We had a lovely day on Saturday.
We met up with Babybel, her mum and dad, Mr and Mrs Cheddar and the dogs, for a stroll along the beach in Christchurch. We had made this arrangement a while ago - and the weather forecast had been dire - but it turned out to be a beautiful, warm autumn day.
The dogs paddled - and so did Babybel, with a little assistance from Mrs Cheddar.
I beach combed, with a little assistance from Cheese Minor.
We sat on the rocks in the sun and gossiped.
We sat outside the cafe, drank tea and gossiped a bit more.
I took lots of photos.
Unfortunately it went downhill from there.
On Sunday I accidentally deleted every b****y photo.
I was so upset and cross with myself. I tried whingeing to Wensleydale and swearing at the cat. And then I tried it the other way round. But it didn't do any good - the photos were still gone and it was still my own stupid fault. So I just have to hope that the other photographers on the trip will send me copies of some of theirs [Hint, hint.]
Today has not been much better. I mentioned a while ago that someone had tried to use our credit card fraudulently. A week later the same thing happened with my debit card. Different bank, different account - same effect. Second time this year, on both cards.
Sp the Alliance and Leicester [bank] sent me a new card. These days, of course, you have to 'activate' the card by phoning the call centre. I have done this before so I collected a book and all the paperwork and phoned them. I sat and read Sandra Meech while listening to the anodyne music, punctuated by irritating messages apologising for the fact that I was still on hold.
Although I had phoned the activation number - when I eventually got through, my card could not be activated because they had no security questions to ask me. Probably because I am a dinosaur who has had the account since long before debit cards, phone banking and call centres - when it was still Post Office Giro and I opened the account because I could push the pram to the local post office and cash a cheque. [Don't get me started on the subject of the ruination of the British post office.]
So I was put through to 'Customer Services'. Of course you don't get through to a real person - you have to 'choose which service you require' and push a button. i was then asked to key in my 8 digit something number and my 5 digit phone pin number. Pardon? I have a 9 digit account number and a 4 digit pin. There is of course no instruction on what to do if you don't understand the instructions - but I discovered that if you do the wrong thing often enough you get put through to 'Security'. Who told me that they have 'changed the system'. [I had only just caught up with the old system.]
Had they written to me to tell me this? No. Had they sent me a 5 digit phone pin? Of course not - or if they had, our wonderful post office hadn't bothered to deliver the letters. [I told you not to get me started on the subject of the post office.]
So I was told my 8 digit whatsit number and I dutifully wrote it down on a piece of paper which I will promptly lose - and they are sending me a 5 digit pin which I will not be able to remember.
And then they put me through to someone who could actually activate my card.
So it took 3 people [ and a long time] to do it - because of course you never get straight through to anyone, you always end up on hold. And all on an expensive phone number. I think I have probably, single-handed, made a billion £ contribution to the rescuing of British banks.
One thing I will say for A&L - their call centre is in England and the staff do speak English - well, scouse*, anyway. [I apologise to my readers in the NW of England for that cheap joke.]
Can anyone recommend a bank where the phone is answered quickly by a real person in the UK and which doesn't take three people to deal with a simple operation like activating a card? Preferably one that isn't going bankrupt - although that limits the field, I realise!
* Liverpudlian English, for readers outside the UK.