September Shorts: One Word at a Time
1993. I was working at Sainsbury's on the Beers Wines and Spirits aisle; full-time and back-breaking, loading up boxes of bottles, submitting orders, stacking shelves, staffing the aisle. I was paid weekly in cash - I think about £120. I hated the work and knew I had to get out of there. My plan was to live and work abroad; the south of France or Catalonia... but I only had £300, the remains of an insurance claim after my house was burgled in the last year of university.
Cut to today. I found the graph above on a recent clear-out; my save-to-escape plan from over 25 years ago. I have a friend who often refers to me as disciplined and I'd always taken it in good spirits then dismissed it. Looking back at my save-to-escape project however, I might have to concede he has a point.
The amounts look trifling now but they represented close to 40% of everything I earned. It's interesting to note I stuck to the weekly target for a grand total of *checks notes* um one week before slipping. I didn't stop though. Put in an emergency catch up plan - the shaded area - over Christmas and the line rose pretty steeply for a while there, until a significant setback (I recall nothing about it) in January.
By March I'd tripled my stash to £900. I got a job driving a van for a holiday company and moved out to Perpignan with my girlfriend. We ended up moving around, courier-ing a small campsite in the Pyrenees. My French got considerably better. So did my driving.
So there you go. Slowly, £40 at-a-time, I managed it. Nowadays I manage to finish things slowly too. A thousand words here, a couple of hundred there. Finishing things is what counts and September Shorts will be the same way this year - we'll get there, one blog post at a time.
See you tomorrow for the next one!
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