Welcome Aboard my Ark …
As you can see I haven’t completely lost my connection with water, harbours or the sea. This is looking towards the harbour and quays at City Quay in Dundee today. Although I took a couple of ‘leisure’ pictures I was actually there doing some research for my big journey. So where is it that this Ark is heading?
I have planned (for as long as I can remember) that I would be working for myself by the time I reached a certain age – which is fast approaching. My basis for this was that I wanted to work hard and pay off the mortgage so that I could risk earning less and therefore not need to work for an organisation. I am sure many of you know that life doesn’t always deal us the hand of cards we expect and for various reasons I am nowhere near achieving the paying off the mortgage bit of that goal; so I had almost given up on my dream.
However, with a fixed Term Contract ended I am at a crossroads where I can make choices more freely and what I have been doing in my recent employment lends itself to a Social Enterprise format of business and so I feel it is realistic that I could start a business and be self employed. The Social Enterprise aspects will include offering volunteering and work placements to trainee professional staff (in both public and private sector) and offering services/products to members of the public on a loan basis. The business will have training as a core product, include a small element of retailing and ultimately I hope a special internet cafe. I don’t want to detail it further at this stage but I think it is clear there is a lot of hard work to do.
One of the critical factors will be finding the suitable premises that will accommodate the longer terms aims as well as the immediate needs. In practical terms the building will; need to be fully accessible to people who depend on wheelchairs, mobility scooters and any sort of frame or rollator. So level access, wide doors and open plan spaces that allow freedom to move around both outside and inside independently. I have an idea of what these premises will look like so this week I am embarking on a walk around Dundee to find out what sort of premises are available. Yes I could sit down at the computer and search that way; that doesn’t give me a feel for the area and doesn’t let me really see the buildings fully. Also by walking like this I will keep up the physical health goals I set put last week. By te end of this week I aim to have along list of upto 10 likely premises so I can plan to arrange viewings and confirm costs.
I am not going to say more about specific buildings at this stage but I have taken photographs of some sorely ignored and unloved buildings which I will add into a separate page shortly; so much potential going to waste.
I did also have a mooch at City Quay – a modern development of mixed business and retail lettings. The advantages here are that the units have level access, there are already several complimentary but not duplicate businesses based there and there is parking space although it is only free for a short stay. It is close to public transport but not immediately adjacent to it. There are several units currently available and although it doesn’t offer what I originally envisaged I cannot rule it out of the longlist. Here is another image from the Quay:
I also popped into a trendy stationers and bought myself a square plain page wirebound notebook so I can mindmap my business plans. I will be using mindmapping software and other more formal tools but for whilst I am out and about the notebook is a better bet in case I lose data connectivity on the phone or I am low on battery. I saw the cutest little index sticker flags and bought those too so now I have my own mini fleet of colourful double decker buses … there happen to be 6 different ones – and our real fleet is 6 deckers too! So meet “94”, “95”, “96”, “97”, “98” and “99”. (By the way just to update you temperamental madam 99 is still on the road but with a few ‘clunky’ gear changes … here’s hoping she keeps running)
In due course I will share some of the mindmaps and plans … for now I will just refer to this as “The Ark” and in the best traditions invite anyone interested to come on board and join in the journey; fair weather sailors be warned though – there could be stormy weather and heavy seas . I have been known to share my cough sweets with under the weather bus drivers but I don’t carry a stock of seasick pills with me.
To help me keep my sealegs I bought myself a Pediroller (a ridged roller to exercise my sore foot on). I tried it out while Dog ate his tea … then Dog arrived to check on me, sat down very politely and watched the Pediroller. Clearly in Dog’s opinion this is in fact a new type of Kong dog toy which I was taunting him with! Mental note to self put Pediroller away every time it is used … otherwise I will come home to a heap of chewed bits of Pediroller … Dog has gone off to bed to sulk!
I wanted to finish with this view of the regeneration of old buildings at City Quay – the clock tower in the background has been turned into flats and there are more being built alongside it. Great to see that people do care about bringing new life to old structures.
No statistics each day this week – I will keep them for the end of the week; and no new motivational quote because I will keep on doing all the things I have already motivated myself to do. Tomorrow another quarter of the city on my scouting mission.
Batten the hatches, let go fore and aft … let’s take this Ark to Sea …