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The Attic Scam

It was perfect timing and considering it was before my morning coffee I was rather on the ball.

Picture the scene, Carer was writing up the care book when my phone rang, because holding the thing is tiresome I hit the speakerphone button.

“Good morning, how are things today? Good I hope” announced the overly cheerful voice instantly putting me on guard.

“Well I’ve not had my coffee yet so…..” I cautiously reply

“I am calling because you are on our register as your property still has the old style loft insulation?”

“Oh dear, that doesn’t sound good” I over did the sound of concern

“Can you tell me if you’ve re-insulated your attic at all?”

“I don’t stick my head up there, I couldn’t say”

“Do you know if it is yellow or pink?”

“Like I said, I haven’t stuck my head up there”

“I see, how long have you lived there?”

“Thirty years”

By now my carer is giving me a few odd glances as confusion crosses her face

“Well as I said you might still have the old attic insulation and we can come out and survey to check and the talk through the various options”

“Okay”

“Latest research shows that effective insulation can reduce energy costs considerably”

“That’s very important with all these price increases”

“Our survey costs £170 but the Government will pay for that in certain cases. Can I ask which of these age brackets you fall into, 50-65, 65-85, 85+”

I thought about saying that it’s rude to ask a lady her age but instead I just said the first one.

“Excellent news, the survey will be free. Do you have pen and paper handy I will need to give you a reference number”

I pretended to grab something. Carer had gone from looking confused to thinking I’ve totally lost the plot.

“Okay, I’m ready, can I ask, when they come to survey the property will I need to give this to the Inspector?” it help to sound a little thick at times

“Yes, they will need it”

“Oh…..I better make sure I give it to the person upstairs, I live in a black of flats…….”

Phone went dead.

Carer burst out laughing.

😆

 
6 Comments

Posted by on March 2, 2022 in General, In The News, Life, Uncategorized

 

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Cut outs

It’s curious how you find yourself realising you’re missing something you hadn’t noticed was not there.

An odd statement I know, let me elaborate.

For Christmas I got some lovely gift vouchers and I knew exactly what I would treat myself to, there were three films that I enjoy watching again and again and to avoid the faff of remembering ahead of time to get carer to load the dvd (built into the tv) I decided to ‘buy’ the digital copies. It’s the way things are going, technologically wise, buying a version that you stream (assuming it’s not already included in subscription packages etc) rather than a physical copy.

I aimed the remote at the tv and clicked buttons and settled to be entertained all over again, getting comfortable in re-experiencing the fun of the films. Later one night as I was pondering the mental meanderings of my thoughts I realised one of those thoughts brought about an “oh yeah” type response.

Back in the day of dvd advertising, you’d get inducements of the exciting ‘extras’ (deleted scenes etc) or the ‘Directors Cut’, or a film would be available under two different age classifications – with streaming we no longer get any of that.

Sooo…… dear reader …… how many of you have just gone “Oh yeah” as you never gave it a thought.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on February 3, 2022 in Films, Grumble, Uncategorized

 

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Suddenly I’m popular!

In my role as international sex symbol and awesome influencer (I saw that smirk!) I am not immune from receiving numerous offers of untold riches and adulation from the social media masses – let’s get real here people, I barely get messages from people I actually honestly know.

I can go days and weeks without receiving a message via a social media message app, usually because my nearest and dearest message me via one medium. So to suddenly get a number of messages saying hi, let’s hook up, nice to meet you, let’s chat, you sound like someone like me – I really do roll my eyes so far back in my head I can see my butt crack.

These attempts do amuse me. Really, you like my profile, it’s bland, uninformative and unhuman. You think my pictures look hot, well I’m not ‘in’ any of the public pictures, my avatar was generated yonks ago, it’s a caricature. Others are either witty sarcastic memes or cats.

Today I received a message from a supposed cabinet minister of UAE, yet he is completely devoid of any punctuation skills. Hmmm, do other languages not have commas and full stops? He called me ‘Dear’, really am I a dear, that’s what a grey haired granny says to her grandchild. It’s a doddery word.

Then I received one from a USA Air Force base person, who thought we had lots in common after reading all my profile had to say about me. I’m no Lycra clad gym bunny with curve and muscles, like her photo, not to mention the twenty year age gap.

I have often wondered what my profile says, what do people (genuine people, not the phishing, bot, scammer kind) deduce about me from what is there? How can I see my public profile as if I were a stranger?

Maybe it is just my cynical superstitious nature that has me going “WotEva” as I hit the block button.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on October 11, 2021 in General, Life, people, Uncategorized

 

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#NaPoMo concluded

I must admit there were times went I felt myself going mildly cuckoo as I wrangled to make things rhyme or when rhyming couplets spewed forth like a native second language. Still, I have completed the challenge, a poem per day.

Last time I bored you with a few of my attempts. Well buckle in dear reader, here we go…again!

Our lovely group leader posted a picture of a fun fare, think charactered postcard, as a prompt to rhyme.

Yesterday at the funfair, There was so much to do
Throwing for coconuts, Hooking a duck or two
Crash banging on the dodgems, Screaming at the ghost
Stopped atop the Ferris wheel, Sure scared me the most
Eating hot dogs and candy floss, Galloping around the carousel
Sliding down the helter skelter, I started to feel unwell
With all that motion and excitement, The injested sugar and grease
My inside started to heave, It had to be released
Sorry Mr Tristrum I tried my very best
Apologies for spewing all down your bright striped vest.

Another bright thought in the wee hours, triggered by a podcast I was falling asleep to

I love an oxymoron they often make me laugh
Like being 'slightly pregnant', or choosing the 'larger half'

Being 'weirdly normal', when you're 'clearly misunderstood'
My 'unbiased opinion' tell me these are 'terribly good'

I feel your 'deafening silence', hear your 'dull roar'
From 'growing small' with 'intense apathy', wait I have more

How 'awfully good' was that 'crash landing'
What about a 'civil war' or being 'found missing'

It really is the 'living end' how 'seriously funny' these get
'Good grief', it is 'properly ridiculous' and yet

They're 'openly deceptive' and leave 'only choice'
Our language is ridiculous But it's our only voice

I found the challenge of haiku and fib syllable patterns quite enjoyable.

One
Nine
Thirty
Twenty six
Forty four, sixteen
Bugger, no Jackpot win, again

As for the last day, well…….

When April returns in 2022
Wanting another each day
You can if you want to
I'll be running the other way!

I’ve kept all my creations in a document, after a month or four I’ll re-read them and groan, maybe blush a little that I put them in public view.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on May 1, 2021 in General, Uncategorized

 

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Making The Cut

Across these weeks and months of having different carers in and out, regularly preparing my food, I have come to notice differences when it comes to cutting sandwiches.

Essentially there are four different ways, there is the classic horizontal and then the single diagonal, dividing the sandwich into two. Then there is the horizontal and vertical and the double diagonal, quartering the breaded munch. What I hadn’t noticed is how these different cuts affect the perception of taste.

Of course this is completely irrational and unscientific but I wonder if there is such a thing as the psychology of sandwiches. You see to my mind, the double diagonal quartered sandwich feels like there is more crust than wich, where as the horizontal single divide has decidedly less crust to wich ratio.

The diagonal single cut seems to unbalance the handling of the sandwich with the hypotenuse corners seeming to flap apart and cause the crumbled filling to escape. The horizontal and vertical quartering reminds me of children’s packed lunch boxes, or posh crustless cucumber and smoked salmon afternoon tea nibbles.

Before you think I have completely lost the plot, remember, there are people out there who firmly believe that tea should only ever be drunk from a bone China cup, that has been brewed in a pre-warmed bone China teapot.

Food is a serious business!

 
11 Comments

Posted by on April 4, 2020 in General, Uncategorized

 

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A Ditty For National Poetry Month

Poets are looking to rhyme corvid19

That has put us all in quarantine.

First some people act as an unruly teen

Behaving the worst I’ve ever seen.

But what can we glean

From this growing scene.

Of their stockpiled pasta and Andrex clean,

Of groups congregating, turning mean.

A few with the kind hearted gene

Volunteering to help and shop for cuisine

Deliver food and much needed caffeine

A smile and a wave through windows clean.

Perhaps there is much we can glean,

Society may not be pristine

But during times of the unforeseen

Acts of consideration are not few and far between.

©️AnneMarie2020

 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 1, 2020 in General, Life, Uncategorized

 

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Lead-less

Ladies and Gentle-wotsits it is my most sad of duties to inform you that after many years of diligent, unstinting service that PaperMate NonStop has ….. stopped.

We first met sometime back in 1986 at a trade convention at ExCel London, I was at College and as members of the IQPS invited to attend. Wandering around the office administration and secretarial ‘services’ (it was the 80’s innuendo abound), marvelling at this new word processing technology that the offices of the day were moving into but our College was not, getting to play with the contraptions of reprographics and binding, there were plentiful mounds of branded freebies and persuaders.

One of the stands was PaperMate to service the secretary with all her scripting need, plus stylish pens for her executive boss as well. I remember the posters of the NonStop held in beautifully manicured figures against the crisp lined note pad and the indecipherable squiggles of Pitman Shorthand (we were taught Teeline which didn’t need lined paper or think and thin strokes). Along with their brochure and a small telephone message pad adorned with their logo and hearts was the NonStop pencil all in a small carrier bag.

As a treasured item NonStop was kept for something special, nestled beside the run of the mill pencils and a few Derwent Cumberlands (the Rolls Royce of pencil, according to Dad). After college NonStop joined the ranks in my home office, where across the past 34 years we have scribbled, ticked, crossed, shaded and drawn countless times. The natty eraser at the end sadly never reached its potential, preferring to leave a greyed smudge across the paper rather than lift the erroneous graphite. NonStop has battle scars, a few scratches and the clip broke off many years ago, but duties were carried out with out fuss or fanfare.

The young whippersnapper from the pen chest has been promoted, it will not feel the same as my old faithful friend, but during these most difficult of times, we must all learn to adapt.

Farewell my ever faithful mate to paper.

 
16 Comments

Posted by on March 29, 2020 in General, Uncategorized

 

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Read the Read.

After reading the tweet from the QI Elves, it again reminded me that learning a new language is fraught with oddities and difficulties. I’ve always been slightly envious of those who are multi lingual, I’d have loved to been competent in Spanish, but having to try and wrangle with French and German at school, scarred by enthusiasm or persistence to try.

I have a vague recollection of an old black and white movie, possible with Stanley Baxter where he was trying to teach potential German spies during World War Two how to speak English clearly, I remember them tripping up over how to pronounce Slough but getting confused that rough isn’t pronounced ‘rouw’.

Another tweeter added a link to a poem called “The Chaos” by Gerard Nolst Trenité written in 1922. Quite the read.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on February 23, 2020 in Films, Uncategorized

 

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Death and his paperwork

Alright, so you’ve made your will, had the conversation about whether to be cremated, buried, frozen, shot into space or stuffed and mounted, you think you’re done, prepared, sorted – you are so very very wrong.

The bureaucracy following the death of BigSis highlighted how things have changed since the death of our parents. As things move more online, there are many changes and additional consequences to systems, procedures and ownerships. Back in the days of pen and paper, even slate and chalk, a bank would use common sense when trying to access or move funds and things could happen within a couple of days, nowadays accounts are frozen, details need to be verified, confirmed and copied for the deceased, as well as the recipient. Don’t expect it to happen in anything less than two to three weeks.

It’s time for me to get my affairs in order, make sure that access and answers are at hand. My brain is racing away, with detached sentimentality, desperate to go through cupboards, draws and boxes to get rid of all my accumulated bits and bobs, to get stuff sold via the relevant specialist, online sites or charity shops, there are even pangs of guilt about the items destined for the trash, those items that are unsellable, unrecyclable, just junk. But the body has neither the strength or mobility to do it.

The old noggin is even wondering whether it is possible to bequest my Amazon purchases, like you can physical purchases. If your partner is the named Amazon account, when they depart, so will the access to everything they have digitally bought/subscribe. Accessing their account is technically fraudulent, even if you know the details and have permission, after they’ve died. More and more our utility bills, credit cards and banking is done online, and unless details are written down and kept somewhere safe, your executor will have zero clue where to find your funds, the same with utility bills and income sources. So much was more straightforward when you had a statement or bill through the post to act as reference, with its account numbers and names all there.

Fortunately I don’t drive, again online access means that now once a driving license is cancelled, so is the road tax and ownership papers attached to that persons details, so if you share a car with your partner, that’ll be an urgent call to the DVLA needed.

As a super single there will be bills and the need for funds before probate and such is all sorted, so I am considering opening a separate account with another named party so access to urgent funds can be managed.

Maybe it is morbid but it is a necessary conversation. After all, your nearest and dearest deserve to have things run as smooth as possible, rather than add to the stress and distress.

 
14 Comments

Posted by on January 24, 2020 in Life, Uncategorized

 

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Typically British Debate

Whilst cogitating the meaning of life in bed this chilled morning as I awaited my modern day Florence Nightingale to arrive, a thought drifted across my mind, settled down and grew. The nightmare pitfalls of an English Cream Tea.

There are numerous areas that are likely, in some circles, to instigate some rather heated debates.

  • Which tea? Breakfast, Earl or Lady Grey, LapSang
  • Is it milk first or tea first
  • Is it a cream tea or afternoon tea (there is a difference, apparently)
  • Is it pronounced scone (sk-own rhymes with cone) or scone (sk-on rhymes with gone)
  • And the biggee, jam or cream first

Wars have started over less.

I think I’ll stick with my black coffee and sausage roll, that cannot court controversy …. hang on …… bugger.

 
17 Comments

Posted by on November 8, 2019 in Life, Uncategorized

 

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