Nervous week . . .


It had been a busy start to the week at work. The cafe had been full on Monday which resulted in a later than normal finish. Tuesday was quieter, but we had a few customers that turn up five minutes before we close. They just sit for ages chatting whilst the staff are running around them putting tables away and generally tidying up. So that was another late finish.

The next day the eldest, his partner, and our granddaughter came for lunch. They usually arrive just after the young one has had a sleep. This often means they don;t arrive until about 2pm, which as they go swimming first makes lunch happen around 3pm. By that time, any feelings of hunger have dissapeared and the food just outfaces me. But it was a very pleasant afternoon.

Thursday morning started with a jolt. I received a message from a colleague who is also a neighbour advising that I do a lateral flow test, as another colleague who was working on Monday had tested positive for COVID-19. It was devastating news, as it could have massive consequences for us all. My test was negative thankfully and so was the repeat test on Friday. Another test this lunchtime showed negative again, so I guess I got away with it.

It’s reduced hours at the cafe this week, because of staff shortages. One is on holiday and two are self-isolating, so we are down to three staff on the floor. It’s going to be a long week for them I think.

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I’ve not been following the Olympics much, as I don’t think they should have gone ahead, given the way the pandemic is going in Japan. But with so many Leeds athletes taking part, you kind of get swept up and carried along. Especially when one of the athletes (Jessica Learmonth) is from the same village and has done so well.

It was also good to see the Diver, Tom Daley sat poolsside watching, whilst doing some knitting. He is well known for his knitting and I understand that he is quite acomplished. The only thing that slightly bugs me is that the only male knitters that you see are from the LGBTQ+ communities. Why are all the ‘straight’ male knitters hiding. I know they exist, as I’m one of them, but you never hear of them. If you go back in time to the Middle Ages it was predominately men who knitted. I’ve knitted on and off since my Grandmother taught me at the age of around 6 or 7 years old.

Who’s calling . . .


I got one of those calls again. I may have mentioned before, that I have a policy of not answering a call, if I don’t recognise the number. I work on the basis that if the call is important, then they will either call back or leave a message. I started this policy some years ago, when I got a call, which started with the caller saying “We are sorry to hear about your fatal accident …” Over the past few months, I have had a number of calls starting with the same four digits … 0758. As I understand it, these numbers are allocated to the EE network, but can be transferred to any network

I spoke with a former colleague a day or two ago, who indicated, that these calls are probably from ‘claims experts’, wanting to help me with my claim (that I don’t have.) Another possibility is that they are crooks posing as Amazon couriers. This works on their hope that you are expecting something from Amazon. They tell you that they have tried to deliver a large parcel, but you were not in and as this was the second attempt, there is a charge before they can deliver again. The charge is usually minimal, say £1.00 but it is so they can get your bank details. A third idea is that they are just ‘phone harvesters‘. These ring random numbers and when you answer, it tells the ‘harvester‘ that yours is a live number and can be sold on.

My wife will answer any call that she gets, regardless and laughs at me when I don’t answer. But I think it is better to miss a call than to get scammed.

They think they nearly got me …


For some years now I have been an avid follower of a person on Instagram. It’s a person from Belgium whom I find interesting. Today I commented on a post that this person made as I have often done in the past. About an hour later, I got a message sent via Instagram saying ‘Hello’. There’s no harm in saying ‘Hello’ back I thought, but then asked who they were. Their response was to send me 2 pictures of the person I am following. I explained that I needed more information on who they were. The reply came back that I had commented on their latest post. I was still not convinced, and then alarm bells started to ring.

I decided to ask for proof of who they were. I asked them to reply to my original message on their main site. The person answered that they never send private messages from that account. They then asked me to ‘add them’ on WhatsApp and even provided their number. I Googled the number and it advised me that the mobile number was Canadian. Told them that the number was not a European number and they asked me for mine. By now the alarm bells were getting much louder.

I told them I needed more proof and that they should post a certain on their main account. Leave it for 10 minutes then delete it. They refused and began to get a bit defensive. This went on for a couple of messages back and forth. Finally, I asked them to follow me back on their main site. Another refusal. I was now convinced that they were not genuine and that they were a scammer. Not entirely sure what they were after, but I’m a bit too long in the tooth to get caught out.

Life goes on …


It’s been nearly a month since my last post when my short series “From then to Now…” ended, and even longer since I posted a general collection of words. For a lot of people, it’s been a very strange time and very worrying time. My youngest son, who is Autistic has been in “lock-down” at his residential placement since the middle of undefinedMarch, and we have not seen him apart from the occasional Facetime message. The main worry was him accepting the fact that he could not come home. He was used to going off at 9:30 on Monday morning and returning at around 5:00pm on Friday. But he seems to have run with it and coped really well, mainly due to his support staff, who know him really well. It was explained to him from that start that he had to stay until August, and it looks like that might be the case. But who knows?

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Now for a bit of a rant. There are a few things that annoy me when RoundaboutI’m driving in the car. Firstly, those ‘people’ that do not acknowledge when you have given way to them, when you had the right of way. Doesn’t take much, headlamp flash, quick flick of the hand, anything like that. Then there are the ones that never indicate at junctions or roundabouts and the ones that are in the wrong lane at the roundabout. My instructor told me that in general terms, the left hand lane when approaching the roundabout is for drivers using either of the the first 2 exits with the right hand lane for all other exits. This of course only applies if there are no other indicator to the contrary.

Then we come onto the ‘cyclist’! I don’t understand why, when there is a safe cycle lane/path that the majority of cyclists choose to cycle on the road. I passed four Lightstoday riding the road next to a completely empty cycle lane. Why? I’m assuming, rightly or wrongly that it is because they have this sense of ‘green’ superiority and that they think we drivers should make way for them. Beyond me. Also, why do they all feel the need to were the full Lycra kit, when it is obvious that they don’t need to. And what happened to cycle headlamps?? All we see now is one of those little flashing LED lights that are too small to be seen until it is too late.

Wasn’t expecting that …


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I got a text message from my boss, who is in Mexico at the moment for their annual holiday. The text said that she had received a ‘picture message’ from me, but could not open it. I quickly checked my phone, but I hadn’t sent a picture message to anyone, which I explained. It was then I noticed that there was an extra charge of £3.84 on my next bill. Very puzzling!

I went on to the providers website, but could find no nothing to say what the charge was for, until I got my next bill. The online ‘chat support’ was available, so I sent a message, basically asking questions: 1) who sent the picture and 2) what was the charge for.

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I had a very informative ‘chat’ with someone using the alias ‘Zahir’. He explained that I had sent an MMS message to eight of my contacts on the 1st January. I disputed this and explained that I had only sent a text stating “Happy New Year” to a group of contacts. He then informed me, that a group text, with my provider is sent as a text to the first in the list, then as a picture message to the rest. The picture being charged at £0.55 per message. It was then that I vaguely remembered being told this before. I thanked Zahir (or whatever his real name was) and quickly closed the call.

**Note to self: NO MORE group text messages !