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January 6 2012 6 06 /01 /January /2012 20:21

Christmas is well over.

2012 is well begun with sorting out old duties, catching up with friends and just sorting..


We have a new leaflet to distribute and we were looking up places to distribute it to. Like anything else being an entrepreneur or getting used to being an entrepreneur takes time. I am used to be a wage earner and used to online work. Learning to be in a space everyday for a signinificant part of the day takes getting used to. And as the time goes by, the more my admiration for the market stall holders grow....


When I started Eleanor stall at the market I joked a little saying Marks and Spencers started with Michael Marks at Kirkgate market in Leeds. There is a history in markets and theres definitely history in Coventry market. There are stalls like Shoe Kings that have been there for over 10 years at least and new ones like my own. Its very multicultural and the butcher tried out his Chinese on me who surprised me with his accent - it was quite decent. There was this gentleman who was going round with a cup of tea in his hands - a real cup of tea, not a paper cup and he told me he liked being able to do that. I get some regular visitors now who come to say hello when they do their weekly shopping.


Of course there was Irene with me today bemoaning that it was not like before and I think she just stopped herself from saying that we didnt used to have all these foreigners before. I grinned. Her son said I didn't have any excuse not to have good fresh produce if I worked at the market - all very true.


At the market I feel as if I 've been welcomed without fuss - I get help when I need it, I don't feel patronised or rejected or made to feel discriminated in anyway. Business is slow but its the same for everybody except for those who do the nails. That stall is always busy :-)


I think its because I' ve been wandering all my life (born and brought up in S E Asia, lived in various parts of England and then in France and USA)  that it feels good to feel like I am putting down some roots at Coventry market. And Coventry people are so ready to put down their own city. Of course its not perfect but like all families you have to adapt and adopt to the idiocycracies of the people in it and willing to defend it. And also point out its imperfections and be part of the solution. I attend meetings as a disabled person/service user in the developments to the city.


Happy new Year! But there's still the Chinese New Year to come on the 23rd. This is the year of the dragon. We should wish everyone a prosperous new year!



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October 3 2011 2 03 /10 /October /2011 03:37

hydrant water bottleIt had been a busy weekend. I was off in Manchester on a march with 35 000 other people. Getting up early to get on the train and not knowing when you can stop. I took my Hydrant bottle with me this time. It hung on my chair which meant it was easy to access and I was kept hydrated!  Now if that can be done for a hot cup of tea - that would be even better!


It was a struggle to get up this morning but my PA was great - brought me coffee and a home made lasagne to eat at the stall. The lovely Tracie from Ben N Zaks came over to give me some needed advice and I was looking at the catalogue to get ideas for more stock. The trouble is I have to get enough orders to make it so that I dont have to pay delivery charges.


Another visitor was Tony from June's Candles and Incense - he's one of my neighbours and also the person who inspired me to have the stall. I go to his stall for little presents.


Many things I 'd like for myself - the trouble is when it becomes like a window shopping exercise! I decided I need a mannequin to display a splendid cape for a wheelchair user with leopard crutches and a leopard print handbag!


Bad news is when my builder presented me the bill for his work on the stall. Never mind I got some sunflowers to remind me of summer - the weather is forecast to change soon!



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  • : Eleanor's independent living aids
  • Eleanor's independent living aids
  • : Eleanor on being a disabled woman, starting a market stall selling independent living aids in Coventry market. Website coming soon. twitter: eleanor_ila
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  • eleanor_ila
  • eleanor.ila@gmail.com
Independent living campaigner, blogger, tweeter.
  • eleanor.ila@gmail.com Independent living campaigner, blogger, tweeter.