Wednesday 27 February 2013


Walking through the office the other day I spotted an office no-no.  One of our bookers had a mobile 'phone on the desk! Quelle horreur!  She was talking to a client so I just tapped the desk on the way by, pointed at the 'phone, did the univeral "call me" sign, wagged a finger and walked out of the office.  A couple of minutes later I heard the pitter patter of tiny feet and someone calling my name

"Ann, Ann did you think that was a mobile 'phone?". 
"Yes I did" I said in my sternest voice.
"Actually it was a calculator, her mobile phone is in her handbag".

Shit!  I had to go back and offer my profuse apologies while the whole office snickered at me. But, hey, we had fun with it!

My second qualification for being the week's biggest idiot was when I went to pay for a kitchen by credit card.  I stood around for a few minutes in an empty shop being ignored.  When I finally gained attention I complained about their crap customer service, ranted on a bit and then my credit card failed!  That completely took the wind out of my sails. 

The month before I had one of the smallest credit card statement I have ever had in my life.  I must have been so excited that I forgot to pay it.  I spotted this oversight when I received this months statement which was, again, very low.  Patting myself on the back for being so frugel I decided to pay the two statements immediately, one late payment offset by one early payment.  Another pat on the back.  So why had the wretched credit card failed?

At home I investigated.  The statement had my on-line bank acknowledgement of payment attached to it. Tick, OK that checks out.  I then go on-line, sure enough there is the payment in the FUTURE REMITTANCES box.  What !  ?

Which leads me up to my third incident of qualifying for the week's biggest idiot award.  Indignantly I phoned the help line, told my story, complained bitterly about being treated this way, pointed to my exemplory record of paying on time, said the banks and credit cards needed to get their acts together and terminated the conversation  by making the statement

" I have the bank receipt in front of me and yet it still sits in my "future remittances".  It says clearly "payment on 28th February - UMMMM - what's the date today?"
With no hint of sarcasm, which must have taken extreme control on this part, he replied "18th February madam"
"Oh, I set the payment up for the wrong date"
"Yes madam"
"I'm so sorry, you must realise that I'm 72 year old and very frail".
"Not at all madam, we all make mistakes.  Is there anything else that I can help you with this morning".
"No thank you, but thank you for being so tolerant of this silly old woman". 
"You are very welcome, have a good day".

Sunday 24 February 2013


I occasionally get "funny stuff" from friends (as we all do).  I particularly like these two. 

This first is from my friend Jean:

"Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the Devil says "Oh Crap she's up".

And this is from my friend Dave:

Council Job

A guy goes to the Local Council to apply for a job. The interviewer asked him 'Are you allergic to anything?' He answered 'Yes - caffeine'

'Have you ever been in the services?' 'Yes - I was in the army for two years.'

The interviewer said 'Good, that'll get you an extras 5 points toward employment'

He then asked 'Are you disabled in any way?' 'Yes ...a bomb exploded near me and blew my testicles off.'

The interviewer terminates the interview by saying 'O.K. In that case, I can hire you right now. Normal hours are from 8 AM to 2 PM. You can start tomorrow at 10:00 - and plan on starting at 10 AM every day.'

The guy is puzzled and says, 'If the hours are from 8 AM to 2 PM, why don't you want me to be here before 10 AM?' '

'This is a council job,' the interviewer said 'For the first two hours we just stand around drinking coffee and scratching our b.....cks, not really any point in you coming in for that.'


Saturday 23 February 2013


Being in business at this time is very weird.  Everyone we speak to tells us that stategic planning is a pretty useless excercise at the moment.  Nothing is predictable any more.  And when I say "everyone" I mean "everyone" from the local butcher to the main movers and shakers in our industry, which is on-line and account managed travel and leisure.

If our business is a microcosm of what is happening around the world consider this:- 

This week one of the main on-line hotel booking sites flew a representative over to speak to us (UP) and then one of our main clients announced they had been taken over (DOWN).

Then our bank manager tried to pursuade us to take out a loan (which we don't want but I count that as an (UP) because at one time the bank wouldn't lend us money even when we begged!) and then dropped the bombshell that our office building has only been valued at £150,000 by the bank.  They simply punch in the postcode and the low valuation is because we are situated in the country (DOWN).  In fact they and we know that it's true value is nearer £500,000!  Tossers! 

So all in all it was a pretty normal week -from smiles to groans within a few hours!  But when the going gets tough, the tough get going (or so they say).  Time to buckle down AGAIN and plan a new useless stategy AGAIN!

But where are we going? Where is this leading to? Even the government figures are weird. This week alone they announced that employment and government income are both up (UP) and yet the economy is "flat lining", the Bank of England announced another tranche of "quantitative easing" (whatever that means), and we have lost our AAA rating. (DOWN)  What is that all about?

We are not simply bumping along the bottom any more. We are yoyoing from amazing news to abject terror. This week David Cameron was in India to foster closer economic ties. God help us. The Indians are the most bureaucratic nation ever - we trained them well and now we are looking to them for an economic miracle? I think not!

So, I recommend that, as a nation, we get down on our knees and pray to God.  Am I being too negative? Or am I being too positive?  Only God knows!

Saturday 9 February 2013


News this week.
  • Banks.  Continuation of the Libor scandal.  Another top banker forced to resign
  • Stafford Hospital enquiry unearths appalling neglect of patients being left for days in their own urine and/or feces, so thirsty that they are forced to drink water from flower vases, being given wrong medication and subjected to verbal abuse by the nurses. One nurse screamed "I hate you" at a patient.  No resignations, no criminal charges!
  • Horse meat in frozen burgers labelled "100% beef" and in frozen "Beef Lasagna" despite this country having the "most stringent and regulated food standards on earth".  No resignations, no criminal charges! 

  • Banks.  We have to be competitive.
  • Hospitals. Government cuts
  • Food Industry. Supermarkets demand cheap products and that is what they are getting.

Real reason:

Jobsworths.  Jobsworths like the tyrant who closed the gate 25 minutes before take off at Luton Airport leaving 20 people stranded.  The fact that these people (including my family) had young children in buggies and had been held up by being moved at the last minute to a "special" lane at customs control, thereby causing further delays, didn't move her.  The fact that we could see the plane being boarded through the window and all the children were crying didn't move her.  She was a jobsworth.  My subsequent written complaints was ceremoniously quashed, resulting in another victory for the self-important twats of this world.

Jobsworths. Like the idiotic Planning Office who decreed that the new house being built should have purpose made, wooden, Georgian windows.  Without going into boring detail he demanded a style of window that has been deemed by experts to be "unfit for purpose".  But, in his wisdom, he chose to ignore this advice. Again, my subsequent written complains were ceremoniously quashed, resulting in another victory for the uneducated, super ignorant maniacs of this world.

I could go on for days, giving examples of hospital cock-ups etc, etc. but I won't.  Suffice to say the Jobsworths are the cause of all our problems and until they are sacked or prosecuted ever the same it will remain.  They are not cuddly, cute little English eccentrics, they are dangerous megalomaniacs.

Sunday 3 February 2013


Every time I go to blog I like to reply to comments made on my previous blog.  I then like to read the blogs of the bloggers that commented on my previous blog.  I then like to read the blogs of the bloggers that commented on the blogger that commented on my blog and before you know it I'm late for lunch with no blog written up. 

This is a great pity because I am missing writing about big chunks of my life that I would like to remember and, as my memory too often fads into the dim and distant past, this might be useful at the therapy sessions I will inevitably be compelled to attend at the "memory clinic" any day now!  Only kidding!  Or am I?

This is one of the things, had I been writing, that I would have written about.  It is an email received from my Aussie friends:

"Dear Ann,

I have just arrived home form the beach house to receive and read your email. (no phone or email or internet by choice at beach house). Glad to hear you are rethinking our proposition.

Our home phone number is ******** if you want to call. I don't have your home number. Call now or when you get up it is 6.45 AM YOUR TIME as I write.

Shall I give you more ideas for the trip. We plan to arrive only a day earlier than the set sail date and have booked to stay **** Hotel, Singapore. If timing suits we want to go to night zoo there (one of few in the world nocturnal animals).

We would do the cruise and side trips we fancy. Once are in the port in Italy take the train to Rome 3 days, then off to Milan by fast train for 5 taking in the city , Lake Como and Portofino. My friend Pat her sister lives in Milan and has a great B & B for us to stay in town. Would like to wander the city too.

Fly to Luton from there hire car and head to visit my mum’s oldest (89) and dearest. Return car to Luton train to London where we will stay in Paddington and see plays, visit that restaurant in Soho you recommended but cant remember the name, see museums and take in the ambience of London, before we fly out 6/6/2013."

The "proposition" is to join them on a cruise from Singapore to Rome! Wow!!  and Wow again!!! The stops along the way are Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Cochin (India), Mumbai (India), Muscat (Oman), Dubai (UAE), Suez Canal, Port Said (Egypt) Athens (Greece) Vallettta (Malta) Barcelona (Spain), Cannes (France), Pisa (Italy) and finally Rome.

We had a phone call yesterday and the "Italian Job" has now been revised to 3days in Rome followed by 5 nights in Sorrento.  I am just about to press the "book" button on this one, but have restrained myself not to do so until Wednesday.  Why Wednesday? Well I do everything on impulse and I'm trying to grow up.  Not working!

In the meantime, the new house that I'm having built next door is progressing at last. We had the most awful weather after Christmas and it delayed things, but now we have something to look at each day and it is so exciting. And this is where I get sidetracked again.  I should go out and take a photograph of the build shouldn't I?  But if I do that I may not get to post this blog until after lunch.  Bugger it!  I'm going to take the photograph, sorry for the delay!

I know, not much to see, but it's a record.  On my way to take this photograph I was waylaid again.  I stopped to open the curtains, my hand drifted into the biscuit barrel and popped half a digestive biscuit into my mouth,  I then decided that as I was going out to take these photographs I might as well take the rubbish bins out at the same time, just stopped myself taking a side trip to the supermarket before it got busy, fired up my laptop because I understand how the photo upload works better on that than on my PC, drfited my hand into the biscuit barrel again for the other half of the digestive biscuit, proving to myself that snapping digestives in half before putting them into the biscuit barrel helps me to lose weight, wrestled with the picture upload and voila! 

Now I'm late at the supermarket, all the idiots in the universe will be shoving their shopping carts into my legs, standing in the isles to chat to their boring mates and standing at the checkout with a moronic expression on their faces because they are actually expected to pay!