Day 194

On my return home I approached the teasel with camera in hand, trying to stalk a bee. We haven’t had many this year and photo opportunities have been rare. As I approached the plants, a breeze appeared and started to move the seed heads around (I swear this happens almost every time I try photography in the garden).

Then the bee flew away.

I did mange to get a few shots in the end but the flowers are looking a bit ragged already (not helped by the fact the bees seem to be plucking bits out of them) and the bees aren’t posing properly.

Bee and Teasel

Different Bee and Teasel

I’ve been wrestling with the International Banking System this week, trying to send money to Canada. It starts with ringing the bank and finding they are busy. Around ten minutes later you get through to a human, having been driven close to the edge by tinny music and a recorded condescending man telling you they are busy but will be with you soon. An oleaginous professional liar working for a bank? Whatever next?

Second stage, answering stupid questions. The stupidest two are “Are you being put under duress to make this payment?” and “Has anyone asked you to lie to us about this transaction?” Not sure how manyย  cases of duress and lying the average banker comes across, but I’m sure these cunningly phrased question strike fear into the hearts of fraudsters everywhere. I wonder how many criminal masterminds lie, gazing through bars to the sky, and think to themselves “I wish I’d answered “no” to that second question.”

Then they ask me about account numbers, I find I don’t have all the information, email Number Two Son for the right information and then start all over again. Twice so far.

Photos are bees on teasel. Or sometimes just teasel.


18 thoughts on “Day 194

  1. tootlepedal

    The cynical might get the impression that the security questions are designed to cover the bank’s back rather than lay bare the wickedness of man. On the other hand if it was really easy for someone to get into our account and swipe our money, we might complain about that too. What is need is fewer crooks and more call answerers. That seems simple enough.

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      Nearly as bad a sthe questionnaire i had to fill in on a plane to South Africa – are you carrying illegal drugs or explosives? Now, let me think . . .

  2. Helen

    I’d never actually knowingly seen a teasel before today. And they are purple! How beautiful.

    HMRC can be equally frustrating.

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      Yes, they can. That’s why I never ring them.

      Never seen a teasel? You poor thing. Even if it’s just the dry seed heads they are one of nature’s most wondrous sights!

      However, tricky to have in your garden. A bit to vigorous, and a bit too spiky. But great for working with cloth.

      1. Helen

        Now, I had recently heard about there use in cloth production.

        It was specifically when they are in bloom I don’t recall seeing. Do you think the spikes might put cats off visiting my garden?

      2. quercuscommunity Post author

        I put cats off our garden by sprinkling cuttings from hawthorn hedges on a ll the smooth bits they used to use as toilets. I imagine teasel will do the same job. But beware! It was only about five years ago we had no teasel – we brought some dead heads home from a walk to use in a flower arrangement and two years later noticed some plants where w had put the heads down as we unlocked the front door. A few fallen seeds produced the twenty various plants we now have. It would probably be a forest of teasel if it weren’t for the large scale weeding we have done!

  3. Lavinia Ross

    I have taken my share of photos of “phantom bees” who fly off just as the shutter clicks. ๐Ÿ™‚

    VRU systems for businesses are both a blessing and a curse. I have sometimes been on hold for almost 2 hours. Fortunately, not too often. It is far more difficult to get a live human these days.

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      Yes, I’m sure that bees and butterflies can sense the autofocus. They should pay us for using the phone – they would soon answer if it was costing them money.


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