Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

I went to a local postal services agency to post my Xmas parcels to daughters in the U.K.  Note, I didn’t go to a Post Office.  Those don’t exist any more.  There are still a few Post Shops, 80 out of 880 post outlets, but NZ Post plans to close all Shops soon.  They like you to organise your parcel posting online and use their courier service, but this is not practical for many people.  Postal services are now located inside chemist shops, bookshops, and supermarkets.  I use these rather than organising postage online as I like to think I am keeping workers in jobs.  For the same reason I eschew the self-service tills in the supermarket.

My presents were wrapped and just needed to be placed in a postal bag and weighed, once I’d filled in the address and customs declaration.  I’d carefully ensured that the contents of each bag were valued at less than $70 (£38) to avoid VAT being charged at the other end.  The staff member perused my declaration and asked me to confirm that the bag included a fridge magnet.  It did, and I hadn’t realised that these are now forbidden to be posted.  They are listed under ‘Other Prohibited Items’ along with Animals (except correctly packaged bees, leeches, silkworms and harmless insects).  My sealed bag had to be cut open, ditto the wrapped package inside, and the magnet extracted.  I’m not an expert parcel wrapper, but this one will look even more amateurish than usual when it finally arrives.

The forlorn fridge magnet is now residing on my filing cabinet, and I’ll be even more careful with my choice of gifts in future.

Sheepish magnet

‘The sheepish magnet could not go
the other gifts were deemed righto.’


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Now I’m worried about all the unhappy tomatoes I may have bought in the past.

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Which flavour would the mice prefer?  This display caught my eye, in the gourmet section – Savoury Spread for your Mouse traps, anyone?

We often add relish if we’re making mousetraps for our lunch, but I’d never noticed this product before,

“Which flavour would our mice prefer
as a mouse trap provocateur?”

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A generous friend gave me a nursery voucher, and suggested I might buy a plant to remember Denny by, or something to lift my own spirits.  It was a treat to go to Oderings to choose something.  I wanted a more suitable pot for my new Anthurium, but that was hard to find.  So many of their pots had no drainage holes.  The salesperson told me they are bought as decor items rather than pots for plants.  They did have some ceramic ones with holes and saucers, but the saucers were too small to contain any overwatering.  I was told a number of customers had complained about that.  In the end I chose a pot and saucer I liked in plastic.

As a ‘remembrance’ plant I wanted purple/blue tulips, but Oderings had only spiky white ones, and weren’t expecting any more.  There were plenty of blue iphaeons and bluebells, but I already have an abundance of these in my garden, and I wanted tulips.  Eventually I settled for mauve hyacinth bulbs.

Then we went to Portstone, where there was a better range, and I got bright purple tulips.  These and the hyacinth bulbs will have a cooling off period in the fridge before they are planted.

“Bluebells are pretty, yes indeed.
It’s purple tulips that I need.”


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Guruji is an Indian supermarket with a wonderful range of goods, but their spelling leaves something to be desired!

“They sadly lack a good proof reader.
Where’s Lynne Truss when we really need her?

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The one-off market at the Arts Centre today felt nostalgic – just like the olden days pre-earthquake.   There was a good range of craft and food stalls and pleasant music from Amiria Grenell and Matthew Smith.  As we walked towards the market we met the local Dachshund Walking Group out for a summer stroll.  On this hot day could they be called sizzling sausages?

Note there’s one in a pushchair

With the temperature high it was good to find plenty of shady seats where we could sit and sip a cold drink which came in an ecocup “Made from plants not oil”.

I met a friendly penguin who was promoting the Antarctic Centre.

This was an excellent opportunity to see different goods that are locally produced, and to do some Xmas shopping.

“Arts Centre Market used to be
a favourite shopping place for me.”




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Stunning Stall

Our neighbour Luisa is a clever craftswoman.  She sells her wares at various markets, and has created the ideal stall to take to these.  She’s recycled a horsebox, just one metre wide, painted it attractively, and fitted her racks and goods into it.   It can easily be towed to and set up at any location, has shelter from sun and rain, and somewhere for her to sit.  We spied her today at the monthly Linwood market.

Luisa’s stall

“Her stall will always catch the eye
persuading folk to stop and buy.”



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