I’ve been busy. Yes, me. Holiday Queen. I designed a website for a friend and she mentioned this to her friend who happened to need a website and her brother, who happened to need a website and Lo! and Behold! I have been working. All a bit of a shock to the system really especially to poor Milo who can’t understand why I won’t play with him every minute of the day.
The other down side is that it has dramatically curtailed my blog visits – sorry! But after a day of coding html and css and wrestling with the vagaries of Internet Explorer (Please, World – buy a Mac!) I haven’t had time to visit or post here either.
I have come up against a very thorny, perennial problem working for friends – and friends of friends – how much to charge for my services. I’m obviously not a professional but I would like to think that I do a good professional job – basic with few ‘bells and whistles’ and that is what a lot of people seem to want. ( Check out Duck House) However, given the time it takes to code a website ‘properly’, if I charged a reasonable amount an hour, the costs would be huge, so I charge a fairly low fixed fee. Compared to a ‘professional’ web designer, I am cheap as chips. So my dilemma is, do I pretend to be a ‘professional’ or admit I am a beginner. I would like to make some money doing this. My #2 son who is a newly graduated graphic designer is going to send me a ‘rate card’ which he has taken to using, having suffered the problem of agreeing a fixed fee and then ending up with the job taking much longer than anticipated. It’s a minefield!
I am rubbish at negotiating. Or standing up for myself. I have been attempting to sell my books at an art sale in the town where I live. I don’t want to undervalue them yet I don’t want to over charge for them and I would like to sell some. I put them at a lowish price (bearing in mind I’m not in the West End of London) and haven’t sold one. Do I lower my prices even more and almost give them away? They are getting lots of positive comments so I think that it’s just not the right marketplace for them but it is disheartening. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on all this. Sorry this has been such a serious post but it has been bothering me.
So to cheer things up, here is a clip from ‘Outnumbered’ which is quite my favourite thing on TV. The second series is fabulous. Last week Karen, the little girl held a funeral for a mouse caught in a trap in their kitchen. It was priceless.
Her teddy bear stood in for the Pope and she said ‘ Dust to dust. For richer for poorer. In sickness and in health. May the force be with you. Because you’re worth it. Amen and out’.
She also asked why Gordon Ramsey swore so much. ‘Shouldn’t it be people like doctors and soldiers and artists that swear? Not cooks. All they are doing is making salad.’ I love her.
And finally, that time of year which I prefer to ignore is looming fast. It’s a minefield and now the boys are grown up and I’m single, I dread it. I don’t want the boys to feel they have to come home but of course, I hope they do! The first time they both had other plans, I went to stay with friends in Vancouver. I had a great time but it was so weird not being with my boys. Last year they both came home and as I had just broken up with my partner and was not in the best of moods, my ex joined us – which was weird but OK. At least he was a welcome distraction! This year, one son has said he is home, the other is negotiating where to spend Christmas, with his girlfriend and I am waiting to hear his plans. Thankfully, a dear friend has invited us to spend Christmas day with them. #2 son is thrilled as she does cook THE BEST Christmas dinner. Yes, even better than mine….
I’m determined to be organized this year. I’ve already ordered my Christmas tree from Crocus, I am going to buy my cards soon so I don’t end up with the horrible leftovers and if I write and post them early, I won’t be stuck in the horrendous queue in the Post Office for hours on end on the last day of posting and maybe the cards I send overseas might actually arrive before Christmas this year.
There is a new show on the BBC on Saturday nights called ‘Outnumbered’. I remember watching the first season and thinking how amazing the child actors are – I think they improvise the script. It is so well observed and really does depict family life (at least as I know it!) The little girl, Karen, is especially hilarious and says the cutest things. Here is a trailer of the show.
There are a load of clips on YouTube, this is one of my favourites…
I don’t know if you have seen this, it’s has been around a while but it makes me smile whenever I read these letters – childrens’ letters to God.
Children really do have a knack for getting to the heart of the matter. A friend of mine was taking his 5 year old daughter to school. They were talking about what she had been learning at school. The following conversation ensued.
Daughter : ‘Daddy, my teacher told us God made everything.’
That’s it. I’ve had enough. My replacement garden furniture has still not arrived – despite being promised delivery in 2 weeks, 4 weeks ago. They now say, that they can only deliver my table when there is another customer in my area to deliver to ‘to make it worth their while’. WHAT?!!!! What if no-one ‘in my area’ buys a table for the next 2 years? Do I have to wait that long? They have my money, I want my table!! It’s just as well (sort of) that we are having a rubbish summer or I would be EVEN MORE ANGRY.
I tried to play tennis today and we were rained off after 2 games. I am sick of this weather, so when a friend who is holidaying in Mallorca rang me yesterday and said she had come indoors as it was too hot to sit in the sun, it was the last straw. I secured myself an invitation, booked a flight and am off to join her tomorrow. Who says I’m not spontaneous?
So, a very short post, just this, which is for writinggb who admired the BBC’s ‘Monkey’ Olympics trailer last post. Here is another promo the BBC broadcast a few years ago. I love it. So in the spirit of irony, I give you ‘A Perfect Day’. See how many celebs you can name…
“Maybe they’ve got incredible, original content. Or they’re overflowing with creativity. Is it someone that helps you become a better blogger? Or a bloggy friend you know you can count on? Or maybe it’s someone who simply inspires you to be a better person… or someone else who sends you to the floor, laughing your ass off. Whatever the reason may be, I’m sure you know at least a couple of bloggers that kick ass. Well… why not tell ’em so?
Here’s how to send them some love:-
* Choose 5 bloggers that you feel are “Kick Ass Bloggers”
* Let ’em know in your post or via email, twitter or blog comments that they’ve received an award
* Share the love and link back to both the person who awarded you and back to http://www.mammadawg.com
* Hop on back to the Kick Ass Blogger Club HQ to sign Mr. Linky then pass it on!
To get codes click on the button above which will take you to KABC HQ – don’t forget to link up the person who nominated you for the Kick Ass Blogger Club. ”
OK. Done all that. My five ‘Kick Ass Bloggers’ are *drum roll*
Next up. What can I say? Those of you who are acquainted with Lord Likely and his Astonishing Adventures will probably have an inkling of what is to come. (Insert you own double entendre here).You can read all about his ‘Golden Cock of Excellence’ award here.
In his inimitable fashion, he explained why I was receiving this accolade thus:
“Lady Diane Aldred:supremely creative English rose Diane has been a regular reader of my wondrous journals, and for that she deserves honouring. Plus, with any luck the receipt of said award will endear her to me, and we shall wind up entwined in a passionate embrace, possibly whilst nude.”
In reply I just have to say – consider yourself endeared, we will have to see about the rest :-) The award itself is a little – how shall I put it? Ah yes, outré, for a wholesome blog such as this one (especially as some of my readers might be of a nervous disposition), so if you would like to see it, please click here. Now go and have a lie down.
I watched the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics this afternoon – well some of it – it went on for hours. It was quite awesome and putting aside any issues or disquiet that any one may have about the Chinese government’s policies or human rights record, there was no denying that they have set the new benchmark for opening ceremonies. London is going to struggle to get anywhere close to this stunning performance in 2012.
Here is a 30 second round up the BBC broadcast at the end of the 4 hour coverage this afternoon. The quality of this isn’t brilliant but if I find a better clip I will swap it over later.
This is the ad that the BBC has been running for the games. I love it.
And finally, here’s something that might give you an inkling of how successful the UK Olympic Games opening ceremony is likely to be. These are some UWE students (University of the West of England in Bristol) organising a charity balloon launch. Sigh. I despair.