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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Outing To Bicester and Over-Night Snow

On Friday afternoon, once Carol and Kendra had finished work, we drove into the centre of Milton Keynes as Kendra wanted to go to the main Post Office. We managed to park immediately outside which made things considerably easier. We found that we could park there for 30 minutes without having to pay, which was great as we didn't have to look for another parking space. Once inside the Post Office, we found the place really busy. We were somewhat surprised to discover that Kendra was putting a Cadbury's selection box into a large padded envelope. We were expecting her to be sending something really important home to Canada, to her family or boyfriend, not a load of chocolate! I expect the cost of postage, together with the cost of the padded envelope, would have been far more than the value of the chocolate! I think it's because they don't have Cadbury's chocolate in Canada or something. 

From the centre of Milton Keynes we drove over to Westcroft as Kendra needed some shopping, so we went to Aldi and she did her shopping and we decided to do ours, which was convenient as it meant we didn't need to go when we usually go on Saturday. We then went to the Brother's fish and chip shop in Eaglestone on the return journey to buy fish and chips as we usually do on a Friday.

We have now learnt that one of the other three girls who were going to share a house with Kendra, hence the viewing of the house last weekend and another in Oldbrook the other day, has decided not to join them, so it's going to be even harder for her to find somewhere to live because the monthly rent would be far too much for just two of them. So she can stay living with us for as long as it takes to find something else.

Saturday morning started bright and sunny so we went for a drive out in the car to Bicester. There was a definite need to get out of the house, due mainly to the rain we've had recently. We've been to either Bicester Village or Bicester Avenue, both shopping centres. Bicester Village is an 'outlet' shopping centre which we've been to on a few occasions whilst Bicester Village is similar but based around a Wyevale garden centre. But we decided to visit the centre of Bicester itself. We have been in to go to the market and once, a few years ago, when I used to do care work, I had to go to a training day there. A bit of a waste of time, thinking back, because the agency who was supposed to give me work, didn't provide me with enough work to make it worth my while, so it was quite a long way to drive without much of a result.

We parked the car in a multi-storey car park in a  relatively new development called Pioneer Square which has a large branch of Sainsbury's and other shops, including a Vue  multi-screen cinema complex. We walked down into the street and were looking for somewhere to have a coffee as Carol, who is diabetic, was in need of something to eat and drink. We found a branch of Costa, but once inside it was far too crowded and we couldn't find a vacant table to we left in search of somewhere else. We then came across a camera shop, called Imagex, an independently owned establishment, and ventured inside and looked at lenses for the Canon camera I bought recently. The staff were very helpful and we've looked at a telephoto lens which we might yet buy as we want one to be able to take more inventive shots, particularly of the animals at Whipsnade.  As I had the Canon digital camera with me I was able to try the lens out and it seemed just what we had been looking for. We also saw a camera which Camera likes which I may buy for her as she has a birthday coming up in March and it would replace the little Olympus camera we had which got damaged when we went for a walk with the dogs and Alfie made Carol drop when he jumped up excitedly. 

We left the camera shop and walked back along the streets of Bicester.  The main street has been pedestrianized which makes it far safer. We eventually came to a cafe/coffee shop called Baguette Box and had coffee, cake, and a cookie which was just what we needed. Having seen all we wanted to we walked back to Pioneer Square and the car and left. Fortunately, we discovered when we entered that you could park there for two hours without paying, but I'm not sure how you would know when to start paying. How would they know in the carpark to start charging? I expect something to do with number-plate reading technology or something. So we returned home, happy in the knowledge that we'd used our timeout well, with the sun still shining.

This morning, however, we woke to find a blanket of snow had fallen and covered the garden and the car outside in the drive. Both dogs are somewhat shocked. Poppy loves the snow and usually gambols around in it like a spring lamb. Alfie, on the other hand, is not so sure. He has seen snow before, but as he suffers from cold as he has a thin coat of fur, I don't think he likes it very much. I think he doesn't like the feel of the cold on his feet.
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