Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Such a Failure . . .

There's no Ifs or Buts - I've failed. And miserably so, too. The tasks I have been handed this week, I have left on the floor, completely neglected. I know they were handed to me in good faith, and in trust that I would tend to them lovingly, but I haven't.

For this, I can only apologise, and hope to seek forgiveness from those involved . . . ie, Father.

Yes, Marie has taken a long deserved week off this week, and among her many jobs that were distributed throughout the office was the task of looking after Father. Breakfast and toast was to be made every morning (only in hopes that our kitchen wouldn't burn down), followed by a coffee or a tea, and a good long nagging session to remind him to take his tablets. This is a task that Marie prides herself in doing, and in which she entrusted me with.

I have let her down.

This morning Father had to make his own breakfast, and turned down a tea offer from Rob, of all people. I did nag him about his pills though, but this was too little too late. The damage had been done.

I have failed, and I'm sure if Father could have his own way, he'd lead me to the block and have my head. Fortunately this isn't viable as they still need me to write the blogs, so we bargained and agreed that it should be hung low with shame instead.

I wonder if I'll remember tomorrow, or the day after?

D. Ilott
Gridstop Ltd

Monday, 28 September 2009

Huffy-Up, I See a Bargain . . .

Everyone likes a freebie! No one can deny it! If it costs you no money - a Bargain - then you will love it! It's human nature, and it's in our blood.

Therefore, may I introduce to you our latest competition, and a chance to win one of our superb Huffy Green Machines!!!!

You'll see a link for this on our home page to our website, but to make things easy for you - purely because I fit within the category of `genuinely nice people` - I've provided a link for you to click on. This should take you straight to our competition page, eliminating all that hassle you'd have from reading this, and then clicking back numerous pages, and then finding our home page, and then clicking on the competition page . . . see what I mean? And I think I rest my case about what category I fit into (No comments from those who actually know me, please!).

However, you have to promise me that you'll finish reading this blog before you click on the link, otherwise I won't give it to you. I know the lure of winning something worth £150 is far greater than staying here and reading, but I don't want this blog to suffer because of the excitement of this competition. So, do you promise to read to the end? Promise?

Promise . . . ??

Okay, here we go . . .

Huffy machines are great fun. I know they are supposed to be for kids, but come on! Who in their right mind would stand back and do nothing when they have a beast like this sitting in front of them. I'd have to give it go. Why should the kids have all the fun . . .

So anyway, the competition is really easy, and it doesn't involve any brain power. All you have to do is subscribe to our newsletters, free of charge and hassle free (another bargain?) and be entered in our prize draw. It ends on October 15th, but the way this year is going, that's just round the corner, so as they say:

Huffy Up and Enter Our Competition!!!

I can't enter though, and I now feel discriminated against because I'm an employee . . .

Humph . . .

D. Ilott
Gridstop Ltd

Friday, 25 September 2009

Busy Busy Busy . . .

It's going to be a busy next couple of . . . weeks? Months? However long it's going to take . . .

Apart from looking at new products to sell here at Gridstop Ltd, we are also looking into our entire marketing strategy. We are going through the structure of our website with a fine tooth comb. Our aim is to try and give you a much simpler and a much better shopping experience with us.

If you're looking for a product - a tent, for instance - and your surfing through the net, looking for that certain Je ne sais pas that will leap from your screen, yelling at the top of its voice "BUY ME!" What will that be? Will it be the price? The product itself (regardless of price)? The company? Or the security?

I personnally list security on the list of my shopping choices (and it's not just because of the thought of men in uniform). If I don't feel happy about someone, I won't buy. I need to know that these people aren't going to take my money and run!

But what makes you buy? Just what is that Je Ne Sais Pas for you . . .?

Some changes may befall our website soon. Hopefully it's going to become more customer friendly and reasuring. It's the start of an on-going project that will hopefully be a great success in the future.

If I don't blog next week, you know it's because I'll be buried under a mound of paperwork . . .

D. Ilott
Gridstop Ltd

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

From Summer to Winter . . .

Summer has been and gone, I'm afraid. I know we are being blessed with good weather at the moment, but we all know it's not going to last. The nights are getting darker and winter's slowly drawing us within its long, cold claws. There's no escaping it! It's got us well and truly in its sights!

And if you think this is bad, consider those poor people in Sydney, Australia, with that sandstorm! Give me a burst of snow any day . . .

But anyway, now is the time to start considering stock. Obviously we are now out of the season for pools and tents - I'm not entirely sure if anyone would really enjoy jumping in a pool in their garden when it's frosty - and so we have had to think long and hard about what products would sell during the autumn and winter seasons.

Yes, we have many ideas . . . and already have a few new lines in. These will soon be gracing our website, ready for purchase. Not only do we have our fabulous jewellery boxes (yes, the ones I keep raving about) but we have also got fishing tackle - people still fish in the frost . . . I know they do! - and we have a selection of radiators, convection heaters, halogen heaters, and an electric stove that looks very posh. These will easily keep you warm and toasty during those cold winter nights, and they're fantastic for fighting away that winter claw!

We also have, just to name and prepare you for a few, halogen ovens, buffet servers, sewing machines, a Star Wars computer game (great idea for Christmas), another computer game that's similar to the Wii (I'll keep you informed with more info on this as and when I receive it), and decorative, ornamental trees.

It's all very exciting, and some of these will make great pressie ideas. I'm sure I'll be blogging about them in more detail in the near future . . .

. . . if I can stop raving about these luscious jewellery boxes . . .

D. Ilott
Gridstop Ltd

Monday, 21 September 2009


Well, I've just been writing the descriptions for our new jewellery box selection today, and I'm more impressed with them now than I was last week. They are very posh . . . and looking through the suppliers catalogue, so are the others, especially the wooded ones.

The one I have sitting in front of me now - the next one on my description list - consists of four large drawers at the front, working from the bottom up, and then when you lift the lid you have numerous sections on top. The sides then open up outwards providing you space to hang necklaces, and - AND - it also comes with a travel box that sits perfectly in one of the top trays under the lid. This is a handy little box, with rolls where you can keep your rings, and other little compartments to keep your presious's when travelling. It's HUGE, but GORGEOUS!

However, upon researching jewellery boxes in hopes for some inspiration for their description, I discovered that these boxes have nothing on the boxes that were given to Queen Marie Antoinette in during the 1700's. (Yes, by squinting at the picture below, you can actually see a door!! It's that big.)

Jewellery boxes were originally supposed to be designed to look and appear grand as these, as well as their contents, were usually one of the first things to be inherited and passed down to generations. Antoinette's were of no exception when she had her final meeting with the guillotine. One now sits on display at Windsor, and the other at Versailles. I have no doubt that the grand design of these boxes were, during their day, literally fit for a queen, but today, I don't think I'd want one sitting in my bedroom. I'll quite happily settle for one of ours . . .

. . . And I'll quiet happily buy more jewellery just to fill it. Remember, Christmas is just round the corner, and so is my birthday (hint-hint) . . .

D. Ilott
Gridstop Ltd

Friday, 18 September 2009

A Sparkling Way To Keep Your Sparkles . . .

We - as in Cybercheckout, as in Gridstop Ltd - have finally decided to get some new products with a bit of zing to them. They are very smart, very handy, come with numerous little hidey-holes, and are very swish-swoo!!

Have you guessed what they are yet?

No, they're not swish horserugs with pockets that you can stash your gear in whilst riding - although, there's not a bad idea - they're Jewellery boxes. I have a sample sitting right next to me, and so I had to take photos to share them with you all.

Finally, a place to keep your precious's that looks just as precious as those precious's themselves . . . And this style isn't just the only style that we are getting. The other style has a wooded affect. They look very smart.

Okay, so maybe jewellery boxes aren't really your kind of thing . . . but they might be someone else's! You're partner, your mother, your sister . . . me! Oh yes, I'd have one! Remember, Christmas is coming up soon, and these will make great presents! And apparently it's a new thing for men to have one too, for their little sparkling bits and pieces. (They're obviously of a more manly design, though.)

If only Gollum from the Lord of the Rings had one. If he did, not only would he have added some class to his dank cave dwelling, but he would never have lost his precious . . .

D. Ilott
Gridstop Ltd

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

YAAWWWNN . . . .!!!

Well, summer has come and is just leaving us now. I don't know where it's gone, and I feel cheated! Now the mornings are getting darker, and I don't like it, but, it does mean I get to use my alarm clock to it's full potential again.

Last year my old alarm clock decided to give up the ghost and so I thought I'd treat myself to one of our high lux, blue light alarm clocks. They look very modern and attractive, I have to say, and looks great sitting next to my bed.

Basically, it's an alarm, the kind that beeps and wakes you up with a start in the morning, but . . . BUT . . . it also has a blue light that lights up before the alarm goes off. You can either set it to light up 15 minutes before the alarm or 30 minutes, and what it does is gradually light up bar by bar. This is supposed to simulate the rising of the sun, and gently wakes you naturally before your time to actually get up - or in my case set my snooze button - and generally helps you to feel better through out the rest of the day.

The mornings now are getting that dark the light is actually waking me up before the alarm - two mornings in a row this has worked. Obviously this didn't happen in the summer - or what was supposed to have been summer. The reappearance of the sun doing its daily rounds around the globe worked perfectly for me, but now the sun isn't yet at its full potential by the time my alarm goes off. It reminded me this morning of what a wonderful invention this alarm clock actually is.

However, it's missing one vital thing. Despite the fact that it wakes me up, it doesn't get me out of bed. Along with dark mornings comes cold mornings, and all I want to do is stay snuggled up under the duvet (gotta love that snooze button). So what this clock actually needs is a long arm with a hammer that'll come out and whack you on the head until you get up.

Just as long as I don't whack it back in self defence . . .

D. Ilott
Gridstop Ltd

Monday, 14 September 2009

Tumbleweed . . .

`. . . A tumbleweed is the above-ground part of a plant that, once mature and dry, separates from the root and tumbles (rolls) away in the wind . . . ` - quote from wikipedia.

Oh, and there floats some now . . . and another . . .

Yes, we are very quite in here again today - mainly due to our Spiritual Guide blessing our warehouse in Leicester with a visit (you can tell who does all the talking in the office, and he has the cheek to blame it on everyone else! I think not!).

But it's been so quiet in here today - and there goes yet another bit of tumbleweed - that there has been nothing inspirational going on, and therefore, I truly have nothing to blog about. I asked my colleagues and their collaborated ideas were just as interesting as watching a piece of tumbleweed roll by . . . actually that's a lie. I just liked the way that sarcasm rolled - get it? Boom Boom! God, I'm so funny!
They did actually give some valid points that I could mention. So here they are:

1. Our new range of Tottie Outdoor Clothing - polo shirts, fleeces etc - is now available.

2: We - as in Lisa - has now agreed on the final samples of our new horserugs, so they will be in shortly.

3: Our new Dogbed range will soon be available - name of Redbone, isn't that clever . . .

4: Lisa aches from spending too many nights sleeping on a sofa bed.

. . . and . . .

5: It's our very own cuddly Dr Love's birthday on Friday, and all he wants is Lisa wrapped in a gift box with a German Sausage. (For those who do not know of our Dr Love, he works in our warehouse, sorting through the administration duties that we send them) I'll let you know if the couriers deliver her in one piece.

Right, I'm all blogged out for today, so I'm now going to return to my tumbleweed watching . . .

D. Ilott
Gridstop Ltd

Friday, 11 September 2009

Baby Talk . . .

Well, we had a visitation yesterday . . .

George came and introduced himself to us, bringing a proud mummy and daddy along with him. He's adorable, with ten fingers and ten toes, a little nose, and a stomach full of milk that he thought his mum might like. He quite happily got passed around the office for those who wanted a cuddle, and I couldn't possibly turn down the opportunity to blog about it.

So out came the camera and the imagination just rolled . . .

"No! No, you can't bring me in here! It's full of strange people! No . . . !"

"Stay back! Or I'll do my famous Judo-chop . . .!"

"I poke my tongue in the face of you people . . ."

"Uh, you're really not too bad, I suppose . . . okay, if you insist, I'll bravely tell you my heroic, gallant story."

"Garble garble garble - make haste at once! I yelled - garble garble garble garble - with a nappy! - garble garble - but then I was very, very drunk . . ."

"Well, at least Missy enjoyed my story . . ."

But on a serious note, he's very healthy and very happy, and will soon be joining the customer service crew and answering your calls.

And just a quick message to one of our customers, a Mrs Betty Miller: Sarah received your card and wishes to thank you. It was very sweet and very thoughtful of you.

We have some lovely customers . . .

"Here's lookin' at you, kid . . ."

D. Ilott
Gridstop Ltd

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

That Sweet, Innocent Little Sausage . . .


A wonderful place, with wonderful sights, and home of our wonderful friend, and ex-cyber employee, Niosha . . . and home of Hamburg, the only place in Germany I've visited (and a certain area of Hamburg in particular).

It was a very interesting day on Monday. As mentioned in my last blog, Drew took a small crew to this lovely country. Not only was this a marketing project, but also an excuse for everyone to have a 'pick-on-Lisa' day. And boy did she get it.

Apparently it started as soon as she was picked up at 5am that morning, when Drew accused her of being almost disastrous with her morning disorientation - happens to the best of us - and then it continued as soon as they arrived. A hired car had been arranged, but for reasons unknown to myself, their Ford Focus wasn't available, and so they had to be upgraded. Such a burden this was to Lisa. The luxuries of a normal, reliable, petrol car had to be given up, and instead she had to put up with a black BMW 320 Injection Convertible. I'm no car person, but it sound's impressive. However, it was diesel - and gave Lisa cause to moan.

Yep, she's no fan of diesel cars, but what would you drive? Ford Focus or Convertible BMW? She still hasn't lived that one down.

The day was full of little events such as this, all in the cause of Lisa's mockery, including a comment on the return plane home. At first she didn't know what the airport was, and then whilst waiting to taxi to the runway, she said - and I quote:

"I bet we're gonna fly . . . "

Erm . . . yeah!

The full comment was supposed to be somewhere along the lines of "I bet we're gonna fly home faster than what it took to get here," but it didn't come across like that, and yes, it's another moment that she will never live down.

Poor, poor Lisa. What a day she had. But was she really a victim of all this ridicule? Was she really the innocent female that had to suffer it all? Or did she instigate it, and provide the fuel for the wrath of Drew's humor? The proof, I think, is not in the pudding, it's in the German Sausage.

PS: The photo of `Lisa and her German Sausage` has now travelled further miles than Germany itself, and will be available to purchase in calender form nearer the end of the year. Lisa is now promising that revenge is sweet - a dish best served cold. This'll be good . . .
PPS: I still don't know why they actually went to Germany . . .

D. Ilott
Gridstop Ltd

Monday, 7 September 2009

The Mysteries of the Cyber-Celeste . . .

The wind comes howling, echoing through the open hatches as it sweeps across the deck. And as if in mockery, the wind emphasises the silence that lingers. The atmosphere is thick, eerie and uneasy, and the fact that something is not quite right is whispered upon deathly breaths from the holds. Cobwebs hang from the corners within, dancing with the breeze, their creators having long ago abandoned them. Lanterns, once lit, are dark and dull, there flames having drowned in freezing waters. They sway gently to and fro with the rhythmic waving of the vessel as it drifts across the watery expanse. And as it drifts the hull creaks and groans, sounding as if unseen feet are treading upon loose floorings.

To the discoverers, these unseen feet belong to the ghosts of a crew that once manned the vessel, seeing it safely across the dark oceans, but now it is abandoned.

The wind continues to catch in the sails, taking the vessel further towards its unknown destination, but these are ripped and weather-beaten, left untended in the hands of fate. Ghostly hands helm the wheel, turning it left and then right, in what ever direction the tides choose. The signs of life have been left everywhere, uneaten food in the galley, bunks having been slept in, but life itself is mysteriously absent.

The vessel is like a ghost ship, coasting upon the tidal driven waves. The disappearance of the crew, their surrendering to the deep, shadowy fathoms, is a question that will plague the world for centuries to come . . .

. . . And I bet you all thought I was blogging about the mysteries of the Mary Celeste? Well, in a way I was, because that is how this office feels today. At present, all that sits here are myself and our creative genius, Keiron. Drew has taken a crew - excusing the pun - to Germany, for reasons unknown by myself, two members of our Customer Service team are at lunch, and Father is also out on the hunt for food, leaving just us two.

So indeed, today feels almost like an unmanned vessel just leisurely riding the tidal driven waves, going with the flow, and all aware of the eerie, uneasy atmosphere that follows.

Just what has happened to the rest our crew today?

It's all very mysterious . . .

D. Ilott
Gridstop Ltd

Friday, 4 September 2009

Finally . . . Al's leaving do . . .


Had a late one this morning, and so got to spend another hour in bed. Our Spiritual Guide, our dear old Drew, has decided he wants to keep his hand in my Dispatch work, and so every Friday he will be in the office at 7.30am, by himself, sorting through all your orders while I'm just thinking about getting up. And he's just literally informed my that it is his favourite time of the day, too.

Now at 8.45am, I am sitting at my desk, no downloads to do, no orders to send, and twiddling my thumbs. The idea is to get me doing marketing work all day - some quality marketing work - but I'm not sure our marketing guru is even out of bed yet, so this is the perfect time to blog. My favourite time of the day . . .

Alison's leaving do - or meal - went very well and was very nice. It was just a shame I couldn't drink as I was driving. A glass of wine would have gone well with the meal. We all had a whip-round to get her a present, but then at the last minute no one could think what to get her. Our heads just were not on form. In the end we gave her the cash. She has just moved into a new house and so we knew it would come in handy to help her get it sorted.

Alison has been involved with the company from year dot - a good few years - has left three times, but has come back three times. There have been good moments, and there have been bad moments, but you have to take the rough with the smooth, and when you compare it all together, you know she's going to miss us terribly. I'd miss me. Why wouldn't I? But on the other hand, we are all going to miss her too. Alison is a wonderful person, and was a great colleague to work with through out the years. If ever you had a question, Alison always knew. She will be sadly missed, and we all wish her the best of luck for the future.

Now all I have to stare at is an empty desk with a computer on, but I'm thinking of turning into a vulture and circling over it a good few times with a set of beady eyes on her fancy keyboard . . .

Au revoir Alison . . .

D. Ilott
Gridstop Ltd

Thursday, 3 September 2009

A Whole Lotta Gorgeous Georgeness . . .

Sit back and think for a moment. Think about what you were doing last night. 8.55pm to be precise.

Well, I was standing in my kitchen, after Alison's leaving meal, feeling rather proud with the fact that I had just driven all the way home through those dark lanes, through the gale force winds and the rain (no, we didn't have curry! Shame on you for even thinking that!), and thankful that I had finally found my window wipers. I was also being terrorised by my cat.

But, at 8.55pm last night, our wonderful Sarah had just given birth to our brand-new beautiful customer service member. A strapping, healthy young lad, blue eyes, brown hair, 8lb 3, all fingers and toes accounted for, and now going by the name of George.

Yep, you guessed it! That's a whole lotta Gorgeous Georgeness . . .

I know it's Thursday, and I don't usually blog on Thursdays, but it's a momentous Thursday and it deserved to be blogged about. I know I promised to update you with Alison's leaving do, but that'll have to wait for the usual Friday slot - sorry Al.

So I'm sure you'll all join me in wishing a big congratulations to our Sarah and her family, and their wonderful new bundle of joy.

All I need to know now is when does the customer service training start . . .

D. Ilott
Gridstop Ltd

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Didn't Father Do Well . . .

Didn't he?

He managed all three blogs during my week off. I was beginning to worry, to tell you the truth. There is now another competitive blogger in the near vicinity. I was concerned that my readers would desert me, he done that well . . . but I'm back now, guarding and growling at anyone who comes near.

But Father did do a very good job, and my thanks goes out to him.

It's all changed now I've come back, and the most dramatic of all is the absence of our much loved ebay guru, Alison. Sadly, she has now left us, but not before a good leaving do that is planned for tomorrow night. I'll keep you informed how it goes.

My week off in sunny Devon: We visited Dartmoor, and what a wonderfully tranquil place it is. The Tors are a spectacular sight. I've heard the stories of the wild ponies that roam the hills, but have never seen them. Now I have, and they were everywhere. Although - I discovered - there are only a few hundred of the original wild pony breed left. People have released their own domestic ponies, and the two have been breeding, gradually making the original Dartmoor Pony a thing of the past. There are heritage and conservation sites about the moors to try and preserve them. It's a shame, and all I kept thinking about was what if they get cold? Do they not know that we sell horse rugs that can keep them warm during the cold winter months. Have the ponies not heard of Cybercheckout?? Shocking!

The West Country is a very pony/horsey orientated place, so if you are a reader from Devon or Cornwall, pass the word that we exist. We have to keep our ponies warm now the cold nights are drawing in.

I'm just glad that I made it out of Dartmoor in one piece, though. If I had got lost I could easily have been eaten by the Dartmoor beast . . . either that or found myself in Dartmoor Prison. Still, if that were the case, at least I know my blog would be in good hands . . .

D. Ilott
Gridstop Ltd