Tag Archives: McDonald’s

The Scone Chronicles – XV

Another one with no scones.

We’ve not been out much recently, partly because Julia has been making me give books away (or “declutter” as she likes to call it) and partly because we are trying to economise. Despite my lottery win we are still adjusting to Julia only having one job.

On Friday, we decided to treat ourselves to a McDonald’s breakfast. It’s not something to boast about, but as they serve 3.5 million customers a day in the UK it’s not like I’m alone in my poor diet choice. The problem, of course, was that I’d already had one on Monday. One a month is acceptable, one a week is borderline. Two a week is a source of shame.

Anyway, as we haven’t had scones recently, I decided that this would have to do.

Sausage and Egg McMuffin

Sausage and Egg McMuffin

It’s difficult, when looking at a Sausage and Egg McMuffin, to work out where the sausage element is.

British sausage (bangers) recipe.

These are sausages. Proper British breakfast sausages.

It’s also difficult, having read that it was inspired by Eggs Benedict, to actually see the similarity, apart from the egg and muffin.  That’s a bit like calling a bicycle a horse and cart just because it has wheels and a saddle.

Despite this, the sausage and egg McMuffin, particularly with the addition of BBQ Sauce and black pepper is a good start to the day.

The best bit is probably the chance to sit and talk for a while. Too many of our mornings are spent rushing about, and it worries me that Julia doesn’t see enough of me. That’s why I took the final photograph – I thought you’d like to see a picture of a woman spending quality time with her loved one. Note that I got us the best table, just by the toilet door.

Help, get me out of here!

Help, get me out of here!

A Crowded Day…

I had a blood test this morning so I hauled myself out of bed at 6.30 and muttered my way around the house.

By 7.05 I was yelling abuse at someone who was having trouble lining up his car to take a ticket from the machine and gain access to the car park. Unfortunately I’d already wound my window down in readiness to reaching for my ticket so he heard more of my comments than I’d really intended. The atmosphere, as we stepped out of our cars after parking, was a touch frosty.

At 7.10 I was ready and waiting with ticket 110 clasped in my hand. At 7.14 they called ticket 103. I read some more of my book on Vikings and watched the big screen with their advert for the NHS. I’m not sure why they need to spend money on promotional films, it’s not like there’s a rival health service or anything.

They got to me just after 7.30, which wasn’t too bad. I think I probably passed, as the blood seemed to flow well. In fact it was a bit tricky to stop it. There has been no phone call so I’m hoping to get at least two weeks before another test.

Back at the car I checked my leaky tyre and noticed it was looking quite flat. This only affected the bottom of the tyre but these things have a tendency to spread. As I’d blown it up less than 24 hours earlier I decided action was needed.  My original plan had been to slot it in between jobs in the afternoon, but this clearly needed action now.

My local garage opens at 7.00 so they put the spare on for me. There were two nails in the leaky tyre, and, to make things worse, considerable wear inside the tyre where the tracking appears to be out. I’m going to pick up the new tyre tomorrow morning and it looks like I’ll be getting the tracking done soon too. I’m definitely not buying expensive tyres again – I’ve had nothing but bad luck with this set.

After that I had time to impersonate Hemingway writing in a Parisian cafe. I was actually in McDonalds in Arnold but my intentions were good. I was catching up on my haiku challenge, which I mentioned a couple of days ago.

On Sunday I didn’t write any, so today I have twenty to do. At the time of writing I have done nine. This isn’t too bad as it means I’m pretty much in the same position as I was yesterday – just a day behind. I’m seven days in and have two hours to write thirty three lines of non-rhyming poetry. They don’t even need to be good. That shouldn’t be a problem – disappointing haiku are one of my specialities.

I will cover this question of quality in a post later in the week.

We had thirteen parcels to pack this morning, plus a few minor jobs, which neatly filled the three hours.  I posted the massive lot of royalty medals just before lunch and notice we have sold one already.

On my return home I spent an hour or so reading WP, including catching up with escapetothebarn.

Next I had to drop Number Two Son off at the station as he’s flying back to Malta from Stanstead tomorrow. Julia had some extra hours today so it was just a short trip to The Meadows where I waited 20 minutes for her to finish and took some pictures through the rainy windscreen. The “Meadows” is not a very accurate description.

I wasn’t sure if I had enough rain in the picture so I took one of my mirror too.

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Rain in a rear view mirror

We had chicken thighs and mediterranean vegetables for tea, mainly because we had a lot of courgettes to eat. We also had rosemary from the garden and ready chopped garlic from a jar.

I’ve decided that life is too short to chop garlic.

 

A Bad Day, Getting Worse…

It’s been a bad day and it’s going to get worse, I can tell.

First of all, I arrived for my blood test at 7.03. I was seventh in the queue but, despite the phlebotomists allowing themselves to be diverted by a number of things, they managed to see to me by 7.20. That left me very close to the time allowed for free parking, but just a few frustrating minutes over.

I then went to McDonalds to eavesdrop and drink coffee. Er…and have a sausage and egg McMuffin. I have no willpower.

The phone call at lunchtime told me that I’d failed the test and need another one next week. Their first suggestion was that I should go to a hospital and be tested whilst on holiday. I said I thought this was unlikely to happen, particularly as Julia had not expressed much of an interest in touring NHS waiting rooms while we were away.

So they are going to test me on Friday and then leave me alone for a week. They are, it appears doing me a favour.

Things went well after that for the rest of the day, then I got home. I had a letter in a plain white envelope. I nearly binned it as junk mail as most people mark the envelope with at least a return address. Fortunately I opened it, and saved myself £30. It was from the council. In between cutting back on bin collections and social services and splurging money on consultants and office decoration they find time to fill the city with cameras and appoint themselves Guardians of the Bus Lanes.

It seems when I went to my last blood test I turned left out of city hospital and left again (yes, it’s the way to McDonalds). This took me into a bus lane. They aren’t always easy to spot. I use that road frequently when the bus lane isn’t in use, but hardly at all at that time in the morning. As a result I cost myself £30, but if I’d thrown the letter in the bin it would have cost me £60 for failing to pay.

I then went on the internet to book our holiday. I’d not quite managed it last night when the special offer link didn’t work. I’m supposed to be able to save 15% by using a link from Travelodge. What they don’t tell you is that there’s a time limit and a limited number of rooms.

When I got home tonight I had another email to tell me I could qualify for a 15% discount. So I clicked a link to a hotel they provided and…drum roll…found it didn’t work. It’s incompetent at best, but possibly also dishonest. And an idiotic waste of time.

Of course, the best bit is that when I left the hospital this morning I turned left, then left again…

…so I’m expecting another bus lane ticket last week.

I’m seriously thinking of just curling up in a ball and refusing to move. That way I can stay out of trouble. Although, when I think about it, it isn’t a strategy that works well for hedgehogs.

Image result for hedgehog

 

 

The Welsh Toilet Championships

It’s not an exhaustive list of toilets, and we didn’t have clipboards with us but it gives you some idea of the challenges the traveller faces.

Those of you under 40 will probably wonder why this sort of thing is important. I won’t explain it now, just give it a few years and all will become clear.

We used the facilities in two McDonald’s, at Llandudno and Mold. They were both bright and clean, though we did feel we had to buy drinks to justify using them, which was sort of counter-productive.

In Rhayader we used toilets in a car park by the town centre. They were very welcome after a long drive, though architecturally there was more than a suggestion of military bunker about them. However, they were clean and tidy, and that’s more important than being aesthetically pleasing.

The toilets at Gigrin Farm, were predictably excellent, as was the whole farm and Red Kite feeding experience.

In Trawsfynydd, just off the road as we travelled to Bangor in the evening, we were glad to find toilets as things were getting a bit urgent (see my comments on Dolgellau). As with Rhayader, the building is stark, but clean and tidy. There was a touch of serendipity about the visit, but that’s a story for a later post.

I think I may have mentioned the lack of decent food outlets at the Bangor Services. We had breakfast at Little Chef and, as you may have predicted, visited the facilities afterwards. I seem to be turning into a Victorian there, as “used the toilets” seemed suddenly unacceptable. They are nicely tiled, but badly maintained and not very clean. Judging by the dirt and graffiti the cleaner only inspects the cubicles with the doors open. That’s basic cleaning, close the door, turn round and look at things from the customer’s’ point of view. Literally. Then wipe the part of the wall that is covered by the open door and wash the graffiti off the back of the door.

RSPB South Stack, was excellent in many ways, which will be detailed in a later post. However, the gloomy, cramped and smelly toilets (sorry about that, but there was no nice way to put it) were a low point in the visit.

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Tourist sign in Llandudno

So that’s it. Clearly South Stack and Bangor Services aren’t in the running.

McDonald’s and Gigrin are all commercial operations, so you expect a higher standard . This standard was met, as they were all excellent, but it seems unfair to compare them with council toilets.

That leaves Rhayader and Trawsfynydd. If I was standing on stage opening an envelope the award would go to Rhayader, as I don’t have a clue how to pronounce Trawsfynydd. To be fair I don’t have a clue how to spell it either, I’m relying on cut-and-paste.

Whilst I think of the final result I’ll mention the toilets at Dolgellau.

I can’t tell you how good they were because at just after six in the evening they were locked. And barred. Maybe they have gold fittings. Or maybe they just don’t like visitors. It’s not unusual to find toilets locked in the evening, but it is frustrating.

There’s a website listing the public toilets of Gwynedd, and if you follow a link on that site the are details of community toilets made available for public use by the owners.  If you are travelling in the area it might be useful.

And the winner is…

… Rhayader.

It’s just a little brighter than Trawsfynydd, which will be getting a mention in a later post.

So, give them a try and see the kites – it’s a good day out.