Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Having a 'senior' moment

A 98 year old woman in the UK wrote this to her bank. The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published in the Times.

Dear Sir,

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my cheque with which I endeavoured to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the cheque and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honour it. I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my Pension, an arrangement, which, I admit, has been in place for only thirty eight years. You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account £30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank.

My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways. I noticed that whereas I personally attend to your telephone calls and letters, when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become. From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and- blood person.

My mortgage and loan payments will therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank by cheque, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate. Be aware that it is an offence under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope. Please find attached an Application Contact Status which I require your chosen employee to complete. I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative. Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Solicitor, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof.

In due course, I will issue your employee with PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me. I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modelled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Let me level the playing field even further. When you call me, press buttons as follows:

1 To make an appointment to see me.
2 To query a missing payment.
3 To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.
4 To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping.
5 To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.
6 To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home.
7 To leave a message on my computer (a password to access my computer is required. A password will be communicated to you at a later date to the Authorized Contact.)
8 To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through to 8.
9 To make a general complaint or inquiry, the contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service. While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call.

Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.

May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous, New Year.

Your Humble Client

(Remember: This was written by a 98 year old woman; DOESN'T SHE MAKE YOU PROUD!)

Monday, 26 May 2008

Poetry......... :O)

I have just been reading Paul Mcs latest blog entries here: Brininess and Volubility  and saw this rhyme:

A funny bird is a pelican,
his mouth can hold more than his bellycan.
He can hold in his beak, enough for a week,
And I don't see how in the hellican.
-- Dixon Lanier Merrit

It reminded me of another rhyme I heard spoken by Miles, the pre-school best friend and daily companion of my eldest daughter and her one-time guest at her  Church playschool Christmas Party.  The children were asked if they knew a song, carol or poem that they'd like to recite to all the Mums and the other party-going poppets.

Miles braved up, stepped into the middle of the floor and proudly piped up with his offering.  It went like this

The cuckoo is a funny bird
It sits upon the grass
With its wings neatly folded
And its beak stuck up its arse.
And when it tries to Cuckoo
It just says twit twit
Cos it's hard to say Cuckoo
With a beak full of shit.

He was 3¾ and he never left another room as fast as I whipped his little arse out of that one.

Later that day after Miles had gone home to tell his brother of his triumph, my daughter told me she was sad because she hadn't had a chance to say her poem because we'd left the party too quickly.  Brilliant, sez I, I didn't even know you had a poem you wanted to say.... tell it to me now poppet.  She went out of the room to make a grand entrance onto the rug 'stage', curtseyed to her audience and said

A boy had a willy 2 foot long
And he showed it to the girl next door.
She thought it was a snake
So she hit it with a rake
So he never showed it her anymore.
When she could stop giggling she said Miles taught me that Mummy. 
Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Smashing same old same old

It has been quite a time since I last posted here for two reasons - my life has simply been trundling on its usual course with nothing outstanding happening and I've been constantly busy with the garden and have been knackered in the evenings.
But, as it's soccer on TV yet again I've decided to bore you all anyways <g>
This time of year is choc a bloc full of small momentary pleasures for people like me who spend most of their days outdoors - a couple of examples; I was grubbing around weeding my <too large beds> of strawberry plants when I heard a 'whoooshing' sound.  I looked up and 3 swans were flying directly overhead about 50' above me, a startling white vision of pristine perfection against the blue sky.  Beautiful.
Last week I sorted out all my leftover seeds from last year's effort to turn the orchard into a wildflower patch and I collected a fair old pile of corncockle, corn marigold, blue cornflowers, Californian, opium ,Welsh and Icelandic poppy seeds and I decided to chuck them on a very stony piece of ground at the back of my polytunnel in hopes that they might flower later this summer.  Since then that patch of ground has become the restaurant of choice for a small flock <it's actually called a 'charm'> of goldfinches, so instead of flowers I've got birds that are as pretty as flowers.
I have two young fillies in my paddock who are inseparable.  They are never more than 20' from each other and for the first time I've watched something I never knew happened - ponies using their teeth to 'groom' each other.  My paddock is a mottled patchwork made up of greensward, buttercups and mats of white hair where the ponies have rolled and the birds are constantly up and down, taking the horsehair for their nests.
In the meantime, my irises and massive headed blue firework alliums are gorgeous and the rhododendrons are splendid if vulgar.  My peas and French beans and red and white onions, my leeks and courgettes, carrots, beetroot, parsnips and pumpkins are all sprouting and standing like little soldiers in formation, and the polytunnel is packed with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, aubergine, sweetcorn and small flowering plants waiting to be put out and my courtyard is once again a health and safety issue as I take up most of the space with ever more tubs and baskets.
And I still have to keep half an acre of grass cut.  Do you wonder I'm knackered?

Monday, 5 May 2008

Wildlife grrrrrr :O)

I've spent today working like a Trojan in the garden (not that I've ever read anything to indicate that the Trojans were especially good grafters).  Mice have eaten my peas, moles have played havoc with my vegetable seedbeds and I have scarlet blotches from the bites of viciously vindictive red ants on my hands, arms, feet and legs.  Slugs are romping through my hostas and my roses and clematis are smothered in greenfly.  Sodding wildlife.
On the other hand, larks have been singing all day,  six buzzards circled screaming above me for much of the afternoon, a sparrowhawk paid two very swift visits, the swallows are back over the paddock and when I lifted my water bucket I found a Great Crested Newt lurking there, orange belly glowing.
Isn't wildlife great?
Great Crested Newts mean that legally I can't touch any of my ponds and the bats which live somewhere in the building mean that legally I cannot do much in my loft. 
Sodding wildlife