Not that I’ve ever had it, wanted it, or fancied blackcurrant jam that tastes of fish (according to my Dad).
Last week, we booked the car in for its first service. We suggested 11am as it would take about an hour and we could then stop at the carvery on the way home for a Real Dinner with plenty of veg. We have been looking forward to it ever since we received confirmation from the garage.
Today has been one of those days, a perfect example of why we never plan anything (well, not too much).
Cue 70 foot narrow boat arriving unexpectedly yesterday, and Maggie and me poorly this morning, this meant that Hubby went on his own. As his new mobile phone is heavy on charges and nearly always out of money, he took mine with the promise of a text when he arrived, and another as he was about to leave.
I heard nothing.
He eventually returned some 4½ hours later, mad that I hadn’t acknowledged his texts or answered the phone when he called, frustrated with traffic and road works, and determined for us to have dinner out.
I checked his phone which had been on all the time. No calls, no texts.
I checked my phone to see that he’d called the right number as he was emphatic that he had.
Er, no. He hadn’t. This latest phone is the second he’s had in the past year. Stupidly, I hadn’t deleted the previous one and so he was calling his old ‘new’ one.
With that all sorted (ie: number removed), we piled in the car to go to a recommended pub that served all day grub. We parked with ease and walked in to overhear a conversation about a lot of the food being ‘off’, the chef was out of the kitchen for the minute, and it wasn’t clear exactly how long people would have to wait for orders already placed (time started at half an hour, then an hour, then two as the discussion progressed between a customer and the bar staff).
Plan B was to try another pub/restaurant on the High Street. Nowhere to park, and the nearest car park was a Pay and Display. We had no small change, and will not use our bank card as the added charges are almost three times the cost of parking!
Plan C was a restaurant on the outskirts of town which we’ve passed many times, but never felt the need to go in.
We came out very quickly and won’t do it again as it was way beyond our budget.
A little reminder here about budgets, available funds, and value for money.
We do not mind paying a little bit extra for good quality and/or service.
There is no way in hell we would pay £5.25 for a garlic bread starter (35p in the supermarket and you get a whole baguette, not just 2 slices), £19.75 for a five ounce steak, or £4.99 for ice cream. I didn’t read any more. The carvery is £6.99 a head for your main course and desserts start at £2.
I know we are terribly out of touch with prices when dining out as for us, it’s a rare event, but as both Plans D and E also went out of the window due to similar high prices though our memories recalled otherwise (and we won’t even contemplate Plan M), we ended up in the supermarket cafe.
It’s nothing like the one we would often frequent in Lincolnshire, where you could have a choice of at least five main dishes, including a full roast dinner (3 veg plus roast spuds and mash if you wanted it) as well as an all day breakfast for under a fiver.
One Christmas, we had duck with all the trimmings as they’d run out of turkey (though I was relieved to see the resident pair of mallards still waddling in the car park) at a special price of £3.50 each.
In this outlet today, we could have chips with their three choices, but there wasn’t a single pea, spud or carrot in sight.
I thought Hubby was going to cry.
It’s not often he sets his heart on something and I hated to see him so disheartened, especially after such a lousy start to the day. The weather was on the turn as well so that was just peachy and the icing on the cake really.
I suggested we purchase 2 plated roast dinners from the freezer section and a dessert.
So, for the princely sum of £5.15 (for the two of us), we had turkey, roast potatoes, peas, carrots, stuffing, sausage and bacon in thick gravy followed by a strawberry and cream gateau.
Actually, it wasn’t half bad!
The good news is that the car service went OK and was ZERO priced as 3 years servicing was part of the deal I haggled for when buying it. There was even the added bonus of a hoover out and a quick wash too. Hubby could have had it valeted at no extra charge if he could wait a further hour, but he declined. We’ll remember next year and take them up on it.