We packed 19 parcels. We saw several customers. We had coffee and ate the custard creams that a customer left us on Saturday. I spoke to five telephone callers and shattered the dreams of three of them.
Then one of them rang back to confirm that I had quoted the correct price. Had I really said eight pence, or had it been eight pounds? It was pence. We pay eight pence each for two shilling pieces and old style (large) 10p pieces. According to the caller they are between eight and twelve pounds each on the internet.
I promised her that we wouldn’t be offended if she decided to sell them on the internet, and said if she ran out we could replenish her stocks by selling her 40 for £8.95 including postage..
This didn’t seem to be a comfort to her.
The man who rang up for a valuation on his Charles Dickens £2 wasn’t too surprised to hear we sold them for £5.
“I thought it was too good to be true,” he said.
They are available on eBay at a much less reasonable £5,000. Plus 65p postage and packing. There are two at that price, though the other will only cost you 58p for postage.
Postage & Packing?!
That (?!) is an interrobang, a unit of punctuation I’ve never used before.
Well, it’s another new week and it’s a blank canvas full of possibilities and the potential for cliches.
I rose early, did a word puzzle and then sat and decided what to do. I decided to do more sitting, and did another word puzzle. These aren’t intellectual exercises by any means but at 6.30 my brain isn’t necessarily prepared for heavy lifting.
Breakfast consisted of a pear, a small citrus fruit (I lose track of all the names they use these days) and two turmeric capsules. As a dietary regime it could probably do with some fine-tuning.
My first TV selection was what I refer to as “classic comedy”. That could equally be “very old repeat” as it was a 1982 episode of Minder – the Birdman of Wormwood Scrubs. That’s the episode where they refer to a male Bullfinch, but show a female Chaffinch. After that I lost interest in the assorted rubbish on offer and concentrated on the computer.
Looking through the Q&A section of ebay to increase my knowledge of the system I was struck by the fact that though many of the world’s resources are decreasing the supply of idiots shows little sign of slacking off. If we could harness stupidity and get it into a fuel tank we wouldn’t need electric cars. I won’t dwell on the subject, as we don’t have the technology for this, and the waste upsets me.
Now, as the clock creeps round to mid-day I realise that a touch of TV, two word puzzles, some light blogging, a quick breakfast, and a bit of ebay, has absorbed five hours of my life.
I could start with my normal Saturday opening – “After dropping Julia off at work…” but I’m feeling like doing something a little different today. Same goes for the photos of the Mencap garden yesterday morning. They are OK but I’m just feeling like something more is needed. (As the post developed, not quite in the direction I intended, it became a little negative. It developed naturally, as I wrote, and I decided to let it stand. Not quite sure if it’s too negative or too personal. Let me know if you have any views on the tone.)
And that is why I am showing you pictures of cookie cutters.
Novelty Cookie Cutters
I’m torn here. I love alliteration and I am committed to resisting American English. In the case of cookie cutters I feel as if continents are colliding in my head. I really don’t want to say “Cookie Cutter” but some irresistibly force makes me do it. There is no natural alternative – Biscuit Bodgers just isn’t going to do it. I’ll try Biscuit Cutters and see if that works.
I found the cutters recently whilst decluttering. They had disappeared without being used during one of the chaotic times on the farm. We made a lot of gingerbread with the group and these cutters (with six different designs) seemed a good idea.
The problem was that after the introduction of the Farmer’s Sister into the mix everything went wrong. It started with her telling me “we’re all on the same team” which is a management shorthand way of indicating we weren’t all on the same team. Then it progressed to her shouting at me because she said I thought she was stupid because I had a degree and she didn’t.
All I had done was proof read something I’d been asked to proof read and send her the corrections. It seems that this was wrong – I should have sandwiched the suggested changes between telling her how good she was, how valued she was and how hard-working she was.
There’s a vulgar term for this, but rather than expose my gentle readers to it I’ll post a link to it for those of you who are interested.
The truth is, I don’t have a degree.
I also, at that time, didn’t think she was stupid. I just thought that she had made a mistake that needed correcting. She had used a word wrongly. I can’t recall what it was, but it was something like uninterested/disinterested. It’s no big deal. I have to think hard when using affect/effect. Getting something like that wrong doesn’t make you stupid. If someone had corrected me on it I’d have thanked them and looked it up to learn the lesson fully.
No, what made her stupid, for I did eventually have to admit she was stupid, was her refusal to learn or improve.
We were stupid too – we should have realised that it was time to move.
However, that all belongs to another story, and stupidity was probably the least vile of her personality traits.
After the team comment, and the shouting, she started a turf war, and kept moving out stuff. We had to start moving it back home every time we used it, and eventually, things got lost in the confusion. That’s how the cutters became lost.
Other things disappeared and turned up in bins or dismantled in the workshop. Like over-sized children the Farmer and his sister knew nothing of how they got there. She took down the group’s art work and binned it. She once needed a book for kitchen use, so she took the garden diary book off the shelf, tore our notes out and took the book away.
Sorry, but it just seemed the appropriate time for this to be mentioned, and once I started, I thought I would finish.
Anyway, back to biscuits. I found the cutters. I will make some biscuits.
Here, to provide a happy ending, are some previous biscuits (and some peppermint creams.
I’m back, and I’m ready to write a list of major improvements I would make to the world.
One, I would launch a major research project into the causes of low intelligence, with the object of developing a vaccine against stupidity. This is a watered down version of my true feelings after sitting next to an idiot with a mobile phone and a demon-spawn toddler in the surgery waiting room.
Two, pass a law requiring that computers would allow you to write (2) instead of “Two” without all sorts of unintended paragraphing consequences.
Three, make it law that all doctors required to perform prostate tests were selected for their small hands rather than for their qualifications. Possibly they could be selected from families of concert pianists, who tend to have long thin fingers. I’ve never asked to see their credentials, but have strong views about their fingers. I’m also convinced that the people who take jobs like this aren’t the ones that came top of their class. Not a criticism, just an observation.
Four, I would encourage all current MPs to follow George Osborne‘s example and get a job outside politics. It would be nice to get them all jobs in the hospitality industry and see if they could organise a party in a brewery.
Five, replace health warnings with pictures. Don’t tell me something has a lot of fat in it, that means nothing. Even if it is in red. But show me a picture of a fat man clutching his chest and I might take notice.
I’ll leave it at 5 for tonight because I’m trying to design a kitchen knife that incorporates a sticking plaster dispenser. It’s a gap in the market I spotted whilst preparing vegetables tonight…