Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Is it that difficult?

I was sat spinning this really gorgeous silk and superfine merino this afternoon considering the  ins and outs of getting what you pay for......  Customer satisfaction should be at the top of any supermarkets agenda, shouldn't it?  Well it is for some and others it seems couldn't really care less whether you are happy and likely to shop again in their store!


Contrast last Thursday experience in our local Tesco store with today's at M&S and Motability.  History first..............

Recently Tesco have introduced self-scanning in our local branch and we duly registered, having been using a similar system at Waitrose for many years, it does save time, because you only handle the shopping once - pick it up, scan, pop it in the bag and theoretically you don't have to touch it again until you put it away at home - well that's the basic idea.  Obviously you have to accept that now and again you will have to be re-scanned - in over ten years of self-scanning at Waitrose we have been re-scanned less than five times, twice at the Cirencester branch, once at Portishead and I think we were checked while we were away on holiday, any way no more than five times.

In the ten days we have been using the Tesco service - four times, we have been re-checked three times, on Thursday the random checking was activated on five of the six checkouts at the same time!  The one assistant was then expected to re-scan all five trolley loads at the same time.  One man had one sandwich and he was forced to wait while two other people with far more shopping than he were re-checked.  Here's the bit that really got me quite angry - the assistant insisted on re-scanning the items that we had bought in M&S - going right through my bag, without my permission and despite me pointing out that the items she was attempting to scan came from another shop! 

By this time Sandwich man and I had struck up a potential life-long friendship as we discovered that we had similar tastes in good food and service, neither of which we were experiencing at that particular moment.  Plus we were both at heart Waitrose shoppers, and that the opening of the new Waitrose in Chipping Sodbury couldn't come soon enough of either of us!  'See you there' he said as soon as he was able to pay for his solitary sandwich.......

By this time the quick shop had become a long shop and Mr S was quite close to really losing his temper - the section manager did not agree that three out of four was unreasonable or that five out of six was random - strange because both Sandwich man, Mr S and I all agreed..

Compare that with the helpful assistant in M&S, who not only remembers that Mr S is a celiac but also knows that I am a veggie, and rang us up to inform us that they had the gluten free cod in store and would we like some put by?  This store, by the way, only opened in late July, so its not as if we had been customers for years and years....  

Then today, the day before we go off for a short holiday, I remembered that the Road Fund Licence on my car would run out at the end of this month, and that I wouldn't be here to renew when the reminder came.  This is my Motability car, so I have to wait for them to send of the reminder - well the very helpful Matt soon had things sorted out - rather than wait and do the renewal myself - just pop a cheque in the post and we will sort out everything and the disc will be waiting when you get home - now that's service!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

One Day at a time......

I am a day late, not for the first time, for a Woolly Wednesday............  My excuse is that yesterday was such a lovely sunny day Mr S and I went for a walk rather than say indoors!

August was a month of spinning and dyeing, the only knitting project I had on the go, fell lost and forgotten under a chair until discovered covered in Molly's hairs and only partially on the needles.........  So I frogged and started over again as part of the holiday KAL on 12shawls4ever!

So spinning and dyeing - some of the dyeing was of the natural kind for samples on the SpinDyeWeavers display.

Marigold and Eucalyptus produced paler than expected shades, but the Marigold was the best - a really beautiful pale yellow here on some Falkland Merino.

I am still collecting petals for another dye bath as I think that this is one of nicest colours I have got from nature.

Dyeing silk, is very satisfying, the colours really sing out, but I have got the best results using Procion dyes which seem to penetrate the silk better than acid dyes!  But which ever, the results are stunning, well I think so!

Golden Rain

This is one of my favourites, acid dyed with lots of white, this 50grams is enough for a shawl.

Dark Summer Morning

Continuing with the luxury theme I ordered 500 grams of Superfine Merino and Mulberry Silk 50/50 from World of Wool - wow what a fabulous fibre, so silky soft it almost drafts itself

This is the first bobbin, the second is done and I shall 2ply tonight.  I have fractal spun this, so with luck it won't be too barber pole.

Actually I haven't spent the entire month spinning, there has been the ongoing/never ending fleece washing!  But by washing using littlemarchhare's method it hasn't been that onerous.

Every morning I wash two envelopes and hang out to dry, in the afternoon I 'try' to comb the day before's washed fleece!  I have slipped a bit, but for the most part this method is working and I have lots of lovely fibre nests waiting to be spun

Also washed is some Dorset Down, Poll Dorset and Exmoor Horn samples kindly donated for the display table by David and Ruth Wilkins of Rampisham Hill Farm. I have been lucky enough to source some Clun Forest, Border Leicester from this year's clip and have been promised some Blue de Maine from next years!  But as according to the British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB) there are 86 distinct British breeds so we still have a long way to go!
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