Can’t argue with that

Sunday February 6, 2005

“I’ve given up,” I said, walking from the study into the kitchen.

Graham looked up from the maze of electric cable and fittings he was fixing under the wall cupboards. “Given what up?”

“Trying to find how to do shipping rates with PayPal.”

“You can’t give up.”

“No, I know. But it’s so much easier with eBay.”

“You’ll just have to keep going at it until you solve it.”

“I’m not convinced it’s possible without doing some programming, and I really, really don’t want to do that.”

“Well, take a break and then go back to it. How’s about a nice cup of tea?”

“Right. I’ll put the kettle on. Which sockets are working?”

“Use that one over there.”

And so I did, and we both took a short break to sip the amber nectar companionably. Dolly came along to see why we’d stopped work.

“Fancy a treat, Dolly?” I asked.

She pondered for a moment and decided against, turning instead to killing her latest cat-nip mouse. Again. It’s a new one and it’s already been killed repeatedly, showing distinct signs of wear along the seams. In a day or two it’ll explode, shedding bits of cat-nip stuffing all over the floor and I shall have to bring out another one.

“That’s another problem needs solving,” I said.

“How’s that?”

“Finding a cat-nip mouse sufficiently tough to stand up to a monster Mega-Cat. These are simply too feeble.”

“Well, you could always make them.”

“I’ll think about it. I haven’t much time to spare just now.”

“Know what you mean. Back to work?”

“Ayup. Back to work.”

Graham went back to fiddling with halogen wiring, and I put the cups and saucers in the washer before plodding back to my desk where I plomped myself in my chair with a big sigh. Dolly dropped her mouse and came over to look at me. Hard. With those big, savage eyes all wide and open, providing a glimpse of the wild tundra cats from whom she’s descended.

“Nah, Dolly,” I said. “You can’t kill this one, I’m afraid. I’ll have to find a way of killing it myself. Go back and do your mouse in again, why don’t you?”

She sat for a moment, regarding me solemnly, and stomped off, bypassing the mouse and pausing at her water bowl on the way back to snooze the rest of the afternoon away. Quiet, peaceful industry settled over the little house by the fens once more except for a modicum of creative cussing as Graham puzzled wire, lamps and transformers into place and some less than creative cussing from me as I worked my way through the PayPal documentation one more time. Off in her chair in the living room, Dolly may have been cussing in her sleep for all I know.

About normal for a late Sunday afternoon around here just now. Except for my frustation level, which grew steadily.

“Oh, *-er this for a game of soldiers,” I muttered, fired up the PayPal help pages, summed up my difficulties and zapped it off to their technical help desk for consideration when they get back to work tomorrow. They’re nice folks over at PayPal, and will always do what they can to help their customers.

I’m not wanting much, at least, I don’t think so. All I want to do is to be able to charge a different shipping rate depending on where customers live, and to apply a decent shipping rate discount when more than one print is ordered at a time, again depending on shipping method. And, after spending rather more than a full day working at it, I can’t for the life of me see how to do it using the PayPal shopping basket. There are several alternative approaches I could take if it’s not possible to do it they way I see it working. None of them appeal to me.

Hey ho. My heart felt a little heavier than normal as I snapped off the computer. I don’t do failure, not easily I don’t.

I reached for a poetry book and sat quietly for a while, leafing through the pages. Found a kindred note from Maya Angelou:


Sure I’ll sail them.
Show me the boat,
If it’ll float,
I’ll sail it.
Yes I’ll love them.
If they’ve got the style,
To make me smile,
I’ll love them.
‘Course I’ll live it.
Let me have breath,
Just to my death,
And I’ll live it.
I’m not ashamed to tell it.
I never learned to spell it.
Not Failure.
Maya Angelou


Thanks, Ms Angelou. That buoyed me up considerably.

So I walked through to the kitchen, to find Graham on the last stage of cleaning up after finishing his re-wiring job.

“How does it look?” he asked.

“Brilliant. You get a Tufty badge for that.”

“Don’t worry,” he said. “You’ll get a Tufty badge for your shop, never fear.”

Now, that’s style. And it made me smile. Can’t argue with that.


Stickford Feb 6,'05
Work in progress

[Ed. Note. April 27, 2008: The complicated business of setting up an Internet shop for the sale of my art work beat me completely, and I gave up. Too much like working for a living. I may have another go at some point in the future but I’d not advise anyone to hold their breath while waiting for it. I have on occasion since this entry was written done some heavy research and am quite well informed as to the different methods of handling the problems on online marketing. I don’t like them.]



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