Sunday, November 20, 2011
You may want to go get a cuppa or something before you start reading this. I have a feeling this is going to be a long, long blog! For your reading ease, and in case you have to come back to it later, I've split it into chapters. LOL
The last two weeks has been chaotic. There has been some very stressful moments, some so silly it made me roar with laughter moments, some unbelievable - if it hadn't happened to me I'd never have believed it - moments, some very enjoyable moments, some family fun moments, and very little sleep, until last night, when I had the first solid 8 hours undisturbed in two and a half months!
Let's get the stressful moments out of the way first:
Chapter 1: The Stressful Moments Saga:
The local council suspended my rent payments on the 2nd November because the woman who came to my house on the 1st September put me down as having a change of circumstances! It took them until the 2nd November to reach my paperwork in the pile, and I got the letter a week later (9th), causing major panic on my part, on top of the low level of worry as to why it was taking so long to sort it out in the first place.
I phoned the council and I found out there was also a second letter floating about with conflicting info on it. Panic deepens! I end up writing a letter explaining my business, my failure to sell anything (makes you so embarrassed to have to admit that!), and my slight change of direction - which only meant that instead of concentrating more on part B of my business, I'm now concentrating more on part A. Hardly a change of circumstances when it is only a minor shift. Geeze!
I took the letter and the other paperwork they asked for into town the next day (Thur 10th), and sat for 3/4 hour waiting to be seen. The chap who took my paperwork only does that. He doesn't make any decisions, and he tells me that it will be 2-3 weeks before I'll hear the results. I point out the facts that...
a) the woman saw all my paperwork when she visited on Sept 1st.
b) there has been no change of circumstances!
He tells me that if she saw my paperwork he can't understand why they would need to see it again, and that the letter I got is a standard one built up from a drop down list of comments! That the 'change of circumstances' paragraph was probably the nearest of these to the situation!!!!!!!
Am I irritated by this? Youbetchya! Do I rip into him? No! He didn't write the letter. Was I restrained? Darned tootin! Do I deserve a medal? Youbetchya! *grin*
So I go from sleeping for about 3-4 hours, then tossing and turning for the rest of the night, to barely sleeping at all! All this finally ended yesterday, when the letters came confirming that they were still willing to assist with the rent costs. The relief was immense! Last night I could barely keep my eyes open, and when my head hit the pillow I knew no more for 8 hours, and even then I turned over and went right back to sleep for another hour! *happy sigh*
Chapter 2: The So Silly It Made Me Roar With Laughter Moments
I was wandering round Waitrose on Friday 11th, when my mobile rang. It was Tara. Apparently the delivery van guy had knocked on our door. She didn't answer because she wasn't dressed and we weren't expecting anything. She figured that they must have got the wrong door. Well he disappeared, but a couple of minutes later he came back and put a note through the letterbox to say our delivery had been left two doors down.
I told Tara not to worry. He's normally pretty good but it is entirely possible that his mind was on something else and he meant to go next door, because they regularly get stuff delivered from him too. I said I'd sort it out when I got back.
And I did. I dropped the groceries off, grabbed the note and went to the neighbours two doors down to see the package, genuinely expecting to see my neighbour's name on the label.
But no... it was actually my name! I thanked the chap for being kind enough to take it in and I walked back to the house.
I took the parcel to the kitchen and put it on the table. It had my name on it and was from the Very catalogue company.
I'm not a customer of theirs!
I've never even asked for a catalogue from them.
I don't know anyone who does have their catalogue!
But here is a parcel from them, addressed to me!
So, I opened it...
No, it wasn't an inflatable leg! LOL
It was two bottles of Nivea products!
There was no note, no return slip, nothing! Just these two bottles of body firming cream and celulite cream! Thanks universe! You trying to tell me something? *shakes fist at rude person who thinks I'd benefit from celulite cream!* LOLOLOL
Fortunately, there was a phone number on the packaging, so I rang it...
After going through those annoying chains of 'to pay your bill, press 1, to get more and more frustrated because you aren't speaking to a human being yet press 2,' etc I finally found a human being...
"Can I have your account number please?"
"I don't have one."
"Would you like to open an account with us?"
"Um, are you ringing to pay a bill?" (think about this question, considering my response to questions 1 and 2 LOL)
"No, I'm not, and I'll bet you can't guess why I'm phoning today!"
*silent confusion ensues at the other end*
I explain that I have received a parcel from them but that I don't have an account. I am laughing (possibly hysterically) by this point because, given the last couple of stressful days, this is the insanity icing on the stressful cake!
I tell her what came, and she tells me I need to ring their Fraud Office!
Well, that wiped the smile off my face, I can tell you!
She gave me their number.
I rang them.
It turned out that the Nivea creams were a free gift offered to customers who bought certain items. For some reason that they were in the process of investigating, instead of these customers getting the products the items were being sent out to random other people.
It also turned out that the company also runs the Littlewoods catalogue, which I do have, and they had found that it was customers from Littlewoods who were receiving the free gifts.
The very sweet young woman I was speaking to said, and I quote:
"Firstly, you don't have to worry, because no one has tried to open an account in your name." (sigh of relief from me)
"Secondly - and I don't know how to say this without possibly causing offence - so I'll just say it..."
"If you can make use of the product..." (remember, this is celulite cream)
I burst out laughing.
"Or if you know someone who can use it..."
Now we are both laughing.
"Then you are welcome to keep it, or just get rid of it, if it's of no use to you."
I thanked her and commiserated that of all the types of products going astray, it had to be something like this she was dealing with. LOLOL
Before I'd made the first call, because I couldn't think who else to ask, I'd already texted Bryony to ask her if she had sent me any pressies via the Very catalogue (not believing for a moment that she would be so insensitive, but you never know, and she was the only family member or friend that I knew had a catalogue of any kind)
She texted back as the conversation with the fraud lady was coming to an end (oblivious to what the parcel actually contained).
"Sorry Mum, wasn't me. Perhaps you have an admirer!"
That kind of admirer I can well do without! LOLOLOLOL
Chapter 3: The 'if it hadn't happened to me I'd never have believed it' moment!
Do you remember the saga of the Water Company? That ended when they cancelled the £76 odd bill by way of apology for mucking me about and said I only had to pay for my metered water.
One of you who commented predicted that it may not be over - clever clogs! LOLOL
How right you were. :-)
I received the revised bill alright, but last Monday (14th) I got 4 (count them) FOUR! bills through the letterbox from Anglian Water! One bill for the amount they were supposed to have cancelled. One bill for that plus 10 days metered water. One bill for that plus 4 months metered water, and one for a whole year's unmetered water - total value of all four bills: £798.54
I was furious! I grabbed a glass of water and the phone, and rang the number that the Customer Services Manager had given me a couple of weeks earlier.
I asked for her, but she wasn't available, and the poor girl I was speaking to uttered those fateful words...
"Can I help at all?"
"I hope so," I replied, "I got 4 bills from Anglian Water this morning", and told her what came.
She looked up my account details.
Apparently, some bright spark in the accounts department had reversed everything that the Manager had done, and generated the four bills to be re-issued!
The lady I spoke to was very efficient, and sensing that I was pretty sick of the whole thing (I wonder how she could tell) she was quick to say that she would correct all the latest changes, AND knock another £20 off the bill to cover the cost of my phonecalls! Would you believe this idiot she was correcting had even switched me back off the So Lo tariff to the normal costs?
She also told me that the person responsible would get a talking to from their supervisor. I told her a swift kick up the patoot works wonders in my experience! *grin* I'd calmed down by then and I was joking with her that at the rate things were going, they'd end up owing ME money!!! I also said I'd had so much paperwork from them over the last couple of months that I could wallpaper a wall in my kitchen with paper to spare!
Had enough yet? LOL
Chapter 4: A Visitor for a Couple of Days
Bryony arrived on Monday evening (14th) bearing gifts - the signed copy of the Jacqueline Wilson Book for Tara and Maureen Lipman's latest called I Must Collect Myself for me. (I Love Maureen Lipman!). I filled her in on the water company fun and games and the Very fiasco, and asked her if she could think of anyone we could offer the celulite cream to who wouldn't be offended.
She has decided to do the world a favour (and save us some potential embarrassment, LOL) and be a test subject by using the creams as prescribed on one half of her body only and we'll let you know the results in a couple of weeks! LOL
We had a lovely time. I needed the distraction to counteract the extreme stress caused by the council, so Bry was just what the doctor ordered. On Tuesday she and I took Sophie for a really long walk at Highwoods (4 miles or more). On Wednesday we took Tara into town and ended up at the new Art Gallery - The Golden Banana (more on that in a later blog).
On Thursday we had another nice walk at Highwoods, and it was great to see that now the weather temp has dropped sufficiently, Sophie can handle walks up there again. :-) We also bumped into Bill (my lovely gentleman friend) and his lab Mollie, and Tara (my policewoman friend) and her two labs Basil and Baxter. So it was a nicely sociable occassion. :-)
Bry left on Thursday afternoon when her friend picked her up in her car. Friend and her dog Alfie had been going to arrive early enough to join us on our walk, but there was a change of plans so we only had Alfie for a few minutes. Long enough for him to demolish Sophie's food and try to steal his ball back that they left a while ago to replace the one of Sophie's that he chewed up. LOL
Chapter 5: The Rest of the Time
Friday I chilled out, catching up with sparking a little, and deciding that I need to think about my exercise routine. I decided that I can't always exercise for long enough to make my minimum step count every day. 7400 steps is about 3 1/2 miles a day, and can take up to 90 minutes to accumulate, depending on the type of exercising, and with more time being taken by strength training, which is naturally low in stepcount, it makes the amount of exercise I'm doing take up too much of my day. So I'm working out options at the moment.
Saturday was full of good news for a change. The council send a letter confirming that they were still assisting with paying my rent (for now anyway), and the latest bills from Anglian Water with all the corrections, and the latest money off arrived (which also showed that the So Lo tariff had never been properly applied in the first place!).
I also got a lovely belated birthday pressie from my bestest friend, that she was embarrassed to admit she had forgotten to post, but to be fair she has had a lot on her plate lately, and I never take offence about things like that. :-) It was a booklet of crochet patterns using slip-stitch. I'm looking forward to having a play with it. :-)
I walked to the Art Gallery in the afternoon, to attend a talk on the Berryfield Mosaic, which was fascinating. Again, more on the Golden Banana in another blog. :-) Suffice to say that although I was a bit nervous about going alone, I'm glad I plucked up the courage because it is nice to have something to do that got me out of the house and chatting to people who aren't 15 years old and pokemon crazy! LOL
Well, I still have a few hours of work to do because I deliberately took a few days break while Bry was here and I have a minimum quota of hours to reach.
Sorry this was so long. I hope there was something in here to entertain you though, and maybe make you LOL.
Oooh, and the reason for the blog title? I nearly forgot to say. :-)
I've been using my new Exercise Bike - the one that works with the Wii - and my bum is numb. LOLOL
Catch you with my next blog - The Golden Banana, and How It Nearly Became The Lump of Liver! :-)
Friday, November 04, 2011
Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes and goodies! :-)
So, on my birthday, I got some photos of the first person to wish me a Happy Birthday!
Was it my young daughter, Tara?
No, she slept in till past noon! LOL
Was it my older daughter?
No, she rang me during her morning coffee break at work.
Was it my lovely Son-in-law?
No, he texted me during his lunch break.
Was it my lovely next door neighbour?
No, she has been away all week.
No, none of these people were the first to wish me a happy birthday.
It was actually...
Yes people, this is what happens when you turn 48 and the first thing you do each morning is switch on your Wii Fit Plus to take your body test. :-)
Once Tara had managed to surface from her pit, she surprised me with this:
In case you are wondering, it is a Tesco Jam and Cream Doughnut!
Didn't she do well. This was her pressie to me. :-)
So I had a less than low calorie day on my birthday, but life's too short to worry about the odd treat derailment, and I was determined to enjoy myself and not calorie count for the day.
So, I had a nice healthy porridge and apple breakfast, a jam and cream doughnut birthday cake, three or four alcoholic choccies, a plate of haddock and chips with a bottle of lager for my dinner, and spent the evening nibbling on crisps, and about 11pm had a corned beef butty, cos I was hungry again. :-)
Oh, and Tara is now my hairdresser! Today she found a way to take my long plait and fiddle it into a bun that stayed put until she pulled it apart a short while ago. :-)
And I may be crazy, but I have ummed and aahed about this for ages, and as Littlewoods had it on offer I decided to treat myself to the Big Ben Cyber Bike and game for the Wii. I quite fancy trying to cycle my way through a game as an eco-warrior bin girl. Very Druidic! LOL And when I get fed up with that game, I gather it is also compatible with Mario Kart, which is great because I don't really like games I can't get active with. :-) Plus it can also switch to a simple exercise bike as far as I know, so it can be used independently too.
It is due to arrive by wednesday. Wish me luck as it comes flat-packed!
Hope I enjoy it, otherwise this will happen...
or this could happen...
But I can do this...
especially if it does this...
Wouldn't it be great if it also worked with the cycling on Wii Fit Plus! I don't think it does, but it would be so cool if it could! :-)
Well, we are heading to bed very shortly, but are sitting through Later With Jules Holland first. Florence and the Machine are starring tonight. Yay!
Have a great weekend everyone!
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
The nice thing about living where we do is that I didn't need to buy any sweets for Halloween. So no temptation. :-) However, tomorrow when we go to the big Tesco I am buying a box of my fave choccies and a bottle of port, ready for my birthday (on the 3rd). Pressie is from my eldest, but I have to go buy it. Well, it isn't easy getting alcohol and choc safely through the parcel post. :-)
The good thing is that I am generally very restrained, and have a small glass of port a day for about a fortnight, and one or two choccies each day till they're gone. It is an annual ritual that I don't want to say goodbye to because my Dad used to buy them for me from the time I was 16, which stopped when he died on the day of the King's Cross Fire disaster - not a victim of the fire, but a victim of cancer.
Bry took over the reins of the annual treat as soon as she was able to, but as she was only four when Dad passed, I treated myself after Dad died for a lot of years. :-)
It is also a way to celebrate Samhain and spend time with my Ancestors, as port was also one of my Dad's favourite tipples, and the chocs I buy were the only ones he ever enjoyed. :-) Samhain celebrations can be spread over a three day period, so I consider my birthday as the third day of Samhain. One of the reasons it is my favourite pagan festival. :-)
Been good with my exercising. :-)
Yesterday was an EA rest day, so I walked 2 miles in 30 minutes with Leslie Sansone and did a 30 minute Slim Down Cardio Burn video with Kendell Hogan.
Today was a Wii Exercise day. I did Workout 13/20 with EA Sports Active Personal Trainer, followed by a 45 minute Zumba class. I love that I can get so much exercise variety in my own home. :-)
Tomorrow will be Workout 14/20 with EA Sports followed by the trek to Tesco Extra. :-)
I still can't decide what to have as a meal on my birthday. I am currently tempted to go up the road for fish and chips. Been a long time since I had that, and they do melty-mouthy haddock! Om nom nommy! :-) It will be nice not to have to cook for a change too. :-)
Oh, and the reason for the blog title?
I nearly forgot!
I've been playing with the Cyberbike game today (exercise bike that works with the Wii) and I have a numb bum! LOLOLOL
Right now, though, it is after midnight and I need my beauty sleep. :-)
Enjoy whatever is left of your day.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
To those who managed to make it through my last blog with their brain unfried...
I appreciate your willingness to stick it out to the end. And I really hope it is the end, though until I get the paperwork, I'm not going to be convinced. :-)
The blog came out of a letter of complaint I had spent several hours working on, before the lady from Customer Relations phoned me and made sending it unnecessary. I posted it as a blog, purely because writing it had been cathartic, and hamming it up with as many Water-related LOLs as I could find seemed like a good idea at the time. :-)
To those who decided TLDR (Which I recently discovered means Too Long: Didn't Read - Thanks Cheri for your recent informative techno-speak blog), I don't blame you in the slightest! LOL Life is too short for dealing with your own utility company hassles, never mind reading about other peoples' problems with them. :-)
So, we are having a quiet weekend, which would be more relaxing if TOM hadn't kicked in, but you can't have everything. :-)
The clocks went back last night, so we could have an extra hour in bed, but I couldn't turn over and go back to sleep, so I was up early. :-)
I've done my latest weekly review on my Active Health.
I'm 4 miles from Southport. I've walked exactly 400 miles in 105 days, and I have 510 miles left to go to reach John O'Groats.
I'm sticking at 7300 steps a day as my target this week because three days this week I didn't get my minimum in.
I did Workout 12 out of 30 on EA Sports Active Personal Trainer this morning. Then I did 50 minutes of Cardio with Kendell Hogan.
That plus a little mad dancing around the sitting room got my step count in today.
And now, after posting this, I am planning to spend the evening with my slow cooker recipe books again. Still checking through to see what I can afford to cook. :-)
Mustn't forget to tune in to see whose been kicked off Strictly tonight. Please can Nancy go now? I know she's been the comic turn this series, and we all love Anton, but enough is enough. :-) Or am I wrong? LOL
Who's your favourite this year? I can't choose between about half a dozen of them. :-) I've never watched Strictly before, aside from the occasional episode, so it's been fun to follow along from the start for a change.
And I've just had a long chat with my eldest, who is a devotee of Strictly. Seems she agrees with me. :-)
So, off to do dishes, get Tara in the bath, and play a little Jiggidy, then hello slow cooker recipe books.
Have a nice rest of the weekend.
How about some mod cons?
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