Month: November 2017

My First Black Friday

Black friday 2

My version of Black Friday is deleting all the people in my phone who sent me a mass Thanksgiving text!

We in the UK do not celebrate ‘Thanksgiving’. However, during late September/early October, churches and schools give thanks for what we have received. This is known as the Harvest Festival. It is not normally celebrated in the homes and neither is it a national holiday.

Over here, we are without a doubt the Black Friday underdogs; firstly, it’s a fairly recent addition to our calendar and secondly, the reduction in prices is puritanical compared to America.

This year, for the absolute first time, I decided to take advantage of ‘Black Friday’.

The first item on my list (yes I had items, plural!) was a replacement iPad. My existing model at over five years old was beginning to show its age, and Black Friday seemed as good a time as any to replace it with the latest model.

For me computing has been and continues to be a major part of my life. Having a good spec PC and a singing all dancing tablet (well, a reliable one) at my disposal is a priority. So, having done my online homework, I arrived at the computer store (PC World) bright and early.

There seemed to be an abundance of salesmen at this early hour and all seemed eager to talk to me. When I asked what they could offer me for Black Friday, the store manager quipped he could give me a special offer of two young men in suits. I thanked him for his kind offer and told him although very hard to resist, I already had a young man, though come to think of it, the one I’m thinking of doesn’t normally wear a suit, and he’s not very young either!

Because I intended to future proof, well, as much as is possible in computing I knew exactly what I wanted.  My purchase would be the iPad pro 10.5 in silver. An assistant did a stock check on his computer, shook his head and then announced he’d check other stores.

The outcome of this was that despite a nation with several PC World stores in every town and city, the only model they could offer was in grey and black! Not only that, but they would need to order the keyboard.  For a moment there I was struck dumb. This was Black Friday, how could they possibly run out of stock so early in the day?

I couldn’t shop elsewhere because one of my son-in-laws, through his job in IT, receives a discount at PC World and had kindly organised for me to have the discount in addition to the Black Friday offer. In the end, I decided the colour of the iPad wasn’t important, and anyway, I was won over by a flirting store manager and two young men in suits!

The second item on my list was a replacement car camera (dash cam), an upgrade in quality in comparison to my exisiting one and because the trailing wires from my dash cam had spoilt the look of my car (I’m fussy), I’d decided to take advantage of the Black Friday offer at a car accessories store and have the new camera hard wired.

A couple of days before, I visited the store, asked about the Black Friday offers, chose the camera and booked an appointment for my car to have the camera fitted. However, on the day, half through the fitting, I was told I’d been misinformed of the offer.

The offer I was expecting was a free fitting service, today, however, as I was attempting to pay for the camera, I was told that because the camera was already on offer, there were no Black Friday deals! I argued my case and the young guy fitting the camera was told to down tools. As the queue of people behind me at the desk grew longer, I began to feel frustrated and embarrassed. In the end I was offered 10% off the total, the fitting kit free of charge and an SD card, I accepted!

Balck Friday 3

All in all, my first attempt at Black Friday shopping wasn’t quite as successful as I’d hoped, but at least I managed in part to do what I’d set out to do, I achieved my first Black Friday discount.

© Sue 2017 In response to the daily word-prompt Underdog

Nothing is what it seems!

“If you look at the CEOs of some the most successful companies in the world like IKEA, they never fly first class. They always go economy.” ~ Gene Simmons

Yesterday because it was raining heavily I planned my day to suit. The plans went like this – A morning of domestic chores, a shower, change into warm, fleecy PJs, a book, the log burner, a mug of hot chocolate and a comfy chair. I was intending to stay home in my comfortable little nest. I had no plans to see anyone or go anywhere.

Half way through the morning the cell phone alerted me to a text from the third daughter.

Lizzy –  Hi Mum, would you like to come for lunch with Alistair and me?

Oh how kind of them to think about me, how could I possibly turn them down.

Me – Thank you, I’d love to.

Lizzy –  Oh good, but we’ll need to take two cars, can you meet us there?

Me – Where?

Lizzy –  IKEA

Me – What? IKEA??

Lizzy – Yes, we thought we could eat at IKEA so we can use your boot (trunk) for the toy Storage that we’re buying!

IMG_4980Unbelievable eh? Even so, I had to smile, why couldn’t they have simply said they needed my help to bring back storage units.  Needless to say,  I showered and dressed and drove down to the city to join the busy motorway (M62) to get to Bradford where the nearest IKEA store is.

Surprisingly, seeing as this was a Monday, there was a jam-packed car park (parking lot) and a very busy store. Why weren’t these people at work?

IMG_4985Lunch was as okay as any Ikea lunch could be and both babies (23 months and six weeks) slept through it.

IMG_4989Standing around waiting while discussions took place on what size unit, what colour and how many boxes of each size, resulted in boredom setting in. So I went for a wander around the store.

 I love these wall hooks… if only I had my own small children. Look at these balls of coloured string…  What could I make with those, a tiny string vest perhaps?

What…? A black and white Christmas, No no, definitely not for me. Oh, now this is what I like, lots and lots of cardboard boxes, ooh… flowery ones too!


Is it time to go home yet?

© Sue 2017 In response to the daily word-prompt Nest

Even more from Grumpy Old Men

Street drinking outside the pavement cafes of Paris and the terrazzas of Rome, is a pleasant, relaxed affair. Outside a pub in Blackpool is an act of madness!

Grumpy Old Men is a collection of tales and complaints, written by grumpy old men and organised into a book of the same title.

Should I apologise for delivering a third helping of Grumpy Old Men? Yes, probably, but I’m not going to! As a WordPress colleague recently pointed out – if I continue extracting  bits from G.O.M. I won’t need to put my brain into gear, I can sit back on my laurels until Easter, or words to that effect!

Seeing as we’re about to hit the Christmas card writing and receiving season I’m   including another Christmas extract. For those of you who’ve already had their cards printed, all I can say is Oh dear!

Christmas Cards

“Oh here’s a festive scene. Alice and Ian Thompson, with the dog. Wow. What a lovely image. Because obviously when we think of Christmas, we think of the Thompson family, never mind Santa Claus and robins or the birth of Jesus, Christmas is all about Alison and Ian Thomson and their dog. I just can’t wait to see their Easter card!

Toys and Grown Men

‘Those baby boomer sad cases, who are so reluctant to let go of their pre-teenage years that they keep on buying dinky toys and action men and  (in some cases) Barbies. There are children, in orphanages and war Zones who would love to have a decent toy, but they can’t because, instead of giving their toys to Oxfam, these sad overgrown nappy wearers are keeping them all.’

That’s a nice dolly, Oh I’m sorry, Sergei, it’s a vintage Air Hostess Sindy and it’s worth £2000. Most annoying of all are the tossers who collect the Star Wars figurines or toys as we used to call them. Which they keep in the original bubble wrap. This is appalling. If you’re going to be a grown man who collects little toy space soldiers, the least you can do is get them out of the packaging and March them around the room, making little pee-oo noises to represent gun fire. Oh, go to hell.’


Your country is very nice. We’d all like to go there on holiday. Your economy is either better than ours or worse than ours; either way; it’s meaningless. Goodness me, what a lot of wars your country has been in. Gosh, it really has been around for a very long time. Well done. Now bugger off. It’s just another country, the world’s full of them.

Here have this globe; blimey, look at all those countries, no, the blue bit isn’t a very big country, it’s the sea. Take your flag down off your window or your flagpole, teach your kids your weird language but don’t make anyone else speak it.

Support your sporting team quietly, minus the honking horns and without waving your arms, crying or hitting anyone who doesn’t support your sporting team, and shut up. And that goes for all the tossers who think that they should all have a holiday on Saint George’s Day when most of them are too arse-holed on either single malt or super-strength lager to go to work in the first place.’

I think I might be one of those annoying folks who got on the nerves of the second grumpy old man, the one who complained about action toys, but at least I played with mine.

Jon Luc

I used to be a big Star Trek fan with Next Generation being my absolute favourite, so much so that my children presented me with little Star Trek figures. My affections back then were divided between William Riker and Jean-Luc Picard.

At the time  I had a male cleaner, no apologies for that,  I enjoyed having a man to boss around, the husband just ignored me!

RikerAnyway, Richard (the cleaner) decided it might be fun if Jean-Luc and Riker had a game of hide and seek.

It went something like this…  On cleaning day, Richard hid the figures, cupboards and drawers weren’t allowed,  when I came home from work I’d begin our little game and search the house to find where Riker and Jean-Luc were hiding, . To prove I’d found them I had to send a message and state their whereabouts. I hardly ever saw Richard but we had a lot of fun with this game and I was sorry when he left, and just in case you’re wondering, yes I am an adult.

© Sue 2017

In response to the Daily word-prompt Honk

Extracts taken from ‘Grumpy Old Men’ – A manual for the British malcontent!  (David Quantick) 2004