WARNING TO PAYPAL USERS

This blog is a word of warning for all PayPal users.

After 20+ years of loyal service we have been let down by shockingly bad customer service.

Last week we unwittingly fell foul of a scam via Facebook Messenger and linked to our PayPal account. This scam cost us almost £600.
When we realised what had happened, we did the right thing & reported it to both our bank and PayPal.
PayPal weren’t interest because, even though ‘we’d’ been scammed, we had technically broken the rules so they refunded the three people who ‘WE’ had appeared to take money from and our PayPal account was in the negative to the tune of £579 (minus the £21 PayPal had taken in fees)

We paid the money back out of our own funds to clear the PayPal account in the hope that the bank would be able to recover the £579 that we had already transferred to the scammers account.

Now we wanted to close the disputes on PayPal because we had refunded the money, but the system wouldn’t allow us to do this without ‘refunding’ the money to the customers.
We explained that we had already cleared the balance and the last thing we could afford was for PayPal to take the funds a second time and we were advised that this would not happen.
So to clear the disputes we clicked on the refund customer and close dispute option that they told us to follow because you could not use the ‘already refunded’ option.

PayPal took another £600 from our account!!! This includes the £21 in PayPal fees!!

We are now down to the tune of almost £1200 and Ian is having to take the day off work tomorrow to try and sort this mess out.

I had just come to terms with the possibility that we had lost £579 because I was stupid enough to fall for a scam, but the incompetence of PayPal and their support team is beyond words.
They don’t listen when you tell them that you’ve been scammed, they are only in it for themselves and want to make money and NONE of their online systems allow for this type of scam and there is no way to put feedback into the disputes.

So once this mess has been…. hopefully….. sorted, we will be closing our account with PayPal because we have totally lost confidence in them.

Word of advice. Tread carefully if you have a PayPal account, because as soon as something goes wrong they don’t want to know about it. They are unwilling to listen and are just in it to make money.

Finally, for a 24 hour, 365 day a year system, in the modern e-commerce world, to NOT have customer support after 18:30 in the evening is beyond belief.

Stay tuned for updates!

THAT’S IT THEN

So that’s it then… 2 weeks of annual leave gone.
Back to work on Tuesday.

It’s been a fab couple of weeks with a trip to London with daughter number one where we took in the sights and went to see P!nk at Wembley, followed by lots of relaxing, several cinema trips, a fabulous lazy Friday afternoon in the sun with a BBQ and good friends, and it’s all been topped off by having an amazing time celebrating a friend’s 30th birthday at a Jam night at our local music venue last night until the early hours, and a Beatles Jam at the same venue this evening.

I feel totally privileged to be a part of Murron’s musical world and all the amazing friends she has because of it. If my 50th Jam is half as good as Carlos’ 30th Jam, I’ll be very lucky.

So now there is only one more day left to get the house in order and ready for an inspection on Friday.

On the bright side, I only have 14 shifts and a training day over the next four weeks until I have another 12 days of annual leave. I’m hoping the good weather lasts as I am going back to London for a few days with the husband to celebrate our 25th anniversary.

So right now, I’m finishing a cold beer and catching up on season 2 of Stranger things because I’ve been told to before watching season 3 because it is apparently so good!

LONDON!!

First of all, and because I wasn’t around to do this yesterday…….

HAPPY WORLD PRIDE DAY!

It’s been lovely flicking through all the Instagram posts of people I follow sharing their experience at the New York festival.
New York Pride is on my bucket list and I WILL make it there one year.

OK, so today is recovery day.
I got back from London yesterday after spending 4 days with my eldest daughter, taking in the sights, the sun and P!nk!!!

I’ve just been sorting out photos and I’m currently waiting for my videos to upload to Flikr, so I know they’re safe. Gonna take a while as there’s more than a few!
I’ll pick out one or two for this blog. There are actually 2 I can’t upload to Flikr because they are over their 3 minute maximum rule, so I may put them here instead.

Anyway, how was the trip?

FRICKIN’ AWESOME!!

So here goes.

THURSDAY
After a pretty miserable couple of weeks weather wise, the heatwave finally hit, just in time for the trip.
We took the train into St Pancras International and then hit the underground to get to our Hotel. Nothing fancy. A Travelodge with the basics. Bed, shower, TV, coffee. What more do you need?
Then we wasted no time in going into the city to enjoy the rest of the day.

We headed to the Embankment and over towards Festival Hall where the Underbelly Arts festival was in full swing. We found cocktails and Hot Dogs and basically took a leisurely stroll up the embankment, stopping off at various watering holes along the way. We had the obligatory stop off at our favourite pub, The Horniman, right next to the HMS Belfast before heading over Tower Bridge and then down to the Walkie Talkie.
We queued for about 30 minutes and then after being security checked we headed up to the Sky Garden where there are some incredible views over the Thames, including an amazing overview of the Tower of London.
Then the day started to catch up with us, so we hit a Tesco for supplies and headed back to the hotel to call it a night.

FRIDAY
We had a small lay in and then headed over to Camden.
We mooched around the market area for a few hours and then fuelled up with some food at Camden Lock and then spent an hour sat under the shade of a tree enjoying some ice cold pints.
This is where Murron received a message from Fanny Burns, a drag queen who frequents one of our locals back home, to say she was doing a gig at none other than ‘The Admiral Duncan’ in Soho that evening, so! the evening was sorted.

After Camden, we headed over to Covent Garden where we enjoyed a pint at the White Lion before we had an encounter with Mr Bean! We sat and listened to a wonderful busker who Murron had a chat with about busking in Covent Garden and then we took our lives in our hands and hopped on a Rickshaw to The Admiral Duncan.

Fanny and her colleagues were brilliant.
We met some lovely people and partied until the early hours before making it back to the hotel at 2am! It was an expensive cab ride back to the hotel as trains to our station stopped running at midnight!

SATURDAY
The whole reason for the trip in the first place.
We had originally talked about going into the city for a few hours before returning to the hotel to freshen up and head over to Wembley for mid afternoon. Well…. that didn’t happen.
We had a megga lay in at the hotel and eventually started to make our way over to Wembley. From our hotel we needed to change onto the Metropolitan Line at Rayners Lane but there was a problem. There had been a problem on the line that meant the trains weren’t running and there was no telling when they would actually start running again, so we hopped into a taxi instead. We finally arrived mid-afternoon as planned and headed up Olympic Way. We stopped off at a vendor where I got a glitter pride stripe down my face and Murron got gems and then we popped into Box Park to get some food and drink. Brilliant place!! If you’re going to an event at Wembley, I’d highly recommend it, and they don’t rip you off!
It is a basic hall with a bar in the centre that has long basic wooden benches and tables either side. There are lots of different food and drink vendors around the outside. You simply get your food and drink and find a space to sit down and eat. They gear up for big gigs with a DJ playing music and videos on a huge video screen. It was busy, but there were no huge queues or major waits.
Then we made our way into Wembley Stadium. The build up to the main event was wonderful. A DJ and two warm up acts consisting of Bang Bang Romeo and Vance Joy!
Pink herself was amazing and her aerial wire work was INSANE!!
We were treated to an appearance by her daughter Willow when Pink was announcing her dancers. The final announcement was Willow who cartwheeled onto the stage. jumped into her Mamas arms, waved at the audience, and then cartwheeled off again.

Vance Joy and Riptide!!
This is a bit on the fuzzy side but shows the INSANE wirework that P!nk does. Unbelievable.

Getting out of the stadium was very smooth running. It was a little slow going down Olympic way when the Pink crowd from the stadium mixed with the Lynard Skynard crowd from the SSE Arena next door, it was well organised and kept moving but BOY was it hot!!!
We made it back to Rayners Lane in time to get the last train to our station and arrived back at the hotel at about 01:30.

We made the most of our midday checkout time and slept in as late as possible before heading back to St Pancras International where Murron couldn’t resist having a go on one of the pianos.

Then it was home time.
Trip over, just like that!
Good news is that I have just booked for another 3 nights in London for me and the hubby for our 25th wedding anniversary at the beginning of August.
I can safely say that If we won ridiculous amounts of money on the lottery, I would quite happily live in London.

ANNUAL LEAVE

On Friday, I had my last shift for just over two weeks.
It’s a lovely feeling knowing that you’re not having to get up for work.
I decided to tackle my garden over the weekend so that I have somewhere to sit and chill during my annual leave. It was an absolute jungle as it has quite literally been ignored for the last two years while I concentrated on Uni work.

Over the course of two days, my garden went from this….

To this…

The weather was lovely, the ice cold beer was flowing, the music was playing.
It’s amazing how much more agreeable gardening is when you haven’t got to squeeze it in between shifts! I won’t be re-stocking the borders this year. I just want to keep it simple and easy to maintain for a while.

Anyway, the plan was to have a bit of a lay in this morning, however……
Murron was at a jam night last night and brought home a few waifs and strays at 02:30.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Murron Abigail Winter, people smiling, selfie and close-up

Can’t really complain when one of them was Richie, the lead singer of the CC Smugglers!
After a bit of singing in the garage and a fire pit in my lovely tidy garden, they all finally called it a night at around 6am.
Of course, my body clock has now told me it’s time to get up for work, so I am wide awake with no hope of a lay in.

Richie, you owe me one!

So, my plan for the day….
Time to get on top of the cleaning in the house and then I’m having my hair cut at 3, ready for my trip to London with Murron.
We were hoping to get to the cinema later today but that all depends on whether I think we’ll stay awake or not after last night!

There is a movie due out on DVD today that I want to get so if we don’t go to the cinema, it will be a night in on the sofa.
It’s a movie I haven’t actually seen yet, but it looks really good!!
It’s based on the true story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. An incredible woman who dared to enter a man’s world and made her name fighting for gender equality during the 60’s and 70’s. At 86 years old, she still holds the office of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States!

Right, if I get started now, I could have the house done and dusted before midday.

ARE THEY KIDDING?!!

I keep this picture on my blog.
I keep it there for a reason.
It is a reminder to me that I am privileged!!

I have never been bullied because of the colour of my skin.
I have never been bullied for being queer.
I have never been told I am going to hell for just loving someone.
I have never been afraid to show my affection to my partner in public for fear of being beaten up or arrested.
I have never had to fight for the right to even marry my partner.
I have never had to fight for the same rights as a straight married couple.
I don’t live in a country where I could still be arrested or even executed for being gay.
I have never had the fear of being sent to conversion therapy to ‘be cured’

I am straight. I am white. I grew up in a straight white family.
I AM PRIVILEGED!

So when I see articles cropping up this week, about a group in Boston, Massachusetts trying to organise a ‘Straight Pride’ Parade, I get pretty bloody angry!
Do they understand just why gay pride exists?
Do they realise just how privileged they are to not need a pride parade?Have they done their homework?

The fact that this year is also one of the biggest landmarks in the LGBTQ community, just makes the thought of a straight pride parade all the more nauseating.

It has been 50 years since the Stonewall riots in New York.
50 years since white, black and Hispanic gays, lesbians and transgendered people decided that enough was enough and fought back.
It has become the most important event of the gay liberation movement and is celebrated with gay pride parades around the world every year.

So forgive me if I get angry that some ‘privileged’ white men with links to far-right movements, nationalist protests and white supremacist organisations, feel like they’ve had their toes stepped on.

These people are filled with anger and hate.
The religious communities who won’t let their children be taught about all forms of relationships and genders are filled with anger and hate and are just teaching their children to fear what they don’t understand.

When I look at photos from gay pride parades around the world, and photos of queer couples and their families, you know what I see?
I see love.
I see happiness.
I see people wanting to live without fear.
I see people wanting exactly what straight people have and to be treated equally.

Look at the history of the parades, even if you only go to the Stonewall Riots wikipedia page to see how it all started. Educate yourselves before you decide to hate on people who only want to live and love.

HAPPY PRIDE MONTH!

CAN’T WAIT FOR A BREAK

It’s been a long couple of weeks with Ian recovering from surgery and the usual work and family stuff.

On the whole, it’s been a good couple of weeks.
Ian has recovered remarkably quickly. The wound on his neck has healed amazingly fast and if you weren’t already in the know, you wouldn’t think he’d even had surgery…..

However…..

His left arm is still very numb and is giving him some pain. He’s mobile but he is definitely favouring his left arm and I think this has set him back a bit mentally. I’m going to have to keep on top of this and push him to do things, like I did yesterday when I gave him a little push to get him to go to Tesco with me for a little shop. He didn’t ‘need’ to go but it got him out of the house for a bit and moving.
With that said, he has been making himself get up and do things around the house and he is now working on some of his model painting at the dining table instead of sitting at an awkward angle in bed reading. There’s a way to go yet but I think he’s going in the right direction.

The house is quiet at the moment. My middle daughter, Marjorie, is on a work training course in London. I haven’t seen her since Saturday evening because I was at work before she got up on Sunday and had left before I got home. We’ve had a couple of quick texts to say she’s still alive and another to say she’d just eaten… and I quote… ‘a well nice baked potato!!’.
I forget that she’s 19, going on 20 and that she is more than capable of spending a few days in London with work colleagues.
I do get a little bit worried when I discover a bottle of gin and a few cans of Monster going with her when helping her to pack!!

Anyway, the house is only going to get even more quiet this evening as Murron, my eldest, leaves to spend the evening with a friend before heading off to the Download festival for 5 days!

She’s had her hair braided so she doesn’t have to worry about it and she’s really excited.
I have to chuckle. The weather is abysmal at the moment. It’s going to be her first ‘wet’ festival. I dread to think what state she will be coming home in.

The weather is becoming a concern though. I have two weeks of annual leave planned from the 24th June to the 7th July.
In that two weeks I ‘MUST’ get my back garden back under control before jungle animals start to make themselves comfortable….. that said…. there are some really pretty weeds out there at the moment.

Even more worrying though, is that me and Murron are going to London for 4 days on the 27th because we are seeing Pink in concert on the 29th.
I wanted to spend a few days just wondering around London and going to places like Camden and Borough Market and wandering up and down the banks of the Thames soaking up the sun and stopping off at pubs and bars and checking out the arts festival down by Southbank.
At the minute…. it’s not looking great for the weather….. so keep everything crossed for me.

Work is probably the ‘only’ thing going to plan at the moment.
I finally got my NMC pin. I’m now in my official Nurse Associate uniform and doing what I’ve been studying for the last two years. There’s still a LOT to learn on the job but that just makes it more interesting. With that said, I do look forward to my days off. It’s a catch 22.

Right, back to today. I think I’m done with the computer for the day. I done some chores and I’ve read a little more of My book (I’ll blog about that one later).

Think it’s wine time and movie time.

SO FAR, SO GOOD

So, after a year of waiting, Ian finally got his surgery on Tuesday.
To say it was a long day is an understatement.
We were both told he would be back on the ward in about 3 hours and he actually arrived back on the ward 8 hours later!!

To say I was going a little crazy was an understatement.
Both of the guys who went to surgery after Ian, were back on the ward while I was waiting for Ian to get back.
Every time the Health Care Assistant, who was looking after the bay, walked in, she said, “not back yet then?”.

She’s lucky I didn’t launch her through the window!

I finally got home just after 9pm. Effectively, a 17 hour shift!
Anyway, Ian was discharged and I went to collect him at lunchtime yesterday.

Anyway, Ian was kept on oxygen all night because the nurse doing his observations kept putting his oxygen saturation monitor on the same hand they were doing the blood pressure on! and wondering why his oxygen saturation was dropping! DOH!! Anyway, a nurse with a head on her shoulders took over in the morning and Ian was discharged pretty quickly.

I got some funny looks from the nurse in the discharge lounge as I interrupted her while I read through Ian’s discharge letter. I had a few niggly questions, that to be completely honest, I couldn’t be arsed to ask. The main questions were answered and we took our opportunity to leave.

We are now in a waiting game.
He is really mobile and handling pain well. The most pain is from the obvious wound from the operation itself. They went in from the front, by his eosophagus, trachea and voice box to get to his spine at the back!!
It turns out that the reason he was so long in surgery is that he had lots of calcinated bone, due to his arthristis, that they needed to drill through.
Unfortunately, this may have aggravated the nerve that they were trying to release.
This meant that he woke up in excruciating pain with increased numbness, and his arm was shaking uncontrollably.

His follow up is now 6 weeks instead of 12 weeks and the surgeon is ‘hopeful’ that the numbness in his arm will subside.

Ian is actually really mobile and I have noticed a difference in his comfort level already. He just seems to be on a bit of a downer because of the numbness. I’m going to have to crack the whip a little to get him to progress.

I’m back at work for just a day tomorrow and I’m not too worried about leaving him. My Mum will be around to check on him and all three of our girls will be around throughout the day.

The worst part is now over and we are in the recovery stage. I just hope that the numbness starts to wear off or Ian will have a really negative reaction and be on a mega downer!!

Time will tell.