Sunday, June 24, 2007

Lazy Bones and other body parts!

It can be really great when the weather perfectly reflects your mood, at least when the sun shines at the same time as a light breeze refreshes you. Unfortunately, recent days have seen a plenitude of rain and grey skies and, I find myself even more washed out than any prospective garden party.
Perhaps my physio will be able to work some wonders, with the acupuncture needles, when she visits me on Tuesday; I certainly feel in need of a wonder-worker at the moment, what with a return to lower concentration levels, a persistent prodding headache behind my right ear and, the as yet unfulfilled promise of a streaming cold hanging over me for the past few days, it feels like a major achievement to get out to the pond to feed the fish.
Still I struggle manfully on, with the aquarium inhabitants providing a constant source of entertainment when I’m not watching the sparrows, blue tits, starlings and blackbirds around the various feeders. A few collared doves manage to acrobat themselves onto the bird table but, the frequent thwarted attempts to follow suit by the unwieldy wood pigeons provide a rather pathetic source of mirth as they go slip sliding away.
Come to think of it, I’ve no cause to moan – I really do enjoy this laidback lifestyle as long as I can lay the ghostly conscience mutterings of the protestant work ethic to rest. Admittedly, it would be even better if it was a totally free choice, rather than force of circumstance, that led me to adopt this lifestyle.
For food and drink, a roof over my head, friends and family, and the love of my very special lady Helen, I give thanks!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

More "commerce" elsewhere & some new photos (also elsewhere)!

A further posting on the "commerce" theme, Commercial Concerns, can be found on Hirsute Antiquity.

Two small photos of a recent garden visitor can be found on Mal's Murmurings.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

After RETAIL - I need THERAPY!

There’s something rather irritating when a retail outlet expects one to pay more for an item than that on their online (collect from store) site. Perhaps they are special online deals but, when the following message appears:

Unfortunately an error has occured.

Server Name

Local Address

Remote Address

There was an error loading page: /ShoppingCart/default.aspx

The error message has been recorded .Please click the back button or here to return to the home page.

The error has been reported to the site administrator.

every time one attempts to ‘checkout’ one’s online basket, the only solution is to visit the local store, only to be told that they cannot do these deals unless the items have been ordered online. So, you can imagine what a happy little customer I was after numerous attempts (on PC and laptop, IE and Firefox) to purchase online had failed.

My first instinctive response is of the “stuff you” variety but, I persist in explaining the dilemma – “how does one pre-order online when the site administrator doesn’t seem to have any sense of urgency towards remedying this error”. My nagging proves sufficiently persistent for a sales assistant to attempt to knock off the £3.00 (online) saving on the second pack of photo paper but to no avail. The other assistant suggests that they could perhaps do a 3 for 2 deal, which I immediately accept (this means £7.99 saving on three packs as opposed to the online £3.00 on two packs).

Full marks to the local shop staff, in their satisfactory dealing with an obstreperous customer; sadly the marks are rather lower for the website administrator who is potentially losing the company much online business! (Ten hours later the error had not been corrected. Out of curiosity I’ve just checked the site again and the error has now been resolved.)

The staff at certain other retail outlets (which operate ‘collect at store’) are quite happy to check up on their online deal prices but, I’m sad to report that this particular store does not seem to grant its staff the same leeway.

Having experienced life, at one time, on the other side of the counter, I know how frustrating stroppy customers can be but, the sad reality is that if you don’t make a fuss you miss out on a deal!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Two New Paintings

2007 #1 - watercolour - 16" x 12"

2007 #2 - watercolour - 16" x 12"

Paintings completed on 5 June 2007 (#1) and 11 June 2007 (#2)

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Pace of Progress

Payback time, even when anticipated, hits home hard! Come to think of it, why should I even anticipate it; truth is, if I expect to suffer for my exertions, I only have myself to blame for overdoing it but, it also implies an acceptance of my limitations in the realm of physical and emotional stamina.

The real fly in the ointment is the virtual impossibility of determining the correct quota for a particular endeavour; on too many occasions I’ve discovered that intellectual and emotional endeavour can affect my state of physical well-being to an extent at least equal to the effect of purely physical effort. Trouble is, we have no real comparator for the effects of manual endeavour versus the intellectual/ emotional variety.

Just when I feel that I have “pacing” nailed, my spirit determines that a little extra necessary physical and emotional endeavour will give me a boost, a wallowing in the additional achievement! And, to square the circle, this is where the anticipation motif comes into play.

The last two or three days have found me floundering somewhat in the stamina stakes, a generalized fatigue accompanied by pains in hips, knees, calves, thighs, wrists and elbows, as well as an increased sensitivity to touch and unexpected sounds. The somewhat muggy atmospheric conditions, today, served to add a persistently intermittent nagging headache to my general malaise.

On a positive note though, on Tuesday I managed to start and complete my first new painting in over three years, increased the distance I walked on Friday (on top of which I made the venture with my beloved to visit a fireplace store to order a new fire surround and gas fire for our living room). Admittedly my stress levels are raised a little in anticipation of the impending disruption. The preparedness to even contemplate this event is a massive step forward. Of such little steps forward my temporary regression is made but, I move on in hope, buoyed up by the love with which I am surrounded.

As I've not managed many postings recently, this post also appears on Mal's Murmurings and Hirsute Antiquity