In Lieu Of a Summons from the UAE, I Am Happy to Remain At Home, Support Peoples Web Pages and Beware Of Squirrels

Autumn falls upon the Black Country and we make ready to secure down the hatches to survive inclement weather such as screaming gales, monsoon-like cloudburst and icy spells as the leaves colour and plummet. Hats are on in preparation for a deluge of conkers and acorns and you can’t move in the garden for squirrels burying the winter stock.

All of this is highly acceptable to one such as myself, undertaking harmless and commendable SEO work and able to sit in the home nerve centre and watch proceedings unravel outside of the window as well as the avian hordes on their exiting migration to sunnier climes. I cannot say I blame them and fondly of November holidays to the Abu Dhabi to visit my parents when they lived there. Those days are long gone though naturally I would accept any Emirate based summons that could require occasional site visits with associated membership of The Club, business class on Emirates, suite at the Crown Plaza. Ah yes, I can imagine it easily. Or perhaps not.

Alas, the occasional shout from Arabia for IT support is less than probable to sound which is not really a disaster as I greatly prefer to hold to that on a local level. If a pc is perpetually crashing or needs rebuilding, a printer needs putting in then I’m more than happy to step in. I’m always happy to do a bit of IT support as the reasons for something messing about are normally straightforward to trace and do, but if you don’t know how to do it yourself then it’s an insoluble problem and you need somebody who does.

However, for the extended period, I will go on with the SEO that I really enjoy and try to enhance business in the Black Country by putting them into the top page of search results for Google. After that of course, it’s down to the site to retail it’s products but I like promoting the link to the site in front of the customer at the highest point of their search. It’s enjoyable to do apart from anything else but the greatest reason I like it so much is that, with the first Mrs Izzard lately being treated for breast cancer requiring plenty of trips to hospitals, I have to be able to drop everything at the drop of the hat protecting my bonce from gravity fuelled conkers and acorns. Not to mention the chasing tree rodents.

Thankfully, cancer treatment in this bit of the Black Country has proved to be highly scrupulous and notable and so long as I can continue to be able to be there for her during this unpleasant phase, I will be happy.


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I’d Far Prefer To Be Swindled And Continue As A Worthwhile Person With A Spotless Character Than Like The Brothers Grim Who Conned Me

Alright, so the Kalmindon catastrophe is concluded. I know I’ve been ripped off by a pair of very clever brothers with a very creditable story, it’s cost me three grand that I shelled out for SEO training that I could have downloaded from the internet for free, with no chance at all of the claimed clientele that was ‘guaranteed upon course completion’ being seen. They were supposed to have a ‘pool of clients’ waiting to have their webpages optimised and they would just pair me up with the ones either in or nearest to the Black Country.

Of course the spiteful thing, which is the same for all of us who have been used, is not the loot that we all paid out to the Brothers Grim, but the funds we used up in the meantime. Because they gave us a site of their own to work on which needed loads of articles, 50 in my case, in the anticipation that a paying client was imminent and I could begin to generate some sort of income. In my case that means that since I got on with the training in April I have been using up my own money to support us during that period and now here we are in November and it is just about all gone. Happily, the cost of living in the Black Country is much lower than it would be in many parts, but it couldn’t continue forever, and it hasn’t.

But, what I have come away with is the knowledge that I wasn’t alone and some clever people have also been swindled equally so I am not the only prat. The other is that I have learnt how to do SEO, something that I did not in fact know existed up to the episode but now I get it and really enjoy doing it. To me, SEO is the ideal occupation as my Mrs is undergoing chemotherapy at the moment which means frequent journeys to hospitals around the Black Country and I can go off for a when needed to go with her.

I had already been practicing some IT support for small businesses in the Black Country though it only ran to the occasional call to repair a printer or resuscitate a crashed pc, not as regularly as I’d like obviously. But what I can do now is to mix both skill sets and offer SEO and IT support and hopefully gain regular business coming in.

But while I try to find something, I may have to see about a position at the Scottish burger restaurant or at a restaurant somewhere but it is not likely to help very much as the first Mrs Izzard is about to go on half pay from November as she has been off sick for treatment for six months now. Which is of course another rather regrettable case of timing as far as the cheating of time and money by Kalmindon is concerned.

So, although I’m not bred into the Black Country I have found them to be largely jolly and positive folk, and I will try to adopt that outlook because I am, after all a far better person than the excrescences who most likely feel very smug and clever at having diddled me and the gang. But then that is perhaps how sociopaths work and I am a good chap. So there. *Blows a raspberry!*

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My Job Life Has Taken Many Sideroads

I have domiciled in the Black Country now for 16 years. It’s odd as that’s longer than I spent at school and yet it still feels so fresh and new. In fact, I went to a school reunion last weekend and it was excellent seeing old friends grown up as I haven’t seen any of them from the day I walked away from school. I’m very skilled about being bad at losing contact with old friends and not keeping in touch. I tend to find that you think ‘I wonder how so and so is’ and suddenly realise that I haven’t spoken to them in five years and feel too guilty to pick up the phone. Thank God for social networking!

I travelled up here at first when I started freelancing when I was working for IBM on a job for the Midlands Electricity Board which was great fun. Since then my career has taken many alterations in both job and geography, but these days I am running a firm that offers SEO and IT support services to small companies in the Black Country area and the larger West Midlands. It means that I can work at home which is actually the single place I’ve ever wanted to work. I have been fortunate enough that contracting has allowed me to see other places and I’ve been to Brentwood, Coventry, Newcastle upon Tyne and, most gloriously, Canberra before an all too short return to the North East.

But I love being in the Black Country and driving out and discovering it. It really is extremely beautiful, much like my beloved Surrey, but different naturally in that we are slap in the centre of the Industrial Revolution. We do not have to travel far to be surrounded by the signs of bygone times. This section of the Black Country was regarded for chain and glass making. The chains and anchors for the Titanic were manufactured here and the movement of them to the railway was recently re-enacted for a Channel 4 documentary. There are also canals anywhere you go relating the coal, iron and steel production areas to the wider world.

Most of it has now faded of course, although specialist metal bashing and steel product makers still work. The modern Black Country now revolves around small industrial businesses, high end services and some dependence on the motor industry which continues t be prominent in the West Midlands with Jaguar Land Rover, and Rover also making a low level return.

For me though, I am more than happy now working for myself, using the skills that I’ve learnt in my working life and using them on my own terms. I was trained how to do IT support many years ago when I was employed by British Gas and took a break from programming to have a go at something fresh, and that has dwelled with me through the period where I have been able to repair problems for colleagues I was working with quickly and not need to call out the support teams. SEO I have learnt in later time and have found that it is wholly matched the way I like to work and have always had an aim to do as I have always loved creative writing.

So for the long term, I will keep my focus on SEO with a little IT support as and when required.


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Acting From The Homestead Means That I Get A Better Opportunity Of Maintaining My Clients

I was feeling a bit off yesterday. Not quite the complete ticket, a little unbalanced in the person as it were. So in the afternoon I returned to my bed and grabbed some sleep for a couple of hours. When I woke up I felt far better, fresh and revived and went back to work. Which was all easy to do as I labour at home and for myself so I gave myself leave, carried on with operations performing superior SEO and IT support services to businesses in and about the Black Country.

It is an absolute benefit that the home-worker has. If I was located in an office somewhere I would have either had to attempt to fight my way through the day feeling rotten and very likely gradually getting worse, or choose to toss in the day, make my apologies and go home without the possibility of coming back and continuing where I left things. Plus I’d have the annoyance of having to submit forms, maybe have to endure a ‘return to work interview’ as I really have to have my intelligence insulted as a penance for feeling under the weather. But, in doing SEO work I can just save my work, crawl under the quilt, pick a quality snooze and when I awoke, cross the landing to the office and carry on.

It would not have been so if I’d been on an IT support call of course, although the decision would have been to complete the appointment I was on and then either decide to put off any more appointments or break for a breath of air or a snooze in the car and then carrying on. It would also depend on the location in the Black Country I was of course, if I was near to home I could always scurry back for my nap and let coming appointments know that I was going to be held up, though of course if there was a drastic emergency situation somewhere then naturally I would need to be really unwell to let them down.

It is of course the endless conundrum of the freelancer. No work, no money and if you let clients down then they will always have the choice to find somebody else that they could consider to be more reliable, that’s basic business sense.

So, whether trying to promote a website with SEO, or keeping their systems and machinery going by giving IT support, feeling unwell does not need to stop me helping my clients’ business, which being office bound probably would, which is for the best.

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