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life skills

we 12 Oct

Life Skills No. 9Life Skills No. 50:  Spices in most supermarkets (even the big one at Martlesham) only seem come in those little glass tubes making Life Skills No. 9 redundant... but Cupboard Love on Framlingham market has spices and stuff loose including the ground coriander we wanted, just bring a jar.

we 17 Aug

Swiss Army Knife Classic SDLife Skills No. 48:  If you're going to oil your Swiss army knife because the blades have become a little stiff take out the toothpick first or you'll be tasting 3-in-One for weeks if not months.

tu 19 Jul

Life Skills No. 47:  Visiting the Leiston or Ipswich council tips needs an appointment ... and a single mattress should fit into the back of a small hatchback.

sa 28 May

Life Skills No. 46:  Seems the Saxmundham Waitrose normally closes at 8pm, who knew?  We didn't and they don't announce it on the pa.

su 1 May
International Dawn Chorus Day

Life Skills No. 45:  If as a small attempt to lighten life's load you usually order a lovelyBuy us a coffee latte don't order a lovely cappuccino because you'll get a latte, order a captivating cappuccino.  Similarly if you say Get me anything but a cheese roll you'll get a cheese roll.

th 31 Mar
world backup day

Life Skills No.44:  We've finally worked out how you get a bacon roll in Costa Coffee when you can't see it on the menu ... if there is one you pick it out of the display cabinet.  OK, you all knew that.

mo 14 Feb

Life Skills No. 43:  An OPEN sign that can't change to CLOSED is not to be trusted.

tu 18 Jan
Winnie the Pooh Day - AA Milne's birthday

Not the hard disc that wasn't deliveredLife Skills No.42:  Months back a £60 hard disc sent via a Royal Mail signed for service was delivered somewhere else than it's proper destination here.  The local post office was totally disinterested and the sender was getting pretty much the same response from the Royal Mail help line.  Adding the what3words to the address might have helped.

tu 4 Jan

Recycled bag 29pLife Skills No. 41:  In an East of England Co-op expected free exchange of a torn bag for life.  Later discovered we'd been charged 29p for recycling.  Seems bags for life are no longer immortal, luckily we have a nylon type bag with a cat motif that folds up dead small.

tu 12 Oct

Defibrillator at a college sports centreLife Skills No.40:  We're clearly a bit slow, we couldn't see how useful emergency equipment like a defibrillator is when it's locked behind a number pad.  What you do is dial 999 to get the code, though in our defence some cabinets don't make this clear.

tu 23 Mar
Life Skill 39
Temporary cable repairPC TipsLife Skills No.39: The first law of electronics is It's always the lead; the second law is the same as the first.  The cable bending where the strain relief ends (insert your own constipation joke) breaks the wire inside.  Tape tightly wrapped around the cable to stop the bending is a temporary fix until a replacement lead arrives which in time will also become unreliable where the strain relief ends ...
mo 4 Jan

Coins not accepted hereLife Skills No.38:  We expect you know it's a good idea to ask a service provider for a deal before renewing a contract?  What surprised us more after dickering with BT via online chat was not that it saved some £240 on the year but after doing the sums the deal worked out pretty much the same as Plusnet ...

fr 25 Sep

Vertical NS&I interest rates dropLife Skills No.37:  If you've have money in National Savings (prudent old you) at the end of October most interest rates are dropping to pretty much non-existent presumably in attempt to help pay for the coronavirus.

mo 21 Sep

Tooth-Fil Temporary Dental FillingLife Skills No.36:  Just after the lock down start we lost a filling.  Months of trying and eventually we got a dentist's appointment for November but the missing filling was feeling uncomfortable.  For £1 (it must be the last outstanding bargain in Western Europe) the Framlingham Chemists has a temporary filling paste for DIY fillings.  Put it in Tuesday and it's still there.

mo 22 Jun

13 amp socket with USB chargingOur grateful thanks to Tony Hutt for doing the sum we should have and calculating the standby cost of charging USBs on a 13amp socket is pence per year ... but then as our mother said (wagging her finger) when she got a £200 ex-gratia payment for slipping over sequence dancing It's not the money nearthecoast it's the principle.

mo 1 Jun

13 amp socket with USB chargingLife Skills No.35:  We were attracted by a short lived Screwfix offer on these 13amp sockets with USB charging, but you know how your USB charger gets warm even when nothing's connected?  That's because it's still consuming power and it's still going on your bill.  For these sockets it's less than 75mW but it is 24/7 so we gave it a miss.

we 22 Apr

The NHS AppLife Skills No.34:  To register on the NHS app you need photo id like a driving license or passport and be prepared to supply a video of yourself saying four numeric digits.  We registered over two days because after the initial registration the process got stuck and we completed the next day.

su 12 Apr
Easter Sunday

Dartford Crossing refundLife Skills No.33:  We do find it wearing how often you have to complain In the UK.  When the Dartford Crossing (a government website but seemingly a private business) tells you they are closing your account they don't offer to give your money back.  We got our £19.96 back but it took five emails and arrived as a handwritten cheque.  Now we need to get £29 (yes £29) parking back from the 02 in that there London for the cancelled Eric Church concert. ♫

mo 6 Apr

Life Skills No.32:  In the UK contactless card transactions begin in 2007 with a £10 limit.  Last Wednesday prompted by the Covid pandemic the limit went up from £30 to £45 though it will take time for some retailers to catch up.

tu 17 Mar
St Patricks's Day

Tesco vouchersLife Skills No.31:  If you get absolutely soaked through, say photographing american football during Storm Ciara and your Tesco vouchers run so they won't scan there is a fix.  You can print them out online from your Tesco clubcard account, our grateful thanks to the very helpful woman at the checkout.

su 1 Mar
St David's Day

National Savings and InvestmentsLife Skills No.30:  Premium Bonds were introduced in 1956, you could buy a single one pound bond but had to wait six months for them to become lottery eligible.  In our recent memory the minimum buy was a £100, it went down to £50 recentlyish and last month reduced further to £25.

tu 4 Feb

nearthecoast on AlamyLife Skills No.29:  When in a shop run by posh people don't get your money out too soon, they'll keep you waiting before they take it ... it's something to do with the sordid nature of coin.

sa 28 Dec

How to make a silent 999 callLife Skills No.28:  It reflects how bureaucrats think that there are seven paragraphs to read on the IOPC (Independent Office for Police Conduct) web page before it actually tells you how to make a silent 999 call ... here's how ... if prompted? ... you would hope that would be when prompted.  While we're in the area if you're deaf you can make a three nines call by text but you do need to register first.

th 12 Dec

Life Skills No.27:  We carried an organ donor card for over three decades until it disintegrated when accidently (who does it on purpose?) put through the washingOnline registration as an organ donor machine.  We've now registered as a donor online; comparatively straight forward, has a preferred name box, lots of gender options and if you select All (organs) you could help nine people or more.

fr 8 Nov

Life Skills No.26:  We first drank a Rombouts drip coffee at the charming Geffrye Museum in East London; it came with a matching cup and biscuit instantlyDouble coffee drippers besotting us.  As the popularity spread inexperienced staff (which seemed to be most of them) would overfill the dripper leaving the drinker to deal with an overflowing cup.  We bought our first drippers certainly for decades and found them sadly gutless, using two improved the situation a bit.

th 1 Aug

A postal order for people who don't have cheque booksLife Skills No.25: Postal Orders are cheques for people who don't have a cheque book.  We recently bought one for a friend ... not the friend with erectile dysfunction another friend.  We had to pay cash and we were a bit surprised that a £10 PO cost £11.25

mo 11 Mar

Life Skills No.24: Always staple a cheque to the paperwork.  We had a cheque that somehow at the Land Registry got separated from the application and suddenly we were dealing with two people, the person who had the application and the person who had the cheque ... not easy to sort out.

su 12 Jan

Private Passions presenter Michael Berkeley - pic contributedLife Skills No.23: If you enjoy hearing Desert Island Discs Sunday mornings you might like its slightly posher cousin Private Passions which follows on Radio 3.  The chosen music often has a wider range and presenter Michael Berkeley's musical knowledge and resonant voice add a further dimension ... just saying.

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