Archive for the ‘Nottingham’ Category

Last night after trying again to wear in my new glasses from Optical Express I was suffering from tunnel vision and everything was going really dark. It stayed like that for almost 2 hours after taking the glasses off. It was really frightening because I thought there was something really wrong or that the Optical Express glasses had permanently damaged my eyes.

I have tried to get used to them, but i don’t know why I should wear something that is very obviously wrong and is bad for my health. I will be returning the glasses next week and I hope they will fix it or refund my money.  I would actually prefer it if they could fix the problems as I need a pair of glasses or the money refunded so i can get them now. Waiting 28 days would be grossly unfair and expensive. Thus, no glasses for 6-8 weeks.  😦


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Optical Express Review

On Friday I went for an eye test at Optical Express. The only reason I choose them were because of the special offers they were running at the time; 2 x pairs for one if you spend over £100 and £79.99 for desginer wear including lenses.

Firstly the eye test did seem pretty good, but afterward I did feel that the optican wasn’t waiting for my eyes to refocus and assuming I can’t see the letters at all. Also the right eye takes slightly less time to re-focus but are just as blurred. Now they are even more blurred! I mentioned that my original lenses were fine but I’ve been getting some headaches on my right side.

The shop itself has a very modern layout with a huge range of frames to choose from. The problem is that there are too many and very few decent pairs or even vaguely nice pairs that are avaialable in the special offer or any offer. The staff at optical at the shop were very pleasent but the store, range of offers and their limitations seemed to be desgined to be as confusing as possible to customers and staff alike.

I overheard one member of staff tell another customer that if they spetnt over £100 then they get a free pair. They failed to mention all the limitations with that, that that only included frames on a small selection of poorly made sub-standard eye wear that even the most uncool of us wouldn’t be seen dead in.

In one shop the assistant we saw tried to explain to us that the special offers only included glasses that had a certain colored sticky label on the glass and others without a tiny colored label on them had other confusing labels too with yet more information. There was some at £79.99 that included from lenses and others at exactly the same price that didn’t. All very confusing and misleading in my opinion.

When I was in the consultation area I asked if they would measure my pupil distance because I may want to buy eye wear from elsewhere another time. I was told they can’t measure me for that and that if they measure it, it will go down on their records.  After rephasing the same question, it was found to be 66.

I eventually gave up and was feeling quite ill with the flickering lights near the cabinets. I paid cash for my eye test and asked for a copy of my prescription. The assistant firstly at no point offered me a copy of my prescription and secondly when I asked for it seemed reluntant to supply it. It was eventually produced on a normal A4 computer print out. Not on prescription paper, not little presentation folder, nothing. When you go for an eye test and have a prescription issued having a paper copy is not an optional item! The assistant informed me that if I came back within 28 days then I would get my money back for my eye test since it would be taken off against a pair of frames.

I left the larger store and proceeded to do the rest of my shopping. On my way I spotted a smaller store and popped in there. Not only were there a massive smaller range, but I was able to find a pair of frames that I liked within 5 minutes and the assistant appeared to be very good.

In the smaller store, this time my pupil distance was measured at 65, rather than 66. Also the offers were totally confusing. I wanted anti-glare coating to help when driving and I asked if that was “40 pounds” as the staff member in the previous job had said and he nodded yes it would be extra. Still I thought if I were paying over £100 then I could get a free pair of sun glasses right?

The member of staff produced from glasses from a cupboard under the main cabinet and asked what about these? And they were very nice. Just my style. He said the price would be £129.99 for 1 x pair with lenses, a anti-glare coating and a second pair of prescription sun glasses. That does seem a good price to me on the face of it.

I left the shop and then realised he hadn’t taken the price of my eye test off my purchase despite getting an eye test only a few minutes before hand admitively at a different store. Question, why didn’t there computer system remind him to do a £15 discount? And so we turned around and went back. He told me he couldn’t give a refund and to go back to the main store. I did and they said they couldn’t do it either and sent me back to the smaller store! Also its there company policy not to give refunds on cash purchase, but instead they had to send a check to your address for the same amount. That is correct, rather than giving £15 from the till, it has go to area office to be processed and sent out which is going to cost more in man hours! That is plainly rediclous! They offered nothing at all in writing to confirm they intend to send a refund and you had to take the word of the member of staff to remember to do it.

It was later on when I got home my Mum looked at the invoice and said theres something wrong with it. There was a price for the frames at £79.99 and then another cost of £50.00 for other frames and then £12.00 for the sunglasses which was taken off again. I only had 2 pairs of glases and so why the extra £50 and should that not be £40 for the anti-glare coating?

Mum went back the next day (shes always in town) where I go once every blue moon. Getting me into a city normally is a major achievement.  but anyway I digress. There was a different assistant on at the smaller shop who wrote on the receipt that I may have been over charged £20 and he also noted that there may had been issues in mis-communications – Just a bit, Optical Express seems to encourage customers to be thoroughly confused. Is it a case of tell them anything just to make a sale?

The glasses themselves, the frames I am happy with but the lenses are impossible to wear. I wore them for several hours on Friday and yesterday too whilst out walking and in the car. I quickly became to feel very dizzy, sick and it looked like some surfaces were floating away from me. The sickness was the same sickness I have when I don’t wear glasses but far worse. Also my right eye became to twitch and hurt allot. I was popping headache tablets on Saturday like sweets since the pain was so bad.  I don’t take many tablets normally, perhaps once a week if that.

Today, Sunday I woke up feeling really ill and I’m not even wearing the glasses. I can’t even stand up without feeling dizzy and just have to sit down. Is it right that I spend £129.99 on glasses that making me ill? That are impossible to wear?

Optical express also offers eye laser surgery, but I would let these incompetent fools anywhere near anything sharp. They appear they will take your money and give you a sub-standard product that is at best impossible to use and at worse dangerous when used for driving etc. You cannot drive safely with Optical Express eye-wear.

I don’t know what to do. Mum suggested that I should give it a week to get used to them before going back. The thing is I cannot afford to be off for a week being sick and dizzy like this if today is anything to go by. I guess I will give it a few days especially since I can’t get back into town this week probably. Its back to the old glasses.. Optical Express is a complete waste of time and money.

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Today we only went for a short walk from Bulwell, past the Hucknall Aerodrome and continuing on criss-crossing the motorway several times. Its a good walk but not very challenging.

This weekend the Aerodrome was having some sort of air show, though unlike other years, the planes were parked at the far end of the field, meaning that I was unable to take any pictures from the side. I think the organisers must had done that on purpose to discourage people enjoying the planes for free.

A little way past Bulwell park itself is a stables and a small selection of houses at the end of a long drive way with a cattle gate at the end. The owners of the land were closing the gate and refusing access because of all the cars that were trying to park on their property for free.

Just as we were approaching the closed gate an unmarked police car with two uniformed officers drew close next to us. They wanted to turn their car around and wanted me to open the gate. I said to the gentlemen that they wanted to turn around and that they were policemen, but the angry man just didn’t seem to be listening and said “No they are not coming in here!” – Okay I thought and tried to tell him again who they were, but still he wasn’t listening. Hmmm

Then I asked whether we could come in as we wanted to use the public footpath. He said no and told us to use the public footpath gate which they had put a piece of barb wire on it holding it shut. If anyone even tried to open that gate they would end up in hospital sue-ing the bleeding idiot that put rusty barb wire on a gate post, just perfect to shred a child’s hand.

The angry guy’s face was a picture when the policeman got out of the car and was told to open the gate. Funny enough on our return journey past here the gates were wide open.

We walked past onto the footpath going towards hucknall and it was around here where I was able to take a couple of pictures of the aircraft in the display since they were using the location as a way point.

The shot below is a Hurricane:


And my favourite world war 2 plane is the spitfire and I was lucky enough to take this shot from almost the same position:


Both pictures are quite small since they were taken with a standard digital camera with only a 4 x optimal zoom and obviously being aircraft they were quite high up. The shots were taken at maximum resolution and then heavily cropped and sharpened when I got home using Paintshop Pro that I think I must have had for 8 or 9 years and it still does its job!

I did take some other shots of planes doing stunts expelling smoke but none of those pictures worked very well and just looked like a smoke with a few dots where the planes were! Perhaps I should had gone to the actual air show.

I enjoy these sorts of walks where different things happen like being buzzed by a spitfire. That doesn’t happen to me very often.

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Last night we went for a meal at the Waltons Hotel, Bar and Restaurant located in the Park in Nottingham.  The lifts arrived late which meant we got to the hotel dead on the dot, meaning that there wasn’t any time to spend any money in the bar area. Hotels tend to like you to arrive earlier or to keep you waiting so that you buy drinks at the bar first; naturally such extra drinks are more expensive than most other places.

The interior of the hotel was very well done with nice wood panelling and neutrally decorated. The restaurant itself is a proper white table cloth one, dimly lit but not too dark where you cannot see the food. The light can be a problem if you intend to take any photographs with a compact camera as the batteries took forever to charge between shots.

For starters I had a Bacon and Chicken salad, followed by Lamb Shank and finally for desert a very delicious Vanilla crème brulee with raspberry sorbet. The speed that we were served was quick, though we were finding that we weren’t all receiving our food at the same time. There were a dozen of us and I think this may had caused an issue in the kitchens. The food delivery from  the waiters were fault bar a couple of items, which was soon put right.

The quality of the food was superb as was the wine which went perfectly with the meal. The Waltons is not a budget location and so expect big plates and little portions in the middle. Still after 3 courses, you are filling very full. I could had not eaten a single thing. The prices are very reasonable.

The only real negative thing I’d have to say is that I felt a little rushed because their car park closed at 11pm meaning that the drivers were constantly clock watching.  The road-ways around the hotel where you can park were full of cars and you needed a permit to park there from hotel reception.  I would recommended getting a Taxi if you want to have a non-rushed evening.

I would had liked to spent longer in the bar after the meal, but by the time we have finished eating it was 10:40pm and we were heading out of the car park at 10:50pm, just ten minutes before curfew. It would be far better if the hotel if the car parking closure time were more flexible and so I would be able to comment further on the bars.

Over all I highly recommend the Hotel and I will be certainly be returning again.

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The Boat House

This Saturday we did something that I consider a rarity since we all got together as a family and went out for a meal at the Boat House – a pub with a good dinning area. We go out together as a family perhaps 4 or 5 times a year. The Boat house is located next to the River Trent on the Castle Marina shopping complex a few miles from Nottingham city centre.

We arrived at the Boat House at 7:05pm but was told that our table would not be available for another 30 minutes, so we got a drink at the bar. I had my usual Guinness and I don’t remember what everyone else had. I forget how long it was until someone told us that the table was ready. We took our drinks to the table and the menus were promptly placed in front of us. Between ordering and being served there seemed to be a wait of 40 minutes, which really would had been abit of a problem if we weren’t enjoying talking to each other. It would had been a nightmare with any small children and I thank god they were not able to attend our little gathering.

For the starter I had Garlic Mushrooms, followed by Chicken Preprika with chips and a beautifully tossed salad. For sweet I opted profiteroles and ice cream. The Chicken Preprika was simply stunning and was seasoned just right so the after taste only remained for around 10 minutes after completing the meal. By the time the ice-cream arrived, the delicious heat from the previous dish vanished leaving my pallet ready for the next phase. Again, there was quite a wait for the desert and I became to worry about the staffing level both in the kitchen and the serving end. A couple of previous reviews I discovered on the Internet a couple of weeks back said similar things, but the food was faultless.

I really enjoyed my meal and the experience of the Boat House. It was a good night out.

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Last night we went for a meal to the three ponds in Nottingham. It was the first time we had been there since they have re-fitted the interior. They’ve changed it from a nice pleasant pub to one that looks like it’s been decorated by Stevie wonder. It’s an appalling improvement and as such the three ponds have taken several steps backwards in the process. Now, there’s not enough tables for eating at and what little bit of seclusion there was for dining, that has gone to. Basically, they have removed all the unique features such as the wooden floors and dividers, replacing it with an extremely old-fashioned look. It’s not somewhere that is very nice to eat a meal at no longer.

Things started to go wrong almost instantly upon arrival. For a start we had specifically booked a table the previous night since there was 8 of us and upon arrival the staff on duty had no idea we were even coming. They quickly pushed to put two tables long together right in front of the door. So, every time somebody came in or out we had a sure sharp breath of cold air. Never mind the continual flapping of the rubber seal on the door. As it happens though since we were not sitting in the air conditioned area, we’ve all got very hot indeed as the night progressed and was glad when the door opened to let in some cold air. It wasn’t exactly the most fantastic atmosphere for celebrating my mother’s 70th birthday especially since they have completely forgotten about our booking!

We ordered our starter and main at the bar for all eight of us. As the starters arrived we noticed that the garlic mushroom and Stilton cheese that we ordered had turned into two side dishes of garlic mushrooms, also the chicken wings were badly burned and looked like they have just come from a furnace or had been blow torched by any angry Irishman. It was presented with a small bowl of barbecue sauce had the consistency of cat sick. We complained about having the wrong order of mushrooms and the waitress tried to convince us that as we were ordering eight starters we had somehow got mixed up and ordered 2 side orders instead. This of course was absolute crap! And what has actually happened is that they pressed the wrong button on the till and ordered the wrong thing for us. They offered to take back the order and replace it, but this would have meant a couple of us having to wait a very long time for our starters.

We decided to shut up and eat our mushrooms. These were not the best garlic mushrooms I have ever tasted, bordering on the worst would be closer to the mark. I could hardly taste any garlic and the mushrooms were so small and dry that I think they probably just come from the freezer. What happened to this place, they used to serve fresh mushrooms that were huge and now we get stuff they probably just purchased from Tesco’s. They were absolute rubbish and certainly not worth the money. When you go out for a meal you don’t want food you can prepare better yourself to be presented to you, you are looking to something much nicer than that!

The main courses were not much better. Three of us had beef; my father said that it was burnt at the ends even though in between he was quite tender. I had what they call drunken beef, which was supposed to be beef in a red wine sauce. It turned out to be beef stew with a lump of purified mashed potato that was too cheesy and shrivelled vegetables. The cabbage they put on a plate was brown and extremely dry. As I quoted to my niece next to me, this cabbage has as much life in it as Elvis Presley. It was pretty awful and really embarrassing to be served such dire vegetables. My brother had a Mexican chicken dish which had way too many peppers in it. If he ate that many he would have ended up in hospital! Who was the cook in this place? Did they have a cook? Or was it somebody that they had pulled randomly off the street?

My mother’s lamb shank arrived five to 10 minutes later. As everyone else started their meal, she had to wait and my brother was really upset about the low quality of service that was being provided to us — he was paying the bill today and so had a right to complain. It arrived eventually, though it looked extremely poor in its presentation. The lamb was just piled up on the plate and mash was slapped down pretty much as you would get in a greasy spoon cafe. Afterwards, Mum said it wasn’t very nice at all. Yet another disappointing course! By this time we were quickly wanting to get to the pudding stage.

There wasn’t any puddings I fancied and so I just asked for a mixed selection of ice cream’s. On arrival this turned out to be 4 small scoops of vanilla ice cream presented in a Soup Bowl. My brothers partner thought this was extremely funny and couldn’t understand it at all. I thought he was a bit weird to, but I got to the stage where nothing surprised me about this pub any more.

On the up side, I found the staff to be very pleasant and they tried to make the best of a bad situation. The weakest link by far was the cook closely followed by bar staff and of course the manager that hired all of them. The three ponds has been changed from a decent place to eat and hang out with your friends to an old-fashioned smokers pub, but without the smoking! We won’t be going to eat here again, as you can imagine the three ponds is now firmly on our shit list of places to visit. Certainly I would recommend it for a pub crawl but if you fancy something to eat just go down the chippy instead!

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A couple of weeks ago I decided to look for some private physiotherapy in my local area. I actually emailed a few clinics in Nottingham with mixed results. Rachel Burr of The Heath Coat Street Clinic was very helpful by email and even gave me some interesting things to think about. You don’t often get that prior to shelling out money to a consultant and I think that’s really nice. I think kindness like that is worth a mention.

I’m becoming increasingly interested in Trigger point therapy, though not in a weird way. I don’t believe trigger point can cure everything. I do believe it can help with short term pain relief and save me from taking drugs. Rachel did come up with an interesting point that I need to treat the underlying condition that is making the trigger points so sensitive. She is right of course, but the problem is I don’t really know the cause at the moment.

I hope to make an appointment to see her in the not too distant future and learn something new perhaps. Of course I’ll share as always.

Rachel doesn’t know I write here. I don’t tend to discuss I maintain a blog with any one involved in my treatment, though I wonder if they already know since I always pump them hard for information which I add to my knowledge and it comes out in a later posts once its been thoroughly processed in my brain case.

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