This is taking a peek at our Japan trip and the extensive stocktake process for Flying Twigs, and what it entailed!

We did a stocktake and it took days and days – and days. With four hundred different card designs it meant laying all the cards out and checking every one.

I shudder to think what it means for a store with several thousand or tens of thousands stock items. The recent memory of this stocktake means I have renewed insight into how the people in Boots or M&S must feel as they are going around the shelves doing a stocktake.

Of course, we have done a stocktake before, but we rarely need to do one because the website deals with stock adjustments automatically, every time we sell a card. But still we have to check. 

We fitted in a trip to Japan in between deciding to do the stocktake and actually doing it, and it is a delight to show you a few photos from our trip. Stocktake and Japan aren’t immediate bedfellows, but combining the two was actually good for us. I’ll tell you about our trip, but first to the successful stocktake.

We Did A Stocktake

I guess almost everyone is familiar with meaning of the word ‘stocktake’. If however you are not up on the fine details of what is involved, it is this. For us it means counting every greeting card and checking that they are all in good condition. Then it means checking off the numbers against the numbers shown in stock on the Flying Twigs website. And it means, where necessary, correcting the numbers on the site so that they accurately reflect the numbers held in stock. Having done it, all I can say is phew!

It is not that it is complicated, but it does mean holding concentration for a long period.

Changes To The Website

We made some changes to the website. We have simplified the navigation. You will see it now says Shop Greeting Cards, and when you hover on that you see all the categories, arranged in lists working from A to Z.

We also added a new ‘hero’ section (as they are called) on the home page. At the moment is shows a Father’s Day card and the text concentrates on Father’s Day because that’s around the corner. We will take another look at what to put in the hero section after Father’s Day on the 16th June.

And we ‘spiffied up’ the Frequently Asked Questions page to make two columns so it is quicker to scan down the page.

About the Photos From Japan

The first image here (of a tree over water), is from within the Eikan-Do Temple in Kyoto. It is a lovely place, with the building in sections joined by little wooden bridges.

The second image is of red torii gates that wend up the hillside at Fukakusayabun-ouchicho. That is uphill from the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, which is very well known so if you visit you will be able to find it from the name.

Torii are gates with no walls. They are symbolic gates and you find them at the entrance to Shinto shrines, and sometimes in other symbolic places, such as in a bay actually in the water looking out to sea. A torii gate marks the transition from the worldly to the sacred, and gives the visitor a reminder of how to prepare themselves to enter.

The third photo here below is from the edge of the bamboo forest at Jizo-in. Jizo-in is a Buddhist temple in Arashiyama, a residential district way in the west of Kyoto. There is a small gate and beyond that a bamboo forest either side of a path that leads up to a small temple. Behind the temple building you can see here is the edge of the bamboo forest.

I chose to photograph this particular view because the tree leaning over seems to say a lot about the Japanese approach to form. When making Japanese gardens, the gardener bends young trees so that when they grow, they appear to have sprung up from the ground like that. Nothing is quite straight or regular or symmetrical. Instead, the form of things one against another is a sensory clue to the way the world works, as seen from the Japanese point of view.

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