A Celtic Blessing

May the road rise to meet you,
may the wind be always at your back,
may the sun shine warm upon your face,
may the rains fall soft upon your fields.
Until we meet again,
may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

Sunday, 30 September 2007

How many socks make 5?

Oh joy of joys - it is time for the half-yearly stocktake. For those of you not familiar with retail, this consists of counting everything that is in the shop, so that a value can be put on the stock in the shop. As a result of this, the shop was full of people counting and recounting everything. I was lucky, and I got socks, underwear and nightwear to count (all under the heading of 'Essentials', though for me, nightwear is very much an option, as the only pair of pyjamas I own was last worn when I was in hospital - but enough of me).

Generally stocktake starts off in almost complete silence, as it can be very distrating when you are sounting to hear someone else counting. When I started, they were still putting out the stocktake sheets, and since they are all numbered, the managers putting them out were recording the numbers to check them. I think I ended up having to count one rail 6 times before I was sure I ahd it right - I would get to 5 and then the managers would say a sheet number (such as 541, and I would have to think 'was that 6, 5, 4 or 1 that I counted to?', and so would have to start again. And with nearly all of us having done a part day before hand, which was surprisingly busy, we were not really in the best of frames of mind. So all in all, not the most exciting Saturday night I have ever spent.

And on top of that, there was the temperature in the store. I think they have switched over to the winter heating, which was fine earlier in the week (we did a fine trade in thick coats earlier on when the weather was decidedly nippy) but with it getting milder, we were basically sweating cobs. As I drove home after finishing work, I had just my shirt on and the window open, and it was over 15 minutes before I started feeling cold. I got home, put my uniform into the wash and had a shower, but even then, it was over an hour before I had wound down enough to think about bed.

I am glad I said I wasn't going in this morning. Itis my only day off, and I did not want to get up and be in work for 8. As it turned out, I didn't wake up until nearly 8:30, so I would have been late anyway. I am spending a relaxing day at home, though I have had to iron, and will probably end up sorting papers or sewing. There is rugby on at 4 (there is some on now but I am not really interested in this match), but Ireland play Argentina at 4 and I want to see that. I will have a late lunch/early dinner while that is on. What do you call a meal halfway between lunch and dinner? I know between breakfast and lunch you have brunch, so am I having linner or dunch? If anyone knows, please can they let me know? Thank you.

And somewhere soon I need to get going on my sewing. I have a commission to finish before Christmas, and I really must get down to finishing it. The trouble is, I have so many other things I would like to do instead of that one - but I can do some of it while I am watching the rugby this afternoon.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

If you can't say something nice...

Don't say anything. I was taught that and it seems like a good rule in life.

So why do people think that the web is different from real life? Just because it is a different and new(ish) medium, some people think that all rules are suspended. Especially in the world of blogging, where people can leave comments under a pseudonym, and feel they can say what they like and not be found out. What they forget though is that an anonymous comment can hurt just as much as a real one - sometimes more, since it can come from a stranger.

What has caused this outburst? Well Jamie who started me blogging has been receiving hurtful comments on her blog. Comments from someone she trusted. Why should anyone feel they can say something like that? And to say it in public on a blog - not even saying it one to one in private. Someone like that, who knows her circumstances, should understand that she needs support not tearing down like that.

So may I make a request? If you want to comment on this blog, feel free. However, please keep it legal, decent, truthful and honest. Thank you.

And thus endeth the rant for today

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Where did my holiday go?

I think there is some sort of time warp around here. I am sure you must have noticed it. Ten days ago, I was looking forward to my holiday. Now, suddenly, it has gone. Did anyone see it? I am sure I must have had it, as I remember some good times, but looking back it seems no time at all since I was at work. And tomorrow I am back in work again.

As I said, back to the grind. To be honest, I am not that down about going back - I have done most of the things I wanted to do, like spending time with my parents. Ok, so the house is a mess and I could usefully spend a couple of days getting it sorted (and maybe, finding the book I bought while I was away). But the problem with holidays is that you never want to do the things that have to be done. I will probably do more next Sunday on my single day off than I have done on the whole weekend that is just finishing. I am like that.

Just had my daughter here. She was using my PC because it has software that is not on hers. It is good to see her - even if it is just for a few minutes. And I think I helped her get done some of what she needed to do. And it makes me feel that I still am some use to her, apart from being a taxi service and cash dispenser. Though to be fair to her, she does not usually ask for money.

Ok - I had better head for bed. See you all soon I hope!

Thursday, 20 September 2007

The wanderer returns

Yes here I am again. Have I really been gone a week? I guess I must have been having fun, since they say that is what makes time fly.

It was a a rough time for me. Dad is not good, and obviously that affected me. Mum is so worn out from looking after him. I really do take my hat off to her. My sister and brothers do what they can, but she has to put up with it every day. He will come and talk at you, almost as if he just wants the company. Time is an obsession with him, making sure his watch is just so and checking that everyone else has a watch telling them the same time as his. We were watching a rugby match together on TV, and I had to continually remind him who was playing. It is heartbreaking.

And yet, when things connected, it was quite like old times. We managed some lovely walks, including one I had not done before. Walking through a long established wood made me realise how little woodland we have like that here. The island was largely deforested and most of the woodland is fairly new, and lacks that 'timeless' quality that an old woodland has. And since a lot of our deciduous woodland is in the glens, there is always the noise of water; a beautiful sound but it takes away that special sort of silence in a wood, when the old leaves absorb the sound and the birds and the faint rustling of the branches are the only sounds you can hear.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Me and my big mouth

Will I never learn to keep my trap shut? Yet again, me eagerness to be helpful has landed me with doing more than I expected. And this is the 3rd time in 3 weeks - I need to learn!

Basically, it all came out of the shortage of staff. We had our revered leader telling us this morning that they are trying to recruit staff, but that has not filtered down to the day-to-day that we need. I was due to leave at 4:30, but our section coordinator had to go to the dentist, which left 2 people there until 6. So, step forward the Fool - "would you like me to stay?" And once again, it was accepted, proving that I am as daft as I look, if not dafter! 8 until 6 - and I even skimped on my breaks as well so that I did not keep someone after 4. The only good news is that I now have 2 short days to go until I go on holiday. I am more than ready for it!

Well as they say, there is no fool like an old fool - so no wonder I feel old!

Monday, 10 September 2007

Technology - a good servant but a bad master

I don't know what it is, but technology has had myself and 2 people I know in real frustration recently. I just hope that it is true that bad things come in 3s, and that is it.

Firstly me. I was trying to put some music onto my phone to use it as an MP3 player (which is part of its design). I followed the manual and used the software provided. I could hear my voice getting shriller and shriller as I tried to explain to the computer that the phone could not be connected in one program and not connected in another. Eventually I gave up and went to bed. This morning I was able to load the music by totally ignoring the software and doing it in a completely different way.

Then there was J. A simple de-installation of a program that was no longer needed - what could possibly go wrong? Well, in this case, plenty! Not only did it remove the program, it also corrupted their MS Word and virus checker, as well as messing up the internet connection. Even going back to restrore points did not correct the problem, so it is off to the repair shop tomorrow. Fun huh?

And finally, there was T. She works part time and uses her computer all day. Due to finish at 2:30 today, she was hanging around for the engineer to sort out her computer until well after that. That caused her to miss a very important phone call, so she was really upset as well.

Computers - don't you just love 'em?

Saturday, 8 September 2007


Isn't it funny how the body reacts to things? Take a sudden awakening for example. During the week, when I am woken by my alarm clock, I am so tired and can just fall back to sleep (and my alarm clock has no snooze facility so I have to get up straight away!) And yet last night I was woken by a phone call - and could I get back to sleep? A friend needed to talk but when we had finished it took me ages to drop off again - and I do mean ages! We got off the phone about 1:15 and it was going on 3 when I finally dropped off. So my restful weekend is not going well at all so far.

However, I did have a good evening last night. I went out for a drink with someone from the Interior Design course that I did earlier in the year, and we ended up talking for about 2 hours. And it was not idle chat - we talked about work, home, family and quite a few other things (including the legal way to serve beer in Australia! (she is Australian (as you can see I like brackets!)))

Friday, 7 September 2007

I made it!

In one piece (well - more or less!)

So this is Friday. I slept late (for a change) and woke up full of energy and enthusiasm (how can you tell I am not going to work today?) I tidied up my clothes and did some laundry - and then it sort of fizzled out. I sat down at the PC and sort of never got up again, apart from making more cups of coffee.

Yesterday was a strange day. I could see 5pm closing in on me, and I was nearly there when I realised there would be a shortage of staff. So what did I do? Fool that I am, I volunteered to stay for an extra hour! I am a sucker for a hard luck story. But I hope it will show that I am willing to be flexible, which cannot be bad (I hope!)

And I am also going to be a BIG man at work! I have been co-opted onto the Business Involvement Group to replace someone who has left the company. I am not quite sure what it will ionvolve, but time will tell as they say. I stood during the elections but was unsuccessfull. As Di said, it was a pity that the elections finished as they did, as the three candidates who seemed really passionate about it were the three who missed out. I checked if it would put anyone else out, but was told I had been offered the post as there was noone else from Menswear. So we will see what becomes of it.

And now it is off to Tesco for my groceries - what a thrill-a-minute life I lead!

Thursday, 6 September 2007

4 o'clock in the morning

4 o’clock in the morning
Is the worst time to wake
Lying there;
Body half asleep,
Mind wide awake.
Watching the dawnlight seep around the blinds.

4 o’clock in the morning
Is when the fears come out;
When your will is weakest,
The future darkest,
Prospects bleakest.
Faith and hope seem so distant.
Fear sinks its claws in,
Doubt eats you away.

4 o’clock in the morning
Hides your weapons.
Leaves you naked,
Open to the monsters of fear and doubt.

4 o’clock in the morning,
At its worst,
Can last all day.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Thank goodness for the clouds!

Isn't it strange how you can come to appreciate the little things? And how your opinion of them can change? Normally in the summer I look for blue skies and clear nights to see the stars. This morning I am so grateful for the clouds that hid the moon from me so i wasn't woken at 5am as I have been for the last few days.

And here we are on my 8th straight day in work. 2 more to go - and tomorrow is a slightly shorter day (9 to 5). So it is only 14 1/2 hours left to work - not that I am counting! Yesterday I found particularly stressful. We had a massive delivery (most of it for my department) and with no manager or section coordinator, we were really short handed. By the end of the day, Iw as so worn out emotionally and physically that I had to hide in the fitting room.

And so to this morning. I have been messing around with my website, and have changed the side menu to scroll so that people with small screens can see the bottom of it. What do you mean, you didn't know I had a website? Ok, I have added it to the links on the side, but it doesn't work. Click here to go and have a look.

In the meantime, I had better go and catch my bus. Here's hoping we all have a better day! TTFN!

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

The moon is made of green cheese?

Well if it is, then it is very shiny cheese! It woke me this morning peeping round the blind. And it is only a half moon - usually it is the full moon that wakes me. The clear weather is nice but it is getting nippier - it feels like autumn is on the way. I managed to get all my washing dry yesterday while I was at work which was a bonus. I would change the bed today but the forecast is for rain so it will probably be done tomorrow when the forecast is better.

Oh well - day 7 of 9. I hope it goes ok. The last few days have been pretty quick, but today and tomorrow I work until 6 and the last hour usually drags. Oh well, I will just have to hang on until Thursday. We are still without a manager, so we are pretty much running ourselves, and everything is going ok. What will happen while I am off? Who knows? I certainly don't!

Ok - time to eat up and go, alas. Goodbye PC

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

No I am not deliberately swearing - it is the title of a song by U2!

An example of how the subconscious works. When I work, I set my alarm to go off at the same time each day, irrespective of when I start work. I am working today, but since I start at 11, I decided not to set my alarm. However, guess when I woke up? Exactly when my alarm was supposed to go off! Which leaves me 4 hours to fill before work!

Thank goodness for the computer. If I didn't have this I think I would go mad, or turn into a recluse. I do feel a bit like Pauline Collins in 'Shirley Valentine' - I talk to the walls and to the microwave. And some of the conversations I have with Pepsi have to be heard to be believed!

Oh well, I am off to finish my breakfast, get ready for work and say goodbye to my wall!

Saturday, 1 September 2007

What day is it?

If you want to see the human female at her worst, see her in a sale in a store. The human female tends to grab anything that looks like a bargain - then bring it back if it does not fit. The number of returns we have to cope with is beyond belief! The last 3 days have been like Christmas - with the exception that at Christmas, we have extra staff! Oh well, it keeps me out of mischief (and the chance to get into some would be nice!)

And what did I get? A shirt, 2 jackets and a pair of trousers. Summer wear but they will keep until next year. I love linen - and a £39.50 jacket for £5 was too good to pass up!

So here I am 4 days into a 9 straight day stretch. I foolishly said I would work Sunday (5 1/2 hours) as long as I got another day off. So I work Sunday and get Friday off - and I am already asking myself is it worth it? 9 days straight - so I will be exhausted and worn out. Oh well, it will soon be my holiday. I will work 8 days, have 3 days off, work 1 days, have 1 off then work 2 before I go on leave. Put it that way then it is not too bad!