And then ...
I decided to retire. This was a really big deal for me and a decision I never thought I'd make. To begin with I didn't think my state pension would bring in as much money as my earnings as an artist but when it arrived in September I was very pleased to find that it does. So no drop in living standards ... so I don't need to make a mug ever again if I don't want to? Or a cereal bowl? Or promise stock to anywhere?
What's not to like? I always said I'd never retire because I wouldn't want to. Finding out I do want to was something of a surprise.
Let's be clear - you don't retire from being an artist. An artist is not an occupation, it's who you are. I'll always be one. And I suppose I'll still do accounts every year, since I can sell the work I've made and will do. I can make more things if I feel like it. I can make different things. I can work in different materials. I might write more (or not). So technically, as far as tax goes, I suppose I won't be retired as long as I'm keeping accounts and selling stuff.
What will I be doing? I'm surprised to find that the first answer that pops into my head is that I'll be spending more time on my garden. Quite traditional. I'll be making sure I have time for my friends and will continue to visit my elderly parents at least once a month. And after that ...
I don't know!
This makes me happy.