Oh for a GOB. I used to have one. Pal B was my GOB between his divorce and his departure for the US. Having a spare buddy is very useful. A Going Out Buddy, one who you can just go out and have a bit of a laugh with when one's TWDB is not around. Just a laugh. No funny stuff.
I got a Facebook invitation to a fun-sounding 'After Work' at the Compagnie des Comptoirs in Montpellier. Drinkies and tapas in convivial surroundings. Lovely, cool, thought I. Where was my TWDB? Driving to Nice. So that was that.
If I'd had a GOB, I could have emailed her/him or even called, and gone out to spend a jolly evening. Actually, I did spend a jolly evening. I went down the road and had chilli and Eastenders with me mates. Thank god for friends!!
However, I'd also like to go out and taste the evening life of the city. I'm shockingly ill-informed really, but then I'm not going to go by myself. If my TWDB is going to be away, I really need a GOB.
Offers on a postcard.
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Talking of going out, the government are cracking down on laxist Tickets Restaurants (luncheon vouchers) policies. They are supposed to be used by employees who don't have a work cantine to eat in a local restaurant. However, they can also be used to buy foodstuffs in supermarkets, which is where it starts getting complicated.
The regulations stipulate that supermarkets cannot accept more than 2 tickets at a time, but some will take as many as you like. Restauranteurs don't like this saying it's unfair competition despite the fact that they got a huge fiscal pressie with a reduction in VAT to 5.5% last year. Some people are never happy.
If TR were accepted only in restaurants there'd be no problem. The trouble starts when people can go to the supermarket and buy a week's worth of food to make lunches. If you follow the regulations, you would have to go to the shops every week day which, if you're in the car and have limited time, is environmentally unsound and just plain stupid.
Starting in April, shops will be obliged to follow the regulations. The restauranteurs think this will bring more people into their premises, but according to the readers of le Figaro, this is the last thing they intend to do. Reasons given are that they don't have time (1hr including travel to get to a busy restaurant is not a lot), restaurants are too expensive, they only have a MacDo or some unhealthy eatery nearby, restauranteurs have already had a pressie of 5.5% VAT and are now taking the piss with further moaning, and they object to being told where they can eat.
If the fuss is an indication of action, this is the beginning of the end for the TR bonanza.