28.11.2010 -2 °C
Hello my darlings,
You doing ok? Might as well stop asking that seeing I never get a reply..
I'll start with today, Saturday. I woke up, opened the curtains and following that I started jumping up and down in happiness as there was a layer of snow covering everything. To make things even better I had a couple of minutes of nice warm water in the shower this morning! I thoroughly enjoyed my few minutes of trotting through the snow after which I was, really, ready to go inside as my darling shoes don't take neither cold nor moisture well.
The morning was not all that busy and after that I went for my lunch. I decided to have some soup [which reminds me, I have to clean the microwave] with bread. Then I went back, relieved Hannah from her duties for half an hour and then took a detour crossing the main square as there was a Victorian christmas market there. Unfortunatly I had to get back to work, otherwise I'd have treated myself to a hot coco with Bailey's.
While I was having my cup of tea in the back Tracy came scurrying in: Noo! It's mrs. D! [For her privacy and comfort I'll leave her last name out and as it happens I don't know her first name] *Mouthing: HELP! She ran off into the kitchen and Carole went outside to take care of the shop. My other colleague Sony was also in the back with me. From the shop you weren't able to see Tracy in the kitchen. After having interrogated Carole mrs. D. came through to the back [just in the door opening] and started talking to me. Is Carla here? [No.] Is Tracy here? [No, with what turned out later to be a very questionable look on my face.] And I got more questions and slowly but surely she started making her way into the back room, at which point I got off my chair to indicate she wasn't to be in the back room and to prevent her from seeing Tracy in the kitchen. The conversation continued and I had to laugh. I tried to hide it behind my cup of tea and by biting my tongue and left her with the excuse that I really *had* to go wash my tea cup. After having accepted her defeat she went back into the shop and stayed there much longer than neccesary, occasionally glancing in the direction of the back room. Tracy was stuck in the kitchen, explaining that whenever mrs. D decided to give her a kiss, she dribbled down her cheek. It does me head in!
That was the funniest part of the day, by far. Sony said: why did you keep answering her questions?
I was looking forward to the xfactor in the evening but when I went downstairs I found Daniella and another girl in the common room and unfortunately Daniella was not the one in charge of the remote. The other girl is always in there watching Merlin during the first hour of the xfactor but it turned out to be a double bill of Merlin, so I left. Back in my room I put my headphones on and listened to some music and tried playing some TF2 with a 1000 ping which was virtually impossible. After I had given up I heard something buzzing - my phone! Five missed calls and two text messages : Daniella trying to tell me the girl had left and we had the room to ourselves. Yay! So we watched the rest of the xfactor and after that we watched Sweeney Todd. Daniella is coming to the German Christmas market in Birmingham with me!
Friday was my day off. I slept in but obviousely I woke up early anyhow. I had decided I'd run some errands and then take the bus to Wolverhampton. I got some money and bought decongestant tablets, they're quite interesting. Carla had given me one on Thursday and it worked like a charm. It's sort of the same as nose spray, but it's a tablet you take and eventually has the same effect. Furthermore I bought a huge load of fruit: apples, kiwi's, mango's, oranges. I've had it with having colds, it's horrendous. Then I went to my work for a bit to say hi as Fridays are my favourite days to work. Carla, Carole, Bridget, Sony and Rosemary were in you see, although when I went in Sony and Rosemary weren't there yet. Bridget's face beamed when she saw me. MIEKEEE - Where have you been? Why aren't you working today? I made my excuses and then went into the back for a chat. A few moments later Bridget ran into the back: Mieke! Mieke! Come here! I immediately understood that the Dutch people were in the shop. The approximately 90 year old woman told me she'd been living in Stafford since 1946 and her daughter was visiting. Guess where in the Netherlands she lives? Well? GELEEN! After a while her daughter said: Kom, v'r gunt. Can you imagine? It was awesome. I think it's my mind playing tricks on me but I even thought I recognised her from somewhere.
I figured out where to catch the bus and I stood there waiting when a truck drove by and the driver was waving at me! I have a life! People recognise me and wave at me! The bus ride was quite long. The fact that I was sitting on one of them folding chairs didn't really help. Still, it was a nice look into some more English countryside.
Once I had arrived in Wolverhampton I started walking around a bit but I was far from impressed. I found three shopping centres and honestly, I could not care less, I wanted to see some old buildings and culture. Had I been wanting to shop for something I'd have done it in Stafford itself. And obviousely you look at people as they pass by you on the streets and sometimes you catch peoples eyes without further intentions. No worries, you carry on walking and *forget* a few moments later. I walked into this little street as I saw the church on the other side of the street. As I'm crossing the church graveyard I find this man standing in front of me. Hello, I just saw you..
I was thinking oh bloomin' heck leave me alone I can't be doing with this you're doing my head in already.
Are you allright? Where are you going? Can I help you? What are you doing tonight? Want to go for a drink?
Sod off! I just saw Mark happening all over again. Hey yea I know I said we could go to a café but yea I bought some booze instead so you can come to my place.
So I said no thank you very much I'll just go and entertain myself cheers and byebye.
I had a look around the church and then sat myself in Costa's, bought a cappuchino and got my book out. When I had had enough of that I went out to find my bus stop and sat there for ages waiting for my bus to Penkridge. As I sat there I noticed that of the small amount of actual British people passing, most had lost a few marbles as well. Oh bliss, the population of Wolverhampton. I was really happy when my bus finally arrived as I had had somebody talk to me about idunno what because he was mumbling but he showed me his ID-card and everything. When I discreetly moved away from him he started talking to somebody else and so the cycle continued.
After some time we arrived in Penkridge. Meanwhile it had gone dark and freezing cold. I walked to the Chrismas market and the first thing I saw was flashing lights and Santa! There were rides all around and a lot of stalls. I saw Angela with the KHH stand and said hi - how they got through the evening in that cold and standing in one place all the time, I don't know. I got a hamburger and a bag of liquorice [giving the man behind the stand my compliments on his selection of goods] and after a wander 'round I went back to the bus stop to find I had just missed my bus. I walked to the church but found that was closed. Then I tried taking some pictures of the church and gravestones [the lighting was really beautiful] but I got some really weird pictures. I walked back to the bus stop and called the home front just to pass the time when I found my bus arriving! I don't know why as I still had half an hour to wait, but who's to complain when you can hop onto a warm bus. When I eventually got home I felt like it was ten in the evening. Either way it had been a good day: I got to see for myself why everybody around me was saying they dislike Wolverhampton.
Monday. I got to work Monday and the first thing Tracy said was: would you be willing to go up to Littleworth to help Carole out? I went back home, got my bike and cycled up to Littleworth where I got Carole's reaction: I told Tracy I didn't need any help!
Jolly good morning, folks!
I understand though as Carole is having some health issues and Tracy is worried. And I don't mind, I'll adapt. When the morning was out I cycled home, had some lunch, went back to the Stafford shop, dumped my things and walked to the pound shop to cover Hannahs lunch. After that all was back to normal. A very tiring day.
Tuesday. I was in the shop together with Bridget, performing out A-Team act. We're at our best when we're together. Good times.
This man came over [I forgot his name] to install a screen on the wall next to the counter. Fancy thing, a digital photo frame to depict smiling KHH people, sharing information about the hospice. Of course we didn't get the chip with the photo's until a few days later, so the screen was up for experimenting! After my lunch break I took my mp3-player back to work and connected it to the screen and had my own music swirling through the shop. It was a shame that the sound quality was quite poor [ah, it's only a photo frame after all] and the speakers were right next to your ear, in most cases hindering you from hearing the customers properly. That experiment ended soon enough. I'm grateful they let me experiment on it though. "As long as you don't break it." Nooo, me? Never!
I am, these past couple of days since Sue started talking to me, having some nice little conversations with her. It is really weird though, we never talked, but she did pick up loads of things that I was saying to other people. At a certain point I was telling her that I'd miss everybody and so on and she said I'd be missed, too. Coming from her.. idunno, it was really touching.
Wednesday/Thursday. I was supposed to spend Wednesday and Thursday in the pound shop.
Tracy came with me to open up and I had taken a whole survive-the-day kit with me, containing amongst others a mug, a book and coffee. After an hour or two I started feeling a bit light headed, though, as well as slightly nauseated. I put it off as long as possible but eventually I did call Tracy to inform her about my uncomfort. "Oh, dear."
Angie came in to cover for me as I wobbled home after Tracy having said I looked really pale. I dove straight into bed where I found myself for a large part of the rest of the day. I went to bed early and felt much better the next day, prepared for a day at the pound shop. When I arrived at the Stafford shop, though, Tracy said they had gotten somebody else to cover the pound shop and Libby was there as well, asking if I was ok. You're staying here so we can keep an eye on you! I was grateful for that. I did go round to the pound shop to cover the other lady's lunch break and learned a new word: butty. One of those occasions where you're making small talk and suddenly your face goes blank and the other thinks you're stupid. I've gotten used to that now, though. "I'm Dutch, but please explain yourself?" It's another word for sandwich.
The other day I found myself trying on some clothes for an elderly lady who always comes into the pound shop. The first time she saw me she was all like whooo where's Hannah? She's usually here!
Ehh, she's off for lunch? Hmm.
It took her a while, but she's now used to me being there as well.
She walked up to me with a size 10 cardigan, saying something like no way this is a size 10? Mmm no, you're quite right, that looks bigger than a 10. [I'm totally getting the hang of the sizes here.]
Could you perhaps try it on for me? I've got arthritis you see, I have bad shoulders. So I stood there behind the counter trying on a black cardigan with golden glittery things on it. She was very grateful and she bought it.
She came back a day or two later saying she only bought it because it looked good on me. Fancy that.
Now I've covered all of this week I think. Can't think of anything I failed to mention. If I have failed to mention something I've forgotten hence it must not have been important enough. Either that or I will remember at some other point and mention it then in case it deserves mentionning.
Now I've finished my coffee and the battery of the laptop is almost flat and I only have a bit of time left before I'm taking the train to Birmingham to go be all German. Can't wait!
I'll leave you with this then. Enjoy your Sunday!