Ben joined in by asking what these types of model were. I handed out some photocopies of internet articles that I’d looked at. I suggested that we should all read the contents before our next meeting. I stressed that I wasn’t trying to rubbish the idea, but the different models of cooperative businesses had different types of ownership and control and different ideas about how profits were distributed. In principle, coops appeared to differ from limited companies and partnerships in terms of their aims. As an example, I mentioned those types were the customers were all members and the aim was to benefit the community as much as the members. One example could be a local farm shop or bakery. I asked whether anyone had come up with a similar idea for a community benefit project. No one had so we agreed to read my handouts and think about what our next step would be.
We thanked Beverly for hosting the meeting and agreed that we’d continue the discussion after the next seminar.
Back at home
I got back home shortly after Helen. She was in the kitchen putting a supermarket pizza into the oven with some frozen chips. TV chefs presenting healthy eating shows didn’t have to do the shopping and cooking after long days at work and before their children got back home to require attention.
She’d been praised by her manageress because she’d spotted that a customer had switched some price labels and the store security had detained the shopper until the police arrived. It was only last week that she’d received an award for spotting an attempted card fraud. She was buzzing because she was a really conscientious woman and liked her job.
We’d be eating on our knees while we talked before Helen’s Mum brought Paul home, so I didn’t need to lay the table or anything. I grabbed the day’s post and had a quick look through while the food was heating up. The first Christmas cards had arrived – a couple from relatives who lived abroad. Helen reminded me that I’d promised to write our cards and that. now I was among the unemployed, I should set aside some time for doing it. One of the items was an interview invitation. I decided that I’d have a closer read of that later in the evening. Another letter was an invitation from my almost-ex employer inviting me to a seminar in three weeks’ time about interview skills.
As we ate, Helen asked me about my day. I told her about the stuff that I’d started doing at home in the morning and that I’d been to a meeting in the afternoon at Beverly’s house.
“Beverly?” she asked, “Beverley male or Beverly female?”
“Female,” I said, and told her where she lived.
“Okay, tell me more about this Beverly,” she asked, “How old is she? Married, divorced or single? What does she look like?”
I told her that Beverly was married with two children, that I’d guess mid-thirties, about five-foot six to five-foot nine, attractive and smartly dressed. I explained that she was a Personnel Manager. I went on to tell her about the house she lived in.
Helen’s next questions were about the other group members – she wanted more details about Susie than about the males in the group. She was especially interested in her because she was divorced, but I had to explain that it hadn’t been the type of meeting to delve into that sort of detail.
It was only then that she started to ask what we’d been discussing, but at that point, Jayne, her Mum arrived with Paul. Once Helen and her Mum had a natter about their respective days, and I’d persuaded Paul to have a bath and let me have his clothes for the washer, Helen suggested that we invite the group round to our house soon and at a time when she could be there to be hostess. I had a feeling that this was less than altruism and more a ploy to have a close look at the women in the group.
Today I continue my series of Christmassy shots in black and white. My Featured Photo today is an image of Wayfarers’Arcade in Southport, Sefton, Merseyside. I took this photo in late November, 2019.
The EXIF Data for the featured photo are as follows: Pentax K-1 36MP cropped sensor camera with a 15-30 mm f/2.8 lens at 24 mm and f/13. The shutter speed was 1/5 secs and the ISO was 400. The camera was tripod-mounted and the post-processing was in Lightroom.