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WEEKEND WEB: What a week that was...




John Ward with his Radio Lincolnshire mystery phone bag
John Ward with his Radio Lincolnshire mystery phone bag

WARD’S WORLD: By John Ward

Some weeks are better than others and by the same theme, some weeks are worse than others but this past week was a yo-yo week.

Monday had started well and the fact the parcel I was expecting last week did not arrive (again...) meant even more contacting the people who sent it and to be given the same answer: “You must give it time... say another couple of days – as you know what the post is like”. But to be honest I had been told that same, supposed ‘reassuring’ bit the week before so could this be a sort of sustained electronic ‘echo’?

With Monday by now half way through, noted the weather was fairly rough outside and a quick glance at the flashing orange light on the BT broadband (read as in rubber band) told me we had no signal yet again so thus confirmed it was indeed bad weather as we always ‘lose’ the signal when its iffy weather – do we again ring Rangoon or wherever their ‘Customer Disservice centre’ outpost is sited, speak to ‘Sharon’ or ‘Martin’ to kill an hour or so describing the size, colour, how many screws the connection box is held on the wall with?

Then a final word about the size of our wall, if it has a door or window fitted in it or both and in what direction it’s facing from the compass side of things – west seems to be popular this month I’m told.

I thought better of it and decided I would be better served by sitting in the ‘smallest room’ and reading a June 1964 copy of ‘Motoring Today’ with the possible worry that petrol might be going up to three shillings and eleven pence an imperial size gallon, not today’s trendy litres but a whole gallon.

There was a mention of electric cars even then – two in a Scalextric model racing car set.

Then the door bell rang. On opening the door there stood somebody who apologised for disturbing me but I pointed out he hadn’t as I heard the door bell ring and was going to answer it anyway.

He explained that he was ‘passing through’ (?) and would I be interested in a new carpet as he had ‘some cheap that he did not want to take back’ (back where?) with him and I asked why did he bring them out to begin with but was greeted with a sort of blank stare (this no longer holds the novelty it used to have, say, about 20 or so years ago) as he then went into the next chapter of his sales pitch.

He explained, if the script he had learnt beforehand was still holding up, that he had sold the bulk of his stock (?) at some hotel/motel/bazaar wherever at ‘full retail’ but I could have whatever he had at a ‘good deal’ price-wise so long as I brought it/them now.

I bade him farewell with no sale as thought it must be getting nearer by the minute towards the Christmas thingy, that time we come together to celebrate the coming of a LED 75 inch 1,500-plus channel television with stereo, Full HD with 98 button remote control and sat nav facility in order to find said lost remote control down the back of the settee if fog sets in, is on offer for a mere £850 but could be down to £925 in the January sales – and no, you didn’t misread that as I saw one item not so long ago that was over £60 dearer in a ‘sale’ a few weeks after the ‘special offer’ price.

Tuesday arrived – nd my parcel didn’t.

In the evening friend Rob arrived with a mobile phone that he had passed on to him from a.n.other and the gist of it was this was the BBC Radio Lincolnshire ‘Mystery-phone’ and the idea is that it’s handed around the county and at a pre-set time, it rings and you speak to the presenter at said station about your hobby, interest or profession etc or in short it’s a sort of verbal ‘round robin’ idea and in the last few months its been just about everywhere with a pile of flyers, business cards etc from those who have taken part but as Rob had done his bit that afternoon, he was handing on to me for the next day to have a warble on it for a few minutes, then pass it on again.

Wednesday came – my parcel still didn’t but that is now consistent. At about 3.30pm, the designated mobile phone burbles into life. It’s the producer from the William Wright afternoon programme introducing herself and making me aware that in ten minutes we would be ‘going live’ and hoped I was ‘prepared’.

Luckily I was now out the smallest room having now read the June 1964 copy of Motoring Today but was cleaning my Reliant Robin Fire Engine or rather sorting assorted bits and bobs on it.

As I was polishing the brass bell on Freddie (the fire engine) the phone burbles again as we now go ‘live’ to the William Wright show, s-o-o-o take it away William...

It was quite basic idle chit chat as he asked assorted questions which during the course of things he thought I sounded ‘like the chap yesterday’ (Rob) but I pointed out he was confusing me with my sister, but I mentioned that he does not sound anything like Elaine Page either which he agrees with me so we carry on.

I mentioned I scribbled a bit for this very paper you are reading and I will give him a mention at which he seemed quite happy about but in passing I meant to ask him if he had any news of my (now) long awaited parcel but I forgot.

Thursday and still no parcel... sigh….

Having sorted out a.n.other person for the mystery phone thingy to have their ‘go’ for that day, own phone burbles to point out said a.n.other is stuck in traffic about 20 miles away but the phone was here awaiting his appearance (!) and less than half an hour before going ‘live’ and as the character Renee in TV’s ’Allo ’Allo would have put it: ‘Oh heck!’.

Mucho panic then as with minutes ticking by, then ‘stood in’ for a.n.other at short notice and not that cleverly I will admit but it produced a noise of sorts.

Friday. The word parcel has been erased from my memory as I contact the supplier for a refund to which he gave thus I am looking into the qualifications for obtaining a LSEM – Long Suffering Endurance Medal – but without having it posted on to me. Broadband back for time being but waiting for high winds and/or rain downpour to knock it out again, so I race against time to read any messages before the signal goes yet again. Only 27 ‘messages’ about Black Friday deals – no other colours mentioned.

Roll on the Saturday as I can cope – I think.

Previously...

An orange and a lemon



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