This morning we suffered from an excess of wind. I write not of flatulence, but of 35 miles (56 kilometres) per hour gusts tearing into our trees, tossing the tresses of the more slender ones like the weeping birch and the eucalyptus. For those of you in other parts of the world this may not seem very strong, but for us, especially after nurturing numerous window boxes and hanging baskets over the summer, it is a big deal.
I fought my way down my circular route to Hordle Cliff Beach, where the turbulent seas flinging spray over the shingle bank had me fearing once more for the beach huts.
Our already decrepit No Parking sign had been ripped from its board, and that of The Spinney had shed its phone number.
On this unseasonably warm day the sun shone and every cloud had a silver lining.
Roger was emerging from Hordle Manor Farm carrying a bale of hay, thus confirming our speculation that it had indeed been his family who had rescued Scooby when he wandered off and disappeared. He paused for the photograph and gave me a thumbs up sign.
Walking back through Shorefield, I fell in with another Londoner with whom I shared recollections of the Great Storm of 1987.
On my return Jackie was clearing the area around our patch of grass which she had mowed yesterday. I then removed the last of the cuttings we had left on the back drive, adding quite a bit to the log pile.
A very heavy thunderstorm having driven us inside we sat calmly over lunch. Listening to car horns in the street outside Jackie commented that strong winds make people irritated. The elements had not made me irritated. I repeat, with gritted teeth, I was not irritated. Not until we opened Jackie’s bill from BT.
BT then achieved what the heavens couldn’t. When their last shutdown left me without access to e-mails for four days, possibly for want of anything else positive to talk about, one of the advisers persuaded me to have on-line billing. I had already explained that Jackie was the account holder so I would have a bill of nil. If they wanted to implement that I had no objection. A day or so ago I received an on-line bill for £48.17 stating that it would be taken from my bank account on or after 14th October.
On our mat this afternoon appeared Jackie’s bill for the identical amount, the identical period, and the identical date of removal from her bank account. I was also told that from 1st December a surcharge of £1.59 will be added to paper bills. There is no such notification on Jackie’s invoice.
I phoned the telephone company and was greeted by the usual robot which had the usual problem understanding my choices from the varied options. One word the machine had difficulty in understanding was ‘other’. At the third attempt, the robot having a Scots accent, I tried rolling my r at the end of the word. That did the trick. Then, of course, I had to wait ten minutes listening to another voice, telling me that my call was important to them, before I reached a person. A gentleman with an Indian accent informed me that it was not possible to check my account because the system was down. Engineers were working on it. I should call again after four hours.
Me, irritated? You bet.
Later, Jackie drove us to Wroughton. I will report on that tomorrow.