Tuesday, 20 January 2015
Friday, 9 January 2015
My mum and dad have been married for fifty years today. Half a century of peaceful togetherness, whilst gently bringing up we three sons, now aged 42, 44 and 46. I am writing this blog post at their house, ahead of my brothers joining in tomorrow for a family dinner out with loved ones and important friends.
The self assuredness, confidence and ease of mind this upbringing has instilled in me is Cathedral like, and I am grateful for that.
Here is a picture of them both, one of we three , one of me and one of said Cathedral. Toby and Quaddy are there too, latest loved hounds in a long family line.
Tuesday, 9 December 2014
Monday, 8 December 2014
Friday, 28 November 2014
Two years ago it remained an all American story.
A year ago it caught on a little in half a dozen British high streets, but was already strong and prevalent on line.
This year and today, it was in absolute full swing. Almost every retailer had some sort of offer, with 20, 30, 40 and even 50% off everything, right across the high street and into the coming weekend. Full-on POS and window posters too, and appropriate staffing levels, in this orgy before Christmas and coinciding with pay day for most.
I worked Black Friday in Cheltenham, hardly renowned for vulgarity, and yet the streets were full and the elbowing, grasping disposition was there. These well to do pictures are all within 100 yards of each other on The Promenade at Cheltenham, and even there the buying was forceful.
Elsewhere in the UK (north London and the north west), fighting, police intervention and vulgarity seemed present all day.
What is it all about?
Saturday, 22 November 2014
Dunster is a wee little village in Somerset, just tucked in from the Bristol Channel. 817 people are registered as residents. It has a Yarn Mill in the high street where local yarns were traded from 1609. It is also the village where All Things Bright and Beautiful was penned, and the location of Dunster castle, built by the Luttrell family in the 17th C and given by them to the National Trust just a few decades ago.
Each year Dunster has a festival, Dunster by Candlelight. I am working at my store for this year's event and we will trade 10-10, so I will work the whole day and stay overnight. I am really looking forward to it - store event days are often fun, fast and hard work. Customers are usually in a good mood, and all in all it is a pleasure rather than a chore.
I will take my own pics in a couple of weeks but here it is from a previous year, along with some village shots.
Friday, 21 November 2014
Three weeks is really the gap, but after a spurt of blogging delight this year, the mundanity of regular work has kicked in via my new job and I have been getting home zonk-out tired every day.
So here's a blog burst; a quick unloading of phrases as they occur to me tonight.
M&S Chocolate sprouts
Gambled spoons & games of cards
Dry Requisite Trousers
A zip pocket suit? FFS.
Shrewsbury pop up
A bit pissed in Cardiff
Massive screen clarity
Comfort of Bath tobacco
Brother going to Spain
Fixed vacuum cleaner
Feeling taller than I did three months ago (actual, not spiritual)
Nudging 12 stone again
Tractor theft in Los Santos
General theft in Los Santos
Earning immoral dollars in Los Santos
Sixteen bit Lolitas (Pete Tong)
Mac u'g to Mavericks
Yolanda 3800 miles already
Where to rest for Christmas?
Like using my fountain pen
Friday, 31 October 2014
Saturday, 25 October 2014
It was quite a week!
Leaving BS5 on Monday I took a there-and-back-in-the-day drive to exotic Milton Keynes (work HQ) . I also took in Paddington, Covent Garden, Guildford, Winchester, Salisbury, Lymington and Southampton. Home late on a Friday night via a sardine-can train.
More 'my' stores next week, with a west-country shape to the route planning.
I am enjoying it, although my new colleagues drink coffee unceasingly.
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
It is a map that shows my store locations with each to be visited on a regular basis.
I have been to two of them so far with the rest of my opening days spent at my head office. This week I will take in three more of mine and two more that are not mine (necessitating a train hoof into London to visit Covent Garden store). I like the train element but I am also enjoying the solid comfort of the car.
Sunday, 19 October 2014
In all that time, I have delighted in owning VX52, my faithful, reliable and much loved Mercedes Benz. VX52 (a he) is solid and well put together. He has been with me longer than my blog and he and I have notched up 91,000 miles all over the place and with beloved passengers along too.
Now, however, in October 2014, I have landed a new job. I have left the RSPB and moved on to become an Area Manager for this firm: Rohan. I have twice as many stores to look after across roughly the same geographical region. The role is on probation for three months, and then moves to permanence. Fair enough and quite the norm these days.
I have a company car with this job. Three years old but new to me, and only three years old because it makes sense for my firm to allocate an 'old' car my way until they and I decide if this gig is permanent; at that point a newer one heads to BS5.
So, in the meantime, please meet Yolanda.
Yolanda hails from Liverpool and she has rather hussy-like red brake-callipers. To be perfectly honest she is a bit racy, at the top end of her model range (a VRS) and pretty fast. VX52 is unsure...
I have to confess I had driven Yolanda 140 miles before I realised she had a sixth gear (oops). She's a diesel, as sporty as they come and if you get at her , she can really belt along, although thus far I have honestly not exceeded 71 mph in my opening 300 miles. Of course, like any good woman, she has plenty of torque.
Here she is with VX52 looking on in the last shot. I should sell VX52 (reluctantly) but may just hold on, in case three months is the end of the line! I hope he doesn't hold a grudge towards me and I trust semper fidelis will top out until I have to move him on.