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Tuesday, 22 December 2020

Well THAT'S shown me... Recovering rear seating, experimental Sour-dough and Good Customer Service

 Ok - moving on from my recent rant, I ask you forgive me... I'm over that episode now - having experienced some 'good' behavior towards a soul in need since i got carried away.

Let me explain.  Last night, on the way back from a local "Premier" click and collect service place, I came across an unconscious chap - sprawled half over the towpath and into the hedge row.  At first glance (in the dark/rain) I sort of assumed someone had partaken of a bit too much xmas spirit on the way home from doing the shopping (he had a few carrier bags laying around him) and was sleeping it off... then it dawned on me that being in Tier 3, no where is open so he couldn't have done.. As I got a bit closer , I noticed the rear light of a cyclist turning left on the path ahead and also that the chap on the floor didn't look like the usual sort of person who might take drugs and end up in a self inflicted stupor.

I checked for a pulse and once my useless numb fingers had located his carotid artery, was relieved he was at least alive.  I tried to rouse him for a few seconds before digging out my phone to call 999.  Even as I was doing it, under my breath I was berating the afore mentioned cyclist for "walking cycling  on by" - no sooner had I started dialing, did said cyclist reappear and explained he'd already called for help and an ambulance was parked just round the corner at the end of Marland Way....he'd gone to meet them to explain where the patient was.  That was a relief and also a shark reminder that folks ARE generally good sorts when it's required of them.  As the paramedics arrived, I carried on my way - safe in the knowledge this poor soul who/whomever he was would be in good hands now.

It did give me butterflies in my stomach for a while though.  POINT is, despite all the "Covid in the air" both the cyclist and I acted instinctively  in the best interest of others...and that is how we should be.

 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

OK - Stepping off my soap box again, back in boaty land, I've been pottering - getting on with little jobs here and there when the weather has allowed.  Being in Greater Manchester whilst quite useful, it does mean poor old Ellis is experiencing a LOT of rain.  This has been a real pain as many of the jobs I'd like to be getting on with, require dry weather.

That said (well written), a gap in the clouds DID mean I could (rather roughly I admit) get around to applying some more padding to the new rear seats/backrests i made last winter.  

Whilst the water tank was filling, I took the old guest duvet out of storage and decided rather than spend 12 quid in a launderette washing it, I'd buy a new one for next season... thus freeing up the hollow fibres for 'padding' purposes.  

It was the first time I'd used my new mains-powered Staple gun... it can fire MUCH bigger staples than it's rechargeable predecessor.  Alas, it is also a LOT fussier about when it fires... grrr.  Still, in no time, I'd added a layer of padding and stapled new black leatherette over to cover it.  It's not the PRETTIEST/NEATEST job but it will certainly do for another year.

Continuing with the 'Good News'  another very productive and positive Day was had on 'Ellis' last week.

I bought a pair of decent walking boots around this time last year... which failed by March so I took them back to Go-Outdoors in Pudsey for an exchange ... well, the exchanged pair ALSO failed in the same areas( sole coming apart from the uppers various other failed areas of stitching.  A lovely sunny start for a change so I decided to take the boat in to Castlefield Basin *rather than walk all the way to Go Outdoors and back*... Having looked through my receipts from earlier in the year for the Merrell Boot receipt, It wasn't with the (now sealed up) March receipts folder - I pondered a while and decided to log on, do a click and collect of the boots and suck it up so to speak...

SO, I booked a click and collect for 1 pair of size 9 boots the same "model" as the ones I had (moab), noticing the sole (which is the main bit that failed) had changed a little to the sort of rubber used on Squash trainers....

ANYWAY - having chugged into Castfield and then walked the now much shorter distance to Ancoates, there I Was in the shop with new boots on the counter and about to pay the now lower price of £95 quid... Chatting away with the girl on the till as you do, I mentioned that I had planned on returning the pair on my feet for exchange but couldn't find my receipt so rather than have a fight, decided to get a new pair and suck it up... the premise being, that when you find a paid of walking boots that suit your feet, it's best to stick with them.... (the amount of times I've tried switching and ended up with sore feet being a REAL waste of money)...
She volunteered to look up my purchase history on my discount card and low and behold, within seconds, the March exchange was there and she had to call a supervisor to "inspect" the boots on my feet... at which point, it was agreed they had failed in several places and they would give me the new pair free gratis as an exchange.

That was number 1 good thing... number 2 was that because the boot model had dropped in price since I paid for them, they THEN gave me a gift card to the value of the difference (valid for 12 months) - talk about surprised... I'd given up on the idea of exchanging them cause I don't like a fight and tbh, it's rarely the Staffs fault (although some folks seem to thing it IS)..
So there we have it... a very good service from Go -Outdoors with exceptional staff going above and beyond during difficult times.

Walking back in my new boots, the wind and rain in my face (this is Manchester don't forget) seemed irrelevant.

Irrelevant that was, until Id chugged back to the Marina and then had to reverse on to the pontoon with the wind side on. NO MATTER - I handled the boat as if she had a girlie button and all was well with the world.

Inspired by my (unusual) good fortune, I decided to make some bread - if the truth be known, I'd forgotten to buy a loaf when I Was out so figured I'd try one of the sourdough ready mixes I'd had in the cupboard for a while.  I think they are bit of a cheat in that whilst they do give a lovely taste and claim to contain a 10% rye starter - they ALSO contain yeast to 'cheat'.  No matter, the outcome was a lovely tasting loaf that was eaten in no time.

I'll certainly buy the ready-mix again as it stayed "moist" a lot longer than my usual home-made loaves do.

meanwhile - I am not going to comment much about Boris's "U" turn at the weekend... suffice to say, i have a nasty feeling that by the middle of January next year, with the "army" being deployed to carry out mas covid testing at schools, there will be enough boots on the ground - perhaps with guns handy to FORCE the population to do as they are told... it's a scary thought in 2020/21 how many freedoms our parents took for granted are being eroded as we sleep walk into whatever it is we are sleep walking in to.

Don't get me wrong - I understand, it's serious and it's all about NOT overpowering the NHS but at what other costs??? - I suppose the real damage being done will not be known for many years.

On that note I'll finish now and wish you - Merry Christmas... and if you and any other consenting adults wish to eat your xmas lunch together and your nan is happy for a hug...I'll not be one to jump on the 'berating band wagon'.... use your common sense and so long as any "family/close friend unit" are consenting - who you eat sprouts with and watch crappy telly with is your business...not anyone elses.

Until next time...

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