Monday, 5 August 2019

Left dazed and confused by a bank - again
I am confused. Nothing new there, my family and friend would say. The reason for this latest setback is Barclays. It, along with other high street banks, has spent years persuading its customers to ditch paper statements through the post and switch to electronic, online monthly missives.
I was quite happy about this – until last month when we had to send a bank statement as a form of verification.
I printed off a statement from online and sent it off with the other requested paperwork. In response Barclays said it was not acceptable and we needed an “original” statement.
Our main bank was happy to supply this on request but it did leave me wondering about some forms of “modern” technology and how it is implemented.

Friday, 26 July 2019

Thank you, Lionesses, for restoring some faith in foottie
Now that the dust has settled on the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France two months ago I have had time to reflect on the tournament.
I have to admit I did not see many of the games but did catch the England matches. I wasn’t particularly excited about the fare I was about to witness but, at the end of the day, it was magical.
The skill levels were way above my expectations. I’d seen a few women’s international years ago and they weren’t great. Boy has the game moved on.
The sportsmanship (apart from a few exceptions, like Cameroon) was exceptional. No nastiness, no rolling around for ages clutching a (not) broken leg and no talking back to officials.
It really did make a pleasant change from the histrionics and often downright nasty behaviour of their male counterparts.
Thank you, Lionesses, for restoring some faith in our beautiful game.

Finally, a word about some television programmes. Why is it that when characters are seen looking at their mobile phones etc. all we get to see is a fairly limited close-up?
How on earth do they expect us middle-aged (!) viewers to read what is on the mobile, computer screen, whatever?
Especially galling is the fact that the image stays on screen for a couple of nano-seconds. Am I the only one who has crawled along the floor to read what’s on the TV screen only to find the programme has moved on?

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Portman Road car park - easy in, frustrating out

As my reader may have spotted from my ramblings over the last few years, I am not adverse to the odd concert.
My musical tastes are still firmly rooted in the 1970s, however.
Hence my sheer excitement on hearing that Sir Rod Stewart was to perform at Portman Road in Ipswich.
Within a few minutes our tickets were secured via a well-known booking site.
Then the big day arrived - Friday, June 7. SWMBO and I drove into Ipswich and parked in the large NCP car park directly outside Portman Road.
This was thoroughly trouble and stress-free and so we wandered round to the East of England Coop Stand to meet up with some friends. Well, I say friends – brother-in-law and sister-in-law actually.
Some hours later we found ourselves back at the car having enjoyed an incredibly smooth and well-presented concert.
Which was when the fun (not) started.
Over the years I have found one of life’s imponderables to be the following – why do car parks at large gatherings, be they music concerts, football matches or race days at Newmarket, have loads of people on hand when you arrive but no-one available to help when you leave?
Late evening June 7 this year was like a Suffolk version of Wacky Races but without the cartoon characters.
I won’t bore my reader with intricate, or even intimate, details of the events that unfolded but suffice to say it took almost an hour and a half to get out of the car park. When we did eventually escape, and I use that term intentionally, the car park for Portman Road itself there was one woman, an ITFC employee, standing in the middle of the road directing cars.
Why can’t ITFC, who presumably made a few quid out of the concert, look after its customers at all times?
I can only imagine that this scenario is played out at every ITFC home match. It was the same at the old Wembley Stadium. My brother-in-law and I were England Members for most of the 1990s and saw nearly every home game during that decade.
And it was the same old story after the final whistle had blown. Chaos in the cark park outside.
After the first couple of occasions we learnt our lesson and had a simple, but tasty, solution.
We would stay seated in the stadium until it emptied, then wander out to the food stalls on the concourse who, by now, were keen to get rid of the last few burgers, sausages etc.
So it was four burgers in a bun for the price of one, a half-price coffee and a relaxed wait for the car park, and North Circular, to quieten down.