Tag Archives: banks

An Early Start

Well, not early for a farmer, but anything before 10 am is early for me on a Sunday. I’ve made a few notes about what I want to do for the rest of the day and have sent an email to one of my cousins  My patchy family history research, though deficient in many ways, seems to have contained a piece she needed to fill a gap. She, in turn, was able to correct something my dad told me. He was an extraordinary man, I know this because a journalist said it in a newspaper article about him, and we quoted it for years after. He wasn’t, however, a very reliable source of family history as his memories were often close to reality without actually being accurate.

I’m going to write my self-imposed minimum 250 words now and then get on with my list of thigs to do. It’s not that I don’t love all my readers, it’s just that when I get a good run of inspiration going I don’t love anything as much as getting it all down on paper. I have twelve notes made overnight and I need to get them fleshed out before they melt away. There is little so sad as a ghost of an idea, when you remember you had a brilliant idea, and thought of a great opening line, and find that it has slipped away as you came downstairs.

I now need fifteen words to finish off. It can be tricky when writing this sort of post – enough to show I’m still alive, but not enough to divert me. Expect me back later today when I need a change of pace.

Pictures are from our recent trip to Southwold, which was in the headlines this week – it will soon have no bank in town.  This is part of a growing trend towards removing cash from society and making us all vulnerable to internet fraud. Cash is a security issue for banks. So is computer fraud, but they can make that our problem with a few subtle alterations to their terms and conditions.

More beach huts at Southwold



Stuck for a Subject

I’m stuck for subjects to write about tonight. I had a head crammed full of subjects last night, but fell asleep in front of TV, When I woke up I was cold and stiff and in no mood for writing, so I crawled up to bed. Twenty four hours later they don’t seem as interesting.

We have had quite a lot of magpies this year and they seem to be more playful than usual, though I’m not sure that this is a scientific observation, as being playful through the whole year doesn’t seem li9ke it would have much survival value and I’m probably misreading their behaviour.

The Nigel Farage story continues to develop. His bank, which turns out to be Coutts, claims that it closed his account as he no longer had enough money to meet their parameters, and offered him n account with another bank in the group. Other customers with Coutts claim they have less than the required wealth and have been allowed to keep their accounts. The story becomes more murky as the days go on.

I was interested to notice that the bank was fined for failing in its duties to check for money-laundering in 2012. They have, I’m sure, tightened things up, but it is interesting to see that until quite recently major banks have been allowing large depositors to get away without the same checks I had to go through a couple of months ago.

I am tempted to move on to the evils of modern banking for a few paragraphs but I’ll not subject you to that. Time to move on and look for some new subjects. Anyway, it’s time for bed.


Zimbabwe Hyper-inflation Money

Phones, Groceries, Politicians . . .

Sorry, fell asleep instead of posting.

The phone is not exactly growing on me, but we are settling into a sort of neutrality. I don’t like it. It clearly isn’t bothered what I think. Together we can make calls and send texts.

It also appears to have connected itself to something as i could follow a link from a text ASDA sent. The link told me that my delivery was on its way and had 14 stops to make before it arrived. This information was, like a lot of stuff on the web, useless. All I want to know is that it will be on time. Nothing else really matters. I can work to an hour slot, all else is more than I need to know.

When it arrived the bread rolls were crushed. I want packers who can pack. I don’t need to know there re 14 stops between me and my crushed bread rolls.

I see that Nigel Farage has been denied service by his bank, and that this is a growing trend. Farage is a boil on the bottom of democracy in my opinion. He found a policy, ran with it and milked it. He has produced a career from nothing and is, in my opinion, no better than a politically based reality TV star, or internet influencer. They, as you know, are not my favourite people.

However, I don’t think that means that banks have the right to make moral judgements about their customers. They don’t seem to make judgements about their hugely wealthy criminal and despotic customers, so why have a go at Farage? Anyway, once you get into politics and morals, how long before they start sacking their own executives for being devoid of morals, ethics and basic humanity? It’s a slippery slope . . .

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 many  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.


Catching Up

I got home last night to find two letters. One was from South Yorkshire Constabulary telling me that I am to have penalty points and a fine for my speeding offence, so I don’t know why they even bothered to mention the safe driving course in their original letter.

I’m extremely annoyed with myself, as I’ve been up and down that stretch of road hundreds of times with no problem. I’ve travelled hundreds of thousands of miles for business and, except for a bit of bother in 1977, I’ve had a clean driving record. A moment’s lack of attention and it’s cost me £100, three points and, no doubt, hassle with the insurance company.

I may well have to write to the Chief Constable and express my disappointment at not being allowed to go on the course.

After opening that letter I opened one from my bank. They say they haven’t heard from me and will start to restrict my access to my money if I don’t contact them to renew my contact details.

So, I rang, and it’s possible I was a little brusque. The original person who took my call palmed me off on somebody else who clearly didn’t want to hear from me, didn’t know what was going on and was happy to confirm that after a telephone call I’d made last month had provided all the information currently being demanded. I may have to issue a sharp rebuke to head office.

Of course, I never actually get round to writing any of these letters…

Finally, we went to visit Julia’s niece in hospital. She has just had a baby and I am now a great-uncle. This is a description of our relationship, not the quality of my uncleship, as I’m a very mediocre uncle at best.

At least the day ended on a high. Babies are very uplifting, particularly when you can give them back and go home.

Today’s photograph is from our Wednesday visit to Carsington Water, which I still need to write about, so the title of his post might be a trifle optimistic.