It’s recovery time. It’s been just over two weeks since I got my first Covid jab, and for a short time afterward I felt quite fatigued, though that may have been due to the cold I came down with the day before the jab. Whether through a cold, the vaccine, or both, I’ve felt generally fine, and good enough to go to work as normal. I have however been initially thwarted in my attempts to book a second dose, as for whatever reason the NHS site doesn’t seem to offer me the opportunity just yet.
I had an experience at work that left me feeling a combination of relief and regret. A deaf customer stopped by the showroom and after a few initial struggles we were able to arrange a site visit to measure up the bathroom. This went generally well, and then he came back to the store a couple of times. He was prepared to spend a fair bit of money, very quickly, and I was hesitant – as much as I tried my best, I couldn’t be sure that I’d communicated every point effectively, and I didn’t want him to part with thousands of pounds until he’d had a chance to liaise with his family.
As it happens, somewhere along the line there must have been a miscommunication. He believed the prices included fitting the bathroom – as a company we don’t fit, so he’d need to get a separate quote for fitting. I’d believed I’d made that point clear, but I can’t have done.
Throughout the entire process I was conscious that I didn’t want the customer or his family to feel I was trying to rip him off or be too pushy. Operating with integrity matters to me. Some salespeople might have been all too willing to take his money without a second thought; I tried to imagine how I’d feel if someone was taking advantage of me, or one of my loved ones. What if I learned my mother or father had been taken for a ride?
You might say I have a conscience when it comes to sales, which might also seem counter-intuitive to the sales game. I sometimes wonder if that held me back at the sofa place, where KPIs were king and the entire process was crafted around manipulation. That kind of environment involves creating a need, and I was never truly comfortable with that.
Ok, so the image isn’t me and it isn’t quite reality, but it does come pretty close to summing up my feelings on gardening. I loathe it. I hate it. I despise it. I don’t know if an adjective exists that can do my feelings on the subject justice. It’s a horrid chore, and it’s partly one of my own making. I will put off cutting the grass until it gets to an horrific state (we’re talking a jungle here) and then, after much internal procrastination about how much I hate cutting the grass, I’ll cut the grass and be reminded of why I put off doing it.
I should be sensible and smart and do the damn grass before it becomes a problem – but when the weather is dreary and cold, the last thing I want is to be stuck outside, wrestling with a lawnmower that’s definitely seen better days, getting covered in grass cuttings and triggering my hay fever. There’s nothing appealing about that and it’s hard to get motivated.
My daughter is now eleven. Eleven! When did that happen?! It feels like only yesterday that I was cradling her in my arms for the first time, with tears flowing down my cheeks – happy tears, joyful tears. Watching my daughter be born was the single most amazing, happiest moment of my life, and since that moment she has provided so many moments of joy.
My daughter has always marched to the beat of her own drum, being thoroughly quirky and unique, which is great! She has an incredible imagination and is very creative, two qualities that I hope she never loses. It’s very easy to not even try to be creative in today’s world, so it’s all the more important to cling to such qualities. Whatever she decides to do and whoever she decides to be, my daughter will always have a proud father.
Watching her grow up has made me think a lot about the passage of time. It seems to move too fast sometimes. Watching my daughter as she is now, I find myself missing the times that I could scoop her into my arms for a cuddle. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t miss changing nappies or being woken up in the middle of the night, but when you’re cradling your baby in your arms as they fall asleep, safe and warm in your embrace… at that moment you’re at peace with the world. It’s the most beautiful experience.
Still, all moments are fleeting and transitory. Parenthood brings new rewards as your children get older. I have shared my love of Nintendo with my daughter, my love of DuckTales, and my love of books. We have a great relationship. I can’t ask for more than that.
The WTF Moment
I’m going to present a comment that was left on another blog post, that critically examined some arguments of mine… and failed to get anywhere close to addressing what I’d actually written.
1 “I am in favour of things like a public healthcare system”— someone has to pay for it. Where is the money going to come from? Taxes aren’t fair and too many loopholes.
2 “I believe that there ae enough resources on this earth to bring everyone out of poverty and still allow us to live comfortable lives.”—What you believe doesn’t come close to reality. When you spread the wealth equally, there are those people who know how to make money and people who can’t hang on to it. The wealth disparity will return.
3 ” I am in favour of decriminalising certain drugs…”-=– of course you are. you want everything to be legal and that is not going to create a great society. Costs of healthcare will rise due to the addictions of all the people participating in this
4 “I despise the interference of conservative religious institutions in peoples’ lives “— as if the secular way is so much better. Just look at all the crimes that are committed under democrat, liberal and leftist rule. Those groups have failed the people.
5 “I’m all for free school meals for children”— are you going to pay for it?it is easy to spend someone elses money
6 “a decent, thriving wage for nurses and others”— see above
7 “Money earmarked for nuclear weapons and despotic foreign governments should be redirected to better causes”— do you have the weapons necessary to defend your country?
8 “There are people living on the streets of the UK, a self-proclaimed first-world country, and there’s the resources to help them, but not the will. “— you do not know the reality of this situation
9 Your hatred for those two people and Christians leaves you in a very vulnerable position as a dictator who thinks his ways are better than everyone elses.
I refer to this post, and I refer to this blog. David’s comment managed to miss the mark quite spectacularly, but the biggest takeaway (for me) was the willingness to pay for nuclear weapons, and yet baulking at paying for a public healthcare service. I guess David has no issue with taxes when they fund ways to slaughter people quickly and efficiently…
I replied, but it was somewhat hastily, and you see my response below:
1. Someone pays regardless David. The difference is that some people pay far more. Look up how much insulin costs in the US, compared to the UK. I assume you know that insulin is crucial to living, and in the US people who need it have to choose between the drug and their homes. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-47491964 What part of that kind of rabid profiteering is in keeping with Christian ideals?
2. I’m not aware of Jesus ever practicing ideals of hoarding wealth whilst others starved David. That was the point I was making, and it’s not of any surprise to me that you missed it. People like Jeff Bezos could easily pay their workers a much more comfortable wage and still be extremely wealthy – and yes, there are enough resources to bring people out of poverty – unless you feel the better position is to maintain a status quo that leaves people unable to feed themselves, through no fault of their own?
3. I love how I can say ‘decriminalise certain drugs’, and you spin that into me meaning ‘legalise everything’. Do you even read the words I write David, or do you skim them, to make it easier to take them out of context? If drugs like cannabis were legalised tomorrow, you could prevent dodgy, fake and dangerous batches being sold. You’d take power out of the hands of dealers who use the money to front other, more dangerous activities. You’d put a dent in organised crime straight away. There’s also no reason to think that everyone would suddenly think ‘let’s smoke a joint!’.
4. Ok then David, let’s see examples of all of the crimes committed under liberal lefty rule, and compare to the crimes committed by conservative religious rule. I sure you can provide examples. I’ll wait.
5. Jesus would feed the hungry, would he not? James 2:14-18 – What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. Are those hollow words David?
6. See above.
7. So… you would be happy for public money to be spent on terrible weapons of mass destruction, but not on a decent wage for hard-working nurses who are trying to save lives?! In one sense, that’s very Old Testament…
8. I know more about reality than you.
9. I don’t hate Christians. I have serious misgivings about Christianity, and you’re not doing much to avail me of those. After all, you have just made it clear you’d sooner invest in weapons of mass destruction than feed the hungry. Nor do I hate Johnson and Trump – I hold them in contempt, for they are contemptible, and I will never shirk from saying so.
On Sunday a rare thing happened. We went out with my parents for a meal at a very nice local pub. Ordinarily this wouldn’t be unusual but in current circumstances it was a pleasant change of pace. A massive burger came my way, followed by apple crumble, but the star of the show was my wife’s flowerpot dessert.
Everything on the plate is edible – the pot is made from tempered chocolate. Pretty amazing eh? It was lovely to see my ma and pa, given that opportunities to see them during the pandemic have been very limited. Having even one afternoon with them makes a world of difference to me. Who knows – in the summer, we might get more time.
Speaking of summer, the weather at the end of May perked up a bit. Suddenly we have had a couple of days of bright blue skies and warm sunshine. Hopefully this trend will continue!