Sunday, March 09, 2008

Things that make me go........


I have had a new website built, at great expense, which will make my life so much easier in the long run. It means that I don't have to adjust my total stock manually anymore, that will be done automatically, it send me a lovely order form which I just print out, no more scribbling details in a notebook, it sends an email to the buyer when I have posted their parcel and it means that I can add more categories and more images. I spent hours and hours manually putting in the stock totals and changing the listings, the only time I will have to do this, then, on Tuesday, my website simply disappeared! It was nowhere to be seen. I was devastated. My website designers were fairly positive and explained that it was to do with 'propagation of DNS', blah, blah, blah. When my website men talk to me I imagine I am hearing the way dogs hear us talking to them. It makes no sense to me whatsoever. I just want to know that it is ok, it will be fixed, and how long it will take. The trouble with most Devonian young men is that they would rather be surfing or skateboarding than working on computers (and who could blame them?) so they tend to be a bit laid back which can be infuriating! So all Wednesday I tried to be philosophical and relax about it but I was just so fed up as I had worked sooooo hard getting it together. I had frantic customers ringing me asking if I had closed down and I was aware that new customers would be unable to find me. I have an ad coming out in Selvedge magazine this month and I imagined all the people clicking onto my site from that ad. Luckily Selvedge contacted me and apologised for the delay in printing the latest issue. I was thrilled! On Wednesday evening it reappeared. I was so happy to see it.

I also lost my emails for a week. Any emails sent to me were bounced back to the recipient. This was part of the website issue apparently. So sorry if any of you had your emails bounced back. All is well now, I hope.

I have had a recurrence of the flu symptoms that I suffered over Christmas which I first put down to stress related to the website fiasco but soon realised that lots of people who had been ill over Christmas were having a relapse. It's a nasty old bug!

We had 2 viewers for the house on Saturday, the first we have had in weeks. I spent the usual 4+ hours manically cleaning and tidying, staging the house to look like a show house instead of the usual family chaos house that we live in. Daffodils were picked from the garden, hot cross buns toasted in the kitchen to create a nice smell when 1 hour before the first viewers were to turn up there was an almighty crash from upstairs. I knew immediately what it was as I was just talking to my mum about a large crack that had appeared in the spare bedroom. I was right, we entered the room to find a huge section of the ceiling has collapsed and was now all over the bed and floor. The room was filled with plaster dust! On the upside I was relieved to see that it was only plaster and that the old lathes were still firmly in place! Paul was just off to work so he waved goodbye while Mum and I tidied up the room. We got the place perfect for the first visitors (just!) and I managed to make light of the ceiling situation saying that we had taken it down as it was bowing and it would be fixed before anyone bought it, phew! They had no idea of the drama that had taken place earlier.

It's wet and very very windy and, although we were pretty lucky to escape any destruction here in North Devon, we have been warned that there is more to come. Where has spring gone?


I went to my first party as singleton. I would have been happy to go with Paul as we are amicable and it was to mutual friends but he was away working so I thought I should still go. I never get to go out at night and he always does. My socialising is done during the daytime. I felt sick before I went out. I have been 'Donna and Paul' for 20 years and it felt a bit weird to be just 'Donna'. I needn't have worried though as all my lovely friends were there and I felt very comfortable. My friend Carol picked me up and brought me home so I was able to enjoy a drink. I had just enough pink fizz to feel merry. The party was to celebrate my friend's new kitchen. They live in a huge manor house and have had the biggest kitchen I have ever seen in my life created. It is truly beautiful. The last time I saw it was when it was under construction and it was dark. I peered into the darkness aware that I couldn't see the other end of it. It looked like a village hall. It is still the same proportions, in fact it may be bigger than most village halls, but is now a warm, bright and airy with the biggest Aga I have ever seen. I did covet the Aga I must say! The food Christine cooked was superb, she is one of my favourite cooks and I had a brilliant time.

I have tickets to see Nick Cave. I am soooooooooooo excited. This means a trip to London in May with his concert as the highlight. I have seen him in concert many times before, he is mesmerising.

I have had a haircut. All that long hair was getting me down. I prefer the sharpness of a shorter, no nonsense, cut on me.

I had lunch with my friend Dolly who is an antiques dealer. She has a beautiful original gypsy caravan in her garden and she suggested that I use it for taking photos for my website, yippee!

The response to my sale has been huge. I contacted Jo at Cowslip Workshops and as she is doing a workshop at Cowslip that weekend she is going to bring Julie Arkell. Imagine my excitement. I know Julie has already had some of my fabrics in the past as Janet Bolton bought some from me saying they were for Julie. I have people travelling from all over the country. If this is the success I think it will be I will be holding more during the year so don't despair if you can't come to this one, there will be others.

Cosy hand knitted slippers sent to me from a sweet boy down under. The kindness of strangers in this blogging world never fails to amaze me.

My babies after a bath, warm, snuggly and a little bit silly! They could easily be put in the Grrrrrr column too but today they make me go Mmmmmmm.

Duffy's new album came out last Monday. It is beautiful, as is she. Her voice is enough to soothe any frazzled, stressed out souls. I just knew she was going to be big.

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Anonymous said...

what a great post, so much news from you! I totally understand your frustration with the website guys. i think they are becoming notorious for not acting as fast as we would like. we recently had major computer problems and I had to wait for a few days for someone to come and help! What a shock about your ceiling falling just before prospective buyers arrived. I bet you two were running around like chickens! Sounds like you had a good time at the party, good for you! I am so eager to see your friends kitchen ( seething with jealousy is more like it). I had no idea you were such a nick cave fan. Its great to know that you are so in to music. we are too. A gypsy caravan sounds a perfect backdrop for your pics, how wonderful! lovely babies by the way. speak soon.

Vintage to Victorian said...

Hi Donna

So sorry the bug came back. Touch wood we're OK, but several others I know have had a reoccurrence.

What a website nightmare. Know just how you feel - despair doesn't enter into it, does it.

I'm still hoping to be able to come to this open day but am so relieved to see that you're hoping to hold more, just in case I can't get there.

Well done on going out as the whole you instead of thinking of yourself as only half. Keep it up.

Take care
Sue xx

grumpy old woman said...

Hi Sweetie

Blogger is letting me comment :o}

This has been a great entry to read - yes, you have had to face so many challenges recently but you've come through smiling. The falling ceiling will go down in family lore, won't it? hee hee

Loved the photos - especially the one of your two little winkies - soooooo cute!


Sivle said...

Fantastic post Donna...

I've got a ceiling rather similar to yours! :O)

The Devil Makes Work said...

Cooo, that's a mammoth posting. Being a sad old techie geek, I actually understand what propogation of DNS means and unfortunately it does result in downtime sometime.

Well I placed an order this morning on your fab new website and was very impressed, so well done you. Let me know how Selvedge goes as in my plan for 2008 I was thinking of an ad in there for my site once it's been supped up a bit.

I hope my email wasn't one that went missing, I'll resend just in case but keep smiling :-)


grumpy old woman said...

Hi Sweetie

I didn't realise you could remove the word verification.
Would it be possible for you to do it on this blog, seeing as this is invite only too?

Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

Lots of lovely news Donna!
Glad that your website has got sorted out - It can be a nightmare when they go wrong - Love the new nautical prints BTW. And the offer of a gypsy caravan sounds too good to miss!

Good luck with the house sale - Hope the stress levels have calmed down!
Take care of yourself and enjoy your life as a singleton,

Niki x

Suzie Sews said...

So good to catch up with Donna, your life seems so full of possiblities at the moment. OH my the story about the ceiling...nightmare!!!
Take care and good to catch up with you...
PS Loviung the Duffy music to, she is so beautiful, I love her style

lettuce said...

what a lovely lovely post donna!

and looks like some good news as well as the drama. London in May? I trust you will have time to meet up with ME?

have been meaning to email you.... will do so in just a min!