Saturday morning came around, and the snow had started to thaw a little just as forecast, but was still about 9 inches deep in our garden, although the paths were not quite as covered. Lin set off for her father’s while I pottered around at home, before planning on joining her later on. Watching the news, it seems some drivers hadn’t been quite so lucky as me, and had been stuck on the M6 near Wigan overnight due to around 12 inches of snow falling, making the road impassable. Glad I got out when I did.
Town centre shopping
After all the disruption of yesterday’s heavy snow, I went to pick Lin up from her father’s. The snow already started to thaw, again as forecast, but we still had about 5 or 6 inches of snow on the driveway. So I needed to spread a bit of salt and scrape some snow away to get going. Once on the road the snow was starting to turn to slush but was very slippery as a result, and made for poor driving conditions. I opted for the major routes again, avoiding the steep bank, and more awkward minor roads etc that might cause problems. Collecting Lin from here father’s house was relatively.
We needed to do a little shopping down in town, and other bits and bobs. We parked in what was Woolworths car park, since the weather wasn’t great and would shield us from the worst of it. I needed to pickup a birthday card for Lin and I usually get the Valentine card whilst I’m at it, since the dates are so close together. Lin also needed to get a card or two for other family members, so she waited outside while I did what I needed, then after I’d done she went in the shop.
Good as gold
Loitering around outside and to kill a few minutes, glanced in a jewellers shop window. I noticed some sovereigns laid out there with various price tags, and since they are 24ct gold coins, I wasn’t expecting them to be cheap, but neither was I expecting the prices I saw. The sovereigns for sale at around the £295 to £325 mark. I remember an Uncle had wanted to buy gold sovereigns and or a Krugerrand or two back in the late seventies when the world was faced with some similar financial problems. Back then a sovereign should have cost him about around £50, so £300 at today’s prices would have represented a 600% gain…if he’d been around to see it. Not a bad value investment had he had the cash at the time… and lived long enough to see his investment bear fruit.
I don’t get down Burnley town centre all that often these days, and looking around it was obvious. So much has changed since last I was here. Not only do we have a collection of charity shops and pawnbrokers but extra pound shops have sprung up in parts of what used to be the old Woolworths store. There’s even a pound bakery these days, glad to see that people have seized the opportunity to offer great value for money in these pressing times. And just to go one better, one of the stores is actually a 99p store. Picked up a tarpaulin just the right size for lining the car boot for a quid, can’t say fairer really can you.
Money too tight
I wanted to walk on to Kierby block and take a look at the Bank of Dave, or should that be Burnley Savings and Loan branded as Bank ON Dave, just to see how things were going. The point of the enterprise was to demonstrate how a small operation with low overheads could offer good value to both borrowers and savers in the local area, and still make a profit. I had read a few months ago that they were no longer taking on new savers as there were not enough people wanting to borrow at that time. Is that a good thing or a bad thing I wonder. Either all businesses are fully funded, which I find hard to believe, or… there are not enough businesses surviving or daring to borrow money right now.
Lin didn’t fancy that idea since the town centre precinct was not clear of snow and walking over the slush and snow covered paving slabs was a bit tricky. Guess I’ll just have to wait for series two of Bank of Dave to air in the coming months, or I could watch our for Dave Fishwick’s next book. What a character, and now something of a local legend.
Heading back for the car Lin had to sub me a pound to pay the parking machine since I’d just given all my coins to a couple of guys busking on the precinct. I didn’t begrudge them the money, since they they were the genuine article, playing real live music and they were pretty good too. Whilst out and about, I hadn’t noticed, but Lin pointed out that a bird had seen fit to bestow it’s good fortune on me… all down the front of my coat. Well they do say that’s classed as good luck don’t they, maybe the bird thought I could use some extra luck.
Back at home surfing the web, I’d heard that an Environment Agency guidance had been issued regards everyone making snowmen to help relieve the chance of flooding when the thaw came. Surely a joke… but no, here it is on the BBC website, but the snow still lay thick and fast round by us. I also checked for what seemed to be the current market values of sovereigns, and £300 seems to be the top end of the price range, with the lower end at around £250, so maybe the shop down in town had a good markup in there.
We loaded my coat into the washing machine to cleanse away the birds gift, before settling down to watch a couple of films on the TiVo, but Lin didn’t stay up to see the end of the second film. Instead she asked me to empty the washing machine before bedtime. As I did come to empty the machine, there was a fault light flashing on the control panel. I tried a few different things to try get the door open but no chance. Perhaps there was a clue in the manual, but I was obviously missing the key to reading the fault guides. Never mind, no damage was done so I wasn’t about to start trying to figure out the washing problem so late at night, I’d leave it for morning.
Summary: In for a penny, in for a pound