Let’s not waste time


I suppose it’s one of the things about getting old that makes you appreciate that time is precious and you just do not want to treat it wastefully. Well today was one of those slightly frustrating days when I was using it unproductively, sigh…

I may have said previously that one of the little pleasures being here in Brackley is that we literally live within 75 yards of a super Waitrose store where we do most of our shopping. But one of the things I can’t get there is a supply of blades for my wet razor which happens to be a Tesco’s own triple blade variety. I bought it because the replacement blades were so much cheaper than the Gillette version and, as I shave my whole face and head every single day, I go through quite a lot of them. No problem since we also happen to have a Tesco superstore in the town abpout half a mile away down by the Mercedes F1 factory. So for the last few months I’ve been traipsing down there every 2-3 weeks to get some replacement blades. I like to buy them in packs of 10. But each of the last two occasions I’ve been there they’ve been out of stock and I’ve had to buy a pack of 5 with a new razor included, like the one above, even though I don’t need the extra razor. Today I toddled down there again as Carol had taken the car to work in Kidlington. It was a pleasant walk and a sunny day so my mood was upbeat. But yet again I got there to find the 10 pack were out of stock and I ended up buying the 5 pack with yet another a spare razor. Grrr.  I can’t wait for my 4 grandsons to start wet shaving.

The reason I’ve figured out, is that Tesco’s have introduced a new multi-blade razor with adequate blade replacement packs, which just happens to be like the Gillette super duper Mach 3 system or something. So they are looking to attract the Gillette razor users too I suspect (if only for the blades, which just happen to fit the Gillette razor). But what about your own users Tesco? Forgotten us haven’t you. I’d think more highly of them if they offered existing users a free upgrade razor and I’d be happy to pay for the new blades, well given that they are more than twice as expensive, would settle for paying for them. And to compound matters they’d run out of other toiletries that I tend to get from them. Useless Tesco’s.

Never mind I’d bought a paper and some fruit and went to pay for the stuff at the automatic checkout. It took 2 mins and I swept my Tesco loyalty card only to be informed by that annoying disembodied voice that ‘all your Tesco points add up’. I’ve heard it before of course (although we aren’t that regular Tesco customers) but stopped to think about what the message was meant to convey. I’m a smart enough worldly-wise kind of bloke and kind of get that loyalty points are added after every purchase. I mean if they subtracted them I’d probably chose to shop elsewhere. It’s an additive process, right. Wow, whoda thunk it? Basically they are just telling their customers what is self-evident aren’t they? What exactly is the marketing point? Wouldn’t it be more helpful if instead of a meaningless, almost condescending message they showed you how many points you’d actually collected and its value? Try and do some decent marketing Tesco’s.

I suppose I should just order stuff online but I actually like the shopping experience of browsing and talking to store staff. I’m a bit of a social animal and online shopping leaves me a bit cold, but I’m so frustrated I’m going to have to start doing it more with brands that claim to offer a little bit extra help, but patently fail to do so.

At least the walk did me some good. Now behind our little cottages is a bit of land probably about 10ft wide with a high wall separating us from the Waitrose complex which would actually make a nice private space for outdoor storage and sitting out (especially as it’s SE-facing). The problem is it’s just laid to rubble at the moment. We’re just in discussions with the agents and the developer about them finishing it off and with luck it might get sorted before the summer’s over. It’s sort of a public non-lockable sort of space so I’ve been looking out for some bargain outdoor furniture – perhaps a bench or couple of seats and maybe a small table which I could put out there as we do miss not having any outdoor space in which to sit out and chill. I’ve been checking out the local online boot sale sites but nothing’s caught my eye. And there’s nothing suitable in the very good and extensive Antiques Centre we have just behind us too. But there is an up-cycling furniture store called Funky Junk on our business estate about a mile away which we sometimes look in for stuff. Now over the last few weeks I’ve tried 3 times to check the place out. The first time I got 2/3 the way there and checking opening times on my mobile whilst en route discovered they closed at 4pm. It was two minutes to 4 so turned on my heels and headed home. Last week I went again – another very hot day – and got there well before 3pm only to discover that the owners were away on holiday. Now a two-mile walk is fine even though it was warm work but it is so frustrating to go somewhere you expect is open only to find it closed.

So today I checked their FB page and discovered they were back from holiday and open and it was well before 4pm. Happy days. So I headed off, another very hot day, and one decent walk later found it open for business. Wey hey. They had lots of recycled furniture, some lovely cushions, piles of retro dining tables and chairs but not one jot of outdoor stuff. Sigh. It’s taken me three 2-mile journies to find that out.

I think I’m my own worst enemy. Maybe I call ahead next time eh.





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