As we will … 🌏

As we will be a whole year in Italy there are some clothes that we didn’t want to go into storage, particularly the winter wear. So Sarah packed 3 smallish boxes after sucking the air out of vacuum packs. I think she could have done this without assistance, but actually did use the Dyson. They cannot weigh more than 30 Kg so the way we weighed, as per the instructions, is for Sarah to stand on the scales, we read the weight, I pass the box to Sarah and then read the new weight. You got it  … the difference is the weight of the box. Easy. After a small mountain of Customs paperwork the boxes were collected on Wednesday and are now on their way to Bournemouth.

On Thursday I moved the 2 seater sofa up from the garage and took some small bits of furniture down to the storage cage as we have decided to ship them. The rest of the big furniture we will sell. As it is the first “Open Home”on Saturday we thought we could showcase the furniture that we want to sell to prospective renters. We want to manage this carefully so that things don’t go too quickly and we end up sitting on the floor with no TV.

With 4 weeks to go I had diarised the simple tasks of starting to close accounts and give notice to Optus for the phones/wifi, Foxtel (Pay-tv) and EnergyAustralia (electric/gas) etc. A simple task I thought. I had been dreading talking to Optus, or should I say some 15 year old based in a Philippines Call Centre. Well, they sound like they should be at school! We will have to pay-out the contract on the mobiles, but I wanted to get a credit for some poor advice they gave me some months ago. Basically, instead of advising that I share unused data across all our devices, the consultant suggested an additional data product which was poor advice. So I told them and am now awaiting the outcome of an investigation. Mmm.

I knew that dealing with these faceless people would put me in heart attack territory. I have been calming myself for months working up to this event … and … well … failed miserably. I hate myself for thinking that things were not always so hard, because then I’m thinking like an old person. I guess younger people are used to the terrible way customer service is conducted today … in the age of customer service!

And so, with reluctance I moved on to the next supplier, Foxtel. There is every service you heart desires on the website, except disconnection, requiring a phone call. I phoned and all was going well until they asked if Sarah was there with me? Surprisingly, she was at work and I relayed this to the person on the phone, wondering what the hell it had to do with him. After an exchange of words it transpired that we both have to give approval to close a pay-tv account. By this time I could start to feel my heart racing and my leg bouncing. It was time to put the phone down gracefully and pass this on to a greater power.

And so it was The Sarah made a call to Foxtel to confirm the cancellation. But giving a months notice isn’t enough anymore. You have to give a months notice on the anniversary of your payment schedule and when you ask to speak to someone in authority they just dont help and they just don’t care. The only advice Sarah received was to make a complaint on the website. Thanks Foxtel.

EnergyAustralia were next and now you have to pay for them to come out and read the metre. Can’t we do this ourselves ? No. Thanks EnergyAustralia!

We have some points on our Amex card that can be converted to cash and so I tried to do this online. You complete a form press next and … takes you to a page that you don’t want, like the thing you want to do just falls into a black hole. I tried several times. Even the greater power had no luck. If you want to make contact with an actual person it will cost you 2500 points. Thanks American Express!

Thankyou all for your customer service!

On a lighter note we caught up with friends this morning for breakfast at Trio Cafe in Bondi. A favourite haunt for Lexi as she just lives round the corner. The adventure wasn’t the breakfast though, it was how I got there. Riding pillion on the back of Sarah’s scooter. Now, with my motorbike and the car sold, this is our only item of transport. I had already sold 2 crash helmets and sensibly saved an old one for such an occasion.

The last time I was on the back of a scooter was when I was about 7 years old and had been suffering with an abscess under my tooth. The pain was bad and to take my mind off it Dad took me out on his Lambretta. As it happened the rush of air into my mouth as we went along Barrack Road from Bournemouth to Christchurch soothed the pain. Until I managed to get to the dentist I would plead with Dad to take me out for a ride. Of course I was much smaller than I am now. I actually can’t remember if I wore a crash helmet. I’m thinking no because it wasn’t mandatory in those days and the adult size wouldn’t have fit. I just sat on the back and leaned into Dad, holding on very tight. It was like holding on to a sense of security and warmth. I didn’t know where we were going, I  was too small to see past Dad and I didn’t really care.

Looking at a photo of Dad during his army days, sat on a motorbike, I go beyond the normal thoughts of the picture. Now I wonder what was going on in his mind and in his life. What was he doing an hour prior to the picture being take. What did he do the next day … and then realise that I only knew a fragment of his life.

1946 john020.jpg

Some decades later getting on the Piaggio was a somewhat different feeling. First of all I had this slight waist to hold and I realised that the pillion seat was raised. This meant that I could see straight over Sarah’s head. I could also see the oncoming obstacles and potential accidents. All with no control of the situation. A strange place to be .. in my head anyway .. which is a strange place!

Needless to say to Bondi Beach and back went effortlessly. The timing was good too as “Elvis”… the number plate is “LVC 58” will have to be sold in a few weeks time. This will be a sad occasion as Sarah loves her scooter. I’m sure Elvis wont be the last.

Until next time … 🌏

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