I appear to need to catch up again. 🙄
When i blogged last week about Josie at gym, i never came back to say what a lovely time we had together for the rest of the day. Annoyingly now, i can’t exactly remember it 😆 The big girls have been allowed to work on the gym floor during Josie’s class, meaning they get an extra 45 minutes a week to practise, which will surely do them good. I get a chance to sneak a look every so often and i’m surprised by what i see. Amelie is a hard worker, Maddy is far, far more graceful and precise than i had realised and Fran is either excellent and great to watch – or a bunch of high velocity knees and elbows 😆
After the class i took them for lunch at Subway and had a really delightful time with them; they were a pleasure to be out with. We shopped for a while after, then popped to work while i did about 4 parcels that needed to go out and then i must have brought them home and whatever we did together after that has flown out of my mind. I do know that they all did all their music and normals before gym in order to be allowed to go in leotards instead of taking their work 🙂
The rest of the week appears to be a bit of a blur now, can’t remember Wednesday at all. Thursday was Max’s last day at Perkins and so we picked him up from there and took him for coffee so he could recover his equilibrium. Amelie was at gym and the girls and i did a very successful pie making thing at Brownies (last week we did an equally successful Chinese theme, with lanterns to make, decorating red envelopes and real take-away 🙂 )
Friday night the girls went to dancing and then we took them up to my parents so that they could see their cousins and be babysat for; initially Max and iÂ had planned to go home, until we realised that Granny and Grampty are far better situated to be a base for 2 days trips to London and Birmingham, so we stayed too. Love my Dad and sister for putting themselves out to accommodate this as it was a hugely important weekend for us.
Max and i spent Saturday at the Toy Fair together, first time he had been to a trade show. Sadly the show was half the size and much less innovative than previously but we placed 3 orders with new people and got to see several of the people we already use and their new stock, so it was a good use of time. Came home and had a hilarious and alcohol fuelled evening with Greer and BN, laughed ourselves sick over nonsense and went to bed too late. Max drank too much so i had to drive us to Birmingham the next morning, nearly causing a marital when he realised too late he didn’t know where to go after all. :wall:
Spring Fair was fantastically good and i was very pleased with myself as i wangled several deals i didn’t expect to pull off, found everyone except 2 people that i hoped to deal with, made some good contacts with people i had heard of/spoken to/or just got on well with, made a couple of good relationships with reps i’d not met in person before and found about 400 new products to go on this years (gulp) 3 new sites. I do feel like i know what i’m talking about now; 18 months ago i imagined if i didn’t have the business and the kids i would have to go back to working in a shop. Now i know i could pull off working as a buyer or an agent – and i know i could pull off an interview to get that sort of job too. Was very encouraged by how buoyant it all felt and the note of realism creeping in – and glad to be on the right side of being a “proper” business. The tide has turned slightly against WAHM status, which isn’t entirely fair – and certainly won’t help people who deserve to get started or do well – but will help out small businesses like us. (That sounds like i have forgotten my roots, which i haven’t – but there has been a difference for a while between “small trying to make a living” and “small and doing it on ebay at trade plus £1 and making nothing but it’s a nice hobby”. It doesn’t help anyone really.)
We were very focused and spent Sunday choosing and networking so that we could come home and check out the brands and make good choices; i went back yesterday and did the buying and then spent the afternoon playing at being an agent on one of my favourite stands. I felt like a proper working woman 😆 and loved getting taken seriously at it. The Spring Fair was also markedly different in another way. I’ve gone to the toy Fair for 4 years and i’d certainly changed a lot between when i went the first year and went i went last year – i knew how to handle it – but this year, with Max by my side, it was very different and by the end of the day i was ready to scream. Despite the fact that Max hung back, did talk except to ask questions and it was me being the main mouth, they kept tolerating me and talking to him, as if i was the little woman and he was the decision maker. I’ve HARDLY EVER had to deal with that, i can count the times on one hand, and it made my blood boil. Eventually Max was quite blatantly telling them it was my business and me that made the decisions – but it still didn’t stop them. Spring Fair was more woman focused anyway and the same didn’t happen. Grrr.
Got home in the snow, drove back to our home and then started our week. Don’t appear to be able to remember that either 😆 Last night we had proper snow, 5 inches or so and the girls have played out all day. Maddy is 9 tomorrow – eeek!