Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tagged!

I got tagged by Mousie, so as promised this is my response.

Four Childhood Books

Children of Greene Knowe by Lucy M Boston. I loved the descriptions of the magical, yet realistic manor house. To this day I still have a thing about peacock cries. There were 6 in the series, I think I've probably read 4 of them.

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss. I love Dr Seuss, the humour, the word play and the zany illustrations. This was one of the books that my mum and I used to read together and if I'd borrow it from the school library, if I thought she needed perking up. I'm also rather fond of his Dr Seuss' ABC.

My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara. I was horse mad while I was growing up, but was never allowed to take up riding, so I compensated with reading lots of horsey books. This was my favourite series. I could really understand the familial tension and I loved the fact that the horses were always horses, not cutesy Disney animals or like Black Beauty.

Famous Five by Enid Blyton. I know it's not terribly correct, to like Enid Blyton, but she told marvelous stories about the 5 friends and the adventures they had. For someone without close friends living in the tropics, this was all very exotic.

Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene. Though I also loved the Hardy Boys and Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Detectives. I do like a good mystery and they were brilliant romps.

Damn. I can't count!

Four Authors I'll read Again and Again.

David Gemmell. Bring on the Hero fiction. Tales of brawny, moody men, powerful women, sword fights, good agains evil, sorcery, love and loss. The world has lost one of it's finest fantasy writers.

Gerald Durrell. He combined travel writing with conservation, writing about people and the animals he collected with compassion and humour. I never got to go to his zoo in Jersey while he was alive, I will go. One day.

Minette Walters. Writes amazing thrillers. Has written a couple duds, but her duds are still head and shoulders above most.

Isabel Allende. An amazing talent for magical realism, damn good stories, amazing characters.

Four Authors I'll Never Read Again.

Dan Brown. Writes eye-wateringly bad prose, his books have one plot and that he nicks...sorry researches from other people.

Mo Hayden. Gratuitous violence against women. Unspeakably awful.

Kate Mosse. You read right and it's not the model. I was given Labyrinth by a friend and asked not to return it. A couple of months later, another friend gave me her copy under the same terms, she drove off with me running after her waving the book. I've never got further than page 2.

John Fowles. Pompous ass.

The First Four on My to-be Read List.

Troy: fall of Kings - David Gemmell.

The Mission Song - the new John Le Carre novel.

Castle of Crossed Destinies - Italo Calvino.

The New York Trilogy - Paul Auster.

Four Books I'd Take to a Desert Island.

To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee.

My Family and Other Animals - Gerald Durrell.

The Constant Gardner - John Le Carre.

The Devil's Feather - Minette Walters.

To share the love, I'll tag: ing, Hottie, Gertie and Britswitch.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Adventures with Contact Lenses

I am quite short-sighted: -8 in one eye and -9 in another. Which if you're in the know, means glasses, even the super-expensive, thin ones, look like coke bottle bottoms. I've been wearing contact lenses since I was 15 and I've had various fun and games with them over the years, mostly titled: Hunt the Contact Lens.

About 4 years ago I changed opticians and I was introduced to the joys of gas permeable lenses that I could sleep in. Basically, it gives me perfect vision for 30 days of the month; I'm supposed to take them out 1 night a month, but I'm a bit haphazard with these things. You have no idea how wonderful it is to be able to wake up in the morning and everything is in focus. To be able to go to bed without having to muck about with fluids, containers and iddy biddy bits of plastic.

Contact lenses are a wonderous thing: as long as they stay put.

They do have a nasty habit of popping out at the most inopportune times. If I've rubbed my eyes, or something has made me blink suddenly, if they're a bit dry: they just leap out and head for the hills. It leaves me only able to see out of one eye while I gingerly pat the floor looking for the escapee. Sometimes a contact lens will decide that it's tired of hanging around my cornea and go for a walk around the white of my eye. That's just painful and it takes a bit of poking about to extract it.

Last night, I wake up at about 3.30am. It's dark, the cat is pinning my legs down in her usual fashion, I'm gratefull she's actually let me have half an inch of bed and a square of duvet. As I consider rolling over and going back to sleep, I realise when I look at the clock, things are a bit more fuzzy than usual. A fuzziness which is resolved as soon as I close one eye.

Shit.

I tentatively extract myself, risky business in itself. The lens could be anywhere: clinging to my pjs, hiding in my hair, lurking in the duvet. I envisage having to wake Boy up to play Hunt the Lens, at which he excels, having a life-time of experience of searching the floor for shiny scales. I think he's going to be such a fabulous boyfriend/husband when the time comes. He knows about answering insecure womens' questions 'of course your bum doesn't look big in that; but I did prefer the other trousers', he knows when to give hugs, chocolate and coffee depending on the mood/time of the month, and he likes hanging out with foul-mouthed women.

I switch the bathroom light on and stand there squinting and swearing until my eyes adjust. I then try and peer into a mirror to see if I can find said lens. This is made more difficult since my eyes are now watering because they really don't want to be open and exposed to so much light at that stupid time of the morning. When I finally spot the lens, trying to disappear round my eyeball, I fish it out. Unfortunately, it takes a running jump. Years of practice has me holding my breath to see if I can hear the damn thing hit the wooden floor. Did I mention the mirror is balance on the top of my toilet cistern and the loo seat is up? Thankfully, I hear it hit the floor and then spend ten minutes patting the floor, muttering under my breath. I did find it eventually. I was so disgusted with it, I took the other one out, cleaned and left them soaking while I went back to bed.

Needless to say I was awake for a good hour after my adventure. At least the clocks went back last night.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Downtime

Rather than go on about work: frantic run up to Christmas, still no idea what's going on, or how I'm supposed to sort out paperwork, managing not to swing for bean counters who are jumped up jobsworthies. I thought I'd share our weekend away.

The Viking took me to Cardiff to see The Police. Yes, you read right. I went to The Police gig, with a policeman. See, I am keeping my sense of humour. We dashed out of Norwich after my day at college, though that soon turned to 'crawled', as we made our way round the M25 in rush hour traffic. We ended up staying in a small hotel in Cardiff Gates on the edge of a business estate.There were two disadvantages to chosing this hotel, though by the time my Viking booked the hotel, there wasn't much of a choice as 45,000 other people wanted to be there too. First, Cardiff wasn't easily accessibly. When the Viking rang up he was assured that there was a bus that ran not far from the hotel, I immediately thought - goodie. It turns out that the bus stop was a half-an hour walk away. We decided to take a taxi into town instead, far quicker. The Second, and most heinious of all: the hotel was drier than the Salt Lake Desert. There was no bar, no pub, no drinkies to be had at all! Bloody shocking I tell you. Yes, I did make my displeasure know. It's not that I'm a lush (she says typing as she sips a glass of something naughty), it was the principle of the thing. We were away for an off-white weekend (as opposed to dirty, because we had to come back on the Saturday), we should have been able to indulge in a little tipple, or three; damn it. I won't complain too much as the hotel room was clean and spacious, the breakfast not too bad at all, the staff smiled, and meant it.

Cardiff is a sneaky city. I didn't fall in love with it, the way I fell for Dublin, it kind of crept up on me, charming me with endearments and knowing smiles. The Viking wanted to do the Millenium thing by Cardiff Bay, where Torchwood is filmed, I wanted to do Cardiff Castle. So we started with the Millenium thing. It was a glorious day, really bright, but with just enough of a bite in the air to let you know it's Winter. I loved the towering water-feature opposite the massive Millenium Centre and took several arty shots of the Viking and I cuddled up in front. Cardiff Bay seems to be home to every chain except Wagamamas, which seemed a bit sad really, especially since I really fancied some chain noodles. The Bay was like glass and unfortunately we missed the chance to grab a water taxi to the Millenium Stadium, by 10 minutes. We popped into the Dr Who exhibition and got Hottie her very own sonic screwdriver and then made our way to the Castle by train.

The Castle was great. We took a tour round the Victorian House which really was designed and paid for by two men who had more money than taste. Hand on heart you couldn't even call them Chavs, because the family were really OLD money. But goodness. There were rooms painted in genuine gold leaf, with marble, carved wood, crystals, quite a few astrological symbols and a painted devil. I loved it; though I'm glad I didn't have to live in it, as I'm sure it would be a complete bugger to heat in the winter and I do like to keep warm. The guide was brilliant, knew his stuff and had a great sense of humour. By the way, if you'd like to rent the banquetting hall for a function, it'll only set you back £500 an hour, and be assured food and service is extra. After the tour we went into the Keep, Viking leaping and bounding, me following very tentatively. I don't like heights and rickety wooden stairs.

By the time we were chucked out of there I was ready for a drink and we talked about heading over to the Millenium Stadium to the gig. Doors opened at 16.30, but as we had named, nosebleed seats, we didn't feel like hurrying to just wait around. I was quite enthralled by the local constabulary, much to my boyfriend's amusement. What can I say? I do like a man in uniform. Though not paramedics, sorry Tom, it's just the nasty green polyester doesn't do it for me. After squeezing into a local hostelry I finally got my drink. It was worth the wait.

Then we trooped off to the gig. The crowd was ever so good natured. We had a laugh with the door staff and with the people who sat around us. The seats really were nosebleed, but thanks to the big screen, we did actually see Sting and the lads. The set was great. All the favourite old hits and some that I didn't know as well. Sting's voice was on form again and he looked and sounded fantastic. I realise I really am getting old. When Don't Stand So Close to Me came out, I was just getting into music, I was younger than Rowan is now. One thing is for certain, Sting is aging better than I. He looks amazing; and all by the power of yoga, if he is to be believed. Maybe I ought to get out a yoga dvd? It was a brilliant night, I had loads of fun bopping and singing along. There's just something about a live gig, that beats a cd or the dvd footage. I suppose it's the atmosphere, the crowd singing and dancing along, the musicians' banter between themselves and the crowd.

The next day we left Cardiff and headed back to Norwich, but on a magical mystery tour. It was my first time in Wales and the countryside was shown to it's best in the bright winter sunshine. My Viking wouldn't tell me where we were going, we just drove. After driving for over an hour and a half, he asked me if I'd figured out where we were going yet. I just shook my head; I didn't have a clue. Next minute I know we pull into Hay-on-Wye. To my shame, I was completely ignorant of this town's existence, but the few hours we spent trolling through the craft and book shops, I know I definitely want to go back. But next time, I want to have lots more money to spend. The books! The fabulous books. I was so good up until the last book shop. I managed to put back the thrillers, the horrors and romance, I did get an amazing mug, but I was really, really good. If I bought the stuff that I saw and wanted, I'd be eating beans and doing over-time for the rest of the year. But then, the last book shop we went into, I got caught. I just wanted a reader in media studies, that's all. I came out with about 10 books ranging from academic to Dennis Weatley. *sigh*. I didn't dare go into the poetry bookshop.

I had such a good time away, it was just what I needed, to look at different countryside and different sights. And as I sit here typing, with an empty glass and half of my sundried tomatoe-stuffed olives, I realise that home isn't too bad either. Even if it is just me and the cat this half-term.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Burma Petition

It's Monday, with it's usual stuff.

For some people however, life is a bit more tightrope than juggling work, household maintenance and keeping primary relationships together. For some, there is the knock on the door in the middle of the night. For some there is no opportunity to moan about government targets in the relative safety of the internet.

Twining is once again our conscience. Many thanks for his raising awareness on the issue. Please sign this petition to support the monks and peoples of Burma.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday, Sunday

This was one of the last weekends Boy and I have together before the madness of Christmas takes over and I wanted to make the most of it. We had company yesterday Bear and his lovely missus came over. We caught up over coffee, ciabattas stuffed with cheese, ham and salad and put the world to rights, lubricated by some fabulous elderberry wine from Scotland. It was lovely just being able to relax with good company and good food.

Today, Boy and I went for a walk. We started off with a hearty English breakfast at my favourite greasy spoon and then we headed off to UEA on foot, through the Avenues, and round about a council estate called South Park (I kid you not) until we finally fell over the university. It was a nostalgic meander, one which called up both good and sad memories. At UEA, Boy bought me a coke and we sat out and watched the world go by before we trouped around the body of water known as the Broad. We caught the bus back.

I'm still having difficulty with the thought that in 4 years time Boy will basically leave home. If he pursues his dream of becoming a vet, it means he'll be studying for 9 months of the year, with 3 months as work placement. Yes, I know he will come visit and vice versa. But he'll be setting out into the world as a man. I suppose it's a scary thought, simply because he'll be off, and I have no idea what I'll be doing with myself. Will I be writing? Will I be employed? Will I be a famous artist? Will I be on my own? With someone else? Will I still even be in Norwich, or England?

The scary thing is I don't even know how to go about answering those questions now. I'm just putting one foot in front of the other at the moment, moving steadily towards the day when I'll be a single-parent without my child. It's a pre-cursor to the Empty-Nest Syndrome I suppose. I'm not comfortable with the uncertainty, but as scary as it is, it's also exciting. Boy is going to be a Man. When he leaves home, it'll be the first time that I will experience life without the responsibility of another human being. Though apparently, I get to keep the cat. Joy. While we were walking and chatting, he said he didn't particularly want to drag her all over the country with him. So she has officially become mine. Just as well really.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Figue Amere

Today was an improvement on yesterday, so it's safe for you to continue reading this. I had a long pamper session last night and an early night and it certainly was a good cure for my miseries. Work continues to be dogged by staff shortages caused by sickness, as the bug I got last week, continues its rounds. I was once again in the SkinSpa area, next to lovely smelly things. Before you nag, yes, I was good and did manage not to buy anything today.

Besides, I didn't need to do any retail therapy, I had my fabulous bottle of Geranium Bourbon waiting for me. I had to have another pamper session when I got home tonight, just so I could put it on. But I was a bit daring today. I tried Miller Harris' Figue Amere. If I remember correctly, Lyn Harris was walking down an exotic beach and she passed someone eating figs, so she recreated the moment in Figue Amere. It isn't a sweet fig fragrance like Hermes Un Jardin en Mediterranee, it's more salty with a dark chocoloate drydown, which just made me feel edible all day.

I found an amazing French blogger, who is a perfume historian, the link is to the left under Nose that Knows, and he discusses formulae, ingredients and the development of the hard core of the perfume world. He talks with passion and enthusiasm about these old perfumes, which is great to read, I've learnt quite a lot visiting his blog. But one of the things that struck me about the perfume world of the hard core of Chanel, Dior, Estee Lauder, Lanvin, Guerlin etc, is that the fragrances are designed to order. So one perfumer wanted to design fragrances to match a woman's moods. Mme Chanel, didn't really create No 5, she had perfumers and apparently there is some controversy as to how she got the formula. NB. Don't quote me on the history, I'm still learning and my details may be dodgy.

Whereas the female perfumers, within small perfume houses create fragrances from moments or for loved ones. Annick Goutal, whose fragrances are also exclusive to our department store, created Grand Amour, after her second husband bought home a huge bouquet to celebrate an anniversary. How amazing is that? Lyn Harris' fragrances all come with a story: a walk in a spring-time wood, a walk on a beach. They just seem more personal somehow.

Of course there are male perfumers who create fragrances from moments as well. Creed launched their Virgin Island Water after a sailing trip round the Virgin Islands and that really does smell like a tropical holiday. Creed are a small family business who have been creating fragrances for Kings, Princes of the Realm, movie stars for hundreds of years. They are rather special.

Perhaps that's the difference. Rather than the celebrity of the moment wanting to convince their army of teeny-bopper fans to part with more cash, or a large fashion house thinking 'hmmm...what will we do for Spring 2009?'. These perfumers create from their moments of pleasure, their passions. It shows. Yummy.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Meltdown

The next time someone says 'it can't get any worse', just kick them and say it's from me.

Today, I had a meltdown at work. I got into work on time, I was looking forward to being back and getting stuck in...and then I had to sort out my diary until Christmas. I've agreed to take on extra days for the festive period and both me and my colleague who was trying to sort it out got more and more stressed. The only way I can take on the extra days is if I work 5 days a week. Not a problem, especially when I finish college in the second week in December. But it's a huge problem in November and October, especially since I've got a day every week at college. Somehow I've got to get it together to do my 5 days, my day at college and do homework and paperwork for both, keep my household running and maintain relationships with my Boy and my Viking. Which, at the moment, it looks like I can book time off to spend with them in 2008...no I'm not kidding.

On my break I called Gee and howled down the phone at her. Bless her, despite her own committments she's agreed to keep an eye on us and make sure we're occasionally fed. I then rang my Viking to see what his plans are for Christmas (he's working, of course) and howled down the phone to him. I then sniffed, mopped and went back to the shop floor whereby my colleague, let's call her Janie, looked at me, asked 'are you alright?' and I promptly lost it.

How professional am I? I got led to my manager's office and bearing in mind that this is the 2nd day I've met her (we've had a re-structure last week) and cried for half an hour on her shoulder. Oh boy. We've agreed that I will only take on what I can and they won't stress at me. All in all, I've had a rubbish day. The fact of the matter is I have to do the extra days. I need the money. I suppose there are times that I feel my single-parent, orphan status very keenly. Today, was one of those days; and I'm allowed. I don't have a husband/partner to carry the burden, my family is in Trinidad and this is the first Christmas I have without both my Mum and Pops.

But I am also really lucky, there is a plus side. I have friends who are there for me, who are prepared to do practical things for me, like babysit, wash my dishes, hand me a glasses of red wine. I have a my Viking who talked me down from teary to smiles this evening, he understands about retail, Christmas and madness and we've promised each other we'll do something lovely after the madness is all over.

There are two rainbows soaring over my rainy day (literally and figuratively). The first is thanks to the fabulous Samantha at Miller Harris who said I could have a bottle of Geranium Bourbon for my own self. It arrives tomorrow. I can't wait to get my grubby mitts on it. It is my favourite fragrance. I just love selling it. While it does not hold mass appeal, those who love it, really love it; I think that's fine.

The second is my retail therapy. I've been working in the SkinSpa area today. Korres are a young Greek award-winning company that do amazing bath, body and face products. They create products that are kind to your skin and kind to the environment. With the shuffle around at work, we've been able to carry more of their range, which of course has meant more temptation for me. Today I bought their Fig Shower Gel to go with the Fig Body Butter, which I've already got sitting on my dressing table.

After the wet walk back from work, Boy and I met in the Pub Over the Wall had a couple of pints of coke and a good a chin wag. We came home, I hit the shower, pampered and slathered myself to a glass of naughtiness and chatted to my Viking. I now feel human again, if slightly stupid at my meltdown. But this is how it is at the moment. Perhaps it may not be me at my best, but I will get there. And however shitty I feel today, tomorrow is another day pregnant with possibilities.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Butt-in-Gear-Time

Last week was a bit of a low point for me. The day I started proper and regular employment I came down with Boy's cold, whose generosity knows no bounds. It was a real stinker and of the three days I was supposed to do last week, I did one. I tried to go into college. I did manage to enrol and did the tour, given that there have been so many changes within NSAD, I'm glad I stuck it out for that part of the day, but couldn't manage any more than that. Unfortunately, I met up with my other students. Put it like this, we've got the Head of Media Studies of a local college, a Graphic Design graduate, an Art History Graduate...and me. I came home feeling rubbish, coughing like a smoker and nearly gave in to major Self-Pity Gnome. As it is I gave him a cuppa and a bickie (don't tell Viking, he'll be cross if there are no biscuits when he next comes over). Rationally, I know that I would not have been accepted onto the course if the tutors thought I didn't have a clue or had no talent. But it still scared the shit out of me.

Viking is oop North and Boy went off to Wells-Next-Sea for his dad-time. I basically did nothing Friday and Saturday. I ate when hungry, read, played Oblivion quite a bit. On Sunday, I got up and without intending to sorted out two rubbish bags full of paperwork which had been accumulating for the last 18 months time. Not only that, I ended up doing some laundry, tidying up my bedroom, my desk and upgrading the software on my phone which I've been meaning to do for the last 6 months.

Today, I had a lovely couple of hours with Gee. Kept her company while she painted and I looked at Home and Gardens. We bounced some ideas about doing the flat up and dreamed of World Domination while consuming vats of coffee and tea. Eventually, we headed out and I bought some meat and veg for dinner. This afternoon I've managed to make some Thai Green Curry chicken, as well as attempting a Caribbean stewed chicken. This will be some of the first real meals I've cooked for ages, which is shocking considering how much I like good food. I think I'm lucky I don't have some social worker banging on my door trying to Super Nanny me.

So, Boy and I will eat well this week. I've got a weekend off, which is great, our first weekend together since...Trinidad. Hopefully, the weather will be good enough for us to go out and about with our cameras. I think it's about time we took some fresh air.

I suppose I just didn't realise how run down and knackered I was to let things get so out of hand. But there is no point berating myself further, Boy doesn't have scurvy or rickets, and he has been going to school in clean clothes, so I've not been completely negligent.

And besides, when you're rock bottom, the only way is up.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

PostSecret

I think I may have posted this before, can't remember having a bit of a brain fade. But it touched me, and I thought I would share: cause that's what blogging is about. Isn't it?

Friday, October 05, 2007

*crack* the sound of my jaw dropping

Those of you in The Know, will be aware that my Viking is a copper. Occasionally he has expressed some frustration at his workload and I have dished out cuddles and biscuits as appropriate. When he says how frustrating he finds working in a target culture, I've teased him about being PC Bastard because if he doesn't have x-number of Fixed Penalty Notices, someone from up high has a quiet word in his shell-like.

Today Inspector Gadget posted about the paperwork that follows a relatively straightforward crime. I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the stupidity of it. I knew it was ridiculous from the frustration voiced not only by my Viking, but others of my favourite police bloggers (listed to your left). But seeing the list of forms required and knowing that if they are not filled out exactly they'll only come back with some sarky comment from a paper-pusher stunned me.

No one in their right mind would chose to do this. The money is shite, the clients vile, the public apathetic. But these men and women do it. Day after day.

I know it's not much, but to you incredible people I raise my glass to you. Thank you.

Thank you for doing what you do, day after day, despite the government's best efforts. I may be one voice in the wilderness; but you guys rock!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Dear Richard Branson,

Since you decided to expand your huge business empire and make NTL part of your stable, my television service has sucked. Big Time.

As nice as those Pay Per View movie ads are, over the summer if I paid to see a movie, or wanted to watch Catch Up TV, during it's play the screen would go black for a second or two, constantly throughout the whole movie, film or programme. When I did ring up, the lovely person from Mumbai, suggested the fault would be fixed eventually. Perhaps my box was overheating?

A couple of weeks ago we discovered that as long as my computer was off, the Pay Per View etc, would work fine. Great stuff, as long as I know. Last week the box died. With a bit of jiggery pokery I managed to get it to work. This week, it's died for good.

When I rang yesterday morning, the 0845 number which charges you 6p per minute and it takes 3 minutes and 5 buttons button presses to actually speak to someone. And by the way, I don't really like some bint in her regional accent chirpily saying 'let's get you to some help', when it leads to more recordings and advice that I've already taken.

I am served by Rollo. Oh please. I am not a stupid person. I come from the West Indies, I know what a non-British accent sounds like. I occasionally read the papers, on-line business news etc. I am perfectly aware that the call centre is based in India. Don't patronise me or the poor bastard at the end of my stroppy call, by giving them a fake British name. If it makes financial sense to have the call centre there, fine. Own it, don't apologise for it and for heaven's sake, don't assume that a British name will make me believe he's sitting in Manchester.

It takes a few minutes of questions to decide I am who I say I am, where I am and the service I've got. It's not Rollo's fault he can't understand me through my snot (I have a cold), my accent and my ire. He want's to send a technician out. Great. He'll be there 4-7 tomorrow. Really? I work. Boy is going to be home, but I'm informed that should the technician turn up and Boy is less than 18 years old, the technician will charge me £10 for wasting his time and won't fix the damn box.

Well Richard, I lost my temper. Your call-centre staff probably earn more than I do. And the thing about being in a minimum wage job is that you can't really take time off for getting your telly fixed. And of course I wasn't offered a slot over the weekend, was I? Your technicians don't have to work over the weekends. Lucky them. This is the first weekend I'm going to have off in over 3 weeks and I want to be able to watch my tv.

You'd be proud of Rollo, he was very patient as I cursed you Richard, because it sure as hell isn't his fault; he's just doing what you've told his Area Manager to do. If you ever got as far South as that to give the order. The fact of the matter is, I don't like your service anymore. Unfortunately, it's the cheapest service available, which pretty much means I'm stuck with it. But bear this with mind, when I become less poverty-stricken, I will be voting with my feet.

I know it's a bit silly of me, but I just want a company that provides a service around it's customers needs, doesn't patronise them, is upfront and professional and Richard, that's just not Virgin Media at the moment.

Yours (very pissed-offedly)

Roses