Thursday, December 29

Lateral thinking - or how to really pee a sewist off!

Sometimes it pays to think laterally, or heed advice given you early in the search for something.

My Singer overlocker, an older model, blew its bulb a week or so before Xmas. As luck would have it, I'd already used it for everything I needed, and it still works regardless of the bulb being present. Being fond of keeping local shops in business, I duly tramped over to the local Singer shop in Coventry, but was dismayed to learn that the only bulbs they kept were 14mm bayonets (not the 9mm I required), and that the proprietor had never even seen a bulb as small as mine. I later rang a Coventry institution, Atkins and Barkers, purveyors of spares items for anything electrical. Did they carry a 12v, 6w, 9mm bayonet bulb? They did not, but suggested a car or motorbike spares shop. Anyway, a bit of googling turned up the UK Singer spares website, which appeared to sell the exact bulb I required. The picture was grainy in the extreme, but the text clearly stated 9mm, so I ordered it, along with some overlocker needles.

Then Christmas happened, so it wasn't until the 28th that I had time to unwrap the bubblewrap and discover, to my horror, that the 9mm bayonet bulb I'd ordered was in fact a 14mm. I duly emailed the website, asking for a refund (as said bulb won't fit my sewing machine either, being a Husqvarna, which uses an all-glass bulb with a completely different fitting). I clearly shouldn't confuse folks on email, because I got a response back indicating I was batty and had ordered a Singer spare for a Husqvarna machine, and I could return it for a refund. So at this point I called them and explained. The person in charge of customer service got a bit huffy with me, when I pointed out that his website clearly stated 9mm, which is what I wanted, but he had sent 14mm. He declared he'd remove the listing completely (which he has done) - I have no problem with him selling 14mm bulbs, but a larger bayonet fitting and some soldering is not how I planned on spending my week off! Apparently Singer no longer supply the 9mm bulbs and yah boo to anyone who needs one. I have no desire to scrap a perfectly good overlocker just because lack of light means it's not obvious when it's powered on, the fact there is a moving blade does make it a little unsafe without adequate lighting.

Having been made quite furious by the brusque attitude (maybe one shouldn't have mentioned the trades descriptions act - but in this case, it was warranted!), we had decided to make a trip into Coventry anyway, but swung by the local Halfords (car spares) on the offchance. Guess what? I can get a two-pack of bulbs, 5w not 6w, but otherwise identical, for £1.49 - as opposed to £3.12 for a single incorrect bulb from Singer. Took me about 10 minutes to locate the packet and for that price it wouldn't matter if it didn't work, and if it did, I now had a spare too! If I'd paid attention to the chap at Atkins I could have had this sorted before xmas, had it not been a case of trying to avoid the retail park that Halfords is located on, because of traffic madness. But there ya go - lesson learned!

The table runner is off the loom and drying in the bathroom, it just needs a quick press for it to be ready for the New Year's Day table. We are planning on roast chicken and all the trimmings. I've not done much else crafty - work was very stressful in the last week or so, so lack of sleep has stolen my mojo somewhat. I am sticking to surfing, reading, playing with my camera and general pottering about.

After a spate of celebrity deaths, I was saddened to learn my mum's cat, Chloe, was put to sleep yesterday. She had a cancerous growth on her nose which had grown to the size of a 20p piece but was otherwise perfectly healthy. She must have gone downhill fast after Boxing Day. I hope she's chasing butterflies in heaven somewhere.

Being sent to the Netherlands on Jan 3 for a 3 night stay for work - I'm already under enough time pressure on the current project, and am now losing a whole working day to needless travel on top. We have Skype, there really is no need! Could really do without it - I sleep badly in strange places and then have the joy of having to drive back from Brum International at 9pm of a Friday night too (the car will no doubt be frozen!) when I'm so tired I'd be hard-pushed to remember my own postcode, let alone remember where all the blasted speed cameras are on my route home. I might take the M6 but they do like to dig it up after 8pm. I'm a homebody at heart; all my friends and hobbies are at home! Sigh... I shall be there alone too, so midday and evening meals will come out of my own pocket initially, in the "longest" wage month of the year, too. Yeah, I'm overjoyed, can you tell?! :S

Will post pics of the table runner when it's finished. Time to make a start on dinner so ironing boards will have to wait!

Current mood: relaxed but also anxious about the trip

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