So, as promised, this week I am delighted to welcome Nina Jervis as my very first guest blogger to talk about her own version of finding a new simple life. Without further ado, I give you – Nina the Writer!
Hello, please allow me to introduce myself. I’m Nina, and I’ve been an avid follower of the lovely Lisa’s blog since she started it back in March, so when she asked me to write a guest post I jumped at the chance (rather like a cat onto a comfy sofa!). I’ve started a new simple life too, you see, albeit a dissimilar one to Lisa’s.
One of the biggest differences between Lisa’s and my new simple lives is that instead of the natural, pastoral beauty of North Yorkshire, my story is set in the heart of TOWIE-land – Southend-on-Sea to be precise. That’s where I live, and I make no apology for it…most of the time. It’s got a beach, and the longest pleasure pier in the world, and the cast of EastEnders go on holiday there a lot. Come for summer!
Anyway, Southend just happens to be an hour or so’s commute from Central London. I spent the longest fifteen years of my life travelling back and forth on the zombie commuter train to my rather uninspiring job as an HR Manager, before deciding I’d had enough, quitting in June, and starting my own business as a freelance writer.
Now I know what you might be thinking; that doesn’t sound very simple – and you’d be right! But there are some aspects of my new working life that have a touch of genuine simplicity about them. Such as my shopping habit, which has had to be deftly curtailed since I’m not earning the money to cover it so much, or keeping myself warm by wrapping myself in woollens and a hot water bottle to save money on heating bills (I knew there was a reason I started this business in sunny June!) There’s also my new office assistant, otherwise known as my tabby rescue cat, Sonny.
I’ve started to think my transition to a new simple life has affected Sonny more than it has me. The biggest challenge for him has definitely been getting used to having me around all day, when he’d been used to having the entire house to himself until the early evening – and when I suspect he spent lots of time lying around on all the furniture he shouldn’t have been anywhere near, judging by the little tufts of fur I’d find on my ‘nice’ armchairs!
And it’s not true, I’m afraid to say my dear Lisa, that cats sleep anywhere. At least, not in the plush places specifically designed for them. Sonny sleeps on various mats and teatowels, or the space on the sofa next to me where my boyfriend also likes to sit (very often, there are battles). But not, for example, the cosy hooded cat bed on which I spent my last £25, because it was getting cold and I wanted him to be extra-warm as winter comes. I tried putting treats inside it, like the nice lady at the pet shop said to, but this only earned a “Sonny just thinks of that thing as a giant food bowl, now,” from my boyfriend. Which was true.
But I call Sonny my “office assistant” because while he doesn’t actually help me with my admin (perish the thought, with those claws!) he makes my working days a lot more calm and happy than my old office colleagues ever did. Sonny spends most of his time these days curled up next to me on the sofa, or on his fleecy mat in my makeshift office, and if I start to worry about my uncertain working future I only have to look over at him purring away in his sleep to know that not only did I make the right decision to work from home, but also that my lovely cat chose me to live with – hooded cat bed or no hooded cat bed – and so everything will be OK in the end. In a lot of ways, I like to think Sonny has chosen a new simple life too.
Thank you, Nina. It’s great to hear that your new simple life is working so well for both you and Sonny – he is a very handsome chap! To find out more about Nina and follow her own blog, go to www.ninathewriter.com