Friday, 11 September 2009

Friday 11th September 09

For me, today was a good one. I didn't have a lot to do... just a bit of preparation for the weekend. I enjoyed time with Gill, time on the computer, quite a bit of time in the garden, and at the end of the school day, went to get our youngest.

One success was when the Wii appeared to go wrong, and there were unbelievable ructions about the disc not loading and the machine being a complete waste of money. I calmly asked the child remaining in the room to take the disc out and turn the whole thing off for a moment, and then restart it and put the disc back in. It worked and I thanked the obedient child. I called upstairs and told the upset one that I had got the think 'rebooted' (which I thought was the correct term) and got another huge earful about it not being a reboot as this would have erased all the WiiMe characters and scores and everything. I apologised profusely and bade hm come and see it working again. And so all was peaceful again, save the aggro usually associated with two brothers 'sharing' the Wii. Phew. Parenting!

The most interesting thing which happened today was a phone call from a friend whom I'll call 'B' for this story. He regularly walks past Kyi-Po, a vegan shop on Goodramgate. He is a supporter of ethical living and admires what Sarah and Matt have done. However, he had noticed that they started selling alcohol and tobacco, and was a bit perturbed about these less ethical products, and had discussed it with his girlfriend. A few days ago he noticed a notice advertising the arrival of 'triple strength vodka' and so he, without thinking, walked in and said something to the effect that he'd noticed the new products and wondered why they were selling them?

Sarah obviously felt this was an attack and yelled that what business was it of his to say what they could and could not sell...? B kept calm and said that if she had listened to what he had actually said, which was a question not anything else. Sarah continued her defensiveness and aggression and B left as he could see that he wouldn't get an answer or even a polite discussion.

Today, B was walking past, deep in conversation with his girlfriend... they didn't even look at the shop. Suddenly, Sarah and/or Matt (I am telling this story second hand, I wasn't there, so fine details might not be 100% correct) leapt out and confronted them, yelling about 'do gooders' interfering and poking their noses into other peoples' businesses. Somehow my name got dragged into this, as some weeks ago I asked them if they had a ramp to enable my friend, a wheelchair user, to get into their shop. I had a similar experience of defensiveness and abuse, and have since received unpleasent messages and hostility from both of them, despite my being a supporter of their venture. So there was a confrontation in the street, with Matthew shouting and using foul language towards B and his girlfriend, who had nothing to do with the situation at all. A crowd gathered and even the traffic stopped as it was such a commotion.

B rang me to tell me about this as I was slandered and called all sorts of names (including Matt saying I'd threatened to take him to court, which is complete rubbish!) and B wanted to warn me not to go near the place as he felt these two were capable of much more than verbal abuse. I'm very surprised by their attitude. I'm quite shocked, as surely, a shopkeeper should try to be as polite and nice as possible, as every penny you earn counts. And I was considering going in to get some more lemongrass mayonnaise which I got from them a few months back... but in the light of what has happened today, I think I'd be a fool to go in!

All that the shop-owners should have done was to say 'we've started selling these products as they too are vegan and they sell well' or words to that effect.

I did spend quite a bit of today thinking about B's experience whilst building the latest compost heap and putting some prunings through the shredder. I can only think that the shop owners have some sort of persecution complex. And no-one I know is critical of what they are doing or opposed to them or their shop... until today that is! I am going to find out if what they said about 'not being able to have a wooden ramp available for wheelchair users who want one being against the planning regulations' is true or not. I think it's nonsense.

Anyway, I had a good day and got quite a bit done. Good chats with Rich a the fruit shop, friendliness at Freshways too. Got on well with the kids and Gill. What more could I want from a Friday?


Compostwoman said...

you ( or your friend) might want to have a look at this link

I believe that a shop has to at least have a removable ramp installed, if asked to do so? but am not 100% certain...

CW "Alex" Downey said...

Your tale is distressing. I am sorry that you had this kind of trouble w/ a vegan shop. It makes me muse: who is the true "Green"? "Green" and "green" might be in danger of becoming words used as a meaningless term of approbation. At CAT, I attended a lecture that discussed the wide range of people claiming to be small-g (ie, environmentalist, not libertarian socialist) greener than thou - including the wind-turbine enthusiasts who fear global warning, and the rural-conservationists who fear supposedly ugly constructions despoiling the landscape. The solution offered by the tutor to this kind of conflict was to advocate vastly improved energy-efficiency - but journos and politicos will have a hard time making *that* exciting and popular.
Similarly, there might be a conflict within any consumer-co-operative retail organisation between those libertarian or libertine democratic socialists who might want to allow the sale of magazines including photographs of naked young ladies,
and those feminist democratic socialists who might want to forbid it. All that's obvious, of course, but your blog post has done its job of reminding us all of the needs for a degree of tolerance, both of vice if we are to be free and of discipline if we are to be healthy and have equal rights.
The rest is negotiation. That's why we have social norms and text-books on self-management & social skills!

Anonymous said...

Hi John,

We turn our Wii off every night at the mains, to save electricity, and the WiiMe's remain when it is next switched on.

(In actual fact I wish it would lose the one of me! - Not flattering!!!!!)

Went to the eco-renovation course at st Nicks yesterday. Lots of info about interior vs exterior house insulation and different insulating products. Something I think you would have been interested in for your house.

We also got Solar Pod out too. Got 40 litres of water up to 65 degrees! Didnt get that caravan chassis though - someone beat me to it. :-P