Lots of folk write and ask me for advice, instructions and general information. I decided that I would put a place on the internet that allows them to visit and see what mischief I am (or have been) up to. Hopefully it will be appreciated - please feel free to press Ctrl + End and go to the bottom of this page and give me some feedback. If you think that it is worth it, please tell your friends, if not, please tell me - thank you.

It is my intention to add something here every 7 to 10 days - the most recent stuff will always be at the top of the page to save you time. My policy and techniques for removing stuff from the bottom - there will only ever be two weeks information shown in this page. At the bottom there will be a link to an index of earlier pages. This way, it will stop the page from becoming too long and unwieldy !

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Sunday 7th April 2002

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Feedback
One or two folk have said nice things about this page    . The number of visitors have fallen     but at the moment, I am still minded to carry on writing it each week.

BUT

it would be really good if every visitor to it, took a few seconds to invite a few friends to visit it please - thank you


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This weeks purchase
I have spent ages looking for a thing to cutting Potato Waffles (to be deep fried until crispy). They do them in posh hotels !! I saw AW-T on TV demonstrating such a thing. I had almost given up hope of ever finding them.

At a boot sale in Yorkshire, much to my surprise, I saw a stall dedicated to selling them. They were very expensive - one pound each. I bought three - whooppee !!


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Links
If you want to keep the time on your PC spot on, visit:-
www.get-time.org

---> Time Tools ---> GeT Desktop Clock Download

It is easy,
It is simple,
It works.

 

If you are interested in enjoying a Spectacular performance, visit:-
www.thescottishtattoo.com/

 

I guess that you must already know about them - but I will tell you anyway. www.amazon.co.uk is a really brilliant place to buy books

It is easy,
It is simple,
It works.
Prices are good.
It is really efficient !!.

 

Have you ever wondered how to find out when easter falls, if so visit:-
Easter Date Alogrithms
It is fascinating - there are some other interesting links on the page too.

 

I visited the very famous www.tucows.com recently (it is the site that is legendary for freeware, shareware utility downloads). Sadly it was very slow and unresponsive.

I moved to the less well known www.davecentral.com - it was faster, clearer and much easier to use. Its response was fast but the download speed for a program that I wanted was sadly eratic and slow. Sadly, after two hours and twelve attempts, I gave up the unequal struggle to download a program that I wanted.
Then just for the sheer hell of it, I had another go - I downloaded and installed "2nd Speech Center"
It is brilliant, select some text and it will read it - I love it !!
Once again. . . . .

It is easy,
It is simple,
It works.

 

I found an interesting website for designing your own PCs - don't know how good it is - but have a look it is at www.kustompcs.co.uk. If you use it, let me know how you get on.


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This weeks hotel
This week, I went to Yorkshire. I have travelled up the A1 thousands of times. I have seen the Darrington Hotel on almost every journey and thought "one day, I will stay there". Well I did !! It was incredibly inexpensive - and I guess that you get what you pay for.

I have taken a lot of time to try and give a very honest word picture of my stay there. It could be good - the staff are good, so I guess that they may not be managed as well as they might be.

The Darrington Hotel
Great North Road
Darrington
West Yorkshire
WF8 3BL
Telephone 01977 - 791 458
FAX 01977 602 286
Nice pleasant, freindly staff.

Booking stressed "double for single occupancy" - nearly got Room 1, a small single - moved to Room 11.


In the room, a card in the information pack said:-

Welcome
We are delighted you have chosen to stay in a
Scottish & Newcastle Hotel where we
are sure you will discover our
'welcome difference'

If I had a better memory (or was better educated!) I would be able to remember a phrase that speaks of fine words and buttered parsnips     hehehe

Clean and pleasant room (at first sight).

TV - good but no BBC 2.

Window curtain did not cover window when drawn.

Bed really comfortable - good nights kip.

Notice on wall in bathroom (no bath, just shower - not really designed for big guy like me) says "Beware - scalding water" - dripped.

Loo running over the syphon

Cold water good in the evening

Cold water very very hot in the morning - took five minutes to run really cold

Water wasting bathroom !!


Food - not great would be politest way of describing it

I took a lady that I was visiting for a late lunch/early evening meal.

Lovey sunny afternoon drive through pleasant Yorkshire country lanes to a lovely looking place.

The staff were nice, pleasant and attentive.

Our starters were:-

Mine
BACON AND CHEESE WEDGES 2.65
Crispy potato wedges still in their skins, seasoned and topped with chopped bacon and melted cheddar cheese.

BREADED MUSHROOMS 2.75
Delicious button mushrooms in a crunchy breaded coating. You choose the dip - pick from sour cream, BBQ, garlic mayonnaise, blue cheese or salsa picante.

Susan's - she chose two side orders
CRUNCHY ONION RINGS 1.30

SAUTEED MUSHROOMS 1.30

I had to fight the lady that took the order to a standstill to get her to agree to put both of my items on the same plate. I also asked if they were really crispy - they said "yes - I have just had them and they were certainly crispy". I was not asked what dip I wanted.

There were no problems in getting Susans two items on the same plate.

Mine was in an oval dish on a larger oval plate. The oval dish was very very hot, all that could be seen was a layer of melted cheese - what was underneath was anyones guess. It tasted all right but there was no evidence of crispyness - indeed it could have been mash for all I was able to determine. The mushrooms were carefully scattered (hidden) under and around the oval dish - they tasted OK when I found them. There was a bowl of dip - it was white, cold and completely tasteless. Not a brilliant starter - presentation was not a strong point - but I ate it all.

Susan's starter looked good and, she told me, tasted good.

 

Our main courses were:-

Mine
FRESHLY BATTERED HADDOCK 5.95
A large fillet of prime haddock encased in our own freshly made beer batter. Choose either mushy or garden peas to accompany a generous portion of chips.

Susan's
From the "Specials" blackboard LAMB HOT POT 4.95 (I think)

Mine was bland, dry, uninspiring. (the mushy peas were OK) The fish could have been five years old for all I could detect, it was so so dry and tasteless.

Susan's was the real disaster - what little meat she could find was tough and chewy. The rest of it was salty and bland. She only ate a quarter of it. What could I do, I could have moaned and groaned, but I didn't think that it would have done any good, so there seemed no point. (Maybe I am just "gut-less")
The next day, her young daughter asked what it was like - her answer was Oh Laura - it was horrible imagine my shame !!


In the evening, I went into the bar for a drink. There was one barman on duty - he spent thirteen minutes attending to a group of about six (very important) locals. When he got to me, the thing that I remember was not any sort of apology for the wait, but a sarcastic ticking off for not saying please and thank you when I gave my order. It may have been justified, but it sure is not a good way to encourage folk to drink there !!


Tea pot - stained

UHT milk (from "Cuisine") Ugghh - still 'orrible

Chilly room - window very very steamed up in the morning.


BREAKFAST

It is true to say that you remember an hotel by the last meal you eat there - usually breakfast. If they know what you want, that should be what you will get - explain your order carefully and clearly - I did that.

I said:-

Strong, strong, strong tea please - not cat pee.
Well done brown toast - not just warmed up bread.
Four crispy crispy rasher, on both sides please - I know that some places put the bacon on a plate under the grill, result crispy on top - white uncooked underneath, so on both sides please.
I helped myself to some 'orrible Orange Juice - fresh squeezed should be everywhere. (I know that can be wasteful - charge more and please the punters !!)

The tea was made with one tea bag in one of those terrible small, one-cup stainless steel tea pots that defy you to pour without spilling. So much for "strong, strong, strong". Why couldn't they say "sorry - you get one tea bag and lump it"

There were three slices of toasted bread, cut in half - six bits. Two bits were really nicely toasted - two bits about threequarters of the surface was just warmed up - the other two bits were half way in between.

The bacon was absolutely perfect.


Checkout was very pleasant, painless, efficient and informative.


The lovely weather and pleasant peacefull surrounding as I departed to drive through nice country lanes, put a smile on my face - all was forgiven and all was well with the world !!


Maybe my opinion would not be universal - the place seemed to be well occupied - I counted 21 ish vehicles that had been there overnight. If they get that occupancy rate, why would they want to make any improvements ??


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Recommendations
If you are looking for a widebeam boat for use on the Inland Waterways of the UK (I am) you may fall across www.westendmarine.org.uk (I did).
Do not try to visit them (I did) - they are not at 56 Horbury Road in Wakefield - it is now a shop for Pine furniture !!

 


On Wednesday 3rd April 2002, I drove up the M1 to Yorkshire.
As is often my custom, I stopped for food and nourishment at the Woodall Services. I have re-produced the bill from the Granary below - it shows several things. That I eat lots of food (am a growing pig - hehehe). That it is not cheap to eat in such a place. It should indicate that one might expect good service
(after all there are signs saying that they pay Egon Ronay to advise)

The place is spotlessly clean, comfortable, well laid out, nice views - can't fault that bit.

The lady that served me gave me the food promptly dissappeared behind the walls into the kitchen. I realised that the plate was absolutely stone cold. I complained firmly but politely to the lady on the till. There was no evidence or indication that the message had been received, understood or that any notice would be taken.

Expensive hot food should, in my opinion, be served on warm plates !!

I cannot recommend Welcome Break Services and shall not eat there again.

         Welcome Break Group Ltd.
           Retail North, Woodall
           Tel No. 01142 486 434
           VAT No:GB 685 417211

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Qty Name                Price Total To Pay

  4 BACON SIDE FC        0.99       3.96
  2 FRIED BREAD FC       0.99       1.98
  2 HASH BROWNS SID      0.99       1.98
  2 SAUSAGE SIDE FC      0.99       1.98
  1 FRESHLY SQUEEZE      1.85       1.85
----------------------------------------
Total to pay                      11.75
VAT 17.5%                          1.75
Net SubTotal                      10.00

Received
Cash                              20.00

Received
Change                            -8.25


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        Invoice    20588      Original
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03/04/2002 08:04 By:40 POS:26 Trn 20588
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You Have Been Served By:Sarah

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