Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Happy pottering!

Like many people my work depends on having a reliable computer. This wasn't the case when I left college, but it is now – things have changed beyond our imagination over the past 25 years. Learning new ways of working is hard enough, but the worry that suddenly and inexplicably high-tech kit can stop working at crucial moments is very scary. I feel very lucky that when I took the plunge and went freelance 19 years ago, I knew some people who would be there to help me sort out the stuff I didn't understand, leaving me time to concentrate on my work.

I'm not alone, there are many people out there who are grateful that when we were tearing our hair out in exasperation with a deadline looming and a computer that just isn't doing what it's meant to do, there was a calm and unruffled voice at the end of the phone "Bill . . ."

Yesterday I joined lots of those people at a local hotel for a surprise party for Bill, he has decided to click on the Retire button and spend his time just pottering – something he has wanted to do since he was 14!

Guest of honour was an ice aardvark, there doesn't have to be a reason – it just was! And Bill was delighted!

There's no need for anyone to panic as Bill's colleagues are still there running the company, which, this year, is celebrating its first 21 years. The voice at the end of the phone won't be Bill's but it will be calm and unfazed by whatever problem we have.

Thank you Bill . . . happy pottering!


  1. I don't need to rely on my computer for work but it has, none the less, become a major part of my life and, if it were to go wrong, I would feel severely disrupted so I can imagine the warmth and affection people feel towards Bill - and all the other 'Bills' around the place.


  2. What would we do without the 'Bill's' in our life!
    Love the Ardvark!!

    Vicky x

  3. He deserves his pottering time (I'm enjoying mine!) but you are lucky he has good skillful colleagues for you to call upon. Once you have used computers you can't go back!

  4. What a wonderful tribute to that Hero.

    In my work, I also am fortunate to be able to reach wonderful helpful folks when the unexpected computer problem occurs. There is nothing like hearing a calm voice at the other end of the phone line, particularly when that calm voice is connected to a wise, experienced brain.


  5. We all need a Bill! My OH is pretty good on the computer but like you my normal life depends on it now. I adore the aardvark.

  6. I hope Bill has a peaceful retirement - glad to hear the reins are being held by equally competent people :)

  7. A good IT expert is indispensable when you're self-employed. I work from home too and do masses of typing and research on the internet and when things go wrong, they go spectacularly wrong! Where would we be without our 'Bills'. I wish him many years of Happy Retirement.

    Jeanne x

  8. Hi Lucy - I don't often need to call for help - but sometimes things go spectacularly wrong!

    Hi Vicky - I must call in to your lovely blog more often. Yes we all loved the Aardvark

    Hi Veg Heaven - we all wished Bill many happy years of pottering. And I've already had help from the person whose stepped into Bill's shoes.

    Hi Frances - isn't it great to know there's a safety net?

    Hi Elizabethm - that ice aardvark really broke the ice at the party!

    Hi Feltmaker - I can recommend them, saved my bacon on many occasions over the years!

    Hi Jeanne - exactly! It's like cars, you know how to drive and the day to day basics, but when they conk out you need to call the experts.

    BTW I had a little note from Bill saying how much he enjoyed seeing everyone at the party. I'm sure we'll bump into him as he potters around Cambridge...



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