And their off!


Had a call earlier in the week by a gentleman who asked if he could pop in to The Lowry with some shoes, He turned up the next day and we were having a chat about business start ups and podcasting, you know the usual stuff. Anyway he asked  if I would like to have a chair at Haydock Park race track on corporate days, I was not sure as to if this would work but kept quite and carried on. He said he would email me the next day to push things fwd. In the meantime the idea grew on me and thought this could be pretty exciting. The next day true to his word , I received an email from him and another from the general manager asking me to come in for a meeting to discuss possibilities. Its so nice to see people who are good to their word in what seems a cutthroat money grabbing business world these days. Ive always been about partnerships, some work some don’t but in partnerships it has to work for all parties. So we have a van tomorrow for an event in Liverpool on Mon/Tue next week so I’m pushing to drop off a chair and stand at the track on Saturday.

This partnership and the one we already have with the Lowry Hotel will promote our business the way we wanted to be seen from day one, its all about quality not quantity.

Had an email to see if we do a Postage service, this has come up a number of times recently, so am looking into the workings of something like this, there is a office available round the corner from me right next to the post office which seems to perfect to be true, I will see how this works out financially for us. tbh we already have regular gents dropping off shoes at the house and picking them up next day so it may be time to get this office. The office in town that we want is still on hold for financial reasons , meaning we cant afford it at present, but we are hopeful we will have our office in Manchester city centre this year.

Thanks for reading guys I really appreciate your time.


Big 2 weeks , and a somewhat bigger waist.

The next couple of weeks could be huge for us, with some big clients coming on board and the possibilities of two huge high profile bases could finally give us the financial rewards we deserve.

When I first started the Shoeshine business nearly 4 years ago now, this is the position I thought id be in after about 2/3 months….lol. Its been a hard slog but a lot of fun. I wouldent say we do this for the money but obviously you need some cash coming in. These new jobs will I hope increase the cash flow substantially.

This has been our best Jan/Feb so far  and if things go as planned we will not only have our morning base but also our very own office in town , which is something the business needed I think, so , im looking forward to that, maybe even open a few beers that day.


Not much on today so we are going to spend most of the day down on the plot. We put up a new poly tunell yesterday as the last one dissappeared in a storm a month ago. Ive definatly noticed a lack of physical strength this year and working down on the plot has been hard.

Winter has not been kind to my weight as afternoons kicking back on the couch watching netflix catches up with you. We also lost our lurcher “Snatch” in november and we have found this difficult to come to terms with at times. Snatch was a rescue and we got him when he was just 6 month old and we had him for 12 years. He kept us on our toes and we sometimes enjoyed our early morning walks with him and at the weekends even longer walks along the Mersy so maybe this has a lot to do with my health issues as im less active. So tonight ill open a few beers a think of ways to improve things.



Time versus Enjoyment.


Me and the Mrs was recently approached at our Alottment to produce a website for the whole plot, at first we were happy to do one but the more I thought about it the more I disliked the idea. As we run our own business , time to switch off is important and I feel like the only time im not thinking business is when im on our plot. We tend to keep ourselves to ourselves down there, well , me more than the wife as she is much more sociable than me. Im in a happy place down there and find it both enjoyable and relaxing and I also know how the politics run down on the plots, if you think Brexit is bad, its nothing compared to this lot. So im staying well out of it.

One of the blogs I regulary read is from Ian (Lancashire Lad) who blogs about family  life and it reminds me of myself when I was a househusband with 3 Daughters. As you can imagine or maybe know, there is no downtime in that situation, well very little anyway. I always used to think of what I could do when they grew up and left and how much time I could spend doing things I liked, selfish, i know. But this is my time and I decide what to do with it so spending time getting drawn into plot politics is not my idea of downtime. Theres so many thing I could get into. We work hard at our business but really enjoy it and we do get a lot of free time, more than most anyway, so we see our time as a valuable thing, and we feel  happy we have this attitude about what we do with it, dont get me wrong, im the first one to put my feet up at the weekend and have an afternoon snooze.

Do you know what my biggest stress was this weekend? It was do I have another smokes for my morning coffee! Thats a happy place to be in my friends. Hope you have a relaxing Sunday and dont forget to take some time out and put your feet up.

A night at the Opera (house)

Its normally me that gets freebies around the town so when my wife said she had been given 2 tickets for the Opera house to see a play , I thought that will be a good night out as weve been once before.


Arrived at about 7ish and the place was heaving, so we pushed and shoved our way to the bar. I noticed on the way to the bar that 90% of people did not have a drink, strange I thought! There was no queue at the bar which surprised me as 2 bar staff asked for my order. 2 bottles of Heineken please, thats £10.20 . Seriously . Now I know you can pay this price around the town for half a lager but your not just buying the beer are you, your buying the atmosphere the decor etc.


The bar was drab with no seating at all that I could see, and seemed to be used as a waiting room  as the foyer was packed. Sorry , but if your gonna charge premium prices you need to deliever something a lot better than that, even if you said the bar was for drinkers only would of helped. Across the road at tescos, about 30 yards away you can buy 24 bottles of Heineken for £16, so it wouldent surprise me at all if this is where they get their stock from.Thats 66p a bottle, now thats some mark up, actually thats 800%.


Ive just tried to get some images of the bars in the Opera house but dont seem to be able to find one, I wonder why. After the play we fancied another beer but was not going to use these bars again so we went next door to The Albert Schloss, Now this was my first time in here as normally when we go passed its rammed but as we walked passed on a freezing monday night in Manchester, we saw space at the bar and a roaring fire in the centre of the room. Prices I thought were good  , A large schooner and a 2/3 pint one for under a tenner. as

Great atmosphere and they have spent a fortune on decor as have most bars in Manchester. Service was spot on and friendly and the beer was ice cold unlike the luke warm beer in the Opera house bar.Not to sure why they have a large photo booth downstairs next to the toilets though?

When is a Riverside not a riverside?


Visiting one of our clients this week over in the riverside development, Our clients have a huge floorspace on one of the floors with some great views over the river into Spinningfields and such. Well they did have a view. Late last year the ground between them and the river was sold to a developer who has started to build a new office block.


The block is the same height as Riverside and has cut off all veiws. Now I would presume when the agents were selling the Riverside development they sold it on being exactly that, on the Riverside, well this is no longer true, its now the building behind the building on the riverside.


Im sure this is going to be a good looking building but atm its just a concrete slab with scaffold and worse still the  builders are Carillion who have just gone into liquidation and so no work has been done since early Dec and no one nows when work will start back up again.

Its a Conspiracy, I tell you.

One of my favourite topics of conversation with people sitting in the chairs is that of conspiracy theories, and theres a lot of them about. Yesterday one client was telling me about a big one, maybe one of the biggest!

He was telling me about a video he had seen about the sun. Now the conspiracy goes something like this. If the sun is 93 million miles away from the earth and the highest clouds are just 53 miles above how is it that the sun has clouds behind it? Now im not sure if ive  noticed this but he showed me a video and To Tell the truth this is to big for me to comprehend. Think about it , this changes everything. Tell me what you think ,please, my mind has gone on this one.


My very own conspiracy theory is that of a smoker. Now bare with and just give it some thought. I believe that smoking cigarettes blocks out government messages that are sent through some sort of mind control, (I told you it was out there) if you think of all the great minds in the world, Freud, Einstien, Issac Newton and even Socrates were all smokers in fact go to any industry that needs creativity and you see my point.


The government spend hundreds of millions to stop us smoking, I understand the health risks and the expense to the health service but there are many other to be worried about , drinking kills more people than smoking yet no funding for that and how about Obesity, now thats something we need to be worried about and what are the government doing on this , how much government spending to curb these cravings? Nada,nill, nothing. It does beg the question dont you think.


And another thing , how many Prime ministers smoke , can you remember? and dont include wilson from the seventies because that was a pipe and so does not count. Now heres the killer blow, at a recent hospital appointment The subject of me smoking came up and as usual they were telling me to quit. Did you know the only medical condition that they actively encourage you to smoke is Schitzophrenia! Seriously! I delved in for more info and was told that smoking blocks out certain thought processes and cuts of some potentially dangerous messaging signals in the brain. Ill give you a few moments to read that again.

What do you think?



How many shoes does your wife have exactly?


Last week we had an email from a guy who had over 60 pairs of shoes he needed polished plus shoes from his wife and daughter. Great I thought, but hang on, how many shoes is it all together; he was very vague with this. Say the wife had 20 pairs and the daughter another 20 and bearing in mind some if not most would be boots; you need a figure, right?


Also it was a 2 hour drive there and 2 hours back, I gave him a quote but said without an estimated total shoe/boot count nothing was settled. I told him how many we could do in a day to our standard and so maybe pick the ones he most wanted doing. At the last minute I dropped the price as I needed the cash.


He told me my quote was too pricey and he suggested £125.00 and a labourer to help me. Seriously! What’s the point of calling a Professional Shoeshine business if you are not willing to pay a fair price and the offer of a labourer to help has lost me, why not just pay the labourer to polish his shoes.


Happy to say we turned the job down .