So here it is.... the collected rantings and demented ramblings of a grumpy old shopkeeper and his attempts to make sense of a world that considers him to be barking mad for daring to give a damn.



Rant from March 2006 
 We would like to welcome the huge number of people who will be receiving our newsletter for the first time this month. We only add new people to mailing list who sign our guest book and leave an email address or those who email us expressing an interest in our products. So, if you do not wish to receive our newsletter in the future just reply to this email with the words “Help mad people have my email address“ in the subject field and we will remove you from the list immediatly. OK so that’s the legel stuff out of the way, so onto the fun bits………. While we are on the subject of legeal matters. Is it just us, or do any of you get the feeling that the litigation culture that has been plagueing America is starting to creep in to the UK? The televison seems full of “have you had an accident recently” type adds. There are also stalls appearing in markets with grinning solicitors offering legal services to people who have had accidents. We get very tempted to accidentally trip over one of their stalls and then sue them for damages. And then there is always the provisios that have started to appear on the packaging of everything like packets of nuts which inform you that “This product may contain traces of nuts” This does make things difficult for shops like us who sell oils potions herbs and brews. So don’t be alarmed if you see a huge sign on the door next time you visit saying.

None of the products in this shop are to be used, taken, eaten, sucked, swallowed, or inserted into any part of your body or applied to any of your bodies external surfaces without a full bio-chemical analysis. In particular, our selection of swords and daggers are not reccommended for internal use. There is an extreme danger of death if any of our products are used in a way manner or form that might cause a danger to yourself or others. Please wear protective clothing at all times and consult a rocket scientist, nuclear physisist and your GP before using anything you have purchased. You enter these premises at your own risk and any product you purchase is your sole responsibility as soon as it is purchased. We accept no responsibility for unecpected pregnancies caused by wearing our sexy basques or short skirts. This shop may contain NUTS!

That about covers it we feel

What else is new…… well we have a new computer….. Our old one has been limping on for the past 5 years but alas it’s days are numbered. When we bought it, it was a very expensive, state of the art, mega powerful super computer. However as is the way with such things, within six months it had decended to the level of an obsolete piece of junk. 5 years on it is now viewed by serious computer people as an archeological relic which is slightly slower and more troublesome than an abacus. So we have purchased a new super sexy state of the art, mega powerful laptop (soon to become an obsolete piece of Junk by the end of the summer). This means we now have computer facilities in the shop which should improve efficiency and speed up the processing of mail orders and provide an even better service to our customers…… Well that is how Bazz justified the enourmous expense….. Rose thinks it has more to do with the fact that it has a built in TV tuner and there is a World Cup coming up this summer……

We can also confirm that we have put Mevagissey on the Goth map. Last week we were a little surprised to see a hearse pull up outside the shop (we prodded each other to make sure it hadn’t come for one of us) and a nice young lady in full mourning dress came into the shop and bought several gothic items and then got into the hearse and drove off. Presumably to her next funeral. We feel that this must entitle us to lots of Goth credability points.

Rant from April 2006
Although we are not sure what has happened with the spring weather. As we type we are sitting huddled in the shop with the door shut and two fan heaters running flat out and we are still freezing. It wouldn’t be so bad if we hadn’t just received a huge box full of sarongs and strappy summer tops. We are not convinced that we will be selling any of those for a few weeks yet.

Does anybody have any idea what has happened to our climate because the Met Office don’t seem to know. One minute we are being told that Global warming is heating the planet up, then we are told that Global Dimming is cooling it down. Then we are told that the Global warming is causing the ice caps to melt and sending more cold water south which is going to stop the Gulf Stream flowing our way and that this heralds the start of the next ice age……… Confused?….. we are. We were told that Global Warming was going to mean wetter winters and hotter dryer summers and then we had the wettest the 2 Augusts in living memory. This winter was the driest Cornwall has ever known and they are predicting a drought (There isn’t a word in the old Cornish language for Drought. However there 47 words describing different types of rain) This has been followed by the coldest spring in living memory. Come on you guys at the Met Office Sort it out……

Mind you we should know better than to rely on the Met Office. We used to look at their website for local weather forecasts but soon came to the conclusion that they don’t actually bother doing a proper forecast for the St. Austell/Mevagissey area. Every time we look, it says Current weather "Mostly rainy" – 10 day forecast "Mostly rainy" and this just never changes, it says exactly the same in August when there hasn’t been any rain for weeks and temperatures are up in the 90s. We think they just sit there in London and say "Oh Cornwall…. It rains most of the time there doesn’t it".

Our cat Slinkbat is a much better guide to the weather. He sleeps on the bed with us all night and slips out the cat flap at about 6am to perform his cat type ablutions and patrol the boundaries of his territory. He jumps back on the bed at about 7am and screams "Breakfast" (in cat speak obviously). We put a hand out from under the duvet and feel the cat……….. If he’s warm we know it’s sunny. If he’s cold we know it’s a bit chilly. If he has a Mohican we know it’s windy. If he’s damp we know there has been a heavy dew. If he’s wet it’s raining. If his fur is hard and spikey there has been a frost. If there are icicles hanging off his belly fur there has been a heavy frost. If he looks like a deformed Mr Whippy it’s snowing. If he’s black and crispy there’s a thunderstorm going on. If he’s back on the bed and sitting with his legs crossed and a pained expression on his face at one minute past six…… we don’t bother getting out of bed. The Met Office obviously needs a cat.

Our other cat Pasty is no use for weather prediction. She spends 95% of the day on the bed or on the sofa and the other 5% eating….. consequently she is too fat to fit through the cat flap. Lots of people ask us why we called her Pasty…… We think the two photos below should provide all the explanation needed.

And before anyone reports us to the RSPCA for ill treating our cat…… we should point out that she was a rescue cat and she was a big buxom lass when we first got her. We think that she is getting a bit too old to change her ways now.

Rant from May 2006

We are now looking forward to our 4th summer season in Mevagissey and have just negotiated a new 16 year lease on the shop so you can all rest assured that we intend to be here for a long time. Particularly as we seem to have been welcomed with open arms by the locals. This was made very evident one Sunday morning a few months ago when Bazz was walking from the car park to the shop. There he was, unshaven and with bloodshot eyes (due to the previous nights over indulgence) in his full length leather coat, wearing studded fingerless gloves, a t-shirt with a scantily clad vampire girlie on the front, winkle picker boots with bat buckles all up the leg, a large pentagram hanging round his neck and his long red streaked hair trailing behind him in the wind. He looked just like a bad guy from a gothic horror movie. He saw two little old ladies clattering down the road towards him on zimmer frames on their way to church for morning service. They looked at Bazz doing his best angel of death impression and one of them fixed him with an unflinching stare and said……… “hello dear, how are you? it’s a lovely morning isn’t it.” …………… Bazz slouched off to the shop feeling a little deflated and wondering what more he could do to appear menacing and evil…….

Things are no better for Rose either. Just this morning we pulled up outside the shop and she stepped out of the van (which is plastered with bats and pentagrams) swathed in acres of purple and black lace and velvet, looking like a Hammer house of horror vampire. Two old ladies stopped and stared and said……… “OOOOO! You do look lovely this morning….. But you look lovely every morning. You have such wonderful clothes.”

We are beginning to wonder just what we have to do to create a bit of controversy or notoriety in the village. You would think a couple of eccentric Pagan Goths descending on a sleepy Cornish fishing village, selling very odd items from a shop with a purple witch hanging outside would provoke some reaction. However we have discovered over the last few years that Mevagissey is a wonderful place full of interesting people and it’s nowhere near as sleepy as people might think. We have also been pleasantly surprised to find just how many Pagans, alternative therapists, clairvoyants and practicing witches there are in the village.

So having failed miserably to provoke any controversy in Mevagissey we might as well try to generate some in our newsletter and open up the great “What do you want from the chip shop?” debate…….. Let me explain….. During the busy summer months, the shop is open anything up to 12 hours a day 7 days a week and we don’t get much time for cooking. So, we spend several months relying on the local chippie and the Chinese takeaway to keep life and soul together. The pre dinner conversation goes something like this.

Bazz “What do you want from the chippie”

Rose “I’ll have a small Cod”

Bazz “Do you want any chips with it”

Rose “No, I’ll just have a few of yours”

Bazz “OK so why don’t I get two portions of chips”

Rose “No I don’t want a whole portion”

Rose is thinking she only wants a couple of chips because she wants to lose a few pounds……… Bazz knows that once Rose has had a couple of really yummy chips she will want just 3 or 4 more…. Then maybe another half dozen……. Do we need to go on….. This results in a situation where Bazz still feels hungry and Rose feels guilty about eating so many of his chips…… It’s an all too common problem and we are sure you have all been there.

But there is an answer. We should start a campaign to encourage all chippies to sell a special “I’ll just have a few of yours” size portion of chips (which equates to about a third of a normal portion). So, the next time you visit the chippie, try to explain to them that there is a real need for this size portion. It makes sense as they will sell far more chips than normal and help reduce the amount of hunger and guilt experienced all across the country.

So that’s this months rant over. Although judging by the response we get to our newsletters, many of you look forward to our monthly rantings and rambling. Others have suggested that Bazz is turning into a “Grumpy Old Man”. They are probably right, particularly as Bazz has his much dreaded 50th birthday coming up this year and is very grumpy about it.

However there is a plus side to Bazz turning 50……… This will mean that once we are both over 50 (Rose is 56 this year) we are eligible to go on one of those wonderful Saga Holidays which are designed for mature couples who don’t want their holiday spoilt by rowdy, noisy, weirdos and rabblerousers. We are really looking forward to it….. Bazz is already trying to decide which of his guitars to take and Rose is choosing a few Metal CDs she can take to play on her huge ghetto blaster. I think we will fit in really well and make lots of new friends. Who wouldn’t like to spend a couple of weeks sharing a holiday with such a mature refined sensible restrained couple.

However, when you think about it….. anybody who is in their 50’s grew up in the 1960’s which was the decade of sex, drugs and rock and roll…….. Maybe these Saga holidays are just a front for aging hippies to take part in drunken, drug fuelled orgies….. We may just have to investigate and let you know………..

Rant frm June 2006

We have had lots of interesting responses to our gripe about the Met office not having a clue about weather forecasting in a previous newsletter. One person had the inspired idea of checking which direction the wind was coming from and phoning a friend who lives 20 miles in that direction. If you ask them what the weather is like. You will then know what is coming your way. Brilliant! We have given this some thought and have come up with the next logical step from there which is to use your friends to actually improve the weather for you. If everyone was to take a holiday in the Gulf of Mexico, ingratiate yourselves with the locals and make as many friends as possible while you are there. From then on, every time the weather gets a bit chilly, just call all your friends in Mexico and ask them to put the kettle on. Once it has boiled ask them to pour it into the sea and slosh the water in a north easterly direction. If we get enough Mexican buddies doing this it will supercharge the Gulfstream and turn The UK into a tropical paradise. No more worries about an impending ice age.

So here we go with what is becoming a regular feature that some strange people tell us they actually look forward too……… You must be as mad as we are…….. Being a firm believer in giving the people what they want here is Bazz’s rant of the month.

Several things have put me in rant mode this month. Firstly surveys……… Just about everything you see on the TV or read in the papers seems to be full of statistics and survey results. Politicians popularity ratings, 8 out of ten cat owners who expressed a preference, 700 million people will watch the world cup final, one in every 5 men in Britain is gay and one in every 6 men in Illinois has had some form of sexual congress with a chicken. Etc. Etc. It’s not that I have a problem with statistics, it’s just that I have walked this planet for nearly 50 years and never once have I ever taken part in any survey. Now there is a very good reason for this as I have always thrown letters containing surveys in the bin. I’ve never pressed a polling button on a web site. I’ve never phoned or voted for anything on the TV or Radio and usually tell people who phone or approach me in the street with a survey to bugger off. Now this calls the whole science of statistics onto question and makes all surveys intrinsically flawed because they do not include me or any others like me (of which I’m sure there are many). So we can extrapolate from here that in fact one in five men in Britain who can afford to waste their time with stupid surveys is gay. And that Belligerent old gits like me may or may not be more likely to be gay or fancy chickens, but we will never know because they refuse to tell us because it’s none of our bloody business. If you follow my logic here, the only conclusion we can draw is that (as we have all suspected for a long time) Statistics are a complete load of doo doos from a bulls rear end……… So when they tell you in the middle of July that 700 million people watched the world cup final, you will know that they are lying and in fact 700 million and one were actually watching because I certainly will be……… but don’t quote me on this or include this information in any survey because I am not a number I am a free man.

But on a more serious note, the thing that has wound me up the most this month is Buzz Marketing. OK, so we have put up with ever more frequent adverts on the TV, piles of junk mail being stuffed through our letterbox, piles of flyers falling out of every magazine and paper we buy, giant advertising hoardings cluttering up our town centres, Email inboxes full of junkmail, adware and spyware crawling all over our computers, product placement in movies and TV programs and celebrity endorsements. However, the big corporations are now starting to realise that we have all been swamped with advertising and it is becoming less and less effective. They have also realised that word of mouth is the most effective form of advertising and personal recommendations carry more weight than a multi million pound TV advertising campaign. So they are starting to pour more and more of their huge advertising budgets into Buzz marketing. So how does it work……. Well, people who are in positions which involve a lot of contact with the public like taxi drivers and hair dressers, are being paid to recommend particular products to their clients. Teams of actors are employed to strike up conversations with strangers in order to drop a product recommendation into conversation. Actors start up loud conversations in public places extolling the virtues of a particular product. They are even recruiting people who have a large buddy list on MSN or spend a long time using their mobile phones to spread the buzz about certain products. This has proved very successful in the US and we now hear that one of Americas biggest Buzz Marketing agencies have opened up here in the UK. We feel that this is a particularly insidious, offensive and dishonest form of advertising and an unacceptable invasion of our privacy. The other point is that this type of advertising cannot be monitored or regulated and is therefore wide open for companies to make totally bogus claims for their products with no fear of prosecution. And which companies are doing this? You won’t be surprised to hear that the list includes MacDonalds, the mobile phone companies, internet service providers, travel companies, record companies, movie distributors, computer console/game manufacturers clothing companies, and just about anyone else with a big enough advertising budget. So the next time that your taxi driver starts chatting about the great holiday he had, or your hairdresser tells you how good a certain shampoo is, or a stranger you bump into in the street starts telling you what a good internet service he gets, or your best mate starts telling you how cool Nike trainers are when you always thought he was a Goth….. You know what’s going on. And you know what to say to them “Take your ______ Buzz _____ and shove it up your _______ ___ you ______” please insert your favourite expletives in the spaces. So spread the word (or the Buzz) and help try to stop this stuff in it’s tracks. Make a point of avoiding any product or company that uses this type of advertising and let the big corporations know that you are not prepared to put up with this sort intrusion into your private life.

Rant from July 2006

Many of you may be wondering how we manage to keep cramming all this new stuff into our shop every month….. We must admit that we are as puzzled as you are …..We live in constant fear that one day the shop will just explode like some sort of volcano and bury the whole of Mevagissey under a thick layer of alternative giftware. But every time a new item is delivered, a gap seems to open up on a shelf somewhere. There must be some sort of Magick going on here. It’s just as well that we have lots of visitors filling the village at the moment to buy some of this stuff. However, no matter how busy we get, Bazz always manages to find time for a quick rant or two.

So what has sent Bazz into rant mode this month…… Well firstly there is the Great British institution “The Queue”

We spend a lot of time standing in queues at the bank, at the post office sending out our mail order stuff, at the super market etc. We also have the opportunity to observe people queuing at our counter in the shop. This gives us a great insight into the queuing process and the inherent problems with the system. You would think that a basic first come first served approach would be a fair, amicable and trouble free way of dealing with the situation, but then you realise that the major constituent of any queue is people and there the problems start……. So here is the top ten of people you dread finding ahead of you in a queue. I’m sure you will recognise most of them and if you find yourself somewhere in the list, be warned, that each time you visit the post office you are probably going to have a near death experience.

The Change Man – This guy turns up at the bank holding two very large and heavy bags full of 1p 2p 5p and 20p coins divided up into hundreds of little bags which the cashier has to weigh. He then demands that these are exchanged for bags of 50p and £1 coins which again have to be counted and weighed. This is particularly annoying when there is only one cashier position open. Who are these people? Where do all these coins come from? The only people who need to do this are people who own amusement arcades, but there are only two arcades in St. Austell but dozens of change men. We feel that most of them are just malicious individuals who go to the bank every day and change their life savings into different denominations just to annoy everyone.

Betty No Mates – No queue would be complete without a dear sweet old lady who completes her business and then engages the cashier in a lengthy conversation about her children and her grandchildren (and in particularly annoying cases her great grandchildren), the weather, the price of carrots and what her neighbours have been up too and what she had for dinner last night….and I’m 87 you know……and my hip replacement is giving me so much trouble. This goes on until you feel that by the time you get served you will probably be saying “I’m 87 you know” It is just so hard to stop yourself from screaming “This is a bloody bank not the bloody Samaritans”
The two stage purchaser – They get to the till and let cashier ring in their purchases and suddenly say “Oh I almost forgot…..” They then go wandering off down the shop leaving the cashier and the other people in the queue behind them tearing their hair out…. They then spend 10 minutes staring vacantly at some shelf somewhere off in the distance, completely oblivious the great up welling of hatred they are generating.
Polly Two Purses – She arrives at the counter and the cashier rings in her purchases and says “that will be £1.60 please” At this point Polly seems totally surprised at the fact that she has been asked for some money…… she then digs into her huge handbag and eventually pulls out a purse (The rest of queue all breathe a sigh of relief) She rummages in the purse and after several minutes says “Oh it’s the wrong purse” (The rest of queue let out a huge sigh of disappointment) She them rummages in the handbag again and pulls out another purse and after a lengthy hunt through the inordinately large number of sections in the purse, eventually she pulls out a £20 note (the rest of the queue smile and think to themselves “that could have been worse”)……. The cashier puts the £20 note in the till and hands Polly £18.40 change. Polly, who has taken advantage of this pause in the proceedings to put her purse safely away in her handbag, seems totally surprised that she has been handed change. She rummages in the handbag, pulls out a purse, says “Oh wrong Purse” (Queue groans) finds other purse, puts the notes in it, puts purse away, digs for other purse (Queue starts losing the will to live) pulls out a previously unseen third purse, puts the 20p coins in it (she saves 20p pieces and uses them to buy bingo tickets), digs for yet another purse for the rest of the coins, (queue starts slashing their wrists) “Oh wrong purse”, empties entire contents of handbag onto counter, ………… Do I need to go on…….

Nobby No Pin – He hands the cashier a credit card. The cashier puts it in the machine and it says that the card has expired. Nobby says “Oh has it, oh yeah I’ve got a new one in here somewhere” The cashier inserts the new card and asks Nobby to enter his pin number….. Nobby says “Oh I don’t remember my pin, can’t I sign for it” The casier explains that since February you have to use the pin number and you are not allowed to sign anymore. Nobby says “Oh, I’ll try this one”. Machine rejects pin. Nobby tries again. Machine rejects pin, Nobby hunts in his wallet and pulls out a bit of paper and tries again. Wonder of wonders… the machine accepts the pin. However his bank declines the transaction. Nobby says “ I don’t know why that happened…. I’ve got loads of money in my account….” He then stares blankly at the cashier apparently expecting the cashier to call his bank and sort everything out for him. It eventually dawns on him that the cashier is going to do nothing of the sort. “OK” says Nobby“ I’ve got another card here…. Lets try that one….. if I can remember the pin number”…….

Matey bloke – Imagine the scene, you are tenth in the queue at the post office and who should walk in…. but Matey Bloke…… You know the one, every town has one, he seems to know everyone and has even tried to befriend you on several occasions. He marches straight up to the bloke who is third in the queue and says “Hello Bob me old mate. I haven’t seen you for weeks. How’s the missus blah blah blah” Thereby insinuating himself as 4th in the queue. The rest of the queue mutter lots but no one is prepared to make a big deal about it. This is where Matey bloke realises he can get away with murder and notices Fred has got to the counter. He then pulls off his Coup de gras…. He shouts over the heads of the people in front of him “Allright Fred…. Do us a favour and get me 10 1st class stamps… saves holding up all these people…. I’ll give you the money for them.” Off trots Matey bloke grinning about how he has successfully out flanked the whole queue. As he passes you he says “Allright mate how ya doing”. You scowl at him and struggle to contain the stream of expletives welling up inside you.

Daisy Dropsy – You are in the queue at ASDA and breath a sigh of relief as the person in front of you gets to the till. They have stacked up all their purchases on the conveyor belt in such a precarious manner that the second the cashier starts the conveyor belt moving…… six tubs of yoghurt, a two litre bottle of coke, a litre bottle of milk and a massive sack of kitty litter plummet to the floor at your feet and all explode in a mad fizzy, gloopy crunchy mess all over your best jeans. You then have to wait 10 minutes until the cashier attracts the attention of a disinterested supervisor, who then sends a hamstrung sloth like halfwit off to replace all the damaged items. The tannoy system spends 15 minutes asking for a team of ASDA Aces to come and clean up the mess. The ASDA Aces (who are sadly misnamed, as we all know they are actually jokers) are on coffee break. The supervisor then gives in, closes the checkout and moves the cashier to an adjacent checkout. She then utters those dreaded words “Do you all want to come over to this one”………. There then ensues a mad scramble where the 5 people behind you manage to form new queue at the new checkout in reverse order. You manage to wade out of the gloopy mess, and start looking for someone to kill.

Marty Morning After – So there you are, it’s 5 minutes before the bank closes on Saturday morning and you are in a queue…. and it is a queue you can’t escape from because if you don’t pay your credit card off this morning you are going to be charged huge amounts of interest……. Then your nose goes into spasm…… The nose is a very sensitive organ and a well trained nose can probably work out what the dishevelled bleary eyed bloke in front of you has been doing for the last 12 hours. To your horror, you find your nose is telling you that this bloke went out with his mates last night and drank 12 pints of old throkmarstons peculiar bishops twisted nipple (or some other aptly named real ale). They decided to go for a curry when the pub shut and he had a thermo nuclear vindaloo with extra chillies and garlic. He washed it down with a bottle of house (paint stripper) red wine. One his way home, he got very sweaty carrying the two large litter bins he made friends with en route and slipped and fell in a huge pile of doggydoos in the park. When he got home he felt suddenly tired and went to bed with all his clothes on. He woke this morning and wondered why someone had put diced carrots in his bed. The only things he could find in the fridge for breakfast were six hard boiled eggs and half a kebab he had stuffed in there last week. He was in a bit of a rush to get to the bank so decided not to change his clothes or wash and just make do with a quick squirt of the body spray his ex girlfriend gave him last Christmas (The Skunx effect – promise of solitude fragrance). He is now standing in the queue in front of you wondering what he had eaten that has given him such a bad bought of flatulence and looking forward to going home for a nice hot bath once he has paid off his credit card bill.
The Born Again – You are standing in a queue and the guy behind you notices that you are wearing a pentagram. A sparkle comes to his eye and he says in a voice load enough for the whole supermarket to hear “Repent your witchcraft, renounce the devil and turn to Jesus”…… As much as you would enjoy a lengthy theological discussion, you just know that this guy is not prepared to listen to a single word you have to say on the subject. It’s not that you have any problem with Christians… you just hold a different point of view. You just want to pay for your shopping and get home before the ice cream melts. So despite being a caring, peace loving gentle individual, you find yourself confirming everything he believes about you and saying “If you say one more word…… I will be forced to hurt you…… hurt you very badly indeed… It’s been nice talking to you but I need to scream now… goodbye”
Mad People – You are standing in a queue in an alternative gift shop in Mevagissey and this bloke starts telling you about the shops website and how if you sign the website guestbook he will send you his monthly newsletter. The shop was Ok, the people seemed Ok and the website was quite amusing so you sign the guestbook. Then you start receiving these insane ramblings in your inbox. It’s only then that you realise you are dealing with mad people and they have your email address. There is a simple answer…. If you do not wish to receive our newsletters in future, just reply to this email with the word “EEEEEEK!” in the subject field, and we will not bother you again.

I’m sure there are more and I’m sure you will let me know about any I’ve missed. But what a lot of people don’t realise is that supermarkets like to keep you in a queue so you will stuff your trolley with all the impulse buy items that line every checkout isle………..However, some get it right and some sadly do not have a clue…… Last week we were standing in a queue at ASDA (behind Daisy Dropsy who had turned the checkout into an orange juice lake.) so we had plenty of time to survey the huge array of irresistible impulse buy items that had been provided. ASDA just don’t seen to have a clue do they…… Now Rose and I are fairly impulsive people when it comes to buying stuff (pink flamingo hand bags and purple cat door stops in our shop prove this) but could ASDA tempt us with anything……. NO!....... the items on display included…… A set of cheap wood screws that looked like they were blunt and the heads would fall off if you tightened them up too tight……. A table tennis set which included bats and ping pong balls but no net…. Very cheap batteries of the type that last about 5 minutes and then leak acid all over the place. A winter handwarmer (in July)………. Some plastic jewellery made by Disney with a picture of a Disney character neither of us recognised……. To be honest the pick of the bunch was a selection of jelly and marshmallow sweets that even a famine victim would think twice about putting in their mouths………. Needles to say we didn't feel at all impulsive that day.

Rest assured we will not subject you to this sort of torment…. If you find yourself behind Nora No Mates in the queue at The Lavender Pillow, we have now provided an amusing slide show on our laptop to help you stay calm and avoid killing people.

In the interest of fairness and just to prove that Bazz is not really a grumpy old git. He has promised that next month he will refrain from his usual monthly rant and introduce a new feature to the newsletter, “Things that have made Bazz smile”…… Yes there are some…… Honest.

Rant from October 2006
Those of you who regularly receive our newsletter will know that this is point when Bazz usually goes into Rant mode about whatever has wound him up over the last month, But as promised in the July newsletter….. just to prove that Bazz is not a grumpy old git……. Instead of the usual monthly rant, this month we will have the top ten things that make Bazz smile section, just to prove that he is a soft and fluffy cuddly bunny after all.

1. Tidying up in the clothing section and finding two garments on one hanger and there is no spare hanger anywhere…….. So people don’t want to steal our clothes but can’t resist shoplifting our hangers! This is obviously a sad indictment on the clothes we sell or maybe it’s just a testament to the quality of the hangers we use. Either way the bizarreness of the situation makes me smile.
2. Waking up on Monday morning and thinking I’ve got to go to work…………….. Yippee that’s great…… I do a job I love in a place I love with the woman I love (who isn’t happy unless she gets her full quota of sexual harassment at work). Meeting lots of nice people and selling them nice things. Now that really makes me smile. Wearing what the hell I feel like wearing, no office politics, no backstabbing, no psychopath boss, no tedious meetings, no buzzwords, no mission statements, no rules, no limits, no being nice to people you despise just because you have to share office space with them, no commuting, no rush hour traffic, no performance reviews, no departmental reorganisations. You have probably realised by now that I have suffered all these things in the past and you can probably understand why I now smile every Monday morning.
3. Rose. For being far more beautiful, glamorous and sexy than any woman of 56 who has had quads has any right to be.
4. Slinkbat the cat (not just "A" cat but "The"
 Cat)…… Who is the most awkward, cussed, stubborn, mad and downright peculiar creature you could ever wish to meet but is so cute and loving that he gets away with murder. He also gets far more fuss and attention than is good for him which reduces him to a tangled knot of legs and tail that purrs so loud he starts gurgling.
5. Rose. For making lots of dreams come true (including some I didn’t know I had).
6. People who come into the shop for the first time and say WOW!....... then spend an hour wandering around wowing at everything. It makes all the work we have done to make the shop what it is, seem worthwhile.
7. Rose. For just being Rose
8. Seagulls. Now most people who live near the sea hate seagulls with such a loathing you would think they were the spawn of hell. They rip your rubbish bags apart they crap all over everything and swoop down and snatch pasties out of peoples hands. They are theoretically herring gulls but they seem to have evolved into a new species “The Pasty Gull” as they probably have not caught a herring in decades and just live on tourist leftovers and the contents of the litter bins. However we (being an alternative gift shop) love them. They are beautiful birds who are so graceful when they are gliding around in the air. When we go up country, we miss the sound of them calling in the morning. They have just as much right to be here as we do and have probably been nesting in Mevagissey before people moved in. In fact there are a pair who nest near the shop (Sammy & Samantha), who we have made friends with. They have a nest full of chicks that need feeding and we put leftovers out for them (a capital offence here in Mevagissey). Strangely enough…. They have stopped crapping all over the stuff on the shop forecourt and when it’s quiet they come wandering up to the shop doorway and say hello. We have even made our own Sammy the seagull postcard which sells very well.
While we are on the subject of Sammy the seagull postcards….. A bloke stood at the door looking at one and said “How do we know that this was taken in Mevagissey it could be any old seagull from anywhere” I said “I know it’s in Mevagissey because I took the photo, I designed and printed the postcard and if you like I’ll take you outside and introduce you to Sammy, his missus and their kids” The Bloke looked at me as I was mad (a common problem) and wondered of rather quickly. I just had to smile.
9. The fairy wishing well….. OK so I have a strange sense of humour…. But every time I see a bloke dropping a coin into the wishing well I have this vision of the wish fairy (who is a little hard of hearing) magicking up a little person about 12” tall playing a piano……. Think about it………..
10. A very blond girl in a pink tracksuit wandered into the shop with her friend and said “I quite fancy turning Goth you know… but my best friend Trish says she would have to hate me if I was a Goth.” Her friend said “I thought Trish was an Emo.. why would she hate you if you were a Goth?” The first girl replied “No she was Emo last month…. She’s a Neo Nazi now….” I sometimes wonder if young people have lost the plot…… or maybe I’m just getting old.
11. Last week I was walking to the shop when a tourist in a rangerover had to break suddenly to avoid hitting a pickup truck coming the wrong way up a one way street. The tourist wound his window down and said “Oi, this is a one way street and your going the wrong way” The driver of the pickup truck (who shall remain nameless for legal reasons) stuck his head out of the window and said “Oh the one way streets, they be for the tourists, We live ‘ere and we goes where we likes my ansome.” The thing that made me smile was that he wasn’t joking and actually believed that this was the case.
12. Rose
13. Rose
14. Rose
15. Rose
16. Rose
17. Rose
18. Rose
19. Erm…. Did I mention Rose…..
20. Just Rose really……Ok so it was supposed to be a top ten but on a scale of 1-10 Rose registers at least 20 as far as I’m concerned.

OK so there is a bit of a trend developing here…Maybe I should get back to the ranting before you all start feeling sick.

So what wound me up this month was the guy who came in looking for one of those copper bracelet with magnets in to help with his arthritis. We stock just the item he was looking for…. It is copper with a nice Celtic design embossed in brass and two magnets. Due to the large amounts we order we get them at a very cheap price and sell them for £2.99 each (we have seen the same item selling for £12 in other shops). The poor guy was somewhat phased by this and insisted that they couldn’t be real for that price……. We explained that it was real copper and the magnets were real and you could pick up metal objects with them, however, he couldn’t get his head around the concept that they were only £2.99 and insisted that they couldn’t be the real thing at that price. He didn’t have one and left the shop to go looking for the same thing at a more reassuringly expensive price. We must be the only shop in the world who loses sales for being too cheap. The other trend we have noticed is that people walk past the shop and we hear them say “Oh I don’t dare go in that shop….. They have too many nice things and I’ll just spend too much”. It seems we are in danger of going out of business for having too good a range of stock and selling it too cheaply

Rant from November 2006

We had a very large and colourful leaflet pushed through our letter box by the Jehova's Witnesses this week.  It was all about how to spot false religions....It was all very informative and told us that false religion was a Harlot who wore purple and burned incense.... and I thought hold on ... that's not nice calling my wife a harlot because she wears purple and burns incense. It then went on to say that come Armageddon, the harlot would be cast down, rendered naked and beasts would feed on their fleshy parts. This was starting toi get a bit extreme.... if anyone is going to render Rose Naked and feed on her fleshy parts, it's going to me OK.  Then it dawned on me... perhaps they were talking about the Catholic church...... but no at the bottom of the page was a picture of a very pretty young Goth girl with tigers nibbling at her fleshy parts. So all you purple wearing, incense burning, Goth girlies out there beware...... if the Jehova's witnesses knock on your door, just don't let them in or before you know it, they will have whipped your purple frock off and will be munching on your fleshy parts. I should of course pause at this point to appologise to any Jehova's Witness for making fun of their religion. But any Jehova's Witness who reads our newsletters probably doesn't take their religion too seriously anyway.

Then there is the problem with Jack.... Now I have become a little confused about Jack as when someone knows nothing about a certain subject, some people say "don't ask him he knows Jack" and others say "don't ask him he don't know Jackl". This would imply that someone who knows Jack, knows no more about any given subject than someone who doesn't know Jack. Therefore Jack seems to have no particular relevance to the situation and I don't understand why he keeps getting dragged into the argument. However, after extensive research on the subject I have discovered that there are two Jacks. When they say "don't ask him he knows Jack" they are refering to Jack Hall who is a devious trickster and master of deception and misinformation. When they say "don't ask him he don't know Jack" they are refering to Jack Schmit who is a font of all manner of knowledge and wisdom which he freely imparts to anyone who asks him. So I hope this clears the matter up for everyone. But don't rely on any of this as I in fact know both Jacks and now hold contradictory and conflicting views on most subjects.  
 I have also applied my Sherlock Holmes style deductive skills to the other burning questions of the day such as how many blue beans make five? I am certain that this is some kind of trick question and my best guese is eight. However I have never actually seen any blue beans and therefore have not had an opportunity to conduct any conclusive experimentation. Then there is the question of how long is a peice of string..... I have measured several peices of string but seem unable to come up with any consistant measurements... I am therefore forced to conclude that a peice of string is as long as it needs to be. Then there is the problem with the words Flamable & Inflamable which seem to mean the same thing...???? I have determined that this is a cunning ruse on the part of the police to confuse and deter would be arsonists.
So there we have it.... I am happy to try and answer any question you may have, so feel free to send me any question that is puzzling you and I will do my best to deal with it for you.

There seems to be a lot of people, who know Jack, who are talking a lot of ninsense about 2012....  some say the world will end, some say we will ascend to a higher plane of existance. Others say the planet will ascend and leave us behind (floating in spce presumably). others say that the earths magnertic field will flip so our compases will all point south. The Americans seem to be basing their foriegn policy on the nastiuest bits of the Old Testament. And all this is based on the ancient Mayans callender which starts in 500BC ends in 2012.... Chuck in a bit of Nostrodamus you've got a recipe for endless twaddle and buffalo excrement. If the ancient Mayans were so blood clever, how come they are not still around to explain things to us.

My personal theory is that 2012 will be the year of the great computer meltdown where someone comes up with the ultimate killer virus which wipes every bit of data from every computer in the world. Everything will stop and grind to a halt and we will all be plunged back into the survival of the fittest world of the hunter gatherer. The problem there is that there are now far to many of us for the planet to support and we will have to start eating each other. So it's a good plan to move next door to fat people and if your neighbours start inviting you round to dinner and feeding you huge portions.... they are not being friendly, they are fattening you up ready for 2012. So if you ever needed a reason to go on a diet, this is it. Just remember that the skinny ones will be eaten last.

Rant from December 2006
s it just us….. (Rant alert… Rant Alert!)….or are there some very strange television commercials around at the moment. OK so we sell some pretty strange stuff in our shop, but if we think a product is odd, it must be completely bizarre.
For example, Gillette have just brought out a new razor which has 5 blades on the front, one on the back and is battery powered. EEEEEK!. I don’t know about you but first thing in the morning I am a bit slow and my reflexes are a bit dull. So the thought of bringing something with 6 blades and an electric motor near my face fills me with dread. You might as well use a combine harvester to shave with.

Then there is the new toothbrush which has an onboard computer and electric pulsing flossers. I may be missing something here but I can’t for the life of me work out why anyone would need an onboard computer on a toothbrush. What does it do????? Does it monitor your up down and sideways strokes and suggest improved brushing regimes? Does it calculate whether or not you are using the optimum amount of toothpaste. Maybe it gives you a complete dental scan and books you a dental appointment over the internet when it spots a cavity. My big concern is what will happen if the computer gets a virus…… will it delete all your teeth.

My theory is that these products are aimed at people who are so sad that they snoop around in peoples bathrooms and feel smug about having higher spec personal grooming equipment. They then come down stairs and say “Hey Tristram, I see you still use the Gillette Mach 4. I hate to tell you this old chap but it is no longer the best a man can get. I use the Gillette Mach 8 with retro rocket boosters and an Intel Pentium Duo processor on board. It gives me a full digital analysis of each hair it cuts and calculates the precise growth rate of my stubble so it can tell me the precise moment when I next need a shave”.
As for the toothbrush with a tongue cleaner on the back. Unless you are in the habit of sucking coal, how do you get your tongue dirty enough to need cleaning with a bit of lumpy rubber.

Then there is the fridge freezer with the built in computer and an LCD monitor and keyboard on the door. What the hell is that all about…….Does this lock the door when it thinks you have eaten enough ice cream? Surely you can tell it you are looking for lettuce and cucumber to make a nice healthy salad….. when it opens the door….. you can just snatch all the Mars Bars and run away…… The fridge freezer isn’t exactly going to chase you round the house…….. or is it….. EEEEEEK!

Be warned….. when the great computer crash of 2012 comes (As predicted by the ancient Mayans) Not only will you be reduced to a cannibalistic hunter gathering savage…..You won’t even be able to brush your teeth of get the fridge door open to store your fat neighbours carcase.

And then there is the men’s deodorant problem. Maybe I’m shopping in the wrong place but this is becoming a major problem. Let me explain. As much as I would like to think I am an enlightened sensitive type who is in touch with his feminine side……. When it comes to buying deodorant I seem to turn into a macho chauvinist and demand a Man’s deodorant. None of this girly Mum rollette flowery perfumed stuff for me. I’m a Man and need a Man’s deodorant because I do manly things that make me sweat in a butch macho manly way. You get the picture. So there we are wandering around ASDA quite happily until we get to the deodorant section. Rose seems to have a whole aisle of nice girly deodorants to choose from but alas, there I stand looking at a wall of skunx (ooops! Sorry) Lynx effect aerosol cans which I refuse to use because of both the environmental damage it may cause and the advertising campaign which implies that only sad lonely and desperate individuals use it. So this leaves me a very small corner of one bottom shelf to choose from. There I find 3 items to choose from. There is the ASDA own brand roll on deodorant. I have tried this but it just smears slimy wet stuff under my arms which never actually dries and gives me wet patches in the armpits of my shirts even if I wait for an hour between applying the stuff and getting dressed. This does seem to defeat the object. The second choice is a Gillette sport roll on which seems to contain concentrated sulphuric acid and makes me burn like I’ve stuck a small supernova up my armpit. This is probably some allergy issue here so that one is to be avoided. Which leaves me with just one alternative…….. It is large and intimidating in a silvery round and bulbous ended phallic way…….. It is made by Sure and says very clearly that it is a deodorant for MEN…. So I give in and buy one. The next morning, after staggering zombie like to the bathroom for a wash and an embarrassingly low tech 2 bladed shave, I tried my new deodorant. I unscrewed the top expecting to find a standard roller ball…… but no…. it had a smooth rounded end with a hole in the middle…. There was a screw thing on the bottom which when turned, to my shock and horror, caused a white creamy liquid to spurt out of the hole. The thing now resembled something out of an Anne Summers catalogue (see attached photo)……… I don’t want to sound homophobic here but the thought of shoving an ejaculating phallus in my armpit every morning doesn’t really appeal to me….. So next time you come to the shop and notice a nice flowery smell, it won’t be the incense….. it will probably be the nice girly deodorant I’ve now started using.

And now on to a new regular(ish) feature of our newsletter…..
The Planet La La Award.
This prestigious award is presented to those products that are just so weird that even we draw the line at stocking them. When you consider that we are the shop that brought you the pink flamingo handbag, the build your own Stonehenge kit and the grow your own guardian angel kit, we stock some pretty weird stuff and if we won’t stock something, it must be way out there………. And no we are not making it up…….These are all genuine products that our suppliers have available.
So the first Planet La La award goes to a real gem of a guided meditation CD inspired by Captain Kirk “ The Starship Meditation ” (You have to admire their Enterprise here)…. It boldly goes where no guided meditation CD has gone before, seeking out new life forms gullible enough to part with their hard earned cash. As far as we are concerned this is not logical….. It’s a Guided meditation CD but not as we know it………… I’d better stop there before my dylithium crystals explode….. I Canny take anymore captain……
The following is how the author describes it….

I’m sure that at some point in our lives we have all seen the
television series Star Trek. Frequently, Captain Kirk and a
small team would beam down to an alien planet. During this
time, the crew from the bridge of the Star Ship would monitor
their movements and keep a close check on their well-being.
Whilst working with groups, I sometimes use visualization to
show that, like Captain Kirk, we are never alone. At all times
our movements and well-being are monitored by a group of
highly skilled and motivated individuals - we know them as our
spirit guides. This meditation will endeavour to link you
to your guides from your Starship

If on the other hand, you would like to buy any of the products featured in the Planet La La awards……. You know where not to come…..

Rant from February 2007
So moving swiftly on to the Bazz rant section...... you would have thought that after missing out on the January newsletter, Bazz would have two months worth of pent up existential angst and would be just waiting for an opportunity to vent his swollen spleen, but to be honest after a month of recording and mixing a chilled out new age music album, he hasn't got a good rant left in him......... probably............ maybe................. well other than the product naming thing that is............. oh go on then................ you know you want to...............

Is it just us, or have you noticed how most new product recently have really crap names................. Cilit Bang, Cif, Kaboom, The Ford Ka, The Nintendo Wii, need I go on. Where do do they find these product names.... and wherever they find them, why don't they just leave them there. We assume the problem is that there have been millions of products released over the years and their names have all been registered as trade marks so they can never be used again. This implies that there must be a place you can go where they have the lists of registered brand names to see if a name has been used before. HMMM... interesting job........ We have this vision of a man from cadbury's visiting this place to sort a name for their new chocolate bar...... “Well Mr Cadbury, I have checked out all the registered brand names in the chocolate bar department and there are only three possible names left.... Your chocolate bar will have to be called either The Smeg bar, The Spitoonicle bar, or The Warty Old Tadger Bar. I'm sorry but everthing else has been taken.” Skoda took a novel approach a few years back. They took words with sexual connotations and changed a letter or two..... The Skoda Felecia and the Skoda Fabia for example. We are eagerly awaiting the launch of the Skoda Pollock and the Skoda Benis...... Some other companies have tried a similar approach but got it sadly wrong...... does anyone remember the brand of tampons called Femtex? Given where you have to put them, making them sound like a brand of explosives was possibly not the wisest choice. Other companies take the easy way out and call their products The BMW 635 Csi or the Toshiba TDVD3072-1/r-53.9x when the The “Toshiba DVD Dream Machine De Luxe” would have been slightly more poetic and attractive. There is obviously a need in the manufacturing industry for a professional product naming consultant, so we are here to fill that particular niche. If you are about to launch a new product on the market, just give us a call and we will come up with the perfect name for you. Just bear in mind that we tend to go for a graphic and honestly descriptive approach with these things. So don't be suprised if we suggest that your product be called something like the Lada Cheapbutcrap. Or the Skoda Bucketabolts. Or even the Rover Juslykajag. OOOPs! I can already hear all the Skoda drivers grumbling and saying “it's made by the the same people who make VWs you know” ...... It's funny you never hear VW drivers say “t's made by the same people who make Skoda's you know”. And as for the Rover 75 drivers..... It may look just like a Jag but at least you can still get parts for a Jag.... ha! As for Lada drivers, they tend to keep pretty quiet about such things..... So that's half our customers offended already

Rant from March 2007
We have also been doing a bit of decorating inside and outside of the shop. However there has been one slight problem. We decided to repaint the outside walls of the shop. We got the Dulux colour charts and found a nice lavender colour we liked and had the paint mixed at the local DIY store. However (as allways) the colour we got is nothing like the one on the colour chart....... It is in fact pink.... not a nice subtle pink.... but a knock your eye out bright luminous shocking pink...... and you all know how much we love pink......... We were not impressed. People walk round the corner, gasp in horror and drop their shopping in shock.
There are now three manmade structures visable from space. The Great Wall of China, Hadrians Wall and The Lavender Pillow. Oh well, if any of you pay us a visit this summer, you will not have any trouble finding us. Just look for the pink glow.

So moving swiftly on to the ever popular Bazz rant of the month section..... This month we really have good reason to get steamed up....... And I'm sure many of feel the same way about this particular subject...... Local Government. Oh I can just see you all going red in the face and starting to seethe just thinking about the subject..... Any of you who who work in local government had better skip the next few paragraphs as we are sure you are lovely people (you must be if you shop in the Lavender Pillow) and none of this applies to you as I'm sure you are very dilligent and provide a wonderful service......... However.....

Those of you who have visited the shop know that we are a very long shop and one of our outside walls runs the full length of the Restormel Borough Council car park. This wall was starting to look very scruffy with bits of rendering falling off (where car park users had hit it with their cars) and lots of black stains all up the wall (from the exhaust pipes of car park users) and the woodwork was flaking a bit as well. So we employed a local painter and decorator to do repairs to the wall, clean it all up and paint the woodwork for us. We chose to do it in February as the village is very quiet at that time of year and the car park is usually empty. We thought we would do the right thing and phoned the Council to let them know that we were going to be doing this work and that we would try not to inconvenience car park users any more than was necessary. What a mistake that was......

We spoke to a very officious Lady (who shall remain nameless for legal reasons) who informed us that we couldn't do any work in the car park without them issuing us with a license. OK we said, please issue us with a license..... that will be £100 she said.......... When I picked myself up off the floor I tried to explain to her that rather than sue the Council for the damage their customers had done to our building, we were prepared to do the repair work at our own expense. Also as far as I was aware, I had a legal right to go onto their property to carry out essential maintenance to my building and there was no provision in the law that said they could charge me £100 for the privelige. She just said if you don't pay you don't get a license, if you don't have a license, you can't enter our property. So I grudgingly agreed to pay £100.

I then told her we would be starting work in two weeks time. Oh no she said you have to give a months notice...... Why I asked.... So we can inform all the Council emplyees who work on the property what's going on...... Surely that only takes one phone call to the car park ticket inspector which takes about 5 minutes. Oh no rules is rules....

I then told her that it would take about a week to complete the work but obviously our decorator couldn't paint in the rain so if the weather was bad that week, we might need two weeks to complete the work. She said Oh no, your license is only for 5 days. If it takes longer than that you will need to apply for another license which will cost another £100 and you will have to give another months notice. I said can't we be just a little flexible on this and she said..... No we can't, thems the rules.

I asked if the Council had any cones we could borrow to close off the area we were working on. Oh no she said you must provide cones and barriers and you must cone off the entire area you will be working on. So we had to hire the stuff and cone everthing off.... more expense.

She then informed me that anyone working on the building would need public liability insurance of at least £5,000,000. Mike, our decorator, has been working for 35 years as a decorator in Cornwall and has never been required to have anything more than £1,000,000 worth of public liability insurance. It's a small car park and if every space had a Lambogini parked in it and Mike accidentaly wrote all of them off..... and if he inadvertently splashed paint over the Yves St laurent suite of every Lambogini driver... had a mishap and trashed the ticket machine, and negligently set off several tons of TNT which reduced the whole car park to a smoking crator it wouldn't take £5,000,000 to put things right. I am sure that there is also an ancient japanese martial art that teaches you 7 different ways to kill someone with a paint brush..... but Mike assures me that they didn't teach these skills where he was trained. So I can only assume that they were planning to hang the Mona Lisa in the car park that week and were afraid that Mike might put his foot through it. Anyway mike spoke to his insurance company and got his insurance changed. This Put his insurance cost up which we had to reinburse him for..... yet more expense.

So after forking out about £200 with the threat of having to pay another £100 if it rained, Mike actually got to start doing the work on Monday morning. We coned the whole area off as requested and I stood talking to Mike in the car park for 5 minutes, making sure he knew what was required. Then the very officious car park ticket inspector came up and asked Mike how long we were going to take because he wasn't happy with losing all those parking spaces (there were 4 cars in the car park at the time). Mike explained that we had a license for 5 days and it would take as long as it took. The ticket inspector then told him he would get it done a lot quicker if he didn't stand around chatting so much. Mike's response, as you can imagine, is not printable in a family oriented newsletter.

We then got a call from the woman at the Council telling us that one of her customers wasn't happy because the space he usually used was coned off and no one was working on that section of the building.
She was most indignant about it. We tried to explain to her that we had paid £100 to have access to the building and had coned off the entire area at her request and that her customer had the choice of about 40 other available spaces..... and that asking mike to run up and down the carpark applying one brush stroke every 10 yards so he looked like he was working on the whole building all of the time wasn't an efficient way of working..... but she still wasn't happy.

On Tuesday Mike put the first coat on the fascias along the length of the car park wall and started work on the front of the shop while he waited for it dry. We then got another indignat call from the woman at the council who said "My car park inspector tells me your painter is working on the front of the shop and he still has the side coned off" We tried to explain to her that our shop had more than one wall and we were having it all painted at the same time. We tried to tell her that if Mike removed the cones from the car park, when he went back to do the second coat there may be a car parked in one of those spaces and Mike might accidentally do £5,000,000 worth of damage to it with a paint brush. And anyway we had paid £100 for the right to acces our building for 5 days and the 5 days are not up yet, so bloody well stop moaning and leave us alone to get on with the job...... But she was most unhappy.

And then the heavens opened....... Mike got himself a set of waterproofs and struggled on through the rain doing his best to get the job done by the end of Friday and despite further indignant phone calls about nit picky trivial matters and the lady at the Council being extremely unhappy. And the car park inspector telling Mike that he couldn't park his van in the coned off area without buying a car park ticket...... Mike got the job finished in 5 days.... What a star. And we thought that was the end of it.

We arrived on Monday morning to find a message on our answerphone from the most indignant woman from the Council saying "My car park inspector tells me that your workman has left a pile of masonery lying in the car park and the terms of the license state that the Councils property should be left in a clean and tidy condition. But you obviously didn't read the contract properly did you." We went outside to search for this pile of rubble and after much walking up and down and peering at the ground we found it. The pile of rubble consisted of 3 small peices of paster, the biggest of which measured two inches long by half an inch wide by a quarter of an inch thick. They were located 6 feet from a litter bin. If the car park attendant was so upset about them, surely it would have been easier to pick them up and put them in the bin rather than leave them there all weekend and call the Council to complain about it.

We didn't respond to the answerphone message which is probably just as well... If I had, the woman at the Council would have at last had good reason to be unhappy.

The most annoying thing about the whole episode is the fact that I pay my overpriced Council tax and extortionate business rates to pay these people's wages. I must admit, I don't feel my money is being well spent.