Someone (a 24 year-old man) asked me the other day, what would be my dream job - the job I would most like to do - and I found it very difficult to give a realistic answer.
If there is one thing I hear people say which genuinely makes me jealous, it is, "I cannot believe I am being paid to do this!"
I am very happy with my lifestyle, but I am more than aware that it involves a good deal of compromise to maintain, even at this low level. If I had ever really wanted to be rich, I would be by now, and I know from experience that the simple act of getting out of bed at 5.30 every Winter morning is not enough in itself to become wealthy. If it were, the rich would outnumber the poor by about a million to one, and we all know it is the other way round.
When I was about 40, I once casually said to a comfortably-off friend (what a repulsive phrase that is), "I need to earn more money." He said, "No you don't. You need to make more money."
In my job, I spend a lot of time in the vicinity of extremely wealthy people. I am not talking about a few million, I mean unimaginably wealthy. The beauty of this is that you simply do not have the credentials to even begin to be envious of them.
I am, though, in the enviable position of being paid by results and not by the hour, and for that I am extremely grateful. This is a sort of holistic approach based on accumulated experience which I have been nurturing ever since I gave up on 9 to 5 jobs, and since I know I will be doing the same sort of thing right through my 70s, I think it is an indication of very small kind of success that I have persuaded my clients to allow me to operate in this way, and not just through pity! I suppose this could be called old-fashioned patronage.
It is very rarely that I get a phone-call from someone asking me if something is finished or not, which would not be the case if I was a builder of hospitals, or the maker of anything which anyone actually needed. This is the advantage of working with things which could be described as luxuries, no matter how unpleasant some of the work-processes may be.
I know that there are many other areas where I would get on very well, but people generally only ever get asked to do the thing they are known for. I would sometimes like to do something which doesn't end up with me covered in dust, get freezing cold or boiling hot whilst aching all over, and I would like to delegate this sort of thing more often than I do, but if you are not prepared to be responsible for the well-being of entire families, then the only option is to do it yourself.
Right - It's Monday morning and I've just convinced myself that I am happy with my lot. I had better go off and do some work.
How life was. - This house, above, was the last true peasant farm in my immediate area. A few years back it was bought by a Dutch family, who are slowly restoring it as ...
9 hours ago