Category Archives: Uncategorized

Confusion, Customers and Covers

Fourteen hours have passed and the day is drawing to a close. I have been to work, cooked a massive stew (with potato, sweet potato, onions, carrot, parsnip, swede, lentils and turnip) and taken Number Two Son to work. As a result I’m feeling virtuous.

Tomorrow we will have vegetable soup, which will make me feel even more virtuous as it is full of veg and is a good use of leftovers.

I’m now watching TV,  which seems to be the theme of the day.

In the shop we’ve bounced from one problem to another for a couple of weeks now. The swearing customer, cancelled orders, non-paying customers and the so-called “defective coin” problem have passed, to be replaced by the negative stock situation.

Someone ordered seven Princess Diana coins on covers and I could only find five of them. In quantity, whilst I’m gripped by panic, they all start to look the same. It turns out we had sold the other two a month ago but, eBay, at the end of 30 days, had relisted the sold items again. It’s partly the fault of the system and partly my fault for using the wrong setting when loading the covers.


The Queen – Coin on Cover

Fortunately the customer is being quite cheerful about it.

The examples I’ve used have the Queen on them because those are the pictures I have, but they give an idea of what we are dealing with.

I did have to spend an hour going through all our drop down menus checking the settings. I seem to have set three incorrectly, but fortunately none of the others have sold anything. It’s all correct now, and it’s just gone midnight, so, though I was going to post this on Saturday, it will now be posted on Sunday, which may cause confusion as I have referred to “tomorrow” in my soup plans. I mean, of course, “later today”.

Such are the problems of late night posting.

White Rajahs and Other Stories

Today started with a blood test. I aimed for ten past seven to avoid the arguments we had last time and arrived at 7.16. Instead of the machine there was a box of printed cards, which didn’t inspire confidence. I took card number 18.

On a brighter note, there were only a few people waiting and when they called for Number 15 I realised some people were waiting for other things.

The day started to look better.

After a swift test I was able to get home quickly enough to take Julia for breakfast and then get her to work on time.

They are hoping to get the ticket machine fixed tomorrow. Apparantly it was chaos on Monday when it broke.

Taking things back to Monday night, the main news is that I’m booked in for a tooth extraction next Tuesday and a blood test on Monday – it needs to be within 72 hours of the extraction, though I’m not quite sure how it helps. I’m on anti-coagulants so I’m going to bleed. You don’t hear about too many people bleeding to death from tooth extractions so I’m not too concerned. If the dentist wants to worry that’s up to him. Or her.

They rang to arrange that just as I was leaving home for the monthly meeting of the Nottinghamshire Numismatic Society. The subject was The White Rajahs of Sarawak, and was very good. It was reasonably entertaining and I learnt quite a lot of interesting stuff. One of them lost an eye in a hunting accident when in his 80s. He was known for being careful with his money so popped down to the local taxidermist (he was living in Devon in the days when towns had taxidermists) and bought a job lot of glass eyes. His favourite, it seems, was an Albatross eye.

If he’d been poor he’d have been regarded as an idiot, but as he was rich, with a private kingdom, he was merely eccentric.



Outline of a Day

Got up.


Took Julia to work early.

Discussed setting Julia’s watch to the correct time.

Went home.

I then searched for the washing machine change, packed the washing and went to do the washing. I expect, due to a touch of dramatic foreshadowing there, that you had guessed that.

Planned next week’s menu.


Gave a lady change. I don’t normally do this, as I believe you should organise your own life, not expect me to do it, but she asked nicely.

Went round the duck pond. Reflected in a pensive and poetic manner.


Put four bags of old clothes in collection bin. Julia appears to have been hoarding clothes since around the turn of the century.

Went home.

Had curry for lunch (left over from earlier in the week).

Fell asleep.

Picked Julia up.

Fell asleep in front of TV.

Woke up.

Ordered pizza.

Only just posted before midnight!

The best laid plans…

Arnot Hill Park, Arnold, Nottingham

Arnot Hill Park, Arnold, Nottingham

Lost for Words

As usual I have so much to say that I’m running out of brain to process it all.

It rained this morning. It was heavy, it was windy and, apart from the temperature looked very much like a gusting tropical storm. And it was dark – more like evening than morning.

I had coffee in the garden with Julia in a cold metal container with no lighting and took several photographs. They have removed the bicycle and put up a Christmas Tree.

This is Julia’s work. Cold, wet and dark.

After that I went to work, packed some parcels, added some more items to the eBay shop and went home. There was slightly more to it than that, but nothing that I haven’t said before.

This is what my work involves – it’s warmer and drier but I can feel my will to live ebbing away. It’s also what the Queen does for a living. I think she probably comes out of this better than me and Julia.

Posting Challenge – Day 60

I’m over the hill and on the downward slope.

So is the posting challenge.

It’s a slightly blemished record, as I’ve only posted on 59 out of the 60 days, but I’m quite pleased with it. On the other hand, it is slightly annoying to have missed a day. You can probably tell this from the way I keep mentioning it.

What have I learned so far?

I suppose the main thing I’ve learned is not to set myself challenges, and definitely not to tell people about them. If I set myself any others I will make them shorter. When you hit a slump 100 days can seem like an eternity stretching ahead.

It has certainly made me post more, and I’ve been more disciplined about my posting, but I can’t honestly say I’ve improved. If anything the quality of the blog may have gone down as a result of writing short snippets just to hit a target. This isn’t a great loss as it wasn’t great literature or hard-hitting journalism to start with.

I’ve also had a good look at the stats, decided they mean nothing (which I sort of knew anyway), started to get back into reading other blogs and begun to get the site under control.

When I started the blog I did it partly to get back into writing practice and that seems to have worked. I started the 100 day challenge because I seemed to be getting into bad habits and I wanted to start writing more regularly.

Discipline and quantity have both increased with the challenge, as has the average number of readers. It’s not a bad result. It would be nice to see an improvement in writing quality but I’m not sure you can do that in 100 days.

I shall now insert a few more photos from yesterday, as I’m a cynic and cute animal photos always increase visitor numbers. When I was more involved with Twitter I could predict the increase when I had a lamb as the Featured Image. Puppies and small children were quite good too. Piglets, goat kids and chickens didn’t show much of an increase, if any, and it was a cat-free farm so I was never able to test the kitten effect.


Seals at Donna Nook, Lincolnshire

Looking back, I should have seen the potential for problems. A farmer who doesn’t have cats is not a man to be trusted.


It’s not dead, it’s just very relaxed

I promise you the one on its back is alive, it actually turned over while I was watching it.


Sea Buckthorn, Lincolnshire Coast

Finally, a flying bird of the day as an homage to Tootlepedal. It’s a female House Sparrow. And it’s slightly blurred.


House Sparrow


Bad Back Blues

I woke up this morning…

That was as good as it got. Having gone to bed early I woke after six hours, visited the bathroom, thought about getting up, decided that 5.45 was too early and went back to bed.

At some point between then and 7.00  something happened to my back that rendered me unable to stand upright and deprived me of most of the strength in my left leg.

It was not a good start to the day, which worsened when I overbalanced in the kitchen, found it tricky to get out of the car and, finally, found myself unable to get out of my chair to serve customers. It was painful and embarrassing.

Julia rang me in the afternoon in answer to my anguished text messages, and agreed that a takeaway was in order and that she would sort out the hot water bottle for me.

As I put the phone down I realised the pain had gone. I don’t know if it was coincidence or whether Julia cured me, but next time I’m ill I’ll be giving her a ring before I do anything else.

It has been a very strange day.


Fuchs, McMahon and Buddle

Sound like a form of lawyers, don’t they? Well, they would have done before the days of allowing ambulance chasers to advertise. These days lawyers are called Accident Solicitors Direst and Injury Lawyers 4U. I blame the Americans…

The answer to yesterday’s question is that the have all had a genus of flower named after them – Fuchsia, Mahonia and Buddleia.