A lovely friend gifted me this saying and he borrowed it from Fred Dibnah, a steeplejack who found fame restoring or bringing down tall industrial chimneys and through his love of steam engines.
I watched the rain falling on my Granny’s favourite plant, Lily of the Valley (a gift from my Mum), and observed how the raindrops pool and roll off. That’s the gift of nature and this saying and they have both helped me when I was going under from ‘overwhelm’ recently.
Other gifts have been the kindness of strangers and the ability to see the funny side of things, with a slight hint of violence.
Whether it is Covid or Brexit related, or a mixture of these and other factors, who knows? Mum and I have discovered that many companies are running low on parts and stock. After hours of looking online, we had one fruitless trip around a retail park looking for furniture for her new apartment. Hitting a high tiredness level we stopped at a cafe with outdoor seating for a much-needed coffee. While I was inside ordering, Mum got chatting to a lovely lass sitting at a table nearby. She suggested we try a local charity shop that had relocated to a new location and they supported the British Heart Foundation. She said the furniture was lovely with some new pieces as well and she even went on to say where we could park. She also offered her services if Mum needed any support in her new home, so with gratitude we swopped phone numbers.
The BHF shop was a treasure trove and we found exactly what Mum was looking for and the items were delivered the next day. Buoyed up by the experience, Mum and I returned a few days later and found some more pieces that happened to be new and came as a flatpack. We had built a rapport with one of the sales staff and she explained that they didn’t have the sideboard in stock, but they were happy to sell us the already assembled unit.
‘Marvellous, that will help.’ I replied.
‘Are you OK with assembling the console table?’ she asked.
‘I’ll be fine’ I assured her. ‘I take my wins where I can find them.’
Mum and I were unpacking when the delivery arrived the next day and we were delighted to find both items were assembled.
I called BHF and spoke to the lady we know, so I could ask her who had been kind.
‘I looked at you both’ she replied ‘and thought to myself, they need a break. You didn’t say anything, but I sensed you were having a rough time.’
I was so choked I couldn’t reply for a while. <3
On other fronts, there have been a few folks who are not operating from their best space and some customer support systems that are not fit for purpose in our current times. My replies to their behaviour and systems have been varied:
‘I’m not going down that rabbit hole.’
‘I am at a loss for words. Please can I re-write your script?’
‘Carry on like this and you’ll find yourself in my next book.’
‘This is insane. You keep asking me to do the same thing with the same result, which is not fixing the problem.’
‘Right now, I am suppressing the desire to do someone in and bury them under my patio.’
Friends laughed at the last line when I relayed it this weekend and one came up with a complicated legal defence scenario. Another said he’d come immediately and bring a spade. I think I’ll call him should the need arise.
One day, wanting to cheer my daughter up as she dealt with a deluge, I found this wonderful mug. I won’t use the actual word, but you’ll get the drift.
‘I am not feeling very talky today. Off you f***’
This item has been purchased and delivered to those I know in need. <3