting to stay here.  I have the very meagre beginnings of a social circle.  Yes, I know I could start again elsewhere as I started here

But, but, but, but

So having dumped my conscious brain, let’s see what’s left

Is this just an elaborate form of procrastination?  Or is there some real justification?  Is this “instinct” just a huge excuse to do nothing, NOT to commit to anything.  At all.  Ever.  To avoid a mistake by doing nothing?

But that’s not sustainable in the long term.  I can’t sit here forever making excuses

So let’s try looking at this a different way

When I look at moving to Chudleigh, the wall rears up and the brakes come on.  Is that instinct or avoidance?

When I look at moving to a different part of the UK, the same thing happens. (New Zealand is still tempting but such a long way from any form of support)

When I contemplate my degree I am reluctant to go back to Newquay – the driving was expensive and punishing and some of the teaching was woeful – and yet I am equally reluctant to give it up.  To be honest, people are impressed at a soon-to-be sixty-year old going back into education and that provide a little warmth.

Distance training in behaviour and/or nutrition looks ever-so-slightly dodgy.  What confidence can I have in the information they are providing?  Mind you, Newquay is accredited with Plymouth University and, after this year, what confidence do I have in some of the information THEY have provided?

But do I want to pore over academic journals and be castigated for not putting “et al” in italics and become an academic?  Does a BSC and a PhD appeal.  Weeeelll, much as the warmth of being at Uni at all does

Or do I want hands-on, practical knowledge.  Am I just a hands-on, practical person?

And here’s another source of worry.  Do I have the confidence, the ability, the chutzpah to be a consultant anyway?  If I do, wouldn’t I have become a consultant facilitator?  What if it all goes horribly wrong and  my advice only makes things worse?  Will I be responsible?  Yes, I know I will feel responsible, but that[s not the question I’m asking.

So what else do I know?   I know I don’t want to buy some dismal 2 up, 2 down and survive on a diminishing pension.  I have been robbed of one future and I now have a clean sheet of paper to write my own  The very thought of buying a house and sitting there doing . . . . . want exactly?

And when I stopped house hunting and determined on a cattery, it was SUCH a relief.

The trouble is, my perfect kennels sticks in my mind as the perfect opportunity that I let slip through my fingers.  It is close to Tavy but not in a town.  It is close to a main road but down a side road.  The house is set back on the property .  all of which means the cats and any future pets should be proof from road accidents if nothing else

It was already a thriving business and it had space to expand : move the kennels, build a daycare centre, improve the cat accommodation, etc., etc.

And it has gone.  Indisputably. Unequivocally. Inevitably.  Gone.  G O N E. Hankering won’t bring it back and the likelihood of it coming back on the market in 1, 5 or 10 years is so slim as to be dismissed.

So.  My alternatives and choices

Grit my teeth, but the cattery at Chudleigh.  Make a go of it        Meh

Continue studying for a degree                                                                 Hmmm

See if the bank will fund the purchase of suitable premises for development
Well that would be OK if such premises existed.

Buy myself that little 2 up 2 down and tell myself off for being so silly as to think I could ever make something else work..  disappoint myself, disappoint Hettie and prove Voldemort  totally and completely right.  A am that failure.

So has this helped at all?  Nope.  Just sounds like so much self-indulgent twaddle


As the late, great Dave Allen would have said.  If you have been, thanks for listening


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