The end is drawing near. We began the heart-renching closing down sale a little under 2 weeks ago expecting a long drawn out process of clearing the remaining stock. The increasing tourism trade, bargain hunting regulars and some drunk Irish golfers have made the sale a lot shorter and more painful than we imagined.
It's hard to know whats worse;
-Being treated like a bargain bin and watching the painstakingly folded cashmere sweaters being tossed around and haggled over for less than 70% their value,
-Having tourists say its a shame we will be closing with being so handy,
-Being told by our regulars what a fantastic job we were doing and how at any other time in the world's ecomony we would have a thriving business.
The answer is D, all of the above.
We have had some friendly competition with another local golf shop since we opened, made friendly only by my Husbands extention of an olive branch to end the bitter feud held with the previous owners. Our specialties were different, we had a more varied range, theirs was prodominantly top end. We offered the service of professional golfers and the full perks that came with that, they relied on customers with a 'more money than sense' attitude to golf brands and little technical knowledge of golf.
What is truly painful is that we know we offered a better service, better prices and a better location. However we are not bankrolled by misguided parents. We are going to go under and lose everything while we have been infinately more sucessful than them and they continue to plod along losing money along the way.
We have been faced with many opportunities to stick out our bottom lips and cry at the top of our lungs, IT'S NOT FAIR! But we won't. We will close with dignity, we will offer better customer service until the last item is sold and we will lock the doors for the last time with tears in our eyes and lead in our hearts knowing that the only consolation to this is that we know we did nothing wrong.
Everything that went wrong was outside of our control. The recession was not our fault. The debilitating tram works that have made Edinburgh's city centre uninhabitable are not our fault. The banks unwillingness to lend money to struggling small businesses is not our fault and the lack of money coming into our till every day is not our fault!
We have no choice but to move on and look to the future and hope we have the opportunity again some day to have the success that was so cruely taken from us.
The last 2 years have been the best and most trying of our lives. A little over 2 years ago we moved to Edinburgh to follow what was then the perfect job for my Husband, combining every aspect of his working history in one job. 24 days later we got engaged which began my obsession and a saving/spending spree like no other. 8 months later and we bought and moved into our first home. 6 months after that sparked the beginning of our business, a theory at first which quickly snowballed into signing contracts and ordering stock, before we knew it we were company directors and owners of a shop. 6 months after that came out long awaited wedding and honeymoon, during which the first bank failure began the trend that would be the beginning of the end for our fledgling company. 3 and a bit months later came 2 pink lines quickly followed by the loss that would change us forever. Jump forward 3 months and here we are winding up our business on the back of the 2 most stressful, exhilirating and devastating years we could ever have imagined.
Optimism is what's needed. Positive Mental Attitude or PMA as us 'trying to conceive girls' like to refer to it as, something you need in abundace during the trials and tribulations that come with TTC.
Today is cycle day 4, flo is still plaguing me but is showing signs of being less forceful than usual. The few days of spotting I experience before full flow took hold took my last cycle to a more normal 27 days. It has been considerably lighter with fewer clots and almost no cramping. Completely unheard of since the loss of our baby.
I am hoping all of this is pointing to a more 'normal' menstrual cycle, and in turn, body. Which also poses the question, is my body now ready to recieve a fertilised egg and hold onto it this time?
Since we have had a successful closing down sale and we now have 2 and a half weeks between our official closing down date and our official moving date, we have taken this opportunity to book a much needed holiday. 7 days of rest and relaxation in the exotic location of Penrith. Whinfell Forest Centre Parcs to be exact.
Something tells me that the combination of my 'back to normal body', no stress for the first time in 2 years, and a week of relaxation and romantacism at the most fertile time of my cycle may produce positive results.
I was begining to wonder if we would benefit from taking a more controlled approach to TTC and begin to use ovulation predictors, basal body temperature measurements and observation of my cervical mucus as a way to predict my more fertile time in order to better our chances. However I don't think basal body thermometers and ovulation sticks really fit the bill for a relaxing week away so that idea is going out of the window. For this month anyway.
Following a slight mishap which resulted in my Husband and I in different restaurants about a mile apart this evening (we agreed to meet in Frankies, I ended up in Frankie and Bennies, him in Frankensteins) we discussed this month, the busy times that lay ahead in moving house at the end of the month etc. and our chances for conception. Before I had managed to share my above opinion on our improved chances he announced he had a 'good feeling' for this month. Smiles all round and my furious 20 minute dash across the city forgotten we enjoyed an obscene amount of food and settled into the evening together full of optimism!!