Looking old and white of hair is not a good thing. Unlike Tony Blair, I do own a comb so at least I appear tidy, but doddery and easily confused I must appear to be as I have now joined the ranks of those who have been conned at a cash machine. The card disappeared and a helpful citizen suggested that to get it back I should put in another one. I protested that I did not have one and looked back at the machine. Nothing would come out. Sanity returned when I realised that the helpful citizen and his companion who had come out of nowhere disappeared.
I staggered into the adjacent garage shop explaining what had happened. I do have a banking app on my mobile so I called up my account and cancelled the card. As far as I could see, I got this done in time but just in case I took myself to the nearest branch of my bank to report what had happened.
This was not as easy as it seems because banks have been cutting down savagely on branches so it took about half an hour to reach it. The clerk there was helpful and sympathetic, checked out that the card had indeed been cancelled, promised a new one in a few days and said I had been defrauded so the cash would be returned. It looked as if I had killed the card in time but another look at my app and two amounts of £500 – the total allowed in one withdrawal – had gone.
The bank told me to report it to the police and get a crime number. After some searching online, I got the phone number to call and another sympathetic ear who passed me to the police fraud section. A statement was taken, I was given a crime number, an action fraud reference number and offered victim support help if I thought I needed it. I declined that. Because they took the money from a Sainsbury's Local ATM nearby moments after nicking it, the police asked the shop to keep the surveillance tape for the hour over which these events took place as this might help.
When I shared the whole sorry saga with a friend, she had also been a victim, knew all about what one had to do, and had crime reference numbers. I was not alone in falling into the trap – a consolation of sorts. In a way, it is one of the lockdown afflictions. One has little or no contact with people, exists in a bubble, and when someone bursts into it, you get flustered. The police said my age was what had attracted them. I think I had better get a haircut quick and lose those Tony Blair locks, combed or not. However, it will have to wait until I get my new debit card.
And just as I finished this, the phone rang – it was the lady from Amazon asking me to press one to talk to them. This plastic, no cash world is a dangerous one indeed.
My wee dog Daisy has a new hobby: 'cat spotting'. It is a fairly recent thing and when she sees a cat, particularly one which has noticed her from a distance, who then scarpers into the safety of its own or the nearest garden, her ears prick up and she strains forward on her harness in her eagerness to follow the path the cat has taken.
Last Friday, she took it to a new level and we had three full cat pursuits where she acted just as described. Two of these episodes led to face-offs with the wee cats, who firmly ensconced in their own hood, were being all gallus with their 'come ahead' if you think you can dissection of their foe. Daisy, completely unaware, innocently stood staring at them wistfully from the gate. You see, she is not a fighter. She instead thinks they might be new friends and I can assure you that in a 'square go' with a wee angry feline, my dog is destined to finish as runner-up.
We had another animal in our house prior to Daisy's introduction. Our lovely wee black and white cat, Alice. Sadly no longer with us, she lived to a good old age but never got used to what she saw as the big lump of a dog always chasing after her. With Daisy's arrival, her undoubted rule over the house was challenged (and by that I mean it was definitely not
). The innocent puppy that was Daisy was desperate to be friends with Alice. However, she was having none of it and a few well-timed scratches aimed in Daisy's direction was enough to let her know who was
and who would always be
the boss. No contest.
Another feline Daisy has courted to no avail is Mixu (Cataatelainen), my son Dominic's school friend and flatmate Christoff's house cat. Again, Daisy tries her best to entice him to play, only to be quickly and severely rebuffed by a screech, a spit and a well-timed sharp paw to the head. Maybe just as well they are in Glasgow and we are in Edinburgh.
Daisy is much more successful with people and has lots of human admirers and friends. One particular admirer is my old workmate, George, he who I regularly join in our walks around Edinburgh and its environs. The last time we met I was as late as usual, however, I knew all of his anger would dissipate when he saw her. So, as I rounded the corner to the park where he was waiting, I let her off the lead and she bounded forward. Promptly stopping at the feet of the guy standing next to (socially distanced, of course) my friend and looked up, pleadingly, into his eyes. Crestfallen for a minute, George recovered when realising that the chap was not going to share his piece with her, she promptly moved on to greet him.
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