Another bright, sunny day. My laptop is installing yet another Windows update. Our neighbour, has had people over at her house apparently discussing jobs to be done, a book parcel is due to arrive, and so is ET to “do” us in lieu of our usual lady this week c.11.00 am.
ET arrived as bright and cheery as usual and by the volume of chat coming up the stairs both parties found it a stimulating encounter.
In the old days, when the world was very young, before we had criminals in Government (or if we did we pretended not to notice) we had firms and businesses that knew their job and knew that the customer was the important base of their operations and that if you alienated your customers they would find a better firm and go to it. Not so today. The firm is all important and we the customers must do what we are told, and if we try to move elsewhere we find that all other firms are operating in the same way and there is no escape. This morning I have spent a good hour trying to get myself into
the Santander share view account. I don’t want to have to make use of the account as it has given me nothing but grief since I allowed them to get the better of me and to persuade me to set one up. Now, as is increasingly the case, they are threatening to send out only online information about one’s dealings and to do away with paper altogether. So, if you don’t possess a gadget which will connect you to the world wide Web you are cut adrift and left to eke out an existence wherever your storm tossed little bark is cast up.
I eventually found a user name I had registered in the past (not the one they quoted as being mine in today’s correspondence incidentally) so I have written all this down – never mind the hackers – and from now on I will have to try to understand their gobbledygook on line instead of on paper.
All this because I have some shares in Santander. Many years ago my parents had an account or accounts with the one time Abbey National Building Society and those accounts eventually came my way when my parents died. Then the awful Thatcher woman persuaded all these old mutually owned societies, existing for the benefit of their members remember, to float themselves on the stock exchange and go public. Mrs Thatcher’s blind belief in the magic of the “market” told her that in this way the societies would be more profitable, her Conservative colleagues would play the market to their own advantages and her position would be correspondingly strengthened. Well, as we know, they stabbed her in the back as is their wont and all the ideas and benefits of mutuality, morality and self help went out of the window, which is odd as once upon a time I think the Conservative philosophy would have favoured this idea of thrift and people hauling themselves up by their own bootstraps – the self made man concept. Now it is all hedge funds, money of unknown provenance, the lining of one’s off shore pockets to the detriment of your country, the creation of multi billionaires who operate in the grey areas on the edges of legality, and the rest of you must make shift as best you can.
My spouse has purchased Michelle Obama’s book “Becoming” and it arrived today. In the course of its delivery the Postie (a next door neighbour) offered to take some outgoing mail which he spotted on our window sill. We said we did not know he would or could do that, but he did.
In town later we called in at Mr K’s plumbing shop and commissioned him to come and set about the removal of our existing boiler come room heater – a “Baxi Bermuda” – and it’s replacement by a combi condensing boiler. Thus will entail the removal of the existing water storage tanks and, hopefully, will free up a good deal of cupboard space in that bedroom. Then on the living room hearth we will have some small electric heater with a cheerful glow to pep up the central heating if it gets very cold in the winter. Personally, I would like a wood burning stove so that if a bad winter should cut off electricity and so disable the central heating one could keep warm independently.