Alis Grave Nil

Monday, 6 April 2015


I'm showing off our beautiful Camelia.  It's been a bit windswept lately but this year it's just laden with blooms.  We took it from my late mother-in-law's (Beatrice Printemps) garden before her house was sold and it took a few years to get going, being traumatised by frost during two bad winters.  For the last two or three years it's been absolutely beautiful.  Our secret ingredient is wood chippings which help to keep the moisture in and the weeds out.  We have a free supply from our log man, Steve, who rents one of our old sheds for his logs.


Those funny little ducks are still a bit scared of the water.  They stay very close to the edge and only go in if we throw food in for them.  We put them on Duck Island a couple of months ago, and there they stayed.  I thought it was a natural thing for ducks to gravitate towards water but I suppose with us keeping them in the big shed since they were babies didn't help (but at least Mr Fox didn't get them).  They go to the edge of the water but if they get too far away from the island they get into a right flap and a panic and race back to dry land.  Hopefully they will get used to the deep water eventually and go for a good swim.  It would be so much fun for duckies! Oh, we also have a swan.


Sunday, 5 April 2015

British Telecom

I don't usually pay attention to my British Telecom phone bill but I happened to glance at the itemised list and realised, to my horror, that I am being charged 27p each time I dial an engaged number.  Each call was only for a few seconds and I know from the number that the person does not have an answering machine.  The same number was listed four times, each all for a few seconds and each call with a charge of 27p attached.  We remembered phoning this number and that it was engaged for a long time.  I told a friend and he checked his own bill and was sure he was charged the same for unanswered calls.
I contacted BT.  God those Indian call centres!!  Anyway, I was told that these charges were normal and that somehow they did get connected.  I told him I'd never heard so much rubbish in my life and promptly hung up.  I have since written a letter of complaint to the CEO and I have sent a message to Watchdog as well.  If I don't get a satisfactory answer from BT, I will be contacting Ofcom because this should not be happening. Maybe it's their way of making up the money for our "free" evening and weekend calls. I don't think BT will be the only guilty parties doing this so check your bills mes amis. They are breaking the law.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Happy Easter!

Found this and thought it was worth sharing.  Have a lovely Easter weekend.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Cheap Supermarkets

Like fellow blogger, John Gray of Going Gently, I too am not a fan of the cheap supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl that are currently rocking the UK supermarket world.  I have tried it several times (Roberto loves it!) but it just leaves me cold.  I have tasted the food.  Roberto promised me the tinned soup "tasted just like Heinz"....It didn't.  It's not nice at all.  I have tried the baked beans - yuk! The cheap mayonnaise tastes like vinegar and the vegetables don't last much longer than a day.  I have given Aldi products a good go and I simply don't like them.  Okay, you get a trolley load of food for £30 but it's cheap food and you get what you pay for.
Don't get me wrong, we are on a budget as well and I do love a bargain as much as the next person but I just don't like to compromise on good quality food, and I now refuse to go anywhere near Aldi, much to Roberto's indignation.
As for the checkout, be prepared to have your many purchases slung at you at very high speed.  The checkout staff are timed for each customer, so the faster they get them checked through, the better (maybe they get a bonus for serving the most customers?).  As soon as you tell them whether it's "cash or card", the timer is stopped and you can try and catch your breath and endeavour to finish packing your shopping in a timely fashion so that the next customers can be flung through.
I seem to feel the energy in places and when I go into an Aldi shop, I just have this urge to run like hell as soon as I get into the shop.  I'm sorry if I am upsetting any avid Aldi shoppers but to me the shop feels dirty and scuzzy, and I won't go back.  Stamps foot!