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In praise of the small business

I went to Triples (wargaming show) on sunday afternoon - got there as most of the stalls were starting to pack up. I did stock up on paints, which is what I'd really gone for, and took a wander around the other stalls in the Octagon Centre. I spotted an interesting cardgame - Gawp - that I fancied buying. The sticker price was £8.95. I emptied my pockets and produced £8.62. Now there is a cash machine just a little way outside the Octagon, but the stallholder was happy to accept what I had on me, and to take my word that this was all I had. So I got the game.

There's been workmen in Flat 1 at the moment, turning the long, narrow bathroom into a walk-in cupboard accessed from the original door, and a shower room, with a new door put through from the bedroom. Now the workmen have professional tools, including drills capapble of making holes in the very tough bricks here without too much trouble. So yesterday afternoon I popped out, needed to visit the Co-op and hoping that Middleton's DIY, a few doors down, would still be open, as it closes on the early side. It was still open, though they were taking stock inside from the pavement.  I explained that I wanted a pair of small shelf brackets, plus a 62" length of shelving and larger brackets for it. The shop owner was very helpful and found what I needed. However, it came to more cash than I had in hand, and they were just switching card systems so I couldn't use a debit card.
  The shop owner was quite happy for me to nip up to the Co-op and get cash from their machine (and I picked up the few groceries I wanted while I was there). He asked how I planned to get the long shelf home, and when he found out I lived nearby, offered to have his son drop it off on his way home. I was immensely grateful, as my legs had started to sieze up. So I paid, hobbled home with the brackets and groceries, and sat on the garden wall in the sunshine for a few minutes until my shelf was delivered. Most excellent service.

This morning I went down to flat 1 and asked the workmen if they would kindly do me a couple of small favours. The shelf as supplied was too long and I knew they had electric saws, so I asked them to cut it to the right length. They were happy to oblige, and said 'certainly, no trouble' when I asked them to drill holes and put the shelves up for me.
  I'd got everything ready last night, making the places to drill, and moving stuff out of the way so all they had to do was drill and fasten screws. The workman, bless him, was not only very good natured about it all, but produced his own fixings and used those, and brought the apprentice up with vacuum cleaner at the ready to suck up the dirt as he drilled holes. He had everything done in about 20 minutes, and I gave him a pack of chocolate biscuits to share at lunch, by way of a thank you.

So now I have new shelves to spead out the collection of figures a bit more. Some of the more special pieces are a bit lost, crammed in with the others, and now I'll be able to have them displayed more nicely.

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August 2018


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