A Few Loose Ends

We went to the garage this morning – Julia had a ride on the ramp and I watched as the car cost me another £65.

Julia bought breakfast at McDonalds – yes, I’m ashamed of myself – and I dropped her off at work before going to work myself.

We only had two questions to answer and three parcels to post so I’d finished by the time everryone else turned up.

We sold one of these today – less than 24 hours after putting it on. Judging from the poertraits it commemorates the marriage of a monkey to an unsuccessful professional pugilist.

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Royal Wedding medallion

Work went, as work does – a few customers, sorting some halfpennies, answering the phone, more things to put on eBay, then, as we were getting ready to go, two people bought things and we had two more parcels to do.

Back at home, I picked up my post, which informed me that I’d passed my blood test and have three weeks before the next one.

Eating tea and relaxing, I was distirbed by a text asking for a lift. Number Two son is on the way back from Manchester airport after returning from his German holiday.

And that, I think, is everything up to date.

Well, not quite. Just had a phone call to say No2 son is waiting in Sheffield after the Nottingham train was cancelled.

And while I think of it – I had an email from the farm (the venue for the original Quercus group). The ariel photo shows many changes, but the song remains the same. They have another community group running and are once again asking for cash. two years after getting rid of us they don’t seem much further forward. Maybe there will be a different outcome this time. Maybe…

I’ve blocked them from sending more emails.

 

A Crowded Day…

I had a blood test this morning so I hauled myself out of bed at 6.30 and muttered my way around the house.

By 7.05 I was yelling abuse at someone who was having trouble lining up his car to take a ticket from the machine and gain access to the car park. Unfortunately I’d already wound my window down in readiness to reaching for my ticket so he heard more of my comments than I’d really intended. The atmosphere, as we stepped out of our cars after parking, was a touch frosty.

At 7.10 I was ready and waiting with ticket 110 clasped in my hand. At 7.14 they called ticket 103. I read some more of my book on Vikings and watched the big screen with their advert for the NHS. I’m not sure why they need to spend money on promotional films, it’s not like there’s a rival health service or anything.

They got to me just after 7.30, which wasn’t too bad. I think I probably passed, as the blood seemed to flow well. In fact it was a bit tricky to stop it. There has been no phone call so I’m hoping to get at least two weeks before another test.

Back at the car I checked my leaky tyre and noticed it was looking quite flat. This only affected the bottom of the tyre but these things have a tendency to spread. As I’d blown it up less than 24 hours earlier I decided action was needed.  My original plan had been to slot it in between jobs in the afternoon, but this clearly needed action now.

My local garage opens at 7.00 so they put the spare on for me. There were two nails in the leaky tyre, and, to make things worse, considerable wear inside the tyre where the tracking appears to be out. I’m going to pick up the new tyre tomorrow morning and it looks like I’ll be getting the tracking done soon too. I’m definitely not buying expensive tyres again – I’ve had nothing but bad luck with this set.

After that I had time to impersonate Hemingway writing in a Parisian cafe. I was actually in McDonalds in Arnold but my intentions were good. I was catching up on my haiku challenge, which I mentioned a couple of days ago.

On Sunday I didn’t write any, so today I have twenty to do. At the time of writing I have done nine. This isn’t too bad as it means I’m pretty much in the same position as I was yesterday – just a day behind. I’m seven days in and have two hours to write thirty three lines of non-rhyming poetry. They don’t even need to be good. That shouldn’t be a problem – disappointing haiku are one of my specialities.

I will cover this question of quality in a post later in the week.

We had thirteen parcels to pack this morning, plus a few minor jobs, which neatly filled the three hours.  I posted the massive lot of royalty medals just before lunch and notice we have sold one already.

On my return home I spent an hour or so reading WP, including catching up with escapetothebarn.

Next I had to drop Number Two Son off at the station as he’s flying back to Malta from Stanstead tomorrow. Julia had some extra hours today so it was just a short trip to The Meadows where I waited 20 minutes for her to finish and took some pictures through the rainy windscreen. The “Meadows” is not a very accurate description.

I wasn’t sure if I had enough rain in the picture so I took one of my mirror too.

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Rain in a rear view mirror

We had chicken thighs and mediterranean vegetables for tea, mainly because we had a lot of courgettes to eat. We also had rosemary from the garden and ready chopped garlic from a jar.

I’ve decided that life is too short to chop garlic.

 

More Moaning about Medallions

If there’s one area where the UK can be said to lead the world it’s the production of tawdry royal souvenirs. Many of them, well, the ones relating to royal marriages anyway, have outlasted the subject of their commemoration many times over.

Here are some souvenirs of short-lived royal marriages. If there was any justice you’d be able to send them to Buckingham Palace for a refund.

There is, I seem to recall, something called the Royal Effigies Act, but it seems to have been replaced by the Trade Marks Act 1994. When you look at the royal effigies in these picture you have to wonder if making them look like monkeys is a way of getting round the legislation.

I feel a bit more positive about the birthday and Jubilee medallions, and about the portraits used, though a day of entering them on eBay can wear the shine off anything.

They will be loaded on eBay this week, so I’m hoping that we will get rid of some of them in the next week or two – I need the room on my desk!

Check out the rest of the shop here.

Seven Percent

As I wrote it, I thought the title seemed familiar. Entering “Seven Percent” into Google confirms that it was the title of a Sherlock Holmes film, though one of the later stories. That’s “later” as in after Conan Doyle died, though I do note that the seven percent solution was mentioned in some of the original stories.

That is just a diversion, the real purpose of the title is to report progress on my 100 Post/100 Day challenge.

I’m sure Derrick J Knight and Tootlepedal have posted for years with no interruption. I have managed over 100 days of successive posting several times but I’m not as well-organised as they are. I’ve also noticed a difference since I started work again – after a hard six hour day battering a keyboard and posting parcels I often find I’m too tired to post. I’m getting soft, which is one of the reasons for the challenge and its public announcement.

I’ve been practising my poetry skills for the last couple of years and trying to write something every day. It’s been hard work getting back into practice and I’m not sure I’ve really returned to my levels of 14 years ago when I had my other, brief, career as a poet.

That, plus the blog, was as much writing as I could comfortably do.

The rot set in when I started looking at ebay as part of the process of getting back to work. That takes more time than you’d think, even though a lot of it isn’t really productive.

Add a job to that, even if it is only six hours a day, and the catering and blogging have been suffering. Hence the need for a challenge.

It came about because I needed more haiku practice. Someone had written a blog detailing their challenge of writing 100 haiku in 100 days, and the benefits they gained. I thought I might try that, as I need the practice and polish, but before I started, I read this.

My report on the 1,000 Hiku challenge is that I’m five days in, and I’m ahead of the count. I’m already learning a lot, but that’s a discussion for another day, though one of the things I’ve learnt is that I really ought to stop taking this sort of thing on, and I should stop telling people I’m doing it.

100 in 100 days would have been plenty…

 

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Sumac Tree and Sunshine

For pictures I’ve used two pictures of the sumac tree in the MENCAP gardens – I’ve used them both recently but not together. They are about two weeks apart.

Time is passing.

 

 

It might have been a mistake to use a random subject generator…

I couldn’t decide what to write about today so I turned to an online random subject generator.

This is what it gave me:

What has made you angry recently?

Let me count the ways, as Shakespeare said.

Random subject generators would be a good start. I could have written that without prompting but I’m aiming for a pleasanter and more reflective me. I was hoping for something like puppies or rainbows.

If I want a prompt for an outpouring of bile I could do that myself.

British Telecom, idiotic enquiries on the phone, unseasonably warm weather when I’m dressed for autumn, people who can’t park properly, idiotic enquiries in person, coworkers taking my sellotape, American spellings, Christmas preparations in October, children with plastic harmonicas, the way I’ve wasted my life and people who say “I have a rare coin.”

Yes, I’ve been sitting in a shop sweating in unseasonable heat answering the phone and typing in opposition to an American-themed spell-checker.

Most stupid enquiry – “I have a coin from 1980, how much is it worth?”

Despite the BT troubles when we moved in and the (wrong) replacement router, the broadband seems to drop off when the phone rings. It doesn’t happen all the time, and seems to be related to the IQ of the caller.

I’ve covered the rest of the things in previous general rants, apart from the child with the plastic harmonica.

Don’t get me started…

It’s lucky they don’t let us carry pistols in the UK.

 

 

 

A Garden Visitor

We sat and drank coffee from a flask before getting on with the serious work of the day. Today we had Jaffa cakes.

Look who came to sort through the woodchip, shortly after robbing the bird feeder.

 

Sometimes it’s good to stand and stare as a preparation for the day. The poem actually mentions squirrels, something which I’d actually forgotten since the last time I read it.

Then I went to work and started listing medallions. I was still at it when we packed up for the day.

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Lots and lots of medallions…

Tonight, I expect, I will dream about medallions…

100 Posts 100 Days

Nose to the grindstone today!

Parcels, putting stuff on eBay, putting more stuff on eBay then packing more parcels. A day of symmetry if nothing else.

Fortunately I’d recharged my soul in advance – sitting in the garden with Julia for 20 minutes before setting off for the shop.

I’m setting myself some 100 day challenges, and the first one is to write 100 posts in 100 days. If I manage that, I may try to write 100 good posts in 100 days. The two things, as I’ve said before, are not necessarily the same thing.

I may post again later, but for now I’ll content myself with making sure I’ve posted today.