The Anguished Cockerel

How do you amuse yourself and gain relief of tension while listening to bank muzak while holding on for 75 minutes waiting for an “adviser” to sort out a problem?

You spend the time patiently reading and commenting on blogs you follow and, when you need a pee you ask your wife to put the phone to her ear while you take a break.

What do you do when you are sent a “smart” form to complete to get the bank to do what they should have done three months ago and failed, resulting in regular scam payments having been stolen from your account, and when you reach the end of what wasn’t exactly the straightforward process you were given to understand you are required to complete a puzzle to prove you are not a robot that does not make itself clear?

You blow a gasket, you scream with frustration, rave, swear, stamp, and chuck things about, until you try something that miraculously works.

Then you go out for a Chauffeuse-driven ride in the forest.

We began with a visit to Ferndene Farm Shop where Jackie enjoyed a smooth shopping trip without delay, and I watched a robin while wondering whether we would see ours again.

Our next stop was Elizabeth’s where we admired her recent tree work which has really opened up the front of her property affording a view across fields opposite.

On the verges of Pilley Street the constant clanging of a nearby cattle grid left a group of fly-ignoring, cud-chewing, cattle completely unperturbed.

Had the cockerel across the road been equipped with a tail, that appendage would surely have stretched between its legs as, after proudly strutting under a gate, it dashed squawking and clucking back out and off up the road.

I have photographed this building before, hoping to preserve its memory before it falls down. A very elderly gentleman is sometimes seen seated on the plastic chair or leaning on a gate. Did the anguished cockerel play any part in the egg production, I wonder?

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent beef pie; boiled new potatoes; crisp cauliflower; crunchy carrots; tender runner beans; and meaty gravy with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Syrah.


  1. Oh Derrick, I so can relate to your customer service story. I was on hold recently for 86 minutes. In that time I filed, organized, and cleaned my home office, and when I say clean I mean deep clean 🤣 In the end the issue was resolved, and I relaxed in my office with a glass of wine and a magazine.

  2. The robin looks like he’s forlorn and just wait for a bus with his wings hanging down at his side.
    Have you ever had any of the eggs from the old man?

    1. Thank you so much, Sheree. The major frustration is that all this has to be done remotely with machines and faceless voices speaking language an elderly gent doesn’t understand

  3. Dang! What a frustrating business with the bank! So glad you have a beautiful place to which you can escape and a lovely chauffeuse to transport you hither and yon.

    1. Thanks very much, Liz. If only we could sit down in an office with a real person – as we could 60 years ago when I first opened an account with the same bank. The cockerel is very striking.

  4. You need to have a speaker phone so that you can wander about kicking things while you wait. I should be able to put my phone on speaker but I haven’t discovered how to do it yet!

    Your bank experience sounds unusually annoying so you deserve great credit for taking such peaceful and relaxed photographs later in the day.

  5. Banks are always troublesome all around the world…😅 luckily everything was mysteriously solved 😆
    The robin is so cute…hopefully Nugget will be back someday 🐦😉

  6. Call centres and machine controlled IVR mechanism are the one of the most dystopian developments in the evolutionary history of Homo Sapiens Sapiens. The cattle and the cockerel present the ground zero of tranquility, a reference point where to relocate our intelligence.

  7. I often think the CEO of organisations should be required to use the company phone system to see what their poor customers go through to resolve an issue.

  8. Whenever I have one of those long drawn out issues with remote customer service, I treat myself to some chocolate. I understand your wondering about your robin. I wonder the same thing about my church cat, Gray. I will say a prayer for both Gray and Nugget to be safe and loved.

  9. I am sorry you had to go through all those banking problems, Derrick. I’m am glad to hear you resolved it, and went out for a drive with Jackie. I loved the photos from your day. That old building must have a very interesting back story.

    1. Thank you very much, Lavinia. Unfortunately the banking problem has not been resolved. I am going to have to have another go at it today. I hope to find more about that building.

  10. That’s a handsome rooster. When I was studying Chinese brush painting, we spent a few weeks painting roosters and hens.

    When you were getting frustrated by your bank, you might have cock-a-doodle-doo-ed if you had been a rooster.

  11. Love the cows – just there – I guess on some type of village green. And then the tumble down building with that clearly recently made sign about the eggs!

  12. Your description of a most frustrating experience is an interesting read. I had a vishing experience this week during which I was informed my credit card had been used to book a very expensive hotel room in Nigeria … when I declined to verify the number of my card so that the transaction could be reversed, my ‘helpful’ fraud assistant abruptly ended the call!

  13. Sorry to hear about all of the banking problems. 🙁 And it is always a chore to get stuff like that straightened out. 🙁 Hope it is straightened out soon. These days it’s almost impossible to even talk to someone locally. Everyone they give us to “help” us is in another place far away. 🙁

    That little robin is so cute! I hope, I hope, I hope you do see Nugget and his family again! 🙂

    Love the cow-parts photos…the closeup of tails, hooves. 🙂

    I imagine the cockerel DID have a part in the egg making and that’s why he is struttin’ his stuff and showin’ off his fine-self. 😉

    The old building has such character…and your photos of it are so artistic! If the walls and roof could talk they would have stories to tell.

    (((HUGS))) 🙂

  14. Ah no … here’s hoping your bank sorts itself out very soon. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for Nugget … our robin returned the first day it was very cold here, after the fields were harvested 🐦

  15. Sounds like my recent experience with my health insurance company—over 4 hours trying to figure out a lab that is in network, so I can get my annual blood work done. Still not resolved. Grrr. So, I mostly just putter in my garden. It’s easier.

      1. I am having all sorts of bother with John Lewis Bank. All I want is a copy statement so I can claim a holiday refund but it is like trench warfare on the Western Front!

  16. gone are the days when customer service, especially in the bank, were in person. i hope things get resolved soon. the drive is a great way to unwind and to see animals are always a treat. the robin and rooster are cute!

  17. You have described your banking situation quite calmly, Derrick, given the ridiculousness of it!
    There are a couple of angry -looking cows in the close-ups. And the cockerel might have lost his harem, together with his tail, to a luckier specimen who is now actively involved in egg production. Just guessing…

  18. I’ve done the same thing after getting off the phone with the bank. So sorry you’ve been the victim of scammers and people stealing money. Your bank should have taken care of that already so I can’t blame you for some screaming and tossing. I know I would have done that. Loved the tour you took after your well-deserved tantrum.

  19. I try to devote only a day a week to annoying business. Good we both have outlets. Like to hear about your trials. Helps me deal with mine. Your not alone with your frustrations.

  20. The cockerel may well have had an important part to play with producing the next generation of chicks.
    I am so sorry about the bank business, I hope it gets sorted soon.

  21. I recognise the feeling. What a wonderful way of releasing pent up frustration, to take a ride with your camera into your beautiful Forest and return home to your Culinary Queen’s beef pie.

  22. Very frustrating. I hope you kept the proof that you had already signaled this to the bank because whatever they decide for the first scammed amount, they are definitely responsible for the remaining amounts that were levied in the following months.

          1. The only valid point from their side would be if you had done something to weaken the security such as give your password out. Else they are bound to make the reimbursement permanent

  23. Don’t blame you for losing your cool, banks and their employees can be infuriating at times. But you have a lovely way of calming yourself down. The robin has posed nicely.

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