Thursday, 27 October 2016

Foolish old woman!

The number of scams emails is going up....almost every day I get one asking me to put in my banking details or lose out in some way.
The Facebook scam means that I now realise very quickly that there are two faces with the same picture in the folder...and the latest one is fake.
Last week though I fell for a new one and unrelated to the Internet!
The firm who rang me about my solar tiles say they found my details on an energy register...they were very complimentary about my status as an energy user...and provider!
They told me a surveyor would come to check them for me as they were now out of warranty. I replied that I'd got a maintenance insurance already in place. They told me it was a scam and to cancel it!
Their own surveyor would come and do a free survey!
He came, went up into my loft and came down with bad news!
There was nothing dreadfully wrong with my tiles but my roof was letting in light in places...and therefore rain would get in...leading to all sorts of problems. It needed fixing!
He stayed all morning, set up a detailed work sheet and rang a roofer...who would travel from Hampshire and stay in a bed and breakfast to get the job done!
It would be a three day job and would be very expensive!
Anxious, I agreed! An official looking two page sheet detailed all the was scary!
Fortunately I do have friends....
They listened to this tale of woe and went for a look.....
The short version is that I had been played....a local builder could deal with a couple of small problems in a couple of hours....
I cancelled the job.
I almost fell for it...
Thank goodness for friends.....
I now feel very have fallen for what I now see is an obvious scam makes me a daft old woman...
The man was charming....we had a good conversation. And I had already found a couple of damp patches.....
So no matter how wary we are, how aware of the dangers it is still possible to fall for a plausible chap who realised that I'd never go up into my loft on my own...
Frailty they name is woman! Yah!

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Tuesday, 25 October 2016


Watching so much of the Americans way of electioneering I , like most people here have a mind which simply boggles at both candidates but mostly at the posturing by the Donald.....
I have actually been to Trump tower.
It is a physical representation of the man I now see daily on the TV.
On one of our trips to New York David and I stayed in a hotel in Manhattan , a short walk away from Fifth Avenue.
Strolling past the iconic shops we found Trump Tower.
"Lets go in " David had spent his career in building...he was interested in it's structure.
In we went....going up the escalator to the second floor we had a wonderful view of the the first floor.
The whole place was built in marble.....bright orange marble.
My builder husband examined it closely and pronounced it real and very expensive!
"It's just about the most the most valuable marble you can find. I've never seen it in such quantity! "
Up on the second floor we had a coffee whilst gazing around the decor.
"It's very very vulgar" was my husbands verdict. "What's meant to impress is actually appalling with far too much orange marble"
I keep remembering those words along with his shudder of distaste.
We had a stiff gin and tonic after the coffee...we needed it before tackling the rest of the tower!
Trump lives in Trump tower....says it all really. The orange marble is just the exclamation mark !

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Problems solved?

None of my plans worked out yesterday. Various people arrived and having listened to my tale of woe about all the workmen arriving this week gave me some very good advice.
A friends husband arrived to sort out my loo!
His method was I think not strictly speaking kosher plumbing but it worked...a towel inside a black plastic bag was used to pump and lo..the blockage was cleared!
Another two friends told me the roof problems could be fixed locally in an afternoon, not the three days I'd been quoted.....
It seems I have joined the ranks of feeble old ladies to be taken advantage of...
I cancelled the three day job with some's the wrong time of the year to have a man on your roof!
Other small jobs need tackling but there is no hurry now.....
Friends have read me the riot act about jumping in too a building of this age some problem are I have a much quieter week than I expected.
One of my neighbours is moving out this week and a couple from London are moving in .....I'm not going to be bored....
And the courtyard will be quite busy enough without my vehicles joining in....
Breathing in slowly now. My week got much better yesterday.

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Monday, 24 October 2016

Getting things fixed!

I suppose if you chose to live in an ancient farmhouse you should expect things to go wrong occasionally....
Mostly small things are easily fixed but occasionally problems are either too small or too big to get people to come out.
Before winter starts its vital to get small repairs done before they became big problems.
This is proving difficult...
This week I have people arriving to try to fix my current anxieties....
Getting plumbers, builders, painters etc is not easy in this small peninsular.
If the problem is too small they just don't want to know.
Big problems are even worse if it involves having men on your roof!
This is the week I am hopefully having roof slates replaced before the winter storms make matters worse....
The local totally reliable artisans are busy....there is no shortage of work here...
And that's the problem...the people I know and trust are also the people everyone else know to be good at their jobs....and remarkably they are all terribly busy...
Despite all this I have men arriving all week!
Tuesday looks clear but the rest of week I shall be in charge of tea making...
The local men are all used to me...and I'm used to them...but this weeks collection are comers in....the roofer is looking for a B and B close by....
It's not going to be comfortable at all.....but one thing is certain..I shall start to feel under siege.
One of my neighbours is moving out this week...parking could be a problem...and my new neighbours will arrive in the middle of it all.....
No doubt it will all be sorted out eventually...
Hopefully by the end of the week! Fingers crossed.

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Saturday, 22 October 2016

The Bible in order!

Having survived my bad day yesterday I have a treat today...I have a service in a beautiful little chapel in a village perched precariously on the cliffs about twenty miles from here! It is a spot I enjoy a lot.
In the old days David used to arrive at the end of the service and we would go out to lunch at a big hotel close by. Now I just come home!
Today is Bible Sunday so I've prepared a sermon invoking the ghost of Joe, the priest I met in Madeira who taught me so much in two weeks that it forms a sort of minor miracle in my mind during the time I was training for this job!
Joe's books are out of print now but they were used in seminaries all over the world.
I am taking one of them with me.
"The Bible in order" is wonderful....I use it very regularly as it contains both the Old and New Testaments in the order they were written and has the historical evidence as the back ground of the content.
I acquired this copy from a seminary in America.....
I woke early and it's still dark outside as I type this but I shall enjoy this morning.
The small Methodist chapel is beautiful and looked after with love. It is ecumenical and Joe, a Catholic priest would be surprised by his books visit to this unlikely place nearly as much as I will I enjoy it!
Thank you Joe and God!

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The fiftieth anniversary of Aberfam sat with me yesterday.
.Fifty years ago I was in labour awaiting the birth of my daughter and as the news filled the ward I was horrified by what I heard.
Children crushed to death by huge slags of coal rubble on the move......
It brought back memories of everything my grandad had told me about the conditions of the mines and the lack of care of those who made huge profits from coal and the men who laboured to produce it.
My grandad had been a miner, locked out after the general strike. He had walked from South Wales to Lancashire to find work.
He told me how it was the women and children who starved during this period . His lovely lilting Welsh voice became hard and bitter as he remembered.
The waste from the mines was left in great heaps , killing all the wild life, and keeping the coal dust constantly blowing onto fields trying to grow food .
He would not have been surprised by the tragedy....along with many more old miners......this had been the subject of many a long nights rant over the years...
Lying in my clean hospital bed I wept then....It was not the pain of was because all that my grandad had dreaded had finally come to pass and those poor children and their parents were reaping the bitter harvest!
Yesterday I wept again and prayed that mans pursuit of profit could never have such drastic results......
But the anticipated setting up of fracking sounds horribly familiar!

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Thursday, 20 October 2016

Blogging statistics!

Over the last week something odd has been happening wth my blog.
I try to post a blog most mornings...some very brief, some like yesterday a bit too long. Very occasionally I look to see how many of them are being read.....
An average readership is around thirty per day....
It occasionally rises to up to about a hundred if I hit on a subject that interests a lot of people.
Yesterday I noticed that some of my daily ramblings had attracted far more than the average readership. There are blogs which Google tell me have been read by over five hundred people....or maybe the same person five hundred times!
I am not convinced .
Some sort of admin error seems the most likely explanation...
But I would appreciate it if some of my fellow bloggers who read mine as I read theirs would check their statistics.
In the wider scheme of things it is of no importance at all...but it is always nice to know that people are reading it.
I have to own that even if no one ever read it I'd still blog....the habit of keeping a diary which started when I was a girl has persisted . The fact that I can post it on line as opposed to filling many old exercise books just makes me happy to be part of a world wide community...
Thank you God!

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