Smile a lot
Lunch with an old school friend.
Smile a lot
Lunch with an old school friend.
The photo challenge this week gives an opportunity to air some pictures that you haven’t seen before, and also to hilight some that are my favourites. I’ll be repeating the exercise at Just Snaps, but no repeats of photographs. There will also be a resume of the tree over here when I can get it all together! So, here is a little collection.
(Click on any photograph to open a slideshow with captions)
Just a few glimpses. I had far too many pictures from which to choose. I hope your 2012 was a happy one, and that you will look back without regret. You can find full details of the challenge here where there are also lots more entries. I hope you will join it too.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the sight of blood. I can cope with it, and have had to on many occasions, all mothers’ have to be able to cope with emergencies, but I don’t like the sight of unnecessary blood! You know, the sort that is spilled in an argument.
There is nothing like a family get-together to ‘bring on’ the prospect of a fight, and usually it’s over the most ridiculous of things.
For instance, how on earth could you start an argument over a scone?
Well, firstly, how do you pronounce it? To rhyme with ‘on’ or ‘tone’? I’ve heard it pronounced to rhyme with ‘soon’ too, (similar to the Stone of Scone!). Next, should there be fruit, or just plain? How about butter? Should you use it? Should you leave it out? Don’t forget the jam, should it be strawberry or raspberry? I’m sure you all have preferences, but they don’t count when there is a RIGHT way to do it. Add another dimension to the argument by mentioning Cream Teas, especially if you have representatives of both Devon AND Cornwall (or should that be Cornwall AND Devon) in the room and fireworks will follow at any moment.
By the time you read this I may well have experienced just such a fight as above. It might well be cake knives at dawn, but I won’t be drawing mine. We have an interesting family mix gathering today for a lovely wedding. There will be 100 or so guests. I’m looking forward to seeing the 100 – it’s the ‘or so’ I’m worried about, and all families have those!
Now, where did I put those bandages?
I’m not sure how it happened, but I suddenly realised today that it is well over 37 years since I last bought anything with the Heinz label, and it will be at least another 37 years before I think about buying anything again. This thought suddenly brought home to me again how important a response to a complaint can be, and how important customers are to a business.
Now you may think that my response is petty, but I will tell you the tale. My daughter was still tiny and only eating a little solid food. At that time it was mostly pureed fruit and vegetables – apples, pears, carrots etc. Very rarely I would buy a readymade jar of Cow and Gate, but mostly it was freshly prepared. One day we visited a friend, and her also tiny daughter, and stayed longer than expected, so I had to ‘make do’ with a can of Heinz apple puree that was in her cupboard. We opened it and were shocked to find a not so small and perfectly formed spider nestling in the puree. A second can produced the required lunch, but we still had the evidence from the first. After lunch it was decided that we would write a letter to Heinz telling them about it, this we did, not sending the spider but preserving it carefully. The letter was sent on our way home.
It was a month before Heinz replied. They were sorry, but unable to do anything as we had not sent the said creature. The whole tone of the letter, quite frankly, said ‘we don’t believe you’. Together we wrote another letter, this time including the spider – it was still perfectly formed. Another month went by and we received another letter. It was a preprinted form containing all sorts of facts about how careful Heinz were to ensure that their products were safe etc, and finally at the bottom was a typed PS telling us that there was no need to worry, the object we had returned was only plant matter. For our trouble they enclosed a voucher for 5p, which, by the way, was less than the cost of a tin of their babyfood.
That was the day we both decided that we would never again purchase Heinz. I had a phone call from Sue today, and out of the blue this memory surfaced. We both laughed – and both admitted that we still don’t buy anthing with a Heinz label. Sometimes you have to read the really small print to discover that Heinz are involved – but if it is there I will find it. My first son in law was a very fussy eater, everything was smothered in Ketchup, but as mine wasn’t Heinz he wouldn’t eat it. He would only eat Heinz soup – and beans (in fact, this was just about the total of his diet when he first came into our lives) I’m glad to say that he wasn’t quite so fussy by the time he disappeared into another life.
So, I ask you – How important is YOUR customer service? Do customers count or do you just want their money. OK, Heinz may still be a big company, but they may have been bigger with our money too…..
I had a few obvious photographs I could use for this weeks photo challenge, but this one struck me as the most pertinent. How many REAL friends do you have?
This photograph is of a hanging made by my friend Jane Lemon. She is a textile artist of extreme talent, and this hanging was commissioned by Amnesty International to celebrate 50 years. The photograph isn’t excellent, but you can find more information here and here. I’ve also blogged about it before. It was created partly on the embelliser, with hand and machine embroidery. It is stunning and very thought provoking when you see it. Keep your eyes open in case it visits your area.
There are times when it’s more than a friend that is needed. Thank goodness for Amnesty International.
More information about the challenge and lots more entries can be found here
It was a normal Monday evening. Yes, it was a Bank Holiday, but we had nothing in particular planned, and the only prospect for the evening was either watching TV or doing some stitching. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door, and the prospects changed. We were bundled (metaphorically speaking) into a car and whisked off to destination unknown. Weaving to right and left we finally came to a narrow track which led to our destination.
Of course, we could have watched TV if we had wanted, there were two large screens suitably placed.
Suddenly, all was plunged into darkness
and the moment had arrived!
The Jubilee Beacon was lit. Thanks for taking us, Phil, we had a really lovely time.
(Not everyone made it to a beacon, though, as you can read here)
Let’s just say that April was a little damp! Fortunately I haven’t needed to travel much, but last weekend was different, it was the Needlework Fiesta at Brockenhurst. The motorway journey was accompanied by lots of spray from vehicles, but the landscape was the biggest surprise. Instead of trees and grass with the occasional New Forest pony, much of the area was transformed into a lake and the camp sites we passed were decidedly empty. Ironically, the annual Boat Jumble at Beaulieu (just around the corner) was cancelled as the venue was too wet! I didn’t take any photographs this year as I was moving around as little as possible (shouldn’t have been there, to be honest), but I wrote a little about the event last year. Our journey home was broken by a delicious meal with our friends Val and Dave, you can see what I had for my starter here, others chose this!
I’ve really missed blogging over the last few weeks, but haven’t been comfortable sitting at the computer. In fact, I’ve spent more time in bed than I would have thought possible, but after a good rest yesterday I’m feeling much more like my usual self. Hopefully I’m beginning to get back to normal after the op’, but still no driving. Thanks for all the good wishes you have emailed. I apologise if I owe you a reply, or a reply to a comment on the blog. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible!
(By the way, if anyone fancies joining me in Stockport later this month there is a little more information linked from here)
Three weeks old, and celebrating her first New Year. We didn’t expect anyone quite so young at our gathering last night, but what a delightful surprise, and she was so good! We met with friends and neighbours, so no-one had far to travel, and no motorways to circumnavigate!
Lots of delicious food
I didn’t get photographs of the beef and duck that followed, but I didn’t forget the booze
Midnight came and we celebrated
Finally it was time for dessert! Now you need your imagination because the pictures are awful!
Between us all we managed to make a very good job of demolishing it! Yum, lovely crunchy walnuts were in there too, and we needed the sugar to keep us going until after 3am. Wish you could have all joined us, we had lots of fun. In fact, we had so much fun that I admitted to my friends, family and neighbours that I’ve been blogging for the whole of 2011! That wasn’t as easy as it sounds, so I’m hoping it will be considerered worthy of the ‘No Comfort Zone 2012‘ challenge……… If you fancy a challenge, why not join in too?
So, all that remains is for me to show you my art for the beginning of the year! Take a look at the quote – and remember it!
(If you are looking for the Thursday Theme you will find it here)
I woke this morning to discover that it was Thursday. Now that might not be a partlicular revelation to you, but this has been a busy week, and a lot has happened. Once I realised the day I began to panic. I’m nowhere near ready and there is hardly any time left. So today I’m making a concerted effort to prepare.
Now, you all think that I’m talking about Christmas, don’t you. Well you are wrong. I’m talking about tomorrow, 23rd December. The day before Christmas Eve. It’s a tradition.
Once, a long ago, when she was as fit as a fiddle, my mother did a friend a favour. The friend was younger, but very grateful, and she has never forgotten. Each year she brings us gifts to commemorate this deed. She arrives, has coffee and biscuits, tells us about the circumstances and how grateful she is, then hands over some little gifts. We don’t expect them, they have to be a surprise, and we are extremely touched that she still remembers. She then departs, pausing only to turn, on the doorstep, touch Mr Chittle Chattle on the arm and say ‘I’ve brought you your favourite. I know how much you like them’, and then she is ‘off’ as though in a puff of smoke.
Tomorrow is nearly here, and I need to prepare those biscuits, so that’s my task for today. Then tomorrow we will have our visit, and on Christmas Day Mr Chittle Chattle can open his gift and we will exchange one of ‘those’ glances. Of course, the rest of the family will be watching too, and one of them will giggle. You see, this package always contains…….
a pack of Werthers Originals!
Guess who doesn’t like Werthers Originals?
Well, actually, none of us!
So. There you have it.
Buying a pack of Werthers Originals is something else I won’t be doing in 2012!
Learning to play an instument is something that requires dedication, and a lot of tolerance on behalf of other members of the family. I was about 5 when I began my lessons on the pianoforte, and the early days are just a blur. I don’t remember what I learnt, I don’t remember how often I had lessons or on which day of the week, but I do remember my first piano teacher.
Mrs Dudeney lived in a house a short walk from where we lived. She was old. She must have been at least 50, and at 5 that is very old! She was always beautifully dressed. Silk dresses at calf length, lace collars, silk scarf suitably draped over her shoulder and always a lace handkerchief.
Oh yes, always a lace handkerchief.
A lace handkerchief safely stashed.
A lace handkerchief safely stashed up the left leg of her shiny pink directoire bloomers.