Well Wound-Up

Here are some of the piles of patio rubble awaiting the arrival of a skip to remove them.

The low concrete wall at the perimeter will be removed and replaced by sleepers which Martin will source.

In the meantime he has focussed on the Rose Garden.

As the water fountain is powered by a solar light this was removed,


and packed away in the Head Gardener’s shed for the winter.

The Pink carpet rose is far more prolific throughout the warm months than we had imagined and has to be cut back regularly from the paths over which it spreads.

We therefore decided to risk moving it. (There hadn’t seemed much point in righting that planter while the gales still raged).

Our friend had great difficulty in carrying out this process today, since its roots spread easily as much as its branches.

The bed is now devoid of this plant, thus allowing its neighbours more space.

It now resides along the eastern fence, behind other pruned bushes.

Just before lunch I emerged, well wound-up and emotionally exhausted, from the NatWest Bank in Lymington, having spent most of the morning in there, attempting to send a small amount of Australian dollars on line. Knowing I would not be able to manage the task without help, I visited this, the only surviving branch of three within several miles of home – I only turned to On Line banking because of this paucity of places into which one could walk and speak to a real person.

The very helpful, calm, and patient, cashier was immediately available to help me through the process of achieving my object for the first time on my new Samsung Galaxy. She really didn’t mind how often I tapped the wrong keys or hit the right one a quivering second time. Eventually we got there. She warned me that I would get a call from the fraud department who would be alerted because I was using an unfamiliar device and sending foreign currency for the first time.

This happened almost immediately and my guide led me to a separate room to have the conversation. Then the wind-up began. Firstly I had repeatedly to request the agent, clearly rattling off scripts at a rate and in an, albeit English, accent which would have tested my perfectly good hearing even if she hadn’t intermittently lowered her voice; secondly I wasn’t able satisfactorily to answer all her security questions which would have required access to my files at home. And here was I naively expecting to be asked my mother’s maiden name. On two occasions she left me on hold while she consulted “a colleague”. The upshot was that they would reject the payment and advise me not to try to make the payment again. She had no answer to my question about how I was to get the money to Australia. I blew my top and said I would go back to helpful cashier. This agent knew I was still in the bank and that I had been helped in what had been my first effort at using the phone – at least I had told her, but why should she believe me?

Now, I fully appreciate that the fraud check was necessary, that the agent, who did keep apologising, was doing her best and was never rude or pushy, but what is an elderly gent to do when progress has passed him by?

The original cashier eventually carried out the process from her own computer for which I will be charged a fee. When she asked if that would be OK I said wearily “I don’t care”.

This evening we dined on battered haddock and oven chips, onion rings, baked beans, pickled onions and gherkins, with which we both drank South Point Sauvignon Blanc 2021.


  1. It’s not just your bank, I have friends whose son and family live in Australia and any transfer involves a similar rigmarole. To avoid high bank charges and terrible exchange rates, I use Wise.

  2. Oh dear! So many companies that have embraced remote service aren’t really able to handle real people with real issues anymore.
    Bet your dinner was really good ?

  3. One of my sisters has suffered similar difficulties while sending money abroad so I can really sympathise with you. On the other hand as I have been a victim of identity fraud when a bank clearly hadn’t done anything like enough checking to prevent a fraudulent account being opened, I appreciate that there is a balance to be struck. The problem really lies in banks employing under qualified people who are not able to make sensible decisions themselves but have to ‘go by the book’.

  4. Wo, what a serious hassle for you, Derrick. I am glad that the people eventually got this done for you! I am frustrated with my bank when they have just one teller in the window, with a line of several people waiting.

  5. I am concerned that many are being left behind as more and more systems are developed by those of a more recent generation. I sometimes which I could stick a telex machine in front of them and say – here, see if you can use this.
    The only comfort is the same thing will happen to them eventually.
    Faced with a similar transfer problem, I eventually settled on PayPal.

    I presume the money is for the grandchildren. Perhaps one idea is to put it into a bank account for them in England. One day they are sure to visit and will appreciate having a pot of spending money.
    I know this sounds as if it is depriving them of instant enjoyment, but I started doing this for my nieces and nephews when I observed the surplus of Christmas and Birthday gifts they received each year. Then I decided to convert the cash to gold sovereigns of the Queen Victoria era, and gave each their collection for their 21st to do with as they wish. Two of the four have sold theirs in order to contribute to their home deposit savings. They agree they never suffered on account of the missing presents over the years.

    1. Thanks very much, Gwen. It is so long since I last used PayPal that they wouldn’t accept me on my old account then when I tried to start a new one told me that my account was in use. I couldn’t get through that one which is why I wound up in the bank.
      No – money is for books – not for me. For some years I converted sterling to Australian dollars and sent the children that. They will be visiting here soon after Christmas, so I might take them shopping. Have you seen this?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHNEzndgiFI

  6. Sheesh! Seems the further we get from the garden, the more complicated things get. Gardening is much more fun. I’m glad the helpful, calm, and patient cashier was able to help you accomplish the task

    1. Thanks very much, JoAnna. She was surprised that, given that the fraud department had been told that I was still in the bank the agent hadn’t asked me to call her to the phone.

  7. What a palaver! Sometimes the left hand is unsure of the movements of the right hand. Even though checks are important, this sounds ridiculous. I VERY seldom go into an actual bank – the last time it took me over an hour to verify my pin code (provided by the bank) for a newly issued credit card. At last it was sorted out by my assistant IN the bank – for a fee, of course!

  8. The other side of it is that I was scammed by criminals in India who, while I was still talking to them on the phone, attempted to take £700 from my account. The vigilant gentleman at Virgin Money prevented this, and also prevented the scammers from emptying our current account. A friend of ours lost £3000 in a similar con.
    Would it be possible for you to use Paypal, Derrick, and to send the person US dollars?

    1. It is so long since I last used PayPal that they wouldn’t accept me on my old account then when I tried to start a new one told me that my account was in use. I couldn’t get through that one which is why I wound up in the bank. Thanks a lot, John

  9. Oh, gosh! 🙁 What a bummer of a time with those banking problems! 🙁 I’m so sorry to hear about those hassles. 🙁
    I hope the rest of your day got better! I’m sure that delicious meal helped bring some comfort and a sigh of relief.
    Looks like Martin had a busy day, too.
    (((HUGS))) ❤️

  10. Derrick, you have my full sympathy. I went through the same thing with two different online institutions..It was gruelling. They asked questions about charges years ago and the addresses of banks I hadn’t used for 15 years. Information about cars from over 20 years ago. It was ridiculous. I was on the phone for hours. I’m sure it would have been easier for a scammer to get access than it was for me..but finally I got through it. Good luck on future endeavors.

  11. Oh I feel your pain, Derrick! No wonder you were exhausted by it all. You are not alone in getting exasperated by all the hoops we are required to jump through these days. Hope today is a calmer one for you. The sun is shining here!

  12. I don’t like online banking but the ability to prevent further fraudulent withdrawals can be done in a matter of minutes. The bank’s security were able to track down the hackers when they tried to continue withdrawals while the thieves were still on line. I admit though that I would prefer these people to get a job and earn their own money instead of stealing others.

    I hope everything went through for you eventually albeit with a fee.

    A glass or 2 of the South Point Sauvignon Blanc will help ease the stress.

  13. Thank goodness for Martin and the helpful bank clerk. Technology often makes life easier, but it can also be a nightmare. Your dinner sounds like a nice treat.

  14. Years ago, I regularly sent money to Indonesia as a financial assist to an Indonesian family I initially knew as a child penpal with the then child years later to be father-to-be. The process was simple then. The bank person assigned the task of international cash transfers had me fill out a form and advised me on matters that triggered Federal interest in transfers (I never transferred so much money!) and other matters of concern.

    The whole process took about as long as it took me to fill out the simple form and write a personal check on my account in that bank. I’m glad it didn’t involve security questions, then, or passwords, both of which are necessary now and a pain in the butt!

    You have my sympathy, Derrick, for the ordeal you survived. I’ve had to deal with security issues talking with a soft-spoken female Indian woman who kept fading out. I finally told her I couldn’t hear her, please hand this matter over to someone else. The man who came on next had a very thick Indian accent. Though I eventually resolved the security issue with that credit card, I also prayed I never had to deal with that outfit again!

  15. Oh, Derrick…
    I sympathise with this.
    I recently travelled some miles (because of branch closures) to reach a bank where I have a savings account. Unfortunately, I had not set up online banking, I always intended to but had never got around to it.

    I wanted to transfer money to my other bank (I do have online banking there). The last time I asked for this to be done the cashier happily transferred it for me. This time they insisted they couldn’t do it and offered me cash! I told her I was not prepared to walk around carrying a bundle of cash. So she offered a cheque instead, I took the cheque to a branch of my usual bank.

    I would have been happy to pay a fee to have the money transferred and I’m still puzzled as to why they couldn’t carry out this simple task.

  16. Oh Derrick what an awful experience you had in the bank I do feel for you. In the village where I live we have no banks now (but plenty of takeaways and cafes) The nearest Natwest is 5 miles away which is fine for me because I drive. I feel sorry for people who need to get the bus there instead of being able to walk to a bank. I had to use my mobile in the bank to request a reduction to my overdraft. The cashier had to help me. Why oh why can they just not do it. I long for the old days before all this technology came along. And by the way our Natwest does not have cash on site on Saturdays!

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