Try Something New Today…Lidl?

Just popped to Sainsburys and guess what? Yep got it in one… no food – well not stuff I wanted anyway.

No duck legs (ok not your normal chicken drumsticks) but no surprises there really as they rarely have them. No spinach and ‘yes we have no bananas’! Is there a war on?

I asked the staff who told me I wasn’t the first to complain about the empty shelves. They suggested I shop at Lidl…


Empty shelves at Sainsburys, Alphington, Exeter

Last autumn our local Sainsburys store was extended and very exciting it was too. New lines, homewares, clothes, a new cafe, handy self-service tills all lovely!
Only trouble is since re-opening it has been distinctly lacking in… well, food actually.
First lines went awol. Provisions we’d been buying for years no longer stocked. Mysteriously disappearing overnight. Discontinued. Then there was ‘on expiry’ produce… you check the date, only to discover is on it’s last day of sale (or, worse still it was out of date two days ago). Even more unbelievable when it’s 9pm at night and you are confronted by a shelf of full of cream cakes – due to expire at the stroke of midnight. What do they do with them all? Have a custard pie and cream bun fight in the staff room? And now, even finding a shelf full of anything has become a bit of a novelty.
Perhaps I’m just shopping at the wrong time? Well no, my Sainsburys is literally on my doorstep, my corner shop, and I regularly pop in for provisions, bread a couple of pints of milk and the shelves remain well and truly empty, vacant, devoid of food.
So what’s going on? Is it a faulty stock management system, a supply and demand issue? A simple lack of staffing? I’m guessing there will be no extra staff to manage this supersized store with the new self-service technology. Perhaps we’re supposed to place the orders ourselves as well. Dunno… but I’m seriously considering switching to Tesco.

See below for pics on Flickr.

A (somewhat late) New Year Resolution

I promise to blog more regularly. Now what’s happened to all my widgets – there were loads here when I last looked. My links to Twitter and Flickr seem to have totally disappeared…

Abandoned blog – MkII

Feeling very guilty as I’ve not blogged for some time now.

In fairness I had a post in draft (basically moaning about the iPad of which I’m now a not so proud owner) – but it seems to have disappeared so guess either WordPress got fed up with waiting… Or more likely, I deleted it in error.

Anyway I’m pleased to report I’m getting used to it, the iPad that is, and am not feeling quite as disappointed as when I first got it.

So what have I been up to? Not much actually. Should have signed up for the next part of my OU course (I was supposed to be doing T226 this November) but things haven’t worked out quite as planned. We’ve lost 2 members of my team at work so it’s going to be difficult now to complete it (but hopefully not impossible). The course is only being offered until May next year (2011) so we’ll have to wait and see what happens come April.

The other thing that’s been taking my attention away from my blog is our kitchen project. Never had a new kitchen before so very excited about this. We’ve opted for a Wickes kitchen and install as the quality seemed better than some of the competitors (B&Q, home base etc) time will tell…

I could probably bore you for hours with my kitchen talk but I’m going to call it a night and publish this before I lose/delete yet another draft.

Oh, and if you were wondering what I didn’t like about the iPad – it’s because it’s pretty useless without a PC or Mac and it doesn’t even have Flash. I don’t call that ‘magical’.

Final Score

The results are finally in. Nope, nothing to do with football but my Open University mark.

I have passed T121! Got a respectable 76 for my OES (Overall Examination Score).

Now I figure if I was the England football team this would be cause for some celebration. A win which would undoubtedly warrant cracking open a few bottles, triumphant shouts of victory, perhaps even the odd street party. But instead it feels like … well a bit of an anti-climax to be honest.

Only 76! I got 88 for my OCAS. I’m sure it’s a perfectly respectable pass, probably equivalent to a B or C? So why do I feel somehow – cheated?

Hopefully when I receive feedback on my paper in a few weeks time I will feel better about my success. In the meanwhile – England pull your finger out!

Bad meal at the Twisted Oak – Ide Exeter

Just had a really awful meal at the Twisted Oak, Ide Exeter. Won’t be going there again – a pity because it is one of my locals and used to be nice.

I ordered Thai green turkey curry – I can only describe what I got as what looked like a large sachet of cat food, dumped in the center of rice with a popadom sail sticking out of it. Perhaps warning bells should have rung when I asked the bar staff for their recommendation and was told the curry was new on the menu – but they’d sold two today. I’m assuming the turkey came out of a tin – it had the look and consistency of flaked tuna – the concoction was dry and tasteless …and sent back to the kitchen.

It was replaced with Pasta penne with red peppers, mushrooms, tomato and goats cheese (my second choice)… and this was equally uninteresting. The plate I was told was hot – a pity the same couldn’t be said for the food on it. Another bland and disappointing dish topped with three massive, thick, rosettes of goats cheese which contributed nothing to the meal, either in terms of presentation or taste.

A wedding party were leaving as we arrived – I hope they had better luck.

Camping at St Ives Bay, Cornwall

Just spent a fabulous week camping at St Ives Bay in Cornwall with friends.

It’s our second year at the park and I can thoroughly recommend it. You literally fall off the A30 and you are there. Three miles of golden sandy beach, backed by acres of dunes. There is a Lidl very conveniently located about half a mile down the road or if you want to go more up market a M&S a few hundred yards further on.

How lucky were we with the weather! I wasn’t expecting great things, especially after all the hot sunny weather we’ve had – well it IS half-term – which usually signifies heavy rain, wind and a chill factor to match. We got our tent up in the dry and with the exception of a wet Monday night (OK so it rained all night), which resulted in a pond under our ground sheet to mop-up the next day – we enjoyed hot, dry and blissfully sunny weather.

Clearly I was born to camp – because even what should have been a rather unpleasant task of crawling between the base of a tent and a ground sheet to bale out water seemed like fun. Photos to follow.

Another highlight was climbing the highest dune on our friends wedding anniversary carrying (plastic) glasses full of wine for the toast. I think we’d drunk a few before we embarked on our adventure – but we made it without spilling a drop. Unfortunately not so steady handed on the way back down. Which posses the question – why didn’t we just drink up atop the hill. Silliness in the extreme.