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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

More reasons...

Safeway in Taunton is no more. Last week, it spent some time having yellow and black make-up applied to re-open as Morrison's.

On Friday evening on my way home from work, I popped in for the first time to check out its new livery and get some "viennoiserie" in preparation for our weekend visitor, S.

[tangent]

Viennoiserie, I believe (and I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong), is the French collective term for croissants, pains au chocolat, pains aux raisins and other butter-based breakfast produce of French provenance. Interesting this, as (in my experience) the French rarely appear to admit to eating food from any other country. E.g. The sausages which we call "Frankfurters" are known as "Saucisses de Strasbourg". What we know as "Swiss Fondue", they call "Fondue Savoyarde" (i.e. from the French département of Savoie) and so on.

Now, "Viennoiserie", I assume, means "Viennese thingies" (or words to that effect) - i.e. of Austrian origin! Unless, of course, they're talking about the French town of Vienne, just down the "Rhône" from my old stomping ground, Lyon...

[/tangent]

So, there I am on the approach to the car park, salivating at the thought of brioche, and I notice a sign:

"PAY AND DISPLAY CAR PARK"

*narrows eyes*

Don't remember that little fact from the raft of advertising for the new store.

Now, I understand why they have introduced a charge. The supermarket is situated just shy of the town centre and, I imagine, commuters to the heaving metropolis (!) have been taking advantage of the free parking and walking into town. The cheeky monkeys! Plus, the parking charge is refunded at the checkout for the "real" customers (you have to spend over £10, so no nipping in for a paper and a packet of fags!).

But do they *need* to charge until 8pm Monday to Wednesday, 9pm Thursday and Friday? Most town centre parking stops charging at about 6.00pm...

On Friday night, on my way home from work, I just didn't *need* it. For a start, I didn't have any coins on me (despite vowing to always have a supply of change for just such eventualities). So, I had to leave the car ticketless and peg it over to the store entrance, where I espied a fluorescent-jacketed man whose sole purpose was to give out change to newly confused shoppers (evidently, I wasn't the only one who had had this issue...) As luck wouldn't have it, he'd just run out of change (thus negating his sole purpose in one fell swoop). Meanwhile, Winnie (that's the car's name, you know) is still ticketless in the car park and vulnerable to attack, but I'm on the case and bowl up at the Customer Service desk, fiver in hand, on my mission to procure small discs of metal.

Armed now with pound coins, I find the nearest Pay and Display machine (which is, of course, a fair distance away) - only to find that it's out of order, after approximately one day of existence! I hope they've still got the receipt!

I stomp angrily across the car park to another machine and finally get my ticket to both happy parking and eventual viennoiserie...



On Saturday, we treat ourselves to lunch in town, after visiting our house-to-be for another nose around. Somehow, the trendy café managed to serve a mushroom soup at which even the Big Fella turned up his nose. Quite how they'd managed to extract all the flavour from the mushrooms, I'm afraid I can't imagine... I often sit in cafés, imagining how I would make a better job of running them...


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