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Archive for March, 2007
Oh, Joy. Such fun. Just perfect. (Are you being ironic? Mummy?)
The Au Pair has decided that she does not want to do any more housework AT ALL, and only wants to look after the children.
This is all my fault. I sweetly asked how we could improve things for her. She never gets up before 11, keeps her phone turned off for when we need her, goes out to eat when we are not thereÄ¶. The litany of complaints is long, but an au pair is an au pair. Rare, these days.
I am at a loss as to what to do. I want to sack her, but Easter Holidays start now, 4 hours ago, and help is vital. I shall open my heart to the Universe and see what it gets filled with.
Oh, someone has just asked to be the new au pair. Fabulous. They will not know if they can actually do it for a week, live with someone and are committed to their rent until September, but apart from that, all is good. We shall see. The question is; can I hold out until then?
From tomorrow I am at the Vitality Show. Huge, great big Mammoth of a show at Olympia. Setting up today was quite wild. It is just huge. All the stands are huge, the space is huge, and most of the stands, which are the size of houses, only sell one thing, blazoned in huge letters and pile to the ceiling. One type of product, endlessly huge. My little stand is over in the yoga corner that has been flung as far into a corner as the designers can possible make it without being obvious. All day today it was a car park, but I imagine that during the night, little fairies in velvet coats will come and make it into a part of the huge hall. We shall seeÄ¶Ä¶Ä¶.
I am feeling as though my life is moving at a very high speed at the moment. It is OK, I am adjusting to it, but I am not yet sure that I am enjoying the experience. It all feels so full of huge lessons at the moment, that I am really struggling to accept the hear and now. I constantly want to be having a different experience. And that is something I am really trying to grow out of.
I put the Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle, in the bathroom in the hope that it would encourage me to ground myself into the now, but someone has taken it! Charming. Previously the dog had chewed it. Obviously I need to learn these things without outside assistance.
I recognised an aspect of myself recently, that I do not like; It is the inability to bear suffering alone. I do like an audience when I suffer. I always seem to need to reach out and be heard when in pain. Here I write weblog, but I am not currently suffering and fears, dreams and hopes are not admissible as weblog dialogue. I have noticed this before.
On another note, I was at a show in Essex this weekend. It is another world.
Tomorrow is the set up for the Vitality Show. Again, another world. And here I sit, in the shop, another one.
It is quiet here. The road has been erased by the council and a large rut taken itÄôs place. It looks and sounds awful and its a major deterrent to passers by. At least I hope that is the problem! Only time will tell.
Hopeless, hopeless. I have been so busy, sitting in my new shop, that I have not had a moment to write anything. And so much has happened. I canÄôt really think of what I have been doing exactly, but it has been a lot. Filing, labelling, tidying, dusting, re-arranging and then looking with wonder at this whole new life experience and thinking ÄúHow did I get here?Äù
Funny, the song was on the radio at the only point I listened to the radio in the last few years the other day. It really caught my attention because it is how I feel at the moment. As though I have been like an automaton; one foot in front of the other, step by step getting to this point. I walked downstairs in the shop yesterday and felt as though I had been doing it all my life. What does that mean? It is all quite surreal and Oh, so different.
I had a great visit from a lovely friend this morning, someone who has a good eye and knows about me and Äúthese thingsÄù. She thought it all looked good. Phew! I must sayÄ¶ Phew.
I have a few issues with the world, otherwise, but nothing that cannot wait, so I will. But, I do want to point out that giving 4 wheel drives such a hard time makes no sense at all. They are now so devalued that there is no point selling ours, and we might as well just pay the extra road tax and be done with it. 4 wheel drives are the baddies and 18 meter busses are just dandy. I donÄô t get it, but I guess I am not supposed to. There always has to be a baddie. Why is that? Like there always has to be something that we are scared of, both on a personal level and especially globally. So right now we should all be loves and switch off our computers at night. Great. But what about 18 meter busses and ugly street lights shining up into the world and no VAT on aviation fuel? To name but a few. I am avoiding Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa etc because it all gets too big and scary, but let the scientists say it is all oUR fault and some pointless act will make it all better. I donÄôt think so.
I have noticed that web log has itÄôs own life, and after a period of time one, me, feels as though anything can be written about, but the opposite is true. Writing web log is a distinctly controlled writing experience, especially if one is feeling bruised, emotionally exhausted and in need of comfort.
Being in the throes of one or more of these classifications I find I must write trivia to avoid exposing too much of actual life reality to the world. It is interesting how constrained our lives have become.
I just had a visit from a Fire Safety Officer. The hoops, the rigmarole, the crap that we now have to accept on a daily basis is quite something. The painters, painting the outside of the shop, put a wet paint strip of plastic across the entrance to the shop saying that for health and safety reasons, no one could walk over the dustsheet they had put on the floor, in case that person tripped.
There is no point arguing. There is no resistance because it just creates hell. This cotton wool seems to be what the masses want and life now caters to the masses. Such fun.
Now it is starting to become familiar, the huge life changes that are coming with my new career. Is it really a career? I am not sure what defines a career, but I feel this is perhaps not fitting into the description.
Gently, we are inhabiting the space in the street. People are looking in the windows, some coming in, including the Landlord who was thrilled, and gently the things that make us look like a shop are coming to join in the display; The painters have returned from holiday and are doing their thing, the sign writer finally is pulling his finger out and we have a sign. No lights, no writing on the windows and no awning, but we do have a sign.
I have found it really interestingly challenging to communicate a sense of urgency to the people who are involved with me. I suppose I am unreasonable and want it all done NOW. And NOW is not quick enough.
The endless learning curves of getting older, wiser, more responsible, the list is long. It starts to get rather depressing from here so I will stop.Posted in
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It was good. Surprisingly so. Charming people, including the gift of a plant with a lovely flower from Ali at the corner cafe. It all feels good and positive and absolutely the right way forward. My accountant was kind on the phone, too, so I must be heading in the right direction. My last conversation with him left me in a state of terror for weeks!
The shop looks wonderful, but interestingly no one looked at anything except clothes. I was surprised, and know that I need to arrange things so that attention is drawn elsewhere. The wonderful learning curve of becoming a retailer Isadora stayed with me again, all day. For a 4.5 year old she is pretty good at selling, and very easy company. Her choice to stay with me. I asked her if she was enjoying it and she was quite sure that she was. My attempts at getting her enthusiastic about being with kids her own age are not gaining much ground at the moment. We shall see.
Home is quite calm. The office is now at the shop and it makes a big difference to the whole energy here. Sometimes I don’t know what to do with myself here. partly because the office is such total chaos. The thought of creating orderis too much for me right now. I must confess that5 the office at the shop is in a similar state of disorder, but I know we can make sense of it. Ha!
There was one today; I pulled the brown paper off the shop windows. It was a big moment. No more hiding behind anything. Now we are there, for all to see, opening tomorrow. Truthfully it is not really exactly perfect, but it will do. It will more than do, and it looks good. A very lovely space.
So I am now a shopkeeper. A retailer. I have entered a world not entirely dissimilar to the strange new world that one enters as a new mother. It is equally expensive to take part, stressful, life changing and all new. And like motherhood, there are lots of other people all doing it too. They are all charming, smiling, friendly and really supportive. Meeting the other local shopkeepers has been quite surprising. Not that all people arenÄôt charming and interesting at some point, but the compassion and generosity of spirit from other retailers in the area has been wonderful.
I am vastly looking forward to the whole thing. I know I am knee deep already, but actually open is a whole new deal. There are so many clothes it is quite a surprise. I was not conscious of how much we had. It is great to be so well stocked right away, so it looks whole and ready, not little drifts of things, but abundant and organised by colour.
I wish the whole project lots of luck and abundance and dedicate it all to Yogi Bhajan and Guru Ram Dass.
I am writing in bed. I have a sleeping child on either side of me and am not free to move. It is an interesting and cramped place to write from, but I feel that weblog must be done, I am addicted to my computer and have not used it for a few days so am behind on emails and all the other daily delights that develop through high internet use.
The show was good. Today was great. Lots of people, including some great talkers and a few real eccentrics. It was worth the effort.
I am having to go back to extreme measures in my diet and it has been a few days now, probably two weeks, that I have been vegan and close to five weeks with no soya at all. I know it sounds so extreme, but for a change it is not as an experiment. I really have had to stop. I suppose I had a rock bottom in India with the dairy and having an ear infection which is still going on and has rendered me almost deaf in one ear with roaring tinnitus at the same time, but I also realised that I have been having a very allergic reaction to soya for a while and only in India, totally soy free, could I realise what it was that had stopped and why. My regime is very different and I feel so much better. Last time I was vegan the soy levels went sky high. This time, because of the ear thing and the awful reaction to anything with soya in, having let go of ti all, I feel great. The trouble is, it makes going out remarkably challenging. So I am being a bit more relaxed on the dairy side but have now decided to take the children off soya too. It will make lots of things harder, but I cannot be good. I know it is not good in the quantities that one comes to depend on these foods. Princess Isadora will have to adapt, just as I have done. But interestingly it has not been hard, although I know there is nothing as stimulating for change as desperation, and I really reached that place. The biggest surprise is that I like black tea. Totally unexpected.
We were at a show all day today. It was OK. The usual suspects, and some real delights. The joy of the day was the trip there. I drove with Juliette. She was helping me. It was quickly established that her map reading skills were less than mine. It was such fun.
As a child I had to go to the races. We, my sisters and I, used to collect the jockeyÄôs autographs. We would lie in wait for them out side the Jockey club, never realising that we were endlessly asking the same men who had changed their colours every race. I digress. The point was that this show was held at Kempton Park Race Course. Beautiful. Quite lovely, but in my head we were going to Epsom Race Course. Why? I have absolutely no idea. I looked up Epsom on the map and saw it was so close that there was no need to take a B & B, I could drive it. Yesterday, when they went to set up, I gave my husband directions to Epsom. Luckily he forgot them and my assistant had printed the correct route. They got there and all was fine.
So, this morning, the directions were up on the screen of my computer. I printed them off but merely glanced at them thinking nothing of the fact that it was no-where near Epsom. I headed for the M3 shrugging off any ideas that it was no-where near Epsom.
Several miles down the A3 I asked Juliette how we were doing. She had no idea, but the question asked itself of me and I had to admit to being on the wrong motorway. We pulled off at a racehorse signpost, but it was Sandown Park. I remember it well. Still, no good. Re-found the A3 then took the M25 to the M3. Came off and went the wrong way. 1.5 hours later we rolled up at Kempton Park.
By this point I was hysterical with laughter and very grateful for a sense of humour.
Another full day at the shop and it is starting to look sensible. I think…
We have put out rails of clothes, loaded jewellery cabinets, put up the beginnings of a changing room and suddenly there is a shop. Truthfully it is really hard work. Not an instant thing. The shows are sort of bish, bash, bosh and it is done. This is much more intense and calculated. Calculated is a tricky and not much used word. I use it here because it all needs so much thought, where each thing should go, what makes an impact, what will sell, what needs to sell, what is too valuable to leave out etc.
I have thoroughly resisted the full responsability of it all for far too long, but now I am comfortable with being in charge. I wanted someone else to say “do this, put it here, make it like this, open on this day”, but no one else can. It is only me. A lonely place, but Baptiste, Deirdre and Anna have been fabulous. Finally we will open on Tuesday next week. No sign, no awning, no painted exterior. But hey. It is a start. And absolutely the right thing to be doing. I feel it in my bones.