22 February 2011 (Tuesday) - A Road Trip

Up with the lark, and off to the dentist for my six-monthly check. As always he warned me that several of my fillings might need replacing soon. But he’s been saying that for years. I came out having had a bit of a scale and polish, and went home to find “Daddies Little Angel TM. Together we set off on a road trip. Over the last few weeks we’ve been talking about Leopard Geckoes and today we thought we’d go look at some.

First of all to Sittingbourne where there’s a half-way decent pond shop, and a very decent reptile shop. “Daddies Little Angel TM was rather taken with the gecko selection, and with the very helpful chap in the shop. They don’t just sell the animals and all the accessories – they put the bits and pieces together for you and check everything is working as well.
I was very taken with the royal pythons, but they had all the expensive colour morphs. Me - *if* I get another royal(s) I just want a bog-standard snake.

Our next port of call was found more through luck than judgement. Being very newly built, the place didn’t appear on my sat-nav’s maps. When we were half way along a country lane the sat-nav announced we’d arrived, and gave up on us. Fortunately we could see the Ark aquatic & reptile centre from where we’d been abandoned. It was OK if you wanted to buy pet food, I suppose. They had some nice animals, but I wasn’t impressed by the staff. Disinterested, and not very knowledgeable.

And then on to pelagic aquatics in Matfield. This was somewhere I’ve never been before, and to be honest it was included in our trip just to break up what would otherwise be a rather long section in our journey. But I’m glad we stopped. The staff were very friendly, and they had some really healthy-looking home-bred geckoes.
It’s a shame this shop is a little off the beaten track for me – I’d certainly go back there.

We then made our way back to familiar territory. Rolvenden’s World of Water is an old haunt of mine. No reptiles, but I needed to replace the bulb for my pond filter. Whilst I was there I looked at replacing the entire pond filter. The current one will (hopefully) do for this year, but over the last five years it’s rather got somewhat bent out of shape. They’ve got some new-design pond filters which seem to be more manageable. I might get one next year. The nice man in the shop mentioned that they would soon be opening a camping section.

And whilst visiting places we’ve been before, Swallow Aquatics was next. This is a place I’ve raved over in the past. When we first set our pond up, all the kit came from Rolvenden, and all the fish came from Swallow. But over the years their Koi section has gone downhill. And today their reptile section wasn’t what it once was.
We just drove past our last planned stop. The Snake Shed in Bethersden might sell good reptiles. It might be run by very knowledgeable people. I don’t know. However I do know that whenever I go past the place it is closed. No matter what time of day, or what day I go past, it is always closed. Perhaps I’m just unlucky in my timings.

And so home for more KFC, and we settled down to watch “Guest House Paradiso” on the DVD. However the DVD didn’t play, so we made do with Monty Python instead. It passed a pleasant couple of hours before cleaning the parrot out. I’ve scraped parrot poop off of quite a bit of the metalwork now. What a nice way to spend my holiday.

I checked my emails. Yesterday I chivvied up the people from whom I’d ordered my new web-cam as it hadn’t arrived. Today I received an email from them they said “If the address is correct and nothing has arrived yet then please contact your local post/sorting office as its likely to be awaiting collection. We receive lots of items each week returned back because royal mail fail to leave cards when they are unable to deliver.
Am I being over-sensitive? I felt this was rather curt of them; for all that I moan about Royal mail, I’ve never known them to not leave a delivery note when they’ve been unable to deliver a parcel. I went up to the office to prove that there was no parcel there before getting back to the seller, and would you believe it? – my parcel was sitting there waiting for me.

And I’ll end today’s drivel with a question. Have you ever noticed that traffic wardens these days actually hide and wait for the thirty seconds in which you are making the most trivial parking violations? And how they only ever appear in residential areas after 10pm at night or on Bank Holidays when the traffic isn't at all bad?
Is this because they are cowardly, or because they will get double time?

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