Tuesday, October 02, 2012


OK, I didn’t have the receipt and that was a fault – but I did have my bank book and the exact date on which I purchased the multi-function printer which had refused to print and that should have been sufficient.

I remember with real horror and not a small amount of guilt that I was once shown on a PC World computer the horrific extent of my spending in the store over the years.  I had not realized (it was that long ago!) that firms keep a computer record of what individual customers spend so that they can do their commercial version of Big Brother and show remarkable perspicacity in the way that they target you.

Every purchase that I had made on my cash card was listed in terrible detail.  I therefore expected MediaMarkt to be able to do exactly the same especially when I was able to give the full date etc of the purchase to allow them to find the individual item on their computer system without any problems.

Foolish boy as I was!  I was told that I had to go to the bank and get a stamped authentication of the printed statement in my bank book.  Why?  What in the name of the living god would that add to the information which was already before them?  Nothing.

However, if nothing else, I have learned not to expect to succeed in trying to circumvent Spanish bureaucracy, even when it rears its ugly head in a mere commercial outlet.

I duly went to the bank and emerged much later with a dun coloured photocopy with a stamp and a signature on it – the sort of sheet which makes the little Jobsworths in this country positively wet themselves with administrative ecstasy.

The offending part of the printer is to be sent back to Epsom and god alone knows how long that it going to take.  I mean I have been told that it will take fifteen days, but fifteen days in commercial terms can mean absolutely anything.

On the positive side my first tranche of Olympic stamps first day covers has arrived.  The Philatelic Bureau has taken a certain number of shortcuts to ensure that they have produced the stamps and covers.

The inner stiffening cards of the fdc’s are all the same, they have not taken the opportunity to print details of the individual gold medal winners which was a pity as I had decided to exhibit those together with the fdcs.  However, given the ridiculous time restraints that they had given themselves by printing the stamps to be available the day after the medal had been won, I do understand that they couldn’t do much more.

There are no names on the envelopes and the stamp is not an individual one but a six-stamp miniature sheet which I am sure made it much easier to produce fdcs in bulk.

My thoughts about the success or otherwise of this enterprise can wait until tomorrow as I am still evaluating the individual items.

I am now looking forward to the arrival of the Paralympic stamps which should not be too long in getting here.

As there is no real information in the filler cards I will probably put all the Olympic and Paralympic stamps together in one album.  We shall see.  I have considered getting information from the Internet and making up little biogs of the gold medal winners myself but that may be one geeky effort too far!

It was warm enough for me to lie out a little on the Third Floor this afternoon without feeling that I was doing something extraordinary.  I have noticed however that I am the only man (of my age) still wearing short-sleeved shirts, shorts and sandals!

Toni continues with his racking cough and I await the inevitable transmission of the virus to me.  With the vicious gloating of the ill, Toni snaps his head towards me every time I clear my throat and asks with the faux sympathy which never fails to irritate, “Cough?  Cold?  Sore throat?”

Given one of the symptoms of this perverse virus I feel like echoing the French knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and farting in his general direction!

Tomorrow a little whimsy of mine should be ready for collection.  Something that the visitors next year might wonder about if I can place it somewhere innocuous yet eventually noticeable.

The employment situation is getting more interesting by the minute with more people being involved and consultations taking place at the highest levels.  That is not strictly true but things are getting more, structured, shall I say and that is something which can have unexpected developments.  Watch this space.

My swim this morning was take with one other swimmer, a lady who has a determined crawl, but I am slightly quicker and so I am able to pace myself by giving myself a certain number of lengths to lap her.  There is another lady swimmer who sometimes is in the pool and I have to work like buggery to stop her lapping me.  And still she does.

My instinctive revulsion towards inchoate humans was in evidence yet again as my departure from the pool exactly coincided with the arrival of small noisy persons.  This is getting quite creepy as I do not get out of the pool at a set time because my arrival is not a fixed event.

The most disturbing aspect of swimming in the pool is the parking beneath the trees in the pseudo-car park which exists only during the working week.  Most of the spaces are fairly tightly constrained by the trees and the sometimes slightly inconsiderate parking of other people.  And yes that is meant to be ironic.

The lure of the Open University is beginning to beguile me again, especially as Toni will be doing an IT course in the New Year and I think that we could support each other in an attitude sense during our respective studies.

I have been thwarted in the exact course that I want to do, but there are other standalone courses that I can do while I wait for the one that I want.

Tomorrow I phone up again and find out if I can do a second level course as a stand alone, and if I can I will.

Education continues in one way or another.

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