Sunday, 5 October 2014

My Month in Numbers 2014: September

Well hello there. We're just past the start of a brand new month and I can't remember the last time this happened.

Let me clarify ... I can remember the last time a new month happened, if memory serves me then that was round about this time last month ... but I can't recall the last time I was a little bit late in sharing my Month in Numbers - I always try to share mine on the last day of the month but this time it eluded me .. but I'm here now .. .albeit 5 days after I planned!

BTW: When other number-crunchers say they're 'late' posting theirs I tell them not to be silly; that there's no such thing as late - and all that still holds true: you're welcome to join me a week after, a month after, 6 months after the fact ... I really don't mind at all. But as the host ... I hold myself to stricter standards! ;-)

So, now that I'm duly admonished ... allow me to share the statistics that made themselves vital to my September 2014 ...

315ish = the number of book pages I set free [do you see how I phrased that nicely for those of you who flinch when I say 'cut up'?] from inside 'The Traditions of Edinburgh' to prepare it for my altered book project:
This was the 4th September in a row I've paused to document a lesson as part of Shimelle Laine's Learn Something New Everyday project and each year I try to record those thoughts in a different creative format. 

In previous years I've used:
... and as I have plenty of old books on hand ... and as I'd never made an altered book before seemed like the ideal option.

I plan to share my finished book pages, which feature a scrappy collage for each day of the month, here on my blog in the month ahead just as soon as it's all finished.

£0.00 = the cost to park for a day out in Redcar
This isn't the most exciting number I've ever shared and yet ... doesn't it make a difference when you don't have to pay for parking?

James knows of a little car park that's free on Saturdays [in Fisherman's Square just behind all the boats + trailers if you're interested!] and, because we didn't have to fork out for a ticket or rush back when it was due to expire, it meant we spent a much more relaxed day. So much so that we chose to spend it like tourists [even though it's just up the road from us!].

And being a tourist in Redcar means that you need to have fish and chips [as well as free parking Fisherman's Square has a great chippy too! They even do small portions which are perfect when you don't feel like ingesting something the size of a deep fried whale.] and ...

... having a lemon top from the ice cream legends Pacitto's.

1 lemon top [mine] + 1 strawberry top [James is awkward!]
And when I say it's an age old tourist tradition to eat a lemon top in Redcar... it's a slightly newer option to actually become one:
And, in between all the eating and touristy doings we also hunted out some vintage treasures in the charity shops ...

99p = the cost of 6 mini tea cups and a sugar bowl:
 They didn't come with matching saucers, which is probably why they were so cheap, but still ... how could I leave such pretties on the shelf for less than a £1?!

 And, while I was filling my house with vintage treasures on one hand ... on the other I was clearing them too ...

133 = the number of items I placed on my Pop-Up Market Stall on my Facebook page.
I certainly didn't sell all 133 items but it was a success nevertheless and packaging up all the orders certainly kept me busy for a few days!
I didn't have any sales target [my hope that I'd sell everything was clearly unrealistic!] however ... do you remember the real life stall I told you about in last month's numbers? Well ... I made more in the first few hours of my online sale than I did in 7 hours at the real world version. Which taught me something about the importance of having, taking time over, and appreciating my virtual niche!

Thank you so much to those who dropped by to browse, share and buy - brazen self-publicising link alert: many of the items left over are now back in my Etsy shop at their reduced prices!!

3000% = the increase in new 'Likes' on my page during my market stall sale!
While the sale was taking place lots of nice folk shared my links, photos and details on social media [thank you!!!!] which I can only assume is what led to an increase in my Likes. This was a big surprise to me and was something I wasn't anticipating. At all.

And while a 3000% increase sounds humongous ... what it actually means is that my usual growth rate is so small [come on now, I meant on my page ... there's no need to be rude about my height!] that any increase looked quite drastic! But hey ... when you need to write a post summarising your month in numbers ... the drastic ones are definitely welcome!

Several thousand = the number of old product images I deleted from my hard drive.
In organising the market stall I needed to find all the images of  my older stock to add them to the Facebook photo album. Then afterwards I went through all the photos of all the products I've ever listed in my Etsy shop sorting out ones to keep [so I had a record of all previous products] and what to delete [all the detail shots, doubles etc]. It felt almost as good to clear out the digital versions as it did to send off the physical items to their new homes!

Millions = the number of confetti scraps which filled a greenhouse at the Festival of Thrift:
'Full Circle' by Beccy McCray was an interactive installation ... but we didn't go inside. For one thing ...  we didn't know if it was just meant for kids [who tend to have all the fun at these kind of events!] and, for another ... from the traces of the cofetti that were in evidence all around the festival, here, there and everywhere ... I'm not sure I could have faced having it all drop out of my crevices for weeks to come ...
 And finally ...
3 = the number of episodes of serendipitous circularity that visited me this month ...
For a reason yet to reveal itself moments from my past kept resurfacing during September and while none of them, on their own, was especially momentous ... together they made an impression. Here's the 3 main blast-from-the-past moments:
11 years after he sold the house to us ... a letter addressed to the previous owner dropped through our letterbox. And not for the first time. In the past we've put the letters [all from the same company] back in the post and even emailed the company to tell them the recipient had moved. But they continued to arrive so, this time, I turned to Google, searched for the [fortunately unusual] name, found his work email address and asked him if he'd like his mail back! After sending me his new address his response was ... 'I hope it's not a bill'!
7 years after attending a one-off event with a student on campus ... he's returned to do some further study ... and, entirely coincidentally, I've been matched with him again. The best thing about this whole situation is ... if you're a long-standing reader here ... you'll know him too.

Well, you won't know him in person, but you'll remember he was the one taking part in the 'Laughter Workshop' I wrote about here a few years ago. Remember? The one where I used my professional status to avoid having to join in? If you missed it - do drop in here to catch up on the finer, more ridiculous, details. Since starting work with him once again last week we've reminisced about that afternoon which neither of us have forgotten! [Let's face it ... it's not the sort of thing you really can forget!]

And lastly ...
6 years after finishing it ... 4 random pages of a draft of screenplay I wrote resurfaced last week and yanked me out of the here and now and right back to the time I wrote it:
I took a screenwriting night class, for fun, back in 2008 and wrote a 15min comedy drama as part of the course. Then last week, while hunting out some scrap paper, to help me work out the construction of a craft project, I grabbed some sheets from a scrap pile I rarely ever use beneath the printer. When I turned it over ... there it was ... the draft with my handwritten edits scrawled across it.
So I stopped what I was making [a project using pretty patterned papers and flowers] and read this snatch of the whole [a drama about a boy with a disability and his struggling mother, with a dead cat and rabbit thrown in for good measure!]. Needless to say it was a bit of a culture shock ... and left me pondering my rather diverse interests and career paths!
And so ... those were my numbers; the digits that documented my September days. How about yours?
If you'd like to join me then - as always - if you leave me a comment with your link I'll be round to visit when I can [bearing in mind that it took me 5 days longer than normal to publish my own post ... don't be offended if I don't pop in for a little while. I will get around everyone's vital statistics in the end!].
If you'd like the full details on how to join in - with inspiration on how and what to count up each month ... then visit those here.
And if you just dropped in for a read then ... hello ... nice to see you! I hope something in my month connected with you in some way ... I often find in reading through all the Month in Numbers blogger's contributions that there's something familiar to me wrapped up in their numerals somewhere.
Happy October!
Julie :-)


  1. Great post Julie, and love the photo of you wearing an ice cream lemon top! It's hard to go to the seaside without having fish and chips... it makes the day complete.

  2. a lovely eclectic month - the confetti house looks so much fun and lemon tops look great. I posted my numbers

  3. I live with a professional number cruncher who loves to leave all his counting to the very end of the month..says it makes him feel like he's living on the edge :)

    Little bit envious of the free car parking. We paid £5 for an hour here at the weekend!

    It's good to hear the sale was a success

  4. I'm always a few days late with mine Julie! Glad your pop up sale was a good success, hope you do it again! Your day out at Redcar looked great, yum at the icecreams!
    My September MIN is at:

  5. Fab month in numbers Julie, I really miss playing along, I may have to join in again next year.
    Claire xx

  6. Putting Redcar in my list of Places to visit. :) I like lemons, so I¨m good there.
    Oh, those cups! Beautiful. Awesome sale with an unexpected bonus in the form of new followers.
    I remember the anecdote. :D
    Here are my numbers.
    The first lot in the new website! I even made a new icon for them to have a cohesive look. I will keep count of the consecutive MMIN from the beginning though, it´s thefull story that counts. :D

  7. Wow! That was a lot of numbers for one month! I would love to try making an altered book so I can't wait to see yours (esp. since it's about the LSNED class!) - I can't believe you've actually tracked down your ex-homeowner to give him his mail... we still get stuff from the old owners but I can't be bothered with it.
    I shared my August page on the last day of September, here it is:

  8. Great blog lots of ideas and prompts THANK YOU. I am lucky as I won the Craft stamper October blog challenge so am now the proud owner of 2 Washi tape storeage hoops and a lovely array of washi tape THANK YOU VERY MUCH - I am going to use 1 (until my washi tape stash grows too large - to store project work and those snippets from project work that will come in useful one day! THANK YOU very much have a lovely day :)

  9. Look forward to seeing your LSNED pages. We still get mail for the previous owner of 16 years ago but I no longer forward it now as it appears that they aren't local anymore. Your day out in Redcar looked fun and I am glad that your Facebook market stall was a big success. Look at me actually getting in relatively (for me!!) on time this month :D

  10. Loved reading your numbers for September; always brings a smile to my face! As it turns out, September was a wash for me and I couldn't work up the enthusiasm to blog or create or much of anything - blah, blah, blah. Anyhow, hope to be able to document October's numbers . . . a few rather momentous items such as making a trip out to California to celebrate my dad's 91st birthday! So glad I "found" you Julie - you truly brighten my day!

  11. Now there is a varied sent of numbers :). I love the price of parking and your concept of setting pages free! Oooh, and is that screen play draft going to grow after its re-discovery?


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