The artist I am featuring this week is none other than Vincent van Gogh. Thought I'd give you a few facts you may or may not know. So for those who didn't know he was born on March 30 1853 in Zundert, Netherlands. And Died on July 29 1890 in Auvers – sur-Oise, France. Van Gogh only ever sold one painting in his lifetime! That painting was Red Vineyard at Arles.
More than 900 paintings were not sold or made famous until after his death.
The 'Sunflowers' painting is amongst the most recognised paintings on the planet. It was painted in 1888 and was sold in 1987 for £51.32million!
My favourite painting of his is Starry night. This was painted after he had admitted himself to an asylum after cutting his own ear off. The painting is actually a view from the East-facing window of his asylum room at Saint Remy de Provence, just before the sunrise. He painted this scene no fewer than Twenty one times! The village in the painting is however a work of his imagination. It is said to possibly be a recollection of Van Gogh's Dutch Homeland, or, it is based on a sketch he made of the town of Saint-Remy.
Purity – Mad Goose Pale Ale 4.2%
Most of you beer lovers may have already tried this popular award winning beer, this however is my first time.
Nice shiny new copper colour and a honey dew aroma (for me) in the bottle. But, as usual in the glass and when you sip it's different. I can't quite describe the taste but there’s a zesty taste but its subtle oddly I get the occasional fresh Pea shoot taste. There is a slight creamy hop bitterness taste as well on the finish.
I've also tasted Longhorn IPA If you are interested in my view of this beer click the beer to go to that particular blog.
They have a news section too. There most recent tells us about Yakima Valley and El Dorado hops.
Buttercups are appearing everywhere at the minute near where I work. Where the Highland cows grazed early spring there is now a field full of Buttercups which has spread out into the verges. I've also found a lone Buttercup growing in my garden. I was going to do a lovely nice feeling feature on the buttercup but since reading about them I can't. The one in my garden I've narrowed down from the 500 types of Ranunculus is the creeping variety.
I can't actually believe that ALL the Ranunculus family are poisonous when eaten fresh by cattle. horses and any other livestock!! However when they are dried and mixed in with the hay the livestock are OK. Even humans are affected too. If you handle it too much it can cause Dermatitis.
Oh and that thing we did with the buttercups when we was little to see if we liked butter – well I hate to burst your bubble but here's why it is a myth.
According to reports the British economy is on the up (slowly, but, sustained) with lots of new business starting up over the past year. But, I wonder those people who went under during the recession and more recently, was it because of bad customer care and not bad decision making, growing & expanding too fast, or lack of footfall due to internet shopping etc? My first ever place of work had the 'Give 'em the Pickle' mentality and so too did my former employers. Both completely different jobs but the same principle.
In this day and age with all the business vying for your money and attention how many actually take time and give good customer care? No really think about it. Did they take you to that item, did they greet you, make conversation, give you that call back, call you to let you know how far away they are. Or even send you a hand written letter with your order? I hope all the new business starting up see this clip of Mr Pickle or as he's known Bob Farrell (it's not the full version). And that free pen in the bank it's courtesy of him!
Remember the customer actually pays your wage and keeps you in the style you have become accustomed too.
The customer is key to your business not the flash product or the cheap deals (cheap deals crop up everywhere these days). One tip for any business I would give, those amazing deals you entice customers in with, what about those whom have been coming to you for years, this kind of loyalty reward seemed to vanish in the 90's. Above all the customer comes first. If you give bad service the disgruntled customer mentions it to one friend and before you know it it's spread as quick as wild fire through a network of friends/acquaintances. A good deed/service is often never mentioned, so we should take time to write a note/speak to management. Let them know they are doing well and are on the right track.
So well done all you business from corporate / family business and one man bands who get it right every time. And all those business who got it wrong, learn from your mistakes if you want to continue trading in 2015, because there is another shop, just like you, down the road with the jar of pickle waiting for us.
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My nickname has nothing to do with any alcoholic measure. Thank you to a friend deciding one day whilst my hair was in plaits that I looked like Laura Ingalls in 'The Little House on the Prairie'.
Places to visit
Robin Hoods Bay
Sweetheart Abbey (Scotland)
Isle of Wight P1
Isle of Wight P2
HoleHird Gardens (Cumbria)
Brougham Hall (Cumbria)
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