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Monday, May 29, 2017

Biting the Bullet...

A few days ago, I took my life in my hands and changed my mobile phone service provider!

It' been on my mind for some time -- well ever since my contract ended at the end of January, that I would do this. But I rather made a mess of it. I didn't think it through properly and now I am paying the consequences by not having a cell phone at all and at the same time paying for two contracts.

My dissatisfaction with my provider, EE, T-Mobile, began a few years ago when I discovered the exorbitant roaming charges I had to pay when I was in France. Initially, there were at least choices to make over special deals for monthly periods -- though very limited data allowances. Then the monthly deals were no longer available and one had to pay even more for data for periods as short as one week! All this while it was known that within a two year period of time these 'roaming charges' would be curtailed. As of this year all providers will provide the same service as in the UK. However, two years ago I discovered that '3' was offering no charges in most EU countries, as well as Australia and the USA! I bought a special 'mobile' service which gave me 10 gigabytes of data a month in France, which me kept me online throughout the summer for the first time since dial-up connections were no longer a choice!

Now, as of this year, all UK servers offer the same service as in the UK while travelling in the EU. Which means that, if I had remembered this, I didn't need to change my provider at all. However, I was through with my contract and not very happy with what I consider to be the 'money grabbing ways' of EE.

Last Wednesday, having sorted out spectacles with Specsavers, I decided it would be a good time to sort out my service provider -- having just enough time to do so before leaving for France on June 11th. Stupidly, however, I failed to go first to EE to tell them I was changing. I went straight to Three and decided to get a Sim card only plan starting immediately. Nevermind that I would need to obtain a 'pac' code from EE, which took two days. I also didn't realize that EE demanded 30 days notice before ending a contract with them. Oops.

I also completely and stupidly forgot that my phone is not unlocked!! Oops! Oops! I received the 'pac code' very quickly the same day and just as quickly and stupidly phoned through through to Three with the number. Which meant that two days later my phone was no longer working and I was stuck because EE can take as long as 10 days to provide it. Ooops! Ooops! Ooops!

Sometimes, 'biting the bullet' means you get shot...


Monday, May 22, 2017

Not All Is Political!

Spring is melding into summer. It's warm outside and May is not even over in the Northwest of England! Unusual in my experience, having lived in this part of the world only since the early 80's. It's now time to get ready for the yearly travel to France -- and this year we are once again able to leave in June to be there in time for my birthday in the middle of the month. We had planned to leave earlier but have been  delayed by the need of The Man to cast his vote and watch the results unfold.

Whatever the result, he will probably not be happy with it, being a Liberal Democrat and all...

Being a political junkie myself, I never thought I would have had enough of politics and all the hoopla that goes on around them. However, I have had enough for a while. Although, I must say that the limited time we in Britain must endure ads on television -- the parties take turns having 5 minute time slots per night on each channel is heavenly common sense compared to the pure hell of the American  daily ordeal. And we have never received a party political phone call here either. The only complaint I've read about is someone who is unhappy from hearing a political pamphlet shoved through the mailbox after midnight! Tame stuff to anyone who has had to endure the madness of America during a presidential campaign!

I haven't posted anything since the 28th of March! I felt that I didn't have anything worth writing about. Couldn't seem to process events other than what's been in the headlines when of course there is really everything else that is more important and more interesting even if I haven't been able to see it, think of it. For example:

My youngest son and his partner, who live with us now, will be having their first child at the end of October! As The Man and I have 7 grandsons, we are rather hoping for a girl! But healthy boy or girl, when all is said and done, it really doesn't matter! The happy couple is also renovating a house of their own,  not very far away, so  I think they are  hoping to be moved in by the time the baby comes.

All of this activity has brought back may memories of establishing our own family nest -- and that was very complicated. The Man and I now can look forward but also back, but we look back at experience rather than as longing.

Imminent looking forward are books for the summer reading and polishing up on my blogging imagination and packing up. This year I'm flying to Limoges and The Man is driving down. He will pick ,me up as he passes by. Hopefully, his timing and Ryanair coincide!