Thursday, September 16, 2010

I would have thought the internet scam informing people that they are suddenly worth a great deal of money and, if they want it to send so much for administration charges or give their bank details, would have died a death by now but evidently it’s still going on. We’ve had any number over the past few weeks including the Nigerian scammers who need assistance in getting a certain amount of money out of the country, a couple of big lottery wins in lotteries we’ve never even heard of let alone been a part of, The Standard Bank is a good one for telling us we’ve come into an inheritance (which Standard Bank might that be?) and HBSC sometimes comes into the picture with an offer you can’t refuse. All of them have been for fairly reasonable amounts, not offering the earth, but the latest one from someone called Michael Baker is so absurd it leaves one gasping. This one informs me my account (what account may I ask? With the Standard Bank maybe) has been credited with $28000000! Twenty eight million dollars! Now seriously, folks, would anyone be likely to be taken in by that? Perhaps there is someone in this great wide world who would be so blinded by greed and so gullible they would fall for it though it is difficult to believe.
Three interesting items from that benighted little island I lived in so happily for so long but hopefully never again. A school in Essex has to stump up £2000 per annum because it has been deemed by the powers that be that the community police are not qualified to see children across the road and therefore the school has to employ two regular policemen. What happened to lollypop ladies or has it been decided they haven’t had enough training either?
Second story – a man and his mother took bread to the park to feed the ducks and were pounced upon by a jobsworthy park attendant who accused them of dropping litter and threatened them with an £80 fine. Can you believe this or does the mind boggle? By the time they had finished arguing the ducks had eaten all the bread so there being no evidence he was content to take name and address “for next time”. Poor ducks, go hungry you bastards! There have always been signs on zoo cages requesting you not to feed the animals (though many can’t resist of course) but ducks in the park?
Three – A couple taking a train journey decided to get off one stop ahead of the station to which they were booked and were each fined £57 for doing so. What on earth can the reasoning be behind this? Once upon a time in the dear dead days beyond recall you bought a train ticket, single or return and you made your journey. Now it is so complicated nobody knows what the hell is going on. Go on the wrong train at the wrong time of day and your journey could cost you twice as much as it did yesterday and woe betide you, evidently, if you don’t finish it but decide to get off before you reach your destination.
The mind has stopped boggling; it’s gone into hyper space. What is happening to England and can it ever be put right? I’m not optimistic enough to think so.
The latest set of stamps from Royal Mail are “Great British Railways.” Maybe the word great isn’t applicable anymore.
That Vicky Lind is a positive tigress when it comes to scrabble and our Douglas isn’t far behind. So far in our nightly competition I have won only one game and that by the skin of m’ teeth. Last night I had all the S’s and both blanks and she still beat me by 54 points. Not fair! Not fair! Somehow I just can’t seem to get it together.
Two things I forgot to mention talking about memories of the war: the British naval vessels and troopships docking in Durban and our parents offering hospitality to a succession of airmen, soldiers and sailors on a few days furlough, and the ‘Lady In White’ who stood on the dockside singing ’Wish me luck’ to the departing troops. Very moving.

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