Monday, March 19, 2007

All at sea

I've mentioned in the past how I reached a very low ebb in my life when a business I owned got into serious trouble. This was back in the early nineties when the price of oil fell below 10 dollars a barrel and work dried up. Every cloud has a silver lining of course, and my novel A Half Life of One was born out of the experience.

Well, I kept that business going - I had no choice - and gradually things improved as the dollar price of a barrel of oil rose and work in the industry recovered.

Last week I sold the business. It's a pretty good business now, with a good reputation, a great workforce and a strong order book. I'm rather proud of it in fact. Negotiating the sale was a pretty emotional event for me, and not just because of the legal and accounting morass I had to wade through to complete the deal. My hand shook as I signed the sales deeds. At last I was free. A huge weight fell from my shoulders. I stumbled back into the light.

I feel like a prisoner who's been set free after years of incarceration. Disoriented. A little scared. Angry. Bitter. All those lost years.

It's going to take me a while to get my bearings. I'm a little shell-shocked right now. Yet again I'm at a crossroads in my life. I've lost my sense of direction. That first step on the road back...I don't even know if it's the right road. There are no signposts.

Not for the first time in my life I'm all at sea.


  1. Congratulations! Enjoy it--soon enough the new ruts will form, and you'll have to crack another pot. Meanwhile, isn't it funny how alive you feel?

  2. Good luck Pundy with anything & everything you choose to do. Perhaps it may help to make your own signposts. I'd love the sense of adventure.

  3. Wait, be patient, breathe - the signposts will come, and at the moment you need to recover.

    Glad you are around, I've got some celebrating to do tomorrow!

  4. The early 90's were a nightmare in publishing, too, in the US. I came to know what "recession" really meant as almost everyone I knew lost his or her job, including the WW of P. A typical Wall Streeter's ad in the The New York Times? "1990 Jaguar, loaded, take over lease." Hard, hard times.

    Congrats on the sale. I hope you got your price. (Crikey, those Americans are so crass!) Though I don't know how you could be recompensed for the kind of anxiety I'm sure you felt 24/7.

    Go fly fishing someplace exotic. No need to push any ghillies into the stream.


  5. Hm, Bill. I wonder why I can soooo identify with your "at sea" feeling right now?

    Maybe you will get a cool new book idea out of it! I suggest the title: DAYS AT SEA. Or maybe SEA DAYS. Or even SEASICK. If it were me, I'd try to throw mermaids or dolphins in there, too. But that's just me.

    Good luck with your new freedom. I agree with what susan said: make your own signposts along the way. So much funner. :-)

  6. I think most importantly you and your wife should go and stay somewhere beautiful and reflect on the experiences that made you worried sick, and then laugh at them, and get boogled, and possibly dance if you can, and then cry! I would cry a little bit, and then I would go and stand on the side of the coast and scream swear words at my business and then I would feel much better about that and possibly go and sit down with a book and grin myself silly.

  7. Good advice, Matthew. Except you haven't seen me dance. I'll give it a go, though. Thanks.

  8. Sorry, that last bit should have been "Thanks all." Your kind words are much appreciated.

  9. Anonymous9:17 am

    If you look over to your your other right ...yes see just behind that floating deck chair? Hi it's me....we'll talk more as I drift by from time to time. any sunscreen?

    Best S