Monday, 3 August 2015

Maintenance Time

We had a visit from a blog reader yesterday.  It was after my walk and I was just dropping off to sleep when Jan prodded me into action.  Bryn and Jan had read we were in Aynho and as they live in the local area they had wandered down to the wharf to see us.  Unfortunately I was rather tired after my recent walk and in my half awake state I forgot to take a photo.  Actually I even forgot to invite them aboard!  Very inhospitable of me.  I must have been rather stuffed after the walk.
Yesterday’s post about the changing of access to the online OS maps resulted in three comments.  Paul and Dakin suggested alternatives involving payment whilst Ade directed me towards Bing Maps.  My preference is for free rather than pay.  It’s not that I’m averse to paying if I need something, but I only use the OS maps to find data missing from the OSM.  The latter being the in the public domain and free to everyone.  Bing Maps do provide access to the OS mapping data but you can’t create a trace and then download it.  I’m comfortable using the OSM maps as my primary source and will simply plan future walks on the basis of finding places of interest rather than collecting missing data.
Daykin also mentioned they had passed Waiouru at lunch time.  We assume on a boat?  Tell us more!  Yes we were away from the boat having our Sunday roast.  I had booked a table at the Great Western Arms adjacent to Aynho Wharf.
great western arms
The staff were very attentive and the pub had an attractive interior.  The theme is more railway related that canal.  But the the Great Western was a railway company.  There was a wide selection on the menu but Jan stayed with the roast beef whilst I opted for the pork.
SAMSUNGJan’s roast beef.  She received two Yorkshire puddings!
My roast pork.  The crackling was delicious
The meal came with a side order of vegetables.  The food was tasty and well presented.  It wasn’t the cheapest Sunday roast we have eaten.  We agreed the price was more ‘London’.  But we’re not complaining.  However someone at the bar was complaining.  They were most upset about being charged 50p for using a debit card and told the staff it was illegal to make a charge for using a debit card.
Jan thought he was correct and I didn’t know.  Back at Waiouru I started to do some searching on merchants fees for customers using debit and credit cards.  The subject seems rather murky.  One site suggested the cost to the banking system per transaction was 0.5p and another suggested 18p.  Charging 50p per transaction seems rather high.  It’s interesting there is no additional charge for paying with cash.  Yet cash carries all sorts of additional costs including: 
  • need for a float
  • employee time in counting
  • losses
  • banking
Paying by card eliminates all of these.  It doesn’t take much imagination to think of all the savings the banks make in having electronic transactions rather than cash.  So where is all this saving going?  Certainly not back to the customer!
We ran out of bread on Friday.  The last time we bought bread was in Goring so it’s been almost a week. Yesterday Jan baked a loaf of bread but that had disappeared by lunch time today (toast for breakfast).  She made buns for dinner tonight.
fresh buns
Yes, I know…. There is one missing.  You can guess who ate it!  Smile
Jan has spent much of the weekend cleaning whilst I’ve been away enjoying myself.  This afternoon I did feel a tiny bit guilty and decided to clean the engine bay.  During the fit out the staff at Aldermaston Wharf did laugh at me when I painted it white.  I was told I should paint it grey or oil and grease black!  At least white allows me to easily identify it requires cleaning.

1 comment :

Halfie said...

Ah, but with cash you've got it in your hand and you can spend it - or bank it - immediately. There's no waiting for an electronic transfer to go through (yes, I know it should be virtually instantaneous), nor is there any doubt that the money will arrive in your account, nor is there any question that it can be electronically "clawed back". Cash is cash!

Also, (slightly off-topic) I believe it used to be the case - and still might be - that there's more likelihood of any restaurant tips going to the right people if the bill is paid in cash.