Category: Shops & shopping

26th part 2

OK so I posted this morning as I could not be bothered last night, so now I have to post a second time today to cover the bits about to day, damm this blogging is hard work …………….

It seems as though everybody is moving to using the WordPress blogging software, you can either go to for WordPress to host the blog for you or for the software to host the blog yourself (you will need a hosting package from an Internet service provider if you want to do it yourself). Three of the sites I follow Massive MTBer, Welsh Cyclist and Lezz (the moon walking bear) (there is probably more) have recently moved over to WordPress (not sure who using hosted or self hosting). I have been using WordPress for around 8 months now and once you have your feet under the table it is so simple to use.

Todays entertainment, well today started early about 6am in fact when I bashed the alarm clock for going off when I am on holiday. When I eventually dragged myself out of bed it was *issing down, option one early morning ride out the window. The daughter was working this evening so we stayed local today and drove to Poole and then walked down to the old town, along the quay and around the shopping centre, funny while we were out it never rained.

I had to go the the local bike shop this afternoon which is over the other side of Bournemouth so once we were all back in the car I headed for the other side of Bournemouth. About half way along to the shop my daughter tells me that she need to catch the early bus to get to work on time and with going to the shop and the wife wanting to do some more shopping for one item (make note) she would miss her bus and be late for work, so I had to turn round and head back towards home, oh hum.

A quick visit to the cycle shop (a long visit can get expensive) and I was on my way out the door but this caught my eye Team Sky Replica road bike, it looks lovely but look at the price !!!

Anyway as I mentioned earlier the wife wanted to go to one shop for one item, why then did we come out with 8 items, if I had gone into the bike shop for one item and come out with 8……….well either I would not have got out the shop door alive or told not to come home!!

When we got home, the daughter was still there, apparently lunch took longer to cook and she will get a later bus!!

As the rain had cleared off I decide to finish the bike clean I gave up on on Sunday due to the rain, got the bike out the shed and it started to rain again, I just can’t win. The bike is now already for the off tomorrow, the GPS has the map and route downloaded ready. I have done part of tomorrows route in the past but that involved driving some 8 miles to a country pub, starting and finishing the ride there. Tomorrow I will be riding from home. A little apprehensive over my back but a little peddle down the road tonight seemed to be OK.

And finally (a curve ball), how many 50 years olds do you know that like Pendulum?? Currently listening to Pendulum Live at the Brixton Academy, already listen to their latest Album (there showing my age, CD), Immersion

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building an ark!

I think building an ark would be a wise precaution based on the weather we have had in the past few days. The weather made it more difficult to decide where to have our family day out, the forecast was rain so it was going to need to be indoors, in the end we decided on Trago Mill just outside Newton Abbott in Devon. To anybody that does not know Trago Mills they are a very large store, that sales everything from, food, engine oil, cloths, carpets, furniture, plants, paint, musical instruments the list goes on in one very large store, plus there are many smaller shops on the site and they have there own leisure park set in 100 acres of land.

I have done the drive down that way several times to one of the companies site just outside Plymouth and it takes me about two and half hours, so leaving at 9am I had expected to arrive about 11-ish, it soon became apparent that the caravanner’s of the UK were going to put an end to that idea. With rain falling from the start and progressively getting worse as we headed west, our lovely winding “A” road do not lend themselves to overtaking caravans, so we joined the que behind each caravan till the opportunity to pass presented itself. I had hoped thing would improve from Honiton where we picked up the A30 dual carriageway, but the rain got heavier and the traffic got slower.

By now I was fighting a battle in the car to keep the windscreen clear from fogging up, the only way was to run with the air conditioning on but I was getting to cold, so we opted for switching it on and off to keep the screen clear and the occupants just of frozen. Around 2hrs 40 minutes later we pull into one of Trago Mills large car parks and is by now absolutely *issing down.

The first purchase in the store was an umbrella, not having one with us and knowing the kids will want to go around the leisure park it was a wise investment. We spent a couple of hours (and a few pounds) browsing the aisles. I am pretty sure it has shrunk in size since our last trip (they had a major fire there about 12 months ago and there is a lot of building working taking place at the rear of the store) as we soon found ourself out in the rain again and looking at the food outlets. After feeding time and kids being kids it was of to the leisure park. The rain did not seem to detract them from them wanting to wander around the park. To be perfectly honest many of the rides were closed due to the weather, the daughter wanted to go on the mega slide (a 15ft vertical drop down) but this was closed as it was under repair so the kids opted for the smaller slide (both indoors). Finally we opted for a ride on the train around the park, at least the carriage has a roof even if it did leak.

If we thought is was *issing down when we arrived it was definitely lashing it down now, the sky had that dark foreboding storm colour to it. Once again the battle of the steamy windows started not helped by the fact that we were all wet but this time I decided on raising the temperature in the car so now we would be slowly cooked on the way home. Once the heat was in the car I turned the temperature down and manage to keep the screen clear. The drive home was easier than the drive down despite a diversion due to a road closure (accident). The rain rather than relenting got worse as we got closer to home, standing water was now a major issue.

Not far from home the daughter got a phone call asking her why she was not at work, turns out the manager had asked her if she wanted overtime for Thursday night and forgot to ask her about Wednesday night but put her down for both nights, so now we had to race home, change out of our now drying cloths, drop the daughter of at work and then go shopping.

I eventually got to sit down at about 8:30 last night, I slept well last night!!

Not sure what we are doing today, I want to get my bike finished and lubed up from the weekend and maybe a test ride to see if I am up for the ride tomorrow. My back is feeling a lot better but there is still a twinge every now and again to remind me.

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3 on the trot

I have written a blog three days running, not bad going by recent standards

While writing last nights brief interlude I noticed that 95% my blogs for the last few weeks (or more) have concentrated either on my bike riding or my dieting (or not as the case may be). Well there is more to my life than just those two thing and I am quite happy to blast those who upset me (see the bus drive incident from a couple of blogs ago) so here my latest blast.

Evans Cycles, a major Internet cycle retailers as well as having high street stores. Well on the 4th June I ordered a pair of knee pads from them online, the order stated they were out of stock at the warehouse but were available in store at one of their shops so they would call the knee pads back from the shop and post them onto me.

OK first question, why not post it direct from the shop to me??

Anyway the stated delivery was 10 to 14 days, I was in no hurry for them so I was happy to go with the flow.

On Friday the 19th having heard anything from Evans and not being in possession of any knee pads I checked my online account with them to see if there was any info on my order. I found no detail of my order (apart from it being placed) but they had already charged my credit card for the purchase.

Second question, why charge my credit card when you are not in any position to send the items to me?

So I send Evans customer service department an e-mail asking why they had already charged me and when could I expect delivery, the auto responder on screen said to expect a reply within 24hrs. OK it was Friday night so I was happy to wait till Monday. So Monday 21st came and went and Tuesday evening arrived so I decided to phone customer services. I was told that a second request had been sent to the store and it should be with me by the end of the week. I was also told it was normal procedure to take the money at time of order regardless of delivery time.

Well the end of the week arrived and there was still not the owner of a pair of knee pads. So I phoned customer services. I was told that the department the customer service rep needed to talk to had gone home for the weekend and that he would chase it up for me on Monday 28th for me and promised to call me back on Monday, sounded OK but I was not going to hold my breath. when I asked why the shop could not send the knee pads to me directly, he then let himself down, apparently it was company policy that they had to come back to the warehouse and the probable reason they had not come back yet was there was no room on the van!! for f*** shake they are a pair of knee pads not a complete bloody bike.

Monday dawned and I was working from home and about to pack up for the day when the mobile rang. I did not recognise the number, it was the customer service guy from Evans with the promised return phone call (I had forgotten all about it to be honest). Apparently the department that handles the call back from stores had sorted out the problem and I could expect them by the end of the week (2nd July).

So I come home this afternoon and what do I find has been delivered, yep my knee pads, no explanation as to why it had taken over three weeks. I don’t even know if this was the knee pads the guy was talking about yesterday although I doubt it based on time scale of telling me and them arriving.

So why did it take so long, I have never had this problem with other items I have ordered online with Evans in the past. Then their is customer service, either they do not know what they were talking about or were just fobbing me off?

Ordering on line is a game of trust, you trust the supplier to supply the items at the correct price, to handle the financial transaction appropriately and to supply said goods in a timely fashion or keep you informed if problems arise. In this case Evans failed on all counts. In future I will think twice before I make another purchase from Evans online or recommend them to somebody else. Once you lose trust it is not easy to get back.

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no bed but a table, chair and bookshelf

You may remember me saying yesterday that I was taking the daughter bed hunting at Ikea in Southampton. Well she did not buy a bed but we came home with a small table, desk chair and a large blue bookshelf and a packet of the famous Ikea meat balls!! After seeing the cost of the beds daughter decided to keep the old bed and buy some furniture for her bedroom. Currently on day 4 of clearing her bedroom………..don’t ask

Despite the clocks changing earlier this morning, I was up and out early on my bike again. Decided to do the Throop loop, remembered to stretch my knee this morning. I was expecting mud and was not disappointed, certain parts of the route were very muddy. At one point I had to negotiate small group of cows (5 cows don’t seem to be enough to be called a herd) that decided the best place to sit was on the path in front of the gate out of their enclosure, fortunately they were not to bothered about some idiot with a mountain bike walking through ankle deep mud!! I was pretty worn out by the time I got home, guess that the mud and the fact that I am still getting back into the swing of riding.

I must admit the weather has been better than I expected this weekend, when I looked earlier in the week it was forecasting rain for the weekend, but apart from a few small shower late yesterday afternoon and the same again now, it has not been a bad weekend weather wise.

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where did it go??

6:30am and I am off for an early morning ride, regularly readers of this bolg will know I have been trying to do this early morning ride for a few weeks now and for one reason or another failed to do so. My brain was ready for the ride as I was awake at 5:30am but I decided not to get up until 6am. Got everything ready jumped on the bike and almost woke the street as pain shot through my knee, I had forgotten to stretch my knees before I got on the bike fortunately it was only a short sharp pain and subsided within the first mile.

I decided to ride the heath this morning, as I only wanted to do a short run as this was my first ride in two weeks. Started well, got up the long drag to the main road without to much of a problem. The first section of the heath was in a better condition than I had expected considering the rain we have had, the condition on the rest of the ride were what I had expected – mud. It was not long before I was wondering where my energy had gone, my legs were like lead. I had already to decided to take a the short route home. This saved having to try climbing a large hill which I generally have to walk anyway. But I even had to walk up the hill on the short route which I normally clear with ease. I’m just glad I decided not to ride the other route I was considering this morning, the Throop loop (22 miles), I thought about riding this as the weather tomorrow was looking iffy.

The other reason I was out early is we have to go bed hunting for the daughter and she wants to go to Ikea in Southampton, oh joy………………..

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