I was going to try an avoid the emotional 2013 has been…… post but it seems under the circumstances it is somewhat inevitable.
What I will do is keep it brief.
This year would have to be one of my top 3.
2004 Getting Married.
2013 Finding out i’m going to have a son.
2014 Meeting him.
Happy New Years to all, I hope you enjoy whatever you are doing this evening and with whoever you are doing it!
I tried a little free writing this evening, I had a snippet of an idea and as you are supposed to with free writing I just went for it. I have cleaned it up a little, so its readable and the words are recognisable.
As it is mildly better than the adventures “Hippopotimus angry bird the 3rd” I thought what the hell, why not share it. Whats the worst that can happen.
So here it is, i’m not sure what to call it but suggestions are welcome.
Harry reached into his pocket pulling out a crumpled packet of Krakatoa, he took one, bit it and inhaled deeply. He lent against the fence surveying his empire, eyeing up the crew he had built.
When he had found them they had been nothing but thugs, at best a collective of knuckleheads that thought only with their fists and dealt with the consequences afterwards.
It was he, Harry Blemfield that had bought them together, built them into something that was in charge; something that was equal parts feared and respected. Even the filth sidestepped when he and his boys went past.
Simple Joe had been the first to join.
With hands the size of hams, a gap toothed grin and a lazy left eye he was never going to considered the brains of the outfit but he was smarter than he looked. He knew when and where to land a pinch and rarely got caught. If someone hadn’t paid up, Joe was Harry’s go to guy to get the goods.
After that came the Getaway man, Cool Steve and his brother Tony the Charmer.
If Steve couldn’t drive it, it wasn’t worth driving. When his feet where on the pedals it was like they had a life of their own, a blur, poetry in motion. His favorite was the red LTC Coupe, it was fast, had good handling and a trailer for when they hit a big haul.
Tony could talk, really talk. He knew words that the others had never even heard of. A flash of his pearly whites and a few big words to baffle the law and four times out five Tony would get the whole group out of trouble!
Last of all was Dylan.
He was the builder, the creator. Harry might come up with the ideas but it was Dylan that turned them into a reality, put the ABC’s of the plan together. When they had knocked over Milly’s bottle and basket, it was Dylan that had found them the Old Fort to lay low in afterwards and enjoy their spoils.
Today was the last day, after their latest escapade they had made the big time. They were going “up town”.
Josh Fuller ran up “town”, he was big time. His brother Big Dan had been in charge for a number of years, but he had moved on to bigger and better things leaving Josh to continue his legacy. Harry had set a meet for later today to hammer out how things were going to work; he knew he would have to give Josh some kick back on anything they earned. It was only for a while, Josh would move on eventually.
In the distance a bell rang, Harry gave his crew one last look.
“See you at “Big School” boys”
I am back to my semi relevant, but totally procrastinating ways.
For Xmas as part of my Quest to write SFU I asked for a number of new books to help me really improve my writing.
I am well aware that both the requesting and the subsequent reading of said books is the equivalent of cleaning the skirting boards whilst the washing up hasn’t been done for a month, but some of it has to stick right?
At this time of year I am especially thankful that I am no longer in store. Whilst I occasionally miss the hustle and bustle of the Pre-Christmas rush, at no point do I miss the Post-Christmas free for all.
The worst part of the post Christmas retail experience is the return; many people get the wrong size shoes, a duplicate DVD or an unwanted Christmas Jumper that we would like to refund or exchange for something more to our liking.
Whilst most people go about this process like normal human beings, a minority turn into the incredible Hulk and lose all sense of perspective and common decency. As someone who used to be the poor guy standing behind the counter and in support of all the poor buggers who still have to do it I thought I would post some friendly advice for those of you seeking rectify those Christmas disasters over the coming days.
Mind your Manners!
Manners cost nothing as your mum used to say, and despite popular belief being nice will get you much further than having a temper tantrum at sale assistant who probably isn’t authorised to make do what you want anyway. When you ask for the manager, make sure you haven’t spent 10 minutes abusing their member of staff first as any goodwill that they have will be gone.
Prepare for compromise
In most cases the store manager can probably do something to appease your situation, this might not be the exact result that you wanted. However if you don’t meet all the requirements for the return or refund, don’t be surprised if you are only offered an exchange or gift voucher.
Show them it’s yours
Bring a proof of purchase. If you don’t have one, then the store does not have to do anything for you. The fact that it has the brands sticker on it, or security tag or it’s in their carrier bag doesn’t mean anything, so do all the products in the store that you haven’t paid for. The store doesnt know when you bought it, how much you paid and how you paid. Potentially if you paid on Credit Card and they refund it in cash, that’s technically a form of money laundering so they really need to know that stuff! More importantly if it was a gift legally the contract is between the store and the original purchaser so you don’t have any rights all.
I know my rights!
No you Don’t. Nor do I
Its not entirely our fault, no one does. There is such a mishmash of UK and European laws that cover purchases that no one knows what is covered by what, until when and what remedy is allowed.
But at least read the Sale of Goods act before you start trying to use it to cajole sales assistants into agreeing to your demands.
For example the word refund does not appear in the Sales of Goods Act, in a majority of cases the retailer is only legally required to replace or repair the item and they don’t have to do it there and then, they just have to do it with in a “reasonable time”.
It’s also worth noting that in the event that you are entitled to a refund, the Seller is entitled to reduce that refund to take into account any use you have had of the product.
All in all most retailers will want to solve your problem in the most easy and efficient way. Not only to ensure that they don’t lose your custom, but also to make their own lives easy.
As well as the present mentioned in yesterdays post I received an excellent amount of Geektastic presents from Wife.
It’s amazing how well she knows me and how every Christmas she manages to find new and unexpected things that appeal to my geeky nature.
A selection can be found below, perhaps they will help inspire some geeky purchases for you or you loved ones in the future.
First and foremost I just wanted to wish all my followers and readers a Merry Christmas. I hope that whomever or whatever you believe in bought you all the things that you wanted!
For me I did pretty well, I got a lot of amazing gifts including some truly inspired Geektastic presents from Wife.
But there was one present that I was really looking forward to opening today. As some of you may remember me and Wife are expecting a new arrival in May next year and a couple of weeks ago we had our 20 weeks scan, this is the one in which they can pretty much (not 100% the leaflet was very clear on this, seriously it was a 1/2 page of T&C’s!) tell you the sex of the baby.
As it was so close to Christmas we decided to take an idea that our midwife had, and ask the Dr to write the sex in a card that Wife had specially made and seal it ready for us to open on Christmas Day.
So after all the other presents had been opened there was just one left……..we are having a BOY!
I am pretty proud of myself this week.
I haven’t quite managed to write some SFU every night so there is still some room for improvement but I have added around 1000 new words to the story. Its a little rough around the edges, will definitely require some serious polish, but it has helped moved the story on.
Where I was somewhat stuck like a broken record, I seem to have got it spinning again.
I’m a little concerned with how much of what I have written has focused on characters outside of Jezzrael, and how some of the story ideas that I have been having are clearly not part of this core story, but on a positive note all of this has meant I have got the creative juices flowing a little easier and as time goes on I think my writing should increase in both quality and quantity.