Float boat

So last week I spoke about 3 things that really bothered me – namely rudeness. I did however say that luckily I see far more good in people than the situations I recently found myself in and so I wanted to share 5 things that really float my boat – a stark contrast to my previous blog.

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Kindness

I just love to see kindness in people – as I am sure we all do.

I am a firm believer that if you demonstrate good qualities such as kindness, then it becomes infectious and people are more inclined to ‘pass it on’. Now this doesn’t have to be grand gestures, a simple smile to a stranger, helping to pick up items knocked from a shelf accidentally in a shop, letting a car out of a junction or a little compliment to someone. The list is endless. It costs absolutely nothing to show kindness yet the value and worth is priceless. The difference you can make to someone’s day, and in turn your own is invaluable.

Recently Leah and I decided to put up our Christmas tree. We were excited as we had purchased a new tree (our old one looed rather lack lustre and sparse and was only good for the recycle centre). We had a lovely day, decorating the tree and putting up our new Christmas bunting and baubles.

Then came the time to put up our stockings. Leah, Rupert and I all have a red and grey tartan personalised stocking which hangs from our shelf in the living room. But ,,,, the stockings were no where to be seen. Yes, you guessed it, they were in the old Christmas tree box – now at the recycling centre or stocking heaven. Gutted. These stockings were new last year and I felt – and still feel terrible.

Leah was  so kind – telling me it wasn’t my fault (it was!) and that it didn’t matter even though I am sure she is as upset about this as I am. That simple act of kindness made all the difference to me. I know the event wasn’t that significant but her response was. Everyone should reflect at the end of the day and name 3 kind things they did that day!

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Christmas

I absolutely love how excited most people I know or see on social media are about Christmas. Now some people have had issues with folk putting up their Christmas trees early but us festive friends place that negativity on the tree, throw a little glitter and tinsel on it and light it up with fairy lights…voilla! Negativity be gone!

Christmas is over with so quickly so why not start it as early as you can? Being around a lot of children, I cannot imagine ever losing that magic and excitement that this time of year brings. I don’t know if it’s the cosy nights, the pretty colours and  lights, the magic of Santa Clause or the mutual love of Christmas music but people just seem to get along more at this time of year. Perhaps I just imagine that. Perhaps the gingerbread, gifts under the tree and twinkly lights have gone to my head and I walk around in my own North Pole wonderland but that’s how it feels to me.

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Food

I just love food. So so so so much. Too much. Food really floats my boat. Leah and I really enjoy eating and always make sure we eat together. We  love to eat out, we love a bits and pieces dinner, a roast or a snack on the sofa. We just love food. As I type a chocolate orange beckons … but I shall not be distrac….oooh chocolate…..mmm.

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Family

I am such a home bird family girl. Leah, my parents, sisters, nephews and niece (the most wonderful people age 10 and under I know), brothers-in law, mother-in law and sister-in law are the world to me. I love my wider family too obviously but these are the people I see and speak to as often as every other day (daily for Leah obviously). My family, as cheesy as it sounds, really are my best friends. I laugh the hardest and longest when I am with them. We are silly, inventive, creative and compassionate. We all share the love of family and enjoy every second of each others company. Nothing is too much trouble for anyone and we all feel very blessed. I am sure lots of people feel the same and I love that thought. They say you can’t pick your family …. well this may be true but If I could choose I would pick my family time and time again.

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Rupert.

Rupert, our boy, our 4 year old chocolate Labrador is wonderful. We love dogs in general and Rupert sees his brother from his litter each week as he lives with one of my sisters, and also his cousin (my parents border collie) Meg.

Rupert is extremely loving, cheeky, selective with his hearing and  so puppy like with his bounciness. We adore him.

The other day Rupert started limping. This lasted around a minute and was probably from sleeping funny but within that minute I had planned what I was saying to the vet whilst they would be on loud speaker as I would be in the car rushing to the out of hours vet. Dramatic yes. Unusual for me? No. I am quite reasonable and realistic in most aspects of my life but not with Rupert. He is precious and any pain literally makes me cry. I had tear filled eyes whilst Leah was trying to reassure me and she was offering treats to Rupert to make him walk back and forth in the kitchen to see what the problem was. It’s funny how their pain (or pretend limp as it seems) can cut a dog owner like a knife.

Rupert is the equivalent of our child as we do not have our own children so he is always at the forefront of our plans. We even planned our wedding and honeymoon around him so that he could be with us. We sound obsessed – we really are not, but he’s our baby and we don’t have our fur babies for that many years – it’s only right we should fit a lifetime of happiness into that time together.

So…those are the 5 things that did float my boat over the last week. What has made you happy recently?

grind-gears

There’s the old adage that as one gets older, one becomes more grumpy. I’m not sure that this is completely true – for myself as i’m getting older (a grand ol’ age of 33 and 3/4) i’m becoming less tolerant in terms of bad customer service, rudeness or selfishness.

This week more than any I have noticed a few things that have really got my goat. One thing i cannot abide is rudeness. I’m sure there are many things that we all find difficult to swallow, but rudeness is definitely up there on my list.

Below are 3 things that have recently really ground my gears – a phrase I have just learnt today and one i’m running with:

1) Bad Customer Service.

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I was recently in a shop where I purchased 4 items. A top, a pair of gloves and 2 nail varnishes. I got to the till, paid and as my receipt was printing I realised that I had been overcharged by £5. I know that’s not a huge amount for some, but for me I can’t afford to lose money for no reason.

I explained to the cashier that I felt that I had been overcharged. She stared blankly at me. I proceeded to show off my (limited) mathematical skills and added up my purchases. She stared blankly. Then, a response, “you’ve got 4 items and that’s what’s on the receipt”. I politely explained that there appeared to be more items on the receipt and I asked if she could hand it to me. I showed her that indeed 5 items had been scanned and I had been charged twice for the gloves. She stared at me (do you see the pattern here?).

By now I was starting to become silently frustrated (obviously I din’t want to be rude!!). The cashier explained she would struggle to reimburse me as there were no items to return. She literally then just stared at me. Realising I was better taking matters into my own hands and realising that short of hopping over the counter, selecting “refund” on the till and taking £5 back, I politely asked to speak to a supervisor.

Joy at last. The supervisor told the cashier (not me) that I could get a refund but I would need to go up stairs to the returns department as they couldn’t do it on the general till. AAAARRRGH. Needless to say I was not impressed by the lack of appropriate, polite and helpful customer service. I understand not everyone wants to work on a Sunday but I also understand that people have a job to do. Is it a lack of training? Are we creating a rude generation? Or am I just becoming old and grumpy???

2) Road Users

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Today it took me 3 times longer to get home than usual. We have had really bad floods in the area as the rain has been so bad. Traffic has been at a standstill and accidents were happening all over. Some cars and vans had actually been abandoned.

My gripe is not that it took so long to get home, nor is it that traffic was so bad. My gripe is drivers who do not allow others access into or out of junctions at times like these. Cars and Cars kept on coming into my junction without letting me out when one side was clear – eventually someone let me out. If every car let one car out, surely this would help some of the congestion and everyone would get home quicker? Less accidents may happen and driver’s stress levels would reduce. Tonight I really did find the ratio of “me me me” drivers to “After you, sir/madam” drivers, overwhelming.

3) Manners

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When people do not say please or thank you. Or when people bump into you and “forget” to apologise. Or when people interrupt you mid-sentence and start their own conversation. Or when people look at their phones rather than at you when you are talking. Or when people try and finish your sentence and get it wrong. Or when people (i.e. call centres) realise you do not need help with PPI or an accident you may or may not have been in and they just hang up without saying goodbye. Yes. All of that.

I was going to create a list of 5 things that grind my gears, however i am feeling rather wound up and I am only on point 3. I fear for my health if I am to carry on. I feel for your stress levels too having to read this. It’s safer if I stop at 3.

To counteract, I think my next blog post will have to be 5 things that float my boat – and you know what, I will easily write that many – and more. For all the rudeness I have encountered this last week, I have seen so much more politeness and thoughtfulness and respect. And that is why I love people – good always outshines the bad. So, heres to the good…. xx

remedies cold 7
Now that the seasons are changing and we are heading in to the winter months, it’s not surprising that a lot of us are coming down with with the sniffles so I wanted to share 6 remedies we use to target a cold.
Remedies Cold
Each year I’m prone to the odd sore throat or a bit of  sinus issue but this year I’ve had a good old fashioned sniffy and sneezy cold. In fact, I still have it!!
1) I live by the phrase ” feed a cold, starve a fever”. Who am I kidding? I live by my own phrase of ” feed my face. At all times. especially when you’re not even hungry”. OK so admittedly it’s not the healthiest attitude but I LOVE food.
When I’ve got a cold, proper comfort food is a must. As we have been making a conscious effort to eat a little healthier, we had to take a trip to the supermarket to buy lots of goodies and stodgy food. This trip shattered me out but set me up for the weekend.
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2) This might be an obvious one but stay hydrated. A favourite in our house is hot Ribena, honey and lemon, and if you’re not good with sugary drinks then lemon and ginger tea can also help. Another tradition is to get a pan of good ol’ Jewish Penicillin going which includes a couple of chicken stock cubes  with some onion, carrots and peas topped off with some chilli flakes to help move the cold a bit. A different take on the traditional soup but one we love.
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3) Olbas oil and Vicks Vaporub bring back lots of childhood comfort memories … just missing the Karvel capsules but the Olbas oil is the grown up version and does the job. When your nose is so blocked, it’s a welcome relief to be able to smell something for a second. These products are especially good at night time when everything feels worse!
4) Beechams cold and flu tablets. Not sure if they do anything for me but I take them just because I’d like to think they aid a speedy recovery.
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5) Kleenex balsam tissues…..After raiding reems of toilet roll to blow my nose, using these felt like I was blowing my nose into the softest clouds. It felt amazing! No matter how good your loo roll is, it’s never soft enough on a red, runny and sore nose! Have the soft tissues in and ready. Your nose will thank you for it!
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6) My final recommendation is to rest when you can, get through your working day if you can and watch your favourite box sets. it’s a massive aid to recovery especially if you have a loving spouse who makes you cups of tea and kisses your forehead too! Ahh.
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