Tuesday 21 May 2013

Changes and a quick catch up!

Lots going on behind the scenes here, so time for a quick catch up.

We have a new car! After my encounter with 'the' tractor, our beloved old Citroen Picasso was declared a 'write off', so after some hasty searching we came across this mean machine. So far, so good, everyone likes it and it's lovely to drive. The boot space is big enough for all those orders, so fingers crossed it will be a good car for us, as long as we avoid all tractors!!

Sam has finished his SATS. He really wasn't too bothered about them and thinks he's done okay. I always stress 'do your best and that's all we can ask of you'. He then moves into his final half term at Ditcheat Primary after half term week, before Secondary School - growing up way too fast!

Sophie - well she has made a very grown up decision to change Secondary schools. After half term she will move to the school Sam has chosen to go to in September. Logistically it will be the best for us all. Academically, it will give her more opportunities and option choices and fingers crossed, she makes some lovely new friends. It's a hard decision to make but I feel it will be for the best.

And Jeff - well he has a new job! 
There was much celebration here for sure.
He'll be teaching GCSE and A Level Maths again, in a VERY good school in Bath.

The redundancy has been a truly awful thing to go through as a family, probably the worst thing we have had to face in our 20 years together. It's really horrible to watch someone you love suffer the stress of losing their job. There was a period of consultation, following which an appeal process took place.

 As a result of a mutually agreed package, (I'm not able to go into the full details) I have Jeff's company all day every day from now, at home, on fully paid gardening leave!!

Don't worry, I have a list as long as my arm to keep him busy. dots and spots will of never been so organised, particularly on the website / technical front. All the things we never have time to do, will now get done! Even the leaky tap might get mended!!

So we go on our holiday 'sorted' - with the horrible episode, which I certainly don't wish to repeat, behind us. He'll be in a much better place on every level in his new job, come September! More than ever, I am really looking forward to the chance to relax next week, be spoilt (no cooking for a week) and enjoy quality family time together.

Saturday 18 May 2013

Whatever the Weather!

I've come to realise over the years how much the weather affects my mood. 
I really do dislike the rain.

And absolutely love it when the sun shines. 

It's actually enjoyable working in the evenings in my studio when the sun has been shining, with my lovely view of the garden. 

But I'm super excited because on Friday, I picked up the holiday tickets.

This time next week, I will be here in sunny Ibiza.
To say I am looking forward to it, would be an understatement.

On a practical note, if you wish to order from our website or trade website - all orders placed before 10pm on Wednesday 22nd of May will be posted out by Friday. Orders placed after 10pm will not be posted out until our return on Wednesday 5th of June.

My parents will be making the most of our travels and will be house sitting whilst we are away.

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Pulse -2

So here I am on my stand at Pulse - the first year I've been happy to have my actual photo taken, now I've lost a few pounds.

I always wear my special spotty ring at the show. It's funny how people expect you to be wearing spots, so when I'm not, I at least have my spotty ring!!

We had some lovely comments about our stand and how all our products were displayed - makes all the hard work before the show worth while.

I must confess I shall not miss the yellow carpet - I know neon is 'the in colour' but it was a bit bright by the end of 4 days.

We had a good show, we met some lovely people and caught up with old friends - so much so, I now have a croaky voice (far too much chatting!!) I love being in London for a few days, the hustle and bustle but it makes me appreciate the countryside at home.

I love going out for a post show treat - a favourite of ours is the Gourmet Burger Kitchen - delish!

But I love coming home and seeing the children and sleeping in my own bed.

Today has been a day of catch up and sorting out everything from the show. Orders from the website and our Not on the High Street store have all been picked and packed and gone out. The washing mountain has started to be tackled, the Tesco's shopping has been done. Show orders are in the process of being invoiced and normal service is resumed. Oh yes and that means the dreaded school run in less than an hour!!

Sunday 12 May 2013


This morning I was up early on a Sunday - today it was time for Pulse.

Our hotel is literally just around the corner from Earls Court........

......our home for the next few days.

I was very dubious when this yellow carpet went down yesterday but to be fair, 'the yellow brick road' as we like to call it, leads all visitors to our aisle.

And here we are - Stand A8
It is a big stand 7x1m but I was offered an extra couple of meters free of charge as someone dropped out, so I was more than happy to fill it.

We've had a good day, we've taken orders and given out lots of catalogues to genuinely interested people. I've loved catching up with tweeters, facebookers, blog followers and Instagrammers - any excuse for a natter. Foot fall has been noticeably lower but I guess is be expected in these difficult times.

We ended the day in the pub - a beer, food and a chance to rest my weary feet, 
before we do it all again tomorrow!

Wednesday 8 May 2013

Show Prep

 Pulse - London is nearly here.
I'm busy doing the final prep before we leave on Saturday morning to set up.

I've planned out my stand, just to make sure I haven't forgotten anything and to make sure it all fits in the allocated space.

I've taken lots of photo's so that I can put everything out easily when we get there.

So now I just have to wait. 
Everything is boxed up, bagged up and piled up waiting to go!

If you are planning to visit Pulse, do pop by and say Hello! 
We're stand A8

Saturday 4 May 2013

Tractor's - who'd have 'em?

 So my Friday school run was rather eventful. A tractor decided to reverse into my car whilst I was stationary. I couldn't reverse as I had a car behind me so I was tooting like a 'mad woman' but he just kept coming. 'I'm as deaf as a post love' he said, so I have a lovely crumpled bumper and a lot of hassle with insurance, car repairs etc. I've had to hire a van for Pulse as I've no guarantee that the car will be repaired by Friday - Sigh! 

So I declared a little retail therapy was needed. Sophie and I headed to Bath to do a spot of holiday shopping, chatting and together time.

I'm now relaxing in my 'spot' on the sofa.

Have a lovely weekend - the sun is set to shine here in Somerset on Monday so I'm going to be busy tomorrow, clear the 'to do' list and spend Monday in the garden.

Thursday 2 May 2013

I'm enjoying....

......the blue skies and sunshine. Such a treat!

So much so, I 'bunked off' for the afternoon yesterday and for an hour or two today. One of the perks of being your own boss for sure. You never know in this country how long it will last, so my motto is certainly 'make the most of it' whilst it's here.

The good weather has also spurred me on with my 'move more, eat less' campaign. I've been looking forward to my melon and yogurt now that it is warmer and my walks around the park are a lot more enjoyable now the sun is shining. I have 3 weeks to be 'good' before I go on holiday, so I have the perfect motivation for now, fingers crossed I can keep up the good work.

Remember 50% Friday tomorrow. There won't be one the week after as we will be busy with Pulse, our next big Trade Show in London so check in tomorrow to get your half price goodies.