Thursday, 9 September 2010

Good place to stay on a budget

If you are visiting the Midlands/Stratford/ Birminham or the NEC then Dazzle found a cheap place to stay called Kings Court Hotel at Kings Coughton nr Alcester, not far from Stratford upon Avon. It cost us £40 (internet price) for a double room with ensuite including breakfast. Parking was easy, the staff were happy, smiley and helpful and the rooms were spacious and clean. We had dinner in their restauraunt - white tablecloths and fresh flowers - and the service was good. A 3 course meal was £15 (less for 1 or 2 courses) and the standard was extremely good for the price, the house red was fine. Breakfast was self service and again good value. Would definately revisit.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Spider and the Fly

1st Day
I was sitting in the bathroom putting on my warpaint in front of a mirror with a window behind when I suddenly caught site of something crawling up the window frame. I turned my head to look and immediately it stopped. It was a really big fly and we just eyeballed each other neither of us moving. It was a Kafka-ish moment. I reached out towards the fly (about 15cm) to grab a makeup brush and still it didn't move, it was as if it thought it was invisible if it kept very still.

To the right of the window was a small spider, whose web stretched across the glass next to the fly, who also kept very still.

The fly gradually gained confidence that I wasn't going to swat it and started to walk up around the window to the other side avoiding the web. The spider kept very still. Then the fly half fluttered across the window back to the other side when the spider suddenly leapt right out from the window to catch the big juicy fly midflight. It missed.

Day 2
The fly is now on the frame by the next window pane and there is a tiny spider, same as the other one but much smaller - did it breed in the night?, making it's web across the pane of glass so that both panes had webs on. Again the fly managed to manouver its way around the window without getting caught. Stalemate.

Day 3
Two spiders but no fly.
Did the spider get the fly?
Did the fly escape the bathroom, it couldn't really fly?
Is the fly laying dead in the bathroom somewhere? Couldn't see it anywhere.
I must say I was curious how it would end given that the predator was smaller than the target.
I don't like it when you have to make up your own ending, I like conclusion. I think most people like a conclusion to the various happenings in their lives, a sort of laying to rest.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Just one of those days

Do you ever get one of those days when your mind is so full of various problems that you can't think of anything to blog? Well this is one of those days.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Cheap mobile phone calls

We thought we would reduce our phone bill by using a sim card from XLN as most people give their mobile numbers. It costs about £7 a month for 400 calls and has drastically reduced the phone bill in Treats.
I had to buy a cheap phone to use with the sim so I tried Phones 4U but all staff busy and coulnt see anything cheap. Ditto at Carphone Warehouse . So went to T-Mobile and nice girl Azimo gave me a lot of time and help. Phone cost £9.99 but had to buy a £10 top up card for it which she kindly put on my own phone. Job done.
Got back to shop, tried to use phone but it said no sim inserted. Back to T-Mobile. Have to get phone unlocked and they suggested someone. Went there to be told sim not compatible. Dazzle now has new phone!
Try again. Phones 4U pay as you go I asked for. Was shown one for £199, excuse me is that cheap? Next offered £175, then £125, £69, £49 and finally £9.99 and salesman said he'd make the sim work. Lost all trust in him by then.
Back to T-Mobile who explained their phones were all locked and should go toCarphone Warehouse. Waited 30mins and just about to leave when salesman became free. Took 5 mins to get sorted. Price of phone? £4.95 and £10 top up ( you have to buy) which we stuck in another phone to use up.
1. T-Mobile good service and helpful
2. Carphone Warehouse short staffed but know their stuff
3. Phones 4U not to trusted
4. XLN for cheap mobile phone calls.
That all took me from about 12 until 3.30 to get sorted. What was so difficult? Shan't be making any calls what's left of today!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Vintage at Goodwood

The weather turned out to be fine and there were lots of people looking gorgeous in their vintage outfits. It was crowded but not uncomfortably, if you wanted a seat anywhere there was usually one available and there was no jostling. Plenty of choices of food to eat, mainly healthy and some organic, queues varying at different times (I hate queuing, reminds me of school dinners). Lots of little shops to browse through for vintage clothes and accessories and creative workshops in the main street and I could shop for England.

Bands played on stage throughout the day and there was plenty to do for all ages with various events taking place at different times on the site.

Yes I would go again but remember to take my camera as I forgot this tme.

Friday, 13 August 2010

The Dresser

Dazzle had just arrived with stock from Le Pigeon Rose and I was eagily awaiting the arrival of the huge dresser which I had fallen in love with (Dazzle eat your heart out). Anyway I was serving a customer and she suddenly asked if we had any big dressers so I replied,
"There's one coming through the door any moment now but it is really big", thinking that she only wanted a little bigger (some customers have no concept of size). But she thought it might be ok so Dazzle happily measured the piece and gave her the price so she could tell her husband.
Anyway 2 hours later she came back and bought it. My lovely huge dresser. Dazzle was over the moon it went so quickly but I was decidedly under it!

It went so quickly I don't even have a photo.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Le Pigeon Rose

We had a phone call from Michael, one of the artists who appeared on our programme showing us some painting techniques and he has suffered a stroke. This has left him in a bad way and he is unable to carry on with the business as it is too much work for Paul, his partner, to carry on by himself. So we have agreed to take on their stock so that they can close down their workshop.

We felt absolutely awful going through the stock with them because we know what it feels like to have sell off everything. Imagine building up a business over the years then having to give up what you enjoy doing through ill health, it must be awful.
Anyway the upshot is we now have their stock on display in our shop, which gives Dazzle a bit of a breather as it is a hard slog trying to replace the furniture that sells

So I suppose the good part is that Michael and Paul can give up their workshop (which they are anxious to do), Le Pigeon Rose continues on through us, and we have some finished furniture to go straight on the shop floor.

It's still sad though.

Monday, 9 August 2010

The Age of Chivalry

I walked a slightly different way to work today and passed some OAPs (not together) waiting at the bus stop. The bus arrived just as I drew close and all the men stood back to allow the women on first! Wow!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

The Time is Never Right

Back before our particular programme came out I thought we might extend the metre wide decking walkway outside our conservatory doors so that my mother could get outside in the fresh air and sun (it was during that hot spell). Dazzle was finally convinced (he says I must think he's superman as I ask him to do difficult things) and managed to pick up some decking for half the normal price from The decking was cheap because it was last years and called Dusty Decking. Dazzle made sure they picked out straight peices and they delivered extra lengths as they didn't have the shorter ones we asked for.
So, Dazzle extended the floor space by 3m and I painted it seagrass green, well I would, wouldn't I. Enough wood was left over to box the platform in and Dazzle had the idea to build a shelf on the end for plants so the tops just show above the decking.
All that was needed to was to finish painting the sides, new steps and the lower deck in blue but that hasn't happened because the programme came out and now we don't have the time to finish the painting, paint the vintage table and chairs and sofa, and assemble the patio heater.
Even if we could find an hour - it's raining. Why is it never the right time?