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I did the booze trip to Calais a few times with a friend.  We each had 2 sons and it made sense economically as well as being a great day out.  We’d always go over just before Christmas and get an early ferry, straight into the Calais supermarket, load up and then go off and find a nice little restaurant for lunch before heading back to the ferry port.  
One trip, when it was my turn to drive, we came out of the supermarket and looked across towards England and the sky had turned a terrible colour, it was worryingly a ‘full of snow’ kind of colour.  We decided to forego the lunch and get back to the ferry port as I had 120 miles to drive once over the Channel.  The roads were horrendous, cars and lorries sliding all over the place. The snow had arrived so quickly and unexpectedly that the gritters hadn’t been out at all and eventually snow ploughs were brought out.  It took us 7 hours to get back to Berkhamsted, a journey that normally would take 2 hours. Fortunately I was in my 4x4 vehicle and it was weighted down with crates of beer, cases of wine and lots of French cheese so I felt reasonably confident that we’d get home that night but certainly it was one of the most memorable booze trips we made. 

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Just got back from QMC again........the last eight days have been a bit Traumatic to say the least,,...blood tests,,X-rays,,and today a visit to a Consultant........cut a long story short......problem

Result........CT Scans all clear......just got letter..been sweating for a fortnight......

Two years ago today..........my life changed forever,,,about this time i was on my way down to the operating theatre for what turned out to be a ten hour operation...........its been life changing in

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Either way Lizzie.. If you'd got stuck in a snow drift you could have consoled yourselves with a helluva cheese and wine party.. :laugh:

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Spent the last couple of days battling with a load of Mrs Col's potted plants. Mostly Hemerocallis in BIG containers and so pot bound they've stopped flowering. She seems to have lost interest..so I took the law into my own hands and sorted them all.  Some serious tactics needed to even get the contents out of the pots, but I managed to salvage enough plant material to 'pot on' decent new bits..which should do OK.

 

But.. I wouldn't want to be the bin bloke who innocently grabs our Green Bin tomorrow expecting it to move...  It weighs a ton. 

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It's now 7.00pm and I've been perusing the TV mags on all channels.

Come to the conclusion It's yet another crap day for Bank Holiday television. So we left the bloody thing off. Spent a lot of the morning editing a movie I made in 1989, when cruising the Llangollen canal. Bringing it up to date with captions etc and transferring to DVD.

Still ! It was lovely to have a day off. These 7 day weekends are a drain, don't you think.

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Been to the beach with granddaughter and son.  We decided to walk the mile or so to Sandbanks as we expected all the car parks to be full and that was a good decision on our part.   Traffic was at a crawl and there was nowhere for them to park when they got there.  However we had a lovely couple of hours in the sea and making sandcastles and actually the beach wasn’t as packed as we’d expected, everyone was having a good time.  We got home and they went out on paddle boards, I don’t think I’m strong enough anymore for that lark and don’t think my balance is good either!  Our eight year old can cope though ....... made me realise how old I’m getting!  It’s been lovely spending some quality time with the young un as we’ve hardly seen her during the pandemic.  

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Nice break Lizzie, think its about time everyone who can and are able to have a break even a day trip out somewhere new.

We've spent 2 days trying to get flights for a weekend in Sicily. None of the combinations were convenient ( early takeoff, late landing) we searched from Genova, Torino, Malpensa and Cuneo. No luck then we decided to book the return flight first then the outward flight after, obviously hoping that in would fall in  line with us being presumptious. Bingo, we were lucky

and got a return flight to Turin but with different companies. The car is hired so its almost all systems go. The thing that annoys me is one flight is with Ryanair that I said years ago i wouldnt travel with them again. Just for a couple of days we dont need a suitcase just onboard luggage...but RA say no you can only have a small bag. 40x30x20. We dont want to get caught at the gate saying our onboard luggage is too big and have to pay €50 or whatever it is now. So we'll manage on our outward journey , buy what we want and return with onboard luggage with the different company. Last year we travelled with Volotea and used our usual take on board luggage no problem as with all the other companies.  Ryanair are such skinflints. Anyone else had problems travelling.

Looking for these flights I thought I had found the perfect one, € 4,568.00.

Just for2 nights? No way.

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You're a glutton for the high life CF. Enjoy your break and hope the weather stays kind for you mate.

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I got told, "There's no pockets in a Shroud"! Or another gem,

"No point in being the richest bugger in the cemetery "!

Inspiring or what ? ;)

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Nice morning in Bulwell again..........got a bargain on the ''Flea Market''.........saw some Coffee glasses.....marked £2,50.(thought each)...really nice.. turned out they wern't £2.50 each....it was all six..........

           So far given one each to 2 of my lady neighbours...both really pleased......and both promised to join us in the 'Hot Tub'' when it comes.......and drink 'baileys' from them........One is coming in a full body suit but the other says she's coming naked.....and she lives across the road !!

             One more to give away to the lady next door......God knows how she will come.....she's the cheekiest......Got lovely neighbours nearly all in their 70s.......but always laughing and joking.......

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It's been nice to enjoy two or three days of warm weather..though today is cloudy so far.  Forecast is for more sun but a bit cooler from tomorrow onwards.

 

I've managed to considerably tidy my garden in the last few days...getting rid of lots of old sick plants in overgrown pots etc., and freshly potting up anything still worth keeping.

 

I now have three plants of vine tomato 'Crimson Crush' growing well, along with three of cherry tomatoes and a single plant of a 'beefsteak' type, called 'Bodyguard'..donated by a neighbour.

I've now got about a dozen plants of Scarlet Emperor runner beans going well, and four plants of a French bean, set in a border on a cane wigwam.  Also Coriander in pots.  I love a bit of fresh Coriander dropped into any curry or Moroccan style dish when serving... Luvverly.

 

Slight downside is that my knees are really giving me 'gyp' at present and I seem to be developing pains in feet, hips and shoulders..which has me wondering if I'm in for more generalised arthritis or somesuch. Forced myself to do a medium walk of about 4500 steps yesterday. Every step was painful and the last 1500 or so were extremely unpleasant.. but I think it's important to keep moving.

 

Whilst out I spotted a couple of Early Purple Orchids on a woodland edge.. which was nice..

 

49807121171_bbe3751e19_c.jpgEarly Purple Orchid (Orchis mascula) by Mark Stokeld, on Flickr

 

We have a lot of Blackbirds nesting nearby, including a nest in next doors Honeysuckle which I can peer into from my side of the fence.  Young bird is often in there peering back at me... or may be out and about sitting in the borders demanding food from Mum.  None seem very bothered by my presence.  Maybe they sense I'm not a threat.. or more likely they sense I couldn't catch a hobbled Tortoise at present..

 

Last year a young blackbird flew straight into the glass of our dining room window in broad daylight and died instantly.  I buried it. 

Last night whilst out on my nightly 'slug patrol'  with a torch.. I came across another blackbird lying on the paving.  It looked dead..but when I moved it it opened its eyes.  I picked it up and it seemed to be maybe just a bit stunned.. though I'd not heard it hit the window.  I checked the nest in the Honeysuckle and the usual chap was in there.. so it wasn't him.  I consulted with a neighbour who knows about birds and we decided that the only thing to do was put it in a sheltered part of the garden and see what happened.  Sadly, I looked this morning and it was still there...stone dead.  Still.. I tried.

 

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On 5/28/2021 at 9:56 AM, Beekay said:

Talking of legs Mary1947, remember the "No man's land" between stocking tops and above.

I once dated a girl and I complimented her on her blue corduroy jean. She belted me ! I didn't know she had varicose veins. :Shock:

Master used to call it the giggle bit, as when you managed to get there the girl would giggle, well a little.

 

I'm sure all you girls on here can remember laying in the bath full of water, to shrink thoes jeans and make them tighter.

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I'm glad today is coming to a close. Ryanair has been sending me balmy. Checkins are usually a straight forward procedure but no RA has to be different. Asks for your booking reference and email , straight forward yes but no. They gave us a code and a different email. After multiple attempts I finally got boarding cards only to find out they won't accept a normal size cabin bag its got to be 40x20x25. 3 cm bigger than the small cases we bought specially because the measurement was 40x30x20. It would be our "luck " that they won't let us board unless we pay €60 because they are too big. But I have a plan and hope it works.

We were supposed to be going to see my husbands relatives in Valledolmo but the sindaco has advised against it as the  covid count has increased to 10. It was 6 a few days ago. Never mind more time for shopping and seeing 

new places.

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To be honest your most likely flying Ryanair for the price of a McDonalds burger meal, what did you expect? 

 

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RR years ago i promised my self i would never fly with them again and I haven't YET. We have the chance of going away for a long weekend for a much needed break for my husband. We spent 2 days looking for flights and almost gave up. We didnt have the opportunity of too much planning ahead so expected it would be difficult to find flights that suited us. The only way we could book was to get the return flight first. Most flights returned to Milan Malpensa in the early hours of the morning so they were out. Not usually a problem but I didnt want to be driving home at that time of night. Ryanair was the only outward flight available on the date we wanted. It certainly wasn't a flight we would go out of our way for but for a break of only 2 nights we will put up with it. The only other offer was to spend € 2000.00 , up to €4500.00 would you have accepted that? Doubt it. I still say Ryanair is a second rate, money grabbing, unprofessional was going to say organisation but theyre not really organised like other low cost companies.

I know enough about flying to realise which company is my preferred and whichever one I choose I expect and deserve something better than Ryanair.

In any case we only have the outward flight from Torino with RA so we look forward when we have the return flight with a better company.

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Banging on about a pet peeve of mine again, excessive packaging.

Went to my favourite hardware emporium today to get some cut off wheels for my angle grinder.

Saw a little round tin of twelve for a good price. Got home and found that the tin was fully enclosed in a fairly thick clear plastic, got the Stanley knife to remove that. I then found that the twelve wheels were wrapped in shrink plastic. Removed that and then found that each individual wheel had plastic around the rim. It too me longer to get the packaging of than cut through the rusted bolt I wanted to remove.

FFS it's and angle grinder wheel, at least when they are all used up the tin will make a useful container for something. 

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Re my post above on the same trip I purchased a new 5 litre garden sprayer as I needed to spray the roses and the old one had given up after 10 years.

Joy of joy, miracles of miracles I bought one that was not 'Made in China", it was made in France!

My mission in life is now to only buy stuff that is made in China as an absolute last resort. I have decided to not feed the dragon that appears hell bent on eating us.

Shops should have areas for products that are not Made in China.

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4 minutes ago, Oztalgian said:

Shops should have areas for products that are not Made in China.

Too right, OZ. Not always possible, though. Sellers need to state country of origin. Had a small victory last week. Old Felco 4 secateurs cannot be sharpened any more (20 years old). Do I get some cheap Chinese lookalikes for under a fiver?

Bought a replacement blade from Switzerland for £12. They do new springs for a couple of quid. Set for another twenty years of use. Plan A is to live long enough to wear them out!

I find I can get a lot of Bike-related stuff from Taiwan. Hopefully, they'll stay out of China's clutches.

Buying stuff is very confusing when Raleigh call their tyres Schwalbe to make them sound German.

Country of origin needs to be clearly stated wherever you buy stuff.

Sunday rant over.

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If you ever visit a Dr Martin shop they are made in Vietnam, but they do have a "Made In England" area. 

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Not many years ago the stuff coming out of China was rubbish. Now it’s where the quality high tech stuff comes from. I have equipment in my workshop that’s made in China and has been going strong for 20 years or more. My Apple computing gear is made in China and is brilliant. There’s a lot of capitalists in China. We sell Rolls, Jags and Range Rovers to them. I don’t know what it’s like for the ordinary workers though surviving under an oppressive regime. This oppression won’t last forever. There will be a revolt and then we’ll have to look elsewhere for cheap goods as they will price themselves out of the market when they get fair wages. Africa is pretty much untouched regarding mass exports to the West. Perhaps that continent will be the next source of cheap goods.

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Phil, I am not talking about the high end stuff that is made under the control of multi-nationals. They cannot afford to have their brands compromised.

I am talking about most of the clothing, poorly sewn together, loose threads everywhere, buttons that fall off at the slightest provocation and not to mention sizing. A properly made Australian shirt is only in the single dollars more expensive.

General hardware items nuts, bolts, screws etc that the head comes off or threads strip when tightened with a bit of force.

Stuff supposedly made from "stainless steel" that rusts overnight. and yes I do know there are different grades of stainless.

Tools like spanners and sockets that open up at the application of a little bit of grunt. The list goes on and on, you know what I mean.

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This topic is heading towards the Politics thread I think but...

 

The 'so called' Communist regime in China is nothing of the sort.  It is some form of State Dictatorship, which uses its power to issue edicts from above..to force compliance.  My wife had many Chinese students when she taught EFL to overseas 'business types' and often recounts tales of how even here.. they were afraid to speak their minds, and incredibly naive about freedoms we take for granted.  One day she was explaining how we grow a few veg in our garden and the student replied in surprise 'They allow you to do that?"

 

I don't think the Chinese regime will collapse any time soon.. more likely it will spread its influence. And if it does collapse, it will likely be transformed into a gangster state along the lines of Russia, where the Big Money backs a criminal dictator like Putin and elections are a sham.

 

Meanwhile..  Africa, which assorted European powers, but most notably the British, exploited and de-stabilised for centuries, is now being ignored by the West as China pours investment in and begins shaping Africa as its power base in the West.

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I’m not sure we get much Chinese clothing here. Most of that cheaper stuff tends to come from Bangladesh or from the sweat shops of Leicester. We still turn a blind eye to modern slavery over here but people don’t seem to march against that preferring the slavery of yesteryear.

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