Tag Archives: McDonald’s

Out and About

We went to the gardens today to do some watering and check that everything was secured against the wind. It was 2.40 when we turned onto the Ring Road, We noted a short queue at Sainsbury’s (four people) but the Ring Road seemed to have plenty of traffic on it. As we passed the local McDonald’s we noted that the Drive Through was crowded, having now been open for two days. Forty-eight hours and the rush for junk food is already gripping the nation.

The verges and central reservations on the Ring Road are now being left longer as part of the new city bee initiative. having read it I see a lot of words, a lot of signs and a lot of onus being shifted to other people. What I don’t see is much action – unless you count saving money by mowing less. Pardon my cynicism, but I’ve seen this sort of thing before, and though I welcome it, I’m not sure how committed they really are. However, I’m glad to see them making the effort.

bee-friendly-logo

We saw two different sorts of sin and there is, I see from the website, for parks. Councils love signs.

We went past the roadworks near the shop and saw nobody working, before crossing the bridge and seeing nobody working there either. To be fair they may be underground, or under the bridge. Or they may not.

The Co-op on Wilford Lane had a queue of two. At the school they are putting signs up for the return next week. The yellow lines are for social distancing as they queue to get into school. The nation really loves a queue. If we defeat corona virus it will be because of queues and fines for petty offences.

 

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Social Distancing

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Return to School

We left at 4pm and noticed the queue at the Co-op had grown to 12 while we’d been away.

The queue at Sainsbury’s now stretched the length of the shop front.

I managed a shot of an unkempt central reservation on the way back, and the queue at McDonald’s. Unfortunately we didn’t stop in the right place to photograph the signs.

Bee Friendly Central Reservation

Bee Friendly Central Reservation

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Stampede for Junk Food

Stampede for Junk Food

After fish and chips from Captain Cod (support your local shop) we went to TESCO to pick up this week’s order. Apart from the large white cobs I’d ordered. There will be no classic bacon cobs for breakfast tomorrow. There were no substitutes. I am not happy.

The First of at Least Two Posts

I managed three posts yesterday – one in the morning before we went out, one when we came back and one because I had time to do it and no distractions. There was nothing decent on TV and Julia was in the dining room talking to her sister on the phone.

This proves that when I have time and inspiration I can write multiple posts. Time and inspiration, hmmm…

I’m going to think about that. I can probably improve my capacity for being inspired, and if I get plenty of sleep I can probably cut out the evening naps, though that’s not quite as likely. I did have plenty of sleep last night, but still managed to fall asleep when Julia went to cook the curry.

The new day came round too early and we left home at 7.05 to get Julia to the doctor for an appointment. That went fairly well, but she forgot to pick up a prescription for me. We found that out when we got to McDonald’s and my early morning cheerfulness, which is brittle at the best of times, quickly cracked.

The dispenser at McDonald’s was out of BBQ Sauce. This is the second time in two visits and the fourth in six visits. How difficult can it be to keep a sauce dispenser filled?

Back at the doctors, I allowed a woman to go through the door ahead of me (because my parents brought me up properly) and she spent the next twelve minutes trying to get a prescription for extra pain killers from a receptionist. It doesn’t work that way, but she wouldn’t take no for an answer. Sometimes I wish my parents had brought me up to be selfish and use my elbows more.

Then they gave me only half the prescription and I had to make them find the other half, then traffic built up and roadworks slowed us down…

As I say, we left home at 7.05. I got to work at 9.55. And at that point I realised, with a feeling of numb resignation, that things were not going to get better.

For lunch I had tuna with cream cheese, spring onions and lemon zest. It was a bit sharp. Tuna mayonnaise would have been easier, but I had cream cheese left over from the mackerel pate. It seems a bit wetter than mayonnaise and I had to drain it by leaving it a sieve for a couple of hours. More work needed, I think.

This seems like a good time to go for a cup of tea. Julia has just returned home and it will be nice to talk to someone. I say talk, but really I just saw her slip a bar of chocolate into her pocket, so I am nurturing hopes of being fed.

The header picture is a new Robin picture for Lavinia.

 

The Scone Chronicles XXV

The one with McDonald’s…

Yes, we’re back at the budget end. With a day full of errands stretching to eternity (the whimpering about seals having produced no effect on my hard-hearted wife) I decided on the easy option to give us a solid foundation.

There’s not much I can add. We had sausage and egg McMuffins, hash browns and coffee. It’s what we always have, because we’re predictable. As usual, it was very good. There’s not much else to say.

The most interesting thing was the coffee cup, which has changed over the years from a receptacle for coffee to a medium for messages – more like a billboard than a cup.

Apart from two robins chasing each other round a tree there isn’t much more to report. That’s why you have a picture of Julia’s feet for a header – I was looking for a photo, they seemed bright, so I took the picture. This evening I used it because there was nothing better.

Moving from food review to diary, I can then report that we went to drop clothes and books off at a recycling point before going to look for a gas heater. Despite what the Homebase website says they don’t sell them.

Recycling - Sainsbury's, Arnold, Notts

Recycling – Sainsbury’s, Arnold, Notts

We then went to Currys. They don’t sell gas heaters, but they do sell tablets. That’s in the sense of small computer type things (which I don’t really understand) rather than a bottle of pills. We had to hunt down a sales assistant because nobody seemed interested in making a sale, and when we got one we needn’t have bothered.

It seems the tablet we wanted was out of stock and they clearly weren’t interested as they advised us to try on-line.

So today’s hint is that if you’re looking for a useless, apathetic excuse for a salesman, try Currys. If you’re looking for a tablet, don’t bother.

And if you try to order on-line, prepare for a long and frustrating experience. I ordered three items – it took nearly an hour as it repeatedly refused to accept the order details, delivery details and filled the screen with useless pop-ups.

I’m going back to Amazon next time.

We stopped off at the park next, as Julia went looking for a municipal employee to browbeat into helping her garden group. One was on holiday and the other was in hiding. I sat in the car park and photographed damp leaves.

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Not my finest moment as a photographer, but I was bored

We eventually bought the gas heater from B&Q. They had a choice of one model, but it was in the right price bracket and the staff were all cheerful and helpful.

After that it was the garden centre. But that is another story…

 

 

Demarcation, Detritus and Denby

I woke at 7.00, ascertained that I was on holiday, and went back to sleep until 8.30. I could get used to being retired, if this is what it is like. On the other hand, sleeping in does tend to blur the lines between life and death, and I’d like to preserve that line as I get older.

Maybe all those pensioners who clutter up the blood testing department at City Hospital need to get there at 6.30 to prove they are still alive.

Yesterday we emptied the space under the stairs so the electricians could install a Protective Multiple Earth. No, me neither…

Today we looked at the heap of detritus that had built up and decided to load it straight in the back of the car and deliver it directly to a charity shop.

It wasn’t actually that direct as we went for breakfast at McDonald’s first then picked up a prescription. Then we went to dump the detritus, or donate our surplus kitchen equipment. It definitely depends on your point of view.

After that  we went to a shopping outlet to look for Christmas inspiration, but ended up buying books.

Finally we went for soup at Denby Pottery. We tried to buy pottery but there wasn’t anything we wanted. I had vegetable and fizzy orange soup. The vegetable was deliberate, the fizzy orange was because Julia didn’t think it was important to tell me she’d dropped the bottle on the way to the table.

And that was how we spent our day.

 

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.