Sunday, 26 June 2011


I'm typing this slowly and painfully, moving my arms as little as possible.  Why, dear readers, is this?  Why, it's because I have:

a)  Tired old arms from a day of hard work yesterday, mostly spent carrying trays across a sunshiny lawn, whilst nimbly dodging a football being kicked around by many small children.
b)  Aching wrists after de-stoning a huge - huge - box of cherries and putting them in the freezer for "later".
c)  Managed to get sunburn across by upper back and shoulders this morning whilst enjoying the glorious sudden advent of proper summer in the garden.

Yesterday I was helping a friend cater a garden party, all very smart, in a marquee in someone's garden.  It was a cold buffet, lots of ham, salmon, asparagus quiche, potato salad, that kind of thing, and then a shitload* of fruit tarts and chocolate caramel cake. 

Everyone was anxious about the weather, it being a garden party and all, but by noon the rain had stopped, the sun was out, and the remainder of the day was just gorgeous.  The garden overlooks acres of green barley fields, so whenever the wind blew it was magical, watching the barley move like the sea.  Loved it.

However, being the lazy non-working lightweight that I am, I was completely knackered by the time I got home, and spent the remainder of the evening on the sofa, whining.  And eating a Chinese takeaway.  And watching The Odd Couple on DVD, which neither Mr WithaY or I had seen before.  It was very pleasant and relaxing.

Today - another gloriously sunny one, must be some mistake, surely - I have been doing stuff in the garden.  Things have been transplanted, pruned, watered, trimmed and moved around, and now it all looks fab.  My new parasol is finally up, and Mr WithaY and I sat under it together, reading our books for an hour earlier. 

As a result of being an idiot, and not wearing sunblock whilst weeding the garden, I have bright scarlet shoulders and upper back.  That's going to hurt when I get in the bath later. 

Other news:  I finally bit the bullet and bought a new mobile phone.  My iPhone, which is about two and a half years old, has been playing up for several months, refusing to synch with iTunes, or to backup properly, and I kept putting it off and putting it off.  Because, you know, it's a pain in the arse and all, changing mobiles.   

I did go so far as to take it in to be examined by the Apple experts at the store in Bath a couple of months ago.  Their expert opinion was "It's broken."

Yeah, thanks for that, genius.

Anyway, I had to go to Salisbury earlier this week, and as I was walking around, I passed the O2 store, so popped in and waited until one of the staff deigned to notice me.  To be fair, they did have a laminated sign on the cashdesk which said  "We're understaffed today, so we might just ignore you for a bit.  You don't like it?  Tough titty, loser."  I may be mis-remembering the exact wording.

After six or seven hours, a girl emerged sulkily from a cupboard at the back of the shop and asked me what I wanted.  I felt like replying "I want you all to kneel miserably at my feet while I lambast you at length for your total lack of any kind of customer-facing competence, you useless, useless goons," but what I actually said was "I want to buy an iPhone 4 please." 

She looked at me as though I had asked her to sell me a guinea pig curry, then slowly went and fetched the correct item of technological crack cocaine. 

We had a long, tiresome discussion about the sim card it needed.  In my head, the conversation went like this:

Me:  I would like to buy a new phone and keep my current number.  How do I do that?

Helpful staff member:  You buy the phone - here is one - and a new sim card - also here - and then contact the O2 customer services - here is the contact number - and they will migrate the number when you are ready.  Thanks for your valued custom. Oh, and please take this pretty bunch of flowers as a thank you for spending so much money with us in these hard recession-driven times."

In reality, it wasn't quite like that.

Me:  I would like to buy a new phone and keep my current number.  How do I do that?

Staff member:  Oh.  Um.  Well, we've got the phones in stock.  You want one?

Me:  Yes, please.  (there was a brief struggle until she understood which type of iPhone I wanted, but we got there eventually.)  Can I put the SIM card from my current phone into this one?

Staff member:  Nah.  S'different.

Me: Ok.  So do I need a new SIM card?

Staff member:  Um.  Yeah.  You want one?

Me:  Yes. Please.

She rummaged under the desk, pulled out a small cardboard folder and dropped it on the counter in front of me.

Staff member:  Anything else?  (She was clearly bored by now, her attention riveted by the two young men with complicated hair who were sat at a nearby table having an animated conversation with her colleague.  If she'd had some gum, she'd have been blowing bubbles at me.)

Me:  So how do I transfer my number to the new phone?

Staff member:  I can do that now.  What's your number?

Me: No, I need to download everything off my old phone before I transfer anything.  How do I do it?

Staff member:  (exasperated by my stupidity) Yeah, I can do that now.

Me:  Do I contact O2 when I'm ready to transfer?  Or what?

Staff member:  Yeah. You could do that.

I paid for the phone and the SIM card and went home, pausing only to buy a large bag of fresh cherries at the market stall on the way back to the car.

When I got home, 25 miles and 45 minutes later, I discovered that the SIM card was missing.  The plastic casing was there, but the actual micro SIM was gone, probably previously sold and the cardboard wrapping dumped under the counter.  How I laughed.

So, all the way back to Salisbury the next day to get a new SIM.  The young man who served me was less challenging, but still seemed puzzled by what had happened.  Well yes, I suggest you get your colleagues to stop chucking empty SIM wrappers in with the ones for sale, matey.  That might help. 

The story has a happy ending.  My new phone is working, and my number has been successfully transferred to it.  Yay. 

Unfortunately, my OLD phone had stopped backing itself up to iTunes in early March, so I have a bit of work to do to get things back to spec, but otherwise, it's all good. 

Oh, and I bought a great big box of cherries on my return visit, as they were so lovely.  Today I have been de-stoning and freezing cherries, and my fingers are stained black. Niiiiice. 

Other, other news:  We've all but cleared out father-in-law WithaY's house now.  The sale is progressing. I really hope in a couple of weeks it will all be over and we can stop fretting about it. 

This week I am mostly going away with Middle Sis for a few days of pampering, foot massages, swimming, nice food and (if past history is anything to go by) lots of inappropriate laughter. I am very much looking forward to it. 

*technical catering term.


Isabella Golightly said...

It's because you're old, you see. If you were under 25, you'd be able to speak the argot that idiots working in shops like that speak, interspersed with lots of 'like' (well, that certain gets overused here!), and various grunts, and you would have been fine. Your patience never ceases to amaze!

Isabella Golightly said...

certainly. certainly! Idiot.

badgerdaddy said...

I think we're going to Bath on Friday. 'citin.

Fab WV: obleiq