Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7

Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7
My Dad repaired most of our shoes believe it or not, I can hardly believe it myself now. With 7 pairs of shoes always needing repairs I think he was quite clever to learn how to “Keep us in shoe Leather” to coin a phrase!

He bought several different sizes of cast iron cobbler’s “lasts”. Last, the old English “Laest” meaning footprint. Lasts were holding devices shaped like a human foot. I have no idea where he would have bought the shoe leather. Only that it was a beautiful creamy, shiny colour and the smell was lovely.

But I do remember our shoes turned upside down on and fitted into these lasts, my Dad cutting the leather around the shape of the shoe, and then hammering nails, into the leather shape. Sometimes we’d feel one or 2 of those nails poking through the insides of our shoes, but our dad always fixed it.

Hiking and Swimming Galas
Dad was a very outdoorsy type, unlike my mother, who was probably too busy indoors. She also enjoyed the peace and quiet when he took us off for the day!

Anyway, he often took us hiking in the mountains where we’d have a picnic of sandwiches and flasks of tea. And more often than not we went by steam train.

We loved poking our heads out of the window until our eyes hurt like mad from a blast of soot blowing back from the engine. But sore, bloodshot eyes never dampened our enthusiasm.

Dad was an avid swimmer and water polo player, and he used to take us to swimming galas, as they were called back then. He often took part in these galas. And again we always travelled by steam train.

Rowing Over To Ireland’s Eye
That’s what we did back then, we had to go by rowboat, the only way to get to Ireland’s eye, which is 15 minutes from mainland Howth. From there we could see Malahide, Lambay Island and Howth Head of course. These days you can take a Round Trip Cruise on a small cruise ship!

But we thoroughly enjoyed rowing and once there we couldn’t wait to climb the rocks, and have a swim. We picnicked and watched the friendly seals doing their thing and showing off.

Not to mention all kinds of birdlife including the Puffin.The Martello Tower was also interesting but a bit dangerous to attempt entering. I’m getting lost in the past as I write, and have to drag myself back to the present.

Fun Outings with The camera Club
Dad was also a very keen amateur photographer, and was a member of a camera Club. There were many Sunday photography outings and along with us came other kids of the members of the club.

And we always had great fun while the adults busied themselves taking photos of everything and anything, it seemed to us. Dad was so serious about his photography that he set up a dark room where he developed and printed his photographs.

All black and white at the time. He and his camera club entered many of their favourites in exhibitions throughout Europe. I’m quite proud to say that many cups and medals were won by Dad. They have been shared amongst all his grandchildren which I find quite special.

He liked taking portraits of us kids too, mostly when we were in a state of untidiness, usually during play. Dad always preferred the natural look of messy hair and clothes in the photos of his children.

Boost Sales With Social Commerce Tools

The most common buzz words among the marketers these days are social marketing, online social interaction and social networking. But what this prefix ‘social’ actually stands for any business is a big question mark. All these actually come under the broad category of social commerce which is a strategy to connect customers to each other through internet, online and then such connections are leveraged commercially. This strategy is based on some Social Commercial Tools to actually derive the results.Therefore, in a way social commerce strategically facilitates customer interaction and their participation to achieve quantitative business results where a smart marketing program works on the process of pursuing customers to make purchases through its optimized operations. The social commerce marketer need to craft messages & provide social platforms such as blogs, social networking pages or forums to spread the brand name, its online services and products among the people. Then public participation should be encouraged through reviews & ratings, contests, promotions, user-created contents like video & photo uploads and all other things that contribute to social interaction.Then these conversations should be analyzed to gather public opinion about spot trends and the public’s actual demand. These needs are then met by delivering services, promotions and products as per demand. Regular analysis and measuring markets are two major tools that identify the ROI of these programs. But more than purchases there are other factors like loyalty; satisfaction; traffic; conversion; competitive differentiation and order value that contribute to real metrics to drive a business and achieve long term sales growth.The marketers are already running some or the other social programs like Social Media Commerce or Social Facebook Commerce Platforms as they consider Facebook to be a good source of traffic. They also put contents on the website through company blogs and reviews & ratings. The Social Commerce Tools integrate activities of social marketing along with bigger marketing programs like in-store, online, direct marketing and mobile to combine all these and arrive at the common goal of sales growth.In a nutshell, these Social Commerce Tools that are critical should be followed by the marketers to achieve results. Initially the user content should be gathered by encouraging people to share their views about the services & products. The traffic views carry importance as they are the key factors for boosting sales. Then these feedbacks are implemented through Social Facebook Commerce Platforms or Facebook Social Commerce Applications.Then this customer feedback is leveraged in various marketing strategies.  All the positive feedbacks from customers about the brand, its products or its services are used and positive commentary is integrated in the display advertisements or paid search sites or on store signage or in catalogues or in emails and any other medium through which customer interaction is possible. These are some of the strategies covered under Social Commerce Tools through which core competence of a marketing program can be achieved for any business by applying the best practices, real case studies and a positive & progressive business approach.
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Sharing The Good News

Have you ever felt like you just had to share your latest good news with anyone and everyone around you, but they literally had no interest whatsoever in what you had to say? Although intended for the best, sometimes sharing the good news is not always a positive outcome.After all, people know you remember things.And every time they see you coming with that “have I got a deal for you” look of wide eyed innocence about you… they also know to be very aware with the question in their minds… what is he going to try and sell on now!?More often than not it seems as if you’re the only one oblivious to their burn out of your good news tactics and gracious offers for them to improve their lives and make more money and retire to the Florida Keys sooner than later while improving their health and well being with your new vita-pill-drink!.Both they and you know that you’re really not a bad person. The fact of the matter is that you just want to see everyone as healthy and happy as your latest new venture is promising to make the both of you. You’re just sharing the good news. I mean, after all, you could see and realize the benefits of this amazing product and were immediately sold on it… so everyone you know should jump on this opportunity as sure and as fast as you did, right!You don’t need that kind of pressure. Time to get this monkey off you back!So, as a new business person, you have to write these folks off your list and warm and friendly contacts (because the industry of network marketing labels them that way) and you end up losing your rank and status in the arena of family and friends because that same win at all costs industry says if they cannot or will not support you in whatever your dreams are, then you didn’t need them anyway.So, does that mean the pressure is now off and you as a big shot entrepreneur are free and able to tackle anyone you come in contact with using your new found attitude as fair game for your business? I would certainly hope not. That is a pure case of not sharing the good news!What you really need to remember at this point in your little business rant to save the world is… “don’t try to share your seemingly good fortune” with everyone or everything that moves!Keep in mind that some people will be wide open to change and new ideas, having been prepared by the your giving spirit from times past.But, there are those that you have engaged just as soberly before that may not be so open to yet another invitation to be set free from your definition of their less than stellar lives.When you come across those that are not, relax, don’t push them. When it comes to sharing the good news, you need to realize that it’s just not their time.If and when you sense a resistance or an uncomfortable response, just tactfully, professionally and lovingly change the subject.Demonstrate true sensitivity and concern for this person and be mindful that their time will come..it may be next week, next month or perhaps even tomorrow..or even more so, never. You just need to stay close to your moral and ethical business conventions. There’s a time and a place for everything and everyone.Having said that, I have to also state that I am not putting down or am opposed to the great many men and women who make their livelihoods persuading and selling to the masses in our society. Some of these great selling giants do come with even greater values in sharing the good news.Giving in is not necessarily always a matter of giving up.Sometimes you have to give yourself permissions to leave, to walk away, to not challenge certain conventions. And in doing so, you will gain a healthy respect for the individual as you are encouraged to listen to your inner-self and be a guiding force rather than just another selling force for something that many may not be in the market to buy.A Friend in Business… and Life… Always,-Lon-