is what I gave you all; 6 days without me rambling on to you all. The peace and quiet must have been lovely? :) However, I'm back and you're not getting rid of me for quite such a long time again - well, until the end of March at least.
Why was I away? Not because I have decided to give up, that's for sure - although where were you all for my Anti-Valentines event yesterday? I felt sure someone would have joined me :( It was Valentines which kept me away. It's the one time of year at work that I really do dread and this year was no different to any other. People (sorry, but it's mainly men) leaving it until the last minute then panicking because I didn't have what they wanted. Thankfully they are happy to take whatever is offered though. I wish I could say the same for the women who forgot. Now, there may not be many who do but I've got to tell you the ones who do can be quite nasty if I haven't got what they want. I'm not sure what people expect at 3pm on the day itself - that's a lie, I know exactly what they expect, but they're not always guaranteed to get it. There have only ever been 3 occasions in my 31 year career that I've had a go at a customer - all 3 have been at Valentines; one of them this week. A woman phoned me at 3pm yesterday afternoon asking for 12 yellow and 12 orange roses. When I asked what day she would like them for, she replied "They need to be delivered by 4 today". Firstly my drivers worked so hard yesterday to get all their rounds finished by 2.30 (they never even stopped for a coffee) so I wasn't going to call one of them back. Secondly I didn't have the roses she wanted and thirdly while I was more than wiling to run an order out for her, there was no way I could have delivered within the hour. I explained I didn't have the roses in the colours she wanted but offered up a selection of other flowers I still had at that point in the same colours. Before I got chance to say anything else she pretty much spat at me "I don't want other c**p, I want yellow and orange roses, so deliver them for me". I don't like to be spoken to in such a way but I am at work and of course "the customer is always right" so I politely replied I was "sorry" and that I didn't "have any orange or yellow roses left". I did add "had you phoned me yesterday I could have sourced them for you for today; I could always get them for tomorrow though". This is when she came back at me with "I don't f**king want them tomorrow you f**king idiot, I want them this afternoon". I'm not proud of myself but suffice to say I replied to her in pretty much the tone and basically told her to go and ring someone else then because I was unable to help. I never once swore but I wasn't very polite with my tone. She then screamed at me down the phone calling me lots of names I won't repeat here. I don't get paid enough on a good day to have to deal with people speaking to me in such a way, but after working non-stop for 48 hours, putting up with people moaning about prices (if only you could see what I had to pay for the flowers I bought in for the day - they'd soon not moan) and having to deal with people who had it left it so late I wasn't in the mood to let someone abuse me, so I retaliated and before I hung up I did swear back at her. I've been checking all day for a bad google or facebook review from her :) I'm good and have on many occasions been able to perform miracles, but the impossible does sometimes stump me.
That leads me nicely on to the fundraising page - you knew I couldn't be away for so long and not mention it on my arrival back here, didn't you? To some people what I am asking for seems like an impossible task, something that will never come to fruition. I've not learned much in life - of anything that's of importance - but I have learned that you should never give up on your dreams. There's not much point to life if you don't have something to strive for. A goal to make your way to. I strongly believe that anything truly is possible if you are prepared to put the effort in - and believe it will be, also. When I'm having one of "those days" where I feel like things are bad (family and loved ones dying normally bring about such days) I allow myself to feel it, work through it, accept it is a bad day, but I never let it detract me away from my hopes, wishes and dreams. Some friends laugh at me for I still believe the boy I fell in love with some 35 years ago now will one day come to realise he's always felt the same way about me and we'll end up living out our old age together.. haha. But hey, who's to say it won't happen? Nobody else has entered my life for the past 20 years to dissuade me - that's not to say I'd turn away someone else. If that was to happen then I'd assume I'm not meant to be with the young love. Until such time as someone else sweeps me off my feet though I have to believe it's because me and the young love are meant to be together - otherwise someone else would have come along and garnered my attention. I was right to believe that one day I would have my own business. I was right to believe that I would make it to the US back when I did 3 years ago - it may have been just a whistle stop but I got there just the same. I was right to believe that one day I would have a reliable car - 3 years ago my aunt and uncle helped me to achieve that. People laughed at me back then when I driving around in a car which was falling apart and spent more time in the garage being repaired than it did with me actually driving it. I walked away from a massive car accident which really should have seen me dead - the poor man who witnessed the lorry hitting me thought I had been killed. If those few things I've mentioned above don't make me a lucky person then I don't know what does. That's why I believe I will make it to the US again, I will do the roadtrip. Whether I win the lottery or an old aunt I don't know about dies and leaves me some money, or whether someone will make the donation I need to get me there, I know I WILL make it out there. It could be 100 of you who have read this deciding to donate £100 or just one kind individual donating £35k (I'd love to fly the kids first class!!!!). It doesn't matter how hte money finds it's way to me; I just know that it will. That doesn't mean I can sit back and wait for it though. Oh no, it doesn't work like that. As I said further above, if you want something badly enough you have to be prepared to put some time and effort into it. While there are some people in this world who get what they want without having to do a thing, they are very far and few between. Besides, what a boring, shallow world that must be to live in always having what you want handed to you. No wonder so many of these young socialites have such issues with drugs. They've never had to work for or strive for anything. Their lives must at times feel lonely, empty and vacuous. I remember reading some pretty nasty comments on a website once about one of the princes of our royal family about how they are spoilt and have no idea what it's like to live in the "real world". While that may be true to a point, I would not swap my life with theirs for all the tea in china (I do like a good cuppa, but don't serve me anything but good old Yorkshire tea with just a splash of milk - my brother says I have mine so strong I could stand my spoon up in it). Yes, they are privilged to the point that they live in big houses and don't have to worry about money but their whole lives are lived as if they ware in a fishbowl. Every move they make someone, somewhere is watching. If I get up in the morning and am feeling anti-social I can just get my head down and ignore people - to a point. They are not afforded that luxury for they are expected to behave in a certain way at all times. They may have money but at what cost to their lives? I'd rather have nothing and live my life the way I choose than have to deal with the crap they get thrown at them. Same as rich kids who want for nothing when it comes to things they can buy. The one thing money can't buy them is happiness and so many of them end up taking drugs to take the edge off. That's no life. Again I'd rather be poor than swap with them. Don't get me wrong, if I was to win big on the lottery (another thing I beleve will happen) then money will certainly buy me happiness - to a point for true happiness can only come from within. Don't get me wrong; I have no doubt the first couple of years would be amazing, knowing I could go anywhere (there would be many trips stateside) could afford to buy anything I wanted, but once I'd bought a home, decorated it, got some furniture and paid for holidays what more would I need? Maybe that's why I've never been rich, because once I've got what I want then I'd not need to go looking for more. You see it all the time; movie stars who keep moving, buying more cars to add to a fleet they will never drive. I think sometimes these people have all this money and not a clue what to do with it but they don't want to give it away so they just buy more stuff. How much stuff can one person need? A lottery win would be amazing but once I'd got all I needed, knew I had enough to live on for the rest of my life I'd then give away the extra I wouldn't need. I'd rather give it to someone who needs it or would appreciate it than leave it sitting in a bank account. What good is it doing there? Except making the bankers richer. Imagine the local charity groups you could help out. The local cancer hospice or children's home. The animal shelters and homeless people. The people out there like me, who've found themselves having to ask strangers to help them achieve a dream. That's what life is about. I could probably charge a lot more for flowers at my business but I opened in an area that's not rich so have worked my costs to accommodate my customers budgets. Of course there are some wealthy people who take advantage of my lower prices (I can't change that aspect) but when I hear someone leave my shop saying to whoever they may be with "how lovely was that lady and what a great deal she's done for us" I'll admit to getting a warm fuzzy feeling. I argue that if I put my prices up people most likely wouldn't shop here and to a point I think that is true - I'd lose a few - but I don't think it would make much difference to the slightly wealthier, but I'm not here for them. I'm here for Mrs Smith who's 94 living on a state pension ordering flowers for her granddaughters funeral - she has hardly a penny to her name but I know I can do her a good deal so she goes away feeling she's been able to see her loved one off in a good way. I'm here for the young couple who are starting out wanting to get married but who've just had to use every last cent they have on a deposit for an over-priced rental property; they'll never be able to afford to buy their own place because they work in retail. They don't want the works but they'd like a few flowers when they get wed as they'll help give the photo's a bit of depth and background. I'm here for the young boy who has only £3 in his pocket that he wants to spend on something for his Mum who's just come out of hospital. It's not the rich people who make the world go round, it's the everyday people. The ones like you and I. We are the ones who can make a difference. Ok, so I'm at a point in my life where I can't do much for others and am asking for help myself, but it's not always been like this for me and I know at some point it won't be again. It's the little things which count, that can make all the difference.