Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Out and About at Christmas

the sunshine during the cold (icy) spell has been wonderful!

 I particularly like the one above - the ferns look like they're on fire!

Monday, 27 December 2010

The Mr Tesco saga

My e-mail to Tesco's Chief Execs office dated 16th December 2010

Dear Mr Leahy,

I live with my husband on narrowboat Rock n Roll; we continually cruise the inland waterways of the UK and depend on for our groceries wherever we might be moored.

Tesco has recently altered the way in which customers can enter the address to which the groceries are to be delivered; the previous way enabled customers such as us, being in a different place each time we need a delivery, to enter explicit details of where and who we are, therefore making delivery easier for your drivers and ensuring we have food to eat!  The new site doesn’t give this opportunity and this is very worrying for us.

Although spread out all over the UK the boating community is tight-knit, keeping in touch with each other via blogs, word of mouth etc.  The fact that Sue on Narrowboat No Problem has removed her Tesco page from her blog will certainly influence other boaters with regards to using

Various emails and phone calls to Tesco Customer Services have elicited several responses:

‘Place your order and then ring us and we’ll change the address for you’   - an 0854 number -  very expensive as boaters generally use mobile phones as they do not have landlines and by the time the situation has been explained over and over again the boater has given up.

‘You need to enter the post code of a house in the vicinity of the delivery point’ – and what if the driver knocks on that door, finds out it’s incorrect and returns the goods to Tesco?   Most drivers completely ignore the box containing more explicit delivery instructions.

The original format for address other than those listed automatically worked very well and should be reinstated.  I can see Tesco loosing the custom of many boaters if it’s reported via blogs etc., that because of the new system orders have gone astray and customers have been left without groceries, especially during the current icy weather when boaters may not be able to make alternative arrangements.

I hope that you will have some influence with the powers that be to reinstate this facility.

Yours sincerely,

Reply dated 22nd December 2010
Dear Mrs P

Thank you for your email addressed to Sir Terry Leahy, our Chief Executive to which I have been asked to respond.  Please accept my apologies for the delay in replying.

I am sorry that you experienced problems entering an address on our new Grocery Home Shopping site. I can appreciate your frustration and I would like to offer my sincere apologies for any upset and inconvenience that we have caused you. 

It is our aim to make on-line shopping a simple and rewarding experience for our customers. We are constantly improving our systems and processes to ensure that our customers receive an excellent service at all times. Therefore I am sorry that you are disappointed with the new website.

If an address does not show on our website then we recommend that, prior to starting your order, register under a different address but with the same post code and then call our Grocery Home Shopping helpline on 08457 22 55 33 to have the address amended manually.

From your email I appreciate that you may only use a mobile phone therefore I have added a note to your account advising that our Customer Service staff are to assist in amending address details and to provide a call back at your request.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your suggestion to allow customers to enter addresses manually online. I can see how this would benefit our customers and I have passed on your suggestion to a member of our Grocery Home Shopping business support team for their consideration.

Thank you once again, for taking the time and trouble to bring this matter to the attention of our Chief Executive’s Office

Kind Regards

Stuart McGregor
Customer Service Executive

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Starting their Christmas Journey

We've just seen Ann, Chas and Molly off to stay with their family for the Christmas and New Year festivities
all ready to go - that's Geoff from Sayella helping with the cases
and Molly in her warm new coat - hand cut and stitched 
 trudging through the snow
 happy to be setting off
 where's the taxi?
off we go!

Drama at Gailey

15:38 on Monday 20th December we heard a loud 'thump', I thought it was a gunshot, George thought a bird had flown into one of the windows; we looked out of the window and saw this ....
... thick black smoke .....
George dialed 999 and we were informed that all the services were on their way
..... we saw and heard more explosions .....
.... and more fierce flames ....
we hoped that the driver ..
... was well clear of this
taken from the stern of RnR
the fire fighters are bringing it under control
but the heart of it is still fierce
taken at 16:47 - the firemen were still in attendance in the dark - it was still smoking
the end result.  No-one was hurt in the incident - thank goodness.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

big kids

Check out the slideshow opposite
taken today at 10 past 3
Ann, Geoff with Meg and RnR's George with Molly
a few stills here

great fun!!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

A New Arrival at Gailey

NB Seyella has been iced in at Penkridge for weeks and with fuel running at nearly empty Geoff and Mags made a mad dash this morning ...
... through the ice and up the 5 locks assisted by Charles and Ann from Moore2Life 
 big smiles all round as the pass Rock n Roll  ....
... and enter the 6th lock of the day to fill up on services after which they'll reverse back down and moor for the remainder of the coming winter weather none to nose with Moore2Life.
Well done both - we're glad you made it!!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Nice twist on Reeves shells

Seen at JD Boat Services Gailey - a new addition to their hire/shared fleet
Reeves Boatbuilders Napton - Reeves boats have always been rather distinct with the continuous handrail and stern 'step', but now they have designed this very distinctive R on the rudder - I think it looks good!
PS: Rock 'n' Roll is a Reeves shell and we're very pleased with her!

A good few days

You may have notices that I've not posted an update for a few days - I like to add pictures to my blogs as I'm not brilliant with words, but having my camera in Jessops for repair and having left my phone at my son's house last Wednesday there were no pictures to be had!
However I'm going to 'borrow' some!
As Chas has said in his last blog my hubby George hired a car on Friday for several reasons really - we wanted to get to Market Drayton as we were worried about Sue and Vic being without water, I needed to collect my phone and and post from our son's house and also to help our daughter-in-law Ange to put up our grandson's new bed in his newly decorated room.

So on Friday off we went to the Shroppie to find Sue and Vic and as you can see a good time was had by all!
(L to R Ann and Chas Moore2Life, Me and George, and Sue with Vic out of sight with the camera!
click here for more! Above both 'borrowed' from Sue's blog.
borrowed from George's phone - swans are so ungainly out of the water!
Saturday saw us off to Codsall to erect Ed's new bed
that's the framework done .. (borrowed from George's phone)
... and the finished article - a good job - Ed was delighted to say the least!
borrowed from Ange's phone!
The post we were expecting had not arrived, but we had a call from Ange on Sunday morning to say that Royal Mail had just delivered it - so another problem solved as George drove over to collect it before returning the hire car to Enterprise in Cannock.
Just as an aside - it's my birthday today and I'm full of cough and cold - so I'll expect a lot of aaaaaaaaaah's!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

I love winter pictures!

 ... so I'm not going to apologise for publishing some more!
All these pictures were taken on my phone (and hubbies phone) because my Nikon camera (less than 12 months old) has had to be sent for repair as the power switch keeps switching itself off - very annoying when you've got a great picture lined up and that happens.
6th December 2pm - NB Moore2Life in the winter sunshine
7th December 08:45 ..sooooo cold!
everything is frozen, even the galley window which I couldn't open to take this picture
 but it all looks so beautiful
especially when the sun appeared again
interesting patterns on the ice.
Ann and I went into Stafford today, we were going to meet up with Sue but unfortunately she was unable to make it as she was worried that after such a severe frost last night she couldn't leave Vic and the K9's in case of accidents - we missed you Sue, but hope to see you soon.
And for those who are really fed up with these pictures - something a little different.... found these on my phone from a while ago.
I just love this arcade in Chester - even without the decorations - it's so elegant -posh even.
and Molly our 3-year old Patterdale sitting in her new favourite place on the back of the sofa - since the weather has turned and the front door is not left open she can't sit in her most favourite spot which is on the table in the cratch looking through the window.  Isn't she lovely?

Monday, 6 December 2010

Gooderham Ceramics at Gailey Pottery - Open Every Day until Christmas!

[EDIT 09/12/10] Apologies if the pictures from the website do not open here - just click on the link and you'll see them both - and more!
The majority of wording in this posting has been taken directly from Gailey Pottery's information brochure and is copied here with the knowledge of Paul Gooderham.
Gailey Pottery ..'is situated in the unique setting of the previously redundant ...
... Christ Church of Gailey'
'Gailey Pottery was established in 1980 by potter Paul Gooderham B.A. who, after training at Wolverhampton Art College, opened his first studio in Birmingham in 1976, before transferring to Gailey in South Staffordshire.'
Stained glass windows remain, and ..

... 'The building still possesses most of its original features and has been painstakingly refurbished to create a truly unique backdrop for studio pottery to be produced.' [photo copied from the website]
the studio with the kiln under the beautiful stained glass window
'His work is based on traditional techniques developed over many years that are striking in their essence of the countryside, ... '[photo copied from the website]
This is the lovely plate that I purchased.
'Tastefully coloured landscapes, etched and inlaid onto the surface clay, are like 3 dimensional textured images on a flat plane.'

the old church from the cemetary
A lovely picture looking over the peaceful cemetery in the snow, across the busy A5 to the Spread Eagle public house.
'I have tried to ensure that the quality of my work has never been compromised, but at the same time it has never been perceived as being too precious to sell in most environments.  Thus survival has been achieved and continued success made possible.  This attitude, I hope, prevails in all my work.  A strength in the belief in structured simplicity and an unyielding effort to create pottery that is understood and accepted by the majority but is not only available to the few'. [Paul Gooderham]
Websites: www.