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Walked into town this morning, Waitrose had a queue three hundred yards long spaced out around the car park, SWMBO took one look and said we were not stopping. On to M&S, no queue given a disinfected trolley but not much to buy and left empty handed. Managed to get a couple of bottles of milk from a newsagent.
 

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I'd assumed that panic buying had eased as people had reached their storage limit or comfort level. Seems I was wrong! The supermarkets have repeatedly assured us that there is plenty to go around if people buy only what they need when they need it and avoid stockpiling, so why the queues and shortages still? Is it because people who might normally shop once a week are now shopping daily to stay topped-up? We're used to shopping every 10-14 days with the occasional drop-in for fresh milk, and we're used to keeping a half-decent store-cupboard from the days when we used to get snowed-in, so we're OK with what we have for now. I should have said that Waitrose website says they are working on a scheme to enable home deliveries for older/vulnerable customers.
 

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Discussion Starter #223
I regularly receive e-mails from Thames Valley Police Neighbourhood Watch, even though we moved ten years ago. Here is some good advice to pass on to the elderly, vulnerable and the big increase in homeworkers, using computers. This all relates to scammers seeking to exploit the current crisis. A cyclist went out twice in one day and subsequently received an e-mail saying that the local authority was aware he'd breached the law and was asked to click on a link to pay a £200 fine. As the cyclist was aware he'd breached the 'once a day rule', he contacted his local NHW coordinator for advice. Other scams include bank detail requests to provide free meals for children, medical support and supplies, spurious offers of support from HMRC and upfront fees for loans. If investment advice is offered, always check the Financial Conduct Authority register to check if the company is regulated by them. Always research online shopping companies if they are unfamiliar - there are reports of people ordering items in short supply, paying upfront and then receiving nothing. Never use bank transfer to pay, always use credit cards or PayPal, where there is more likelihood of recompense. Finally, Groupon is a good source of bulk-buy products. There may be some shortages but they do eventually deliver eg 90 toilet rolls for £25 - it took nearly two weeks but they did arrive. Amazon is also reliable, but be careful of over-pricing. E-Bay is safe with care, as their policing of rogue suppliers is robust.
 

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I'd assumed that panic buying had eased as people had reached their storage limit or comfort level. Seems I was wrong!
There are reports of bin men finding large amounts of uneaten food in the rubbish bins. Unopened loaves of bread, unopened packets of burgers etc. The hoarders have been unable to store them, throw them away and go and buy more.
 

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Hopefully all these idiots and those driving from Brum to Wales for a 99 and morons cliff climbing the Dorset coast will al be given the 'Darwin award' and cease wasting our oxygen. Perhaps as they take their last breath they may reflect on their stupid and selfish actions!
 

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Report.
Weekly shop at Tesco Branksome (Poole) today. Petrol 103.9ppl.
4 People in front of me in the Q at 05.45. By the time they let us in at 06.00 there were 20 people behind me. At 06.25 as I left, the car park was half full and the Q was HUGE.
They let 40 peeps in and then one in/one out. One way system in and out. No evidence of trolley handle wiping. Everybody being very polite, friendly and considerate.
The only item that was conspicuous by it's absence was any form of pasta.
Some items were low. E.G. I got the last large bottle of Ribena. Marmalade was a bit low.

I managed to get everything I wanted apart from eggs (which numb nuts forgot!) I don't do getting up at 05.00 very well!

Can I do this every week for the next 6 months?? I hope so. I don't fancy joining a huge Q.

It is a shame that Tesco is being stupid (unlike other super markets) By offering 'Crumbly shopping twixt 09.00 & 10.00 Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays, rather than an hour from opening like Sainsburys. Tesco's scheme simply allows everybody else 3 hours to clear the shelves before the crumblies get in.
The panic seems to be lessening, so hopefully this will become less important.
 

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It is a shame that Tesco is being stupid (unlike other super markets) By offering 'Crumbly shopping twixt 09.00 & 10.00 Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays, rather than an hour from opening like Sainsburys. Tesco's scheme simply allows everybody else 3 hours to clear the shelves before the crumblies get in.
The panic seems to be lessening, so hopefully this will become less important.
If Tesco are so problematical Colin (Which I can sympathise with), why not vote with your feet and use an alternative? Or are the others too far away?

Around here (Opposite side of N Yorks from Jimmy), 7-10 days ago it was the “Crumblies” who were able to get first access to the shops, and who were stripping the shelves before everyone else could get a look in. For both themselves and their younger relatives. Who’s kids were about to be laid off school. Hence that video from the NHS Primary Care nurse in York, who came off a 14-hour shift to find nothing left in her grocery shop during “normal” opening hours. I believe that situation has alleviated massively now, as the “Crumblies” are all stocked up, so have disappeared.

Certainly on Sat, there were very few older folk in evidence in the two local supermarkets I visited. Morrisons and Booths had instigated a queueing system. So only a limited number in shop at any one time. Along with trolley hand rail sanitising between shoppers. Both had removed baskets from availability, so trolleys, or own bags only. Booths allowed you to fill your own bag around the shop, empty it onto the checkout belt, then refill after checkout. Sainsbury’s did not appear to have a queue, but I did not go inside to discover more, as I could find everything I needed at the other two. But did notice that Booths did have limited quantities of toilet rolls (but didn’t need any, so didn’t buy any).

P.S. I fell out with and stopped using Tesco’s some years ago.
1) After they were so slow to pay their contracted dairy farmers a fair price for milk, at the same time as demanding inspections to assure the highest herd health and welfare standards, but the inspections had to be paid for by the producer.
2) After they spent years denying they held “land banks” in strategic locations, simply to prevent other competitors building rival supermarkets on those sites. When I used to work in an office that was right next door to the admin centre where they organised and administered all the empty land holdings they owned.
3) When they were discovered by a fresh auditor, to have been false accounting profits for years by crediting next year’s assumed profits into the current year’s accounts. Hence double counting (or something very similar to that).

Mind you, avoiding Tesco’s is not difficult around here, as the HG postcode remains the only major code area in Britain that does not have a Tesco. (They did hold a piece of land and planning permission for one in Harrogate itself. But that never went ahead after their accounting anomalies were discovered.)
 

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Like Henry we refuse to use Tesco because of their policies towards farmers, both dairy and sheep. They had a similar attitude about sheep inspections as they did about the milk.

And a story about their come-uppance:
In Wales they also land banked and bought lots of the disused cattle/sheep markets, including the one in Machynlleth. Eventually they sought Planning Permission to build a new store a week after the Co-op had been granted permission to extend their store in the town.
Application goes to Machy Town Council from the Planning Dept and they refuse it.
Tesco complain and appeal to County Council.
County Council say they want to know exact feelings in Machy and hold public meeting.
Meeting held and wholehearted rejection.
County Planning reject application.
Tesco appeals and application passed to Welsh Assembly.
Welsh Assembly look at all evidence and reject application.

And then Tesco had the audacity to say to the Welsh minister that they would take it up with Westminster, who politely (but joyfully) told them that Westminster had NO juristinction on those matters in Wales!

And for another time there is what they tried to do when they built the Welshpool supermarket later!
 

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Discussion Starter #230
On my way to shop at about 2pm, I was stopped by the NY police at a lay by to check I was on an essential journey. Good! I asked the officer whether they had caught anyone out and there have just been a few, mainly from other towns to walk their dog. ALDI: no hand sanitiser or hand soap but mostly everything else was in stock. A staff member was on the door to prevent more than one person per trolley entering. LIDL: ditto. As I passed Sainsbury’s there was a queue about 8 deep. Almost no traffic- great for my bike ride!
 

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Flintstone,
I wasn't complaining for my sake. I am (almost) happy to go to Tesco at 06.00 once a week.
I have never liked Sainsburys, nor sure why. Waitrose too expensive and the local one has an underground car park with concrete pillars in delightful rainbow colours from car body work scrapes!! Lighting is appalling. Way in and out of shop is via lift.......Social distancing? I think not! Oh Yes.... they are too pricey for this poor penniless OAP ;)
 

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SORNed my 330d yesterday. Not going to be working away from home for a few months, nor attending distant meetings. So will see how well we can live without it for a while.
 

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If anyone see's a Landrover, Rangerover, Disco etc with orange numbers in the top right corner of the screen starting in HR give them a hoot and a wave, it's meals on wheels on steroids :)
 

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Can’t get a booking online for a supermarket delivery. However, Naked Wines have come good as usual; 12 bottles of essential medicine delivered this morning. 🥂🍷🥂🍷🥂🍷
 

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Well the contents of the pallets have been delivered to the hubs, council offices, leisure centres and community centres. Not quite meals on wheels but the items that volunteers will be delivering to people most at risk and unable to leave home.
Bigger than expected and needing ten vehicles in the end, including two Transit vans. We have access to a 7.5 tonne slide back recovery truck but that is not really suitable.
Quite a lot of confusion when we got to the hubs, empty buildings, locked buildings and one place with two addresses but one drop.
Sat in the kitchen I was using a laptop, mobile phone, landline and Zello all at the same time. Zello is very clever and converts a phone to a walkie-talkie. The only problems were having to wake the phone to use the radio, and the radio cutting in whilst using the phone, hence the landline.

Whilst doing this a 4x4 was not necessary, but anyone in Hampshire with a 4x4 Yeti (or a different 4x4) would be made most welcome to join our group which at present has 105 members. www.hampshire4x4response.co.uk

As well as the normal winter work, we cover things like Carfest South, Walk for Parkinson's, St Michael's Hospice Woodland walk, Land Rover Legends, Basingstoke Festival of transport, St Michael's Hospice Moonlight Walk , not forgetting the New-forest Festival of Fairies and
3599
more.
 

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And still nothing from the Powys chapter of 4x4 Response Wales!
 

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:) Our most distant member lives in Salisbury which is "slightly" outside Hampshire and Berkshire (but he works in Winchester), I think Wales would be stretching it a bit. How about a long distance Controller, you don't need a 4x4, can work from home, just need a mobile phone, computer and to be able to work during total chaos.
 

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Discussion Starter #240
I'm desperate for a chit so I can fill my two tyres, but the garden centres are closed. However, our local B&M with a garden centre outside sells food as well, so it's still open. I'll go later on to check whether they have any tubers in stock. My sister-in-law is a senior A&E consultant and at her hospital, they have split A&E into two sections to separate infectious from non-infectious patients, so this adds to the workload. No shortages of safety equipment, other than that curtains are changed between patients and the new ones have the wrong fittings!
 
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