So, the decision was taken to sell, and we quite quickly sold everything, enabling all the family shareholders to be paid their share.

Another Unexpected Surprise

My parents surprised us when they decided to sell Woodbourne Road (the House my grandfather had built) where Rayner and I grew up, after 71 Hamilton Avenue, as it was far too big for just the two of them, Rayner and I both had our own children, (my sister was married and living in Sausalito, California) and Trudy and I were settled living in Birmingham.

But the bigger surprise was when they told us, that they then preferred to emigrate to live in Marbella. They had found a fabulous, larger apartment in La Alcazaba, where for many years we had all been for holidays, as they had owned a nice holiday apartment in this beautiful development. At the time we had no idea that one day we would have a home there too.

My Dilemma

My share was a nice lump sum from the Jacey Group, but not enough to live on for long without continuing to earn a living. Suddenly, for the first time, I was out of work aged over forty and not sure what to do!

I felt rather panicky and worried as this was the time of a rather bad recession, which had hit the UK, Michelle and Jason were only 10 and 8 at this time. But I would never have guessed how I would end up with so many different business hats!

New Ventures

I was often involved in two, or even three things at once, because times were hard and there were even worse recessions in 1990 and 2008 (when unemployment and manufacturing was hit badly). Answering the phone became difficult as I was not always sure which business was appropriate. To explain I had a photographic studio, I was selling insurance, publishing CD-ROMs, whilst running a sunbed business, all at the same time!

Thinking about all I have done, although I never made any big money (certainly nothing like my friend Paris Moayedi's millions), I did manage to provide enough for us to continue with a good lifestyle and to enjoy a high standard of living.

Some of My Own Handworks

I did not make many things, but I took some classes in wood carving and metal work, and I carved a couple of my own original style of netsuke.

One of them was carved out of a small piece of ebony wood, that I used to create a stylised bat, having seen an ivory stylised owl that sold in auction for over £10,000. The other one was of a horse in mahogany wood, but it was not particularly good.

I also made out of a walnut shell, a tiny lacquer box with a ladybird on the lid, just for fun.

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