Bashing On

A pyjama bug

I’ve officially signed off as self employed. It’s depressing because I spent about 10 years building up the business, but I couldn’t go on paying 305€ every month for the equivalent of NI when I had no income. I ought to have done it earlier really, but I didnt want to face it.

It wasn’t easy doing the paperwork. I find the websites very confusing, so I normally got down to the government offices to sort out anything like this. At the moment they are very sensibly closed. In the end I paid an agency to help. The first step was to get an electronic signature: the agency made the appointment and I stood in the street and talked to the clerks through the window. It felt weird, but safe for both of us. Then the agency did the rest, except for signing off with the Canarian government who a) have no staff do deal with this during the shutdown and b) aren’t currently taking any of my money anyway.

Like a lot of people I’m going to have to make this up as I go along, but I don’t see foreign tourists coming back until October, maybe January. My best guess is that there will eventually be cruise ships calling again but fewer of them and maybe the excursions will change. I don’t know when or how tours will reopen at the observatory, or how many guides there’ll be sharing the work. I might need to change career altogether.

But for the moment I’m home, enjoying my morning walks and associated photography, and working on my books.

Talking of books, my friend Theresa has a crowdfunder going for her own book, “Falling Upwards“. It’s her autobiography and tells of all the adversities she’s overcome, slowly backing into a much happier life. As she says, “Never give up no matter what life throws at you.”

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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