Clipboards, Cruises and Challenges of the Technological Kind (yes again) and books – always books!

A variety of activities this week. Firstly, I was lucky enough to win a free electronic copy of  Saving Sophie by Sam Carrington. This had to be emailed to me for me to email to my Kindle errr ummmm. This sounded like a technical challenge too far. After diligent research (I Googled for instructions) I was ridiculously pleased to discover that my Kindle does indeed have an email address – well who knew? Not me, obviously. Mission accomplished and I am looking forward to reading my prize.

More peculiarities on the telephone. During a boring car journey I decided to have a conversation with someone who wanted me to change my electricity supplier. Actually he wanted the phone’s owner to change their electricity supplier but was happy to talk to me when I explained that said owner was driving. After moments of incredulity on his part when I confirmed that there really was no gas supply to the property, the next question was ‘do you have your latest bill with you?’ Hands up who carries their electricity bill with them in the car at all times. Then not an unsolicited call but an attempt on my part to find out who could verify my identity for prevention of money laundering purposes, not many people apparently. This needed to be done in a hurry during the day, when those of my neighbours who might qualify were at work. I telephoned to enquire whether a retired accountant/doctor/teacher etc. might be acceptable (the village is stuffed full of those of a certain age). It seemed it had to be someone in office, presumably so that their identity could be checked on a professional register. The person on the other end suggested I popped in to the local bank. I had already explained that I lived in a small rural village. ‘Popping’ involves a six mile drive, many circuits of the block in search of a parking place and a six mile drive home. Oh of course, I could get a bus but not on a Wednesday. Did he have any other ideas? I could use my ‘local’ post office’s checking service. Ah my local post office was, thanks to the wisdom of someone who has never lived here, closed. The man is now sounding desperate, ‘Did I have a church?’ Oh yes, I have one of those just over there, a vicar though is a different matter. One and a half vicars for seven parishes and neither lives here. At this point I gave up, planning to  accost a teacher outside a school, or wait until later in the day. The urban/rural divide never seemed so wide, the chap on the phone clearly had no clue how the other half lived.

Want to know how to arouse fear and suspicion amongst your neighbours? Wander round in pairs carrying a clipboard, pausing now and again to stare meaningfully at a property. In fact, my friend and I were preparing a village trail but I am sure there are now rumours of extensive development or criminal activity.

UTP0263-2TMy Harnessing the Facebook Generation booklet, with ideas for inspiring young people with a love of history and heritage, is finally available in Canada (as well as the UK, Australia and as an ebook). Unlock the Past, for whom the booklet was written, have announced their genealogical cruising plan for 2017-18. If you are thinking about booking, don’t hesitate, you’ll love it.

The season of evening presentations is well and truly upon me. Quite apart from any school Swording and Spindling, did I really agree to do seven presentations to adults (I put ‘adult presentations’ there at first but it sounded a bit dodgy) in one month (one down six to go)? In addition, that is to finishing tutoring one Pharos course and starting another. Incidentally, there is still time to book for the online course  Writing and Telling your Family History, which starts on 28th September. It is lovely to see some familiar names amongst those who are signed up already. One day I will get time to write up more of my own family history!

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