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February 16, 2014


The good news is that June is now recovering from her recent problems – thank you all that know the details and sent cards, flowers etc, they were very much appreciated. This episode seems to have kicked the health system in the backside and woken it up a bit. We are now getting multiple notices to attend certain “Healthcare Support” appointments which is good news as it means they are finally paying attention. However, coordination and record keeping still leaves much to be desired. In my case I got a letter that told me that I haven’t had my blood pressure checked for over five years – how would they know as they refused to accept our history records? Anyway I ended up talking to the practice IT manager and gave her a CD full of our records – nary a word since but the fact that they are mainly in French may have something to do with this 🙂  June got an invite to attend a nurse session for rheumatoid arthritis, the nurse asked if she had ever had a bone scan, the answer was “Yes, three weeks ago in this hospital” which seemed to be a surprise. Ah well, we’ll get there.

The repaired weedwacker was duly returned but as I have no 2-stroke mixture I haven’t tested it yet – it can wait until I need it which hopefully will be never! I plan on getting rid of most of this stuff soon anyway. Also duly returned in good time was the shotgun certificate updated as requested so another result.

The car mechanic still hasn’t shown up and repeated phone calls are proving worthless; time to resort to pressure I think. The new alarm remote arrived and the instructions for programming it were extremely simple except I could not find the control box under the dash and pulled a chest muscle looking for it – just what I needed was more pain!

I have been trying to use the TV set as a viewing device for all our photographs and videos but it kept telling me it could not find a DLNA server. Quite by chance I found a reference to this while using Windows Media Player – sorted, it works fine now. The only problem is that my router only has two ports – one is currently used to connect to the network and the other is for the DVR to access the BBC and ITV iPlayers. So, I called TalkTalk and asked for a four-port router and they eventually agreed to send one – after a long and ludicrously complex security check and them trying to sell me an unwanted upgrade. Anyway, on Friday we found a note from the postman saying he couldn’t deliver a large parcel and the instructions were provided to request a redelivery. After a long trek through a phone system leading nowhere I went online and got the request entered – it will be delivered on Monday. By Tuesday afternoon it had not arrived and calls to the Royal Mail dept resulted in them not being able to trace it. So I called TalkTalk again and got their tracking information – this resulted in being informed by Royal Mail that the package had been delivered on the 20th of September 2013!  Further calls to TalkTalk revealed that they actually hadn’t sent a new router, if I wanted one I would have to pay for it! After several minutes of me repeating the request and them trying to sell me things I got mad and said I’d call BT and switch – immediately I got an offer of a package upgrade, free 4-port router and a discount resulting in a lower monthly bill. The Royal Mail tracking mystery was eventually solved when I rechecked the recycling bin and found the small “signed for” envelope which had indeed arrived on Monday was in fact the missing parcel!

It took a similar painful experience with TalkTalk (and Orange) with several phone calls to add June to my TalkTalk mobile account and keep her old Orange pay-as-you-go number – total time taken until it was all working was over four days!

I have become very reliant on my Garmin GPS for navigating around; it really does simplify finding places and also provides a Bluetooth hands free phone connection. However, for some reason the phone connection stopped working with the microphone, I could hear people but they could not hear me. I called Garmin support – what a revelation! Through to a native English speaker in 30 seconds and they talked me through a download of a fix to the machine and waited until I proved it worked. Brilliant! Then would you believe the GPS developed a voice fault in that it would start an instruction but not finish it e.g. “in ½ a mile turn …………………” Back to Garmin support, just as good as last time and all sorted and working in 10 minutes. This is how Tech Support should be – Royal Mail, TalkTalk, Orange, NHS take notes please.

The really bad weather seems to be avoiding us, we are over 400ft up and sheltered so although we have had high winds and the odd short power outage, it hasn’t really affected us much. The rest of Wales and Southern England is getting a right pasting, once in 300-year rainfall and gales coinciding with spring tides – all due to a faster and lower than normal jet stream powered by warm air in the Pacific. And still there are people out there saying there is no climate change!!! Despite all this weather daffodils are springing up as are crocuses, the hydrangeas and rose bushes are budding, in fact it is looking decidedly spring like. Even more so this weekend, sunshine and almost no wind for Saturday & Sunday. I even got some more of our downsizing project done but it has mostly been on hold due to mobility issues but I must get back to it properly soon. I want us to be in a position to move should we (or the landlady) decide that we must.

An eBay sale has had to be reversed and a refund issued – turned out the video converter would not provide a colour signal when the new owner tested it. Now though, I have no real way to check it when it is returned because I have sold my multi-system VCR, so I guess this is probably junk. I just might be able to play an NTSC DVD into the French TV set even if the player is region-free it should still put out an NTSC signal – we shall see. It’ll keep me amused anyway in between renewing my culinary skills and domestic duties.



David & June

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Mrs Niklasson's Adventures

Home is where the heart is

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