PAYPAL UPDATE

A couple of weeks ago, I stuffed up and fell for a scam.
It’s been a little stressful to say the least and we are still currently out of pocket by £579.

The good news is that the second lot of £600 that was being taken from our account via Paypal, never actually happened because they realised we already paid the money back and the account balanced itself out.

Yesterday, I received a call from the bank, telling us they had investigated the issue and taken it as far as they can. They are happy that we had nothing to do with the scam and that it wouldn’t affect our account and apparently we were now OK because we weren’t ‘out of pocket’!!

ERM!!! I responded by saying that actually, yes we were out of pocket, by £579. This is where is gets tricky.
I had to explain that we’d had to pay Paypal back the money after they had charged back the money to the original 3 payees when they opened up disputes after realising they had also been scammed. Those people were protected by Paypal.

This changed things a little bit.
The bank said that we shouldn’t have been made to pay that money back because we were victims too. She said we needed to go back to Paypal to get them to investigate and get in touch with our bank directly.

Anyway, Paypal still refused to budge because as everything had been ‘authorised’ by us, and we had withdrawn the funds already, there was nothing they were legally obliged to do, So I got back in touch with Nationwide who promised to send an e-mail to Paypal and send a copy to us in the post. They re-iterated that WE were victims too. We had been victims of what is called ‘an Authorised Pushed Payment Scam’

I later got another call from Nationwide, from a lady called Nicola in the fraud team who was really nice and very efficient. She read what she had sent to Paypal and reiterated that she would be sending it to us in the post also… BUT…. she also had some more news for us. She had also been in touch with the bank attached to the fraudsters account that we had unwittingly sent the money onto. They confirm that partial to full funds are still in that account. This meant that there is still a chance we could get some, if not all of our money back!!

WOOHOO!!

Nicola said that at this point she couldn’t confirm anything. There is still a chance we won’t get anything back, but at least now we have SOME chance at getting something back.

I am feeling a little happier with the situation.
Not happy that it happened.
Not happy that I fell for it in the first place.
Happy that we are now being listened to and have the bank on our side.
Disappointed at the lack of protection from Paypal for this kind of scam.

Lesson learnt….. the hard way!!

HOT, TIRED AND A LOT TO DO TODAY

The weather has been absolutely amazing the last few days.
I’m currently sat in the coolest room in the house at 8 am and it’s already 28.5 degrees.

I barely slept last night as it was just too hot and sticky, and then this morning we had lovely little thunder storm.
I’m not complaining though. It’s nice to finally have a good summer. The last couple of years have been a bit of a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ moment.
I’m just hoping it lasts for when me and Ian go off to London for a few days in just over a weeks time.

Anyway, after the thunder storm had started, there was no chance of a lay in, so here I am, sat on my computer with my morning cuppa and contemplating the day.

I have a lot to do today. It’s payday.
I’ve already paid the bills. I now need to do a big shop for food for the week, and then I have to nip into Milton Keynes with one of the kids because they want to check out the new Primark, and then I’m off out for a quick dinner with Ian and Murron before we head over to a pub Murron is gigging in tonight.

I have no weekend this weekend.
I will be working 2 x 12.5 hour shifts in a full uniform and on a stifling ward.

So I’m napping a quiet hour to myself now.

I’ve just had a look at Adam Driver’s IMDB page for an update on what he’s up to.
If I don’t include Star Wars in December, he has 3 more movies all due for release over the next year.

The Report
Adam plays Daniel Jones.

Adam Driver in The Report

It’s based on fact and set just after the 9/11 attacks.
Adam plays a senate staffer who undertakes building a report on any potential abnormalities in how the CIA interrogated terror suspects after Sept 11. He has to deal with millions of documents and takes 6 years to prove major discrepancies and acts of extreme brutality.

The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier in the year and has garnered some amazing reviews, with The Guardian stating that “Driver is a total natural with often difficult, demanding and intimidatingly wordy material and like the script, he’s similarly unflashy and unquestionably convincing as a man doggedly following through with his convictions with so many of his info-stuffed monologues deserving quiet applause.”

This one is due for release on September 20th here in the UK.

Marriage Story
Adam plays Charlie.

Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, and Azhy Robertson in Marriage Story (2019)

This one is in post production and is directed by Noah Baumbach.
It has been shrouded in mystery since it was announced and we have only just been given it’s official title and this first official image.

Starring Adam and Scarlett Johansson, it apparently follows a couple going through a divorce. That’s all the info we’ve been given so far!

It is having it’s premiere at the Venice film festival in September, but as yet there are no general release dates for anywhere else.

Annette
Adam plays Henry.

This film is in pre-production and actually sounds very different from Adam’s usual style of film.

There are no pictures yet and Adam’s co-star is Marion Cotillard.
The story is about a stand-up comedian and his opera singing wife, who have a 2 year old daughter with a surprising gift!

There is absolutely no more info than that and no idea of any kind of release date, but it sounds like an intriguing one!!

But of course, the film I am itchy to see at the moment is Star Wars.
The countdown on my blog site has been agonisingly slow and I’m trying not to think about it.
I want to savour this one.

Right, time to get cracking with some work.

THE CEMETERY ANGEL

I love the little discoveries that can be made when you get a quiet couple of hours.
I’ve had a busy couple of weeks, with a couple more until my next annual leave at the beginning of August.
The last two days, 12.5 hour shifts both days, have been incredibly busy, so today I am chillin’.
The sun is shining, the wine is chilling, the afternoon will be spent in the garden with a book.

Anyway, this morning’s discovery is an amazing lady called Ruth Coker Burks, who has the unusual nickname of ‘The Cemetery Angel’.

Image result for ruth coker burks

From Wikipedia and a few other blogs I’ve had a read through, this is what I discovered. I can tell you that her story brought me to tears!!

Ruth’s story started back in 1984 when she was visiting a friend in hospital. While there, she noticed a door that was sealed with red plastic and she noticed the nurses would pull straws to see who would go into the room to treat the patient. She discovered that this patient had GRID, or Gay Related Immune Deficiency, and what would later be known as AIDS. The nurses revealed that the patient had been there for weeks and had no visitors, so Ruth decided to meet the young man and discovered that he wanted to see his mother before he died.

Don’t cry…. don’t cry….. like I did reading about this!!

Anyway, Ruth contacted the young man’s mother who adamantly refused to see her son. She said he was a sinner and was already dead to her.
When Ruth went back to see the young man, he mistook her for his mother and Ruth didn’t have the heart to say otherwise, so she sat an held his hand and pretended to be his mother until he died 13 hours later.
She even arranged for a funeral home and a cremation for him when his family refused to claim his body. She then proceeded to spread his ashes on her own family’s plot.

After this encounter, Ruth continued to support others who needed help.
She would take them to appointments, help to obtain medications and also kept a supply of AIDS medications on hand as not all pharmacies would stock them. The word got out and she started to receive financial support from gay bars in Arkansas. Drag queens would do charity shows just to raise money for her to continue her work. During Clinton’s presidency, Burks was the White House consultant for AIDS education and when the patients she helped to look after started living past the national average life expectancy she caught the attention of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health who then sent researchers to investigate why.

Over the 30 years that she worked with them, Ruth cared for over 1000 AIDS victims and buried more than 40 of them at her own family’s plot when their families rejected them.

What an absolutely amazing achievement for a lifetime and that’s not even the sad part.
Get ready for this……..

How did history treat this amazing woman?

After social attitudes towards AIDS improved, Ruth settle in Florida and became a fishing guide and funeral director but in 2012 she suffered a stroke and she had to re-learn skills like feeding herself and how to talk. The stroke left her with memory loss and because health insurance would no longer cover her after her stroke, the decision was made to move back to Arkansas to be closer to her family.

In 2013, she advocated for three foster children who had been kicked out of school due to rumours that one might be HIV-positive and after she appeared on TV as an HIV advocate for the children, her community blackballed her!!
The funeral home she had previously worked at rescinded her standing job offer and other businesses refused to hire her.
Probably the most diabolical incident was when the local Walmart allegedly removed a chair she sat in after finding out she did work with HIV advocacy.

However, this still hasn’t stopped her.
In 2016, she was finally honoured at New York City’s Pride Week and she is currently working with others to create a memorial for victims of AIDS in Hot Springs with a plan to turn the Files Cemetery into a pilgrimage site for those affected by the AIDS crisis.
She continues to speak at various events and is currently working on writing a memoir of her life story which has sold to publishers and an, as yet untitled project’ about her is in development in hollywood.

What an incredible story!!
I for one, hope this makes it to film, because it is an astounding story of love and compassion and it is a story that needs to be told!

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.