Monthly Archives: July 2007

Boll’s Day

Bollinger spent today planting some cornflowers and French lavender, then impersonating a tiger in the bushes, then having a nice rest.

Oscar – Cat of Doom

Bollinger tells me she’s thankfully not related to Oscar the cat despite the superficial resemblance.

BT – Blithering Twits

As I write, I’m on hold to BT again, listening to the jolly BT mantra: ‘Thank you for holding. We are very busy at the moment and apologise for the delay’. I hope the voiceover thesp who recorded this gets repeat fees.

I also hope the resident on-hold BT saxophonist gets decent royalties. The poor creature must have dangerously chapped lips.

Since reluctantly ‘coming back’ to BT three days ago (in order to get a Sky phone package) I’ve been kept on hold for a total of one hour and 57 minutes. I’ve had my middle name mysteriously changed so that my BT details don’t match my bank details. They’ve set up a direct debit for £41 a month instead of the promised £11. And the woman I phoned this morning at 9am (after a 27 minute wait) greeted me with a cheery ‘good afternoon‘.

Apparently the £41 cock-up happened ‘because we use computers’.

And they apparently misheard me when I spelt out my middle initial (saying, very clearly, ‘G‘ as in ‘God‘ ).

Sorry BT. That must because I mumble so unintelligibly. Being a radio presenter and voice trainer, I must admit I do find it hard to get my words out.

I’m still on hold. The reason I’m phoning again is that Billings were able to correct my middle initial, but I have to phone Accounts separately to alter it, as they’re on a different system.

It’s good to talk.

Guerilla Grammaticians

A nice, well-meant sign in a pub window on the Ware Road informs passers by that it’s ‘close for refarbish’.
How sad that local ruffians have chosen to vandalise it with their troglodytic marker pens, changing it to ‘ClosED for refurbishMENT‘.

Risky Restaurant Ruse Rewarded

‘Have you booked?’ asked the maître d’ at Lussman’s last night.

‘No,’ I replied. ‘But we are very important.’

Without further ado, we were whisked to the best table in the restaurant and treated like VIPs for the rest of the evening.

No idea what possessed me to say it, but I’ll certainly try it again.

Pin-Up of the Week

This week’s pin-up is an opposum.

Dazed, Fazed, Glazed

My bewildering quest for new double-glazing continues. Every day this week, I’ve had salespersons round, bringing demonstration windows with them.

Today’s salesman looked like Jim Bowen from Bullseye and turned up without his window. “I’m an old man,” he panted. “I’ve got a hernia, so I can’t carry it from the car. Can I use your loo please? It’s my age.”

He then spent two hours – literally – talking me through his tedious brochure and gave me a quote for £9000 – three times yesterday’s quote.

“No,” I said. So he frantically prodded his calculator and magically got it down to £4500 within minutes.

He then went to the loo again.

“I think I can get it down even more,” he announced when I said no again. And, putting his mobile on speakerphone, he called his boss.

“I’ve given the gentleman a huge discount but he’s declined.”

Loud voice through speaker: “Oh dear. Did the gentleman like our product and did it fulfil all his criteria?”


“Well. Why has he declined?”

“Don’t know. But he’s declined our generous offer.”

“Look. Give me a minute and I’ll call you back.”

A minute later (still on speaker):

“Hello. I’m prepared to give him the windows for £3500 if he invests in our quality product today.”

“Thank you. What an excellent offer for the purchase of our fine merchandise.”

It was like being on Deal or No Deal with Noel and his Banker. I felt under severe pressure to say yes just to get rid of him.

But I said ‘no deal’. The quote went back up to £10,000 and Jim Bowen left, after two and a half hours, in a slight huff.