It’s my pleasure to bring you a new book by a writer and blogger whom I met online but who’s been a constant presence and a friend throughout the years. I’ve enjoyed many of her books, and I love her blog, that offers advice (on health issues, writing…), entertainment, and promotional opportunities, not only to writers but also to artists, musicians, etc. I have had the pleasure of reviewing and translating one of her books and I hope you’ll enjoy her guest post as much as me. And here, without further ado, I bring you the wonderful, Sally Cronin!
A huge thank you to Olga for hosting this episode of my misadventures at work in my twenties. As I read the posts, I realise that I attracted trouble wherever I went, but I have to say it was a great deal of fun.
Odd Jobs and Characters – Car Crash and Crystal and meeting Sherlock Holmes by Sally Cronin
After I left the department store in the middle of Liverpool, I was appointed manager of a crystal and gift shop in Lord Street, Southport, which is where we had bought our first home.
It was at the north end of this mile long main street, and we sold high end gift items such as Moorcroft pottery, and our own cut glass crystal glassware from the factory in the Lake District. All the glass was classified as ‘seconds’, even though there would only perhaps be a small bubble in the glass, or the cut might not be completely standard. However, the prices were terrific, with at least 40% of the normal retail price. I still have some of the glasses that I bought 34 years ago, and I was lucky enough to get another 10% discount making them very affordable.
Going to work was very easy. I walked out of our gate, then a brisk five minutes down the road, and unlocked the shop door. I really enjoyed the next 18 months, but was then offered the opportunity to manage the three shops that had now been opened, with the other two being in York and Norwich. I would also spend time in the Lake District as marketing manager to oversee the running of the factory shop, and to develop a tour around the glassworks for visitors. This meant that I was away most of the week in one capacity or another, and I was given a large estate car to carry stock between the various shops.
On one occasion I had brought down a consignment of crystal to the Southport shop, picking up David from home, with the intention of delivering stock to the York shop and then spending the weekend exploring that very old and lovely city. We had set off down the motorway, which was busy with a Friday getaway, and because there was a great deal of commercial traffic, I was in the centre lane doing a steady 60 miles an hour and overtaking the trucks, and I was just in the process of passing a large articulated lorry, when it suddenly veered out into the middle lane without signalling, and hit my car.
I was being pushed out into the fast lane, where traffic was moving considerably faster and there was nowhere for me to go but forward. I hit the accelerator and managed to disconnect from cab of the truck and pull in front of it; then on to the hard shoulder, where I came to rest in a state of shock. It was only then that the driver realised what he had done, and he too pulled onto the shoulder behind me. Thankfully David was not hurt despite the passenger side door being badly damaged, and once I established that, I was out of the car and heading back to the lorry where the driver was hanging onto his wheel, waiting equally white-faced for one very angry woman charging up the hard shoulder towards him.
It was probably just as well the police arrived shortly afterwards to make sure none of us needed treatment or that other road users were impacted. David by this time had managed to open his passenger door and join the discussion.
The car was still driveable, although only having had it a couple of weeks; I was not looking forward to having the upcoming telephone conversation with my boss. After we had exchanged insurance details, and given our statement, which to be fair the lorry driver corroborated, we continued on our journey. However, we could hear the tinkle of broken glass from the back of the car, and knew it was going to be interesting unpacking several boxes of expensive glassware and removing it from its tissue paper wrapping. Thankfully it was insured, and we were unhurt, but it made me paranoid about overtaking trucks for a very long time.
I loved the job, especially in the summer months in the Lake District when I would tour most of the other tourist sites to deliver leaflets and take theirs to display in our own factory. The tour was now set up and we were about to begin accepting visitors, when I got a phone call from a gentleman who requested a private tour of the factory. It was unusual, but since we were not officially open for a few days, I agreed, and he made an appointment the next day.
It was 1984 and a new series of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes had been recently released on Granada Television, but I had not seen any of the episodes. However, I immediately recognised the man who arrived for the guided tour as the actor Jeremy Brett, because he had played Freddie in one of my favourite musicals… My Fair Lady.
We spent an hour watching glassware being blown, cut and put through the acid baths, before ending up in the crystal shop attached to the factory where he purchased one or two items. I could understand now why he wanted a private tour, as he was very well known and unlike today, stars tended to be a lot less keen to be photographed and approached by fans.
It was one of those encounters that you always remember, and I went on to watch several episodes of the series before we left to spend two years in Houston, Texas…Where I am ashamed to say I name-dropped shamelessly.
I have not as yet used Jeremy Brett as a character in one of my stories, but he is tucked away for a rainy day. As for the car crash… some events are better forgotten.
My thanks again to Olga for her generosity in hosting this guest post.
All the previous posts in the series can be found in this directory with links to my host’s blog https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sallys-odd-jobs-and-characters/
About Sally Cronin
My name is Sally Cronin and after working in a number of industries for over 25 years, I decided that I wanted to pursue a completely different career, one that I had always been fascinated with. I began studying Nutrition and the human body twenty years ago and I opened my first diet advisory centre in Ireland in 1998. Over the last 18 years I have practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as written columns, articles and radio programmes on health and nutrition.
I published my first book with a Canadian self-publisher in the late 90s and since then have republished that book and released ten others as part of our own self-publishing company. Apart from health I also enjoy writing fiction in the form of novels and short stories.
My latest book – What’s in a Name? – Volume Two.
Our legacy is not always about money or fame, but rather in the way that people remember our name after we have gone. In these sixteen short stories we discover the reasons why special men and women will stay in the hearts and minds of those who have met them. Romance, revenge and sacrifice all play their part in the lives of these characters.Kenneth watches the love of his life dance on New Year’s Eve while Lily plants very special flowers every spring for her father. Martha helps out a work colleague as Norman steps back out into the world to make a difference. Owen brings light into a house and Patrick risks his life in the skies over Britain and holds back from telling a beautiful redhead that he loves her.
My other books
All books are available Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2
You can connect to Sally
Thanks so much to Sally for her post, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment and CLICK! You won’t regret it!