A haven of mauve

It has taken months of planning, then forgetting then more planning but today we did it. We finally got there. I had planned to be slightly early but after going out delivering catalogues for an hour, which turned into 75 minutes, I had arrived home, beetroot coloured, my hair a tangled mess from being blown about in the light breeze, my legs quivering from the walking around roads that are anything but flat, lugging a very heavy trolley behind me. Today’s catalogue packs were thick and heavy, giving a very satisfying thud as they landed, having been pushed through the many letterboxes.

A quick freshen up and I was ready to leave, still glowing from my earlier exertions, I drove with the windows down, confident that I would have cooled down by the time I arrived. It didn’t take long to get there, we had chosen our venue so that none of us had too far to travel. Having found a shaded parking space I found my way to the coffee shop. I was neither first nor last to arrive.

I was immediately struck with delight at the pleasant surroundings, the black and purple tables and chairs were unusual but I liked them.

IMG_1581 Once we were all assembled, sandwiches and drinks purchased we found a table outside. The tables were painted mauve with purple parasols. My companions are both intelligent clever, fun, women whom I have come to enjoy chatting to online as well as face to face. We share a sense of humour which has been evident in some of our conversations on facebook. Anyone else reading some of our posts must think we are a bunch of nutters. On this September Saturday lunchtime it wasn’t too busy, other people came and went. We chatted, for what felt like just a short time but in fact turned out to be a couple of hours, as they say ‘time flies when you are having fun’.

I enjoyed my time in the warm sunshine with birds singing in the background, butterflies and the occasional wasp flying by, the distant trickle of water from the nearby water features. The good company I was lucky to be sharing this time with. I guess that I can now say that we were ‘Ladies that lunch’. That has never been a part of my life before, hopefully we will now manage to make this a more regular event.

Thank you both for being such great company today.

IMG_1578

It’s been a long time coming

Well unexpectedly today has been the day.

Today it has been raining heavily for mos of the day. However after being ill for a couple of days and not able to get out delivering or collecting catalogues, I was determined to get out there this evening.

This posed a problem for me in that none of my trousers were suitable for going out in the rain. All my jeans are wide legged (which I hate but have never had any other style due to my size and I always buy cheap supermarket ones). Even the trousers I wear for work would be getting soaked.

I decided to have a look in the bottom drawer of my wardrobe to see what was lurking there. Now that I have lost some weight there might be something suitable. Alas all I could find were more pairs of wide legged jeans.However I did find one pair that didn’t seem to be quite as long as the others. Looking a the label I was sorry to see that they were size 18, no way would I get into them just yet.

I did decide to have a try though. I sat on the end of the bed putting first one foot then the other into the legs. Hmm I doubt I will get them on. To my surprise not only did I manage to pull them over my backside I also got the button and zip done up (without having to lay on the bed). So this evening I went out doing my catalogue pick ups in jeans that I have not worn since before I met Owl. Ok so they did get wet around the hem but who cares when I have managed to wear size 18 jeans again.

It might seem to some that getting into size 18 jeans is not such a great thing but when you have been wearing size 22 for a few years it is great.

Taking it slowly

Anyone who knows me will know that I am not fast in anything I do. Recently I have increased my walking, currently my pedometer App tells me that I am averaging 8189 steps per day, that is much better than the 3 to 4 thousand I was averaging when I was using this App a year ago. Some days I manage 12k, I think I had only ever managed a maximum of 11k once before.

The other evening we were discussing how much exercise we are both getting these days. Owl was saying that he feels so much fitter than he used to do.I on the other hand do not feel fitter. My stamina has increased. I can walk around delivering or picking up catalogues for an hour and a half without having to stop for a rest. Before this I had to rest after about 20 minutes.

I am glad that my stamina is building up, it doesn’t stop my arms and legs from aching when I do stop though. I am still a slow walker, I guess it is possible that my walking speed has improved slightly, especially at the start, but not by much.

All this extra walking that I have been putting in, is probably a contributing factor. My reduced appetite and receding sweet tooth have also contributed. To what? you might be asking.

Today I had my half annual Diabetes check up, Along with blood tests and blood pressure, I was also weighed. In the last year I have lost one and a half stone. I did not do this by going on a diet. I did this by eating less and moving more.

Slowly does it. I feel really proud of myself.

Step by step

I have been very lax in posting on here since Christmas. In the main part this is due to the new venture I have joined Owl in. He has not worked for coming up to 3 years now and all our reserves have slipped away for one reason or another. I was getting stressed about how we were going to manage without enough money. Whilst looking for work Owl came across an opportunity which he thought might be right up his street. To be honest it is right up many streets, and back again. Many times.

So, back in November Owl took the first steps to joining this new business venture where you can be in business for yourself but not alone. I was to be brutally truthful very very sceptical about the whole thing. The basics of this opportunity are that you deliver catalogues to households in your neighbourhood then a day later go back and collect them. The idea being that the householders will look at these catalogues, decide that they need some of the items shown even though they didn’t previously know that they needed these things. They place an order with you which you send off and when the goods arrive you take them to your new customers and collect their money. You get to keep a percentage of these payments as your profit.

Owl had just got to grips with the concept of this when he was encouraged to start selling online as well. Now this is not something that Owl was keen on himself but I could see the potential and this is when I had my ‘I get it’ moment. So I joined the business along side my husband. He would walk around the streets with his catalogues and I would sit at home (when I wasn’t at work) and sell online through facebook groups. This seemed to be quite easy and I got hooked. I would sit for hours making ads and posting them online, Sometimes I found it difficult to keep track of the number of people interested in what I was selling.

After Christmas we all had the good news that a new catalogue with branded items had been launched. Selling went through the roof for some. More local distributors began selling online and I found it harder to sell locally online. I needed to cast my net further afield. I was a little worried about this at first as it means getting people to pay up front for their purchases, but it is actually very easy. We have had a steady increase in customers through our catalogue drops, we can see the potential in this venture. We have made some really great new friends and see the things they have acheived. We want to be where they are, I have no doubts that it will happen for us.

I had been getting ever more frustrated that Owl, although he gets what he needs to do is just taking so long to do anything that rather than moaning that he wasn’t getting his catalogues out/or picking them up, I began going out there (it’s much better now the weather has improved). Sometimes I manage to get Owl to come with me delivering or picking up. Other times he is too busy doing whatever he is doing so I go alone.

Now I am by no means fit, my walking isn’t what you would call fast. However I am getting out in the fresh air, I am picking up orders, my stamina is gradually building up. Life is looking not exactly bright but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately all the time I am preparing catalogues or out delivering etc it has meant I have less time for selling online.

I am trying to view my online selling as an added bonus to the catalogue selling. One other thing that has come about in the last few days. For several years I had been using my mobile phone as a pedometer and used this daily, each day trying to beat my number of steps from the previous day. I had stopped doing this early last year, as I was finding that more and more often my steps were not recording and also my battery was constantly running down.

Anyway I digress, as often happens. Last week whilst out with the catalogues, I realised that I really ought to be keeping a log of how much walking I am doing. Last weekend on my birthday I reinstalled the App that I had previously installed on my phone. Having mentioned this to a colleague who is trying to lose weight I helped her to install a pedometer App onto her phone (not the same one, as she has a different make of phone) shortly after another colleague asked me to help her set he phone up too. Now both these ladies have dogs so they have regular dog walks to keep their steps going. I don’t have a dog but I do have catalogues. Now I am making every step count.

Yesterday my lovely Statto and the gorgeous Miss Effervecence were visiting, I took them for a walk in our local park before going out to pick up catalogues. This meant that I smashed my average steps of around 7 or 8 thousand and managed a whopping (for me 12000).

Now I am home from work and Owl has gone out delivering catalogues on his own as I wasn’t quite ready to go out. So instead of going out increasing my physical steps I am making steps to increase my online selling.