Posts Tagged ‘Tesco’

What do plastic bags, packets of peas, Twinings foil bags and my brain have in common? …….they all live inside my head!!! Metaphorically that is and please note I said head, not brain. 🙂

So today I was standing in the kitchen making myself a cup of tea and mulling over the fact that I just love tea, even though from time to time I do defect to the otherside and enjoy a cup of coffee; tea is my first love.

So while waiting for the kettle to boil and the tea to draw (?), I read the story on the side of the Twinings teabag box. Twinings it seems have made their boxes with wood from responsibly managed forests and are recycleable, which in itself is not really that remarkable since many other cardboard boxes are also recycleable, but what is brilliant is that the foil bag inside the box that keep the bags fresh, is biodegradeable!  And that is remarkable.  The story on the side of the box goes like this: “Forests are remarkable; they help to sustain plants, animals and the climate.  To help protect these places, we choose to use wood from responsibly managed forests to make our cartons.  What might surprise you is that even the wrap around the teabags (which looks like foil) is in fact made from wood pulp from sustainable sources.  This means it is full biodegradable, so pop it into your compost, along with your teabags and in a few months you will have ferliliser to help grow your own veg.  If home composting is not possible please dispose of in the waste bin”. (where else?)

So that got me to thinking about plastic and peas and recycling. I read an article in the New Scientist just the other day (a fab magazine if you want some great reading matter) about how plastic is not as we previously thought, totally indestructible.  In fact it does deteriorate and breakdown and eventually enters the mainstream of life via the oceanic creatures that we catch and eat.  The article mentions significant pieces of art by Russian-born scultor Naum Gabo housed at the Tate Modern gallery in London that have started to crumble without warning.

I recall that last year I started my own campaign to avoid buying or using anything that came in or was made from plastic, so that I could do my bit for the plant.  It was however, a futile attempt.  On closer inspection I realised that I would have to walk around stark naked, never buy or eat anything and not be able to ride in or on any vehicle in order to avoid plastic. It is everywhere.
The BP oil spill comes to mind when I write about this because of course plastic is a derivative of oil.  This then got me thinking about peas and I wondered if 99% of children growing up these days realise that peas come from a pod and not from a plastic packet.  And should the saying “two peas in a pod” now become “two peas in a packet”?

I remember when I was a wee girl of about 7, my mother always shopped at the local greengrocers and we were able to choose ‘fresh, grown in the field behind the store’, produce.  We bought carrots that smelled like carrots, and peas that came in a pod and had to be shelled.  What fun that was and we usually ate more than eventually ended up in the pot!

So my endeavour to avoid plastic came to nil! We are surrounded by it.
I do hope that more and more companies will go the same route as Twinings and make their products biodegradable and meanwhile I will still avoid buying stuff in plastic wherever I can. Which leads me to why I hate Tesco’s.  Yes, they are convenient, but they are also invasive, much like the plastic and you can’t get away from them.  They could also send their staff on a customer relations/attitude course.   The reason I hate them is that they don’t give a toss.  Buy a pint of milk, a loaf of bread, and various other items and you can be sure that the bread will end up at the bottom of the bag with the heavy stuff dumped on top.  The staff never look at you – the view outside is of more interest, they leave trolleys and stuff all over the store and if you happen to walk by, it is no problem to barge into and past you on whatever errand they are about. The shame of it is that yes their prices are cheaper and in these days of escalating prices sometimes you have to cave in and buy stuff from them. Like plastic they are everywhere; invasive and do the same to our high streets that plastic does to the environment.
I remember the days (a sure sign of old age) when my younger sister and I used to walk to the store to buy a loaf of freshly baked bread that came in a brown paper bag, lasted 2 days (coz it tasted so good we ate it pronto) and cholesterol wasn’t even heard of.   Now, I can’t remember what a freshly baked loaf tastes, or even smells like anymore and am grateful just to be able to buy bread that will only expire after a week.  In those days we used to have our milk delivered to the door and it tasted like milk, today milk has no taste.   It is completely mechanised from the poor cows that live in bulk in sheds all their lives, hooked up to machines, force fed and forced to mass produce babies so that we can buy it in yet another plastic bottle.  Which got me to thinking about how weird it is getting old.
The age stuff relates to my memory…. I can remember with total clarity (or at least it seems that way) things that happened aeons ago, but bugger me if I can remember stuff I did yesterday.  My brain has become a bit like a lump of swiss cheese.  I have a theory for that though….a few weeks ago my Doctors told me that my cholesterol was above 5.0 and I had to get it back below.  Now anyone who knows me knows I love my food and how much I hate dieting!    But I think my brain (the bit that’s left), has gotten in on the act and decided to keep me active and induce me to get fit.  I’m upstairs and think of something I want to do or get from downstairs, so I dash down and no sooner do my feet hit the last step than the thought disappears in a pooff!   Gone!  I stand in the middle of the kitchen like a dork, with my hand to my forehead desperately trying to remember what it was I was there for.  And I know for sure that the second I give up and trudge back up the stairs, I will just reach the top and voila…… I have to get back down….quick, before the damn thought disappears again.  This happens at least 10 times a day…I kid you not!!

So here’s the thing….if you see ‘pinkie’ anywhere, please ask him to send ‘brain’ over to my house. I don’t care a bit about conquering the world but I do need his services….my brain has gone AWOL and is RestingInPeace somewhere in Switzerland disguised as a lump of cheese!

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Facts about Inverness (courtesy of wikipedia):

The name Inverness is Gaelic and translates as ‘mouth of the river Ness’.

Situated at 57.4717N and 4.2254W.

Inverness (Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Nis) is a city in northern Scotland and it is promoted as the capital of the Highlands of Scotland.

The city lies near the site of the eighteenth century Battle of Culloden and at the beginning of the Great Glen, where the River Ness enters the Inverness/Moray Firth making it a natural hub for various transport links.   It is the northernmost city in the United Kingdom.   A settlement was established by the sixth century AD with the first royal charter being granted by King David I in the twelfth century.

Inverness was one of the chief strongholds of the Picts, and in AD 565 was visited by St Columba with the intention of converting the Pictish king Brude, who is supposed to have resided in the vitrified fort on Craig Phadrig, on the western edge of the city. A 93 oz (2.6 kg) silver chain dating to 500-800 was found just to the south at Torvean.

click here and scroll down for a map of Inverness/Scotland

The 14.11.09 approached both rapidly and slowly and it was with excitement and anticipation that we woke on Saturday and set off on our journey up north.  This is the farthest north we, my offspring and I have ever been – 57.4717N and 4.2254W!!!   Brilliant.

CJ reached Victoria station before I did and very naughtily filmed me walking across the concourse!   We took the Gatwick Express since it was almost £2 cheaper than by regular train.   Go figure.

Check in at Easyjet was chop-chop and with time to spare we went to MacDonald’s for a Happy Meal for a happy CJ 🙂

and a chocolate milkshake for me.

This is the first time wev’e travelled with Easyjet and although the flight is the same as any other cheap airline, I was totally unimpressed with the fact that they left our luggage out in the rain and when we arrived at our destination our clothes were wet.  Even more so since CJ was forced to check her bag at a cost of £18 because the bag was literally a zip width to wide for the onboard luggage sizer.

However, excitement reigned supreme as we boarded and finally took off, 25 minutes late.   We were off to the Highlands of Scotland, Inverness and final destination was the Great Glen Water Park, situated on Loch Oich (which we did not know beforehand).

The flight was bumpy but uneventful and flying over England was a treat as always.   The countryside is so beautiful and I never tire of seeing it from the air.   A great expanse of blue sky and great big tumbles of wonderful white clouds accompanied our flight, providing fantastic photo opportunities.

With no idea what to expect we suddenly flew over the highlands!

first view of the Scottish Highlandsand practically climbed out the window with excitement.   The view was stupendous.   Great open stretches of mountain and wilderness, huge lakes that spread for miles.    The sun shone down and touched on a mountaintop providing a glimpse of the splendour to come.

Scotland; land of legends, castles, humble crofts, high mountains and tranquil lochs, battlefields echoing to the cries of long ago and remote glens home to towering firs and magnificent golden eagles.

Touchdown was uneventful, no rain but threatening.   Collected our luggage, which was soaked!   A complaint coming up here!   Then over to Avis to collect our hire car.  I have decided to write up a checklist of things to look out for and questions to ask for future reference.

It was starting to drizzle again, so in the rain I checked the car over thoroughly, remembering the lesson from Ireland.   By the time I had checked for little bumps and scratches my hands were frozen and my sleeves soaked.

By now the light was fading and losing no time we set off, first stop Tesco, just 2 miles down the road for supplies.   We had fun whizzing round the store (which was massive and jam-packed with goodies) picking and choosing yummy things to eat and drink, mindful of our budgets.   By the time we emerged it was dark!!!  Now for the fun bit – finding our way through a foreign town in the dark.   Fortunately CJ had printed a fairly detailed map of the area and we made good progress to the A82 (I think) and then on to our destination.

At that time I had no idea how far the Great Glen Park was from Inverness and had considered taking a cab there!   Fortunately I had hired a car!   It was 54miles from the airport!   I had no idea.   We drove and drove, the rain falling steadily and with absolutely no idea where the place was, we anxiously scanned the map for landmarks.

1.5 hours later we finally arrived, just before 7pm and we had made the check-in deadline with 10 minutes to spare.  By now pitch-dark we had not an inkling of the beauty and magnificence awaiting us.   The A-frame cabins are darling and we made ourselves right at home.   The first thing that went on was the heating, as it was quite freezing cold.

Hunting around the cabin it took ages for us to find all the switches to activate the various appliances, and the only one we could not find was the switch for the hot water!   The following day we enquired at the office and the handyman came along to show us where it was – right behind the box of oats I had placed on the counter!!! Go figure.

Then a toss-up on who would get the double bed!  CJ won for the first 4 nights since she was only staying till Wednesday, so that was fair enough.  Then time to unpack, hang clothes up to dry and have supper!   We had bought a pizza for convenience and popped it into the oven.   Hahahaha, we ended up with – a burnt pizza for supper!  The oven settings were unfamiliar and we set it too high.  It tasted just fine actually and nicely crunchy round the edges 🙂

Relaxing and watching TV, Strictly Come Dancing was on and not to be missed, followed by X-Factor, we settled in for the week, cosy and comfortable.   Later that evening just after getting into bed, I had a summons from CJ to quickly get my jacket and shoes on and come outside.   I duly complied and stepping out back behind the cabin I lifted my eyes to the heavens and gasped.   A blanket of stars covered the night sky, brightly twinkling and sparkling in the night sky.   I am reminded once again of the fact that because we are creatures of the daytime, we miss out on this glorious spectacle every night.

We shivered and giggled, somewhat nervous that we were so close to the forest, literally feet away, it was dark and eerie and every rustle had us squeaking with fright. With wolves and ghosts in mind, and things that go bump in the night, I did not last long when finally my nerve broke and we skedaddled back inside, laughing and giggling fit to bust.

We had no idea what was awaiting our eyes on the morrow.   And so to bed, I slept like the proverbial baby.  Utter peace and quiet.   Bliss.

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