Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Motorway madness

Good morning, I had a lovely day yesterday. Auntie and Uncle are plodding along nicely now, though Uncle gets tired more often now. It's very hard for someone who has been active all of their life to have to slow down, but I suppose it will come to us all at some point. I cleaned the block paving for them, swept up all the dead leaves, repotted a plant and pulled a few weeds up. The garden is way to big for them to cope with now, but as with most old folk getting on in years, they want to stay there for as long as possible, and we have to respect that. There are other family members who live close by who can help.

I took a few snaps of a typical British Motorway Service Station, so our world wide visitors can see how we all relish the idea of spending a couple of hours or so relaxing in such pleasant surroundings during our journey. Or, if you are like me, a quick dash in, use the ablutions, and dash out again, ha ha.

A walk from the car park through the gardens to the main entrance. Bombarded with ugly advertising boards.

At least we have one thing free here, parking for two hours.

A convenient place to get some petrol perhaps? Yes, if you want to pay more for it than anywhere else. Fill up at a supermarket before you start your journey.

Lorry drivers please note, these are the rules to comply with when you park up. Very helpfully explained in 14 different languages. English is at the top left hand corner for which you need a pair of binoculars to read it as it is so high up. Available for rental at only joking, ha ha.

And here we have a picture of the back ends of a few trucks. Note Eddie Stobart hiding in the middle there, hoping he can squeeze an extra few minutes into his break.

Very quiet in the coach parking area today, thank goodness. It's hell at the weekends when the place is swarming with day trippers, all shuffling along in the queue to use the lavvy, with their legs crossed, ha ha.

And when you do get in there, you find some interesting reading on the inside of the door. A number to ring if you didn't quite make it in time. Shouldn't laugh, my warped sense of humour.

If you're on your way to a hot date and your mouth is tasting a bit foul, why not have a chew on one of these. A Fuzzy Ball, a bit like a tooth brush head. Yuk, no thanks, I'll manage with a packet of mints. Something else to put on the list of things you dont need.

Coffee anyone, no thanks I've brought my flask.

How about a browse round the shop for a laugh at the prices. Stretch your legs for free when it's raining outside, and a free read of the magazines.

Why not buy yourself some bottled water, there's plenty of it, a whole pallet load. Only £6 a case ;o) Blimey, I'm only going fifty miles, not to the other end of the country.

This is what you need, or not. A support your neck cushion for ONLY £8. I assume these are for passengers. If I wore one while driving I would nod off.

And if you get totally stressed out with all that traffic, why not spend £1 on getting massaged in one of these chairs. I quite fancy that but never had the nerve to give it a go. They are in the main walkway, how embarrassing to be the centre of attraction for everyone passing by.

Didn't I say I would time my return journey to coincide with the best time for shopping for bargains? Well it worked a treat, I pulled into Tesco at 7.40pm. Made a dash for the chiller cabinet, then the fresh veg, then bread. Added a few other items, mainly from the Value range, giving a total shop for £15.30.

The cost of my reduced items before mark down was £14.05, I paid £3.81. For that I got, parsnips, cauliflower, brocolli, sprouts, beansprouts, watercress, veg soup mix, bread, and ham for the cats. The Hovis seeded bread is normally £1.35, marked down to 34p. I got the last two, so one for the freezer. I shall be making up some veg stew today for the freezer with half of it, and eating the rest in the next week. It is all out of date now, so with a bit of organisation, I have plenty of meals to before I need to buy any more.

My other Value items are.....frozen peas and sweetcorn, baked beans, pickled onions, tuna chunks, mandarins, soft cheese, and tinned spaghetti.

There's been some great comments on 'Things you thought you need but dont'. I'm pleased that it has got so many of you thinking about what you are spending your money on, or not spending it on. Interesting to look at it from another angle. I don't want to dictate to you what you should be buying, that's up to you, but pointing out the items that really are a waste of time and money, is another way of looking at it. Toodle pip.


  1. OMG Ilona, you know how to give us a laugh! Only you would take photos of the services and while sitting on the loo there LOL. Horrendous petrol prices aren't they? I filled up at Sainsbugs today and got 5p a litre off with a voucher I got from my shopping. It was still £1.25 a litre though which is bad enough.

  2. LOL at the Loo poster...

    The cost of sandwiches in Motorway services is also horrendous. Make your own I say!

    Sft x

  3. Just thought I'd drop by to say thanks for the YHA information.

    I'm now a fully fledged member... now where can I go? The world's my oyster!

  4. I'm pleased about that Anne. The world really is your oyster, there are hostels world wide. Keep checking back at the web site, they come up with special offer from time to time. If you can be flexible you can get some bargains. I try and avoid the hostels which are popular with children during school holidays. And if you fancy some totally free hostelling you can always volunteer to run one. You get the daytimes to yourself and have to be there between about 5pm and 10am.