SSi Forum

What do you do for a living?


With that, I would agree, but I read because I liked stories!! It started when my Mam got Ladybird books (only thing available during & just after the war) and read them to me. My Gran had a go and I hated it because she didn’t put expression in! My Mam basically acted the story like a radio play.
I can see that now, kids are raised with TV and computers and don’t need Mam or Gran, but I got interested in how the marks on the page made up words for stories because I didn’t want to have Gran reading when Mam wasn’t there!! The Coastguard’s son needed to see that reading was useful or enjoyable. I wrote a story about a boy who found a bottle bobbing in the sea and a note in it. He kept trying to get people to read it for him, but they were all ‘too busy’. At last a nice lady read it and they had to tell his Dad at once. The note had been written by another lad who had fallen while climbing on Worm’s Head (Gower). He needed to be rescued. Moral of story - well, don’t go off climbing on cliffs without telling anyone where you will be, but also, reading can be very useful indeed!
I wouldn’t have needed stickers - just the story! It depends on the child!


Wow! I love this thread, so interesting and so much inspiration!

Thank you all so much for being you, for being honest and open.

It’s been a busy weekend here and I’ve a mountain of leaves to gather in the garden today whilst the weather is dry. So will respond in full within the next 24 hours. Diolch! XxxX



Don’t rush @CatrinLliarJones. We ein’t gonna go anywhere. :slight_smile:

I have written two stories with learning point but unfortunately they’re both in Slovene and I just didn’t have the chance to read them to anyone. One is about the ink pen for left-handed which was left in the store for so long he just one day decided to flee away but fortunately he managed to return to the store where an old writter who writes the stories finally bought it … The other is about droplet which has been lifted from the lake by the Sun which was bored at the day and the droplett was carried away from the pure nature to the city in the poluted area where it was fortunately cleaned in the cleaning area and returned back to the nature … I made graphics for the stories by myself too.

Poiint of the post - story is quite important too especially for kids like I once was, who don’t see well and pictures/stickers doesn’t mean much to them. Catrin could do both, write stories (nature she loves gives plenty of material fro that) and make graphics for them or to accompany them. Making stories interactive is brilliant idea and writing them in bilingual chapters even better. If Catrin could find the time and narate her own stories too … it might be top notch! (still siriously) I’m big kid enough to listen to them all!


I started working at 14, on a farm and a paper-round. By the time I was sixteen I had added two more jobs, chip-shop on Saturday and I ran the garage fore-court of Tywyn’s Fiat dealership on Sunday. I was Beach patrol on Tywyn beach the following summer.
When the careers advisor came to school, we had been prepared so I knew that in my 10 minute slot in the caravan I would say:- “Act, teach acting, teach, or join the Navy”. I ended up in the Jolly Old Andrew, part of the crew of a ship belonging to the Grey Funnel Line. Initially as a Caterer, then as an electrical mechanic. During initial training I was offered a commission, as they thought they could teach me Russian, Arabic and how to decode stuff. I turned it down. (Long-standing habit of idiocy, still looking for an apprenticeship.)
Left the Navy in 86, joined McDonalds. 18 months later we moved to Anglesey where I worked in a supermarket. Two years later I returned to Portsmouth as a salesman in a camera shop. 18 months I was redundant and went to work on a mushroom farm. 18 months later I was redundant again and went to work in an electrical retailer. 2 years later virtually the whole company got made redundant and I got a job selling furniture. Lasted 2 months and got a job in a different camera shop. Decided to go to Uni (95) to get a decent job. One year later I had done an access course and had applied to CHIHE. 2000 saw me emerge qualified but fatherless, Dad died after losing an eight-year battle with leukaemia. I suspected he was hanging on till I had finished my degree work and mum confirmed this. Unfortunately she did not wait to tell me until after he died, so when I went into his bedroom to tell him I had handed in my last piece of work, it felt like I was giving him permission to die. Teaching was a dream and a nightmare. After three years in the worst school in Hampshire, I went down the supply route, but had good experiences and realised it wasn’t me. Got another full-time job after replacing a teacher on a long-term basis. But after being bullied, I ended up burning up my short-term memory. Union, left that year, very small payout, AMH psychological Services. Still needed to earn money, so supply teaching for a while. Family life and everything else got right on top of me, ended up moving out and in with my brother who himself had split with his wife a couple of years before. He moved out leaving me on my own, still doing supply work. Decided to go back to my roots and wondered about returning to Tywyn. Decided to finish learning Welsh and found SSiW. Was voted into the team of Angels and have blessed and loved the place ever since, although I do occasionally miss the Virtual Bar. (Must make a thread.)
After a year apart, I returned to my wife, as I always loved her really, I just needed some cave time I suppose, as I was totally worn out. Which turned out ok, as I turned back to music, where you can find amazing amounts of advice if you are wide-eyed about it. I love Johnny Cash, but the subject matter of some of his songs can be considered a little down-beat… On the upside, I found Meinir Gwilym and Siglo dy Sail. And I had the opportunity to thank her in person last weekend for one line in particular:- “Cloi’r drws yr hengell ag yna rhywun yn dy lusgo di i’r golau’n well” - “Close the door of the old cell and then someone drags you to a better light”. Can’t hear that song without painful memories. Anyway, I thought I’d try teaching part-time and then full-time but it was “doing my head in”, so I left to become self-employed as a handyman. After a year I decided I was not good enough so I took up driving a lorry. Small ones at first, then middle-size ones and tonight I’m sat in the seat of a 44 ton artic. And I need to do the curtains up and get back to Southampton, please excuse me for now. More later. Message so far, there is always something else and if at first you don’t find it, try a different tree.


Tatjana, I love the sound of your stories. They are very imaginative. Unfortunately, I don’t speak Slovene, but if ever you decide to translate them into English, I would be delighted to help you to express them, to make them great in English. It would be small recompense for all your efforts in sharing and promoting my books.


I see it’s been several days since anyone added to this post, but thought I’d throw in my two cents. I think if we ever met @CatrinLliarJones we’d get on well with each other, I have very similar interests. I’m also at a bit of a cross roads, currently I’m on the dole, and have been for some time, but I’m using this time, despite having huge financial stress to shift into what I feel is my life purpose. I’m an artist, a painter, but I’m single without kids, so it’s easier I guess for me to just do as I like, but I feel very strongly that we should all pursue our passions, and try not to emphasise money…like the old saying ‘do what you love, and the money will follow’

I have also been on a of a journey of self-discovery…I also was bullied in school and struggled a great deal. I went to College originally with a major in music but ended up changing to art, as that was about all I felt I could do properly and it came easy for me. I ended up dropping out, I was too far behind in all my other subjects and all my friends were graduating so I felt I needed to leave. I was 22 then and I pretty much quite painting…instead I did all sorts of crazy things, and some travelling. I went back to school for graphic design and moved to Canada but I also dropped out of that…

Anyway not to go into my whole life story, about six and a half years ago I moved here to Australia (I’m originally from the states) …I was working as a stable hand, but after several injuries and a few broken bones, I knew I had had enough… so a little over a year ago after being on workers comp, again, this time for a broken finger, I quite my job and went on holiday to the UK, when I came back I had nothing, so I ended up on the dole, but I felt so strongly that this was finally my time to allow myself to accept that I’m an artist, and I’ll never be happy unless I’m creating. So here I am at 39 years old and I’ve finally come back to art, which I knew all this time deep down was my calling…

I always asked myself, if I were to die tomorrow, what would be my biggest regret…for me it was not sharing my paintings and the stories behind them with the world. I don’t know if this kind of question helps… but anyway thanks for everyone who has shared, I love reading everyone’s stories on here, I also have a great curiosity for the journeys of others, I think it helps tremendously. :slight_smile:


That’s a fascinating and brave story, Emilie - thank you so much for sharing it with us, and I hope you find fulfilment and joy with your art - do let us know how it goes… :slight_smile:


Late to this, and shy about sharing but I do want to say that being a mum is way too under-rated. You are giving your children so much as a creative, fun-loving person and although it doesn’t pay the bills it does give two people a huge head start in learning to live a happy, creative, love-giving life.

I had to give up a teaching job I loved due to ill health. Also, I was a very energetic person and couldn’t be that anymore. It’s been difficult, as unlike many people here I am not naturally creative and finding ‘passive’ alternatives to the life I had was not easy.

Creative-wise, it seems it is a career where networking is very important and can lead to unexpected futures. I took up writing (I’m mediocre at it, but it’s the most creative I can be!). From a long, winding road of connections I got the chance to make a couple of short films and, if I’d had the energy/ drive could have done more. These came out of meeting people at various writing courses and doing particularly well with a project with people I’d never met before. I’ve also developed a couple of art projects for people with autism, again by knowing people who know more than me about how to make it happen. Having these opportunities could have set me on a new career path, but I’m not in a position to want/need/be able to peruse that now. But they have made life interesting…

If you can get in the loop by going on courses, meeting like-minded people, sharing your talents then I reckon, having all that talent, these (unpaid) activities might just lead you to somewhere you don’t even know you want to go!

And I know it’s not easy, and it can feel endless, but enjoy this time with the kids - it really does pass quicker than a blink!


Yes, this, a thousand times this… :slight_smile:


I have only just read this. Its made me cry. Its exactly in teaching whats happening to me.

Believe in yourself. You have a lovely husband and children. I’ve met you all. It was a pleasure.

Success is about you. You and aran have brought pleasure to many.


This is a fascinating topic.
For years i went from dead-end job to dead end job, largely for two reasons. One i was trying to do what people expected me to do (bad reason) and chronic anxiety (undiagnosed).
The answer was do what you want to do. which for me was biological science. However goign through A B.Sc and an M.Phil, left me with no savings at all and things were becoming a struggle.
I still yearn to get back into science, even if the pays not great (I’m still a few years off the decent wages and that is getting more competitive every year). so in the meantime, I’m finally doing a ‘proper job’ to hopefully begin to have some savings again his year, and plan doing something that will satisfy me, rather than pay the rent. Currently i work in space planning (not that exciting, it’s deciding of layout of shops and deciding what to oput on shelves):

Do you work from home or away from home?
Away, in Cardiff, a 15 minute drive in the mornings, which is 45 minutes in the evening (traffic). almost everything is computer based, so some days I work from home. I could probably work most days at home if I had child care responsibilities.

Are you full or part time?

Full time
Have you been in the same career since leaving school/college/university Or have you changed jobs a lot??

Certainly not, some teaching, some health care, Check-out boy in a supermarket, bar work , call centres. Moving town far more often than i’d like, never settling, which has curtailed my social life, ability to find a partner a lot.

Does or has illness or disability ever affected your work/career?

Yes, anxiety
Have you ever had dramatic career changes?

All the time.

How do you juggle work and family life?

By not having a family. Potentially I could, but i would need to build up savings to make it possible.



I am absolutely overwhelmed by the responses to this thread. Diolch yn fawr iawn to you all for opening up and taking the time to contribute. I really appreciate your honesty and willingness to share.

I’ve found this thread not only really interesting to read, but also very inspiring. It constantly surprises me how much some of us have in common and how very different many of us are as well. What a set of interesting journeys we’ve all had. It makes me feel that any of us can do anything if we set our hearts and minds to it.

My aim is to answer as many individual replies as I can, as I started to do some time ago. But alas, time seems to run away with me and I’m finding it difficult to catch up! But I will get there.

One thing that always surprises me about life, is how very fast it moves, how volatile it is and how quickly things change.

Since I started this thread and opened up about my dilemma, I seem to have gotten myself a kind of a job, but quite by accident. Well almost by accident.

The ‘job’ in question has something to do with writing and it’s something I’m feeling very excited about. It should give me focus, food for thought, direction and allow me to take a bite of the apple to see if I like the taste. But that’s all I can say for now.

I hope to be able to come back to you very soon with more detail. But in the meantime I’m going to have to be highly secretive… :wink:

Thank you all again and I promise I shall keep trying to find time to answer all these really wonderful individual posts as soon as I can. Diolch!!!



I think this is how all the best things happen. I’m also in the changing-direction mode at the moment (mid-life crisis?), and it’s scary. But the alternative is doing nothing, and that wasn’t tenable.

Keeping everything crossed that this is the path you were looking for, Catrin. Good luck!


Well done you! Can’t wait to hear what it is you will be doing . It’s a bit mean of you to tease us with all this clock and dagger stuff (but that’s what makes you a successful writer, I’m sure, so all power to your elbow :dizzy:)
So busy trying to figure out what it might be I simply can’t concentrate on my SSi lessons. :wink:


Time reveals it all so I’ll wait patiently and aim all my good energies toward your possibilities/dreams/wishes to come true. If anybody deserves something really really good to happen then that’s you @CatrinLliarJones . (ahd I honestly mean it).


I have worked as a male carer for 30 years I am dyslexic and no education self taught everything I know … I find working in care is natural to me and I enjoy it … when I started it was a very female environment still is but not as much … I would love to do a new career … but don’t know anything else … working as a male carer has taught me how life is so short and grab every opportunity when it comes


You are doing a difficult and essential job that most of us would run a mile from! Da iawn ti! I admire you!


Exciting update here!!!


Diolch! XXX


Hi Cathrin, I am Italian but live in North Wales were with Richard my partner have tourist business ( . I started learning Welsh after an idea come to my mind for a North Wales saga a bit of sort of “Outlander” Wales style. I need an Author for my 4 characters. I have no time, nor I am any good at writing. Beside I am now only lesson 10 of the first level of the course and we need a good knowledge of the language and the history to write it. I was wondering if you are interested in writing a Saga and wish to have a chat with me about it. Paola