I think not - don't worry, the title will make sense further down the page :O)
As those of you that visit us in the shop regularly will know, I absolutely detest being hot; I know I'm a rare breed as most people can't wait for the summer to arrive and have been relishing the recent temperatures (when the thermometer dipped the other week to only 24'c and people were saying it was "chilly" I could have screamed :) ) I have been despising EVERY single second of them. Don't get me wrong, I love to see the blue skies and sunshine, but when there is a nice hard frost on the ground, and icicles hanging from the trees. Those to me are the perfect days, when you can pop your coat, hat and scarf on and head off with the dog to the woods for a proper ramble (and my argument to the people that tell me the cold is awful is that "you can always wrap up warmer, but you can never unwrap any cooler).
Now because the shop window is in full sun from pretty much 11am until 9pm this time of year, it gets mighty warm inside; add to this the lowered false ceiling we have, and the chip shop next door (we really do notice a huge temperature increase once they've been open for an hour) and it can be like entering a sauna. Opening the front and back door do very little as we face the wrong way for a draft, and more often than not all that gets dragged through is more warm air. Because of this we invested in a free standing air conditioner (we did have this in the previous shop that had 3 sides of pure glass so was always in the sun - but there we also had more space so the heat wasn't quite so noticable). It was a 2nd hand reconditioned unit when we purchased it and for 7 summers it has been forced to work 24/7, and it has performed its task admirably. Then the week before last it decided it didn't want to pump out cold air any more; it was happy to just play at being a fan. For 2 days we phoned round different suppliers, looked online, visited DIY stores to get a new one, with the result being the same each time "sorry out of stock". What does this "out of stock" mean? No air con? Heat in the shop? Totally not acceptable. Clive did get a man out to look at it who told us we needed a new one (we already kind of new that) and who said he would get back to us with a quote - the very next day - for a new free standing one but also a full on shop fitted one that would cover all areas - we are STILL waiting for this quote. The thought of watching my poor little flowers struggle in the temperatures (the thermometer INSIDE the shop one day showed over 45'c - that is HOT) and the thought of having to continue working in such temperatures was not something I relished at all.
And then this little *miracle* happened. Chris appeared in the shop doorway and uttered the words "I've got something for you in the back of the car". Normally I would be concerned if someone wanted me to go to their car with them, but as it was Chris I knew I was ok, and the sight that greeted me as I edged towards his boot filled me with tsuch happiness I actually hugged him; for there was a shiny, white, lovely air con unit. I was that excited, the thought of how much it was going to cost never even entered my mind. Now as I knew that everywhere seemed to be out of stock I did wonder where he'd got it from (this is where the despicable bit will from the blog title will come in to play).
One of their customers decorates blimps and Chris had gone down to see them that morning; while there he happened to mention how well the shop is doing (we are exceptionally busy at the moment) but also said how *grumpy* I currently was (it's true; I was mighty grumpy being so hot) and explained why I was being such a grump. Then the lovely Colin (blimp man) said "I've got a spare one upstairs sat doing nothing; Sarah is welcome to borrow it if she would like". If I would like? I very muchly would :) Within an hour of Chris returning, the shop was back to a more sensible temperature and I was back to being *not so grumpy* as I had been.
This week Chris had to visit Colin again, and I sent down some flowers to say "thank you" at which point he told Chris the loan period is over; it is now mine to keep. Enter one very HAPPY Sarah - the flowers really appreciate it too.
So what's despicable about all this?? The most recent blimp Colin has decorated is this one ↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓