4th February

They say it’s going to snow – joy! So as it’s been absolutely freezing walking back to the car from the office each night I thought I’d better get wrapped up well if I was going out to walk up the high street. So on top of what I’ve been wearing (scarf, jumper, gloves (fingerless – I can’t abide normal gloves)) I put a coat and my hat with the furry earflaps. She said I looked like a hobo, I took this as a compliment! In the end the sun was shining and the sky was blue and I was a bit too wrapped up!

Over heard in the bank today.

The woman in the queue in front of us had gone in to find out why she had received a letter telling her that her account was overdrawn even though she was no longer using it. She had moved her account to another bank but as it turned out for some reason when she had used Paypal the money had been deducted from this account instead of her new account. This had resulted in around £150 beiing taken out of her account.

Now given that there was no money in the account, nor had any regular payments been made into it, the bank had still authorised each of the transactions as and when they had come in. Given that we live in a world that is controlled by computers I can’t understand why banks continue to allow money to be removed from an account that has a negative balance or maybe this might explain it…..

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As well as the £150 that had been withdrawn by Paypal from an account that had no money in it there was also the small matter of the £250 the bank had added in fees because she had withdrawn money from the account – that’s a nice little earner isn’t it no wonder they can afford to pay themselves huge bonuses – £250 for allowing transactions to go through that shouldn’t have.

The poor woman had suddenly found herself £400 overdrawn on an account that she was no longer using.

This happened to us a few years ago. We closed our joint account and paid off the outstanding overdraft. Only it turned out that the bank hadn’t closed it and had then added an interest charge which caused the account to go overdrawn and then they added a charge which then made it more overdrawn. So the next month they added another fee and another the month after until we got a letter telling us we were a couple of hundred pounds overdrawn,

Now we got the charges refunded and I think the poor girl in the bank did too but I wonder how many people aren’t so lucky and how much banks make from these little scams?

And they wonder why people hate them!

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Before I went out I decided to empty all of those receipts out of my wallet as it was so full it would barely shut! While I was out I spotted a book in the window of the British Heart Foundation shop which looked interesting. I went inside and of course had to ask one of the assistants to get it out for me. I stood and read the blurb and decided that I would get it. So I took it to the counter and got my wallet out. There should have been a fiver in there but it was now at home in a pile of receipts!

So I had to ask the assistant to hold it for me while I nipped to the cashpoint. The first one I got to had a queue and when it was my turn I put my card in and for some reason cash withdrawal wasn’t there as an option! So I had to find another one and that too had a queue. Why do the slowest people on god’s earth always want to use cashpoints on Saturday!! Anyway I eventually got some cash and headed back for the book. At least this time I didn’t get back and find someone else had bought it.

We were too young to be hippies, missed out on the love 
Turned to a teen in the late 70’s in the summer of the drugs 

It’s funny how sometimes a book will just leap out at you. I went into a bookshop the other week and couldn’t find anything I wanted to read and yet this book managed to catch my eye in a millisecond as I walked past and I knew I had to buy it. So far I haven’t been able to put it down.

As the title would suggest it’s about the 1970’s the decade that I grew up in from being 9 in 1970 through to going to university a decade later. The book objects to what it sees as the “Abbafication” of the decade, the belief that we all wore flares or glittery jumpsuits, had afro’s dyed in outrageous colours and bopped around at discos to ABBA. This is a view I’ve long held knowing how grim life was in my formative years. In the same way as I know not everyone in the 1960’s had long hair, wore beads, smoked pot and walked around saying “Peace man!”

Back in Venice again!

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