11 December 2011

Good morning to you all. My goodness we’ve had some weather this week – howling, hurricane-force winds (especially in Scotland), bitingly cold with the occasional downpour of horizontal freezing (and stinging) rain. Snow in the highlands although we’ve not seen any yet, thank goodness.

We had an incident at the beginning of the week which got me to wondering. I guess there are two kinds of drivers – those who fill up their petrol tank at the first opportunity once the gauge gets a bit low and, in contrast, those who wait until the last possible moment, when the car is gasping and running on fumes. I am of the former propensity, Penelope is of the latter.

Penny’s “new” car has this handy little feature (which I am sure many of you will be familiar with). It “pings” when she has about 50 miles left to drive and the little petrol pump symbol lights up on the dashboard. “Only 50 miles left,” I’ll say to which she will answer, “Plenty of time.”

Then, at 25 miles the car gives her another warning “ping” which similarly gets greeted with “Plenty of time.”

Of course, apart from being rash, foolhardy and dangerous, there was some method to her madness. She reckoned that we could easily drive around for several days and visit Tesco, our local supermarket, on Sunday. If we do a major grocery shop (more than £50) Tesco often distributes vouchers for 5p off a litre of petrol. Always a good idea to try and save some money in these difficult times even if it does mean running the risk of running out of petrol somewhere in the Northamptonshire countryside.

She was right, of course. There was plenty of time and we rolled into the supermarket/petrol station with not the slightest gasp or sputter. I’m sure we could have driven another 200 metres at least! However, although we did indeed spend a fortune at Tesco to secure the voucher, for some reason they weren’t distributing them this week. What’s that expression, the best laid plans of mice and men?

So, which category do you fall into:

[poll id=”3″]

There was a television programme the other evening about supermarket advertising and the “values” which sometimes aren’t really. There’s a short video clip on the BBC web site which gives you a feel for what the programme was about. Essentially, the supermarkets often advertise larger packs as “Better Value” when, in fact, they’re not. We’ve discovered this ourselves on numerous occasions. We always have to do the maths when buying my cranberry juice – most often the four pack is cheaper than four single cartons, but not always.

The snippet reminded me of some of the great signs one sees from time to time advertising discounts or great value. We’ve run across a few in our time, such as “Our Service Never Fails to Disappoint” and “Two for the price of three” and “Great Value – You Save 0p”. Honest, we’ve seen each of those at some point or other and a quick trawl on the interweb pulled up the following.

Savings!  Savings!
 Savings!  Savings!


Polar BearAnd finally, a most enjoyable visit with our favourite UN diplomat, Jordan Ryan on Saturday. He was in London for some meetings with some of the larger donors to the good work he does with the UN Development Programme and we were able to meet up with him in the afternoon and evening. As well as a splendid dinner at an excellent restaurant recommended by Nick and Lucy, we also had time to visit the Environmental Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum which was, once again this year, absolutely stunning. You can see a collection of the winning photographs here.

And, we’re off to London again next Saturday for our sometimes-annual theatre trip with friends. It’s Les Miserables this year. Just how much fun and excitement can we stand?

My favourite anniversary card from last week’s celebration given to me by my sweetheart. It’s true, of course. The only question I have is how did they find someone who looks exactly like me?

Happy Anniversary


Love to you all,