I have never had a hobby in my life, as there never was a spare moment since I left school, my work came before everything. That was the way of life I had chosen for myself and I loved every minute of it.
As soon as I left Denny High School I started up as a self-employed window cleaner which was great in the nicer weather but terrible in the winter when there was a hard frost or ice. Through customer requests I started carpet cleaning which I could do in the winter months instead, as usual being a perfectionist word quickly spread and my carpet cleaning service flourished.
When I was 20 years old I joined Central Scotland Fire & Rescue Service as a fully retained firefighter at Denny Fire Station, so now when I was either at work cleaning carpets locally during the day or at home in the evening my pager/bleeper would sound for a call out, the calls came often, around 450 – 500 per year.
For 16 years I had my own business and during 13 of those I was also responding to call-outs too, I was really busy night and day, working up to 90 hours a week was not uncommon for me, I was even working the day I got married, worked up until 12:30pm married in the church at 2pm.
Anyway, due to family pressure I eventually closed my cleaning business to became employed by Munters MCS, now Polygon ( who I used to clean water damaged carpets, oriental rugs and upholstery for ) , they are a large water damage restoration company, I was all over Scotland and North of England driving 1000 miles per week, my future was very secure.
I loved my new job, however, a couple of years later I had an accident at work, I received a nasty back injury. Now living with chronic back pain which rules my life, very limited mobility and very depressed.
My life was pure hell, until a few years later I got a small lathe and started turning very small items from wood, this raised my mood and I started to feel not so useless anymore. This also helped focus my mind and was a form of distraction so I was not thinking about the pain I was in, it also helped a little with the depression as I was being productive, along with breathing exercises learned at the pain clinic I can work for short periods before I have to stop. Not quite the way I expected my life to go, but I suppose it could have been worse!
Most days I am not able to go out to my workshop due to the pain in my back, this dramatically lowers my mood, and frankly I can not be bothered with life, let alone my hobby. But on the days I feel up to it, I really get a buzz from being constructive, I don`t feel quite so useless anymore, life becomes a little better, and I am a little nicer to be around.
Copyright © Mark Ligget
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