It’s unbelievably over a quarter of the way through our fourteen weeks being Self Employed Operators at our Calendar Club shop – time sure flies when you’re having fun!
We’re getting into the swing of it now, and managing to share the pressure of being open seven days a week. The challenge for me is making sure I get time off for me, as I also want to continue spending time with my dear mum and grandsons.
Selling calendars, diaries, notebooks, mugs, jigsaws, etc is rather pleasurable to be honest. No lives can be lost. We get to chat amiably to a variety of people – young and old, rich and poor (admittedly Lichfield is quite an affluent area, but it still has its share of people less fortunate), happy, and struggling to smile.
Feedback and friends
Calendar Club produce a Bulletin for its Operators most weeks. We were thrilled to have two comments of feedback from our customers in a recent edition. For each transaction we give a receipt, and inform them about going to the website, providing feedback, and subsequently being included in a draw to win a £250 High Street Shopping Voucher.
Last weekend was our fourth in a row of a ‘Buy One Get One Half Price’ offer. Barry’s in his element chatting to customers, and I overheard this amusing conversation on Saturday as I was leaving for a break.
“Did you know it’s but one get one half price this weekend?” Says Barry cheerfully.
“On everything?” The customer replied.
“Yes. Everything in the shop – except me!“
It made me laugh out loud.
I know many people in this area, having spent about thirty years living in and around Sutton Coldfield. So most days someone visits to say ‘hi’. On Sunday the lovely Jim Davies, from the Starcross blog popped in. I’ve had my dear mum pop in, more midwifery colleagues from my past, and of course family members.
Saying goodbye to RCTA
Unsurprisingly, late last week Barry also resigned from the Roving Canal Traders Association Steering Group. Having spent countless hours building a new website to be proud of, it wasn’t a decision he took lightly. However, in a diplomatic nutshell, the full-on pressure of trying to balance our lives (including volunteering with them), the recent complex misunderstandings, ensuing conflict and negativity from a minority of people, wasn’t something either of us wished to be a part of any longer. He also left the Association completely, as we weren’t planning on trading at any RCTA Floating Markets in 2018, and we decided enough was enough. Life is far too short to dwell on the whys, who’s and wherefores for too long.
We wish them well as they continue to represent floating traders – it’s a mostly thankless task that’s consumed far too much of our precious lives for the past twelve months.
I now have the photos from Barry from our trip to Scotland in July, which was one of the catalysts for my removing myself from the RCTA, and will be sharing them and the shortened version of the story of my tumble to the depths in the near future.
Plans for 2018
All we can say at this stage, is we’re hoping to chill and cruise from mid-Janary to the end of April. Our itinerary is likely to include the River Trent, Sheffield (our first time mooring there), then up to the Leeds Liverpool to leisurely navigate that stunning canal. We last did it in 2009, but in rather a rush for one reason or another. This time we aim to wallow and enjoy it thoroughly.
Another virgin territory for us which we’re hoping to visit, is the Lancaster Canal. So those of you reading from up that way, do get in touch and let’s plan a catch up …