It’s never too late to learn something new.

A few months ago I bid on, and won, a clarinet which was one of the lots at our local auctioneer’s sale.

After much procrastinating, which included time to get my clarinet serviced, I finally got round to finding a teacher. She is utterly brilliant, incredibly talented and very patient with me which makes learning at my aged stage in life really fun.

I think it’s unlikely I will reach the however million hours you need to practice to become an expert but I don’t care; I enjoy it and that’s the point.

The joy of spring

It certainly didn’t feel like it when I was out & about today but I feel sure spring is on the way.

The “new to us” garden is awash with snowdrops & winter aconites which makes me indescribably and stupidly happy – I had always been envious of my clients who have loads. Tomorrow, once the cold drizzling rain has stopped, I shall venture out with my camera & take lots of photographs.

We have been having a lot of tree work done around the place, thinning out skinny self-seeders & chopping out trees that have been allowed to grow unchecked so hopefully as the weather warms up, and we get to know the land, new & ever more interesting plants will start to emerge. Apparently there is a grave somewhere in the woods…

Incommunicado missed-communications

I realise I am not the only person to have problems with their mobile phone provider and I think (although I admit, I might be wrong), that I speak the same english as everybody else I talk to; I certainly understand them but despite the words in my head that I then say out loud, sounding like they are in the right order, apparently I am speaking gobbledegook.

Here is what happened. A couple of weeks ago I upgraded my SIM only phone package – £20 for 20gb data, unlimited calls & texts. So far, so simple. A couple of days later a new SIM card arrived – bit confused as to why but hey ho, ours is not to question why etc., etc. (Or so I thought).

On Sunday I received a text message from Vodafone ‘You’ve got 499mb remaining on your data allowance.’ ‘Eh?’ Thought I, ‘I know I’ve been using my phone as mobile hotspot but 19.5gb of data used in 2 weeks? That’s a bit steep!’ Then I thought, well, maybe (and this is the kind of thing that wouldn’t surprise me about Vodafone) the upgrade is SIM related so I changed cards & though no more about it until later on Sunday evening when I sent a text to my sister & she replied asking if I had a new number at which point I realised Vodafone HAD completely ballsed up the upgrade so I went online to transfer my proper number to this young pretender. Could take up to 24 hours but I could (just about) cope with that.

Fast forward to Tuesday morning – number still not transferred so I rang customer services to explain situation & they tried to do transfer. 09.30 this morning & still no joy so I rang again (from my mobile phone with the odd, new number) & explained what had happened thus far also telling them I run a business & cannot afford to be without my phone (having already been uncontactable for two days).
CSR: “Ah right, I see the problem. There is an irreparable rip in the space-time continuum for your Vodafone account and the schnergulepfhat that joins the schlock to the rabbit hole has been disrupted & is now misaligned (or some such bollocksy twaddle). What we will have to do is cancel the new number then we can transfer your new package to your previous number (exactly what I & Tues CSR tried). I’ll put you through to cancellations.”
So I got transferred. Cancellations CSR very friendly (but possibly a bit low wattage), I repeated my problem, she went through what she thought the next step should be and was going to happen, chatted to a colleague and then decided she was going to cancel number and put me through to upgrades.
“Hang on,” said I, “aren’t I going to get cut off when you cancel this number?”
“Oh yes!” Said she. “Have you another number I can call you back on?” So I gave her landline number, phone it off then she rang back. “Right,” she said, “I’m now going to transfer you to upgrades.”
“Hello, this is Timtimnicebutdim in upgrades. So, what is it you would like us to do?”
So I explained what I wanted was for MY number to be upgraded to the package I though I had upgraded it to.
“Well, that package doesn’t exist any more. What I can do is upgrade you to the £22 entertainment package with 20gb data, unlimited calls & texts.”
Me: “But I don’t want that. I want the package I had upgraded to.”
Ttnbd: “We don’t do that package any more but the one we do is the same but you also get free entertainment.”
Me:”I don’t want entertainment. I’m a gardener, not a children’s entertainer. I want the package I signed up to.”
Ttnbd “That package doesn’t exist any more.”
Me: “I want the £20 for 20gb package I signed up for. Paying an extra £2 for something I DO NOT WANT does not, in my book, make it free.”
Ttnbd: “We can put you on the £22 free entertainment, 20gb data….”
Me: “I tell you what. You put me on that package but I’ll only pay the £20 for the package I signed up to.”
Ttnbd: “You can’t do that. The package you signed up to no longer exists. We can put you on the £22 package. You can’t only pay £20, you have to pay £22.”
Me: “I want the package I signed up to. The package which I signed up to that did exist until 5 minutes ago when you lot cancelled the number it was attached to because it was easier to do that & then transfer my number to it.” (Yes, I know it is a long, unpunctuated sentence – it was the way I said it.)
Now, I hate the phrase ‘thinking outside the box’ but I really wanted to suggest that Ttnbd did just that. My exasperation & frustration had, by now, started to escape out of the bag I had put them in &, quite frankly, I coudn’t be arsed to catch them. I asked but there was no supervisor or manager about.
Me: “How about you reinstate the number you have just cancelled, with the package I signed up to. Then surely you will be able to upgrade my proper number to this new package by transferring the number over as should have happened when I went online in the first place to do the upgrade.”
Ttnbd: “Have you got the phone number that has just been disconnected?” Found it, told him & he put me on hold whilst he chatted to a colleague (again).
“That number has been disconnected (no shit, Sherlock). Have you got the account number it is connected to?”
Me: “Can’t you find that if I give you my correct number?”
Ttnbd: “No. The system doesn’t work like that.”
Me: “Really? Because when I rang CSR all they needed was part of my PIN & they could access my account.”
Ttnbd: “Can you hold on for 2 mins while I talk to my colleague?”
Me: “Well, why not? I mean, I’ve been on the phone to Vodafone for 45+mins & I should be at work but what’s another few minutes.”
Back comes Ttnbd: “Right, you need to fill in a form but we can get your cancelled number reconnected with the 20gb package.”
Me: “I’m sorry? A form? What? Why?”
Ttnbd: “We’ll reconnect the number which could take anything from 20mins to 24hrs to go through but you need to go online to the keepmynumber part of the website to transfer your package.”
Me: “Great. Filling in that form is exactly what started this whole problem in the first place.”
Ttnbd: “Is there anything else I can help you with today?”
Me: “A promise that you will get your entire operating system fixed so it works as it should?”
Luckily I didn’t have to wait another 24 hours to be reconnected. Unluckily I have to go through the whole number transfer farce again.

You have to start somewhere.

This is my first ever blog post. I decided to start not because people suggested I should have a blog to go with my website (www.gardeningbyprudence.co.uk since you ask), but because I realised my other social media rantings & ravings are too long and I needed an outlet where I was able to vent my feelings. As with most people’s streams of consciousness, my thoughts don’t flow straight so hang in there and you too can learn what the inside my head looks like; I think of it as looking like the Soup Dragon’s blue string soup.

In addition to my website, which hasn’t been updated for a million months, I also have similarly neglecteded facebook page for my business (Gardening By Prudence – can you see a theme developing here?) and an instagram account (plant1993) which you are welcome to peruse and which I do post new pictures on almost obsessively regularly.

So, about me. My teeth are getting longer although, apart from one capped tooth, they are still all my own. Neither my hair or nor I remember it’s natural colour.  I don’t have any extra chins but instead my lower jaw has receded towards my neck Some parts of my body have truly given up the fight with gravity. Work wise, I’m a self-employed gardener. I am also on unreformed hoarder with magpie tendencies because I do love shines colourful things.  I have a particular hatred, especially in oral interviews, of sentences that start “So,”, “Anyway,” or “I mean,”  closely followed by “I hear what you are saying.”  Oh, and I’m female but I guess you had already figured as much.

I’m hoping, as time goes on and I begin to have the faintest clue as to what I am doing, the layout of my blog will change and develop. And who knows? My spelling and grammar might improve too but I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you.