What I did this morning …..

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I had a busy time this morning.
Jess dropped me off at the car hire place in Portsmouth at 11am.   They wanted a utility bill as proof of address but of course I didn’t have one, as I said I was just visiting my daughter.  They offered to drive me back to her house to get one, but I lied and said there was no one in.   They said could I go to Jess’s work and see if she had something with her address on in her bag.   I said no.      The manager and his assistant arrived.  They said did I live at the address on my driving licence, I said no.  They said where did I actually live? For some bizarre reason  I told them i had come from London today, but did not live there, as I thought Greece would sound too confusing.
What was my postal address, they asked me.   I gave them the boatyard address, which is our official UK address, and the manager took the bit of paper with my address on away for five minutes, sat at his desk, looked at the piece of paper, then came back and said I could have the car.    Did I know there was a £200 deposit?   Yes I said.  So he filled In all the forms, photocopied my driving licence, then took me out to the car.   It was a BRAND NEW Ford Fiesta, only 600 miles on the clock.   Shiny black.   Lovely. He said did I want him to go over the controls? No, I said.  He said did I want him to drive it out of the space for me.  No, I said.   He said I might need to reverse and go forward again to get round the sharp corner in their car park.   Condescending, I said. You wouldn’t say that to a man, would you?   So I eventually left in the car, revved it up hard, and did a handbrake turn as I pulled out into the traffic….
My first stop was in Gosport, I went to the boatyard, our previous home, and had a nice chat with Gill in the office who forwards our post to us, via Alice.  I gave her £10 to put in the petty cash for stamps or envelopes.
Then I parked the car in the little car park behind Arthur’s Chandlery and got two marine grade stainless bolts as requested.    I then went to the Nationwide Building Soc as I think we can transfer our ISAs to a better rate, and asked to speak to someone about it.   No, she said, there’s no one free, first appointment is tomorrow.   That’s no good I said, can I go to another branch?   Which one?  She said.   I haven’t decided I said, maybe Fareham?  Portsmouth?   Then I remembered there was one in North End near Jess’s house.   I’ll pop in there on the way back I said.   No, she said, there’s no appointments there until Friday.  Trying to keep my cool, I said I would have the Friday appointment then, spoken through gritted teeth ….
It was FREEZING COLD in Gosport!   Very very chilly indeed. Not pleasant.
Then I drove to KayoSpruce, a trade warehouse full of all things nautically related, like canvas for awnings, fastenings of numerous types, and many many other items that probably only a man would recognise. I only got lost once on the way there. Last time I went, almost 18 months ago, a really bright little coloured guy with  braided hair helped us.   He remembered me again and was very very helpful.   He found me the plastic fastenings that Tim wanted, but the webbing needed for the straps on our canvas sunshade only comes in 50m rolls whereas I only needed six metres, but it only cost about £11 for the whole roll so I bought one. Husband is likely to be displeased at this extravagance.   I also discovered they sell zips so we can repair the cockpit cushions and maybe the cockpit cover. Did you know there is such a thing as Continuous Strip Zip, where you cut it to length yourself, you buy the zip fastener bit and attach it separately.   And they also had the double ended zips too, which come with two of the fastener bits.    So I think I got  everything.
Then it was 2pm and I was starving and needed a wee, so stopped at Sainsbury’s at Farlington on the way back.    Nothing interesting to report here, except there was one of those guys in the shop trying to get you to change your gas and electric suppliers. I always like a chance for a wind-up. “Madam, who provides you with your electricity and gas?” “Hmmm, I’m not sure” I replied. “No-one, I think”.
“Well, who do you pay your bills to?” he continued.
“I don’t think we pay any gas or electric bills. Are we supposed to?”, I asked. He was getting a bit agitated now. “Do you live in a tent in a field?” He asked. “No, I live on a boat on the sea” I replied, and walked away, leaving him without a sale.

Finally, I dropped in to B&Q and asked the nice guy at the door where the spare blades for electric tools were.   He looked unfamiliar with them and didnt think they sold them, but I said I’m sure you do.    He said I looked very suntanned, had I been on holiday?    I said I lived on a boat in Greece, and had come all the way back especially to buy the spare blades, so he was suitably impressed, and I felt really good.

Phew, finally got back to Jess’s about 330pm.  Baby Ted wasn’t feeling very well due to having three jabs in his leg this morning.   A bit feverish and restless.   Jess gave him Calpol.  I think he’ll be ok.
Just watching a programme about sharks and giant octopus.   I’m going upstairs now to sort my bag out, will all my extra purchases fit in!
More news soon.

Officially a grey haired biddy ….

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Had my hair cut today by a very nice greek lady called Virginia. I first asked the bookshop lady if she knew where there was a ladies’ hairdresser. She told me to go down the first road on the left, then the third street on the right. Easy enough, or so I thought. The first road on the left was a no through road, did she mean this one? The second on the left was a pedestrians only narrow street, but I went that way, then got completely lost with my lefts and rights. Purely by chance, I ended up outside the door of Virginia’s hair salon, and a very nice job she did too.

Trying a new blogsite

Hello peeps

I’m trying to design a new blogsite for my ramblings. I’m obviously too old to learn new stuff, as this is frustrating me to the point of frustration and I’ve been so close to giving up many times this afternoon! So this is just a practice run, to see if i can add photos etc to this blog.

……and I thought I’d tell you about my exploits this morning in my search to buy a chisel for the husband….. No, i hadn’t been overcome by a sudden pang of generosity in the present-buying department, and it wasn’t a spur of the moment impulse buy, he made a genuine request at breakfast this morning that I should buy him a 10mm chisel…..

My heart started pounding – OHMIGOD not another visit to a random Greek tool shop, I’ve only just recovered from the mission to buy some screws last week ….

So I entered the little hardware shop near the post office. There was no shopkeeper in view, so I had a surreptitious look at the items hanging up behind the counter in the hope I could see the exact item I wanted, and get away with pointing, instead of actually trying to converse with someone. The shopkeeper emerged. He had been cutting keys for another customer, but they had been hidden from my view. We exchanged “Kalimera” which means good morning and tested the extent of my Greek language skills. I asked him in English if he spoke English and he shrugged his shoulders and said he spoke it a little bit. I took a deep breath – “my husband would like a 10mm chisel, please”, hoping this sounded genuine enough to absolve me from all responsibility of requiring such an item for myself, heaven forbid.
He looked at me the way Manuel would look at Basil in Fawlty Towers when he had been asked to fetch a basket of grapefruit, and I thought he was going to say “Que?” in a Manuel sort of way, but he just shrugged. “Chi-sel?” I repeated. “For wood?” Another shrug followed. The key cutting customer also shrugged. I tried my first mime using the counter top as a prop, and hope I did a good impression of a carpenter chiselling wood. But apparently not, as I had to repeat the mime with even more acting skills. This still produced no result, and the shopkeeper temporarily left the shop.
Maybe he was fed up with this crazy English woman and was taking an early lunch. But no, he stood outside and called to a friend of his walking down the road. Presumably he said, “if you want a laugh, come and see this crazee woman doing a mime in my shop …..” But it turned out that his friend spoke a tiny bit more English than he did, and thought he could help. So I repeated my verbal request. No result. Now two of them were staring at me vacantly. I resorted to the mime again.
This resulted in the shopkeeper producing a range of implements, including a rasp, a paint scraper and a knife sharpener. I inwardly groaned. A new customer entered the shop, a well-dressed Greek woman. She obviously spoke a bit more English, but wasn’t letting on. She barked an instruction in Greek to the shopkeeper, and he scurried off into the darkness at the back of the shop. Several minutes passed, and I thought he had definitely gone for lunch this time, but no, he returned carrying a chisel! Hooray! But now I had to ask for a 10mm chisel. I knew the word for “ten” and held up ten fingers. He returned with ten chisels! Oops! The woman put him right, and two minutes later I was the proud owner of a 10mm chisel!
Where would Greek tool shops be without women!

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