Bits And Bobs

Jan Leeming

Shoreham 2007

Shoreham Airshow 2007
Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.



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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.


Date: 27th March 2011


Have just had an email from one of the nice folk who follow my meanderings asking if there was anything amiss as I haven’t written for a while. This is partly to do with the Cathedral Course which is totally absorbing – partly that I get so little feedback that I feel as though I’m wasting my time and partly because I’m brassed off with so many things at the moment. Here are just a few.

BT - for those of you who don’t live in the UK, this is what used to be called British Telecom and they are my Broadband Providers. I pay top whack to be with them and they offer a pretty lousy service. Twice since Christmas, my landline has been out of order for up to 5 days (they say they are short of engineers) and my Broadband goes down several times a day. When I can gird my loins and pluck up the staying power to phone – I get a call centre in India. Although the operatives are always polite, it is sometimes difficult to understand them because they are heavily accented. Last time I was assured that there was a fault at the exchange and it would be rectified and this polite gentleman would give me a call back within three days (actually by 11.00 am last Friday) to see if everything was OK. Needless to say, he didn’t phone me and the Broadband is still dropping out. I wouldn’t mind so much but so many emails are not getting to their destination that the whole thing has got past a joke.

I also get very annoyed that we have so many millions out of work here and yet large Companies are allowed quite legally to outsource to a country where they can pay the workers less, make more profit, and give we the consumers a third rate service and you try to complain to a person – or ask for a refund – forget it.

It doesn’t make sense to me that as taxpayers we are subsidising the benefits for many of the unemployed who might like to be doing a job – and don’t tell me that some of the unemployed graduates are not able to man a call centre.

AMAZON- I’ve just got a new computer – have gone back to a desktop and am giving my Apple Laptop to my son. I needed a bigger hard-drive and went on to Amazon for what was required. There it was and it said – Free Delivery – so I went through the stages and got to the end only to find that they wanted to charge me over £8 for the delivery. This is not the first time I’ve encountered this with Amazon. I’ve ordered books which offered free delivery but have ended up paying for it. I did wonder if I’d misread the details but I had my trusty Computer expert with me and he too agreed that this is an Amazon trick.

So I cancelled the order, ordered the same thing from and am getting the equipment for the same price with free delivery. I’d like to complain or at least get an explanation from Amazon but like so many sites on the Internet, you can’t get to a phone number and deal with a person. (And if you can find a phone number, you be you’ll have a twenty minute wait to be answered) And if you do manage to send off an email, you get a reply telling you that this will be dealt with but that it is a ‘no reply’ email. I just get so frustrated.


I wanted to get a special outfit for the Battle of Britain Memorial Day and went to a couple of good shops in Canterbury. Having been a size 10 for as long as I can remember, the 10’s were too big. I had read that, like the States, clothing manufacturers were re-sizing their clothes to accommodate the bigger woman. Sorry, to me that’s ‘Kiddology’ so a size 16 can say they bought a size 14! I remember years ago when in Atlanta, I spied a beautiful outfit in a shop window and went in to enquire if they had it in my size. On telling the assistant that I was a 10 – she replied ‘Oh No Ma’am – you’re a 4” and indeed in American size-ology I was a 4. It’s is like some American stars declaring they are size 10’s when they are certainly not an English 10.

Having said this, I found a gorgeous outfit in Hobbs but the 10’s were too big and they had no 8’s. In the good old days they’d have phoned up some central buying department and would either have been able to furnish you with the size required – maybe brought in from another branch – or they’d have run out. The delightful Manager, who couldn’t have been more helpful, told me I’d have to go on the Internet and see if the outfit was available there. Now, for a start, I don’t really like using the Internet for shopping unless there’s no alternative, and secondly, what if I hadn’t a computer or the Internet!!

We are being pushed more and more to impersonal shopping, impersonal services, and a world where we might as well be run by robots. If the computer doesn’t like you or your information – because there are shades of grey in your answers – then you are a non-person and you can’t go any further to deal with a real person. And all this at a time when we are facing massive unemployment.

Yes I’m a Grumpy Old Woman and getting more so by the month. I’m so glad I was born when I was. I think we had the Best of Times (that’s a song and I can’t think from which show).


I’ve resisted Facebook – didn’t think it necessary and I have my own website anyway. But I’m beginning to think I’d get more response from Facebook.

Sorry to have had a grumble. I’ll try and find time to write more about Canterbury Cathedral – it is such an amazingly historic, fascinating and wonderful place.

Bye for now, Jan

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