As previously mentioned, Fran recently got selected to play Touch Rugby for the Northern Stars, the north of England Under 18 squad. This has meant some training days and given where we live is really not-very-northern-at-all, the cost implication of this is pretty high. Having just had a week where the car cost us £600 and plus the associated costs attached to the fabulous wedding of the year, we’ve been feeling the pinch a fair bit. We try so hard to keep the girls going to all the things that are turning them into rounded and interesting individuals but the costs of the activities alone are only part of it – as they get more able the associated costs of travel, leotards and kit, competition entries and the like really have mounted up. As for ballet exams….
This week required a trip to Manchester, which feels like a million years away from where we live. I’ve never been there. Still, it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss so since Fran and Max had to go anyway, we thought we would try to finish the holiday off by all going together.
Getting up at 5.30am was a bit of a wince moment but all forms of route planner suggested 3 hours plus and they needed to be on the pitch by 10am, so we set off at 6.30 – and by 9am, we were waltzing into towns we had never been to before!
Hyde. Max and I were huge Life on Mars fans back in the day – we went all starry eyed at this!
After dropping them off I went back to meet/visit a friend I have known online forever but never actually met, Jeanette from LazySeamstress, who has been by my side since losing Freddie having been through losing her own baby girl Florence. We chattered like we had known each other forever.
We also got to introduce our two rainbow babies, Ernest and Bene, to each other.
It was just SO lovely to meet Jeanette and Ernest; I really don’t know how I would have got through those first months without her and the support she brought with her – and I got to see her chickens and THE SHED! (Envy).
After that it was time to make the most of our moment somewhere else (honestly, we really should go here and the Peaks more often, it’s not as far as it seems) and went to Bramall Hall. We picnicked first, using the food bought as part of our Tesco Fuel Save challenge.
The hall is amazing, a Tudor mansion modified and re-modified through the ages.
We didn’t have long but it was lovely and I’d certainly go back for a longer look. I did keep having small ‘you wouldn’t see that at Kentwell!’ moments though. 😉
After that it was time to collect a very tired Fran, which I managed with a faultless drive through the Cheadle areas. Hurrah – didn’t even get lost.
Our day out was courtesy of Tesco who invited us to try out their new Fuel Save scheme. I recommend you watch the video; it isn’t a complicated scheme but you can time your fuel spend carefully to get the maximum benefit, so worth just putting a little thought into. Very simply, your shops total up and contribute towards a growing total of savings which you can then choose to use towards your fuel purchase during the month. Tesco isn’t our normal supermarket (stock large couscous why don’t you!) but once we got home from holiday we did some incidental shopping and 2 weekly shops there to see what we could accumulate on our newly organised Clubcard. With relatively little effort, we took 10p off every litre of fuel, which we redeemed easily with a Clubcard and an option to decide if we wanted to claim the reward at a Pay at Pump station. When you have a people carrier that costs around £100 to fill up at times, getting some money off makes a huge difference and we more than doubled the best shop total based saving we have ever got anywhere else. Filling up the car cost £88 (1.23 a litre) and took the sting out of a long journey quite a bit, turning it into a day we enjoyed instead of a day with the niggling distress that it was money we couldn’t really afford. Would it incline me to alter my food shopping supermarket? Yes, I’m afraid it would – the opportunity to get up to 20p a litre off the fuel I put in the car is just too good to miss.
So thank you Tesco, it was much appreciated. (And the Sausage Rolls were excellent too!)
Disclosure: Tesco compensated us for this post. Opinions are our own. (Stock the Large Couscous!!!! Don’t make me walk away again 😉 )