Day to day musings of a cat minder/ sitter in North Tyneside and Newcastle upon Tyne . For details of services go to http://www.catminders.biz

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Welcome to CatMinders

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Fraud

And then , I am in Boots , spending £4 no less. I am tired , yawning in the queue having had four and a half hour's sleep , been swimming , had lunch in the garden with friends , and now Nat and I are building up to a moment in Comet when we must steel ourselves to the task of chosing new cordless landlines to replace our horrors that reduce all callers' voices ( and ours ) to a whisper . I hate phones much prefer texting but needs must . We are planning a Starbucks coffee and cake first and then we shall glance at the phones and decide which are the least horrid and at the same time the cheapest . Perhaps not the cheapest . The least plasticy looking , the heaviest feeling and most substantial will suit me but to my mind they are all ghastly . What I want , but am not permitted, is an old fashioned Ring Ring job , none of this three for the price of one cordless thing complete with answer phone . I hanker after the sort we used to have , back in the day when Dr Finlay's Casebook was on the telly and Janet McPherson answered the phone. Black and dusty with a coiled string attached. I live in the past . I do have a memory, but it has given up on yesterday and last week .

So I am at the checkout in Boots and I feed my Boots Advantage Card into the cardreader on autopilot and then my credit card as I have no cash . I had not planned on spending only four quid but my other proposed purchases were not in stock .
The middle aged woman serving me smiles as I yawn and then looks embarrased and slightly upset as she reads the message that shows on the slip that appears from the cardreader. She shows it to her younger colleague on the next checkout . They both glance at me giving me the once over and then smile reassuringly at me , noting my tired expression and the teen daughter. We are considering aloud what we will have in Starbucks . I am stifling another yawn .
" Sorry about this , but there is a security check request" says the elder assistant . I'll have to get a phone from the back . I'm so sorry. " Off she trundles and returns , applying her spectacles and appearing unfamiliar with the workings of the telephone . She has to punch in the long number from the credit card and stumbles twice with this . Nat would have snatched it from her had she been me. " Here mother , give it here ! " Eventually she gets through to a Voice and has to walk away from us as the noise on the shop floor is too great . Or maybe she has been trained to leave our presence so that she can describe us . " Smart teen and mother a bit the worse for wear . Smart enough clothes but looks like she could do with a good night's sleep . A bit red eyed. Oh definitely a shady character . Yes , four quid. I know ... Crooks . "
Finally , and full of apologies she returns and hands the phone over to me where I am asked a couple of security questions and then the purchase goes through , but I am requested to call a number before making any further purchases on my card .
Hey up I think . Clearly the assistant is mortified and can't decide whether I have overspent on my limit or it's nothing or what ? I feel sorry for her as she aoplogises over and again .

I return to the car and make the call .
It transpires that my credit card details have been stolen and she asks me about various transactions I havent made but that have gone through on my card. ARGH !!

I am so impressed though that Visa have picked this up so fast . I don.t know how this is done . I say how clever I think they are and ask how they do it . It seems that this is because the thief bought a £15 o2 top up which I have not previously done which has alerted Visa. Clever stuff. Something to be said for Big Brother?

Insomnia..

There's something wonderfully inspiring about Insomnia.
Or, let me rephrase that , there can be something quite wonderful about it . I'm sure that after a couple of nights or so it begins to pall .
Saturday night I fell asleep a little earlier than usual and then woke after a wierd dream/nightmare featuring both of my long dead Grandmothers. It wasn't so much the content of the dream that was disturbing . Indeed one of the Grandmas slipped me a packet of Orkney fudge all sellophane wrapped and it was chocolate raisin flavoured too ( can I say more?) . The other Grandma was seated at a Garden Table with me and some other people , outside. Although diminuitive in stature in real life and by the end rather shaky on her pins , in the dream she stood up to a height of around six feet and stalked off into a house and we all watched her go , watching the back of her dress for signs of wear and tear . I remember thinking, she is almost a hundred years old and her dress is impeccable, a zig zag pattern reminding me of my migraines . Black and green.
No , what was disturbing was the anxiety overcoming me after I woke. I put the light on and the dog gave me a hard stare and sighed heavily . Half past three. I picked up and finished my book Sarah Dunant .. something about Snow storms in a Hot Climate . Then took myself off downstairs to make a milky coffee and find a piece of Christmas shortbread . The guinea pigs squeaked in a minor way cognisant of the fact that four am is not six am and nowhere near ready for Breakfast ( mystery) . The cats dozed on .
Back in the bedroom my blackberry located friends online still awake. Bliss!!! Soothing conversations via text. Anything is possible now . Technology amazes and delights.
I pick up a book of short stories. Constitiutional by Helen Simpson. I read on until eight am and then sleep for twenty minutes and then fall asleep for twenty minutes. My Uncle Ronnie , also dead these past few years appears and takes both my hands in his and tells me something about a cousin of my Dad's , Elsie which makes no sense.
I have met three dead relatives this night during this time of my life when crisis is happening .
A blog post will clarify this as soon aspossible.

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