Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Lazy start and shopping trip

OK, as usual, Jan was up before dawn but I managed to “play possum” until 8.00am.  I’m starting to adjust to this serious business of retirement!  Today’s ‘to do’ list only consisted of four items.

  • Doctor for a new prescription
  • ASDA
  • Holland & Barrett – penny sale
  • Homebase/Wickes – magnetic door catch

We wandered from the mooring up into Rugby town centre via the footpath beside Tesco and over the rail pedestrian bridge.  As we were twenty minutes early for the doctor’s appointment there was a slight detour through the mall and into one of those bargain shops.  It actually proved to be a fortuitous decision resulting in Jan buying some small plastic food containers whilst I snagged 12 superglue tubes for £1 and a set of 6 small screwdrivers.

Jan headed to ASDA whilst I went to the doctor see about a new prescription.  My visit was very brief and I now have another prescription to cover me for the next six months.  I found Jan in the ASDA cafe and after morning tea together we wandered around the supermarket checking prices.  Finding the Holland & Barrett shop proved to be interesting.  Jan knew it was in High Street but very few of the streets were physically named.  In the end logic kicked in and I used the smartphone and Google Maps.  Bah…. High Street didn’t appear on Google Maps!  Jan then suggested Holland & Barrett shops are almost invariably found in the heart of the shopping area.  Of course we eventually found it in the un-named open mall.  Along the way we passed another of those interestingly named pubs.  I do love the way pubs have such names.  The pub was The Black Swan

Black swans are native to Australia.  They could also be found in NZ until hunted to extinction by the Maori back in the mid 1800’s.  The Black Swan was re-introduced in NZ from Australia and there is also a large population on the Chatham Islands in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island.  It was there that I ate Black Swan finding the taste very strong and “gamey”.

But it was the signboard on the second storey wall that most caught my eye.

So the pub is The Black Swan but the sign is The Dirty Duck

Holland & Barrett didn’t have the products Jan wanted so we saved a couple of pennies there! Smile

It was now lunch time and we decided to treat ourselves to a paid meal at a small cafe down a narrow lane off the mall.  Seating was at a premium so we were optimistic the food might be good.  In the end we both opted for the ocean pie.  I was anticipating a pie dish full of fish with a pastry topping.  Instead we were given a plate of reconstituted powdered potato with a few small pieces of fish in it.  Another disappointment!  I know…. I should have asked them to describe the pie before placing the order!

The final task on the agenda was to walk back towards the canal and visit Homebase & Wickes in the adjacent retail park.  In addition to the magnet catch, we had decided to look for a plug-in 240v thermostat.  The idea was we would be able to plug a fan electric heater into the thermostat and control the temperature in Waiouru over winter.  We will be on shore power and electricity is cheaper than diesel so the heating will be electric rather than using the Hurricane or the Lockgate Refleks.  However we don’t want to unnecessarily spend money on electricity overheating the boat hence the plug-in thermostat idea.  Homebase proved to have a good selection of magnetic catches but had no thermostats.  Wickes had a plug-in thermostat but it was priced in excess of £35. I could make one, but I’m sure there are people in China who are doing that far more cheaply than I can.  As we only plan to spend one winter on shore power it’s just not cost effective to spend £35 on a thermostat.

Back at Waiouru I fitted the magnetic catch to the bathroom door.  Where did the day go?


Paul and Elaine said...

Hi Guys
I dont think a fan heater will keep the boat warm enough, maybe one small area.

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Paul,

We used a 1kw electric fan heater last winter as our sole means of heating the boat and it worked fine.
Maybe it's the portholes -v- windows, double glazing, and excellent insulation.

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi Tom
I reckon you could buy a cheap fan heater with a built in stat for less than £35....

Tom and Jan said...

Hello Geoff,
Good point. We already have the cheap heater. However I'm not convinced the built-in thermostat is very accurate.