Eating out in Falmouth

Since we spend quite a bit of time in Falmouth I thought I’d just quickly list some of the places we like to eat. This was originally just going to be a post about our favourite place, but I figured I’d list a few others as well.

Our number one place to go is Five Degrees West at the Arwenack Street end of town (for those that remember the old Pirate pub, it’s where that used to be). It’s a modern pub looking pub with a fairly relaxed atmosphere. The staff are really friendly and nearly always manage to say hello and goodbye as you walk in or out. The food is excellent for a pub (and probably beats a lot of restaurants too), and it has a decent selection of beverages. A lot of the food and drink is sourced locally too. Price wise it’s probably more than your average pub, but below that of a restaurant.

I’ve rated Five Degrees West as our number one place because it’s a great all rounder. It’s good for lunch, an evening meal or just a relaxing drink. It even has free Wi-Fi. So I recommend you take a visit if you’re in Falmouth, and I further recommend the Bacon and Cornish Brie Ciabatta 😉

We also have a couple of favourite restaurants which by chance are right on top of each other. They are The Warehouse Bistro and Clarks Restaurant, which are located on Custom House Quay. Warehouse has a smaller, older and cosier feel to it, and has a lovely fillet steak (I recommend the Stilton sauce). Clarks is more modern and has some nice food on the menu. Both are obviously more pricey than Five Degrees West, but worth a visit once when we’re in Falmouth.

I’d also like to briefly mention The Hut. We went there last year and had a good time, but haven’t had the chance to go again.

On the cheaper side we have a Weatherspoons at the other end of town. It was good when it first opened, but it’s starting to look a bit shabby now. The food can be variable and likewise for the service. We still go in on occasions, but usually in the evening for a drink rather than food.

No post about eating out in Cornwall would be complete without a mention of the good old Cornish Pasty (thanks pao for spotting this glaring omission!). There’s only one place to get a Pasty in Falmouth – that’s Rowes Bakery near the Prince of Wales pier. Well, there’s absolutely loads of places, but I only go there 😉

Falmouth is awash with restaurants, and more seem to be opening all the time (the old Post Office building has turned in to an Italian!). I haven’t been to a lot of them, but if you’ve been somewhere good and you happen to be reading this, feel free to leave a recommendation 🙂

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A new camera

Yesterday we went and bought a new camera. I’ve been trying to decide what to get for ages now, and I’ve managed to go all the way back round to my first choice.

We picked up a shiny new Nikon D80 with the Nikon 18-200mm VR lens from Jessops in Canterbury. I’d already purchased a pair of Sandisk 2GB SD cards and a Hoya 72mm Protector filter online (Play.com and PurelyGadgets.co.uk respectively), since they were considerably cheaper than Jessops.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Jessops. I’ve become quite cynical in recent years and I’ve come to expect being messed about and ripped off. But, to my delight, Jessops was great. I was served by a guy called Chris in the Mercery Lane store who thankfully knew what he was doing. He was also more than happy to price match a couple of magazines I’d taken in (containing the Jessops price match promise). I made a saving of around £150 from their list prices, and Nikon are offering a further £50 cash back. So I’m a happy man.

Now I would go on to say how great the camera is, but I can’t just yet. The first reason is that it’s meant to be a Christmas present, so I really ought to leave it alone for a couple of weeks. But, ignoring the first reason, it’s been either dark or pouring with rain since I left the store, so I haven’t had much opportunity.

Roll on Christmas! 🙂

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eBay “Customer Support”

Recently I changed my wife’s email address and user ID on eBay. It was pretty painless using their web interface… at least, that’s what I thought.

The problems came a couple of weeks later when she was still receiving solicited promotional material to her old email address. I figured it wouldn’t be that hard to find out why, so I filled in a web form asking if they could check things out. This was their first reply:

Since you have completed the change of address request, be assured that all the eBay emails are sent to your registered email address. The only possibility in this situation is that your ISP (AOL in your case) might have linked both the email addresses to your account. So, we’d suggest you to contact your ISP and confirm if this is the case. However, if this is not the case on their end, then you will need to send us an eBay email with the header.

Interesting. I had a word with her ISP, which was pretty easy given it’s me. Last time I checked I’m pretty sure I don’t run AOL either (thank goodness!). I took a look at the headers, and they look pretty conclusive to me (interesting bits only):

Received: from smfcamppool09.emailebay.com ([66.135.215.238] 
	helo=smfitemap04.smf.ebay.com) ... 
DomainKey-Signature: s=main; d=reply3.ebay.com; c=nofws; q=dns; 
	b=NR1bQ5kTLijbb5Mc3TmFcKdB+BLWEb1YZvYiyvzns2iWz8iyi
	JVBCXP3ERh+lxAYiwwR3kbd94Zg3xyPvcW8CDscQaHYizuzh5vd
	59IOlVCKr1qwAYNvDHTmxMx5RL18; 
From: "eBay" <eBay-INTL@reply3.ebay.com> 
Subject: [her userid], knock his Christmas socks off this year 
	with eBay 
Received-SPF: pass (carrick.bishnet.net: domain of 
	reply3.ebay.com designates 66.135.215.238 as permitted 
	sender) client-ip=66.135.215.238; 
	envelope-from=eBay-INTL.403108935.71560.0@reply3.ebay.com; 
	helo=smfitemap04.smf.ebay.com;

So I sent that off to them and awaited their next reply. Here’s what they said:

Thank you for your reply. I understand that you are concerned about changing of the email address on eBay.

While checking your account status, I noticed that you have successfully changed your email address from ‘[old address]’ to ‘[new address]’ on Oct 27, 2007.

Your new email address ‘[new address]’ is now enabled on eBay.

Looks like they’ve completely missed the point and have decided just to state the obvious instead. So, once again, I explain that the problem is that email is still going to the old address.

In comes the next reply:

I really want to help you resolve this issue because I know how important it is for you to have this matter settled. However, your message didn’t include the email header, which I need in order to take action.

Now it looks like they’re repeating themselves. Funny thing is, if you scroll down their email you’ll see they’ve quoted the last time I said I provied the headers. So, with a few rants about their inability to read the case history, I give them the entire email, headers and all, again.

And here’s were it starts getting really good. I had to read this a few times to believe they actually said it:

Thank you for writing back again regarding the unsolicited email you received. I’m sorry that this matter hasn’t yet been resolved.

I’ve checked the information you sent us and I can confirm that the email was not sent by eBay, and is not endorsed by eBay in any way. However, it appears to have been sent by another eBay member.

How to cut down on spam emails …

Now hold on a minute. For a start, I’ve never said it’s unsolicited, it’s just going to the wrong address. And now, to top it all off, they’re trying to say they never sent it and that another member did!

I took a few minutes to cool down before calmly asking them to explain how exactly they came to that conclusion. I also suggested that if they can’t answer my questions they should consider escalating the query to someone who can.

Finally I manage to make contact with one of the (I summise) 20% of their staff who know what they’re talking about:

Please understand that when you change your email address on eBay it will remain in our database for the next 30 days and once this period is over, you won’t receive any email at your old registered email address as our system releases that email address from the database.

It took a week and 10 emails for that conclusion to be reached. It’s not rocket science, is it?

All I can say is that I’m glad it wasn’t something important…

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A day to remember

Today was a day we’ll remember for a while. Ruth & I got up early, but separately, and anxiously got ready. We met up with some family and friends in church, then headed out for a meal. The meal was concluded with some amusing anecdotes and some drinks. We enjoyed music in to the evening, danced a bit, ate some more food and drank plenty. Then exhausted we retired at the end of a memorable day.

Confused? This might clear things up…

Rings on hands

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Urg, summer

Looks like summer is finally here, but for me that isn’t a good thing.

The main reason I dislike the summer is hayfever. I get it quite badly which means I spend most of the summer bunged up, itchy, and miserable. Add to that the heat and dryness we get in Kent and I’m not a happy chappy.

Thankfully I have our portable aircon unit running at the moment which has reduced the temperature of this room to a relatively cool 24 degrees; the rest of the house is much warmer.

Roll on September…

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A Virtual Universe

I’ve been playing a game called Entropia Universe (previously Project Entropia) recently, and I’m finding it quite addictive. It’s much like other MMORPGs at a first glance, but it boasts a “Real Cash Economy”. This means that there’s a direct exchange rate (fixed to the US dollar) and you can exchange money to and from the game currency just like you can with any other currency in the real world.

Within the game itself you learn skills, take on professions, and if you’re lucky you can even make a real profit. My experience so far, though, suggests that making real money is highly unlikely; but if you get good enough you might just about be able to fund yourself within the game – so no loss of real money either.

It’s worth giving the game a go. It’s a free (but large – approx 1Gb) download and it’s free to get an account. You can also get started in the game at no expense by “sweating” animals, although it gets tedious after a while.

I’m still fairly new, so I’ve only deposited a bit of real money to help progress me along a bit. I’ve just bought my first gun, and I’m now running around killing the animals instead of just sweating them. I have a reasonable amount of confidence in my ability not to get carried away and soak too much money in to this game 🙂

There’s a wealth of information on the game website, on wikipedia, and on the forums. There’s not much point in me repeating it all, so go take a look for yourselves. Maybe I’ll see you in the game? 😉

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