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Source: (consider it) Thread: Inquire Within: general questions
Ariel
Shipmate
# 58

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I'm looking into getting a new washing machine for my elderly mother to use. The one she has is ancient and was quite easy to use (you just turned the dial to the wash you wanted and pressed the On button), but modern ones are altogether more complex with a number of potentially confusing options, dials, symbols and flashing lights, etc.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a suitable machine that would be straightforward to use?

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Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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I wanted the same thing (though in a dryer) so we went to a place that had dozens of models and just cruised the aisle. I suspect you could do this virtually by using one of the big search engines' shopping searces, set to show images...

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Ariel
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# 58

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Yes, I could (and will be, on a rather slow old computer) but if anyone has any personal experience that would save me some time.
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Uncle Pete

Loyaute me lie
# 10422

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I have a stackable washer/dryer set (10 years old) and relatively uncomplicated. Darn difficult to find.

Search stackable washer/dryer. Google, bless its pointy little head will come up with options

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Even more so than I was before

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lily pad
Shipmate
# 11456

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Ariel, one strategy to make your searching easier, start with Google Images. It will let you see a photo of the models and you can look up any that are promising.

Lily Pad, proud owner of a Sears Kenmore washer and dryer from 1993!

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Sloppiness is not caring. Fussiness is caring about the wrong things. With thanks to Adeodatus!

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M.
Ship's Spare Part
# 3291

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We have a Zanussi jetsystem washer/dryer which is quite simple to use - turn a dial, choose length of drying programme, press button.

It's 7 or 8 years old now though, and the dryer is beginning to go home, so not quite sure how good this recommendation is!

M.

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L'organist
Shipmate
# 17338

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M.
If you get a pack of Dr Beckman washing machine de-scaler (not deep clean) you may find the performance of the washing function improves.

De-scaling the dryer is slightly more tricky - try soaking an old towel in de-scaler and then putting it into the dryer with all the windows open.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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M.
Ship's Spare Part
# 3291

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Thanks, L'organist. It works fine as a washing machine, which is the more important thing.

M.

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L'organist
Shipmate
# 17338

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OK all you technical genii out there, have you an answer to this: Why is it that every electric kettle bought in the past 6 years has lasted just over the 12 month warranty period before dying?

Household electrics checked - nothing wrong with wiring or with the specific socket.

All kettles kept in A1 order: regularly de-scaled, never over-filled, never spill water on base unit, etc, etc, etc. Kettles bought range from the basic 'value' range to state-of-the-art and wallet-busting £50+ - same problem shared by all.

Latest new kettle bought on Friday so watch this space from early May 2015. [Confused]

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Baptist Trainfan
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# 15128

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The cynic within me suggests that most such items are designed to last just beyond their warranty period before failing ... it fits in with the Sale of Goods Act etc. And:

if things lasted too long, then (a) they'd be more expensive and (b) the firms that make them would go out of business. Mind you, cheaper simpler things sometimes last the longest as they have less to go wrong.

Or perhaps your water is possessed by an anti-kettle 12-month demon or sprite of some kind [Devil] .

[ 28. April 2014, 15:11: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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lily pad
Shipmate
# 11456

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I think it is you! [Big Grin]

I purchased a Russell Hobbs kettle in 1986 and replaced it in 1992 as I dropped it on the floor and the handle cracked. The next kettle lasted until 2003 and the one that replaced it is the one I use now. All of them shut off automatically once brought to the boil and were/are used about about six times a day.

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Sloppiness is not caring. Fussiness is caring about the wrong things. With thanks to Adeodatus!

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Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

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It is said of Henry Ford that he was particularly interested in discovering which bits of the Model T endured the longest. Since it was the bits that expired first that forced a repair or replacement, the bits that were long-lasting were clearly over-engineered. Money could be saved by making them shoddier.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Palimpsest
Shipmate
# 16772

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There's a race to the bottom to cost engineer out the durability in most household appliances.
Also a lot of small appliances are now designed with chips to do nifty features. Unfortunately the chips are susceptible to the electric surges and spikes that happen in an environment where large loads are being switched on and off.

If yours are failing because the electronics are rapidly decaying appliances, there are two things worth checking. Check that the line voltage isn't higher than average on the line. In the US you can buy little meters that plug in the wall to show you the voltage. A 5% higher line voltage will cause light bulbs to burn out really fast.

Check for spikes. Get a power strip that has a surge protector on it . These are normally sold for home computers.

None of this will help if it's due to water with a lot of minerals in it.

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Landlubber
Shipmate
# 11055

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Please does anyone drive a Toyota Camry sedan/saloon (not a hybrid)? I need to know the measurements in cm/inches of the trunk/boot. The Toyota website only gives the volume in litres or cubic feet.

Our travel agent has booked one for our holiday and as we will be travelling around a lot we want to be sure our luggage will be out of sight in the boot, not on the back seat. I have emailed the hire company and they will not tell me!

Thank you.

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They that go down to the sea in ships … reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man

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Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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Do you know the year? I don't know if it varies from year to year...

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Landlubber
Shipmate
# 11055

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Good question, Lamb Chopped - it's a large, respectable rental agency and as far as I can see, the car is unlikely to be over two years old. (Also, I know we are not guaranteed which make we will get within the same group, but if we arrive to find something much smaller we are prepared to do the firm but persistent act until the problem isa sorted!)

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They that go down to the sea in ships … reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man

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Trudy Scrumptious

BBE Shieldmaiden
# 5647

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Here's a long shot, but does anyone know anything about renting a canal boat/houseboat in the Netherlands? If so, I may have a bunch of questions to follow up with via private message -- trying to make vacation plans for this summer.

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Books and things.

I lied. There are no things. Just books.

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Landlubber
Shipmate
# 11055

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While you wait for an expert: I have not rented a boat in the Netherlands, but I have (many years ago) used a UK company which now also hires out boats for touring in the Netherlands. There seem to be similar Dutch companies. You should find that they will hire bedlinen so you don't have to bring it with you and they might take an order for basic food ready for your arrival. You should expect a good introduction to how everything works and maps of the waterways and a contact 'phone number in case of disaster. If you want a permanent houseboat, sorry, no help to offer. Hope you have a wonderful time!

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They that go down to the sea in ships … reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man

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Trudy Scrumptious

BBE Shieldmaiden
# 5647

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Thanks, Landlubber. We hired a canal boat for 5 days on our visit to England 8 years ago, and my husband, particularly, would love to do a canal boating trip again. I hoped we could combine this with our plan to visit Amsterdam, but I'm finding the info provided by the Dutch companies a bit different from the English one we dealt with. I'm sure part of it is just being unfamiliar with the country (and perhaps the fact that some of the websites are written in Dutch and then computer-translated into English?). Hopefully we'll figure it out as we go along.

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Books and things.

I lied. There are no things. Just books.

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cattyish

Wuss in Boots
# 7829

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Trudi, could this help? It's not the latest model, but I suppose the newer ones are unliely to be significantly smaller.

Cattyish, in internet mode.

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...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
# 619

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quote:
Originally posted by cattyish:
Trudi, could this help? It's not the latest model, but I suppose the newer ones are unliely to be significantly smaller.

I think it was landlubber who was enquiring about car boot capacity, and Trudy who was interested in canal holidays.

Though bobbing down the Amsteldrecht in a Toyota would certainly be different.

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Wesley J

Silly Shipmate
# 6075

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In 'Das Boot'? [Killing me]

Glad someone's found the measurements! I've been looking too, but only got the volume, like others.

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Be it as it may: Wesley J will stay. --- Euthanasia, that sounds good. An alpine neutral neighbourhood. Then back to Britain, all dressed in wood. Things were gonna get worse. (John Cooper Clarke)

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Trudy Scrumptious

BBE Shieldmaiden
# 5647

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quote:
Originally posted by Firenze:
quote:
Originally posted by cattyish:
Trudi, could this help? It's not the latest model, but I suppose the newer ones are unliely to be significantly smaller.

I think it was landlubber who was enquiring about car boot capacity, and Trudy who was interested in canal holidays.

Though bobbing down the Amsteldrecht in a Toyota would certainly be different.

Yes ... I'll keep the Toyota in mind as a backup plan if the canal boat thing doesn't work out! (I know how easy it to get wires crossed about who asked what on a thread like this).

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Books and things.

I lied. There are no things. Just books.

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Landlubber
Shipmate
# 11055

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quote:
Originally posted by cattyish:
Trudi, could this help? It's not the latest model, but I suppose the newer ones are unliely to be significantly smaller.

Cattyish, in internet mode.

Perfect for the Landlubber trip, thank you! and thank you to others for looking. Much better than towing a boat for our luggage and leaving a floating Toyota for Trudy.

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They that go down to the sea in ships … reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man

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Abigail
Shipmate
# 1672

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I’m completely useless with houseplants (I think I’ve got whatever the opposite of ‘green fingers’ is) and I’m wondering if there are any plant experts out there who could advise me if there is any plant suitable for a shelf in the corner of a bathroom with no sunlight!

The bathroom faces north west and although it has a big window and is quite bright, it only gets sunlight on summer evenings, but the position of this shelf, in a sort of alcove, means that the plant wouldn’t get any even then. I’ve tried various ferns which I’ve been told like shade and I’ve tried spider plants which seem to live anywhere – but they all die pretty quickly. I don’t know if the problem is the lack of sunlight, the temperature, the humidity – or just my hopelessness with plants in general.

Thanks!

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The older I get the less I know.

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Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
# 619

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I believe you can get very convincing artificial pot plants.

There are non-photosynthesising plants, but it looks as if you'll need to start with a fungal growth (how damp is your bathroom?)

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L'organist
Shipmate
# 17338

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Abigail - try an orchid (no, I'm not joking).

Some of the orchids that live in forest survive on only diffuse light.

Something else you could try is the so-called 'Hot Lips Flower' Psychotria poeppigiana which lives under the canopy.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Abigail
Shipmate
# 1672

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quote:
Originally posted by Firenze:
I believe you can get very convincing artificial pot plants.

There are non-photosynthesising plants, but it looks as if you'll need to start with a fungal growth (how damp is your bathroom?)

Well, an artificial plant is something I’d never thought of. It could be an answer, but I really wanted something actually alive and growing …

Non-photosynthesising plants – hmm… sounds a bit too complicated for me [Frown]

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The older I get the less I know.

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Abigail
Shipmate
# 1672

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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Abigail - try an orchid (no, I'm not joking).

Some of the orchids that live in forest survive on only diffuse light.

Something else you could try is the so-called 'Hot Lips Flower' Psychotria poeppigiana which lives under the canopy.

Somebody gave me an orchid once, L’organist, but I managed to kill it off in a few weeks. [Hot and Hormonal]

Something to think about though. Thanks!

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The older I get the less I know.

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Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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Yes - orchid would be great, they like bright window ledges but not direct sun. Water the aerial roots every day, but only with a splash of water. Don't repot until desperate, they like sparse soil. Cut dead flowers to the next spike, but the flowers will last months. When no flowers are left put in a dull but not dark place and water much less, new flowers will come up after a few months.

I love orchids [Smile]

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Garden. Room. Walk

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Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
# 273

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Perhaps it needs saying that the important thing is variety.

Jengie

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

Back to my blog

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Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:
Perhaps it needs saying that the important thing is variety.

Jengie

Oh yes!

I was talking about these ones - I am useless with the spiky leaved ones:)

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Garden. Room. Walk

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Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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You might consider an air plant (tillandsia), too. Those are used to doing without much in the way of water, light, etc. and I believe the humidity and low light of your bathroom would suit it just fine.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Ariel
Shipmate
# 58

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quote:
Originally posted by Abigail:
I’ve tried various ferns which I’ve been told like shade and I’ve tried spider plants which seem to live anywhere – but they all die pretty quickly. I don’t know if the problem is the lack of sunlight, the temperature, the humidity – or just my hopelessness with plants in general.

I too liked the idea of having a fern in the bathroom but have had no success with them either. Ferns tend not to cope in a bathroom because they don't get an even temperature. If you run a bath they get the sudden humidity and steam - sometimes a bit too much - then when you're done and leave, the temperature drops fairly quickly back again. Some bathrooms are colder than others, so the temperature variation could potentially be extreme and go below what would be normal room temperature in the rest of the house. Very few plants will survive that - except possibly desert plants. However, even those are used to intense light, rather than shade.
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Penny S
Shipmate
# 14768

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I've got an aloe vera, thriving, but it does get sunlight in the morning. It didn't in its last home, as there was a hill to the east, and it managed there.
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Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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... and if you're willing to rotate the thingy, whatever it is, to a brighter place every week or so, you could probably have any not-full-sun plant.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 20059 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
TonyK

Host Emeritus
# 35

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Abigail

We had a 'mother-in-law's tongue' plant for many years, growing in a dark landing and later a dark hall.

See here for details.

We did manage to kill it recently, but it had been moved to the conservatory, where it got too much heat in the mornings, plus it was about twenty years old ...

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Yours aye ... TonyK

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Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

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I have created some knitted houseplants which clearly I should market.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Graven Image
Shipmate
# 8755

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Another suggestion for Mother-in-laws tongue. I have had one in low light for several years.
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Abigail
Shipmate
# 1672

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Thank you for all the replies. I was on the point of giving up the idea of having a plant in the bathroom but I'll definitely have another go now. Thank you for some great ideas.

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The older I get the less I know.

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Adam.

Like as the
# 4991

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I need some advice among American newspapers. We get two papers currently in our South Bend, IN rectory: the South Bend Tribune and the Chicago Tribune. I'm committed to keeping the SB Trib for its local news and obituaries. However, having just looked at what we spend on the Chicago Trib, I'm thinking we should maybe cancel that. We do need two papers, as we are three priests living together, and all of us like to look over the paper while we have breakfast, which we do together most days. The Chicago Trib though isn't particularly wonderful journalistically, and is often too Chicago specific for us, given how far out we are. We want something that is more of a national paper.

We are, obviously, all Catholic, but reasonably diverse in terms of the secular political manifestations of that (how's that for diplomatic!). What would you pick?

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Ave Crux, Spes Unica!
Preaching blog

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Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

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It really depends on what you're interested in. The newspapers of record in this country are the New York Times and the Washington Post.
The NYT is unparalleled for its arts coverage, essential for everyone who's interested in books or theater. The POST is the political junkie's mainline. Congress! The White House! Lobbyists! Elections! It's all here, and at least every fourth year it is essential.
Both of these in paper format are spendy; you might go and look and see if you can get the 'out of town' edition so as to not get all the local advertisements and junk. Also, subscribing in paper gets you their e-edition as well, which is useful in very different ways (searchable, for instance).

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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monkeylizard

Ship's scurvy
# 952

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I suggest going to a book store and picking up copies of several of the national papers (NY Times, Wall Street Journal, even USA Today). Do that a few times and you will all know which one you prefer, then get a subscription to that one.

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The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. ~ Herbert Spencer (1820 - 1903)

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Trudy Scrumptious

BBE Shieldmaiden
# 5647

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Back with another holiday-planning question. I still haven't found the perfect canalboat in the Netherlands, but for now I'm moving my planning efforts on to booking an apartment for our family for the 5 days we're in London at the end of August. I have been through a dizzying array of apartments on the many many many websites dedicated to renting holiday flats in London -- my question here, as there are so many English people on the Ship, is: does anyone know of any "well kept local secret" channels for renting an affordable apartment for a few days, that might not be immediate apparent to someone enquiring from Canada?

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Sipech
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# 16870

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quote:
Originally posted by Trudy Scrumptious:
I'm moving my planning efforts on to booking an apartment for our family for the 5 days we're in London at the end of August. I have been through a dizzying array of apartments on the many many many websites dedicated to renting holiday flats in London -- my question here, as there are so many English people on the Ship, is: does anyone know of any "well kept local secret" channels for renting an affordable apartment for a few days?

Have you tried Citadines. It's not overly cheap, but London is one of the most expensive cities to live in (as I know, paying £1k per month for a matchbox [Waterworks] ).

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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Is it a good idea to select a hotel near Victoria Station? (I know nothing of London.)

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Sipech
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# 16870

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Is it a good idea to select a hotel near Victoria Station? (I know nothing of London.)

It depends partly on where you want to go and what airport you might be using to get to London. Victoria is best for Gatwick, Paddington for Heathrow, Liverpool Street for Stanstead and King's Cross for Luton. Most of the major museums are around South Kensington which is close to Victoria, apart from the British Museum which is nearest Holborn station.

Just always check with Transport for London if you are travelling on the underground at a weekend as there are often tube line closures for maintenance then. It often leads to a lot of very confused tourists standing around and blocking the way through for everyone else, as they try to work out how to get from A to B given that the route they 1st planned is no longer available to them.

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I try to be self-deprecating; I'm just not very good at it.
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Trudy Scrumptious

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# 5647

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Citadines would definitely be well out of our price range. To put in context the kind of travellers we are, we were planning to stay at the Lancaster Hall Y in a quad hostel room for 80 pounds/night. Then we realized that for not much more than that, we could rent a very cheap apartment and have our own kitchen and bathroom facilities.

We've found several things in the general price range we're able to spend -- about 400-500 pounds for the five-day stay -- but of course at that price there's always some fatal flaw -- too far out from the centre of London so we'd be spending too much time on the train, or more centrally located but generally a bit grotty-looking. Sooner or later we will of course compromise on one of those points, but I just wondered if someone who lives in London or has been there a lot might pop up and say, "Oh, you should check the places for rent on secretsonlyenglishpeopleknow.co.uk," or something like that. I know it's a long shot but travelling cheap with a family of four requires a certain level of optimism.

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Books and things.

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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I am indeed arriving at Heathrow, but I will be staying several days. There are almost too many options.

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Albertus
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# 13356

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TS, not so much apartments (though there are some), but you might try some of the universities. The LSE has some good and inexpensive rooms (google 'LSE vacations')at good locations, some of which go up to 4 people; and they often have shared kitchen facilities too, I think. For example, at present LSA Bankside, just behind Tate Modern, is offering quad rooms in August for £107 a night including full breakfast. Also worth trying are University of London, (http://halls.london.ac.uk/visitor-accommodation), UCL and University of Westminster

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