Saturday, 20 October 2012

Here be Dragons ... Everton, Ntt

Off the map for a couple of days at my mum's.  Everton is in North Notts, it's very small but has two pubs.  My OH (other half) goes to one of them so often they think he's a regular!  He's back in Barnsley doing a sponsored walk today, two breweries and one pub, with bacon butties apparently (not much good for a vegetarian), pie and peas (he'll have to wait and see if there are veggie pies ...) and a few sandwiches to finish (made by his own fair hand, so bound to be something he can eat).

When my parents moved here in 1979 there was a post office with general village shop and a butcher's as well.  The buses used to run until 9pm (and my brother and I thought that was poor, coming from a medium sized town as we did).  Now there are no shops, the buses stop at 6pm and even the petrol station has closed.  There's a 'craft' shop which does pictures and cards and where you can collect your prescriptions (the Doctor's surgery is 3 miles away in another village - one bus each way per day plus the extra 'Tesco' bus to Gainsborough on Wednesdays).  The Blacksmith's pub has a large conservatory on the back and they keep going by doing very nice (but fairly pricey) meals.  We also had the buffet there when my dad died last year.  Far too much food, but the left overs kept us in chicken legs and samosas for several months!  The Sun pub does live music in a marquee, last night they were doing covers of vaguely familiar punk and brit pop stuff - I could hear it in my bedroom!

We've just been to Sainsbury's in Worksop, a 25 mile round trip, to try to use the points on mum's Nectar card.  She can put points on in the petrol station in Retford, but can't spend them it seems.  The card had expired (again! - it did this after my dad died and I think she lost a lot of points then).  The supervisors said we had to come back within the year but as it had only been six months since mum was there they would phone Nectar and sort it out.  We did our shopping and after a bit of kerfuffle they gave us £20 off at the supervisors' desk on the way out.  These points don't seem to be worth the bother to be honest.  The OH had some on his card and we tried to spend them in a big Sainsbury's in Biggleswade on the way home from returning some beer festival equipment to St Albans.  It seems you can only use the card in the shop that you usually shop at!  In the OH's case that would be the tiny one in Monk Bretton - not the place to go for a proper monthly shop - so what's the point of saving up the points - he might as well just spend them on his next visit.

We packed the printer along with my laptop this weekend - mum had shopped in Asda last week and been told she could claim £5 off her next shop if she went online and printed off the voucher.  Well, she has an ipad, and the Internet, but no printer - I'm sure that last year they let her claim the money off at the customer service desk on her next visit, someone had set up a printer there so the non-printer/non-computer literate people didn't lose out.  This time they said she had to do it at home ... Nice green £5 off voucher duly printed and reminder given that she has to take the receipt back as well.  But what about the people with no printer?  Unfair.

Mum had also saved a cardboard collar from a bottle of wine with one of those 'Instant Win' offers for me to try for her - needless to say all I got was a "Sorry, try again another time" message.  Ah, well I can't quite see her in a pair of Levi's ...

I'm absolutely convinced that older people should be assisted to have access to the Internet, they can miss out on so many offers and services that would be useful to people whose mobility isn't so great any more or who live in rural areas or places poorly served by public transport.  Online shopping, online banking, online everything.  And by older people, judging by my experience at the Adult Learning Centre in Barnsley I mean anyone over 40, there just weren't computers when we were at school and unless you've had children why would anyone who doesn't work with them (or play computer games!) have bothered to get one in the last 20 years?  It's only with the arrival of tablet computers (ipad etc) that the Internet has become truly accessible.  Even phones weren't that user friendly really, the screens were too small for anything useful up until very recently. 

ahhhhh ... had a panic then, did a spell check and managed to delete the entire entry above, thank goodness for Ctrl + z, rescued it!

Off to help cook lamb chops ...
Bye for now.

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