Last meal

I’m just about to take the kittens’ food bowls away – they’re not allowed to eat after 8pm on the day before their operations. Monty is sitting on my lap at the moment, dozing. Treacle is asleep upstairs. And I still feel guilty about the whole thing.

Real people

At least when I call the vet, I get a real person on the end of the line who can give me direct and accurate answers to my questions – the result of which is that both kittens will be going in for surgery tomorrow and will emerge as slightly less cats than they are now.

Bank hell

I want to telephone my bank. The "contact us" section of their website doesn’t include any telephone numbers. However, by using their "search for your nearest branch" section, I find the central telephone number.
When I dial this number, I am presented with two options – press 1 for account holders, press 2 for non-account holders. Simple enough. I press 1. I am then asked for the number on my cashpoint card. OK. Then I’m asked for the first and fourth digits of my five digit passcode. My what?
So, I go back to the main menu in the hope that there is an option where I can actually speak to a person. No such luck. I can’t get access to the system without my passcode and I can’t speak to someone in order to request a passcode without access to the system.
Time to move bank?
UPDATE: I finally managed to get a person. It seems they have my old address. He can’t update my file because I need a telephone passcode due to security reasons. So I have to go to a branch. In the meantime, all my statements are going to the wrong address – how secure is that?
FURTHER UPDATE: I’ve just called our other bank, and they "can’t give any information today" because I’m not set up on their telephone system. This in spite of the fact that I’ve just answered umpteen questions that only I (or possibly Hels or my mum) would know – inside leg measurement, shoe size, number of hairs on my head, etc.
I’m brassed off. I just want to speak to someone who can do the things I need done!
EVEN FURTHER UPDATE: at least the mortgage people are normal and can do the things I ask. In future, the payment will go three days later and our credit rating will not be harmed – all done quickly and efficiently.


In a rather disturbing development, our wonderfully cute little black kitten has suddenly turned into a sex-crazed vamp. H and I nipped out for a quiet (although not very good) meal at a nearby pub (not our local – serves us right for being disloyal) last night (one of the very few times we have been out for dinner on our own since we got married) and when we got home (not too late) we discovered Treacle rolling around on her back, purring and chirruping, generally behaving like a small feline tart.
Monty, meanwhile, clearly believed that Christmas and his birthday had all arrived at once. Somewhat hastily, we prepared a duplicate set of litter tray, food and water bowls and set them in the spare room, rapidly followed by a writhing and rather excitable small black kitten. Teenage pregnancy would be somewhat undesirable, we concluded.
Since then, both cats have been pacing about in the respective confines, meowing and pining for the other. Treacle has assaulted the door on her chamber a couple of times, thus far without success.
I will be on the phone to the vet first thing tomorrow, placing an order for two sets of neutering.

Livid purple

I have a direct debit from my Barclays sole account to our NatWest joint account. My pay goes into my account on the 15th. The direct debit goes out on the 22nd. The mortgage goes out of our joint account on the 25th.

Because the 22nd fell on a Saturday this month, the payment was not processed until Monday the 24th. A check at my local Barclays branch cashpoint showed that the money actually left that day. When I went to the NatWest on the 25th, they said that it had still not been received. Apparently it takes three days.

Three days??? Why? Surely these things are all automated on a computer and all that happens is that a few 0s and 1s move along some wires (possibly more 0s than 1s in my case).
Where is the money in the meantime? It isn’t in my sole account and it isn’t in our joint account – so where is it? I consider it to be my money all the time, yet it is nowhere where I can find it.

Today we have received a letter from NatWest, telling us that we have been charged £35 because there were insufficient funds in our account to cover the mortgage payment. Furthermore, the mortgage payment has not been paid, which has probably had an adverse impact on our credit rating.

On Monday, I will be writing to both banks. I want the £35 back from one or other bank. I want the mortgage to be paid ASAP. I want any damage to our credit score to be rectified. I want assurances this will not happen again.

And I’m going to copy the letter to the local trading standards office and to the Consumers Association.