Thursday, 31 May 2007

Roll Up, roll up!

What a lovely day, and unexpected. The forecast said showers and it didn't even mention hot! I started with a couple of hours work in the greenhouse, which made me very hot even before 10 o'clock. However, with great cunning and foresight, I delayed a shower until after the grubbing around in earth job, so I was all neat and spruce (except for the hair of course, which is tidy on one day a month, when I've been to have it cut) when I went out.

High excitement today in Yagnub! The new Factory Shop has opened, where the old Co-op used to be. When their smart new supermarket was built, the old shop lay empty for ages - it must be a couple of years since the move. They put in a clause that new owners couldn't sell foodstuffs and it's quite a big shop to fill. It's the other end of the main street from Al, and the shops around there have noticed the difference in passing trade. It did nothing but good for him, as people who used to pop out at lunchtime for their shopping started to come to him instead, and the same after office hours - it was then that he started to be open from 8.30 - 5.30 instead of 9 - 5.

Anyway, all the locals hurried in to see what was on offer and by the time I went in there were queues of people waiting to pay. Children went trotting down the road, clutching their blue and white 'Factory Shop' balloons and sticks of rock. I accepted a flier, with highly entertaining photos of homely people wearing cheap clothes. I quite badly wanted a new and impressive alarm clock, but reflected that more than one is not really necessary, unless you are a particularly heavy sleeper. I bought nothing, tempted though I was amid the general fluster of excitement.

In the afternoon, I spent a few hours working for Al, so that he could get on with painting the shop exterior woodwork. It needed it, it must be said. Trouble is, there's only Sundays unless he closes the shop, for someone to work, so he decided to do it in bits himself. But all these pesky customers would come and bother him by handing him money!

He isn't spending as much time as he'd like with his family. I can only help on odd days during June, but I said I can keep the first two weeks in July free and he can have a holiday. The thought worries him. It's a very busy time of the year, and he thinks it might be too much for me. This is, I'm sure, simply polite consideration that is due from a loving son to his elderly and feeble mother, and I am confident that I can convince him that his concern is, though welcome, overstated.

4 comments:

Wendz said...

The elderly and feeble mother needs to clip the robust and healthy young son around the ears, if that's what he thinks!...she looks not a day over 35. (Well that's what I see when you post a photo of yourself.)

Al may not be spending as much time with his family as he'd like, but he sure as nuts is spending far more time with them than those chaps who work in offices and have huge deadlines to meet and stroppy bosses to please. He's actually a very blessed man to be doing what he is in the town he lives in - no commute for a start. And wow - I'd like his job.

And my Mom around to be on hand as you are.

Z said...

He isn't complaining, Wendy, it's more that he feels guilty at the thought of me doing all that work. It is quite a tiring job. And yes, he is blessed, not least by being his own boss. But for the last three years, he's had one weeks' holiday a year, and the two years before, not even that. And he works ten hour days 6 days a week most of the time. That's working, with no commuting, and all the paperwork on top.

And yes, he's lucky to have me! And his dad.

And I'm lucky to have you to jump to my defence! xx

martin said...

I am with Wendy.... I would say not a day over 32.
Being in business for yourself is a hard hard job, and it's getting harder and harder with all the red tape.
Where did the fun of having your own business go ?.

Z said...

You honey-tongued flatterer, you.

As far as Al is concerned, it's hard work but he's independent and he isn't, actually, risking vast amounts of money. Because of the limitations in the business he can do, with a tiny shop in a small town, it'll never make him rich, but he likes being his own master. But I agree with you, creativity and enterprise are stifled by regulations and instructions to conform and be like all the rest.

He found the paperwork the hardest, but he's trained himself to keep up with it now. And he has a very helpful accountant.