Monday 31 December 2018

So it goes

New years eve, you know I won't be doing any deep reflection on the past year or making any resolutions for the new one.  I will say that 2018 has been significant, from the point of view Mr FF and I both became 70, we are dealing with it, we heard of the deaths of two friends, one we'd known for over 50 years, one for 5, but both lost before their time and sadly missed.
More positively, we re-connected with friends we hadn't seen for 10 years and are currently arranging to meet up in Italy with Scottish friends who we haven't seen for about the same length of time.  
It pleases me that as people pass out of our lives others return and that even after such a long time we soon resume where we left off.  
In a couple of days we shall be welcoming a family from our Italian village to the penthouse.  After 15 years we have finally convinced someone that Yorkshire is worth a visit and we are hoping the sun will shine.
Mr FF and I solider on.  Yes we did the £5 Christmas stockings again, 50p charity books, candles, little glass dishes for me, books, toiletries and a pair of socks for him.   Just before Christmas we visited family and all attended church in the village where many generations of our family were born.  My nieces and their husbands, our grand nieces Amelia and Esme were all there and I met up with people I'd gone to school with.  
Fortunately there are no big plans for changes to the penthouse on the horizon, we still need more hall storage but that's easy, no ripping out and tearing down for 2019 I hope.  Still downsizing to do, after 4 years Mr FF still considers keeping a spare tv behind the sofa in the lounge is acceptable and don't get me started on the stacks of CDs that have never been played in this residence.
Of course plans for Italy are slightly hazy with Brexit.  Its frustrating for us not knowing what will happen, what hoops we will have to jump through to continue our life there, it must be infuriating for business.  Meantime we heard that our cat Grigio is fine at our house and we received photos of Crema at Mario's house. 
I hope your Christmas was happy and that 2019 is peaceful and settled,

Happy new year. 

Saturday 22 December 2018

Tis the season

for rubbish customer service.  Let me give you a few examples of December debacles.
I contacted a supplier because a parcel scheduled for local collection had not arrived, the day it was due or the following day.  The explanation was that my parcel had not been delivered because it was delayed.  No apology, no reason, nothing, I'd already worked out myself it was delayed thank you so much.
I received an email from another supplier saying my delivery was delayed because of a glitch with the courier.  I replied asking what they meant by a glitch, when I might expect the parcel and if it was delayed for some time could I have it redirected to the intended recipient.  I didn't receive any response to several emails so I googled glitch but was no wiser, I suspect it wasn't the couriers fault at all.
I have for the past four years been receiving mail from a building society for a tenant who lived in the penthouse at least five years ago.  I have dutifully sent back every letter marked to say the person no longer lives here, but still they come.  So I went to the local branch and explained the situation.  After much computer tapping, building societies have to do that, I was told because they didn't have any other address for the person and because they cannot have an account without an address, they kept using mine though they were aware I was sending the mail back.  I suggested they just made up an address because if any more post came to me I am putting it immediately into the bin.
Mr FF is also joining in the battle.  He had an issue with Microsoft, he phoned the help line with a problem and the person he spoke to ended up practically wrecking our computer.  Mr FF spent days rebuilding and reloading everything, he keeps asking Microsoft for their complaints procedure, they don't seem to have one, there is no phone number on their website and when by email you arrange a phone back, citing date and time, it never happens.  So he contacts them again, so far he has 5 different reference numbers, it goes on and the point blank refuse to apologise.  The last time they had not phoned at the arranged time because they were too busy, but obviously not busy sorting customer complaints.
On the bright side we are currently experiencing no problems with our energy suppliers, lets hope they don't read this and get ideas.
This notepad was a gift from Pam that I received last month, I told her the other day its almost full and I'm hoping to get it published.

Sunday 9 December 2018

Days of calm

Not calm before the storm because Christmas will be quiet here but now we are settled its very peaceful up in the penthouse.  We attended the inmates Christmas lunch last Sunday, we are reconnected with our fellow residents and our lovely view, its gorgeous.
We've been to visit my brother and sister in law and collected the various online orders I made from Italy, outdoor cushions and new solar lights for next year, Christmas presents and a rather indulgent Marks and Spencer beauty advent calendar for myself.  I know that's not what Christmas is about but my goodness am I enjoying opening those generously filled little boxes.
We are spoilt for choice with UK tv, far too much to watch so we've cancelled our Netflix subscription as we try to keep up with Mrs Wilson and The Little Drummer Girl.  How we missed the quality dramas we take for granted here.
Knitting too, this is Be Simple Variations by Carolyn Glauz-Todrank an asymmetrical triangular shawl that makes for easy in front of the telly knitting.

I'm using West Yorkshire Spinners sock yarn and size 11 needles, I think one 100g ball might be enough for a decent sized wrap but I have two just in case.  You cast on two stitches and keep increasing until its big enough then cast off, simple just as long as I can manage with straight needles, you know I hate those circular ones.  
More ugly scenes from Paris at the weekend and big Brexit events this coming week, lets just enjoy the peace for a while, sometimes you just want to shut it all out.