Perfect job.

It’s south of here but not much, it pays £20,000 a year and there is no way to spend any of it…

I visited this place once, years ago. A long boat ride out to it and you have to be back before sunset. Nobody gets to stay the night – except the manager. Next to the creepy ruined abbey and among the relics of the war years (pillboxes and tunnels, mostly). Sounds lovely. Think of the book-writing inspiration! Especially at night, when the wind moans across the gaping holes in those ancient walls, and howls to rouse the spirits of soldiers in the tunnels and trenches. At night, when there is nobody to call… Actually, there is a second manager on site and I’d probably turn them into a gibbering wreck with our first evening’s conversation. I’d keep doing that until they sent one I like.

If it had a reliable internet connection I’d be right in there. Unfortunately that is a big downside. What’s the point of having the time and the peace to write and write and write if you can’t show it to anyone for eight months? There’s no postal service so no way to send books off to publishers other than online, and that’s not reliable on that island.

But then, if it was reliable, ‘Rebecca’ would be three miles away from it. That’s even scarier.


16 thoughts on “Perfect job.

  1. Go on Leggy, admit it you’re tempted.

    The name could do with some work… how about the Grand Duchy of Ashtray? Wouldn’t take more than a few minutes to knock up a flag and to then phone Ban Ki-moon to tell him you’re going it alone, Promote the other manager to Customs Chief and impose your own import duties.


    • There are so many holes in that old abbey that careful measurement should reveal all the parts that are less than 50% enclosed. All those parts can then be designated as smoking areas. With ashtrays.

      Plenty of flag options around already. Smoking Hot’s smoking pirate is a great place to start.


  2. For £20K PA you could afford satellite broadband. I’m sure as “the manager” you would be able to find somewhere to hide a small dish (so long as it could “see” the South Eastern sky). I don’t imagine the council planners are going to be poking their noses around very often..


    • The dish could be mobile and only set out at night. As long as alignment can be set up on some kind of plug-in base. Nobody visits at night. Nobody is allowed to.

      So even if the council ran a trip to the island, it wouldn’t be there when they visited.


  3. You could always buy Flat Holm Leggy. Cardiff Council are trying to flog it off. No mention of the asking price, but the article I read said they were hoping to save £150,000 a year. If that’s the operating cost they can bugger off! It bloody well should have an Internet connection though, considering that Marconi sent the world’s first radio signals from there across to Penarth Head.


    • I noticed Flat Holm was for sale. The lighthouse on there is a listed building (the only other building is a pub, so I’d close the island and have a permanent smoky-drinky). Looking after listed buildings can be expensive, but I bet most of the maintenance costs involve pub licencing and food safety regulations. Dump all that, make it a private residence and put ashtrays in it.


  4. XX At night, when there is nobody to call… XX

    YY I leave before dark comes. We live in town. Nine miles. So there won’t be anyone around if you need help. We couldn’t even hear you, — no one could. No one lives any nearer than town. No one will come any nearer than that. In the night. In the dark.

    holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of XXXX XXXXX, and whatever walked there, walked alone.YY

    Tell from what book/film THAT comes then…. 🙂 🙂

    I take a bet you know it like the back of your hand, but….. 🙂


    • The Haunting of Hill House – a book and two films. I have the most recent film, I’ve seen the older film, but I haven’t read the original book. I think the films were just called ‘The Haunting’ but I’d have to delve through my boxes of DVDs to be sure of that.


      • I knew it….:-(

        I could not win a bet in a one horse race.

        The “origional” B/W version was bloody BRILLIANT! The newest version was called “Das Schloß” in German. Do not know what the title is in English.

        Not bad. But I will always go back to the origional.

        Also read the book. Unusualy, the film follows the book virtually (VIRTUALLY) perfectly.


    • I am seriously wondering whether my new experience in retail (dealing with customers is surely similar to dealing with tourists) will be of some help here. Also, being a writer might help. It will give them hope that their manager won’t go mad!

      I shall investigate…


  5. Hmm, 20,00 visitors per year for 20,00 quid;- are you sure you’d want to do this? ;=})
    Less in winter, more in summer – how many per day?

    “Drinking water as well as food has to be brought over from the mainland”

    Presumably, “grey” or waste water is available on-site for washing, then?

    Personally, I thought the news item link associated at the time I followed this was more apposite to the subjects usually discussed here…

    If the Soviets targeted Oxford & Cambridge back in Philby’s days for potential MI5 recruits, why not as well young doctors for a takeover of the ‘health’ system, separately… ?

    Much admired evidently by several and many British Doctors travelling to Russia, then.

    An infiltration and influence operation in Health over decades might reap… what is…


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