Saturday, 24 April 2010

The jewel in the crown

Yesterday a lovely lady and gentleman, both sporting healthy tans, spent a lot of time looking at our jewellery before the lady settled on a Firefrost turquoise pendant and matching earrings. "We've just come back from a Caribbean cruise" the lady told me "and I looked all over the Caribbean for turquoise jewellery but I end up buying it here!" Meanwhile, her husband was jovially muttering something to the effect that most people built conservatories but they had to build wardrobe extensions to accommodate his wife's fashion purchases. Whereupon his wife turned round to him and announced " I don't drink, I don't smoke and I don't do drugs. I'm entitled to spend your (???!!!) money on something!" Good line that, I might use it myself if I can ever give up red wine.
Speaking of jewellery, we've got 2 new jewellery stores opening in the village. The first is Silver Moon who also have a shop in Ambleside, the other is a Pandora shop -  Bowness must have proved itself to be a mecca for people with disposable income to be worthy of a Pandora shop but, for a fraction of the price, you can buy one of Jules' Pilula Aura bracelets which really are lovely and leave you with enough change to buy a bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape!

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Consider myself told off

Yesterday a lady on a mobility scooter accompanied by an older lady in a wheelchair stopped outside the shop and asked loudly "Can we get in your shop?". I went outside to explain to her that as the step into the shop is only a few inches tall we didn't have a ramp for wheelchairs. She then informed me that I was breaking the law and that she would have happily spent lots of money in my lovely shop but couldn't get in there. She then proceeded along the street to Jim and Sue's cafe next door and I was a bit miffed to see that she managed to get off the scooter and go inside to order.
Muttering to myself I went to the Post Office to send a few internet orders and asked Malcolm, the Postmaster, if he thought we were breaking the law by not having wheelchair access. He thought not and that the law only applied to banks, Post Offices and other businesses offering a public service. When I got back to the shop I googled the issue and found, to my complete surprise, that indeed wheelchair access to any shop has been the law since 2004. I then looked online for wheelchair ramps and found a portable lightweight aluminium one for £70 which I then ordered (it's just arrived). I then went along to Jim and Sue's to apologise to the lady and she admitted that she was only so vociferous about it because not only so few shops comply with the law but also because she was only registered disabled a couple of years ago and was still coming to terms with the complete frustration she felt with all aspects of her new life.
What astounds me is just how many shops do flout the law, probably unwittingly.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Where's the sun gone?

We've had a fantastic few days: since last Thursday the sun has shone and all has been well with the world. Heady temperatures of over 19 degrees were recorded at the weekend and folk have been wandering round the village in shorts and t-shirts. We've seen numerous cases of sunburn amongst customers and Jules arrived yesterday with an attractive red glow about her after tackling 3 Wainwrights on Saturday. We've even stocked up on natural Insect Repellent and After Sun Soother in anticipation of demand. However, after a very promising start this morning (beautiful blue sky and gradual climbing temperature) the sun has now disappeared and I'm now sat shivering in my totally inappropriate sandals. I'm going to log on to Metcheck for a quick weather update.........phew, bright sunshine reappearing on Thursday and no rain forecasted....hang on, what's this????? Snow showers forecasted for April the 22nd. Surely not!!!!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Summer's coming: the flies are back

What a grotty Easter weekend we had weatherwise. There was only one decent day, Sunday, and I was asked by countless tourists what they could do to keep dry other than visit the World of Beatrix Potter, the answer being not a lot if they didn't have a car (although I find a bit of retail therapy to be the best pastime). Yesterday, the local paper reported that the Wild Animal Park in Dalton had had its worst Easter in 12 years and certainly the weather, once again, proved to be the dampener (literally) on what should have been the kick start to the tourist season. No matter, today the weather is glorious (brave men have been spotted in shorts and sandals) and is forecasted to be good to the end of next weekend. That'll explain why flies have suddenly appeared in the shop  - they've got their eyes on Metcheck and have ventured forth only to discover they should have put on their vests. It's not that warm yet and several have perished without the aid of a swift swipe from any handy magazine. It'll be the wasps next....