Virginia Cheeseman - Latest News Blog
I regularly post to my news blog on a Friday. Check back every week to see what's happening at VirginiaCheeseman.co.uk
My birthday was lovely, thanks for all your best wishes. I was thoroughly spoilt and really enjoyed it! My Costa Rican themed party was brilliant. I have posted several times on my Facebook page in the last few days, I consider the whole week to be my birthday week and tomorrow I have some girlfriends coming over for another get-together. I had many ‘bug themed’ presents. A beautiful charm bracelet and matching earrings from my hubby (amazingly crafted silver jewellery, with a vast range of bugs from Emma Keating – do look her up www.emmmakeatingjewellery.co.uk, we met Emma at the recent SEAS show in Kent), a fantastic sign for my bug room from my long-time friend Karen, a Laura Ashley blouse with bumble bees, a White Stuff top with Bumble bees, a pretty scarf with Bumble bees and exquisite Ted Baker Bumble bee earrings. There seems to bee a theme here (oh how I wish I could add emojis to this blog lol).
My big birthday is on Sunday, I can’t believe I will be 60! We will be having a Costa Rican themed birthday party (I think you all probably know by now that I love Costa Rica “voted happiest country on Earth”). I started off inviting a few family and friends over for a cream tea in the afternoon but over the last couple of weeks I seem to have mentioned it to more and more people, oops, I think there may be 100 or so people turn up. That’s a lot of cream scones but worse than that, how are we going to fit everyone in the house? Plus, we live in a cul-de-sac, it is Sunday afternoon, where is everyone going to park. Oh well, it’s my birthday, I shouldn’t have to worry about it!
Happy days, I’m off to the SEAS bug show this weekend. It is my favourite show, a great venue, a super friendly team who work hard each year to make it the success that it always is and at the perfect time for me to re-stock! I have my shopping list ready and will be wandering around the show with my now famous purple clip board (famous because last year someone thought I was an inspector doing checks and reported this to the organisers, who quickly pointed out that it was just me with my extensive shopping list).
Busy, busy, the sun is shining and it’s a bright new year. I have high hopes for 2019, my New Year’s resolution is in full swing. I decided that Wednesday is Ginny’s Jungle day, I cannot really expect to make a go of my local events business if I don’t put the effort into it, by effort, I mean time and money J. This Wednesday I got to grips with lots of things that I have been putting off for ages, arranging advertising, writing letters to send out to schools. I mean ‘writing’ on the computer, not by hand, imagine how long that would take! However, I intend to print the letters and put them in the post, enclosing a Ginny’s Jungle leaflet. I think it is much more likely to be noticed and hopefully read than just sending an email.
It’s been go, go, go, this week! What a busy time, after the problems with the post before Christmas when Royal Mail were obviously too busy to deliver parcels! I decided to resume sending orders this week rather than directly after New Year’s Day as I generally do. I had such a back-log of orders to sort that it took me until Wednesday to get everything out but I’m pleased to day that all went well with no delays and no complaints. In fact, quite the opposite, I have received more 5 star reviews this week than the whole of December
Happy New Year! Let’s hope this year is full of happiness, good health and a bit of wealth wouldn’t go amiss J. Talking of going amiss, I hate Royal Mail. I have been a loyal customer for more years than I care to admit and they really let me down over Christmas. There was clearly some sort of breakdown with the tracking system on the Monday before Christmas and only half of my parcels arrived the next day. The weather was pretty mild, they were well packed so not too much of an issue but then it appeared that they were lost as the only information showing, was when I dropped them at my local post office. There ensued an epic ordeal for me and those customers affected. I visited my local post office, spoke to staff, was on the phone to Royal Mail for hours and all to no avail. It seemed to me that a bag of parcels had been stolen as I knew that two bags were collected from the post office and then one disappeared off the radar. To cut a very long story short - the parcels have now been received and all the bugs miraculously survived. My customers were however greatly inconvenienced as was I and to add insult to injury I then received a huge phone bill of £62, which Royal Mail point blank refuse to pay (I thought 0845 was free and was in too much of a panic to think of checking). I do not wish Royal Mail a Happy New Year!
Run out of time! Off Christmas shopping today, finished cards yesterday, get tree tomorrow - "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas". Cancelled tomorrow's open afternoon due to lack of interest. seems I'm too out in the sticks here to run 'open afternoons' but I have had plenty of visitors recently so that's fine, I had a customer yesterday and I have a guy calling tomorrow morning. Both these people have visited before which is lovely so it is obviously the way to go at the moment. Perhaps I will try again in the Spring, when the evenings are lighter and life isn't quite so frantic.
Some ideas are good and some not so good J I think the spider evening falls into the category of ‘not so good’ as nobody came L That said I had plenty of feedback, there is no doubt that most of my customers are just too far away to make the journey. The number of customers who have been visiting me recently have not necessarily been local but they are calling at a time/day that suits them, sometimes on their way to or from work or more often on a day off. Friday certainly wasn’t the right evening to choose. I am not that far out of London and the traffic around here is pretty dire in the evenings but especially bad on Fridays. It is dark so early now and this didn’t help either. I have a list of people who have visited me this year and I should have sent invitations but just never found the time.
My first spider evening is today! ‘No rules’ - seemed such a good idea at the time but now I’m panicking, I am worried that nobody will turn up, I know there is the possibility that too many people will turn up but I have convinced myself that I will be all alone. Hubby says “go with the flow, I will be here if you need me” but I am not one to go with the flow and I could panic for England. Time will tell, obviously I will be clearing and cleaning the bug room today and my office too. I managed to get some new captive bred spiders in yesterday, cutting it fine but I said I would try.
I’m now trying to write something quickly as I’m also cooking dinner and I’m trying to be sociable as my mother in-law has just arrived. I would usually write the blog in the morning but I have about a million jobs on my to-do list (perhaps a slight exaggeration) and I need to get as many as I can done tomorrow before the weekend. I am ‘once again’ trying not to spend the whole weekend working as it really annoys my family but it is a problem when you work from home. I am still trying to get straight from being away for two weeks. So, I’m sitting here on the sofa between my mother in-law and husband, tapping away on my iPad and hoping nobody notices