Day 134 - Freebies and Foraging
Tuesday, August 04, 2020
The second half of my route to the Retail Park involves walking by the river. There's a good ten minute stretch chock full of blackberry bushes. Last time I went over there [a little over two weeks ago], I noticed they were fruiting. I decided that I would walk over early this evening to see if any of them were ready. Given that meant I'd be over halfway to the supermarket, it would have been rude not to continue on and have a forage among the 'yellow sticker' goodies. Most of the blackberries weren't quite ready but I did get a few. Enough to add to the fruit salad I plan on making tomorrow. I'll go again - maybe at the weekend. Meanwhile my yellow sticker foraging was much more successful. £27.25 worth of groceries for £6.96. I could have got more but I was conscious of the fact I don't want to be playing freezer tetra again. Besides, other customers might appreciate a bargain or two as well. The reductions on the fish were around 50% so I got myself a trout fillet and some 'redfish'. Which tbh I'm not aware of ever having tried hence I'm looking forward to that.
I was going to treat myself to some taramasalata but the staff were busy emptying the whole of that particular chilled section. No idea what that was about. Never mind. Taramasalata adds 20 zillion calories to your daily intake even if you just look at it so probably just as well eh? I also noticed they were completely emptying one whole aisle of freezer produce. Don't know what as I didn't l go down. Maybe they're having a 'shift around'. I hate it when supermarkets do that. You know exactly where to find what you want, and then for no apparent reason, they shift everything around. I say for no *apparent* reason because there is a very good reason from the supermarket's point of view. They don't want you zipping around getting the items on your list. They want you to have to search because then you'll notice other things and, unless you're very disciplined, you'll land up buying extras. Trust me - at one time, I worked for a major supermarket as a front of store night manager. Before I went into the front of store though, I spent quite some time working/training in the rear store operations. Oh and please, don't ever look down on shelf stackers - it's a back breaking, feet aching kind of job. Even worse if you're working on chilled or frozen sections.
Anyway, I trundled along with my laden trolley and backpack. Almost back at Base Camp I happened across Mo who was knocking on another neighbours door. I was going to pass her with a quick hello and a wave of my hand when said neighbour opened her door and Mo stopped me so she could introduce us. So, now I know another neighbour's name - Tess. Tess handed Mo a huge bag which so Mo told me was some rhubarb. Well then Ethina happened to be coming out of her door and I noticed she'd changed her hair colour so said how nice it was. She was very excited because she has a new gazebo and asked us both to go and look. Mo declined because she wanted to get her rhubarb home, which left me feeling obliged to go and admire said gazebo. Actually it was very nice. But I must remember never to invite Ethina into my house. "Excuse the mess" she said as we went through to the garden. Mess? The place was pristine. Then Ethina's daughter arrived and of course Ethina introduced us so we had to make small talk for a few minutes. Finally I made it back to my own front door only to find Mo hovering, brandishing some rhubarb sticks. "There's tons of it" she informed me. She reminds me of Sally in many ways.
Once I got back in and had sorted my shopping out, I was able to sit down at my computer. I mentioned previously that I'd applied for my 'bus pass'. In England the various councils have mostly increased the age at which you can get a bus pass, in line with the increased retirement age. In Wales you can still get your bus pass at sixty but they are looking to increase the age so I'd figured I'd best get on with it. Checked how my application was proceeding and it has been approved. Hurrah! Presumably I'll receive it over the next week. It's been granted for ten years and I doubt very much they are going to increase the age limit beyond 70 so that's me sorted. The Senior Rail Card which arrived recently isn't a freebie. It costs £30 a year or £70 for three years which is what I opted for. It gives me a third off train travel [outside peak hours] so I reckon I'll recoup the £70 within 3 to 4 trips 'home'. Not to mention any other train journeys I might take. The bus pass though is totally FREE. Just because I'm sixty. Of course I'm actually 59 and holding but THEY don't know that.