I just Asda know..is my shopping coming?

Being creatures of habit and routine it doesn’t take me much to upset our funk.  A little bit of snow on Friday evening put our whole weekend out of whack.  You may know that food is a central pillar of our lives, and so the delivery of the BIG SHOP on a Saturday morning is a critical part of our weekend.

Asda called us on Saturday morning saying that they had to cancel our delivery as there was “snow on the pavements”.  Naturally then, if it were unsafe for their delicate drivers to make it out to our house then all the Asda stores in the country must be closed too, for fear of endangering the general public, who would be braving these treacherous footpaths to get themselves a loaf and a pint of milk?

No, it seems they were happy for the risk to be that of their customers.  This upset was made worse as last week Louise did the big shop, and it was a contentious one.  The girls and I thought it was bobbins, as we’d run out of drinks by Tuesday, and with no “real” food in the house by Thursday, the fact that we had no shop arriving on Saturday saw Emily resorting to “popping next door” to see Nana, and get some food whilst there!

I on the other hand got creative and my lunch on Saturday was made up of the shrapnel thrown to the back of the biscuit cupboard from the posh Christmas hamper I got from work.  Those upscale, top of the range Cheddar infused crackers didn’t do much to dent the appetite.

Having collected Louise’s poorly car from the (now) wealthy garage owner at lunchtime, Louise was dispatched to forage for supplies in an actual shop.  How quaint.

She returned some hours later with the ingredients to make a couple of recipes she’d spotted in a magazine earlier in the week.  So we were safe at least until breakfast on Sunday.

I had called Asda back and asked them to re-arrange our order to be delivered on Sunday, but met with such stunningly apathetic and average customer service that our custom may well be finding its way elsewhere from here on in.

It took a while to get through to them as they employed the very customer friendly technique of a recorded message saying “We re busy, you will have to phone back later” before cutting me off.  A master class in customer care if ever there was one.

I persevered, as after all, there was food at stake here.  Upon reaching a human, I went through security checks similar to those undertaken at the safety deposit boxes in a Swiss bank, before being allowed to explain how I had been let down, and my wife had resorted to leaving the house, and was now baking some Jamie Oliver inspired dish that we’d both agree was pants at some point during Ant & Dec’s Takeaway later.

With zero empathy I was told that they were having “system issues” and were unable to rebook things at their end, but I could do it via the webs site.  So, let me get this straight.  The internal systems at Asda were broken, yet the web site was functioning fine, and would allow me to rebook?

I won’t bore you with what I do for a living, but it is something that allows me to smell a very large rat here.  I suspect this translated to, we can take more calls if we refuse to help rebook orders, so we’ll spin some yarn about systems issues and let the mugs do it themselves.

“So” says I, “I just go online and re-schedule my order?”

“Erm, did you save your order as a list?”

“No, spookily I saved it as an order…as that was what I wanted it to be.  You know, I order, you deliver, I give you money in return?”

“Ah, well then you’ll need to do the shop all over again.  Goodbye.”

Stunned, I quickly browsed all and any supermarkets who deliver to see who had a slot for Sunday.  No-one did, except Asda so I’m afraid I ordered there, probably for the last time.  Our need for a shop was greater than my immediate need to protest.

So here we are again, scratching our heads at why an inch or two of snow, (believe me that is all we had here) can disrupt our lives so much.  I feel immediately compelled to buy a Volvo, a turtle neck sweater and marry Ulrika Johnson.  Sweden does snow without it being a national emergency.

I do appreciate that some parts of the UK have been very badly affected this weekend.  Let’s face it the news has covered little else.  It does puzzle me how these “roving reporters” seem to be able to navigate to any part of the country no matter how bad the weather and roads though.

It is vital to get an understanding of the fact that we have snow to have some berk stood on a country road mid blizzard with a big furry microphone.  Otherwise we simply won’t believe the story!!

Sigh.  All of this tells me that I need some sunshine, desperately.  Yes of course I’d love to be telling you about an upcoming holiday, but right now I’d settle for some double-digit degrees here.  With the weather like this it takes me so long to get ready to walk the dog that by the time I’m ready he’s gone to bed.

That’s snow dog

Oh for a few days where we don’t need the heating on, and the walk from the car park to the office is not like some scene from the Grinch.

It is becoming hard to believe that in this country we actually have days where I might be able to go outside without a coat on, never mind in daft things like shorts.

There is a condition I believe that is brought on by these dark, cold winter days.  It is called  being majorly pissed off and cold!

Till the next time…..

Two loo seats and other festive treats

Fear not, there shall be no political ranting this week.  I finished work last Tuesday, and so I am almost at the stage where I am starting to relax a bit.  It does usually take me those few days to shed the grinding routine from my system, and this was evidenced by me not getting out of bed this morning until 10.40!!  That is testimony not just to my relaxed state but also to the very impressive performance of my prostate.  That’s what I call bladder control!  Take that middle age!

I have spent my days being busy but in a good way…..mainly.  I’ve done a couple of decent walks with Oli, and done some of those long overdue niggling jobs around the house.  I am not one to spare you from detail, so these have involved changing both toilet seats in the house and replacing about twenty-six bulbs that were out.  I had not planned to replace both toilet seats, however having selected a new one for the main loo all by myself, as soon as it was fitted it became quite clear that it was not correct.  Well, so Louise told me anyway.  What is wrong with a bright white toilet seat on a cream toilet I do not know.  Anyway, to save any tears (mine) I allowed Louise to go and choose another one, and I retired the bright white one to the en suite, where it still looks a bit odd, but no-one sees that other than mine and Louise’s under parts.

I have also shampooed our carpets.  Really, how do you live with the level of excitement in these blog posts?  Loo seats and carpet cleaning in one week must have you on the edge of sleep.

Christmas wise, I wisely secured a delivery slot with Asda some weeks ago, and this duly turned up on Saturday.  The delivery driver had the haunted look of someone who had about a dozen similar mammoth deliveries to get through that day.  Having spent an enormous amount I was somewhat aghast and let down to realise when he’d left that we had no actual food.

We have lots of booze, plenty of stuff for Christmas day but very little actual day-to-day stuff.  So this morning I had to walk up to the local Co-op and do a mini shop just so we can eat before the big day.  It sort of took the shine off my smugness at being so organised for once.

We are hosting this year, however, the burden is somewhat reduced as everyone involved is pitching in to cook various elements of the food required.  So the more people we invite the less we have to do.  If we get a few more round I only have to open the peanuts and buy a cheese board and we’re away!

One distinct advantage of living next door to my Mum & Dad is that we can devise a way to seat all twelve of us.  We are going to dismantle their dining room table and  bring it into our house.  With a few emergency chairs and sitting close together we should be OK.

I’m sure you like us are plagued with the fear of having forgotten something key, and therefore disappointing someone who fancies a glace cherry.  Oh bugger, we don’t have any glace cherries.

Thinking about it, should any of our guests require such a thing, I can live with it, as most of them jet off to Florida two days later.  That’s right, my brother, his three kids (plus a couple of their partners)  and my Mum & Dad are spending ten days there, and I don’t mind a bit.  Giving dining recommendations through gritted teeth is perfectly normal isn’t it?

Should you all wish to club together and fund us to join them, call my boss and Louise’s University placement and secure the required time off, kennel the dog and cats and pack, then that would be a real nice xmas treat and no mistake!

Instead, I shall spend the remainder of my xmas hols in the elasticated pants, staying in very close proximity to the TV and Xbox, and determined to clear the cupboards in readiness for the inevitable new year diet.  I am not in any way ready though for the already recorded onslaught of “New Year, New You” nonsense.  You just know there will be the normal parade of leotard clad minor celebs trying to fool you into thinking their DVD will get you thin, when in reality they have an eating disorder and a history of surgical procedures to thank.

Still, soon be Easter!!

Merry Christmas.

Oli in hat
I love this hat!

Till the next time…..