Wednesday 2 March 2016

Domestic Duties

The trouble with spending over eight days in a car driving across Europe is that sooner or later reality catches up on you. And you run out of clean knickers. It was laundry day. This wasn’t helped by the fact that I’d had my first bad night sleep and to avoid falling out because I was so crotchety and exhausted I was going to take myself out of the situation. But practicalities first, yes laundry had to be done as the nearest M&S sensible knicker supply was in Zagreb, some four hours drive from here and no guarantee they’d stock healthy sized Bridget Jones knickers.

Also there was the little matter of stocking up Clare’s cupboards with an initial full shop that she could then just top up as things were used. Sensiblez. We checked the map for Lidl and… There are four in Split. I have actual Lidl envy. The question remained of what to do once the domestic stuff was done, I suggested picking something that would be easier to do with a car about given that we had the domestic stuff to do too. I do have these rare moments of sense. A little place called Trogir was suggested and as it was also near Split airport - which I need to visit tomorrow to collect Clarissa - made a perfect trial run.

So the plan, drop off laundry, do Lidl shop, visit Trogir. And find a filling station, things were getting desperate for the Contrary Clio.

Decisions made we breakfasted. Today it was toast, fruit salad and the remains of the meats. The only problem was the grill had the power output of a TV power save light, this was going to take some time. In fact we estimated that to make beans on toast you would…
  1. Put toast on
  2. Plant beans
  3. Plant tomatoes
  4. Harvest beans
  5. Harvest tomatoes
  6. Make sauce
  7. Add to beans
  8. Turn bread over
  9. Smelt steel to make tins
  10. Package product
  11. Ship around the world in a tuk-tuk with a dicky engine
  12. Milk cow
  13. Make butter
  14. Distribute to merchants
  15. Buy and…
  16. Take toast out of from under grill
Fast it was not. That said slow cooked toast was beautifully delicate and crunchy and well worth the wait that represented the time for the rise and fall of the roman empire (extended play version).

Anyway, toast buttered with little bits of the meat from the meal yesterday was utterly divine and it meant I had the undivided attention of Ivana’s beautiful dog. The fruit salad was also perfect as had been drenched in elderflower cordial. Lovely.

We rounded up the laundry and wandered off the couple of hundred yards to the laundrette. It was closed. Not to worry, the note said come back at 11:15. We could manage that! We wandered down to the seafront and sat on the wall marvelling at how different the town was from the day before, so many people about! It seemed that everyone had come out to see us being domestic. Well, that to the sunshine.

One thing we noticed was how lazy the gulls were, people were throwing bread in the water for them but they sneered. At Contrary Towers if you throw a single crumb from the balcony they explode in a frenzy of psychotic flying activity, but here? Nothing. Unless the bread went high in which was they went in for the kill. So maybe they are just fussy and don’t like their bread to taste of sea water. I never thought I’d have something in common with gulls.

At 11:20 and a bit we sauntered back up to the laundrette. The door was still locked. Oh dear, it’s now 11:22 and still not back. Croatia was clearly operating on Victoria Maybe Time. We were about to wander off when the lady that ran the laundrette bustled up and we could explain what was needed. She explained that the wash would take 30 minutes - crikey - and then once in the dryer we could collect at about 1pm. Impressive stuff. Having been told they would be open until 5pm we wandered off to collect bags and head to Lidl…

…Or would have done if we hadn’t changed our minds. And had coffee first. In the sun. With the beautiful and not so beautiful people. It was a lovely way to pass some time and troll all of Twitter with pictures of blue skies and what have you. The coffee for the two of us, at a sea front bar was 20ku. Or £2. Crikey.

The next problem was fuel, fortunately there was a place just a few hundred yards from the Contrary Clio so we drove off slowly, pootled along and pulled in to the body but tiny filling station.
With a “bong” the fuel warning light came on.

Talk about good timing! We waited for a pump to become free and rolled forward to one where an attendant would fill the car, oooh, very civilised. He put in the nozzle, pressed the trigger and then proceeded to hand clean the windows whilst I hovered in the kiosk smiling like an idiot overtime the person behind the till tried to take to me. Please keep in mind that I only know ne and hvala, this makes conversation limited at best. I would sound either negative or very grateful. Or negatively grateful. Or gratefully negative.

Maybe tomorrow I should learn another word. Congenital would be useful.

So yes, tank filled, windscreen cleaned and attendant tipped with what I now realise was about tuppence and probably massively insulting, we sort of moved off. The skipper was setting her charts to reach Lidl and with a flick of the wheel… We went the wrong way. *sighs*

Finally en route and passing two of the FOUR Lidl in Split we realised that maybe it was better to do the shop on the way back. Genius, so skipper got out her sextant, fiddled with her ruler and pencil, got the chart the right way up and… we missed the turn. To be fair this was mostly because the text interface to Tom was written by an obsessive compulsive divvy who feels up a bit, right a bit is a perfectly valid UI mechanism.

It’s not.

Now bounding down the right road we could reflect on the observed view that actually Croatian drivers were okay, possibly using the same idea that it’s best to keep safe to avoid the lunatics. This would be proven a couple of times during the day when said lunatics would come out to keep people on their toes.

We rolled in to Trogir and decided that the first proper car park we saw would be a good place to stop and 3ku and hour was a good price, it was, that’s about the equivalent of 30p. If nothing else Croatia is definitely good value, But then I work in the West End where a dinner for two would buy a house in the North. With change. I digress, the price looked fair so we pulled in, but the barriers were up and… The machines were powered off! What a win. We parked. Admired the clear water. Took pictures. Wandered along and finally reached the old part of Trogir City which is so very tiny. And chaotic. And heart achingly beautiful, especially in the sunshine.
It was lovely to walk around and feel decent sun on the skin even if the occasional breezes reminded you that it was actually only the second of March. After much walking we hit the danger zone and had to go in search of a place to use the facilities, the loo at the car park had been locked. It took a while but eventually we wandered in to the Caffe Bar Galion, sat down and ordered a pair of coffees. 18ku. In a tourist mecca. We drank, we nattered, we used the facilities which were clean but also slightly odd. There was one little room which had both a sit down loo and a urinal. It’s quite bizarre sitting there with a urinal straight ahead. On the plus side the smell of cigarette smoke in the place masked any odour so we were fairly sure it was all very clean. We paid and headed back to the Contrary Clio.
Intrepid explorer exploring

Good light!
As we’d passed a fifth Lidl on the way in, this one not far from Trogir we decided to pop in there. Oh my. They have some things that we simply don’t have back in the UK so it was a lovely exploration of all that was on offer. One thing in particular stood out. It had a picture of a pig on the label and was called Odojak. We weren’t sure what it was but did note it had a trotter. So I looked it up. Suckers. Hmm, *thinks*, oh. Suckling pig. Piglets. Oh my.

We didn’t get any. This time.

We had so much fun in the pasta&rice section that we missed the wine which was opposite. They actually stocked arborio rice, they don’t at the Lidl on Burdett Road and needless to say I was pathetically excited by this. I really do need to get out more.

Before full...
After much time we headed to the single open checkout. Which had a single person in front of us with only a few items. Our trolley was quite full. Eek.

Checkout was as fast as ever but there hadn’t been the time to get everything in order which meant packing was haphazard, but we got there, loaded the car and headed back to base the intention being to take a load of bags down the hill, collect the washing and then go back for the remainder of the bags. Which would have been perfect…

If it hadn’t been for traffic.

That and a total lack of parking spaces. So Clare was dispatched to collect the washing whilst I found a parking spot and followed with a pair of bags. Followed sounds too energetic, I struggled, stopping every few yards to switch hands as the bags were packed solid, first shops are always bad. I was spoken to by some bloke as I came down the hill, he was either offering help or telling me to get a move on as I was so slow. Shame I only know two words. We arrived at Clare’s new home within seconds of each other, I collapsed in a pathetic heap as she put things away for the first time a task I said she should do as otherwise she might not be able to find anything if I did it.

Once cleared we went back for the last few things, returned and started throwing some food together as Ivana’s husband and his best mate continued making Stalag 13 for the beautiful dog. When dinner was ready Clare realised she couldn’t find her phone a slight panic and concern that she’d left it at the laundrette. So we looked at the whole find my iThing stuff but before we could try in anger she found the phone hiding in plain view.

It was a good exercise though as she now knows how to find said device when needed, including when she looses it here.

The other problem of the evening was that we went to open one of the bottles of wine we’d brought back from Lidl only to find… No corkscrew. Nooooooooooooooooooooo

Oh wait, the other bottle has a screw top, never mind.

So here we are. Once more we’re both sitting writing and convivially ignoring each other. I won’t be long before I pass out as I am frankly exhausted but I’m planning on an actual quite morning tomorrow as a) missy is at University b) rain is predicted and c) Clarissa doesn’t arrive until late afternoon so hopefully I can recharge my batteries. In the meantime I shall finish my wine and pack away my beautifully sorted clean knickers.

Night all.

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