Tag Archives: Tesco

Fashion…A Cut Above The Norm ?

With the record temps this week melting roads, buckling railway lines and making lots of people just nasty to stand next to, I decided to buy a new pair of shorts.

Now I have several pairs of shorts but only one pair has fitted me for the last couple of years as my waistline has expanded somewhat.  The others I keep, in the mostly forlorn hope that one day I may be able to “climb into” them and get the top button to actually go into the top hole……or come anywhere close to it.

This fitting pair work for me as they have an elasticated waistband, a boon to those of us with the accepted medical condition known as obesity !  The problem recently has been that, as with most of my clothing, I’ve had them years and have worn them almost daily since the start of the month. A few days ago I discovered that the material on each side of my precious bits has worn away and I risk being done for exposure if I wear them outside again.

Personally I’d just call them “designer ventilated” but I doubt that the police, fashion or otherwise, would agree.

So much as I hate shopping for clothes (I know, who’d have thunk it !), I went to buy a new pair earlier this week. I just wanted a similar kind, you know, the ones you see spectators wearing at golf matches (not in the US though, oh dear me no).

Like these……..


Now I admit I probably shouldn’t have gone to Tesco but it was nearby and I felt had a good range of clothing.

Just not for my age or size as it turned out.

They had NO shorts of the type above and so not wanting to go elsewhere, I lowered my expectations and just looked for any shorts that wouldn’t cause me to end up in the magistrate’s court.

At this point I have to say that despite having spent a lot of time in the US of A where oldies like me can wear just about anything and not be stared at or carted off to a rest home, we just aren’t like that here in the UK.

Or probably anywhere else for that matter.

So no shorts that were light blue, bright yellow, green, pink…..you get the picture, for this senior citizen.

Somewhat out of desperation and feeling slightly intimidated by being close to so many new items of clothing, I plumped for a pair that looked like sweat pants that had been cut off just above the knee. The label didn’t mention waist size and checking others of the same type on the rack, they only came in S,M and L.

As my days of being S or M ending in my twenties, I chose L and they seemed baggy enough for me. Stretchy too. They also came with a draw string method of tightening which I took to be a good omen.

Not bothering to try them on, I fairly scampered to the self checkouts and left the store with slightly raised blood pressure and a tightness in my chest.


Fast forward to a few hours later when I decided to try them on in the privacy of my bedroom. With only one leg in the shorts, I already suspected that I’d made a mistake. With the other leg in the shorts, suspicion gave way to certainty.

With movements akin to a trainee limbo dancer I managed to get them over my hips, at which point I noticed the ends of the draw string rapidly disappearing into the waistband material. I also felt the blood flow being constricted in my thighs so I stopped and despite knowing what I’d see, I checked myself in the mirror and, well lets just say if I did manage to get them a bit higher, my lack of Jewish ancestry would be clearly evident !

As there hadn’t been a choice of XL, 2XL, 3XL etc, I’d assumed L (with the draw string remember) would fit my fuller figure effortlessly.

Ha ! Big mistake. Big.  L mistake in fact.

And so it was that I found myself at the Tesco Customer Service desk the next day and after explaining to the lady that I’d no intention of taking part in the Tour de France in those shorts, I got my refund and went up to the clothing floor to try again.

As the forecast was for the hottest day of the year, if not of all time, I now was looking at shorts that I’d discarded the previous day as being unsuitable for my age group and without too much deliberation, I went for a pair that I believe are classed as “distressed” in modern fashion parlance but this time I also picked another pair, a size bigger and trotted off to the changing room to try them on.

Fool me once…and so on.

The first pair (again elasticated) fitted nicely and with no zip or buttons to mess with, just pulled on like swim shorts. I liked them.

But in the interests of comfort and increased air flow, I then tried on the larger pair and therein lay the conundrum. With the elasticated waistband and draw string, they were the dogs bollocks, as Gok Wan was never heard to say. Although they permitted a free flow of movement, albeit a bit too much freedom, I just couldn’t bear to accept the fact I’d be getting shorts that big.

No, no, no. I’m at the start of a diet and exercise program to reduce my HbA1C level to below that which currently labels me as being type 11 diabetic so I’m determined to reduce my waistline.

I replaced the larger sized shorts (you may have noticed I’m not mentioning any sizes here – I’m fat, not stupid !) and left the store with a spring in my step as I’d bought clothing and survived the experience.

So….distressed.  What’s that all about ?  Why the need to buy something new that looks like something old ?  Given time and wear, they’ll be old soon enough.

God knows I know THAT feeling.

But as well as being blotchy, these shorts have multiple built in creases around the precious area that give the impression that I’ve slept in them for a month or more.

Again…….that would happen naturally over time so why introduce it when new ?

Oh it’s fashion you’ll say.  It’s bollocks I say.  I want my new clothes to look new. At least to look new till the first wash.

I saw a photo of multi millionaire F1 driver Louis Hamilton this week and he was wearing white shorts, somewhat in the style of the photo I added earlier.

But they were slashed like he’d come second best in a fight with Neil “Razor” Ruddock and the hems were more frayed than my nerves when clothes shopping.

This is fashion ?

Oh well, with my new distressed and pre creased shorts, I can go walking knowing that I’m almost on the edge of being fashionable….and decent.

If I want to go full Gok Wan, I’ll need a pair of scissors and that’s not happening. There may be one or two differences between me and Louis Hamilton but I’m happy that MY shorts don’t look like they were on the outside of his F1 car doing over 200mph.

By the way, if you’re wondering about my use of the word “precious” when referring to my old (very old) family jewels, it comes from an episode of Gogglebox I watched this week. The families and friends were watching a show about lifelike human models with artificial intelligence that, if the show’s facts were to be believed, will soon be all the rage.  Clearly at this stage in their development, these models were being bought by, lets call them, lonely men with needs (and women, as there were male models too) !

Yes, lets leave it at that.

Anyway, being anatomically correct, the (male) creator showed us how, when he used his fingers in a certain place on the (female) model, it would make realistic sounds of pleasure or whatever.

One of the 3 elderly Caribbean ladies who were watching the show said “oh he’s touching her precious” which, despite putting a completely different slant on my enjoyment of Lord Of The Rings, I thought was a rather lovely way to describe that area, male or female.

Or in my case, semi precious I suppose !

When One Door Opens……..

First….a rant !

Welllllll it wouldn’t be me without a rant or two now would it ?!

I’ve just returned from a Tesco shopping trip (more detail on that later) and putting car park reversing drivers to one side, this time my rant is a double one….

  1. Cars with no lights on when it’s overcast, raining, foggy or just plain hard to see.
  2. Cars with faulty indicators – they MUST be faulty otherwise why would they not be used ?

Today is a typical British spring day, overcast and dull. Definitely a day when lights are needed to help other drivers see you more easily….NOT for you to see better yourself.

I add that bit because I suspect the reason these “no lighters” would say they don’t need lights on is because they can see other cars perfectly well.

Maybe that’s because THEY have their lights on, eh ?

I just don’t understand it.  It’s not like having your lights on uses more petrol or anything. And if the rain is heavy, you have to turn on your lights by law. Many don’t…..or use side lights which are as useful as an ejector seat on a helicopter.

Most modern cars have “running lights” but clearly their owners aren’t aware that normally (like on mine) this setting doesn’t light the rear ones and in heavy rain seeing the car in front of you is as important, or more so,  as seeing the one coming towards you.

Indicators. Now I know that we all occasionally forget to use them, especially when a passenger or kids in the back are rabbiting on about something and distracting us a bit.

But come on, every single car I saw today not indicating at roundabouts or even when turning at a junction had only the driver inside. And, trying not to be sexist here, most were women.

I’ll leave that fact with no further comment.

Again…..why ?  Why not indicate ?  At best you hold up traffic waiting to join as they can’t read your mind; at worst you may hit, or be hit by, another car for the same reason.

Ok, I’ll never change the habits of people who do both these things but hey, this helped get it off my chest – for now.

Now for the extra bit about my Tesco shopping trip today.

Yesterday, on a trip to Costco, I bought 2 collapsible crates so I could load shopping into them as I walk the supermarket aisles and then simply reload the items back into them at the checkout and finally transfer the full crates into the car.

No more bags (sometimes just one could be taken up by a large bulky item) and the crates can then be taken into the house much more easily than multiple bags.

Now I know this isn’t new and shoppers have used crates for years and even collapsible ones have been around a while. But what can I tell you – they are new for me and today was their first supermarket test and although I just needed one crate for my small shop, it worked a treat and even the cashier remarked on it.

Shopping Crate

I could get a part time job as a home shopping delivery man.

This last story links both previous topics – being forgetful (giving those drivers the benefit of the doubt) and the crates.

As I said, I was at Costco yesterday and my usual pre shopping routine is to go to the cafe area and get a hot dog and soda. I then drink what’s left as I go around the warehouse and after checking out, get a free refill to take to the car.

At the checkout yesterday, in preparation for loading the items into the newly bought crates (decided I might as well use them there and then), I popped my drink onto the payment shelf – and then forgot to take it with me. I guess the excitement of using the crates overwhelmed me !

I stopped off at the cafe again to get an ice cream (3 scoops in a tub) and off I went to my car. Now I’d managed to park in the closest bay possible to the warehouse as to my right were two extra large bays reserved for their rental vans and those bays were empty. Wanting to put my ice cream tub somewhere safe, I opened the driver’s door and put it into one of the cup holders and then went back to open the tailgate to put the crates into the back.

With the tailgate closed and cart/trolley empty, I suddenly remembered my drink !  Now even I wouldn’t have gone back for it but as I was returning the cart anyway, I decided to get it. Walking away from the car, I locked it without looking back and went to get my drink.

Have you spotted what I didn’t do ?

I went to the checkouts and the lady had put my drink to one side so I did get it back. After filling it up, I went to the exit and with nothing obstructing my view to my car, I was gobsmacked to see the driver’s door was open !!!  Wide open.

That’s what I’d forgotten to do……close it.

I rushed over to the car expecting to see something missing from it and was sooooo relieved to find nothing had been taken. To be fair, the Costco car park isn’t really the place where you’d expect anything to be taken from a car but an open door would have tested the honesty of a few people.  I think anyone passing would have assumed the driver was around, maybe putting the cart back.

Not inside the warehouse for about 4-5 minutes as I was.

Maybe this memory thingy is more serious than I thought.

Memory Cartoon


Friday February 26th, 2016

This morning I was up with the lark, which then gave me a peck on the cheek and flew out the window. I hate one night stands !

Ahhh Fridays…..5th best day of the week.  It was to be the usual afternoon and evening featuring lunch with my friend Barbi, followed by a meal and a movie with Daphne and Stephen. Today however I was squeezing in a shopping trip to Tesco as I needed a basic shop..bread, fruit, milk etc.

So after having my breakfast porridge at noon, as you do, I set off for Tesco to get my usual Friday order of a foot long steak and cheese sub with a latte for Barbi and a steak and cheese salad and a hot chocolate for me. I don’t quite have as many Subway points (2527) as Nectar points (94,957) but then I keep spending the Subway ones !

Armed with the food, I drove the short distance to Barbi’s place and we had a good catch-up while we ate. Then as planned, her Tesco home shopping delivery arrived while I was there to put the groceries away for her.  Just after 3pm I left to go to Tesco myself to do my own shopping and got a bit carried away with their Classic Kitchen range and decided to stock up my freezer with several of their meals.

At 3 for £6 for these complete meals, I can eat as if I was back in my student bedsit days !


After putting my shopping in the car and returning my trolley/cart, I saw an old guy with a walking stick struggling to get his shopping from his trolley into his car which was parked in the closest handicap bay to the store. I helped him and then took his trolley back and he was very grateful.

As I passed him again on the way to my car, he started talking to me and one thing led to another and I ended up getting the full story of his ailments ( a long list including gout) and even those of his wife, who, it turned out, had been taken into hospital only the day before.

I kept edging further away and after several minutes I was so far from him that he started texting me and then I got a Facebook friend request from him.

Only joking.  But I’m sure I was there a good 5 minutes getting the story of his family (never visit), his dog (in a cone after a vet visit), his house (got damp and Sky TV……I know…..what ?  Never heard of that deal) and of course his wife (gout too) who I suspect was enjoying her time away from him in hospital !

Bless.  I was just glad I’d not bought any frozen goods.


I drove to Daphne & Stephen’s house and despite having that food in the car, I knew the temperature was low enough that it would be fine for the 7 hours before I’d get home.

We watched Wednesday’s Survivor and at about 6pm Daphne and I went to the local chippie (Atlantis on Harrogate Road) as we’d decided to have fish and chips for our meal this evening.

After supper we settled down to watch “The Lion King” as Daphne had never seen it before.  Boy did it look dated compared to modern animated movies……but then it was 22 years old !

When it came to the scene where Simba’s dead father appears as a cloud (oh sorry……spoiler alert) I was reminded of the spoof in The Simpsons when Lisa sees a similar cloud except it starts with Bleeding Gums Murphy who thanks her for making jazz popular, then Mufasa appears saying “You must avenge my death, Simba”, then Darth Vadar appears saying “Luke, I Am Your Father” and finally James Earl Jones appears saying “This Is CNN”.  The last 3 were all voiced by James Earl Jones of course.

Ok it was funny at the time !

The Simpsons  Jazzman  Lisa and Bleeding Gums Murphy  Part 2   YouTube

After the movie we watched Gogglebox which is always good for a laugh and then I went home and finally got my groceries into the fridge. I think they’d been colder in the car boot !


Back in 1970, my diary records that on this day I got my passport back from the US consulate in Belfast with a US Visitor Visa in it.  Someone born in N. Ireland but with parents or grandparents who had been born before N.I. became part of the UK could claim Irish or British citizenship.

As I planned on going to America during the summer, I’d decided to get an Irish passport as I thought that would help me more given the large number of Irish communities there and the general impression that Irish people were good people !

I’d got my passport from the Dublin office on 6th February and immediately sent it off to Belfast to get the visa.  Despite that being 46 years ago, I still have that passport.  I never did get to America that summer and in fact the passport only has one stamp in it……when I went to Palma, Mallorca in July 1972.

Irish Passport

Irish Passport American Visa

When this passport ran out in 1975, I got a UK passport (Great Britain and Northern Ireland) and have had one ever since.


Still talking about dates, on this date in 1993, terrorists set off a bomb in the parking garage under the North Tower of the World Trade Center in NYC.   The explosion killed 6 people and injured 1,042. Thanks to finding a part of the van used by the terrorists and the fact that they weren’t the brightest bombers in the world *, they were soon all caught and each was sentenced to 240 years in prison…..so they’re going to be really REALLY old when they get out !

As 6 people were killed and that goes nicely into 240, I have to think the sentences were life terms (40 years) for each victim. Or maybe the judge wanted to be absolutely sure they’d not get up to any shenanigans when released and added a bit of TAT….Terrorist Added Tax.

Mohammed Salameh had rented the van from the Ryder Rental Agency in Jersey City and then reported it stolen. He compounded this by insisting that Ryder returned his $400 deposit.

Clearly terrorism wasn’t as well funded back in the day !




Monday February 8th, 2016

Going to bed at 4am (thank you NFL) and needing to be up again at 10am didn’t leave much time for bedtime reading…..but I still managed a few pages !  I was certainly tired enough but I’m so determined to get to the end of this book that I just can’t settle down to sleep without turning a few virtual pages at least.

The reason for getting up relatively early was because I had an appointment with the dentist to remove the temporary crown he fitted 2 weeks ago and replace it with a new permanent crown, assuming it had come back from the labs.

It had.

Removing the temp crown was not the simple task he’d thought it would be.  He decided not to give me any anesthetic but I wish he had as the removal was very painful.  I won’t go into the details but let’s just say he twice had to scrape me off the ceiling when he literally hit the nerve.

Anyway with the new crown in place I suddenly remembered that I had wanted to take a selfie beforehand – my redneck look.  Oh well.  Probably a good thing that it never happened.

It wouldn’t have been a pretty sight.


As I was out and about and as the car only had 56 miles worth of petrol left in the tank, I decided to go on to Tesco‘s and get a fill up. I also needed new trainers so thought I’d pop in and check out what they had to offer.

The answer was……nothing much.

So I drove on to The White Rose Shopping Centre as I knew there was a Sports Direct in the centre and I’d be sure to get trainers there. I’d also have a look around the other stores at the same time.

As usual this year it was throwing it down as I drove there but I got a parking space right by the main doors so it didn’t bother me.  My first port of call was Carphone Warehouse as in a week’s time I’ll be able to get a new phone but am still not sure which one to get.

The salesman did the figures between buying a phone outright and getting a SIM only contract or getting the phone as part of a monthly contract. It was too close to call, which I didn’t actually believe.  They’re supposed to be independent but I think nearer the time I’ll just contact my carrier, EE, and see what they can offer me.


By now I was hungry so I went up a floor to the food court. There were a few healthy options but as I’ve no willpower, I went for a less than healthy option……and it was GOOD.  Sports Direct was on the same floor so that was my next stop.

The first salesperson had to leave his stock moving task to help me and it was soon obvious he wanted to get back to it…..as he was less than helpful.  I saw a colleague of his helping a tiny Asian couple so I went across to eavesdrop.  He was REALLY good and got out lots of trainers and gel insoles for the woman to try on so I made up my mind to wait for him to finish with them and ask him to help me.

Good decision. I told him my requirements and he took me straight to where I needed to be and after trying on a couple of pairs, I got the trainers I needed.  Not my usual style or colour but I’m all for change…..now and then.


I had a wander around PC World before leaving and then I went home.

That was plenty of shopping for one day !


I think I’m coming down with a cold.  My friend, Typhoid Daphne, currently has a cold and a generous nature and probably passed it on to me. I have nausea, a cough and feel tired all the time.

But I’m not one to complain.  I’ll suffer in silence.

I’m a man.


Tomorrowland” was on tv and I watched it again.  I know it got slated but it wasn’t that bad. I like most movies with Clooney in them but I’m still not sure why he picked this one.  Maybe he thought it would be a big one, a blockbuster.  Given the budget and the special effects it could have been……but the story wasn’t strong enough and the “we are the future” ending didn’t help.



By night time my new crown was giving me some issues.  Any hot or cold drink affected it, not enough to call it toothache but more like heightened sensitivity.  Given the pain I got when the stump was being prepared for the crown this morning, I put it down to that and hoped things would be better by tomorrow…..or the next day.  My theory was the nerve had been given a bit of a shake up and needed time to settle down again.

It’s a theory.


Back to my 1970 diary and the events from today’s entry tell you everything you need to know about the system there in those days.

It had been snowing and we’d been sliding and throwing snowballs as you’d expect.   Fr. Kerr, the Dean of Discipline,  took exception to this and gave “the strap” to anyone he saw doing this. He was giving 6 of the best to a 5th year who had just been throwing snowballs and a boy called Anthony O’Neill (nicknamed Hardie for some reason) was standing nearby counting them out loud when Kerr told him to hold out HIS hand.  Hardie refused, telling him he’d done nothing wrong. Kerr again told him to put out his hand and again Hardie refused, putting his hands in his pockets.

Kerr started strapping his legs, threatening to take him to the President, Fr. McHugh (Sticky). Hardie said “we’ll bloody well go now then” and off they went.

This was all very unusual behaviour for we never talked back to the priests.

At just 15, he was a true rebel !

Never one to miss a trick, Kerr went in first, shutting Hardie outside the room, giving Sticky his version of events. Then Hardie was let in, wasn’t allowed to open his mouth and was told he was being sent home for a few weeks.

I don’t know if there was a follow up to this story as I’m not reading ahead at this point. There probably wasn’t, as the priests ran the place so there would have been no come back for Kerr’s actions.  Hardie certainly came back as I’ve seen him in the following year’s class photo when he was in the Lower 6th.  No doubt his parents would have been ashamed that he talked back to a priest as back then, as we know, priests could pretty much do what they liked and sadly many did.

During the 7 years I was there, I saw almost daily incidents of priests bullying, physically and mentally, young impressionable boys who should have been in their care.

It greatly affected me then and made impressions on me about religion in general and priests in particular that have influenced my attitudes to this day.

Safe to say, school days were NOT the happiest of my life.


Friday February 5th, 2016

Sometimes a movie jumps out and begs to be my pick for our Friday meal and a movie evening.  Sometimes, like today, it was a struggle to find one at all.

I knew my friends had had a hard week at their respective jobs, with Daphne having done a lot of travelling up, down and across the country, albeit by train.  I didn’t want to pick a long, complex movie as I was sure they’d struggle to follow a convoluted plot.

I’ll mention my choice later.


I’m a bit of a hoarder when it comes to Nectar points; these are the points I mostly get from shopping at Sainsburys and getting the occasional bonus ones for buying a particular product or shopping so many times in a specified period etc etc.

I’ve got 92,610 of the things, worth £463.05.  It’s taken me many years to amass this total as I don’t spend much even when doing my “big shop”.  In fact I probably get more Nectar points from paying my gas bill by direct debit than I get from shopping at Sainsburys !

But I’ve no loyalty to Sainsburys and would rather shop at ASDA or Tesco if they were closer.  Having worked for ASDA for 25 years, I do have some loyalty to them but not enough to drive 25 minutes to shop there. The Tesco loyalty scheme gets me Virgin Atlantic airmiles so as they are a very useful way to keep my VA account “active”, I shop at there now and again.

I prefer to go to the supermarket rather than order online. I have the time and I can pick my own produce and it gets me out of the house. When online shopping started, I thought the supermarkets would be reluctant to embrace it, given the cost of delivery and manpower needed to fulfill the orders. But not only have they embraced it but they seem desperate to get new business as I’m constantly being bombarded with emails offering all sorts of discounts/offers if I order online.

We’ve come a long way from Green Shield Stamps and shopping at the local corner shop.


I’ve not been keeping up with the diet/exercise this year and just can’t get into a routine at all.  I got on the scales this morning and after breathing in so I could actually see the display, I checked my stats from when I was in a routine last year and saw I’m now at the exact same weight I was a year ago…..well on 13th February 2015 to be precise.

As that was 13 weeks and half way into my early 2015 period of diet/exercise, I felt better and will try and get back on the horse, as they say. Last time I fell off the horse after 27 weeks when I went on a 3 week continental road trip so I know I can do it.

I was thus proud of myself for only eating 2 of those 5 donuts.


When at Daphne and Stephen‘s house this afternoon, we decided to have fish and chips for our meal – so I left to go get them from the local chippie, a 5 minute drive away. Daphne’s brother, Michael, was over for the weekend from his home in Amsterdam so I got 4 portions……and 2 tubs of mushy peas.


The movie I had chosen was 45 Years which I watched a few weeks ago and thought it would be just right for tonight.  Gentle, slow paced and best of all, simple to follow.


We agreed the ending was unsatisfactory and we talked about that and other things till 11pm when I came home. In the short 10 minute drive, 3 cars came towards me without their lights on.  How can they not notice ?  Don’t they look at their instruments for one thing ?

I’d breathalyse them all and even if they didn’t fail, I’d fine them anyway.  Idiots.


I was so tired at bed time that I think I only read 4 pages of “Fall Of Giants” before I had to put the tablet down and fall asleep.

And I had a dream !

Well a nightmare really as in my dream I was still working and stressing out about retiring as I wasn’t sure if I could afford to do so.

Boy was it a relief when I woke up !!




A Word To The Wise

Last Thursday I went down the M1 to visit my old friend Elaine……who is not on t’interclacker so won’t be able to object to me calling her old. Ha !!

She’ll be 75 in a few weeks but I actually meant “old” in terms of how long we’ve been friends – over 40 years. She lived near me in Leeds back when I first met her and the family (3 girls and one boy), then moved to Wetherby and finally, she’s now on her own in Ruddington, south of Nottingham.

So it was an 83 mile drive down the M1 and because of all the 50mph sections, it took me a full 2hrs. I always try to get there for 12:00 so we can have a cuppa and a chat before going out to the nearby pub for lunch (The Old Colonial). This is part of the Flaming Grill Pub chain and I love it for the huge choice of good, simple pub grub and the fact they’ll make substitutions, within reason, to deal with my picky requirements.

As you can see from the photo, I had the fish and chips (incredible value at £4.99) and Elaine had the (look away now, Daphne) surf and turf combo. Yum.

Elaine At The Old Colonial

Back at her house we were having another cuppa and chatting away when I was startled by a noise over my shoulder and just a few feet from my head. Turned out it was one of those automatic air freshener dispensers which ejected a fine spray at a timed interval. Jeez. It certainly needed to do its job after scaring the **** out of me, I can tell you !

Anyway I regularly get those simple air fresheners where you peel off a sticky covering and then let them do their thing till the impregnated stick shrinks to a nubbin (Google it but PLEASE don’t look at the urban dictionary definition…..ok bet you will now) and they don’t seem to last more than a couple of weeks at best.

So I checked out this device and Elaine told me it didn’t cost that much and did seem to last for the 60 days it claimed on the box. I checked them out online and found they were only £6 at Tesco and as I’d be going past their big store at Seacroft on my way home, I decided to get one.

Skip forward several hours and by 6pm I was looking at the bewildering choice of “smelly things” in that Tesco store and decided to go with their own brand version of these automatic dispensers. It was a very reasonable £3 for the unit (inc batteries) and £2 for the can (or refill) of the fragrance.

I got two…..one for living room (lavender) and one for the bathroom (winter spice).

Now I (finally) get to the point. There were only 4 parts to setting up these units – the unit itself, the can of smelly fragrance and the two AA batteries.  Simples.  Who needed instructions ?

Not me, I’m a man….and I’m told this IS a man thing.

The unit opened up like an Easter egg, the batteries slotted into the two battery locations, the can slid into its cozy plastic bed and the unit closed up. After checking that the can nozzle was peeking through the hole in the unit, it was all done. There was a slider control on the side which had settings for “on”, “9 minutes”, “18 minutes” and “36 minutes” depending on how often you wanted the dispenser to activate the spray.

And this was where it all went wrong !

These time settings were in raised white lettering and as the unit was white too, it was very hard to see them. So after turning the unit on, I had it close to my face to read the options and to finally decide on which time to set.  A little green light had started flashing to indicate the unit was powered on but as I’d slid the control to the 36 minute option, I assumed (ha !) that I’d plenty of time to do a final check that the can’s nozzle was still lined up with the unit’s hole before deciding to place the dispenser up on a bookcase shelf.

Suddenly I heard a dreaded click as the clock-like mechanism inside the unit moved a cog on a notch which depressed the can’s plunger and….sprayed me with a controlled dose of lavender fragrance !  Thankfully it went onto my lower face and chest so my eyes were safe but being so close to it, I got a fairly concentrated shower.

I was glad I’d not picked essence of skunk as for several hours I was smelling like a field of lavender which really wasn’t all that unpleasant. So what had gone wrong ?


If I’d bothered to read the instructions I’d have seen that after the unit gets powered on, it will perform a spray after 30 seconds, presumably to let us know it’s working !

Yes, I was able to confirm my unit was working just fine.  And after about 40 hrs and 2 showers, I still smell of lavender.

So I suppose the moral of all this is that no matter how simple the setup of a device may be, READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. 

In the words of the great Del Trotter…….”you know it makes sense