Thursday, 29 July 2010


I have been thrown into the world of work, and I have noticed that Being in this world is no different to Being in the world of home. In fact the world of work has rather imposed itself on my home. Maybe I've invited it.

Change is afoot at the Family Paintball Site: husband originally started it with a friend. They set up a limited company, became directors, and set about directing things. A change of circumstance for friend meant he needed to ease himself away from the business a little so he sold ten percent of his shares to another friend who works as a marshal for us. Now a further change for him has seen him take the decision to resign as a director and sell another twenty per to us. This will be a good thing for us if the place ever makes any money. Currently husband is the only director but we have the paperwork for second friend and me to be added to the list.

What this means for me is: I will take charge of the 'books' (sadly they don't have rhythmic syntax or obvious narrative), and do a lot of this:

The paint in paintballs is oily and gets on everything, so we use microfibre cloths to wipe down guns and masks during and after play. Someone has to launder them,

and these snoods, which have padding to protect your head from flying paintballs and their content.

And the armoured gloves which protect hands.

We give customers overalls to wear to protect their own clothing. Our washing machine can't cope with them so they go to a laundry. However, they tend to get torn, guess who fixes.

We also have padded tabards: more protection for customers, more sewing for me.

Another thing I do is check all written material for readability. The confirmation of booking form has just been subjected to my will, the website will be my next victim.

My job seems to be to keep things clean and tidy, and to keep playing customers safe by ensuring they don't remove their masks whilst guns are 'live.' Thirty years of housewifery hasn't been for nothing. Husband is director of managing, Ben is going to be director of operations and fun, I wanted to be director of interesting things but it looks like, whatever I call myself, I'm going to be director of mothering.

Job number two (or is that three, or four?): I've been getting ready for tonight's women's group:

We need tablecloths for the café area so have each been asked to bring one along, of course I didn't have a clean one.

This job has given me lots of fun things to do and think about. I have: photocopied some short stories and typed up some poems to take along as examples for the ladies to look at; gathered a pile of colourful postcards, some artifacts and my writing journals to give them some examples of how I generate inspiration in myself (it's unfortunate, but not having access to the minds of other writers I can't show how they do it); written stuff on index cards; worked out a plan for a short semi-formal workshop and, what I think could be the piéce de resistance:

Alesa suggested magnetic poetry and I just happened to have some gathering dust on a shelf along with a magnetic blackboard lurking in the attic.

This will, I hope, act as a variation on the index card theme: I'll remove my paltry effort and provide a starter line then invite everyone to add another line. Hopefully by the end of the evening we'll have a 'women's group' poem.

Thanks for all your suggestions and tips, those I don't get a chance to use tonight will get aired at a later date, hopefully.


Carole said...

It sounds like you are busy as a bee and loving it.

I might draw the line at mending, but I suppose it must be done.

Your class will be so good. The women will love it. And you will come home to excited to sleep and then have to get up early to go paint-balling. How much fun can one person have.

Alesa Warcan said...

You really do sound like a whirlwind of activity!
Pretty soon you'll have to borrow some of shiva's extra arms to get it all done, on the bright side, it's paperwork free. ; j

I add my vote of confidence to your class being a hit... it sure would have been fun to be there and see it for myself. ; j

Jane Moxey said...

You're being such a supportive person with the family paintballing business! Do women come and prance about doing all that or is it just a big old testosterone thang?

How I wish I could come to your women's writing class! However, I'll be looking forward to any posts you do about it all!

With the time difference twixt thee and me, you're probably already at it! Do hope it was fun and worth all the effort you've put in with all your preparation!

savannah said...

i feel like such the slacker, sugar! i do love the idea of the on-going poem. we used to have those on our fridge when the coconut krewe were at home. xoxoxoxox

nick said...

Goodness, paintballing sounds disgustingly messy, with an awful lot of cleaning-up to do. What a shame you can't just fire poems at each other.

The magnetic poetry blackboard sounds great. I hope you produce something inspired enough to share with us.

Mary Witzl said...

I've never gone paintballing (my husband still regrets never managing this), but every time I've heard someone's stories about how great it is and how much paint gets thrown around, I always wonder who gets stuck with the laundry. Well, now I know!

The good thing is, you can go from the ridiculous to the sublime in very little time -- from paintballing laundry to teaching. Your writing class will be great and I can imagine what a hit you'll be. And I'm betting your students will be a lot more motivated than mine were.

Kim Ayres said...

Time to find out whether you can fit a wadge of magentic words into a paintball gun and shoot it at the fridge to see what random poems are created :)

Ivo Serentha and Friends said...

Compliments for your blog and pictures included, I invite you to see the photo blog,

Each week released a new album

Greetings from Italy


The Unbearable Banishment said...

If I ever got shot with a paintball I'd probably scream like a little girl. I have a small (and I mean small tattoo. I almost passed out when it was being applied.

Pat said...

Love the tablecloth.
For when you start to make money be sure to keep a note of all expenses, including payment of services of whoever is doing the washing etc.
That'll be you. Keep all receipts.

Titus said...

I had a blast! And not at the paint-balling (the snoods on the line look remarkably like some bizarre S + M fetish clothing).
Really enjoyed the "semi-formal workshop", and can't believe you did not direct me to the magnetic poetry wall.
Also got a decorated cup-cake. How cool is that?
There was nothing motherly about the writing stuff - you are now a tutor!
Tough with the washing though - I thought I had it bad. Though I have come home to a piece of paper which had important things written on it now decorated with stick figures saying "Pharty Power" and "Cool". Ah well.
Great photos, by the way.

Eryl Shields said...

Carole ~ I might have to draw the line at mending too, it's just taken me two hours to affix one small strip of Velcro and patch the knee of an overall.

The group was really good fun but the real excitement came when I got home. Explanation will come in a new post later.

Alesa ~ is there a god with extra brains? because I think those are what I need!

Jane ~ the group was fun with a variety of abilities. The term, 'learning curve' comes to mind!

Women do play paintball and we had a girl's birthday party the other day, they do play it differently though, shouting 'sorry!' when they shoot someone.

Savannah ~ I took the magnetic poetry board in then forgot to direct anyone to it, so it sat on a bench languishing! We did play 'The Exquisite Corpse' though which was fun.

You are so not a slacker! XXXXXXX

Nick ~ You are so Pythonesque!

I've given all the stuff we produced, that people didn't take home with them, to the community officer so have nothing to share this time, sadly.

Mary ~ if your husband wants to come paintballing he is more than welcome to come along, I reckon he'll be really good at it, the girls should come too, and you! The place is really gorgeous: ten acres of woodland on the Solway coast.

Kim ~ how good would that be!

Ivo ~ hello! and thank you for the compliment and invitation, I'll be over later.

UB ~ the very thought of having a tattoo makes me feel queasy, so I'm not surprised. What do you have?

Pat ~ I wish I could say I made the table cloth myself, or even inherited it, but I bought it from a junk shop. It is lovely isn't it?

Thanks for your business advice, we really are learning as we go so words of wisdom from the experienced are always welcome. I'll set up a file for such expenses. I have to meet the accountant soon.

Titus ~ thank you so much for coming. I completely forgot the poetry board behind me on the bench. Next time I'll try and put it somewhere more obvious and accessible.

The snoods could well be used for living out bizarre s&m fantasies, I'm sure!

I think I might start decorating my own important documents with stick figures, it might make we want to actually look at them.

I ate my cupcake before coming home. I really want to get some of those coloured powders, must google.

Alesa Warcan said...

The problem with extra brains is that they usually come with extra heads... : j

Lulu LaBonne said...

Snoods used to have such roomantic connotations in my mind - not any more.

I'm jolly impressed at your stoicism in the face of all the mendingandlaundry xx

Golden West said...

We are so lucky to have modern conveniences, such as washing machines, aren't we? Back in 1970, I lived for a brief time in Puerto Rico (6 week surf trip). There was no such thing as a laundry, so I did all the wash on a wooden scrub board in a large wide bucket, outdoors. Whenever I have the urge to grumble about any of my current chores, all I have to do is remember having to bang the door several times to scare the large tropical spiders away from the outdoor toilet. Ah,youth!

red-handed said...

It looks like you're the den mother to a SWAT team. As for the class: have fun!

newjenny said...

Martin Heidegger could do with being splattered by a paintball.

Eryl Shields said...

Alesa ~ I'm sure I could fit a little more in the head I've got. Though it would be good to have a laundry/cleaning/cooking head, a writing head, and a business head to swap pop on or off as needed. And during any free time I could go headless.

Lulu ~ me too! I've always fancied a squashy cashmere snood.

I wasn't being very stoical this morning, I nearly threw my sewing machine across the room, luckily it's pretty heavy.

Golden ~ I agree to an extent that we are lucky to have things like washing machines, though I often feel because of them we have given ourselves too many extra tasks. That said, I'd be dead by now if I actually had to dedicate myself to hand-washing and stove-blacking!

Red ~ you have made it sound so much more glamorous! I might have to take up cigar smoking to go with the image.

Eryl Shields said...

Jenny ~ I didn't see you there. I wonder if it would have helped him with all that nothingness?

Philip said...

good lord that's a lot of work. Weird freaky washing line too.
Eryl - go look at my blog - something for your there.

angryparsnip said...

Sorry I'm late internet problems again....
I remember doing lots of things for the company when I was first married, but you have so much hand work to do. argh !
I would love to paintball good fun !

It sounds like your class went well, still quite sad that I can't fly over for your class.

@Gloden West.
where I live we still have to shake anything that has been folded and put away, bang anything in the garage first and never ever pick up something off the ground before kicking it and always know were you put you hand as something that might bite you could be there.

Ah, life is strange, weird and quite wonderful !

cheers, parsnip

rochambeau said...

Hello Eryl,
It is a true pleasure to find you here!! A fun woman in Scotland.

I admire and smile that you are the Kitchen Bitch who ponders. You have a terrific sense of humor.


Eryl Shields said...

Philip ~ you've taken your hat off!

Parsnip ~ internet problems? Oh no! Do you have a webcam, perhaps we could do do a long distance class?!

Constance ~ thank you, such generous words; I must add you to my reader.

Dave King said...

I enjoyed this post so much I came back for a second read. And lucky I did, for I discovered that I had not left a comment the first time around.
If you lived near us your family would be my Grandson's heroes. That's for sure.

63mago said...

IMHO Heidegger was a babbler, never came to terms with his "Wordgeklingel". But maybe its a prejudice and a generation thing. Blumenberg for me, Heidegger this way.
Hope it went well.

(Sorry since yesterday in some blogger blogs my wordpress comments are not allowed in, it works strangely enough in others.)

Leni Qinan said...

Same problems here with the posting, it looks like Blogger and Wordpress are not on good terms lately.

I'd like to paintball some of my colleagues, just to release some of the stress they provoke me!

Your pics continue to be very nice -the clothhes hanging from the line, i love it!-

I'd love to join your workshop, if only I wasn't 1.000 miles away!

Elizabeth said...

I would love to read some of your poems and short stories.
Please sendsome ( if you want to!) to me


Eryl Shields said...

Mago ~ I am also experiencing problems with all things google at the moment.

Now, Blumenberg, this name is new to me: how exciting I will research!

It did go well, thank you.

Leni ~ google seems to be slightly potty at the moment, I can't leave comments on some blogs and couldn't even sign in to mine last night.

Paintball seems to be really big in Spain, we have heaps of Spanish face book fans.

Eryl Shields said...

Elizabeth ~ you snuck in there. I mostly write short fiction and will look some out for you, happily.

rochambeau said...

Change is good!
Even in the land of pinball~

susanna said...

Well, this post confirms that we really can meet the most fascinating people in the world through blogging. You have a paintball business! And I really like the images of all that tough weapons accessories drying out on the clothesline. Not the usual things you find in the laundry basket!

Kass said...

Reading about your duties at the paintballery makes me tired, but I love hearing what you'll be doing at the workshop. It sounds like great fun. Wish I could be there.

63mago said...

I had to deal with Blumenberg in a seminar.

Chrisy said...

The workshop sounds fabulous...look forward to coming back and reading the results...re the paintball thingo hope it's a successful business to make up for the yucky chores!

Eryl Shields said...

Constance ~ change is good indeed!

Susanna ~ I'm blushing here! But you're right: blogging makes all sorts of people accessible to all of us.

My laundry basket has taken on a rather Daliesque hue recently.

Kass ~ I can't tell you how much I wish you could have been there.

Mago ~ thanks for this, I will read and digest.

Chrisy ~ hello, thanks for stopping by. I'm not entirely sure what the results of the workshop were!

As for the paintball thing: you and me both.