When the whole row of checkouts in a supermarket begins to reject any credit or debit cards that are inserted into the machines at the counters, chaos ensues. We know, because we shopped in Totton’s Lidl this morning. Our prospective purchases were all laid out on the conveyor belt. The man in front only had a few items to buy. His card was rejected. He fished around about his person for another. That was rejected. The young lady who had only just opened up our escape route, leant back, turned round, and asked the young man operating the one alongside for help. He said none of the machines were working. That wasn’t a lot of help. Were the machines to be believed, no-one had any money in their accounts.
A lot of buzzing of buttons took place. Along came a technical looking gentleman with a special looking key which he inserted into the end checkout machine. Nothing much happened. A man in a white shirt accompanied him. The technician had another go. ‘Will that work?’ asked our young lady of the official looking gent. ‘It might’, he replied. I don’t think that was the answer she was hoping for.
Customers were being very patient, but the queues were mounting up. The man at the head of ours paid in cash. We didn’t have enough. We were informed that the nearest cash machine was some distance away. Oh for Sainsbury’s, which always has its own ATM. Eventually a new till was opened and seemed to work. Our checkout person decided she would enter our purchases into a ‘lay away’. This meant the details could be transferred to the till of young woman newly brought in as reinforcements. ‘Good thinking, Batwoman’, said I, and Jackie walked across to the next till. The card being used at that moment was rejected. Fortunately the ‘lay away’ worked, and we were able to get away, and drive to Ringwood Brewery.
The stationary object just off-centre of the middle of the road at Seamans Corner, appeared to be a new central refuge. When we returned en route to Ringwood, it had gone.
The purpose of the brewery trip was to have a look at a wonderful looking eighteenth century house we had seen on a website. It was bang opposite the brewery on the busy road to Christchurch. Never mind, if it is still for sale when we have the opportunity to look in earnest, we will be back. Ostlers Keep is packed with original features.
Bisterne is on this same road, so we continued along it in order to have another look at the house by the Village Hall photographed on 30th August. We wanted to see how far the garden extended at the back. This involved entering the hall car park. As I peered over the 6′ fence, the owner, Rod, approached. I explained what we were doing. He had no objection. I said we didn’t want to disturb people until we had the necessary money, but acknowledged that we had rather disturbed him today.
This has been for sale as long as we have been in Minstead, but we haven’t seen it on any website. Taking the name of the agent and investigating the window of Spencers of The New Forest, we discovered why not. It is way beyond our possible price range. Given that it leads straight onto the busy town road, we had thought it may not be too expensive. Wrong. History comes at a price.
P.S. I pressed the wrong button earlier on and published this post a little too soon. There will be a P.P.S.
P.P.S. Jackie fed us this evening on steak and vegetable ragout with dumplings. I drank Ogio merlot 2012. I didn’t give Jackie any. She preferred sparkling water.