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more life skills

sa 6 Oct

nearthecoast on AlamyLife Skills No.22: We've noticed increasingly people see small change as an annoyance, especially non-drivers who don't need it for parking.  If so then next time you are in a supermarket with self-service checkouts use one, put all your change in and pay the balance with a card.  (Thanks to Big Al for this one.)

sa 8 Sep

Life Skills No.21: Fisher's Law:  If it works today there's no guarantee it will tomorrow ... get used to it.

th 5 Jul

Life Skills No.20: WD40 effectively helped remove a particularly determined sticky label and didn't affect the clear plastic underneath ... useful to know.

su 4 Mar

Tesco discount voucherLife Skills No.19: Just before Christmas we spent just over a qualifying £90 in the Saxmundham Tesco but had left the £9 discount voucher atbloody Christmas ... eh? home.  Just in case three days later on the way to see It's A Wonderful Life in Aldeburgh we went to customer services who checked the voucher was still in date and then gave us nine quid in cash!

th 25 Jan
Burns Night

Life Skills No.18: Transport for London made it clear that our quality of life would be similar to that there Ed Sheraton's if we had a free second generation Oyster card so we ordered one.  It arrived and on line we tried to transfer credit from old to new card but though we hadn't set up a password on the new card the software was convinced there was a password soSecond generation Oyster card we set one up, 48 hour wait for it to update.  Having managed to move £1.79 from old to new Oyster card we then credited the new card online for five pounds but for the credit to complete we had to use the card within three days, not much use.  Something then revealed that an Oyster card is no cheaper than a contactless debit card and a debit card can be registered with TfL so you still receive your use reports ... life eh?

th 14 Dec

Tesco discount voucherLife Skills No.17: Those Tesco discount off a big shop vouchers have a start as well as an end date, caught us out at the big Tescos in Bury St Edmunds.

su 20 Aug

BP logoLife Skills No.16: When giving your pump number to a petrol station cashier it might help to gesture towards or look at the pump in the hope that you won't be charged for somebody else's fuel like we did on the A14 a while back.  Yesterday at the same station when we told the female cashier that the gent's toilet stalls were about to overflow we got Mmm ... lovely.

we 5 Apr

The long defunct farthing, on quarter of an old pennyLife Skills No.14: Before closing a credit card account with a monthly direct debit cancel the direct debit first like we did our MBNA card, despite having zero balance MBNA is complaining it can't take the £25 direct debit.

mo 9 Jan

Life Skills No.13: When sending us a press release not for publication best to point out it's not for publication ... alternatively don't bother sending in the first friggin' place.

th 13 Oct

TSB tv advertLife Skills No.12: When opening a bank account online, say hypothetically a TSB cash ISA, check how you can get your money out again, you may be told you have to visit a branch and the nearest TSBs to near the coast are Stowmarket and Ipswich ... we do like the tv ad with the little dog though.

tu 14 Jun

Fire hydrant in an unmade roadLife Skills No.11:  Unless you live in the countryside there will be one of these near your house though the yellow paint will be long gone.  It's a fire hydrant.  When the fire engine's water tanks run out as the brigade try to put your house fire out they get more water from the hydrant.  If your fire hydrant is in an unmade road not a good idea to bury the hydrant when you're filling in the potholes.

th 31 mr 16
world backup day

The M25 doesn't changeLife Skills No.10:  Don't travel on a bank holiday, definitely don't travel on a bank holiday that's a nice sunny day and absolutely absolutely don't travel on a bank holiday that's a nice sunny day and the forecast says it'll be the only nice day of the weekend.  (Our journey last Good Friday took over eight hours rather than the usual four.)

tu 1 Mar
St David's Day

Spices in gherkin jarsLife Skills No.9:  Supermarkets that have a world food section (the Norwich Hartford Bridge Tesco has Nigerian 6% Guinness!) may have those large cellophane bags of ground spices at a pro rata one fifth the price of Schwartz refills.  We decant them into large one time gherkin jars and even then the jars aren't big enough.  Couldn't see any large bags in the Martlesham Tesco today but not surprisingly the Hackney Tesco does stock them.

mo 23 Nov

Life Skills No.8:  Proving identity can be difficult especially if it's your elderly mum in a care home and oddly enough she doesn't hold a firearms license.  Web printed statements from paperless utility accounts won't satisfy Barclays but surprisingly although a lot more than a few months old a council tax bill will.

tu 1 Sep

Life Skills No.7:  From today the maximum you can spend on a contactless tap and go card increases from £20 to £30 so now you can probably use it to buy lunch in Pret A Manger ... whatever that is!

su 21 Jun
Summer Solstice - the longest dayFather's Day - pic contributed by R Magritte

Halesworth phone boxLife Skills No.6:  When did you last make a call from a pay phone box?  (Yes, they do still exist, this one's near Halesworth station.)  We think our last time was ten years ago in Epping High Street and we put a pound coin in to be safe, nowadays it's a bit more complicated.

mo 26 Jan
Australia Day

Life Skills No.5:  If you find yourself in Long Stratton on a Sunday after 4pm the big Co-op is shut but the little one on the corner opposite the Shell/Lotus garage is open.  This knowledge is particularly valuable if you're travelling back to near the coast and haven't realised the new Spar in Stradbroke will be open.

UPDATE: The little corner Co-op is now an undertakers.

sa 25 Oct

Centre punch a scissors' screwLife Skills No.4:  Scissors with a screw that keeps loosening tighten the screw, turn the scissors over and centre punch the end of the screw so it expands just a little.

fr 3 Oct

Marmite jar on its sideLife Skills No.3:  Those large jars of Marmite which seem to be the default these days have flats on the sides.  No doubt something to do with how they pack in a box but it has the unintended consequence that you can put the jar on its side, leave for while and get the last couple of spreadings out a bit more easily.

sa 17 May

Life Skills 2:Life Skills No.2:  If going out (especially if going out out) and wine is likely to be taken don't wear your new glasses ... or when painting a ceiling.

tu 18 Mar

recorded deliveryLife Skills No.1:  When sending a letter (a letter not an email) to a big organisation use recorded (or special) delivery not because it's more likely to get there but because big organisations use the Royal Mail barcode to log the letter's arrival, without it they'll have no record the letter arrived.

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