It is said that cameras should always be carried everywhere. Now my proposal is that this should extend to the car wash at Tesco. I give you two such photos .
I do not know nor have met Barry Waitrose. In fact none of you have. But Barry a suburb of Cardiff if I recall has a Waitrose so I am told. This story from the excellent Independent made me laugh. For the full details just click away here http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/waitrose-faces-middle-class-revolt-over-free-coffee-loyalty-card-9030195.html
But essentially Waitrose now invite folks to sign up for a free loyalty card enabling them to have a free cup of tea/coffee regardless of any purchase in the store. Great idea. I think the marketing term is loss leader. I think the card also allows some discounts on certain products, but in any case it is free, took 2 minutes to sign up for and may be helpful. Seemingly some Waitrose customers think otherwise and consider that the wrong types of customers are coming into their shops with ” tesco bags”. One such comment comes from Barry Waitrose.
Who are these clueless people? Do they really think that shopping in a specific shop makes them better people? Delusions of grandeur or simply delusions……. Is there something wrong with the air in Cardiff? Firstly Vincent Tan and now Barry Waitrose.
However who is Barry Waitrose and has anyone ever met him?
Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish conservative prime minister, is duly announcing to those who will listen that despite unemployment rates of 27%, that rise to 57% amongst the youth, that the worst is over. What this translates to is that unemployment will fall to 25% by 2016. Not overly encouraging. Although not an expert on the economic aspects of Andalucia I have to report based on a week in Benalmadena that there was no evidence of massive unemployment. That observation has to be caveated by the fact that I was hardly looking for unemployed Spanish youth whilst lounging on the beach. There was a single eastern european beggar outside Mercadona ( the Spanish Tesco equivalent). What was obvious though was that there were far fewer British expats and tourists there than before, a linear annual decline. Fewer English type restaurants and bars, and where these had closed down they were replaced by Spanish bars. As a consequence presumably of all this, less tourists and more indigenous Spainish, prices have fallen considerably. A beer would cost 1-2 euros. In the best bar along the beach side Palm 5, a beer cost less than 2 euros. Glass of wine, and thats of a proper size, was 1-2 euros.
The only clear evidence of economic recession was the absence of building of flats and apartments. But frankly the rate they were building 5 years ago was ridiculous. Benalmadena costa may be a nice place but not that nice. But it is not Monaco! Outside our apartment there is a crane towering over a half finished block of apartments. This in itself is not exciting but when put into context that I have taken the same photograph now for 5 years. That crane has not moved in 5 years. The half finished block remains unfinished and I imagine will look just like that next year.
For many years we buy bread, croissants and other stuff from an Italian bakery about 3 miles away. So it means a special trip and finding somewhere to park is sometimes complex, but it is worth it. This is the best bread in the area by a long way. There is usually cabaret in the shop for no price added. The actual baker, who I think runs the shop with relatives, might be wrong, is a little bit grumpy sometimes and very grumpy at others. Dont get me wrong, he is not rude, just a little bit on the Victor Meldrew scale. This is a compliment to him. Yesterday his grumpiness was in full swing. ” Can I have 60 grams of …..” ” no the smallest we do is 100 grams and have not done 60 grams minimum for years”. He gives short shrift to anyone who does not have their precise order on the tip of their tongue. Yesterday a full blown moaning session because 3 consecutive customers wanted half a Bavarian loaf ( delicious actually), or small loaf. He had none.
But we will miss these characters when they go. Tesco is not a good second option. we should be embracing our small shops and thats why my effort to buy bread from Grumpy Baker is well worth it!
It is all rather silly really but we do try and grow a few things in the garden and are spectacularly pleased when this proves successful. We have a Strawberry plant which gives fruit each year and we do battle with the squirrels to get the fruit before they do, a Redcurrant tree/bush which for some bizarre reason has provided one string of reducrrants this year and some potato sacks. Today we picked our potatoes and there was a nice crop. Furthermore they tasted delicious. So although there is no chance of us going into competition with Tesco, it is a little bit of fun and we can eat the rewards! The real problem we have comes from the squirrels but also I suspect the urban foxes of which we have many culprits.