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  1. I have been in the East Neuk for a long weekend and all our usual haunts are small local businesses. Wearing a face covering certainly didn't seem to be restricting their customers. What I did notice though when I went to Tesco after we returned home is that the one way system has been removed. Most people in Tesco were wearing some form of face covering but many weren't covering both their nose and mouth (one guy was wearing one over his chin).
  2. My daughter is a student and fortunately for her she has stayed at home and commutes into Glasgow every day (when she was applying for university we told her that we were able and willing to house and feed her if she stayed at home, but if she moved away she would have to fund herself). One of her friends at university depends on earnings from the summer to pay her bills in term time and she moves back to her hometown to live with her parents over the summer. The Scottish funding body for students is offering crisis loans for students who are currently having financial difficulties as a result of lockdown and there being no summer jobs, but students like my daughter's friend aren't eligible because they don't have bills to pay right now.
  3. So many independent restaurants operate Wednesday or Thursday to Sunday so it is going to be the big chains who benefit from this the most.
  4. Yes, it's a B and it broke again yesterday . Having done the pedal test to get the ECU error codes, it appears to have two cylinders misfiring; not fun when it starts chugging at 70 mph on the outside lane of the M8 whilst overtaking a truck.
  5. Travelling from Glasgow to Portsmouth, we have always used the crossing to Ouistreham as a bed for the night. The children and I have gone to bed shortly after boarding and hubby has done his own thing. This year I had booked Bretagne in the hope of actually experiencing something onboard; we should have been on board on June 25th.
  6. Perhaps they are working on the basis that they will be loading so few cars that they can spread them sufficiently across the lanes to allow boarding dependent on cabins being ready. I drive a Vauxhall Zafira (for a variety of reasons, I have the family car and hubby has the supermini - his latest mishap was to smash his rear lights trying to park his Corsa on his way to Specsavers) and a highmount rear cycle carrier has caused all sorts of issues with BF port staff trying to work out which lane to put me in particularly at Cherbourg for NEX. I was made to reverse off NEX a few years ago because of the bikes. We moved house 5 months ago tomorrow and the cycle carrier went to the dump as part of the clear out (the last time we drove from Glasgow to Portsmouth, it was checked before we got on the motorway because one of the straps wasn't holding, again at Bothwell Services, again at Abington Services, again at Asda in Carlisle... you get the picture) so I now have roofbars and the cycle carriers to go on them should arrive tomorrow).
  7. Mine has been recalled 3 times so far...
  8. The instructions for the tartan masks are that they are to be handwashed.
  9. Friends used the Newhaven-Dieppe crossing a few years ago (she was pregnant and BF wouldn't carry her). Their return crossing made the overnight Portsmouth-Caen crossing look blissful.
  10. I totally agree that BF would much rather have run a normal service this year rather than losing a massive amount of its annual turnover. Covid was the cause of BF closing its phone lines but other organisations managed to keep phone lines open with people answering calls from home. Given the volume of calls that BF would have experienced had the lines been kept open and the number of staff on its books who would normally handle the calls, I can't see how it would have been possible to keep the lines open. I have £55 of Tesco Clubcard Vouchers but they are worth 3 times that if I use them against P&O fares. They have built up over the last couple of years and as well as my groceries and petrol (I use a tank every 10-14 days in normal times) spending I have used the bonus coupons that they send from time to time that give me an extra 25 points if I buy particular items.
  11. Many of you have suffered at the hands of BF closing its phone lines but at least there isn't the added complication of being able to redeem Tesco Clubcard Vouchers against the cost of a ferry crossing. We can't get to France this summer so we have booked to go to Northern Ireland for a few days. I realised yesterday that I could save £165 on the ferry fares if I cashed in my Clubcard points. P&O limits the number of bookings using Clubcard Vouchers per sailing so you need to phone to check the availability, but the phone lines are closed. I tweeted P&O looking for help and was asked to post the details of the crossings I was looking at, but I wasn't willing to advertise when the house will be empty so I asked if I could DM the details. I sent the DM and they came back telling me to DM another part of P&O. Second DM sent and the reply was to send an email. Email sent and the reply was that they are currently dealing with emails up to 21st June and if I haven't heard within 12 days to contact them again; we travel in 14 days and the crossings need to be booked at least 7 days in advance to use the vouchers so I can't wait that long for a reply. Sent another DM and was asked to send a contact phone number. Sent the phone number and I have been promised a call within 48 hours. At least BF has the wonderful Jane handling its Twitter.
  12. We are hoping to get to the East Neuk in the next couple of weeks (we have the use of family accommodation there). We always have a look out for the foreign cars and campervans when we are there and I am interested to see how many tourists we this trip.
  13. I think that many companies of all sizes have been caught out with IT issues in the last few months that none of us would ever have imagined. I am an accountant in a small company and our server began to fail a few weeks before lockdown; the combination of a powercut and a Virgin Media outage showed us that we needed to do something. Rather than replace the server, we opted to move to having everything hosted online, a decision that has come into its own with us all working from home. Prior to that anyone working from home was dependent on using a VPN and the server could only cope with one person dialling in at any one time. I am now the only member of the team who needs to use a VPN and that is because our accounts package is Sage which we can't transfer to our online facility so I have to dial into my office desktop to do my job. Anyone who knows business will know that Sage has been a big player in the accountancy software sector for many years (for many years it was the software of choice for small to medium sized businesses which couldn't justify the expense of a bespoke package). Our external IT support team has spoken to Sage and although the software is called "Sage 50 Cloud" it can't actually be hosted on the cloud. BF won't be the only company which has been caught out by the exceptional circumstances in which we are all living; I am currently sitting in cold, wet North Lanarkshire, having been booked on Bretagne last Thursday night so I am feeling the upset that so many others are feeling at the moment. We as a household have had to deal with the systems of many companies failing to cope with customer demands and needs over the last few months. We moved house and my husband moved job in February, and deliveries of essential equipment required for the shift to working online rather than face to face have been days late in arriving.
  14. Our summer holiday to France has been cancelled so we were wondering about going abroad in October for the school holiday. I am very reluctant to fly and I had suggested to hubby that a ferry from Newcastle or Hull might be what to do as it would be too far to drive to the south coast when we can only get a week's holiday.
  15. Sitting on huge cash reserves is actually poor financial management because that cash isn't earning anything for the company. In normal times companies have cash coming in constantly and they are able to use that to pay the bills, with the money for the sailings in the future paying for the bills now on the assumption that there will be future fares to pay the bills for the sailings that the current income is for. It's the same way that those of us paying NI contributions now are actually funding the pensions of current pensioners rather than that money being put away for when we retire.
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