It’s after four on a chilly Saturday afternoon.

As I write, I’m plugged into a brown noise generator, sitting on a bench at my local skatepark.

Last night I took the time to go along to a local pub to see (and hear) a good mate of mine, playing the drums with his new band The Voodoo Sheiks. I only made it in time for the second set, but what I heard was excellent. I think Spence has finally found a band that completely fits his personality. So, that’s good.

These days I don’t tend to get out and do much socially. It might be because I’ve not got many friends, I don’t have much in the way of spare cash to spend on an evening out, or it could be that I’m just too miserable to face the prospect of being a jolly person for a couple of hours. Let’s face it; I’m a morose mother fucker at the best of times. I do have my moments of course. When I’m on form, I’m a nice bloke to be around, although my warped sense of humour is often misunderstood.

Anyway, this week I also made it to the American V-Twin Riders Club meeting over at the Blean Tavern, just outside of Canterbury. I got there bang on the start time of 7.30pm, but still, I was the last to arrive? How the fuck that keeps happening I don’t know. Anyway, it was a good meeting with lots of plans being made for the coming year; the highlight of which will be a visit to the Wheels & Waves Festival down in Biarittz, France. Hopefully, I will be able to source the loan of a motorcycle for the trip, probably an Indian something or other.

Karta seems to be settling into grammar school life okay. His handwriting needs some work, and I need to keep him practising his spellings, but generally, I think he’s full of good ideas and will make a name for himself at the school.

A couple of photography gigs popped up over the summer, one of which I did on Wednesday down at the Dreamland amusement park. I just had to document all of the rides and grounds so that a graphic artist friend of mine can prepare a series of promotional posters for the park. It didn’t pay much, but hopefully, it might lead on to some other work.

Next month I’m also shooting a wedding for some friends of mine. I have given up on shooting weddings, they’re far too stressful, and no matter how many promises are made about artistic freedom, you always end up having to do the same old formulaic stuff. If someone wants to pay me three grand to shoot their wedding my way, I’d be super stoked, and I’d be doing those all day long! Other people do it, so why can’t I?

Maybe I should have a go at marketing myself as someone that can do that? Thinking about it, I quite like shooting environmental portraits too. Meh.

One thing’s for sure. If I don’t get and start making some serious money soon, I’m going to go mad. I’m good at web stuff; I can take a decent picture and can write an okay story. I’ve spent so much time trying to analyse why I fail and not coming up with an answer; I’m beginning to think that obstacle is me. So many times I’ve heard people say “If you want something badly enough, you will find a way to achieve it, JP!”.

Maybe I’ve not been hungry enough. Maybe I need to be a lot more mercenary in my approach? Could that be why so many people from my past have made a success of their lives? I’m a good man, a big softy at heart. Do I need to change my attitude to a lot of things and start to put my foot down? How can I pull it off, without becoming a massive twat (well a bigger one than I am already)?

Money is too tight to mention, yeah I know it’s a lyric from a crappy 80’s pop song, but in my case it is true. We are technically living in poverty. We barely manage to get through the month without running out of cash. It’s a massive juggling act; I constantly have to move money around just to make sure that I can control when certain bills get paid and when they don’t. Some are late, some are early, but almost always get paid within the correct month. Our biggest expense is our rent, followed by food and then fuel etc. I know we’re not the only ones that struggle from day-to-day, but sometimes it bloody well feels like it.

So, what is the answer? Well, I’ve tried to find a regular job. It would seem that my CV is too good for the job on offer, or I suck at writing a decent CV? Either way, I’m not getting anywhere; not here at least. Working for myself and making money using my hard earned skillset is the only way I can see of making the difference to my life and that of my family.

That’s all I have to say about all of that today. Not the most uplifting of posts, but hopefully there’s a glimmer of light at the end of the very dark tunnel. A good friend of mine recently told me that I need to focus on fixing myself first. “Do that, and everything else will fall into place?” she said. I think she might be right.

Until next time, adieu!