A Mullet Massacre

I used to have a really good barber, really sound guy. Then he left.

I thought I’d keep going to the same barber shop, last time I went (still £35), had an unconvincing hair cut and a very quiet one too (if I’m going to be there 45 minutes then at least say more than hello). Booked with someone else this time, again at the same barber shop.

After 15 minutes I realised that he was doing very little other than combing my hair. He realised that I had realised then stated that he was thinking about what to do. I did suggest that he could have some artistic licence – then I saw that rather large chunks of long hair were being cut.

I said, “that’s a scary amount of hair that you are cutting”. I didn’t get much response.

Apparently he was “adding texture”. By removing about two thirds of my hair. For £35. And didn’t even offer me a beer when I sat down.

I’m not quite mortified, I appreciate that I should perhaps have been stricter with my criteria (though way more was cut off the length than I wanted) so I guess it is my fault.

But I really don’t like it. It looks shit. Maybe you are sat there thinking, “yeah, mate, your hair has looked shit for years”. Though now it’s like I’m fucking bald. I am so disappointed with it.

It has been a bit of a shit week. You know, I’ve been meaning to blog a general life update for a while, but nowadays (and probably always in the past) I’m only really motivated to write when something pisses me off, and I’m really surprised about how happy I have been this year and how good I feel life is.

This week, however, I could just not get into. Monday started with a half-hangover and a 45 minute delay on the Met line, and I just lost motivation. I’ve been on an eating binge, 4,000 – 5,000 calories every day since last Friday and I feel shit and demotivated. I think I will snap myself out of it tomorrow, but I just didn’t have the mental capacity to do so this week.

I really need a rest. I think I have had 2 days holiday this year. It might have been last August when I last had a whole week off.

Also tonight the amount of people in my way. The person sat next to me on the tube who thought my arm made a good bag rest. The people who don’t get their card out before getting to the ticket barrier. I keep meaning to make an website called “tube wanker” where you collect points for every annoying fucker you encounter, and I would have had a full set today. Bar those standing on the left side of the escalator because I didn’t use an escalator tonight. Fucking hell I have so little hair. Yeah, I know, there are people with no hair.

Life is good, though, despite my hair and having put on all the weight I lost since Christmas (I probably have no more than a year to sort my weight out before I have serious health issues, I know this).

I start a new job on 1st July. You know this already. It feels really weird to be leaving Lovespace and I am pretty sad about it. My head is going to be totally focused on this for a while – I think July I will totally cut out the booze, unless for work social reasons on a Friday night. Alcohol causes over-eating which causes a loss in concentration and productivity. I have to do everything within my power to ensure that I am a success. The idea that it might not work out is not implausible, it is a jump up, the standards expected will be higher. I’m pretty sure that I will be successful, but there are no guarantees.

Next Thursday is my last day at Lovespace. I don’t think I’ve ever worked for a company that I care about. It might be a bit emosh. Though I’ll never have to go to Luton again.

Then I’m going to Belgrade. It’s in Serbia. It’s the place we bombed in the 90’s. That is pretty exciting, except for the 5:55am flight. From Luton.

I will go to a couple more places later this year, though I’ll only have 10 days of holiday to play with – and 2 are already taken. Where is my hair? #SAD.

I also have tickets to two separate days at The Ashes (cricket, to any foreigner reading). One in Manchester, the other at Lords – both day 4 so will need to kind of hope for a full day’s play – unlike last year where I had day 4 tickets and saw just over an hour.

What else? My parents are coming down one Sunday – just for a Sunday roast. Then getting the train back to Hull. I guess we’ll do an exhibition too, maybe I’ll take them to the summer exhibition at the RA. I really want to do the AI exhibition at Barbican too. What the fuck has he done to my hair? I will get a photo on Facebook soon.

Bought a Love Island scratchcard and a bottle of wine for consolation. I think I might go buy some shit chicken from Chicken Cottage.

If anyone knows a really good barber in London, let me know.

I know, it will grow back. And boy, it will be growing.

From Boxes To Bras – I Have News

From boxes to bras.

From storage to suits.

From packaging to pies.

Yes, you have guessed correctly – you are looking at the new software engineer at Marks & Spencer. Well, you are reading words and daydreaming about me eating an M&S steak and ale pie in a suit. I hope.

Probably not my new office

Back in February, I concluded that I was pretty much ready for the next challenge in my career. There was nothing pushing me out of Lovespace – I’ve never had a job where I genuinely look forward to going to work 95% of the time, where I actually enjoy the work, get satisfaction from the work and am constantly challenged.

I wasn’t especially actively looking. I took some steps, created a new CV, started updating my portfolio, updated LinkedIN, signed up to tech recruitment sites like hired and talent.io (mostly a waste of time), went to a tech jobs fair and studiously ignored most recruitment consultants (except a few with really bad spelling that I trolled occasionally). OK, I did quite a bit but it doesn’t feel like it.

M&S approached me via LinkedIN. After a total of 6 interviews – 3 on site the other Monday morning, and 3 short phone calls, I was offered the role of software engineer.

It is a definite step up in every respect from where I am now, but less of a step than I took when joining Lovespace. It will be a challenge at first, I will need to upgrade my JavaScript skills in the meantime as they use ES6 (more modern JavaScript functionality) that we don’t at Lovespace.

Right now, it hasn’t quite sunk in. I am excited, I am confident that it is the right step – and I am not yet nervous.

Finally I won’t have the excuse of not being able to afford to do things – I’ll have to find a new excuse. I also get 20% staff discount so think of all those glorious M&S Steak & Ale pies that I can now afford. And I’ll be working for M&S – how cool is that? A proper Great British icon.

Brand new offices in Paddington, no need to wear corporate clothing (not sure about shorts though), slightly shorter commute, good pension, really interesting people that I’ve met so far, a new challenge, a chance to legitimately look at lingerie models whilst working and the salary I believe my skills command.

It’s in this kind of area

Roll on 1st July. Thanks to everyone who has helped along the way, in whatever way it has been.

I think I’ve made it as a developer now.

Metropolitan Line Complaint Part 1

It’s actually been alright recently – well, perhaps more accurately I’ve been lucky and missed the worst delays. Working from home two days a week helps too. As does the relatively dry weather recently – there are definite service suspension seasons and the next will be the first really hot day, when it gets to around 30’C.

This complaint is from last year and not the funniest ever – just a rant. Part 2 is more fun.

******

Dear Sir/Madam
I’d like to make yet another complaint about the Metropolitan line service.
Tuesday was yet another clusterfuck of a service.  A signal failure that lasted, what, 4 hours?
Why are these signal failures occurring so regularly?Why did this signal failure take so long to fix?Why could no trains at all run from Harrow to Aldgate?
Given how often such scenarios occur, why does there not seem to be any alternative plan of action?
Isn’t it time that work on signalling improvements was expedited, especially given the high cost of fares?  Nearly 20% of my monthly earnings after tax goes towards what is at least once a week, an abominable service.
I was lucky that I could go and work from home – but there will have been people that had to be at work on time.  I still begrudge the £1.70 that you charged me to get the tube home on Tuesday – and still insist that all regular Metropolitan line customers are due answers, improvements – and some kind of service refund apology.
I sincerely hope that you are willing to answer my questions.  Action must be taken to improve this service.  We cannot wait until 2022.
Regards
James Winfield

I never received a response.

James Went To Exeter

Two of my dearest advisors had concocted a birthday surprise for me at the end of February – a mystery tour of a mystery place. All that I knew was that I needed my passport.

Exciting!

We drove past enticing places such as Basingstoke, Bracknell and Salisbury, then past Stonehenge until it became clear that I was either being taken to Exeter or Newquay. What is in Exeter I wonder? What government enterprise might be of interest to me that is located there?

After a spot of lunch and a chance to listen to 6 women loudly cackling next to us, we made our way to the Met Office, for their open day.

One could imagine a tour being dumbed-down for Average Joe, however it wasn’t – the content was often explained using more detailed terms – they explained how they use the weather models (and how I use them!) and gave a generally interesting presentation. We had a tour of the building, from the Met Office library, to the instruments they use (less interesting), to the massive super-computer, and through the empty part of the office (empty on Saturdays) and outside the chief forecasters office.

Even the building itself was of interest – really spacious and calm, the kind of inspiring building where you would actually enjoy working inside. None of this basement shit like I have to cope with (albeit not for much longer). There was a stress on the building being environmentally friendly with the heat from the super-computer being recycled to heat the building, for example, and everything having a recycling bin – most companies I work at don’t even have one recycling bin.

The only downside was their insistence on global warming, and the idea that the UK will be 6.5’C warmer in 2080 than it is now. Just seemed utter bollocks.

On the positive side, they seem to appreciate my question on Sudden Stratospheric Warming – though they couldn’t answer it. I’m not sure there is an answer yet to my theory.

We stayed at this super-cute barn in the middle of nowhere, having to drive through those tiny windy one-way lanes with few passing points. We were pretty high up – the next morning the mist was beneath our level…such nice weather too. We didn’t go out in the evening – staying in to cook a pretty damn awesome steak dinner and watch a movie.

Exeter centre itself was impressive. A mix of historical buildings like the Cathedral and some wall remnants, some more upmarket shops and what looked like pretty decent pubs – alas my detox and also the lack of time meant that they weren’t visited. Also there was a harbour area which I imagine would be very pleasant in the summer for drinks and people-watching. I particularly enjoyed the font on the bus station:

On Sunday, we visited the Medieval passages under Exeter – where pipes used to bring water to the Cathedral originally, then the rest of the city later. Quite a tight squeeze, the tour guide would annoyingly stop to talk sometimes when crouched down – not something my back and knees found easy. Was a bit weird squeezing through underground tunnels, but something different.

Then it was back in the car to get back to London in time for a roast dinner.

Exeter was definitely a charming little city, a shame that we didn’t have longer to spend there.

Detox 2019: 90 Days & 90 K

If you saw me over the last few months of 2018, or just read the banal self-loathing crap that I occasionally spout, you’ll realise that I stepped up a gear from fat to obese last year.  At the end of 2018 I was 16kg heavier than at the end of my 2018 detox.

Therefore this year’s detox comes in two parts.

The first part is simply 90 days without alcohol. Though since I started, I have decided to extend this until Easter.

With an emphasis on repairing my diet during this time, which has become solely focused on my brain’s short-term desires, my lack of energy and motivation hindering attempts at good behaviour during business as usual.  Most days in the latter half of 2018 I had over 3,000 calories, which includes Red Bulls, chocolate, cakes, occasional morning sausage sandwiches.  Almost all of my good habits of old, have been replaced by bad habits, to keep me going through the day.

As well as having given up alcohol totally, I will be giving up or cutting down drastically the following:
Energy drinks
Sliced bread
Chocolate
Cakes

As I’ve said before, I know what I need to do to lose weight and be healthy – I have just totally lost the motivation over the last year, and had little time or energy.  Giving up alcohol gives me the mental space to do so, increase energy levels and allow the positive feedback loops.

Analysing my last year, I think one of my main issues was how I dealt with the pent-up demand from my three-month detox, which as soon as it was over, I went on a food and booze consumption binge, pie here, pizza there, midweek drinks here – a genie that I never put back in the bottle.

So, part two will be only having one weekend on the pop per month, until I am down to 90kg.  Which might take all year, but so be it. Not including holidays #OBS!

I have also set myself monthly goals – fail these and I’ll punish myself with vegetarian roast dinners. I have already failed my February weight goal. Expect a scathing review of a vegetarian roast dinner soon. FML.

I’m more than halfway through, absolutely not bothered at all about the lack of booze 98% of the time – I have had a couple of occasions where I’ve been pissed off and “needed” a beer, and there have been a few social occasions where I have missed it – like my weekend in Exeter last weekend…how good would a glass of red wine been with my steak dinner? Definitely not craving it like I was last detox though.

However, I don’t feel that I am feeling the benefits as much as last year, though last year I also gave up chocolate, cakes and severely limited red meat – this year I’ve just cut down from my over-consumption.

I’m getting there. I’m eating healthier again, doing a little bit of exercise where I get the time and broadly (seems to be my favourite word of 2019) feeling better. I’ve repaid some of my over-spending from last year and am progressing through some of my to-do lists, and started work improving my web development portfolio.

Once my detox is over, the challenge will be to find some form of balance, and not go back to binge-eating. Maybe I need a wife?

Slow progress, but as the saying goes – slow progress is better than no progress.

Complaint: Sainsbury’s Avocados. Again.

[From 2018]

Hi Sainsburys

How is my favourite supermarket doing?  I hear that you had pretty good Christmas results.
Alas, your avocados have been a little disappointing on occasion recently.

Twice I have bought your dual pack of ripe avocados in recent weeks (I’m stretching the definition of recent here) and ended up being disappointed.  So disappointed that I have taken to buying avocados from Tesco.

As you may understand, now that I have moved to London, I need to prove my credentials by eating as many avocados as possible – especially on toast.  And not just any toast, but the seediest, sourdoughest, wheatgermiest toast possible.  And then grow an ironic Hitler moustache.

The first occasion, both of them were just horrid – quite yah…yucky.  I don’t know how to describe them.
The second occasion, one was good, but the other had a massive gash across it – this was face down so I couldn’t see when buying it.

I appreciate that getting avocados perfect every time is not possible, but these were pretty damn disappointing.

Oh my word.  One more thing.  On my most recent delivery, I ordered some fruit yoghurts.  I saw that they had been substituted when they arrived but I didn’t look closely – I assumed for the other type of fruit yoghurt.

But no.  Toffee.  How is toffee comparable to peach?  Also vanilla, and banana.  How do any of them come close to the fruit flavours of peach, passionfruit – and whatever your other ones are?

It makes no sense.  Surely substitute for another brand of similar flavours?

Anyway, time to go make some toast with my Tesco avocado.   #sad

Kind regards
James

******

Dear James

Thanks for your recent email about the quality of our avocados of late, I’m sorry that they haven’t been up to scratch, I appreciate your need to eat so many avocados, especially as you’re living in London now.

I’ve logged your feedback with our Product Quality team so that they can work on improving our quality control for these in future.

As an apology from us I’ve popped a £5 gift card in the post for you, please allow 3-5 working days for this to arrive and a further 72 hours upon receiving it for the balance to be added.

And I’m sorry to hear about the substitutions that you received on your online order, unfortunately at Careline we are only able to handle in store and product related issues, however I have passed your feedback on to our Online Team.

We appreciate you taking the time to contact us and we hope to see you in store again soon.

Kind regards

Happy Birthday To Me: Episode 39

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me. Last year I had a bit of a miserable birthday – it was a Monday, I felt rubbish, I ate loads of junk food, I didn’t have the best day at work and then I had a really disappointing M&S pie for dinner.

So I resolved to take my birthday off this year. I did.

It seems that I spent half the day responding to birthday messages – some pretty damn brilliant ones on Facebook in particular, but I did manage to do a few other things. I think.

Bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast. If I cannot have one on my birthday then when can I?

I also bought myself a fillet steak from Waitrose to cook tonight – I’m filling it with goat’s cheese, lemon and rosemary – wrapping it in bacon, and having McCain chips with it. No, seriously, I am having McCain chips – the gastro ones are actually amazing, albeit 100 calories per chip. By time I have finished writing this, I guess I’ll have eaten it.

I received a couple of gifts, and am now the proud owner of a Verizon mug, thanks to my boss from the time.

For some reason I decided that a good way to spend my birthday was to go shopping down Oxford Street, but I did find this very nice coat for just £39.99.

Alas, I ripped the lining when I put it on in this photo – man, the quality at Zara is crap. I also bought some socks and a pastel pink jumper.

Also – snow.

Not only did it snow, but I also got to see a racist kicking off in Tesco Express. And the Metropolitan line worked despite the snow. Oh and I got a refund that I didn’t know I was due.

Finally, I was also quite bizarrely offered £75 to write about Yorkshire puddings in London. Quite how I am going to write 500-1,000 words on the subject is beyond me but I’m sure I’ll make up some crap, or just bang on about Brexit if not.

Oh yeah, Article 50 wasn’t rescinded today. Now that would have been a beautiful birthday.

Instead, it has just been a very good birthday. Oh and well spotted – this is the new home for my blog. And I have quite extensive plans for it.

The steak was amazing by the way – best thing I’ve cooked in ages. Wow. Thanks for all your birthday wishes.

2018 Review

Previously if I had spent NYE by myself, I’d be lonely and some shade between melancholic and miserable – this year I’m just tired after a long day at work, and pretty upbeat.

I find myself mostly satisfied with 2018 – it has been an exceptionally fun and enjoyable year, one where I have made progress in some key areas of my life – but also overlooked and lost control of others.

2018 started on the sober side with a 3 month detox that I completed successfully.  It was certainly tricky at times and life was less fun – there were less of those special moments, but I think I was more settled in my mind, I was probably happier – without the usual peaks and troughs and I felt much better in my body.  And I achieved much more than I would have done otherwise.

There is no doubt that alcohol affects both my motivation and performance – in almost every aspect of my life that can be improved, removing alcohol would lead to improvement.  Well, in every aspect except fun, socialising and enjoyment.  And after my detox, in particular, I had a lot of fun.

Starting with 4 holidays.  A trip to Madrid to see my delightful Spanish friend, Rosa, albeit that wasn’t the reason we went – as it was a family holiday – the first for…20 years…I think…to celebrate my Dad’s retirement.  And what a place – I love Spain so much, and to get to visit the capital city and find out more about the history of the country was just utterly wonderful.

And then there was the long weekend in Vienna with my amazing friend, Martin.  Another city that I fell in love with, from the glimpses of the genius of Gustav Klimt’s artwork, to the canal-side shacks that served as a kind of bohemian nightlife.  One seriously awesome – and very underappreciated city.

Croatia.  What can be said about that?  Nothing that I can put in writing, but that was just such an awesomely fun holiday – a techno/disco festival on a little cove in Croatia.  The feelings of being on the dancefloor whilst the occasionally odd but generally brilliant music was played, was just special.  So special.

Not forgetting Budapest too with my wonderful sister and my bestie, Alena.  Maybe I didn’t fall in love with it as much as the other places I visited, but it was so enjoyable, such good food too.  More of a culinary treat than the other holidays…especially Croatia.

The fun continued with day trips to Brighton and Warwick with my fave.  And a trip to Birmingham to watch the test cricket with my Dad – albeit only 1.5 hours of test cricket.

Two awesome weddings – both very different but both ridiculously fun – and stupendously heart-warming.

Despite living in London, I think I spent more time with both my friends and family.  I feel closer to most people in my life than I did a year ago – whether they feel closer to me is of course, another question, especially with the amount that I bang on about Brexit.  And roast dinners.

I did have some really good meals this year too.  Some very good roast dinners, including my favourite so far at The George in The Strand.  Also took my parents to Peckham – their faces when they stepped outside of Peckham Rye station were a sight!  But we had a very nice dinner there, my Dad still enthuses about the fish that he had.  And we know our fish, being from Hull.

It seems like I have done so much this year, despite being on a fairly tight budget.  And I have – there is so much that I have missed out because I should really go onto other topics.  47 roast dinners though.  That ain’t bad is it?  And my blog is slowly getting more popular, more readers, more people thanking me for my advice, more people enjoying the utter bullshit that I spout.  Not to mention two articles in the Londonist.  Any suggestions on how to get more publicity?  Time to beg the socialist tossbags at Vice to do an article on it?

All this fun has had a pretty major downside though.

My weight.  I have put on 15kg since April.  That’s shocking.  I have totally lost control of my eating habits – anything less than 3,000 calories is now a good day.  Yeah I know.  WTF?

I worked out recently (in my head) that I can only lose weight when two of the following are present: time, energy, motivation.  I lost the motivation, and I rarely have the time.  And often I don’t have the energy.  What I was saying earlier about cutting out alcohol being the solution to anything that can be improved?  Alcohol takes my time, it taps my energy and at times, motivation.  I lost 7kg on my 3 month detox last year (albeit put some back on near the end).  People say, “just do some exercise” or “just do things in moderation”.  I don’t have time for exercise and have you ever known me do moderation?  Do you secretly call me James “Moderation” Winfield?

Also I lost a fair chunk of my meagre savings on the stock market, putting paid to my dreams of going to Japan in 2019…well…unless I have some good news soon.

Don’t worry – there are plans to address my shortcomings.  But shortcomings I most certainly have.

I started 2018 with quite a lot of shortcomings as a web developer.  That is the other thing that I focused on this year – I don’t feel that I have achieved all that I could have done, yet I look back and think it is just quite amazing how far I have come – from struggling to do jQuery fixes, to managing fairly major projects from start to end, and most importantly – learning a framework, AngularJS.  I won’t go into too much techie detail, but I was most definitely a junior web developer at the beginning of the year.  I am most definitely much further on now – alas, still paid as a web junior developer.

I accept that I have fucked up in a couple of places this year, and that I still a way from who I want to be.  But mostly, and overall, I am on the right path.  I am so much happier than I used to be – having changed from moaning about air conditioning to moaning about tube trains.  I previously put a lot of effort, and some risk, into changing my life – a huge change in career path, and also a change of city (via Bracknell…shudder).  And it has been so worth it.

I know what I have to do to make 2019 even better.

2018 was the most fun year that I’ve had for some time – and my life hasn’t been short of fun.  I haven’t mentioned the World Cup, the weather, the long, hot summer, the morass of ridiculously attractive women everywhere.  There are so many highlights that I’ve missed out.  But 2018 also had some shortcomings, and some failures on my part.  I don’t want to overblow the downsides – there is far much more to be satisfied and positive about.

So, a pretty damn good year overall.  The power is within me to make 2019 even better.

Thanks to everyone who helped make it such a good year.

Complaint: Metropolitan Line Rant

As I type this now, I must admit that the service has been much better this month on the Metropolitan line – or at least I’ve got lucky in terms of avoiding the signal failures.

However, one particular journey stands out from 2018 which was such a clusterfuck that I needed answers.  Would I get them?

******

I guess I should be amused that you are trying to charge me £8.00 for the clusterfuck of a journey on Thursday 4th January, that took nearly 3 times as long as it should have.  Surprised you are not charging me for a season ticket just to really rub salt in the wounds.

So last week I was ill.  I’ve had a cold, I’ve had a comedown and a fairly extreme hangover.  I had already had enough when I got to Moorgate at on Thursday evening at 18:06 – a true centre of confusion.  A train was sat at the platform, doors open, going nowhere – though I couldn’t fit on it anyway.

Nobody announcing what was happening (or wasn’t), after a while some people got off the train, so I got on.  Then after a while, the train driver announced that there was a broken down train between Barbican and Farringdon.  So I got off and pondered my options.

At first I tried to get through the staircase to go to the Northern line – but it wasn’t going anywhere.  So I left the station by the other exit (I guess I mustn’t have swiped out), and ended up walking to Bank station.  Queued to get through the ticket barriers, waited for a tube I could get on, and stood close to a rather stinky woman – though I don’t profess to exhale flowers myself come 6pm.

So the Central line at rush-hour is minging.  Who knew?

Then I had a short journey on the Bakerloo line to Baker Street.  Which was actually quite pleasant – hell I even got a seat.  Albeit opposite someone who was either talking to himself or me – I pretended to be oblivious.

One assumed that seeing as the broken down train was between Barbican and Farringdon, that everything would be fine from Baker Street – perhaps a couple less trains.  But no, the whole service had collapsed.

Some mystery services were appearing on platform 2 despite the fact that the service was apparently suspended Aldgate to Baker Street – one assumes they must have been appearing from some parallel universe.  Not that it was any use to me, as I couldn’t get on any of them.

But there were trains on the two non-through platforms.  Due to leave in 1 minute.  This was one, long, possibly ever-lasting minute as both trains that I attempted to catch from Baker Street simply never went anywhere, despite a consistent promise that they were about to.

Your chaps then started advising people to use the Jubilee Line to Wembley Park – where a normal service was allegedly operating from.

Again, crammed on a tube, it eventually made its way to Wembley Park.  Where I then proceeded to wait forever for a Metropolitan line train due in “1 minute”.

I could go on, but this was the most appalling journey home – yet another service failure from TFL on the Metropolitan line.

So, some questions.  Why did the whole service seem to collapse?  Why are there no contingency plans to ensure a good service on the rest of the line away from the broken train?  Why were tube trains just sat there at Baker Street?  Why were trains perennially leaving in 1 minute?

Then I would respectfully like to ask for some refunds.  At the minimum, I should not be charged both the £8.00 and the £4.70 for the way home.  Any other company would offer reasonable additional compensation for distress, disinformation and delay.

Hoping that I actually get some answers to the service failure from last Thursday – I am sure there are many other severely frustrated passengers who would like an explanation too.

Regards

James Winfield

******

Dear James

Thank you for your recent email about your contactless card refund.

I understand you sent in bank details to have a refund for a journey and I appreciate you contacted us.

I`m more than happy to inform you I`ve sent £12.70 to your bank account.

This is a manual bank transfer that can take up to five working days to show on your bank statements.

Further on your question automatic refunds are reversed back to payment cards as there is no human interaction but as this is a manual refund we’re not able to do so.

We highly recommend not sending bank details by email for security purposes. In this case there is nothing to worry about as your bank account number and sort code are just used to pay in but keep it in mind for the future.

I do apologise for the time consuming and I wish you all the best.

Thanks again for contacting us. If there is anything else we can help you with, please reply to this email. Alternatively, you can call us on 0343 222 1234 and we’ll be happy to help you.

Kind regards

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Customer Service Adviser
Transport for London Customer Services

******

Of course, no answers. Things like this still happen.

And That Was Christmas 2018

Christmas is over.  Normality is returning.  Sobriety is around the corner.

As usual, I went to Hull to see my parents and some of the extended family, for 5 nights.  About 1 night too many for me, about 360 nights too short for my mum.

It being time with the family, meant that the television was on much of the time – there is only so much I have to say before I start boring myself let alone everyone else (verbally, anyway).  I guess there is something kind of comforting about sitting around together on the off-chance that we can prise my mother away from QVC onto one of the few things we have in common.  Like Hull.

Conveniently, Hull City were on Sky so I didn’t have to find excuses as to why I didn’t want to go to the KC Stadium to watch them (I don’t want to give any money to the bastards who own us), and despite going 1-0 down, we came back to win an entertaining game 3-2.

Topping that, my favourite thing we watched was about Hull, called A Northern Soul.  A documentary about an ordinary working bloke from Hull, one struggling with the realities of life in Hull (and espousing the reasons that I escaped as soon as I could) but one who has a dream.  I won’t ruin it, but it was melancholic, funny and very Hull.  You should watch it.

Oh and we watched an early 90’s film called Point Break.  About surfers who become bank robbers.  You shouldn’t watch it.

Culture in Hull is a major thing, as you will likely understand, so we went to a photography exhibition at the university, about the end of the fishing community in a part of Hull called Hessle Road.  Some of the photos are here for the curious, and my favourite is below:

The other thing apart from Hull that we all have in common as a family, is enjoyment of food.  And roast dinners.

My mother cooked a banging Christmas dinner.  Definitely an 8 out of 10 – the weird frozen parsnips and crappy frozen stuffing balls took the edge off – but perfect roast potatoes, and I mean PERFECT, along with banging gravy (cheers sis) made it an awesome dinner.  Alas my mother still hasn’t got the hang of cooking beef, ie longer is not better.  And I cooked the Boxing Day meal, though I was disappointed with how my braised beef turned out too.

I received some presents too.  I was desperate for socks, and my appetite was sated.

Alas, my grandmother’s idea of good socks isn’t mine.  She asked if I liked them – and you know me, I am pretty rubbish at lying.  So she told me to give them to my Dad, and I said “OK, I’ll do that”.  Cue evil look.  Bless her.

I got a couple of great t-shirts too (well, I love them) and the piece de resistance – my mum knitted me a scarf.  And it’s actually an awesome design, just the kind of thing I would buy.

Envy is not attractive, my friends.

I couldn’t help thinking about those not as lucky as me.  Those without families to spend time with, or those on the streets.  I wish there was some kind of over-arching solution that I could enact, to resolve the difficulties of everyone, alas…there isn’t.  I’ll just have to settle for a donation to charity, and the knowledge that I made the most of the time with my family.  One day I’ll solve all the problems of the world.  One day…

As much as I was ready to go back to London by Boxing Day, craving the comforts of a double bed and a shower that is more than a pointless dribble – even if it did mean that I spent 3 hours on Hull Trains feeling like I was a piece of toast under the grill, I think I made the most of the precious time with my wonderful family.

I guess that’s all I have to say.  Time to go enjoy my last weekend on the pop until Easter, although not too crazily as I’m really craving doing healthy stuff now.  So much so that I’m tempted to stay in on NYE and just have a pie and a bottle of wine – being able to get up the next day and get on with whatever I deem necessary – like moving this shitty Blogger blog to WordPress and the 21st Century.

I hope you had as wonderful a Christmas as myself.

Oh yeah, why did I get 4 bottles of shower gel but no deodorant?  What is that about?