Sorry, we can only take your money

We decided to reconcile our telephone accounts. We don’t have a landline (does anyone?), we a mobile each, we still pay for Jen’s mobile and we have a mifi (mobile data using a tiny box – we pay £13 a month and get 5GB of data to which we can tether anything). The mifi was helpful when we spent a lot of time abroad because Three allowed you to use 2 month’s worth of data abroad – for free. Then the whole EU market opened up and we could all use our monthly allowances … so it became superfluous to requirement. [After Brexit, who knows what will happen to that facility. I guess we will end up with roaming charges again, unless the companies can sort something out. That’s an altogether different gripe, but at least the Brexitiers will be happy with their mauve passports. Oh, and an NHS without any nurses.]

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a framed oil painting of C, framed by this morning’s sun

I popped into the Three store yesterday where I set up the contract. ‘Sorry – we only take your money here; as a result we can’t cancel your contract, You’ll have to phone someone, press lots of buttons (during which time you’ll get lost amongst the options), wait endlessly for a person to answer, during which we will bombard you with music that keeps distorting (why does that happen?), and then that person from a foreign land will not necessarily be understandable, so you’ll give up and we’ll keep taking your money.’

How does that work? You know. There, in a communications shop with ultra-broad broadband. More phones than a … phone shop. And a warm-blooded person to talk to. How? Please tell me.

Hurrumph. Actually, in the end Three redeemed themselves. I quickly got onto a live chat on my phone, a nice man was quick to type his responses, and we cancelled the contract – without a month’s wait – within 10 minutes. I wish I’d done that to begin with. It would have saved me scrambling around the floor of the Three store looking for my ears which had blown off in a mad moment of rage/desperation.

I also managed to change my Virgin plan. I was originally on £18 all-inclusive … which sounded good until you breached 5GB of data. At that point ‘normal usage’ was exceeded and the speed of my data was cut, so it was pretty hopeless. In the meantime Virgin had increased the plan costs to £23 a month (SIM only). Anyhow, after a quick phone conversation they’ve put me on a £10 a month plan for which I get 6 GB data, 2400 minutes and as many texts as I can eat. That should do.

An overall saving of £26 a month … hurrah for that.

Monday and yesterday was spent at Jen’s. There’s been a lot to do and she is tough (but good) to work for. I am making most of the leads and collars. C has been making poppies and bandanas. C’s work is pretty much done, but my list continues to be added to – which is good. For Jen and I it’s about quality. And she’s, rightly, a stickler. And has no problems telling me … which is a neat trick. She hums and ahhs, and we then have a discussion and I end up remaking the lead/collar. She’s right, BTW. I just need to do better. Anyhow, we are still stacking up orders and the stuff continues to be stuck in envelopes and posted. Business is, as they say, good. Oh, and a pet shop in Scotland wants to stock Jen’s stuff. And they intend to buy the stock outright (less 15%) and sell it on; they’ve seen some samples and liked what they’ve seen. So that’s more good news. We will need to think about employing people (gig economy stuff) in the near future.

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taking any opportunity to write

Book 5 is coming along. I missed my deadline of completing chapter 12 by the end of Sunday – I finished it yesterday and started chapter 13. I’m finding ‘finding time’ really tough, but until I finish it it’s not going to go away. So last night I lay in bed tapping on the keyboard. I must take any chance I get, and hope that it all irons out in the edit. We’ll see.

We’re not back at Jen’s until Monday. Today and tomorrow I shall try and complete chapter 13. C is making the last of the curtains. We need to get on with a couple of other jobs, like replacing the stairs carper, sorting out the lawn and I need to change the oil on both the car and Doris – which I intend to do myself. I’ve done it before, a long time ago, so I should be able to manage it. We’ll see.

Oh, and we booked an all-inclusive (never done that before) week in Tunisia for November. Our target was £500 (+) for both of us and ended up with Tui for £710, including baggage and flight transfers. We then checked the hotel details on Trip Advisor and the first two could not have been worse. But there were some good ones. Our expectations are low, but at least it will be hotter than here, by the beach, with some interesting things to see … and we will not have to lift a hand to do anything for a week. Should be fab. We’ll let you know!