Working from home ain't all it's cracked up to be...

My co workers aren't knitters!
 

The shop security guard.
 
 Our shop and online store are now fully closed down and I've left Old Bear on security duty. You can never be too careful, I wouldn't want desperate knitters  looting the store!

   On a serious note, I want to say a massive 'thank you' to all of you who came into the shop, and those who shopped online, over the last week or so. I guess we all had a gut feeling that we were heading for a lock down, and an emergency ration of knitting wool would definitely be required. You were all so patient, kind and considerate. Thank you again. I normally like to spend time chatting, helping you with your projects and generally provide a great service. I like to pop a hankd written 'thank you' note in with our mail order deliveries, to pack them carefully and to write neatly on the courier satchel. This simply was not possible, it was just too frenzied.  My daughter, Annie, who does not know 'one end of a knitting needle from another' manned the telephone and organised the mail orders. She  definitely had a 'baptism of fire'. I am 'keeping an eye' on all the mail orders, and despite a slight 'hiccough' over tracking numbers they all seem to be 'winging their way' to you nicely.

  I could allow myself to feel a little desperate. Never in my wildest dreams would I have believed I would have to close the shop as we head towards our busiest time of year. However, we are all in this together. (how many times will we say this over the next few weeks?) I  have my sense of humour firmly intact. One evening last week I arrived home with a massive amount of knitting wool. Neil enquired 'what the devil have you brought all that home for'? I gave him a withering look and retorted that it would be inconceivable for a wool shop owner to be at home for four weeks with no knitting to do! I suggested he get his DIY materials in order and write a long 'jobs to do around the house' list.
 
My office 'in tray'
 
I had hoped to  dash into a garden centre to grab supplies, however, ran out of time. I do have a few jobs to get on with in the garden, but not really enough to keep me occupied. I tidied  the outhouse yesterday and was delighted to find an old packet of spring onion seeds...brilliant, I will sow the tiny seeds with military precision in my veggie bed. I'll be Digging for Victory!

  Many of you ask how my mum is managing, having got to know her through my newsletters. She lives totally alone in England, my brother and sister live in Australia and Dad passed away 18 months ago.  I understand she's planned her 'lock down' strategy well...five jigsaw puzzles, each of 1000 pieces, and a few home made shepherd's pies in the freezer. Nothing much else required, is there? Unfortunately she has  lost her 'distance' glasses, somewhere in the village, so will have to sit extra close to the TV. Subtitles will also be required as her hearing aids have been mislaid. 

  My brother organised a supermarket online grocery shop for her. This duly arrived, mum was ready and waiting for the delivery man. There was plenty of space in the fridge for perishables. Mum's fridge is the stuff of family legends...it normally contains a butter wrapper, a small piece of cheese and a jar of mustard. In the past, when I have done online shopping for mum, I add a few 'naughties'...chocolate, sherry, biscuits and 'exotic' cheese. To my utter consternation, mum sends the sinful offering away with the delivery man and tells me, in a matter of fact manner,  that she doesn't eat that sort of thing! War time frugality at it's very  best! 
 
 I had gathered  that the situation in the UK was not ideal, supermarkets have been cleaned out, leaving the elderly  woefully short of necessities. I was amazed that my brother had managed to secure an online grocery delivery and was incredibly relieved that mum would not be left short of food. I made the fatal mistake of asking mum what she thought of her grocery delivery...I should know better! 'Well' she retorted, 'ASDA have sent me the wrong potatoes, they have sent mashers and I wanted boilers.

  Mum did mention that one of her neighbours had contracted Covid-19. There's 17 houses in the quiet cul-de-sac. All residents are elderly. They greet each as they pass in the road and usually stop for a natter. Mum did not seem unduly concerned that she was in such close proximity to an infected, elderly gentleman. She was rather scathing that her immediate neighbours, both in their 80's, and having 'underlying health issues', had gone into complete isolation. Mum thought their actions were rather reactionary and over the top. Don't they say 'ignorance is bliss'. I definitely have a blissful mother! Bless her!

  Anyway...on a final note I will be posting regular Facebook updates, they have started off on an amusing theme, lets hope this lock down doesn't go on too long as I will run out of things to write about.

https://www.facebook.com/Wild-and-Woolly-Yarns-1386007344951903/ 

I will just add that the commute into the 'office' took forever yesterday. There were a couple of idiots blocking  the hallway, they slowed me down by at least 5 seconds.
 
Traffic Jam

 Today went way smoother, Harry the Labrador is exhausted, but delighted, three walks a day are the 'new normal', and just to 'mix things up', we have arranged a family outing to the vets, followed by the  laundrette, pharmacy and petrol station. (only joking)

  And finally, finally,  I suspect I may have a very frustrated and miserable customer. I forgot to pop a ladies patterns in with her bag of wool. If any of you are short of three patterns for a rabbit, beanie and boots set and a seperate beanie, please get in touch, I have copies at my home and will e-mail them to you.

  Please stay safe, stay at home and lets see you all again in a few weeks.

  Happy knitting, Fran and Olivia.
April 10, 2020 by Fran Stafford