Thursday 4 July 2024: General Election

Image by John Mounsey from Pixabay

We had a naked prawn linguine for tea on Tuesday, which was delicious, followed by meringue nests with fruit and yoghurt (for me) and ice cream (for him). While he cooked tea, I made a start on a trifle for today’s pudding. We didn’t have any fruit, but we did have trifle sponges, so I started off the jelly base poured over trifle sponges. Today I’ll make the strawberry blancmange and the topping. Nom! One of our faves.

We have a disabled magpie in our garden. Not one of our family of four but another one. One of its wings seems to be sticking out at an unnatural angle. We don’t know if the wing is broken or if it’s its wing feathers. It chooses to hop or fly at low height and I’ve been putting food up against the shed for it, away from the other birds.

Yesterday morning we were able to have a good look at it, and it seems quite healthy apart from its wing. It visited the garden a few times, finding its own food over by the shed, and it even bullied one of our youngsters away. So it must be looking after itself. I think it’s an adult and it may have been in a fight. I don’t think it’s suffering, but we will keep an eye on it and perhaps try and catch it.

If the wing is broken, then it’s already set and too late to fix. Fingers crossed it’s okay. Last I saw, it was heading towards the huge bushes at the back of the shed. Perhaps that’s where it lives. Perhaps it feels save in our garden, where there’s food and water it can easily get to.

I was up relatively early on Wednesday and after feeding the birds and putting some washing in the tumble dryer, I was at my desk in good time. My first Pomodoro was for Week 6 of the writing with depth workshop, which I managed to do well within the 50-minute Pomodoro. Today I start the next workshop, advanced depth.

As I finished the Pomodoro early, I quickly started today’s blog before having my first 10-minute break of the day. I folded some washing that’s been in the basket for a few days, and put it away. Then, because I was feeling inspired after my writing with depth workshop, I started on THE HAUNTED HOUSE HOTEL first, instead of PROJECT MANAGEMENT FOR WRITERS.

I should have just stuck to the plan, because the first thing I did was make sure my novella was exporting to Word properly. I do create in Scrivener, but I edit in Word and I submit Word documents. And Scrivener wasn’t working properly. It took me several hours and my eyes crossing numerous times, but the gist of it is there’s a known bug in the page break feature.

I’ll say that again. A KNOWN bug. And they’ve KNOWN about it for TWO YEARS. But instead of the developers coming up with a fix for it, the techies and forumites just give workarounds. Workarounds that take more work and time in the long run.

Well, I wasn’t happy I had tech issues in the first place. To find out it’s a bug in the software isn’t great, but good to know it wasn’t only me. But to discover they’ve known about it for so long and not done anything about it started to heat my blood.

And in the midst of it all, we also had yet further incompetence from our Probate team. Yes, really. Fifteen months on and they’re still dragging their feet and employing delaying tactics. A letter arrived telling me we had a new case handler, and I just didn’t want to talk about it any more. I put the letter to one side and ignored it.

Then my sister sent me a text, saying she’s had the same text and that we have a new handler. But her name was Laura and the name on my letter was Shannon. I called my sister, and it turned out Laura is the team leader and Shannon is the case handler. We were told a month ago by the previous alleged handler that she was sending us our final financials for signing that day, and yet no such financials arrived.

My sister offered to call them and when she did the new Shannon one didn’t answer her ‘direct line’. So my sister called the main office and spoke to a chap who was apparently very helpful, but also defensive when he told her our previous handler had just vanished. Rather like the one before her. But when he transferred the call, Shannon answered.

She promised to both email and post the financial statement to us both. But at the time of writing (7:15pm Wednesday night), nothing had arrived.

My sister wants to get it sorted once and for all and have them send us what they owe us. Then we’ll be instigating a formal complaint. I have the entire audit trail documented and don’t mind allocating time to do that once we have our money. But for now, every time I think about it my blood starts to bubble again.

I researched some alternatives to Scrivener, and couldn’t find anything that even came close in my opinion. But I stumbled on LibreOffice, which used to be ApacheOpenOffice. A lot of the tech support gave advice and fixes using LibreOffice, so I might start to use that instead of Word.

I don’t like what Word’s turning into and was interested to see that we can still get WordPerfect, but it’s pricey and you have to have the whole suite.

Good news is that while the poet’s away on business for 5 days in a couple of weeks, Grand-doggy #1’s coming to stay with me. So while I was still smiling about that, I called it a day.

It’s the General Election today. I hope all of my UK readers at least turn out. A spoiled ballot paper is a far better protest than not bothering to go. It’s also the 4th of July! So here’s wishing all of my US pals a great day!

4 thoughts on “Thursday 4 July 2024: General Election

  1. Can’t believe that probate is still dragging on? So I’m guessing you will be adding fifteen months interest on?
    Is the office anywhere you can visit, say maybe a Monday to Friday short break that way you could just call in each morning at 9am…
    I’ve voted

    1. I can’t believe it either. This is the Co-op and they’ve been completely and utterly useless. Shannon assured my sister that we would be receiving interest, but it won’t be anything like what we’ve lost by not investing it ourselves. We think they just drag people in off the streets and then give them no employee support whatsoever. Coventry Building Society has recently acquired Co-op Bank. We’re hoping it’s not a sign of other issues the organisation might have. It wouldn’t surprise me if these case handlers were unpaid interns. Absolutely diabolical service.

  2. Your Probate is such a nightmare. I hope you go after them as soon as you get your money. They are intentionally stringing you along so as not to pay you. Makes me wonder if they’ve been using the money inappropriately and can’t replace it.

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