Monday, 19 October 2009

altered art weekend and retail ups and downs

What a weekend! A fabulous weekend of endless new techniques. I cannot elaborate too much as that would spoil it for the next group but i learnt so much and had some finished projects to show for it. Held at Newport Pagnell my adventure started on Friday catching the train to Paddington from Newton Abbot. We were told that a kit would be provided and that we would need bare essentials only. One thing i would advise anyone going is that take a nail brush and some swarfega cleaner as we got very mucky and i had to wait until i got home to get my nails really clean.
Four hours later i had arrived at Paddington having made a crochet brooch. Crochet is so good to do on the train but i had to relearn the stitches as it has been over a year since i did any. I had a most grumpy lady opposite me who did not speak for the whole journey. Normally bringing out crafts allows people to speak to you. I also completed the Times killer and sudoku and read the paper. Arriving at Paddington i then travelled by tube to Euston station and caught the train to Milton Keynes. Then a quick taxi and i was there. Priorities first was food. The hotel was a typical conference one, nothing special but adequate. Pillow were hard and the rooms hot but the rooms were not as small as i thought they would be. So good for £39 plus VAT per night plus breakfast.
I found a few potential crafty people in the bar and plonked myself down. Crafty people are so friendly. It transpired that one person was from Exeter, half an hour away from where i live....
The car journey had been terrible due to the M5 being partly blocked so my 4 hour train journey did not seem so bad.
Food made me more human and a couple of Magners and i was very relaxed. We all speculated about the forthcoming two days and chatted about our various crafts we all did. had not realised that there would be 48 other people on the weekend. I suppose the economics mean you have to have that many.
Retired to bed and slept until alarm at 6.30. The rest of this story will need to be told after next weekend takes place.
One thing i will say is that my husband was most impressed with my finished articles and amazed at how much had been done.

On my shop I phoned on Sunday from the hotel and discovered that there had been a shoplifting incident which had turned a bit nasty. One of my staff had been told this chap had taken something. He spotted her coming to-wards him and ditched the clock he had pinched. He then legged it out the shop. The staff still thought he had the goods and went outside to ask for them back. He then turned nasty, came back in the shop and started taking his clothes off to prove he had nothing on him. he went down to boxers only. Sounds funny but not when accompanied by threatening language. The police were called and he legged it. The clock was found out of the packet and on a shelf.
Statements were taken and incident logged. I worried about this on the 6 hour train journey home.
The next day i am going to the shop although i had planned a sleep in as i did not arrive home until after 11.30. I was telephoned by a member of staff who said that a window had been smashed some time during the night. My sense of elation after the weekend evaporated and i just cried. Getting myself to-gether i got to the shop and arranged a glazier to put a new window in. It could have been worse..All of the windows could have been smashed. I remember an incident a month ago when a suspicious woman pointed to the very same clock and asked her"boyfriend" to get it for her. I think that all of these are connected. The curious thing was that we have CCTV and i manged to pull up the digital feed from that day but the visual skipped for that very hour i wanted, A coincidence. I think not. Any ideas how and why this should happen?? I think that they were going to take a lot of things and were disturbed. We have some handbags for sale which i had chained and i found the chains undone. I think they intended to get these.
The handbags are now chained to death!! and the clocks moved away from the door. I hate the feeling that these things bring .
One nice thing about Monday is that one of my artists came into the shop with some new necklaces. The lady makes lovely ceramic beads and buttons. I told her the sad story and having admired a bronze necklace she said i want you to have it. It made my day so much better. Thank you D for cheering me up. I feel more positive and have to start planning some crafts.
Over and out

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