Things to do

Today will be an organised day. I have lots to do and so Handsome and I made a list. School starts back for both Handsome and Cheeky tomorrow, so we have to prepare school bags, find lunchbags, do a last check of the uniforms etc etc.

I’m posting lots of parcels this week. I’ve sold a few more things on Ebay, and so I’ve got those parcels to send, and of course I also have the packages for my giveaway winners. All I need to work out now is how customs etc work, and what I need to fill in to send chocolate to the US. The websites for the post office and the US customs, or FDA or something, are as clear as mud on the matter. In one place it said that if the food is a gift you only need to fill in the standard customs form, but somewhere else said I need to make a prior notice something or other…well, it’s all a learning curve! By far the easiest thing to do would be to ask at the post office, but I’m nice and comfortable here in my house and that would take a lot of effort! Only joking, I’ll be off to the post office tomorrow, and they can sort it all out for me.

I’m also lining up quite a lot of crafting presents over the next 113 days (until Christmas, don’t you know!) and so I think I will need to give myself goals to aim towards in order to finish in plenty of time. So, I’m taking inspiration from Sarah’s post on her blog today, and I’m making a list of craft projects that I want to see finished by the end of the month.

  1. Mystery project which has been steadily driving me towards a straitjacket which needs to be finished TOO SOON
  2. Crocheted bag to take on holiday later this month
  3. 2 Christmas presents
  4. Christmas cake
  5. Mincemeat
  6. 5 Christmas cards

There. Not too onerous a list, and suitably non-specific when it comes to the Christmas presents as I’ve not got a definitive list yet to say who’s getting what. Also, making my Christmas cake and mincemeat in September is something I’ve always aimed towards, but generally fall short of by a couple of months. So feel free to nudge me towards the end of the month to make sure that I’m getting through it all!

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Ebay: selling=addictive; packing=not so much

Selling stuff on Ebay may well be addictive, and might even have remained so had I been able to avoid the inevitable truth: How on earth am I going to pack this very weirdly shaped yet slightly delicate object, given that I discarded the original packaging several years ago when the items were first bought? I’m not kidding, it takes a very creative mind to try to work out how to pack a toy vet’s surgery together with figures and, the killer, a base plate to stand the whole thing on. My first thought was to get a really big box, put Cheeky in it to hold the playset and just stick a ‘Please Return’ label on him and hope for the best. A couple of holes in the lid, a sandwich or two and some crisps and he would have been happy as a sunbeam!

After half an hour spent wandering round the house, cursing that I’d not sorted out packing materials before I’d listed the items, I was inches away from either 1. driving the damned things to their new (and scattered) homes at various points around the British Isles, or 2. taking apart my kitchen cabinets to make sturdy boxes which would be a challenge even for the Royal Mail to break (I’m joking – to Posties everywhere, I think you’re all fab! Please don’t punish me for my sad attempt at humour by jumping up and down on my parcels!).

Eventually, though, they are packed. And sitting in a pile waiting for me to load them into bags, strap them to Handsome and Cheeky’s backs so that they can carry them to the Post Office for me. Seriously, why have a dog and bark yourself? Or rather, why have children and then let them sit idly by when there are heavy parcels to transport? I need to think of my carbon footprint, and it’s far better for the environment if I get the kids to carry everything, rather than cranking up the car.

parcels

And in future, I might not curse so much about the boxes that toys come in. No, actually, I still will curse, because I’ll never, NEVER have the room to store all the empty boxes for easy disposal of the toys in the long term.

Oh well, out into the drizzle I go. It’s just as well I took that picture of the sky yesterday, given that it has today returned to its normal British summer colour of dirty white. I’m going to get soooo cross though, if  my parcels get rained on. I spent HOURS packing them. Each one is now a little work of art (even if you can’t tell that by looking at the photo). They’d better be appreciated, is all I’m saying! I shredded anentire IKEA catalogue to fill in gaps, and also an entire Sainsburys magazine. The amount of sellotape I used, before we even mention the brown paper wrapping, would be enough to wrap all of my Christmas presents, and then move on to help with the rest of the street. I’m a firm believer in wrapping parcels securely in paper, then re-wrapping them in sellotape. OK, so it makes opening them a little hard, but the thrill is in the anticipation, isn’t it? Which means I’m just increasing the thrill.

What a lovely person I am! Although this all does go to show that I’ll never become an online toy retailer. Perhaps I could handle clothes, or books or something which is a regular shape. But it would be highly inefficient of me to specialise in toys, given that it has taken me two hours (give or take) to parcel up FOUR sets of toys. Hmph. I wish I’d charged more for postage and packing now!

Hitting 10,000

Today, my blog stats recorded that I have had ten thousand visitors to my blog since I started! I know it’s not a lot compared to the large blogs which are out there in cyberspace, but it is a landmark, and I thought I would pause a moment and celebrate a little! In way of celebration (I really know how to party!) I thought I would put a few details of the statistics of this blog.

  • The first post was published on 6th October 2006.
  • Since then, I have published 143 posts (including this one)
  • There have been 78 comments added to my posts
  • My busiest day was 23 March this year when I had 103 visitors
  • My busiest month was March 2008 with 1800 visitors
  • My most popular blogpost with 2019 visits (more than double than the next on the list) was Birthday Time Again, from 26 April, 2007.
  • My top referrer has been WordPress.com, via both the front page and via tagsurfing.
  • The top searches which have directed people to this blog have been;
    birthday cakes 1,005
    birthday cake 709
    jane asher cakes 284
    pirate cake 207
    cake 159
    treasure chest cake 156
    pirate cakes 96
    medieval soldiers 89
    pirate birthday cake 84
    medieval village 71
  • The links most frequently followed from my blog have been WordPress.com, closely followed by Firefly’s ‘I Live On A Farm’ blog.
  • Finally, I am informed by WordPress that Akismet has protected my blog from 8087 spam comments.

I love looking at the statistics on my blog. I’m always eager to find out how many visitors I’ve attracted since my last look, and I love watching the little lines on the graphs trailing up and up the screen! It’s definitely addictive.

It has taken just over a year and a half to reach the first ten thousand visitors – I wonder how long it will take to reach twenty thousand? Let’s set a target of Christmas. I’ll keep you posted (no pun intended!).