Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Biting the bullet!!

Well, I have decided after much cogitation that I am going to open an Etsy Shop.. I have been on Ebay since 07 and found it quite useful, but expensive as a lot of my items do not sell straight away and have to be re posted often as much as five times before someone sees it and then buys. This means that I have paid sometimes more than the original cost and have made absolutely zero money, so that is not very good business.

 I see that Etsy allows you to be on for longer periods and I hope that this extension will allow me more success. I have always shied away from Etsy as I never understood how you could have a shop with only one example of each item, but I guess it works at Etsy because it is getting to have more of a public profile and getting better known.

  I love visiting Charity Shops and have done over many years. In the beginning it was because, having five children we used to use the places as where you could buy items for the home cheaper than anywhere else, and if you were really lucky, find some fantastic bargains along the way. All my children had new pushchairs and prams, but only those I found in the charity shops...none of this spending over £400 for a pram that would be used a few times especially when we got a car to get around in.. so charity shops have been my way of spending for a very long time. When we were young and poor, I could still find paintings and curtains and tablecloths hardly used that brightened up my home at very little cost. I know that my sister in law bought all her baby clothes there, but I didn't , preferring to rely on the sales times as the children got bigger and bigger.

Now charity shopping is a daily indulgence that I love. I love to mooch amongst all the items , [ my mother called it 'mumping'- which is an old word meaning getting something for almost nothing..]  seeking out that little something that might make my heart sing, whether it be a jumper or top that has lovely colours, or a handbag that even made in leather might cost no more than a pound to buy! 

Since moving to our present house almost 18 years ago, I have used them more than ever. We moved from a ordinary 4 bed house to a large Georgian Rectory, with 8 bedrooms, three of which are separated into living quarters that have their own front door. This Annexe was so useful when John's parents became old and infirm as we cared for them until they died. Now we rent out this side of the house and the people are just the best we could wish for. However, in the beginning as I said, moving from a normal sized house to one this size with five bedrooms , I had to find carpets and furniture and other items fast to fill the spaces and try and make it all as a home, despite we both working on our businesses from home too.

So John took over the ground floor office where the Rector or Vicar had his office, and I used the smallest bedroom upstairs for my office where I work over looking the garden and directly above John's office. It worked out so well.. during the days, concentrating on our businesses, we rarely saw each other apart from lunch break. We each had phones and computers and got on with our own businesses. His was Accountancy and keeping in touch with the office in Buckingham that he had founded several years before and sometimes saw clients  here too.

 I was ringing the world arranging interviews, meetings and taking on business all over the UK and mainland Europe, as I was an international head hunter for Lawyers at senior and Partner level. This is how we managed during fourteen of those years. Now John is semi retired and works only two days weekly, whilst since my operation in 011, I have closed my business and am retired fully from it.

I have found being retired, very difficult to cope with, as in my job I travelled a lot and met so many people whether clients or candidates.. now I had no structure to my days, which was why going and looking in the charity shops took on a whole new perspective.

 I was now on the lookout to upgrade everything that I had bought in the early days and replacing and decorating the rooms gave me a much needed focus to attend to. With the old bits and pieces, I sought to sell them on Ebay and often very happily too, both for me and the purchaser..

It is to give me more challenges that I have decided to open shop with Etsy and see how I go with it... so wish me luck and I will keep you up to date... of course it is going to be called Janzi's World... of course it depends on that name being available.. we shall keep fingers crossed and get back to tell you so....

Sunday, 14 February 2016


Pain is a very strange thing. When someone tells you they are in pain, you try to sympathise, but without actually feeling the pain, its just a noise you make without any real understanding  That is, until you get to learn to live with pain on a day to day basis and then it is all changed  When I had the two spinal ops that changed my life and left me worse off than when I went into hospital** I was without the main pain of sciatica, but strange other pains in my legs, much less than before, but still there and enough to distract my thoughts.. Because the ops had left me semi paralysed below, I had pain which I was able to manage with the use of a strong version of codeine......  However I also developed pain in my right shoulder which they tell me is the rotary part of the shoulder for movement and of the cause which is arthritis  So they cannot do much for that apart from operating, and I don't feel like have any more operations if I can help it- so today despite the codeine, my shoulder has been most painful In fact so much so, that I had to stop the car and take some more in order to be able to drive a little better without the pain  I take almost every day between 8 and 12 tablets a day usually....  as I've said its been much more painful and so now I am sitting here just wondering whether it will be worth sitting up watching tv or would I be better off just having a hot bath and going to bed  The trouble is, that Saturday nights I try and share a foreign film with sub titles with my husband- We have so many things that we do ourselves, he is still working part time, and the evenings in our house, means that I am often upstairs on the computer, whilst he is downstairs drawing or reading or doing some other activity that relaxes his mind after working all day as an Accountant. So Saturdays are our shared evenings together... He much prefers this, than going out to see a film or dinner at a restaurant  I don't really mind, because I would be able to arrange to meet friends if I felt a need to go and eat out, or see a film. But Saturday nights have developed into an almost ritual time where we watch the films on BBC4 and then finally get ready for bed around 11 30. during the week we manage to get upstairs by about 10 30 so a little later, it being Saturday
.[.When I was younger, the idea of getting to bed so early would have been mortifying, but one does change as one gets into the last remaining decades- despite the best will in the world, we do all slow down much as I hate to admit it] 

Earlier today

I was trying to get something from higher up than I could reach, so pulled a chair closer to make the height possible, and you know, getting onto that chair was a much slower action than it used to be ha ha- however I did manage, and got what I wanted to get down, but I really was shocked how much longer it took to achieve.

With five children, I had always been on the go, never stopping for a moment, and the years just whistled by, and then you turn around, to see the kids all gone and grown up with families of their own and gone to live elsewhere, and its then that you realise that they have grown up and you have grown older. No longer can I say I am middle aged, but now if a newpaper wanted to describe me, I would probably be said to be a married pensioner in their seventies!!!  Shock! Horror, when and how did that happen.. When they were younger, and I had three, I used to daydream that in a few years they would be old enough to leave when I wanted to go out at night with their father and that we would do all the things we couldn't do when we were in our twenties.. of course what I didn't realise was that I had missed the boat.. when you are out and about in your twenties, at forties its a whole different question and maybe that its all not right for you any longer...

Well I guess you cant have it all, and we did have five healthy clever and loving children that have remained in touch and who like us as parents and want to share time with us., so it cant all be bad.. I don't know what I would advise people to do...get married early and have the family, or wait until you had done all the traveling and nightclubbing you wanted to do, career built and then look around for a husband to father your children... I think you become more picky as you get older, want more than one does in their twenties.. I think if I had left having children and marrying until later, I might have totally missed the boat as so many young people do.. and besides, having children in your late thirties and forties is much harder work than when you are younger... a hard choice, but I think I would still come down on having it earlier rather than later..

what do you do when a friend's husband changes his mind all the time and its driving her mad****

I have a dear friend who has been married a long time, to another friend of the family. They share a daughter and both work very hard at their jobs. However, whenever this husband has an idea and then gets his family all excited about it, he will then change his mind without warning and leave the others high up in the air, not understanding why or what had changed his mind. ~The latest episode was last week. I agreed to go to another European country to look at houses, so my friend might look to purchase. We were going to stay three days and hopefully the Agents would show us around and take us to see the houses. Whilst we enjoyed a four star hotel, and were ferried everywhere by the Agent, we were very interested  in seeing Off Plan apartments and houses that were going into their first phase. Accordingly we were shown some very fine examples and my  friend fell in love with one plot. She rang her husband who didn't ring her back until late in the evening and by this time, she was feeling most deflated indeed. All her enthusiasm was slipping away and she was very anxious that he was going to repeat history and change  his mind. However he had agreed that she go, that if she found something, she should say yes and purchase, and also he knew that I was going along, so that was another amount of money that I had to find in accompanying my friend.

Finally he did ring, and she explained it all and he said YES..go ahead... Of course she was over the moon and really did believe that her dream was coming true.  For the next two days we were reassured by this, and thoroughly enjoyed our visiting and the Agent took us to local towns and paid for the extra night we stayed over.. Just before we left the airport, she received a text saying he agreed to all she wanted, and to enjoy our trip home.  We had a terrible time getting home, delay on delay meant that we didn't actually arrive home until after 6am in the morning, instead of the expected midnight**

Over the next few days, things were up and down, up and down and she was feeling very very weary, and upset with all the mind games he is playing... and finally after telling the Agent to go ahead and they would be sending the deposit, he changed his mind again and so it was all off again... Now tonight he was supposed to come over to discuss business matters in arranging the money for the deposit, and he cancelled the meeting as he has definitely decided that buying a house abroad is not what he wants..

This man makes a whole load of money and owns a few houses that he already lets out in the UK, so money is not the problem, I think it is his controlling nature that doesn't allow his wife to make any decisions on her own...

She qualified as a Lawyer in her home country, went to University and is highly intelligent, but she has to give him all the receipts of everything she has spent in the week, and they have to total the bills up so that they balance, if they don't , he gets into another rage... not a pretty sight as he calls her bad awful swear words and all in front of their child.. he has a completely different nature when he loses his temper. 

She has had to work in a part time job, because he will not allow her to work from home in a self employed capacity, he makes her meagre salary go straight into the savings accounts which they add up and use when buying the houses to let. Every penny she spends, she has to account for... Also he has had software installed where he knows exactly where she is at any given moment, to the point when if she buys something in a shop, he is texting her to ask why she is in that shop and what has she bought! 

I find all this behaviour absolutely difficult to understand how she has put up with it for so long.  She has been living with a person with two sides to the character... one that is kind and loving and the other that can appear without warning, that is swearing and shouting and flinging things all over the place. This home life has gone on for years, but I have only seen it at close quarters this trip, and I am at a loss as to how to help her cope with all this change and verbal abuse she has to suffer daily.. Of course her child is also deeply affected and barely speaks at home or school... although with friends, she is more relaxed and chats a lot.. .

Now he has started on his child, who is going to sit exams this summer and who is already highly anxious as she is expected to get no less than A's in her results of all subjects.. with the atmosphere in the house highly charged all the time, despite him being away all week until Friday, she is getting more and more worried in case she will not get the high marks he expects and he has started to harass the staff at her private school about her mock exam results*(*

If anyone has any ideas that I could relay to my friend on how to cope at a difficult time of exams for her daughter.. I would be grateful... a tall ask, but maybe someone would have an idea?