A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times


I would just like to mention that I hate my knee brace, but after yesterday’s effort, I was left with no other choice than to have to wear it. Any normal human being would stay at home and rest a bad knee but no, there were places to go, things to be seen, etc.  Andy wouldn’t let me out of the house without my knee brace on. Personally, I love and prefer Diclofenac.  I hate my knee brace... 

If you have seen any of his other blogs, you will know that one of the things Andy and I have in common is our love of properties, houses and renovating them. So today we were off to visit another local attraction (well for Andy anyway), the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom manufacturers and supplier’s showrooms of the guys he trades with. And armed with a buggered knee, public transport was slightly out of the question, so it was off to the local taxi office. Riding in one of these private hire cars, aka taxis, is like getting in a bemo or tuk tuk in Asia. Scary!!! These guys drive like a bat out of hell and you need to hang on for dear life while trying to remain sitting in the back. And with the local roads being so narrow with nowhere to park, and houses butted right up against the curb, I have no idea how we ever survived our trip without any form of accident.

Having arrived at our destination however, the first thing I noticed about the showroom is the vast difference in quality here as regards to home. What I was seeing here, a mid-range standard kitchen, is closer to what we would call a high end kitchen in Australia.  The prices of the displayed kitchens being so much cheaper than one would expect for the quality on offer. You Brits are so lucky with your kitchens; there are just so many more options available to you. I think we Aussies have been happy to put up with crap kitchens for far too long now.

The bathrooms on display too were absolutely divine.  Once again the options available are endless and it seems that the English really understand the need for a real human being sized bathtub. You know you need to be able to lay down in it, not just wash small children’s feet in them.  The suites, the tiles, the taps, the accessories... they are all just mind blowing.  Australia could really learn from what there is on offer here and having spent most of his life working within this sector, Andy is hoping he can be the one to bring us Aussies into the modern world.

Not sure this would go down in Aussieland
Some of the bedroom set ups however, I don’t think would work in most of the houses in Oz. We generally have more space to work with and tend to have the rooms designed and fitted around the bed, and while the more modular approach to bedroom units looks nice, I just don’t see it working where I live where sliding wardrobes are more the norm. But seeing Andy in his element here instils a huge amount of confidence in his abilities and motivation. Never say never seems the order of the day.

Oh and with upwards of over 40 odd separate displays here to fully wet any prospective customer’s appetite, I may have forgotten to mention that the showroom was a huge warehouse built over 3 levels, with stairs steep enough to thwart the hardiest of mountain goats...  Not happy Jan!!! (a reference to an old Aussie advert).

Pure history
Anyway, with the showrooms out of the way now, we wandered back towards home looking for somewhere to perhaps get a coffee and something to eat. Andy said there was a pub just up the road, so we toddled off down the road to find the ‘Rose & Bowl’ pub. Another thing that stands out here, is the amount of empty shop fronts, the neglect of beautiful old buildings and that has to prompt the question, WHY?
 
En route to the Rose & Bowl, we stumbled upon the local post office and went in for a look as they were selling the diamond jubilee mugs, one of which I needed to return home with for a friends mum.  This post office would have been maybe 4m x 2m in size and it seems that it sold everything from hand bags (scattered behind the counter walls) to sweets and lollies (see coconut mushrooms in previous post). It was packed to the rafters with all sorts of things you could ever need or even want... Or, in my case, not want. Fitzpatrick’s final temperance bar could have learned a lot by the owner of this place with every spare inch of space being capitalised for maximum sales.
 
Check out the album for today here
Jubilee mug in hand (and sweets) we continued on our journey and within 200 metres, we found the desired hostelry, a typical English looking pub, well if not it was still how I imagined it. Complete with bunting and England flags draped across all available walls and windows (they all needed to be ironed). The place was just so warm and inviting, complete with the obligatory old folk filling the place in order to keep warm. This was to be the place I was to try draught Guinness for the very first time and believe it or not, it is quite lovely. Just a sip was all I needed though. I really wanted coffee to warm me up. 

We went for a look outside as the old ‘in crowd’ were playing bowls and the afternoon’s final was about to start, but just as we had committed to our seats, the rain decided to come down so we retreated back inside, where it was warm and my knee loved the comfort so much more.

Always a warm and friendly welcome at the Rose 'n' Bowl
As wonderful and welcoming as the pub was, food was not being served for another hour, so we decided to give it a miss and headed back to Tesco en-route to the old homestead for good old fashioned home cooking. Unwritten law of shopping, never go food shopping when you are hungry.  We went in for only a few necessities; and £40 later we had all the comfort foods we could lay our hands on. Needless to say, dinner was not as nutritionally sound as I would have liked but it was still another wonderful day’s worth of experiences in this gorgeous little town that Andy calls home.


Wednesday 13th JuneSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

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Its my own fault really, its all about what I see in the world, and how it all translates for me.

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