Family Dinner: Markets: Robins

Last Sunday 11th November, was a lovely bright winter's day. It was the perfect setting for a family reunion dinner.

The location was  " The Swan "  at Swinbrook.

The Swan

It was easily reached via the A40 Oxford Road; about a mile and a half past the Burford roundabout turn.

The pub itself being situated  opposite a bridge over the river Windrush, about a mile  down the track from the sign above.

The river Windrush bathed in sunlight.

It was an excellent meeting of my family, many whom I hadn't seen for over forty years.

Before getting into the car for the drive home, we crossed the road and went for a short walk up the nearby hill; which looked to be a popular hiking spot.


Yesterday, 17th November, the annual german market opened on the Promenade in Cheltenham; a sure sign Christmas and winter were upon us.

The huts contained their usual mix of food,  drink, hats, lanterns and jewellery.  It is always a pleasure to walk around and gaze at the merchandise  on show: a real splash of colour to invigorate a grey day.


Cheltenham Town AFC (The Robins ) are progressing well in League 2. Currently they stand in joint second place behind the leaders Gillingham. They have a tough away game today (18/11 ) versus Rotherham, but at the moment are chock full of confidence, so we shall see.
In the next round of the FA Cup, they are drawn home to Hereford.
This match is being televised live on ESPN on Monday 3rd December at 7:45 pm 
This will be a real boost to Cheltenham's finances, as they will receive £67,925 in broadcast fees, a useful amount!

The only ' fly in the ointment, ' is our recent record against Hereford which is not inspiring.
Since the 08/09 season, we have played them six times, lost three and drawn three.
But as  Hereford  were relegated last season to the Conference (Blue Square Premier ) we surely must have a chance, mustn't we?
Stop Press
After scoring in the first minute and following a sloppy first half, the Robins went in at the break 2-3 down. The second half showed a tighter defence, but the final score was 2-4. The 'curse ' of the Manager of the Month ( Mark Yates ) was working. Attention now switches to another tricky away fixture next Tuesday ( 20/11 ) against Chesterfield. K.O. 7:45.

On Wednesday 7th November at nine'o'clock the Whole Foods Supermarket opened its doors in Cheltenham.


It is an organic store which  includes local traders  in the supply of produce. The group ( American owned ) has  five stores in London and one in Glasgow.
The produce is therefore deemed to be of a high quality ( with prices to match ).
I was impressed with the range of goods on show, which included cosmetics. The shelves were full with few gaps, showing  good logistical management.
The checkout-tills, were interesting, with a screen facing the customers, allowing them to view their  list of goods; especially useful with discounted or special offers.
I was amused to  notice that social networks were not forgotten either with Twitter and Facebook logos emblazoned upon the screen.

The ground coffee was unusual, in that customers, by using bags provided, scooped up the beans and then were able to grind them (if needed ) upon the machines next to the coffee.
Customers were then asked to write on their bags a five digit PLU number. If you look closely at the picture you can see this on the bottom left corner of the black-board.

Feeling naturally mischievous, I asked the Coffee Assistant, and a manager what PLU stood for; they were not able to comply with my request. The Check-out person thought it could be Priceing List Unit.
A good guess I reckon.


That rounds up the week, so with a reminder to start getting those presents for Christmas, I wish you all


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