Adventures of Frangipan

Wednesday, 22 April 2009


So Tesco has published their pre-tax profits, at £3.13 billion this year. Sales are topping £1 billion per week. They are the UK's biggest retailer and the third biggest in the world. There is an outlet in every postcode in the UK (taken from BBC website - I assume this means the two letters).

I went to Tesco on Good Friday. It was horrible. I thought the idea of supermarkets was to make shopping easier? Instead you have to walk about a mile into the shop before you even reach food, because they've got TVs and toys and clothes to sell to you as soon as you walk through the door. And what shop doesn't have an escalator these days? Everyone is so hacked off by the time they reach the food that everyone's got trolley rage and absolutely no patience for any other shoppers.

So congratulations supermarkets. You've successfully managed to continue reaping ridiculous profits while your customers get stressed out and angry with each other. Not to mention all the smaller shops you've priced out of the market. Then there's all the former green space until you came along and turned it into grey space. And let's not forget all your suppliers: people getting paid pittence for making the clothes you sell or growing the coffee you sell. And the animals brought into the world only as a commodity, living in cramped conditions and fed growth hormones, until their put out of their misery and end up on your shelves.

It's time to stop shopping in supermarkets. For me at least. Their charity donations just aren't sufficient when the business they do is part of the problem. Local, cooperative, fair trade and organic from now on.

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Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Speed Dating

Went speed dating with a few friends on Sunday night. The only thing I've really taken from it is that it isn't my kind of thing.

It felt so unnatural. In what other situation would you stop talking to someone after 3 minutes if you were building a rapport? Or carry on talking to someone for that long if you weren't? When I think of any guys I've liked recently, it's taken me longer than 3 minutes to make up my mind about them, and whether they're worth my time.

I'm not saying I didn't meet anyone nice: there were a couple of guys there who I'd fancy if I saw them somewhere else. But I couldn't be myself. I was repeating myself over and over until I was bored. I came across as this nice girl, interested in what you had to say and laughing in all the right places. But I'm normally sarcastic and cutting and a bit more mysterious. And a bit freaky.

And without trying to insult anyone who has ever been speed dating or plans to go, the whole thing smacks of desperation and co-dependency. I don't want to go out with a guy simply because he was the best on offer that night and I felt I had to put one 'yes'. I want to go out with a guy because I want him, not just any guy. Maybe I'm just too independent and not their target audience, but it wasn't for me.

One of my friends has had her results: 5 matches. I've thrown away my sheet, but I think I ticked 3, and struggled to get that many. I'm very tempted to delete the email without even reading it. Would I really go through with a date if I get any matches? And if there aren't any matches, do I really want to know if I've been rejected by guys I'm not even bothered about?


Sunday, 19 April 2009

Mounted Games friendly ... Hope 18th April 2009

We had a very successful day on 18th April, hosting the F&D Mounted Games Friendly. Thanks to all those who helped out: the day went really smoothly, and the other teams really enjoyed themselves.

Both the Quarters (Anna, Ceri, Eleri, Mari and Sam) and Stripes (Alex, Anya, Nan, Suzi, Wenz) did very well in their heats: Quarters finished with 30 points and Stripes with 25, and both qualified for the A final. The Dimaonds team of Lousiha, Sam, Yaz and two Waen-y-Llyn members (Charlotte and Megan) did really well considering they only met that morning! They finished with 18 points and going through to the B final.

The gloves came off for the A final and it was a battle for first place between the Quarters and Stripes. Quarters won 3 races, 2nd in two, 3rd in two and one fourth. Stripes won 3 races, 2nd in two, 3rd in two and one fourth. By the last race they finished equal first on 23 points, one point ahead of United Pack. They raced in the Two Flag for the tie-break. The Stripes made a couple of mistakes and the Quarters were victorious.

In the B final, the Diamonds were consistently good: they got two 1sts, five 2nds and one 3rd. They finished on 25 points and in second place.

Senior A Final
1st Flint & Denbigh Quarters ... 23 points (won on tie break)
2nd Flint & Denbigh Stripes ... 23
3rd United Pack ... 22
4th Berwyn & Dee ... 12

Senior B Final
1st United Pack ... 29 points
2nd F&D & WYL mixed ... 25
3rd Cheshire Hunt South ... 18

The Quarters (Alex, Alys, Becky, Georgia, Wil) qualified for the A final, and the Stripes (Charlotte, Eden, Megan, Sophie, Tomos) qualified for the B final.

The Quarters didn't get off to a great start with two 3rds, but things improved and they got two 2nds and two 1sts, and also an unfortunate elimination. They finished with 18 points and in 3rd place, behind United Pack A and Waen-y-Llyn.

The Stripes got two 1sts, three 4ths and a 2nd before the last race. At that point, three of the four teams were on 14 points and it was a battle for 2nd place behind Cheshire Hunt South A. The Stripes raced really well and came in 2nd, and finished the competition in 2nd place.

Junior A Final
1st United Pack ... 24 points
2nd Waen y Llyn ... 19
3rd Flint & Denbigh Quarters ... 18
4th Cheshire Hunt South ... 8

Junior B Final
1st Cheshire Hunt South A ... 22 points
2nd Flint & Denbigh Stripes ... 17
3rd Berwyn & Dee ... 16
4th United Pack ... 15

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Thursday, 16 April 2009

Mounted Games friendly ... Marchwiel 11/12th April 2009

Seniors ...
Session 1
The Quarters team (Anna, Eleri, Mari, Sam Major, Wil) did reasonably well with a first and two seconds. They finished with 30 points and in 7th place. The Stripes team (Alex Major, Anya, Nan, Suzi, Wenz) also did reasonably well and finished just behind the Quarters with 28 points. The Diamonds team (Georgia, Louisha, Sam, Sophie, Yaz) finished in 15th place with 20 points.

Session 2
Mari had a fall in one race and had to retire for the rest of the session - Wil stepped in and did very well having not practiced the senior races! They finished the session with 30 points, bringing their total to 60 points and putting them in 11th place. Stripes also finished with 30 points, giving them a total of 58 and in 12th place. Diamonds finished with 19 points and in 16th place.

Session 3
Mari was back with us and feeling much better after a bath and sleep in her own bed (unlike the rest of us who were camping or in lorries!). Quarters got another respectable total of 28 points. Stripes finished the third session with 24 points, and Diamonds with 23 points.

So after three sessions of heats, the Quarters had a grand total of 88 points and were in 10th place overall. The Stripes had a grand total of 82 points and were in 12th place overall. So both qualified for the B final. The Diamonds got a grand total of 62 points, and would start the final session with a runoff to try to join the Quarters and Stripes in the B final.

Diamonds didn't put a foot wrong in the tie break, not only beating the team they were competing against for the last spot in the B final, but also finishing before the two teams competing for the last spot in the A final!

Unfortunately, their luck didn't last into the final, but they did manage to beat the Quarters in the Sock race! They finished with 12 points and in 7th place, but they still did really well for a team who have been swapping ponies and haven't trained together! Quarters got a first and two seconds and finished the final on 32 points and in 5th place. The Stripes did really well, and a win in their last race took them to 41 points and into a tie break for first place in the B final. Our hearts were in our mouths as it was neck-and-neck all the way, but then Braham Moor's final rider made a mistake, allowing F&D Stripes to sail into first!

Juniors ...
Session 1
Quarters (Alex, Alys, Becky, Georgia, Wil) managed a first, a second and a third , and finished with 16 points and in 8th place. Stripes (Charlotte, Eden, Megan, Sophie, Tomos) finished with 10 points and in 11th place. Tomos fell in exactly the same place in the Bending as he did last week, but he got back onto his feet and carried on competing.

Session 2
Quarters managed a second, a third and lots of fourths, and 24 points. They finished the first day with 40 points and in 8th place. Stripes got a couple of fourths and fifths, and 13 points, finishing the first day with 23 points and in 11th place.

Session 3
Quarters got a first and two seconds, and finished the session with 21 points. Stripes were unlucky - a fourth, fifth, two sixths and an elimination - finished the session with 7 points. Quarters finished the heats with a grand total of 61 points and in 7th place. Stripes finished with 30 points and in 11th place. Both qualified for B final.

Stripes got a third, three fourths, and three fifths. Finished the final with 12 points and in 5th place. They did really well for a young team, and they'll be the ones the watch next year! Quarters stepped up their game! They won four of their races and got second in the other three. They finished with a total of 32 points out of a maximum of 35, and won the B final.

Another team also deserve a special mention - Alex, Anna, Becky, Georgia and Louisha - who competed in the unmounted games on Saturday night. I only saw them doing the sack race, but they won it twice!

Meanwhile the parents were treated to another rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody by Ann, Chrissie and Claire, and with Jude and Ruth filling in for Gill (they are branching out into other Queen classics though!).

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