Thursday, 15 December 2011

Facing the Fear

No I'm not talking about the fear of not being published,or the fear of being too successful (ha ha - as if), this is a real life fear.  It's ...... the dentist!

I used to be absolutely terrified of the dentist - which backfired because I refused to go for so long that when I did I had real problems.  I go on a regular basis now and was delighted when, a few weeks ago, I went for my six monthly check up and didn't need any work at all.  It was great to be able to make an appointment for 2012!

A week later one of my back teeth crumbled.  Just crumbled. On a mince pie.  Ironically it was the softest, crumbliest, yummiest mince pie I've ever eaten, and no, maker of said mince pie - I'm not blaming you or your culinery skills - it was just the tooth. (Recipe for best mince pie ever is on the Good Food website btw)

Well, when I say tooth, actually I mean filling, because most of the tooth was just filling.  A few years ago it had been pinned to keep the filling in place, but obviously it was time for it to go to the big allluminium place in the sky.

So last week, I was back in the chair for a temporary to tide me over until today. 

I wasn't looking forward today I can tell you. I may have overcome my fear but I knew this was going to be a biggy. And it was.  2 hours worth (OK I'm exaggerating, my dentist was running half an hour late).  Now my face feels like its done ten rounds in the boxing ring and my jaw just aches.  Can't wait for the anaesthetic to wear off.

And tonight I'm supposed to be going for a Christmas meal with my book club.  I'll have the soup please!

Fingers crossed this filling stays in!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011


It seems that children where I live have lost the ability to walk. It’s true!

Even though it’s a village school, a lot of children travel to school by car – they may only live around the corner, but they can’t walk too far – obviously!  If it’s raining they might get wet, if it’s windy they’ll get cold – bless ‘em.

The result is a nightmare of traffic congestion, usually enhanced by really bad drivers, I hasten to add, and parking rage. I kid you not.

So, for those who have chosen not to go by car, what do they do? Ask their charming offspring to walk? Oh no, no, no.  Because children can’t walk, can they?  No, they scoot. 

There’s one narrow pavement on the road up to the school.  It’s full of people, and now it’s full of maniac children, trying to go as fast as they can, with no sense of direction or consideration for others.  I have lost count of the number of times I’ve had a scooter wheel in the back of my leg, or had to jump out of the way before being run over. By a child.  And then the long suffering parents, have to carry the scooters home, once their children have been safely (or not so safely) delivered to school.  (Serves ‘em right). 

Let them walk! I say, but no one’s listening. Especially not one woman I saw the other day, who parked her car a few metres from the school gate, let her children out and then opened the boot to get the scooters out.  Metres, I repeat metres!  Make them walk!  What is the hope for the future I wonder?

Grumpy old woman signing off now.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Customer Service

In a post in November I wrote about how much companies put pressure on us poor, feeble consumers to buy.  But have you noticed that a lot of companies, while quite happy to take our money, aren’t quite as amenable when things go wrong?

In the past I have taken out extended warranties when I have purchased electronic goods – especially for the children – and this has helped to lesson the burden on replacement.  My oldest son cracked the screen of his DS and it was replaced and last year my youngest son’s DS also broke.  As DS’s had been discontinued, we were given a full refund of the purchase and put it towards a DSI. 

At that point I was keen to take out a new protection on the DSI but was horrified that the cost of this was nearly half the cost of the gadget itself. Youngest son was promptly told to look after it because there was no more where that came from.

What is annoying is when things go wrong through no fault of your own (grumpy old woman coming on – things aren't made like they used to be) and you get the reaction that you must have done something wrong.   I really hate it when that happens.

The other week my Kindle screen froze.  This has happened before, so I knew what to do.   Slide across the refresh switch and hold for twenty seconds and the Kindle reboots.  So I did and the screen went completely blank.   I did it again. Nothing.  After several repeated attempts I still had a blank screen.  Although I thought it was fully charged I plugged it into the mains but still nothing.

With a horrible feeling of foreboding I emailed the helpline at Amazon and received an automated email to say that my query would be dealt with within 12 hours.  To be honest I was quite pleased with this. When making enquiries complaints by email before, the timescale has been anything from 3 – 7 days.

Within an hour a response came advising me to call on the freephone number which I promptly did.  A lovely American lady answered (at which point I was rather glad that it was a freephone number). She advised me to slide across the refresh switch and hold it while she took my details. After about 1 minute (not 20 secs) she told me to let go and lo and behold the Kindle rebooted itself.

I felt a bit foolish but the lady was very nice.  So thank you Amazon for proving to me that good customer service is not a thing of the past. 

And if your Kindle freezes and 20 secs doesn’t do the trick.  Try holding the refresh switch down for a lot longer. You never know it might work for you too.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Happiness is a ticked off list - or not in my case

Yesterday, I took my last day of holiday from work and decided to go Christmas shopping.  I went to the Trafford Centre in Manchester with a friend and hoped to get the majority of the shopping done in one day.    Spot the note of false optimism?

By lunchtime I had bought three items which didn’t bode well.  On the plus side, I found loads of things which I could have bought myself (books included) but resisted the temptation – gives self a pat on the back.

We had a lovely lunch and launched ourselves back into the fray.  The rest of the afternoon was slightly more successful but I still went home with more presents still to buy than I had ticked off the list.

The trouble was, everything seemed so expensive. There’s a lot of overpriced rubbish which seems to crawl out of the woodwork at this time of year. And I’m not falling for it. Cheap rubbish I can stomach but not rubbish which requires a second mortgage.

So this weekend, it’s off to the outlet village where I hope I will fare better.  But I did spend a very nice day with a friend so all was not lost.