Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Tribute to the Fallen or The Final Inspection

The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.
'Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you ?
Have you always turned the other cheek ?
To My Church have you been true?
'The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
'No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.
But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear..
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.
If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand.
There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.
'Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell.'

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Freedom Parade - QDG (Welsh Cavalry) - 12.7.09

This weekend is a busy one for us. Being active members of the REA - and with Ray being ex forces we are having an army weekend.

The 1st Queens Dragoon Guards (The Welsh Cavalry) were being granted the Freedom of the City today - which co-incided with their 50th anniversary as a regiment at the same time as Swanseas 40th anniversary of being awarded city status. Being granted Freedom of the City entitles the Regiment to parade through the city with colours flying, bayonettes fixed and marching band playing. And whilst all of this was going on - it is Wales National Airshow for the whole weekend.

We found ourselves in town quite early and found a place to stand. There was a good turnout to support them. And boy - they did themselves proud. They paraded from the Guildhall, along St Helens Road, then towards Oxford Street. Marched the whole length of Oxford Street, along Castle Street, then Whitewalls and then headed back towards Oxford Street, St Helens, and return along South Road. They marched to cheers and applause from the members of the public that were there to show support, appreciation, respect, hommage, or tribute. Part of the QDG (Welsh Cavalry) returned from Afghanistan in March and the remainder returned in June and since they've been home they have been quite busy. They are in the UK for a month before they return to their base in Sennelager, Germany. They will be parading in Wrexham, be at the Royal Welsh Show and have other 'engagements', with the last being their Freedom Parade in Cardiff - the capitol of Wales on the 31st July where they will be granted the Freedom of the City. What a fitting tribute for a regiment that has the moto First and Foremost. If you wish to show support for the QDG and you are near Cardiff at this time, the parade starts at 1200hrs.

We did manage to take a few pictures, but to be honest, I'm not really sure how well they will have turned out. It is very difficult to take photographs of such a proud day when my hands are moving because I am clapping to show support, and have difficulty focusing the camera with tears in my eyes out of respect for the guys as they paraded so honourably.

Monday, 8 June 2009

New Listing Templates & New Store on eBid

I have been busy revamping and reviewing all my eBid listings. To do this, I've opened a third store, dedicated to the candle and pot pourii items - didn't realise I had so many hiding away that aren't going to be used. The new store is called Home Scents by BabsnRay.

I had a new template given to me by ruthiewildchild on ebid - to match the store banner I asked her to do. I must admit - the listings look a lot more professional with the template than they did without it. As I intended to reorganise the listings on the other 2 stores, I thought I'd buy templates for them aswel. Equipped with new templates for Babs n Rays Boxroom and Sewing Room Creations , I set about revising and revamping my listings and I've added new ones too. But, I didn't stop there - I also had a new look 'About Me' page built aswell. And guess what - since I did that, I've had an increase in sales. Perhaps the buyers agree with me. Listing tempaltes too improve the look of the listings - and give reassurance that the seller actually shows an interest in their items and is serious about their selling - giving the buyers more confidence in the seller they are thinking of buying from. Something to consider if you sell online, and if you do fancy adding a listing template - check out eBid Widgets by Kimbo.

Friday, 24 April 2009

The Gurkha Justice Campaign

I was very gutted at the result today by our government in that they are not prepared to allow settlement unconditionally to ex served members of the Gurkhas.

The government is happy to send them to war, to fight campaigns or solve crisis', whatever they want to be called, and its the governement that is happy to have an open door policy for any one who wishes to settle in the UK. Those 2 sentences are a contradition in themselves - no wonder our state of affairs is in complete and utter chaos.

I'm not going to pretend that I understand the politics behind it, cos I don't. I am a 'minion' - one of the hard working population, that does the most, yet gets the littlest reward for my efforts. Thats ok. If I wanted a big house, big pay check, and a big car - I'd be an MP or District Councillor or other white collar official.

Anyhow, coming back to topic - after setting the world to rights there - I have a high regard for the military in general, and have a high regard particularly for the Gurkhas. They go through a rigourous recruitment programme even before they can don the Queens uniform to begin training. The training that they undergo is harder than the standard training. They are expected to fight alongside their UK national counterparts for the privilige of less wages, with one month leave to go home every 2 years, and at the end of it all, are bagged and tagged back to Nepal - ok - maybe that was fine in olden days.

But - now with the UK being the open door that it is, letting in every man jack and his uncle for reasons of 'If I stay in my country they'll kill me' - then by the same token, I think, no - I believe that it should only be fair that the Gurkhas should be given the same opportunity to settle in the UK - where they did their training, and where they had their home base throughout the time served in the queens uniform - instead of being packed off back with a medal and a handshake back to Nepal.

Sorry this is long winded - so I'll close off here - for more information, please read this link http://www.gurkhajustice.org.uk/ which will take you to Joanna Lumleys campaign details, and if you feel so inclined, please sign the petition to render your support.

Thank you in advance of your consideration and assistance.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

The Past Week

I've expanded our selling online to actually physically taking our items to the outside world. Scary I know - meeting actual people face to face. Well - it had to be done.

We're trying to downsize as we're hoping to move later this year - if all goes well and house prices don't rise too much - so we've taken to filling the car with boxes with bits and bobs that we no longer need and taking them to bootsales. To expand the selection of items that we're selling, I've also added some hand crafted items to the inventory. Sales of the hand crafted items are going really well, and I am also picking up orders and getting ideas of things that they'd like to see available. The doll outfits and doll pram / cot accessories are a really good seller, as it is now that we are having nice weather and little girls are playing with their dolls and want to have new outfits and pram sets. Another good seller are peg bags.

I did a bootsale last Saturday, and also last Sunday - and on both days the weather was coldish to start, but turned out really hot. Hubby was quite amazed when I arrived home and my lower arms had nice red patches. Luckily for me, on a normal day the red turns into a tan - but I'll have to remember to take the sun cream with me for hotter days.

I've been busy working on a few orders and have them nearly completed ready for mailing. I also have the orders cut out ready to stitch tomorrow for customers who are collecting their purchases at Saturdays bootsale. I really do wish I knew which doll was Baby Annabell and which was Chou Chou. It would make it so much easier. I'm also hoping to expand the inventory of Reborn outfits.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

I finished a batch of 4 yellow embroidered anglais dresses for the Zapf Baby Born dolls. I've done these oepn backed, so they are ideal for childrens play dolls rather than doll collectors. I love using the embroidered anglais cotton as one side comes with ready made embroidered edge which is great for hemlines. It also gives a unique finish to the dresses making them individual.

I'm a little more forward with the fairisle socks - which are an experiment. I'd never knitted socks before now and it was a challenge getting used to working with 4 needles - but as the knitting grows, and I get used to it, then it does get easier.

I sometimes do bootsales on weekend - but when I got up this morning, I checked the weather and it didn't look too promising - a combination of sun and black clouds (the weather forcasted rain showers for our region), so I didn't bother going. Most of my stock isn't water resistant, and I didn't fancy rushing to get it all packed away before it got soaked. Typical - murphys law happened, and cos I didn't do a bootsale, it turned out quite nice, even if a little windy - but you can guarantee, if I DID do the bootsale, within half an hour of me setting everything up, it would have bucketed down and I'd have had to pack it all away and come home. Oh well, there are other things that I could do instead.

Our eBid.net forum cookbook project seems to be one step nearer to the collecting recipes. I'll have to get a couple of my favourites ready to email accross.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Just set up this new blog page

I've got a little blog page on My Space, but decided to give google a go to see if its easyish to set up. This is the finished version. I hope that you like it.

We are Babs n Ray - a husband a wife team - Ray does the post runs and I do all the listing, packing, and making of things that we sell online. We've been selling online now for somewhere around 4 years, although last Aug we moved our main selling home to eBid - and are glad that we made the move. We do still sell occasionally on eBay and have got a few items that are duplicated on Etsy. To see what we are selling and where - the links to our listings and stores are all below. We are dotted about in different places on the www, and can be found on Twitter, Flickr, MySpace, and Facebook. All under the same user name and poppy avatar.

To update you on recent activity - I've spent the last month uploading new pics to our Flickr photo stream, busy making hand knit bed cape, hand knit doll trousers to match a fairisle matinee jacket - in white with blue. I've also been very busy in the sewing room making doll dresses in embroidered anglais fabric, glasses cases, phone cases, cushion covers and table linens. I've also been going out on sat and sun mornings - before the sunrise - to do bootsales. We are meant to be downsizing and bootsales are a great venue for selling large items like chairs, cabinets, etc where carriage is ridiculously high enough to prevent them from being saleable online. Bootsales are also useful for heavy items of china and books where postage would push the price of an item up beyond what would be classed as reasonable.