Tuesday, 26 April 2016

New Wheels

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Our car was 22 years old, and needed £600 of welding to get through the MOT, so we have a new one: it's a white 16 year old, 2 door Seat hatchback - 1100cc with 20,000 miles on the clock. Just trying to think of a name.....

Prize Draw To Win Your Tea

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On Monday and Tuesday this week our shops have an exclusive offer: buy a Grimsby Telegraph and you can enter a free prize draw to win a meal for £25. We do need a name and contact phone number by closing on Tuesday - to let the winner know!

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Why do we say "donkeys' years"?

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Naw then, mi ol' cock-sparras: Oi've dan mi researches, an' wot Oi've fahnd is this: in yer Cockney rhyming slang a "year" is known as a "donkey's", on account of its rhymin' wi' "donkey's ears." Bat yer non-Cockney 'as corrupted this to DONKEYS' YEARS.......

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Chips, crisps and French Fries

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We have an ex-pat friend living in Texas who asked if we could send him some crisps to remind him of home. But what to put on the customs declaration!

According to the Oxford Dictionaries Blogg, slices of bread or fruit, were known as "chips" in medieval England, but the usage died out. The Americans began making lightly-fried,  thinly cut potatoes slices in 1824 in Saratoga Springs, NY, and these became known as Saratoga Chips.  Later restaurants invented a deep fried version known as German Fries. At the outbreak of World War I they were renamed French Fries for patriotic reasons.

The British fell in love with deep fried fish and potatoes from 1860, and called them potato chips, like their American cousins. When thinly cut fried potato-slices made their way across the Atlantic in the 1920s they were called potato crisps in the UK to distinguish them from chips.

So "chips" in the UK are "fries" in the US, and "crisps" are "chips" in the US.

Just to confuse things, in the late 20th century deep fried fish and potatoes made their way to North America, and these are now known as "fish and chips"!

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Customer Confusion

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Yesterday a lady in her 60s walked into the shop at Keelby, stared around blankly then asked "Where do I put my coat?"

David on the counter was puzzled: "There isn't really anywhere!" She rolled her coat up and left it on top of the low wooden cupboards in the window. She walked around the shop, then asked "Where can I sit down?" "We don't have any seats here - are you OK?" "Yes," she said, "I've come to get my hair done." "Are you sure you've come to the right place? This is a newsagents shop. The hairdressers are next door!"

The lady apologised and walked out of the door - David had to call her back to give her her coat.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Why does the tax year run to April 5th?

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In the United Kingdom the tax year traditionally ends on the 5th of April each year. But why is this?

In ancient times the Romans regarded April as the first month of the year. Around 700BC they added 3 months to the year, and January became the first month - but the tradition of counting finances from the start of April had been established.

In the Christian era, the custom became to account for the year that ended on Lady's Day, the 25th of March. This carried on throughout the Middle Ages.

In 1752 the UK moved from the Julian to the Gregorian Calendar - this meant the calendar jumped forward by 11 days that year. The tax authorities didn't want to loose 11 days' revenue, so they arranged for the tax year to end on 5th of April. And it remains so to this day.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Instagram

We now have an Instagram page for the shop. Do tell us if you like our photos! You can find it here:

Instagram

Sunday, 3 April 2016

It's April

The name "April" may come from the Latin aperire "to open" - perhaps alluding to leaves and flowers opening. In this month the Chinese Emperors performed a symbolic ploughing ritual to ensure a good harvest later.

Playing tricks on 1st April has a long history, and is mentioned by Chaucer in the Canterbury Tales. It may even date back to the ancient Roman festival of Hilaria.