Saturday, 29 December 2012

To Stone and to Stoke

Yesterday Mick walked into Stone to visit the hardware store... again... and cruised back onboard nb Winton's Folly as they were returning to the marina.  I had intended to spend the time working but the first hour I had a good tidy up, then a chat with Diane and Rebecca who came onboard to check out Mick's progress with the stove, and finally I settled to some work.

Mick enjoyed his cruise and returned full of enthusiasm for going out in the boat soon.  He didn't have a lot of luck at the hardware store so we decided a trip to B&Q would be needed.  As we chatted, we were reminded of a funny thing that happened in our first couple of weeks in the UK.  Mick wanted a couple of sponges to give the boat a wash.  At B&Q they were 50p each and above them was a sign that said "3 for 2".  We've come to know that the English seem to love this type of deal - the supermarkets are full of them.  But, it was the first time Mick had seen it and he quickly worked out that the 50p each worked out cheaper.  At the checkout the fellow told him to go back and get another as they were 3 for 2.  Mick said it worked out more expensive so he'd just have the two of them!  After a quick explanation all became clear and he left with his 3 sponges (for the price of two)!

Today we decided we'd catch the bus into Stoke on Trent.  Mick wanted B&Q, we wanted to buy a second tv from Tesco (the same as the one we have), and we thought it would be nice to have a bus trip in a different direction.  We walked to the bus stop opposite the Three Crowns and got there with 10 minutes to spare before the expected bus.  After about five minutes we saw Gordon from nb Ewn Ha Cul coming towards us.  It turned out he had been waiting at the opposite stop, intending to catch the same route in the opposite direction into Stafford.  It wasn't to be.  We weren't aware that it was a "Bank Holiday" and the bus ran on the Saturday timetable which meant it didn't come beyond Stone!  Lucky he saw us waiting and came to tell us!!

We decided to walk into Stone and catch the bus from there.  As we walked we realized it wouldn't be practical to walk so far back to the marina carrying a television all the way from Stone.  We decided to take the other bus service that goes down the main road on the opposite side of the marina as that came a bit closer and we would walk back from there.

We had lunch when we arrived at Hanley and then went our own ways - Mick to B&Q and me to check out The Potteries Shopping Centre.  We met up at Tesco to buy the television and a few other bits and pieces.  As we came out of Tesco and began on our way to the bus station at the top of the hill I noticed a bus stop opposite.  We checked out the bus routes that used this stop and as we did our bus appeared.  Perfect! 

It was a great day out and we've decided we'll catch the bus somewhere once a week.  We're getting cabin fever with the boat being in the marina and the weather being so rainy. 

We had another first today.  We placed an online grocery order with Ocado and had it delivered.  The cheapest delivery slot was 5.30 - 6.30pm so I went out in the dark to wait for it.  A chat with Gil from nb Shoehorn as she came to collect her laundry helped pass the time.  The driver was very friendly and helpful placing the bags in the little marina wheelie cart.  We'll definitely do this again.

Photos : some interesting buildings in Hanley (despite the gloomy weather)

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