Wednesday, 26 November 2014

I read a book

last week; not a big thing as I read often (although nowhere near as often as I would like). It wasn't one I chose for myself (and is one I would never have bothered to buy or read) but a friend bought it for me and so it had to be read - just in case they've read it themselves and want to discuss anything in it :) .

It's a kind of self help book, but not - which is why I would never bother to buy such a thing; I tend to think such things mumbo jumbo and a waste of time - however, it made for some really interesting reading (aside from the religious bits in it; they almost put me off finishing it, and have in no way altered my thoughts on gods and religion). 

One whole chapter was dedicated to not letting the negativity of others affect you, and how you live your life, and it really struck a chord with me, because no matter how hard I try not to, I do let the behaviour of others get to me and wind me up. It also mentioned that unless we have anything nice to say, then not to say anything (an old one but one that really does make sense) and so since then I have tried really hard not to let things get to me, and to be more positive. It was working - ish. I've not said anything bad about anyone, to someone else's face, and when I've been on social media I've tried to avoid certain people, and have only shared things that would encourage others to smile - you know what they say about throwing it out there and getting it back ten fold? Then today it all went tits up and pear shaped, when someone this morning who has the worst trait for passing judgement, got themselves bang on one about something, yet they have since gone and done exactly the same thing to me, literally an hour later, so I've had to put up with paddies (that also led onto another issue where they didn't listen to what I was saying, made an assumption and got bang on one about it, before slamming a door in my face because of it) and the bad attitude that is purely down to someone else's negativity - and it winds me up. But I'm still not really talking about them - as such :)  I just needed to vent but thought less people will see this than will see anything on my FB - the place I would normally vent - so I guess in a way the book has made a difference. Before I would have passed on how I'm feeling now, to other people, and would have done to them exactly what I've had done to me; I 'd have passed on the negativity. It's also made a difference in that I've logged off the computer in the evenings, and have tried to avoid getting caught up in the dramas of everyone on social media - I have still had messages so caught bits via my phone, but in between I've been doing other stuff. 

Maybe I'm one of those sensitives you hear about (hahahahaha; but hey, I do have some sensitive qualities) because I really do seem to have the psychic vampires suck the life out of me. Some days it doesn't matter how chipper I may be when I get up, and how much I smile, by the end of the day someone will have wiped it all out of me by their being so negative. As odd as it would sound to people that know me (and therefore hear me complain about crap on a regular basis) I do try to be happy. I want to be happy; I like being happy - it makes me feel good, but other people seem to bring me down with them; then they have a go blaming me for being miserable. It's like one of those vicious circle things. 

Thankfully I don't do jealousy (never have and never will) hence why I never saw the signs when I was being cheated on (more than once) but occasionally I do find myself envious of people. Not because I want what they've got - because a lot of them have nothing - but because I'd like to be more like them. I'd have liked to be more like the friend that made the move on the man we both liked (when I made my thoughts known about how I felt she laughed at me, and said she didn't think of him in that way) but because I was more thoughtful to her feelings when I found out she had decided she liked him too, and not wanting to break *the code*, I took a back seat and she steamed in like a bull in a china shop - as it turned out the happiness she felt at the beginning wasn't to last, and she spent the next umpteen years unhappy - maybe that's a thing called Karma. Did it make me jealous that she had who I wanted? Nope, because if he'd been interested in me, he'd never have got with her in the first place. 

This is why I don't do jealousy; if something is meant to be then it will. I've never been jealous of friends and family that have children (although one naming her child the name I always said I would give to mine because she knew I couldn't have them, and therefore wouldn't ever use the name did hurt a bit - but hurt is completely different to jealousy) but I did feel slight envy at how easy one of my friends found it to fall pregnant (she fell so easy she ended up getting rid of a couple) but again, if I was meant to have been a Mum then nature would have seen to it that I was. Instead I got to be the crazy Aunty to my numbers 1,2 and 3, which meant I actually got the best bits of them. I got to do the fun stuff with them, without any of the hassle and stress that being a parent can bring. So again, it's proof that being jealous doesn't do anybody any good at all - it's also not in my nature. I am however, very envious of people that still have both their parents alive, and nothing annoys me more than friends that are blessed with both - who are great people - yet all they do is complain about them. If you have both still alive - even if some days they get you to the point where you want to batter them about the head with an umbrella - feel grateful each and every day. 

Now you're all wondering what jealousy has to do with the start of this entry, and you may be thinking I've lost it again and am going off on a tangent, but I'm not really, because some of the shit I get from certain people is because they are jealous of me. I know; how mad is that? How do I know they are? Well the snide comments are normally the biggest give away :) The "I wish I could afford a holiday like you had but I can only just about pay the bills" have been rife from one person; well maybe if they stopped wasting all their money with online gambling then they could. The "I can't afford a new car - you must be earning too much" comment I got from someone else made me chuckle (while pissing me off at the same time) as the person in question was just telling me about a holiday they've booked for next year, and how much money they've recently spent on electronic equipment they didn't need as the bits they were replacing were less than 18 months old. I saved every penny to pay for my holiday (and was lucky enough to be able to borrow the money for the car with a very small monthly repayment or I would never have got one) it took me years of going without; I never went out, bought myself anything, or spent money on things other than bills for years to be able to pay to go away, yet there they were wasting thousands on things they don't need and whining about how unlucky they were because they couldn't afford to do what I've done.  Am I jealous they have all the electronic equipment? Nope, because if I want it then I can save for it. Simple as. I may envy people that can afford to just go out and buy things without having to worry - and I do envy people that can afford to travel more than I can - but I am never jealous of them. They may have worked hard for the money to pay for it, or some may have lost a loved one that left them some money. I'd rather stay at home all day than lose someone I love and be able to travel. It's all about perspective. 

Then there are the ones that have everything, and when you see them you ask "Hi, how are you?" and as the words come out of your mouth you kick yourself, because you know they are going to reply in the most pathetically dejected way possible, and be the epitome of doom and gloom. I try to avoid these people at all costs, but there are 2 that I just can't escape from.

Which is why this morning pissed me off so much. The whole "woe is me, the world is against me" attitude of someone that does to others the exact thing they are complaining about. 

That's it now; I've got it out of my system. Back to finding some positive people to share the love with :) 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

And the week's only just started

As I sit at the computer on my lunch break I feel like I've already been here a week, and yet the reality is I've managed 4.5 hours so far; it's going to be a really, really, really loooooong week. I knew when I woke up thinking it was 3 or 4 am, so could turn back over and have another couple of hours sleep, only to have the alarm scream at me almost immediately after I began to roll over, it was likely to be one of "those" days but hoped that I might be wrong. 

I've copied the post from the shops blog to give you some idea of how it started... but then when you get through that, there is more of my own stuff too.. 

8am: Clive leaves with a funeral tribute that has to be delivered to a directors in Portsmouth by 9am at the latest. Allowing for the fact it’s Monday and wet (which is always a recipe for disaster on our road networks) the hour to get there was practical. By 8.35 when he hadn't even reached the M275 and was sat in stationery traffic, he phoned me to give the directors the heads up that he was on the way but was currently sat in traffic (they give us the latest time for a delivery but I think sometimes they tell us to be there a lot earlier than we need to be to allow for traffic themselves). Hoping someone would be there at that time (they’re often not) I rang and was lucky enough to get through, to be told they didn't have a funeral today with the name we were given. I double checked I had the right directors (and did) so asked the woman on the phone if she was sure? She was; she also checked every 11.15 funeral they have between today and the 1st December just in case we had got the date wrong. All her checks drew a blank, so I thanked her for her help, and proceeded to ring the customer who ordered the flowers; I got an answerphone so had to leave a message. I then told Clive to hang tight and I’d get back to him as soon as I could. 

Hanging up the phone to Clive, the shop phone rang, so I answered hoping it would by my customer with the funeral details, but what I got instead was a very upset lady (who has every right to be) asking why her flowers weren't delivered on Saturday? Thankfully the order wasn't coming from our shop; it was an order that I phoned through to a shop in Essex. They’d accepted the order and taken my money for payment, so I went through the usual checks with my customer – had they spoken to the recipient over the weekend to know the flowers hadn't arrived? Had I got the right address? And several others I use to verify the information – to find the answer was “yes” to all my questions. I asked her to give me half an hour to sort out with the shop that had the order what may have gone wrong. When I phoned the shop they admitted they had forgotten all about it – not something that happens often, thankfully, but I had to admire their honesty, even though I was pretty angry about it. I do realise they are only human, and occasionally mistakes happen. They offered to deliver today instead and promised to send something as an apology as well as adding more flowers to the order. My customer was obviously disappointed when I rang her back to explain what happened, but thanked me for sorting it for her.  

This still left the funeral to sort and see if I could find out what happened. I phoned all 4 crematoriums in the area to see if they were dealing with the service. I rang every funeral director (from Chichester to Southampton, via Gosport and Waterlooville) I could think of (including all the ones that belong to the co-op but still pretend to be independent, as well as ringing the co-op too). I drew a blank with everyone. Once I’d exhausted all the options I could think about, I then set to getting on with today’s jobs.

One of those jobs found me out in the kitchen bleaching and scrubbing the vases. We have an alarm on the shop doors that buzzes in the kitchen for me, so I know if someone has come in while I am out there. Either this didn't work, or someone left the door open when they went out of the building (it's an easy enough thing to do when there's so much going on) because I suddenly sensed something at the same time as hearing a noise from behind me. Spinning round I saw 2 lads (late teens early 20’s) about to get to the lobby area at the back of the shop. They can’t have seen me because when I asked loudly “Um, what are you doing” they both jumped and started to walk back down the corridor and into the shop. I followed and then saw another one stood by the shop door – I have no idea if he was just hanging back or keeping an eye out for people that may be coming along. One of them answered “we saw the door was open and nobody was in here so wanted to check everything was ok”. I would truly love to believe them, but I have never seen them before in the area, they looked exceptionally guilty when they knew realised I was there, and they couldn't get out of the shop quick enough. If they were really worried I think they might possibly have hung around a bit longer to explain themselves a bit better. After they’d gone and I shut the door I checked all the security cameras which definitely seems to back up my theory more than work in their defence. 

All of this happened before 9.30 this morning; I’m hoping it’s not a pre-cursor to how the rest of the week will continue.

Post note; our customer got back to us on the tribute we hadn't been able to deliver with the correct details, and we were able to get the flowers delivered to the funeral with just minutes to spare – but at least they were where they needed to be in time.

Actually the other bits aren't bad, as I was finally able to piss on the bonfires of some of the past months sad stirrers. How people get any kind of enjoyment making up stories, rumours, and stirring the shit pot is beyond me. It really is very pathetic - although sometimes some of the things I hear about myself do entertain me; if only I really did lead such an exciting life :) Todays putting to rest was the postcard fiasco. OMG what a palava that has been. Who knew so many people could dine out on someone not receiving the postcard I sent? I've genuinely been shocked by the behaviour and attitude of some people.  

On holiday - did I mention I'd been to the USA? :) - I spent a whole evening writing postcards to everyone back home (actually I typed them as I used Funky Pigeon so they were my own photo's I'd taken while away, and also so they would be posted from the UK meaning I knew they'd arrive in time - this is where the crap started). I wrote them in batches, and after each batch you choose when you want them posted. Now I left home at 8am on the Wednesday morning; by the time I wrote the cards it was Sunday evening and I'd managed a total of 15 hours sleep between leaving home and writing the cards, so I was pretty tired. As a result when it came to choosing the dispatch date I didn't really have much of a clue, and it has since transpired (after many emails and phone calls between me and funky pigeon who I accused of taking my money and not posting the cards) that I had hit the calender date wrong, and scheduled one batch to not be posted until the 13th November instead of October - an easy thing to do when you've not slept - but it meant some people got cards but others associated with those that did, didn't. This is where the shitters had their field day. There's been all sorts floating around getting back to me. One person told another I didn't sent them one because I didn't like them (when actually it's the one whose card arrived that I don't like out of the 2 of them). Another friend was told they didn't get one because of something they'd done to another mutual friend recently - it's just been one pathetic thing after another. One friend didn't get her card, but her separated husband did (thankfully she's known me long enough to not make an issue of it). Who would have thought a few postcards could cause so much trouble? I wouldn't mind but I even sent them to people I can't stand so that none of this - I got one and you never, or she doesn't like you because she left you out - crap could happen. Next time (and there will be a next time) I'll deliberately leave people out so they've got something to whine (or stir) about. I'm sure I stopped being 12 a really long time ago?  I'm too old for playground stuff which thankfully (for now at least) is behind me - until the next time.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Oh what a night....

yes I was singing the song as I typed the headline, but oh my; what a night. 

Last night I entered some surreal - other - world. It's over 24 hours later and I am still trying to get to grips with what happened :) I definitely feel that at one point I stepped into an alternate reality of some kind - and I wasn't there alone, because I looked at the landlord of the pub I was in, to see his face resembled how I assumed mine was looking, and several times he looked over at me with a "are you witnessing what I'm witnessing?" look on his face. I was indeed witnessing it with him, not really knowing what was going on :) 

It started as a normal evening. I got home, grabbed some food, showered, dressed, put a face on and hopped in my car, to drive to our local (it's 6 miles away but is what we consider our local) where I met the nutty one for a catch up. We try to get together over there once a month - always on a Friday - but I'd not been since July; she goes there now and then with other people so they don't think we're deserting them :) I did find it odd when I pulled into the car park and saw how full it was (the reason we go there on a Friday is because it's never too busy, so we can have a chat without loads of noise in the background). In fact it was that busy I did consider suggesting we went elsewhere, but we took our chances and actually when we got inside, it was nowhere near as busy as it appeared from outside; our usual table was empty too, which is always a bonus. Turned out that a local garage had a bit of a get together after work, which is why there were so many cars to begin with - they'd all left by 8pm. 

The landlord (we'll call him James - because that's his name) seemed pleased to see us (no idea why because we don't drink a lot while in there) and so we passed some pleasantries (by that I mean abuse in a friendly manner) with each other; we also tried to get the gossip out of him with regards to a dream he mentioned he'd had about the Nutty one (we did get a small snippet of that out of him later and I can only say if a psychoanalyst was to listen to the portion we got they'd have a field day - am hoping we get the rest next time we go over :) ). We then made our way through the garage men (I had to yell at a few to move so my hot nuts didn't get cold before I got to enjoy them) and we plonked our fat arses down on our seats and set about telling each other what we've been up to (I had many, many things to share). 

When the garage guys left a couple of lads came over to the pool table and began a game, while 3 other blokes and 2 girls (one girl was wearing a backless playsuit with a normal bra - ladies backless with a proper bra is NEVER a good look) sat down at a table opposite us. Never seen any of them before but as I say I'd not been over for a while. There were also some lads in from a local footy team but they sit in a corner further over, and a few made their way to the bar. In the restaurant were some foodies and at the bar was a local guy (he always sits in the same spot and in 5 years I have never not seen him there). Can you tell I'm trying to set a scene for you all here? 

Anyway. We caught up, we shared and everything in the pub was tickety boo, when Mr Regular (who is totally harmless) came over to the pool table to shoot a few balls with the lads that were playing. He was pretty drunk and you could see just looking at him that focus was going to be hard for him, and he was actually looking at me (well through me because of his lack of focus) when the short guy of the group on the table opposite shouted to him "Why you staring at me; what's your f**king problem?". Oh yes; he had short man syndrome. Well Mr Regular ignored him because as far as he was aware the short man couldn't have been talking to him - he was after all staring in my direction. Well short man (probably had a small dick too) wasn't going to let it go and walked over to Mr R and got into his chest (a normal person would have been in his face) and started to have a go. In the end Mr R turned away from him and started to walk off. Next thing 2 really Fugly guys (who thought they were Phil and Grant Mitchell) decided to wade in (they were the other 2 that were with short man) and were giving Mr R a load of shit - the poor guy still didn't have a clue what was going on and was trying to walk away from them. He said he only wanted to play a game of pool but would sit back at the bar because he didn't want any trouble. Short man and Fuglies then followed him to the bar where it all kicked off a bit. A few punches were thrown, the football lads went running over, the girls with fuglies stood on their chairs to see what was going on, the 2 lads playing pool stopped what they were doing to contemplate jumping in. It was really over before it began and shorty and fuglies marched to their table, grabbed their coats, the girls jumped up following like lap dogs and they left - they had only just bought a round of drinks that got left on the table which seemed like a waste to me. James asked us later where we were when he needed back up.. hahahaha.. told him I could see he had it under control but we were ready when we thought he needed us :)  He then told someone else at the bar the only person that he's ever been scared of is me.. hahahaha (if I was able to share his dream then I can understand why he would say that ;) ) 

This is when things went a bit surreal. Pool guy 1 said to pool guy 2 "What colour was I?" they'd literally just broke on their game when it all kicked off. P2 replied "haven't a clue". The nutty one then chipped in, as she pointed to the table covered in pool balls "that one" :) Luckily they had a sense of humour and laughed about how helpful she'd been. She then said "must be hard to know what you're doing with your balls all mixed up". Next thing P2 is grabbing his balls through his jeans to check all is in the right place; P1 went that one step further and before I could actually register what was happening, his balls were out and cupped in his hands almost in the nutty one's face. Well, I turned my head away like some old prude where I was shocked, but the Nutty one made sure she got a right eyeful ;) Later when James asked us where we were when he needed us, we told him the truth "we were checking out mens balls"!! :) Not really the truth because I was trying not to check them out - he definitely keeps it all trimmed :) 

Things were just settling back down to some kind of normality, when on the Tv we could see what looked like S Club 7 were about to perform on Children in Need. One of the footy lads then shouts to turn the volume up and and is going on about Rachel Stevens and her not turning up at Butlins when he'd paid to see her, and the next thing I witnessed is a group of late teen/early 20's men - yes MEN - not only singing along to S Club but also doing the dance moves to the song. Not only them though; oh no. Everyone in that pub - apart from me and James - were singing and doing the moves. It really was as though I had stepped into another realm. Even now I am still not sure what happened or what I witnessed. Nothing like that has ever happened to me before - I kind of hope it never happens again too :) 

As quickly as the moment started, so it ended.  I don't think I should be allowed out to play with the Nutty one any more; strange, random - occasionally amazingly wonderful - things seem to happen when we get together :) 

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Next time

you're having a bad day, spare a thought for a lovely young lady I know - it might just help you see that your day isn't quite as bad as it seems.

Christmas Eve 2010, her much loved Grandmother lost her battle with cancer - evil disease. They were exceptionally close and that was Xmas ruined for them - her and her family - that year (at the time she was 18). Just 2 months later, on what would have been her Nans birthday, her own Mum was diagnosed with cancer; this was to prove terminal. Throughout the 2 years her Mum battled the disease, she herself was hospitalised with an incurable (but not a death sentence) disease. On top of this the man that her Mum had married turned out to be the vilest piece of scum that ever walked the planet - something he inherited from his equally vile parents, so on top of dealing with hers and her Mums illnesses, she also had to deal with a stepfather from hell, his witch of a mother and devil of a father, all the while helping to look after her 2 younger siblings. A few months before her Mum finally lost her battle, the stepfather was finally asked to leave the family home (he left her Mum for dead one day refusing to call an ambulance as she writhed in pain) by the young lady in question. The grief, abuse and nastiness she dealt with from the fallout of having him removed is something nobody should have to go through (she also got to see the vile, threatening and evil text messages his family were sending to her dying Mum). He'd already bullied her Mum into having his name on the rent book so the whole family were screaming about how he had a right to be there; in the end they had to go to the police to get a restraining order out against him - he counteracted with his own one against her. 

Several of her Mums *friends* and I really using the word lightly when it comes to describing these people, tried to get her Mum to take him back, accusing the young lady of causing trouble because she didn't like her stepfather - this man and his witch of a mother had already threatened to beat her brother round the head for no particular reason at all - so these friends should have wanted nothing to do with him, and had they cared anything about her Mum they would have done all they could to keep him away from her (he proved how he never gave a shit about her by getting engaged to another woman just 5 months after her Mum had died). These *friends* caused so much unnecessary heartache and pain to her dying Mum when she was so close to the end of her life, and really just needed to have people that love her around her. All the while this was going on, her Mums brother was trying to screw the family out of the inheritance from her Nan that had died (she had 3 wills stating the uncle should never get a thing from her estate if she was to die, but the silly woman never got them witnessed and as a result he ended up with everything - yes, he really did screw his 2 nieces and nephews out of what they were rightly entitled to as well after their Mum had died; this is the same man that refused to help pay anything towards his Mum's or Sisters funerals, leaving the young lady I am talking about to pay for it all herself). 

2 days before her Mum finally lost her battle, her sister (12) and brother (9) were taken away to live with their Dad (she has a different father) along with the family dog. Her Mum finally gave in and was taken from her on a Monday - on the following Saturday her tortoise died. On the very next Monday the stepfather turned up with his family in tow and evicted her from her family home, so she was homeless. Because his name was on the rent book she wasn't allowed to take anything from the house, so she walked away with just the clothes on her back. She lost her whole family in a way in such a short time. Did the Uncle that refused to pay for the funerals offer her a room in the house he swindled the family out of? That would be a no, but he did go round telling everyone that she had stopped him from seeing his sister - vile piece of shit who deserves to rot in hell for eternity. 

6 months after all this happened her and her boyfriend were finally getting themselves sorted and trying to clear the debts she had been left with the deaths of her Nan and Mum, when she herself had to go into hospital for an operation to do with her illness. As with everything that seems to be associated with this young lady there were complications; a surgeon made a mistake (it was a surgeons decision that stopped her Mum from having an operation that could possibly have saved her life) and she ended up having emergency surgery that nearly killed her (she did in fact die twice but thankfully she's made of tough stuff and pulled through). As a result of her not being able to work (due to the complications of the op) for a few months, her and the boyfriend had to give up their apartment and move in with is mother (she has to be a relation somewhere along the lines of the step father as she is just a despicable creature who made the young lady's life a living hell on a daily basis, but they had no other choice). 

They were finally getting themselves back on track - she worked (still works) her arse off as a trainee nurse (after all she's been through and seen she realised it was the vocation for her) and when I say work she will do 18 hour days, 7 days a week if she has to often pulling double shifts, while studying at college (and now university) to make a better life for both of them. Every penny they've earned has gone to paying off the debts she was left with (including 2 funerals) and through it all there finally seemed to be a light at the end of the tunnel for her when her BF proposed. The wedding was set for December. 

2 weeks ago - just 8 days before her birthday, 3 days after she had paid the balance on the wedding (including her dress), the BF dumped her without any reason why. I'd like to rip the little scrotes head off but have to be nice. As they were still living with his Mum, she then found herself being made homeless again - Happy Birthday young one. Her younger sister also kicked off (she has a very bad attention seeking issue and this childs father sent the most despicably, disgusting text message to the young lady going through it all that I have ever seen; the language he used was foul, and as a father he should know better). 

This weekend she moved in with a friend (it's only a temporary thing until she can find somewhere that she can afford, and that will let her have her dog - she's been told to get rid of the dog but I'm sure you'll all agree after everything she's been through, there's no way she deserves to have to do that) which is lovely of her friend, and at the least it's a silver lining in a very dark cloud she's under. 

However; it doesn't end there. This very morning, her Grandad (a man she loves to the moon and back) lost his battle with cancer (he was only diagnosed a couple of months ago so it's been really quick - this is nice for him but not so for the people left behind that have to deal with it). 

I am well aware there are people dealing with far worse in their lives who will have every right to complain (although in my experience people that have the reasons are the ones that don't really complain) but when you break a nail next or get stuck in a traffic jam, spare a thought for this young lady; your day may not seem quite so bad. 




Monday, 10 November 2014

1982

So far today, 1982 had cropped up twice, quite randomly, and then literally as I typed the S at the start of this blog entry, a song came on the radio that was released in 1982 - I wonder what the odds of that happening are?? The song by the way was Just what I always wanted by Mari Wilson - ooh now that makes me wonder too if there's a connection or reason for it? :) 

My first 82 moment was when The Stranglers, Golden Brown song was played on the radio - this was released in 1981 - however for some reason I have always associated this song with sitting in a red hot bath, on a cold dark winters night in 1982; I love how some songs trigger the most random memories, with this one being no exception. Obviously I'm not going to go into the details of my bath, but I remember laying there listening to the radio when Golden Brown came on (why I've never remembered any of the others that were played that night, or why that one is the trigger I have no idea). It's not a song I like, so can't even say it was one I wanted to (or enjoyed having a) sing along with - later in my life (1984/1985 time) I learned it was the favourite song of one of my boyfriends, but at that time 1982 (he was already in my life then) I had no clue, and to be honest I still wouldn't have liked the song (I liked it even less when he used to play it). A hot bath on this cold, damp and dismal day today would be rather nice right now, but alas I am still at work.

The 2nd (3rd in the order I have written them) moment was when a customer I've never had in the shop before (or ever seen around the area) was waffling on to me, and who then asked me "Do you believe in love at first sight?" Totally irrelevant to what we were discussing at the time; I laughed and asked him if he'd just fallen in love with me to ask such a question, to which he chuckled too, and then he told me he had no idea why he had asked me - you know how I seem to get all the weirdo's in my shop?? :) It's not the first time I've been asked that question, and I should think if you were to ask anybody else that question, they would all say they have been asked that very question at least once in their lifetime, but it was just the way he came out with it there and then; so random. What made it even more random is that prior to 1982 I would have answered his question differently than how I answered it today. 

Do I believe? Absolutely I do. 

I was 12; the year was 1982 (see what I mean about it keep cropping up today?) and I was staying with my Aunt and Uncle for the weekend. My 17 year old cousin (female) was out, my 15 year old (male) cousin was up in his room, my aunt was in the living room (their house had a separate lounge and a kitchen/diner that had a sofa in and where we all used to sit rather than the lounge) and I was in this kitchen/diner area watching TV with my uncle, when he asked me to pop out to his car and grab some chocolates and wine he had hidden in the boot (I think it was his and my aunts anniversary). As I opened the front door to walk out, a couple of my cousins friends were coming up the path; 2 boys, 2 girls, all of whom I had never met before. I made eye contact with one of those boys as I went to walk past him, and at that exact moment in time, I learned that love at first sight really does exist. He was 15 and the most perfect specimen of a man (boy) I had ever seen (he made my heart flutter even more than Luke Skywalker, who had been my first ever crush when I was 8, could even have thought possible). He literally took my breath away - and even now at this age (whispers I'm 44) he still makes my heart pound inside my chest; he can still take my breath away, or make me smile at just the thought of him. He wasn't my first boyfriend, he wasn't my first anything and we didn't really get together until I was 18 (yes I truly did have a wonderful few months with him when I was older ;) ) but he was the only one that had ever made me feel that way. 

The night I met him he was a total arsehole (or should that be a typical 15 year old lad trying to impress his girlfriend? - one of the girls with him). He wouldn't let me pass him on the path so I had to step onto the garden, and when I came back with the chocs and wine - there were flowers too - he took the piss, but that didn't deter me or stop how I was feeling. Obviously years later I saw a different side to him (a kind, sweet and extremely loving side) although I don't think the arsehole part of him ever left; he broke my heart big time when he stood me up one night because he'd gone on a date with another girl (this was after he'd told me he loved me). I think in reality he liked the fun of us having to keep our *romance* secret, - I'll call romance but it was never really a relationship in a normal sense (although if a hollywood movie maker could recreate our first kiss and the moments immediately before and after said kiss, it would win the most romantic moment on film ever)  as there were a lot of people that didn't like us seeing each other. This was after he'd got engaged to a friend of mine (she threw herself at every guy I was in to -something several other female friends have done to me also - and had some mad feminine wile that seemed to snare them - he told me later when he dumped her for me that he never believed I was really into him, and had only hooked up with my friend in the hope it might bring us closer together; which it did, albeit for only a short while).  Even after all this he still stood me up that night (1988) and that was the last night I saw him until my cousin got married 6 years later. That night I was engaged to (and living with) my first fiance (the irony being that we split up just 14 days later) but all thoughts of him (and I think all conversations with him that evening) went out the window the second I turned around to face the person that had just tapped me on the shoulder as I stood at the bar. In that milli-second, those same feelings I experienced in 1982 crashed into me the way waves crash onto a beach. The heartbreak he caused me 6 years earlier was gone in a flash, and I'm not proud of myself, but that evening I flirted with him, danced with him, laughed with him, touched him as often as I could, and gave no thought to the man that had put the ring on my finger (the reason we split those 14 days later is because he was knocking off some 15 year old school girl - he was 27) but had I known then what I know now, I would have made even more of an effort :) My love at first sight man knew I was engaged and although we had a wonderful evening, I think he had no intentions of making contact with me after, but it was wonderful to feel those feelings again; to have those heart flutters. 

I have seen him a couple of times over the years since then (one time I broke a garden gnome where I got so flustered) but we've probably not said more than a dozen words to each other in 20 years. Would he still make me feel like that silly little 12 year old if I was to see him now? Let's just say when it flashed up on my FB news feed a year or so ago that he was now friends with a mutual friend of ours, I got those feelings, so I guess the answer to that would be yes. Do I believe him to by the "one that got away?" Absolutely not; if we were meant to be then we would have been. I also don't believe him to be my one true love, as there have been a couple of men in my life that have made me smile and my heart skip a beat; ok, I'll admit not in the same way, but I think you only get to feel that love at first sight feeling just once in your lifetime, but I truly believe that real love (true love) comes from being friends with someone first - anything else is fueled by lust and passion, but when you know someone as a friend to begin with then I think true love can (and will) blossom. That to me is also *staying* love; when it's something that's happened over a gradual amount of time, then it's already proved it has staying power and that - at the end of the day - is all any of us (sorry if I am speaking for you and you don't believe it) want from life. I know it's what I've always wanted. 

I used to joke (or was I joking?) that if Mr love at first sight was to knock on my door - it wouldn't matter if I was 90, married with hundreds of kids and grandkids - and ask me to leave who may have been my perfect husband, then I would have done. I don't feel that way any more (maybe that's because I'd just be happy for someone to actually want and put up with me) so I guess I've made some kind of progress :) 

Saturday, 8 November 2014

A tiny little miracle

Finally the pain got to be too much (well not really too much in a pain sense as I got given pain killers on Tuesday - which didn't actually do anything, so I bought some aspirin instead which helped more than the co-codamol) but it dragged on for longer than I wanted it to, and when I woke up at 4 in the morning and it was still aching, I decided enough was enough, and as soon as I got to work yesterday I contacted a dentist to see if I could get an appointment (in the hope that maybe the infection I have - which I knew I had last week and told the doctor I had on Tuesday) and was lucky to be able to get booked in with someone at 2pm. I was going to ring my own dentist, but I think they've caused me more problems in the past 4 years than I had in my first 40 years, so I wanted to try someone new. 

I'm very glad I did - and even  more happy that the new one I found is an NHS one, so instead of it costing me over £100, it only cost me £26 (the price includes the prescription charge). The lady I saw was lovely - even if she did keep me waiting 25 minutes for my appointment - and when she asked me to give her the pain score on a scale of 1 - 20 as she sat with my X-ray results in front of her,  and I told her at the moment of asking (I'd taken 2 co-codamol and 3 aspirin an hour before I went to see her) was a 4 but normally around a 6 - 7, she then asked me if I was in fact human. :)  She said that the infection I have is so fierce and does cover from my ear to my tooth, that she's never known anyone say anything less than 18 on the pain scale with an infection similar (and often smaller) than mine; what can I say? I'm made of tough stuff :)  She'd have been told 67 if she'd asked me years ago when I split my wisdom tooth though; that was pain like I've never experienced in my life. 

Turns out though that my doctor would have been able to pick up on my infection when I saw her on Tuesday (the dentist isn't sure if it started in my ear and spread to my tooth - the most likely transition due to the pain I was experiencing at the beginning of the week - or if it went from my tooth to my ear) but she was adamant that my doctor would have known I had one regardless of which way it travelled. She said the minute I started to experience the pain last Wednesday (yes I did put up with it for 9 days) was the minute the infection started to spread, so I've had it working it's way through my face for 9 days. I also learned that if it ever happens again I should get it treated by a dentist to begin with and not try to treat it myself (I thought I was curing it :) ) and definitely not to see my doctor who was a waste of space, and prescribed me pain pills I had already told her have never worked for me in the past, and didn't give me the antibiotics I actually needed. I know they don't like to prescribe them these days, but I have them so rarely there's no way I could have ever built up a resistance to them. 

Anyway, the point to this entry wasn't to complain about my doctor (even if she is feckin useless) but to talk about how lucky I realised I am to live in the world in this day and age.  Without the invention of aspirin I would never have got through the last week, and would possibly at some point have just ripped the side of my face off, gouged out my ear, and drilled a hole into the side of my head. Then there's the antibiotics. I can't take penicillin which is a marvellous invention, but thanks to that being found, other varieties have been produced, and thanks to them I am now having help to fight the infection that's been raging within me for over a week; an infection that if left could have ended up killing me. 28 of 500mg little red pills that are potentially saving my life - yes that may be a bit over the top to some of your thinking, but look up what can happen to someone that has an infection not treated. If it was already spreading then how far would it have gone before it gave up? Would it have given up? I tried to fight it myself without the help of anything and still it continued to spread itself across my face so left untreated who knows what it could have done? I can only imagine how it must have been for people back in the days when antibiotics hadn't been invented - I would never have even made it past the age of 4 without them as my own tonsils were killing me and it was on the use of medication (and eventually their removal) that let me be sitting here now waffling a load of crap. 

We're all quick enough to complain about how they've not found a cure for this disease or that ailment - and I know better than anyone how I wish they'd found a cure for cancers having lost so many people I love to the disease - but how many other's could I have lost to something so simple as a tooth infection? Chest infection? or just a cut finger that's got infected? Had those injuries and ailments not been treated, then more people I love may not be here - I may not be here - and so yet again life has shown me just what a wonderful thing it can be, and how lucky I am to be here. 

Life is a blessing, that we really do need to embrace and enjoy with every breath that we can (we are only human though so moaning about things at times is to be expected) and we need to grasp every opportunity that comes our way. Wonderful people have created wonderful things, and nature has given us some fantastic offerings; we just need to see and appreciate it all and make sure we enjoy what we have when we have it :) 

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

So what exactly do you do

in your shop? Words I was asked last night by a young man that is sometimes my favourite :) - have to say that in case he's reading this :) 

"Not a lot really; play facebook mainly" is what I replied with, but in between that playing I might spend 10 minutes putting the planters out the front of the shop, checking them for any dead heads that need removing as I do so, all the while dodging arrogant, stroppy teenagers on their way to school. Although I don't technically open the shop until 8.30 I'm always here by 8 so that any orders being collected at 8.30 are ready for the customers. Next is the most important thing that can be done in the morning; I put the kettle on and make a cuppa - coffee at the moment as I am out of teabags and keep forgetting to bring any with me. While the kettle boils I log the computer on, open up the emails and reply to any that seem urgent; then I open up a browser and check the online orders, which get transferred into the order book. Those same orders then get put onto the drivers delivery list so they know where they're going on what days. Once that's done the doors get unlocked.

Next is the flowers; as I'm sure everyone knows I don't have flowers in the shop for longer than 48 hours, so yesterday morning (today doesn't count as the flowers are only from yesterday) I took out those that came in Saturday (of which there were very few) from sale. At this moment in time they are in a vase in the workroom for me to enjoy; sometimes they will be sent to rest homes, friends or family, but it's also very rare for me to have anything left over - stock ordering rotation is something I'm pretty good at. The rest of the flowers are checked to ensure they are still in excellent condition and the new stock is then put into water. This is not just a case of grabbing flowers and shoving them in a vase. First of all the vases have to be cleaned - a drop of bleach, a loo brush (which is the best way I've found of scrubbing the whole of the vase, including the base) and water; scrub, rinse and refill. Every new bunch of flowers goes into a fresh vase of water. 

One days worth of flowers can be packed into as many as 8 different boxes so I work through them one box at a time; each bunch of flowers (they normally come packed in bunches of 10 or 20 stems) are wrapped in either a cellophane sleeve or paper of some kind. After removing the packaging and bands on the bottom that hold them all together, I take each individual stem and strip all the leaves that will be below the water line (a knife is the best way of doing this as it means I can get the stem smooth and clear of anything that could cause bacteria to grow in the water).  Each stem then has roughly 1cm cut from the bottom before being placed into the vase. After those 8 boxes are emptied and everything is in water I fold the boxes into each other and store them out the back, and then I sweep up (leaves seem to travel for miles around the shop). 

Then it's on to the rest of the days orders starting with the ones that need delivering (or are being collected) earliest first.  

In between conditioning the flowers and making the orders, I will answer the phone and have customers come into the shop. Some are just making inquiries; some are wanting to place an order, some want me to produce something there and then. Some people will be full of the joys of spring and be so happy they bounce you along with them as they are celebrating a new baby or someone's birthday, but others will be here to discuss funeral flowers, and so I have to switch from being happy Sarah one minute, to sympathetic and caring Sarah in the next; it can be hard at times when the people I'm serving are crying and so I often find myself being a counselor to them, listening to them talk about how they're feeling, and being there for them as they come to terms with their grief. The next person through the door could be a total bridezilla, so I then have to call on all my powers to remain calm and stop myself battering a bride with a chrysanthemum :) 

Once the flowers and orders are sorted for the day I will work my way through the rest of the emails that need replying too, before adding the online orders to our accounting software. While I have the accounts open I will update and tally what the bank says we have, to what the software says we should have - I only type up the account customers bills once a month so I don't get confused. I also add any  bills I have received that day and transfer any money from the bank account to suppliers that need paying. 

Occasionally I will tidy up, polish and hoover the shop, and on a regular basis I scrub the kitchen down although I try to avoid doing that if I can as I always clear up after myself out there, so if I'm cleaning it's someone else's mess and I don't like cleaning my own at the best of times, so dislike cleaning someone else's even more.

In the afternoon, any funerals I may have for the next day will be made up (I don't like making things the day before but with funerals because of the time scale it's easier - and less risky on the time front - to get them ready the previous day). Anything that may go into a basket or oasis will also be prepped the day before. Flowers and sundries that are needed for the following day with then be ordered so they're ready for me first thing the following day. 

At the end of the day when the doors are locked and everyone else has gone home, I then have to cash up making sure the till totals, cash and credit card payments all balance, say goodnight to Vlad, trigger the alarm and go home, where I may get emails, pm's or people knocking on my door asking about ordering flowers for someone later in the week.

And that's what I do ...