Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Lookout in Corby - Grampa's Got a Scam!

As I was walking into Aldi in Corby last  week, near the trolley holding area, I was approached by a gentleman who was returning his trolley, asking me if I would like his, before he put it back in the cart queue.
I could see that the smaller trolleys were gone, as a woman was putting in her £1.00 coin and taking the last one. I hate using the larger trolleys, so I accepted his offer, handed him my £1.00 coin, and proceeded into the shop.

When shopping was all finished, I returned to my car, unloaded my groceries, and walked back to the put the trolley away and retrieve my £1.00.
If you live in Corby you know that it is an awkward area where the carts are stored - and the smaller ones more difficult to get at, too. It is a one-way lane only, and quite tight to fit any more than one person in there at a time.
A woman had just put her trolley in the trolley queue and offered to put my trolley back in for me. I accepted and took the pound coin from her outstretched hand. Now I know you know where this is going, right?

No sooner had I turned and walked away and she had removed my coin from the slot of my trolley, she called out to me, "It's not a pound!". Naturally, I turned back in surprised horror, dumbfounded that a little old grampa had taken me for a pound! And now the horror for me was that this woman was thinking it was ME who was scamming HER!

I couldn't have been more shocked and dismayed. What is this world coming to when a you can't even trust someone to be honest with you over a £1.00 coin? Especially when the someone in question is an elderly gentleman, well groomed and presented, and surely not a risk in person or action.
Don't judge a book by its cover, I say! This little old man has quite the scam going. If he buys the fake £1.00 tokens in bulk, and pulls this stunt many times per day, he is having a nice little side income for himself.

The sad ending to this story is this: I have had this happen to me dozens of times before and never gave it a thought that the person wasn't going to have a £1.00 coin in the slot. Now I am tainted and have a distrust for this formerly friendly exchange. People beware and grampa, shame on you!


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Shared Journies along the Way

I am so appreciative of living in a small market town situated in a very lovely rural area.
Sometimes, early in the morning, I can hear the sheep in the fields across from us and up the hill beyond the estate across the road.
The estate has very tall hedges in which live loads of tiny sparrows heard chirping happily every morning, too.

Not only is the setting for our life here everyday such a pleasure, but even journeying to and from the shops can be pleasant and surprising, too.
My husband's former commute to work took him 45 minutes each way and wound around and through areas of Birmingham. If there was a diversion, an accident or snow/ice, his ride wold take even longer.
Now his journey takes about 15 minutes and his route takes him through countryside and farmer's fields, small villages, and across bubbling streams. There are no traffic jams and only flooding in low-lying areas sometimes interrupts his commute.

Last week, while I was on route to get some shopping done in the nearest large city, all cars came to a stop. At first I wasn't sure what was causing the hold-up. Then, as I waited and watched, I could see farmers herding their sheep on a walk down the road. Men, Land Rovers, and Border Collies all working together to get the sheep from the fields on the left side of the road, across to the right.  I imagine they were bringing them in closer to home in time for lambing season.  It's such a lovely time of year - babies being born and spring ever-so-close.

I was happy for the slight interruption of my journey - not annoyed as I would if it were some sort of traffic-related stoppage - as it allowed me to watch a timeless routine take place in a beautiful setting. It gave me time to pause for thought, too. This isn't something that would have happened when we lived in Birmingham - it would have been just a typical city run for groceries, with the only stopping being for traffic.

Once the sheep were all safely sorted and the cars began to move along again, I continued on my commute to the shops. I didn't forget about it when I reached my destination - buying two bunches of daffodils to place on my kitchen table to remind me that the sheep were lambing and spring would be here soon.


Tuesday, 29 January 2013

January Blues

Well now this is embarrassing - where has the time gone since my last post?
I haven't abandoned you, dear readers and friends, just lots of other things in life have gotten in the way.
But here we find ourselves in January, a new year, a new beginning. Things should be looking up, right?
But what's so great about January?

We begin in January announcing why we didn't like ourselves or our lives or our decisions during the last year, pledging to make changes in the New Year. The reality is that those pledges known as, 'New Year's Resolutions,' only remind us of how we failed to live up to our own expectations of ourselves last year. They will soon offer us reinforcement of just how bad we are at keeping the resolutions, and will make us feel down on ourselves once again. It's just one of the reasons I hate January.

Another reason to dislike this month is that my birthday is in it. Yup, that's right. I am a birthday hater. Yes, I know that having another birthday is better than the alternative, but, birthdays are reminders (especially at my ever-older ages) of our own mortality and that, in my case, there are more years of living behind us than there are in front of us. The clock is ticking so better hurry up with any plans!

Then there's the boredom of the winter season in which January resides - the holidays are behind us and there is nothing exciting happening until spring. Of course, this makes us think of the lousy, gray, depressing weather and how we must endure it until spring arrives to grant us with a sunny, fair-weather day.

To make life in January more bearable, I've decided to abandon New year's resolutions - all but one - in which I have a blanket given myself a blanket purpose; to be a better person this year than I was in the last.
My children have given me a magazine subscription to Mollie Makes so that I might get inspired and rediscover some creativity that seems to have gotten lost this past year. I've begun some new projects, plan on revamping my shops and this blog and generally speaking, keep myself busy in the creative world and look forward to the end of January and the beginning of the months ahead that are going to be filled with excitement this year.

We are expecting a second grandchild with our daughter, Elizabeth, in New York, and two of our children are planning weddings. So pretty soon boring, dull January will be behind me and exciting, busy, creative days are ahead. That is something to look forward to as we head into February. 

I'm so happy to be writing again!