Tag Archives: shop

While the Cat is away…

It was all going so well…

I dropped Julia off at work, parked right outside the shop, found all the stock for eBay parcels on my first attempt and had everything ready for the post by the time Eddie turned up. The Boss was at the York Coin Fair today so I was then able to relax.

I wrote a reply to an email that had arrived overnight, and then kept my fingers crossed.  Then I wrote another email, demanding action from someone who was being slow with a parcel.

Finally, I composed a message to KFC in my head. I had to administer a touch of firmness to them earlier in the week after a rather disorganised meal on Sunday. We ordered four things – they were only able to supply one. Not good enough,  I told them.

Their, reasonably quick, reply agreed with me, told me that training would be administered and told me they looked forward to seeing me again soon.

Why would I go back soon after the meal I just had (a very different one from the one we had ordered)? The staff were disorganised, the manager was ranting and the bins were overflowing. And it was not as if they were busy. It was a far cry from the last meal I enjoyed there.

After reading their reply, I was left with the distinct impression that they were taking the mickey.

The last laugh is with me, of course. I will stop eating KFC, will save money, lose weight and, in all probability, be better off without them.

As I was savouring my imaginary victory my mobile rang with the reply from the first email. It was a positive reply, which was good.

I then put some things on eBay, served customers, unwillingly stayed an hour late to serve another customer, went back at 7.00 the see another customer (by arrangement  – he’s a market trader who needed stock but had been unable to get down sooner).

Now, after refreshment, I’m off to pick up Number Two son from work. It’s cheaper than paying for the bus.

 

 

 

Bins, boxes and barbecues

We only sold four lots over the weekend. Two of them sold on Saturday afternoon, after the Post Office closed, so we packed them before we left. Two sold on Sunday. Then, as we looked at the small pile of post someone bought another lot.

Five parcels.

I think we might have to postpone plans to buy a new box of teabags.

Meanwhile, I just had a phone call from Malta. Apparently the weather was great at East Midland Airport, glorious over France, lovely over the Alps, grey over Italy and murky in Malta.

It’s a lovely evening in Nottingham. Nice and bright and warm and I didn’t need to queue up, sit on an aeroplane or defy nature to get here. I just sat on a chair.

It’s also, according to the photograph Julia just sent, dark in Malta. You’ll have to take my word for it as I’m struggling to download the photo. It seems to have plenty of water and reflected lights in it so I’m sure you’ll love it if I manage to download it.

Julia left me a packet of Mr Kipling Cherry Bakewells. It was waiting for me when I returned home and helped ease the pain of parting. Unfortunately I can’t provide you with a picture of that either. I suppose I ought to be ashamed of myself.

I had ham sandwiches for lunch. I also had ham sandwiches for tea. At the moment I’m debating having ham sandwiches for supper. I like ham sandwiches, and cooking for one keeps the shopping simpler. I’m considering what to buy for tomorrow. If I buy a piece of gammon I can cook it and use it to make ham sandwiches for the next few days.

So far I’ve only used white cobs and Branston pickle. I have multi-seed bread and a choice of mustard or tomato relish available, so I’ve barely scraped the surface of the variety of choices available in the world of ham sandwiches.

I may even consider salad.

If ham sandwiches start to lose their appeal, and I don’t see why they would, I have a reserve stock of cheese.

It’s fairly clear from this that the difference between a normal man and a recluse with a ham fixation is only a few hours. That, I suppose, is why it’s good for men to get married.

Today’s pictures are some I took in the Mencap garden last week. The theme is recycled waste bins, boxes and barbcues. That gives me an idea for a title…

 

 

In which a joke of questionable taste is told, coins are sorted and I am forced out of the way by a rude woman in the supermarket.

I decided to employ a sub-heading as I couldn’t convey it all in the title. (Added later: then I forgot to write a title! Senior Moment Alert!)

Last week, having failed the blood test, I received a panicky phone call from the anti-coagulation service. They do take things a bit seriously at times. All I did was forget a couple of pills and drift off target a bit – it’s not like I’m hovering at Death’s door. I’m not even at Death’s garden gate. In fact, I’m feeling quite perky.

As I get older I really ought to stop saying things like that, as I’m going to look pretty stupid if I drop dead tomorrow.

I’m pretty sure the anti-coagulation is working as I bled quite a bit when they pulled the needle out.

We had a visitor in the shop today, which was good as I hadn’t seen him for about ten years. He used to be a coin dealer, but he’s taken up a new career since then and now takes secular funeral services. He also told us one of the funniest jokes I’ve ever heard. Unfortunately I can’t repeat it.

It wasn’t rude and it didn’t feature bad language but it was, shall we say, in questionable taste, and looked at something from an unusual angle.

I laughed so hard I nearly fell off my seat.

Then I carried on sorting. Stamps, shillings and crowns. Ah, the glamour!

Finally, as you may have guessed from the first paragraph, I went shopping. It all went relatively well until I got to the checkout. The manned checkouts were all crammed, so I decided to use the self-service. They, it seemed, had been giving trouble all day, and the one I used queried six of my nine articles, necessitating the intervention of a staff member each time.

When all was done I started to leave the shop. As I got to the doorway a woman came up behind me and pushed past, which isn’t good when you’re using a stick for balance. She then made someone else swerve to avoid her then walked directly towards someone coming into the shop and made them stop the let her past.

She wasn’t being pursued, she was just very rude, arrogant and inconsiderate.

All this rush meant that she got to her car, started the engine and engaged reverse gear ready to escape.

Meanwhile, I put a bit of a spurt on.

And once I was behind her car, as she waited impatiently to reverse out, I walked behind her…very…very…slowly.

I don’t usually manage to get my own back, but today everything just fell right. And it felt good.

 

Sixpences, Sweethearts and Samosas

It was a hectic morning, with fourteen eBay parcels to be packed and sent off before the Post Office closed at lunchtime. We would have managed it easily, working together as a well-oiled machine, if it hadn’t been for the arrival of a shopful of customers.

It’s a real dilemma – we want to provide a quick and efficient eBay service, but our core business is based on the customers who come to the shop so we can’t neglect them.

We were expecting a quiet day as two of the Saturday regulars came in on Friday, but it didn’t work out like that. Within the first hour we were full with people buying and selling and the post had to wait. We got most of it done in time, though some will not be going into the post until Monday. Such is life. It’s not ideal but we are still within the time allowed for posting.

During the rush I managed to sell a nice Victorian sixpence to a young collector who is just starting to collect coins. Hopefully it will be the start of a lifelong collecting habit, and hopefully he will continue collecting good stuff instead of modern decimal coins. We owe a lot to decimal coins, as they are fuelling a great interest in coin collecting, but I can’t help wondering if it will still be popular in ten years, or if it will be a bubble that bursts.

In the afternoon we also managed to sort more shillings, put several lots on eBay and polish the counters. One of the later customers bought us samosas from the Indian shop across the road, which proved to be an acceptable snack with our afternoon coffee.

I’ve described one of the sweetheart brooch lots as having a pin that has been “replaced at sometime in the past”. I resisted the temptation to tell them that it had actually been replaced by me five minutes before I took the photos for eBay. It’s not a bad job, even if I say so myself. It came from the back of a cracked enamel badge that said Delegate and involved two sets of long-nosed pliers and a certain amount of muttering.

This is the brooch – a WW2 mother of pearl sweetheart brooch for the Royal Armoured Corps.

We have several more on sale, including these two for the Middlesex Regiment.  The one on the left is a silver and enamel tie-pin or bar brooch, the one on the right is silver, with hallmarks for 1915. It’s an interesting subject for collecting, with all military units depicted in a variety of styles, though I often wonder who gave them and if they came back.

 

 

 

Ageing Bit by Bit

I was tempted to title the blog Stiff Little Fingers. This would be accurate as far as my arthritis goes, but might raise false hopes in the hearts of ageing punks. I added the link as it’s one of those words that can cause confusion when written by an Englishman and read by an American.

What happened to suggest the title was that I went to bed last night, slept reasonably well and woke up with a little finger that wouldn’t bend. It’s ached for years, and often seems rather cold compared to the other fingers on that hand, but so does the little finger on my other hand.

I now have a ring finger on the right hand that is arthritic and a little finger on the left hand that looks like it’s starting to go.

It freed up while I was at work (sorting junk postcards this morning) though it returned in the afternoon when I drove to Grantham (I only did a half day in the shop today).

So, it started with one finger (I would link to that post but can’t even hazard a guess where it is), moved on to a knee and is now colonising another finger. At this rate I have about twenty years before all my fingers are useless. (Though if my calculations are accurate I will spend my late 70s only able to type slowly and operate doorbells).

As I’ve said before, I’d have taken more care of my body if I’d realised how long I was going to need it.

Title, Title, Title!

I was a bit rushed at the end last night and  forgot the title. Must do better, as my school reports used to say.

This morning the internet was off. It’s a minor irritation compared the the BT debacle in the shop but it’s still annoying to have to get ready to blog, then have to get up and go to another room to reconnect the internet.

I don’t think I’ve covered the BT debacle yet. That’s British Telecom for overseas readers – a widespread so-called provider of  telephone services in the UK. The best thing I can say about them is that they aren’t Virgin. BT are dire in many respects, but they are far better than Virgin. Far, far better. However, I won’t labour the point. Nor will I ever use a  Virgin telecommunication product ever again.

We booked BT to come and connect the new shop to phone and internet on the day we moved. It couldn’t be done in advance as it’s a transfer of number from one line to another. But it’s a very simple operation, so what could possibly go wrong?

Well, first of all they wrote to the flat above the shop cancelling the telephone contract and telling them they would be transferring our number to them. This caused consternation in the flat. It’s partly their fault for using the shop address as their flat address, but you’d have thought BT records would have identified phones properly (possibly using the phone number as a hint) …

At this point all my British readers are either hurling BT-related  abuse at the screen or laughing hysterically.

What happened, when we rang the day before, was that they denied all knowledge of the job and told us that it will be two more weeks before they can do it.

Under further questioning they admitted that they had booked the wrong phone for transfer, but they had cancelled it. We knew that.

They had correctly identified the phone after that and booked the job. We knew that.

What we didn’t know was that they had then cancelled it. Nobody knows why, though stupidity is the favourite suggestion.

The situation is this.

We have moved into the new shop. The handset from the phone works in the new shop, but we have to take it back to the old shop every night to charge it on the base station.

The internet works in one spot in the new shop. Unfortunately this isn’t where we set the computers up, so we’re currently working with an ancient laptop balanced on the counter.

As for the card machine – if you want to pay by card you have to go to the old shop, as it is connected to the old line.

This situation, which sounds like the script for a surreal comedy, is likely to persist for most of the next two weeks.

It’s lucky that we only moved two doors down.

 

 

 

Recovery

I struggled manfully with cold all day. “Manfully”, in this context means sniffling, sneezing and whining.

I also took a relaxed attitude to work, looking a few things up, taking some photos and dealing with customers.

On the way back from work I stopped off at Sainsbury’s, parked, decided to listen to the chapter end of my audio book, and fell asleep for 45 minutes. Considering I was in bed for 14 hours last night I was surprised I needed more sleep.

After taking pills and eating a large helping of fish pie I am now feeling quite good. Naturally I am trying to conceal this from Julia as she seems happy serving me with cups of tea and stuff. It would be unkind of me to deprive her of the feeling of virtue that comes from looking after me.

The man who parked on our forecourt yesterday seems to have taken the hint and parked outside his own house. As he can’t park on the road he is blocking the footpath. Some people really don’t have much consideration for others.

I’m now deliberating whether to go to bed early (it’s 9.45) just just fall asleep in the chair. The chair is favourite, as I stand a chance of Julia waking me up with a cup of tea,