Gig night

Last night’s private party was a rather good gig.

Ok, so the room was bijou – and as a result the stage area was very limited, but we managed to load in and set up in less than an hour, with a little more time to run through some of the newer tracks.

For the first set I wore the light teal suit… And even though I threatened to wear the PVC suit for the second set, I decided against it just because I thought the atmosphere wasn’t quite right.

It was, however, not an amazing hotel. It felt run down and slightly sad. The carpets and furnishings were worn and the bar was poorly stocked and under staffed. Looking at the Google reviews it seems I’m not the only one with this opinion.

Backstage was a cupboard by the way, although being a hotel I don’t expect anything more.

A rant about business.

I’m a business owner. I’ve been quite successful over these last few years after a hell of a lot of very hard and very poor years.

From having a 20 year old Volvo and a beat up 15 year old van on the driveway we now have a brand new van with a private plate on it, and a rather nice powerful Jaguar estate.

I was recently criticised that “I’m charging too much” by someone. I then read articles in the papers about people who are in low paid jobs and complain about their wages.

The problem is, firstly, the government and benefits.

Benefits

Benefits subsidise low wages. Nobody should be on less than the living wage; but by that token people who aren’t willing to work hard to better themselves shouldn’t be entitled to high wages.

But it’s a vicious cycle of low cost and benefits for many businesses. Often a business staffing structure is built around benefits and the government subsidising low wages and if the national minimum wage was to rise the business would fold; thus pushing more people into benefits and reducing the job pool.

Entitlement

The modern ethos is “want it, have it”. It’s a very entitled culture.

People who cannot afford the latest technology will get it however they can.

In my parents day families had “a car”. If they were lucky. Now all families want a car each.

Not many years ago a household had a phone, and perhaps a computer. Now we all have phones sitting in our pockets. We all own our own PC. We have tablets. We have technology everywhere.

Most of it unpaid for. Much of it often unaffordable.

There’s a culture called “Bright House Families”. It’s well documented within Social Care circles. They are families who rely heavily on benefits; and over 75% of their entire household income is used to settle high interest finance agreements on unnecessary products.

They get caught in a trap where a low paid job will often not pay enough to allow them to live and so they avoid working because they are better off not doing so.

Again, this is a problem of low wages and the benefits trap; but it’s also a self made problem of demand for unaffordable goods which is satisfied by lenders who should have more scruples.

Jealousy

The final problem which underpins this culture is that of jealousy. I’m a target of it.

I’ve always been in work (just one week unemployment in my entire life)

I’ve always had a strong work ethic and I’ve been brought up to accept what comes your way and aspire higher when you’re surviving.

I’ve accepted minimum wage jobs but whilst I was in that job I was constantly job hunting for something better – and I can tell you it feels good to do just one week in a low paid job and then tell your boss you won’t be in tomorrow because you’ve found a better job.

The problem I’ve experienced is jealousy.

I did NEBS management as part of one of my jobs which after basic training of one week added another week on whilst my fellow inductees left to join the floor.

They found out I was going to be carrying on training and they actually left me feeling shunned and isolated. None of them would sit with me in the canteen.

This continues to this day. I’m often given the cold shoulder because as a result of my constant study and my hard work both with my business and with my music I’m often seen to be doing well.

Our neighbours have slowly fallen out with us over petty things, and I know it’s because from having a beat up old Volvo and a 16 year old van on the drive we new have a brand new van and a rather powerful Jaguar.

Indeed, someone I know made a horrible comment about me on Facebook about a day after he first saw me in the Jag.

I do understand why some people, even though they are very happy with the place they live, end up moving. The caste system is alive and well in people’s minds.

So that’s my take on business. I’m part of the system, sadly, and with hard work and training I will soon be an employer. I will try and keep my wages reasonable to avoid staff churn, but I’ll also be mindful that an unprofitable business isn’t a business for long.

The day after

So the dentist’s visit went well. My dentist (who it has to be said is the best dentist I’ve ever had) put some local anaesthetic in my gum, then after sending me to the waiting room for 10 minutes whilst the anaesthetic took called me back in.

He drilled a hole in the back of the tooth where nobody would see it and relieved the pressure on the abscess (it was a squirter!). He then packed the hole with medicine and wadding, before applying a dressing to plug the hole.

The relief was immediate and although it still throbbed for most of the afternoon and evening I could feel the pain subsiding with every hour that passed.

This morning the pain is all but gone although if I tap the tooth I still get a buzz of pain to remind me that it’s still an infected tooth.

In a couple of weeks I’m having it opened up again and the dead root will be removed and filled. I’ve been advised that I might need a veneer or whitening in the long run as incisors have a tendency to darken once they’re dead and sadly neither treatment is available on the NHS as the NHS provides only essential care and not cosmetic care, which to be honest I agree with as a policy.

After all, the NHS is skint! I’d rather the remaining money be used to keep people out of pain or alive rather than looking pretty.

That happy tooth…

He’s still smiling.

Mine isn’t. That front incisor I had filled a few weeks ago has flared up with an abscess and I’ve managed to get an emergency appointment to have it looked at.

I suspect it’s another root canal.

It’s important to be yourself.

Losing my Dad and my only sibling just three years apart taught me that life is too short and too precious to not enjoy; even if the alternative is the norm. Latex is something I enjoy being in. Many people think it’s weird or strange.

I’m now older than my brother was when he died.

I really need to blog more.

It amuses me that whilst I’m always ready to tweet or post on Facebook or Instagram, I often neglect my blog.

Is it because the platform isn’t particularly nice to work on? well no, actually. WordPress is very easy to update when needed; and unlike some of the other platforms it is good because you can format your posts and decide where the photos are going to be, how they look, and you can even mix video in.

I suppose it’s because, unlike Twitter; Instagram and Facebook, a blog is somewhat like shouting into an empty room. WordPress, whilst one of the world’s biggest community platforms is a massive collection of personal blogs with very little recommendation of “blogs you might like” or “people to follow”. Most of your friends aren’t there, and the cross-blog community is really not good.

The final problem for me, though, is that most of the likes you get on your posts are from “promote your blog” marketing spammers who quite clearly promote your blog by sharing “promote your blog” posts on other people’s blogs and creating clickbots to try and harvest visits. Indeed, I suspect 65% of my meagre following is indeed just clickbots.

I suppose there’s a magic formula to being that person with all the reads, and I definitely don’t fit the criteria, so here is a picture of me using my new laptop table with my Tab S4, whilst a small Tortoiseshell cat hides underneath thus preventing me from actually straightening my legs. You will notice I am wearing a Horace goes Skiing t-shirt.