Just a short post today since I spent the last couple of days working on the Austin Healey Club trip to Europe in June. Going to be a great trip.
So after toiling away on Monday and Tuesday, I had a “play day” today and booked my first round of golf. Witney Lakes course is fairly flat and wide open, should have been perfect for a guy who has not swung a club in a couple of months. Did I mention that in the UK you WALK the course (no carts, they think we are sissies) and you CARRY you own clubs. The good news is the prices are cheap, about $35 for 18, so I didn’t feel so bad about bailing out after 9! Felt like I had played 36.
The biggest challenge was finding my ball (I was playing alone with nobody in front or back, try that in SoCal!) It’s dandelion season, and there were thousands of little white puffs that look just like golf balls. Lost six in nine.
So after golf, since I was in Witney (population about 30,000) my Mecca for shopping, and after stopping for a burger and brew, it was time for groceries. I have learned that green on bread is not a good thing, nor is “film” on milk. Shopping for one is tough. Every little town of substance has a “superstore”, meaning a real grocery store as we know them, and only one. There are about six majors in the UK. In Witney it’s Waitrose. Maybe I am out of touch, but these guys have it down. Yes you can shop online and have it delivered. And you can shop online and pick it up. But you can also shop in the store, pay, and they will deliver. Why bother to truck the stuff out to the car? Of course they have regular and self scan check out. But they also have these little cell phone things that you carry with you while you shop. You scan it and bag it (more later), and when you are done, you just walk out of the store.
Bags…..none. 10p gets you a tiny little 8×8 bag, while 20p gets you a real plastic bag. Everyone brings there own, except me who cannot remember. I now have the largest collection of once-used plastic bags in England.
One more stop. Something resembling a real auto parts store on High Street. The collection of car maintenance stuff I brought has proven woefully inadequate. It’s tough on cars here, and self washes are rare (even full service washes are, not an option for the Jag). So I went to town at the parts store. Micro fiber towels, a wash bucket and mitt, spray wax, bug sponge, bug scrubber (oh, yes there are bugs here and it’s only May…I cannot imagine what July will be like). Tomorrow is going to be a great day for the Jag. However, if you want to see what $75 gets you in the UK, see below!
It would not be real blog without a food news!
Clearly there are two lines of eating/cooking here. The superstores have all the usual selection of fresh ingredients, fruits, veggies, butcher shop, fish shop, bakery, et al. But the selection of pre-made meals is astounding. Salads, mains, desserts. All ready to eat. So tonight it’s a Nicoise Salad (greens, tuna, boiled egg, asparagus, boiled potatoes, Roma tomatoes). Healthy and excellent with a glass (or three) of Waitrose house brand Pinot Noir ($6 a bottle, cheaper then gas!)
Just went out for a smoke. It’s raining again. Maybe the Jag will have to wait for Friday for that wash!
Tatta for now! (Am I making you sick yet with my Brit Speak?). After almost six weeks I can only understand about half what they say. I don’t think they understand each other! I am good at smiling and nodding.
Ok, I go on. I think next week some royal guy is getting married to a scrawny American actress or something. The good news is that every pub in the land is having a “live simulcast” party with cheap beer and food. Now that’s my kind of country!