This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

BT blues

I've been reading recently about Dawn's troubles with BT over at

Now we are involved in trouble with BT too. Their customer service is really appalling. The problem is at church and my husband is the one with responsibility for sorting it out.  BT said that there was a problem, there was not a problem, an engineer was coming out, not coming out because there was no problem to sort etc. We didn't know where the wiring entered the building nor could we answer various other questions, so somebody else who did know  went down to church. This chap is self employed and gave up six hours of his working day to sit at church and wait for the BT engineer because BT could only offer a five hour window for the appointment. After it was obvious that the engineer was not coming, we rang BT who said that there was no problem so the appointment had not been made with the engineer. Nobody told us that.  And there was still no internet connection despite there being "no problem". Then we were given a date by which the problem would be fixed. No, of course it was not fixed by then. Apology?  What apology? Nobody seemed to care. We were annoyed on behalf of the chap who is self employed and had given up most of a working day to help his church but to no purpose because of BT.  So my husband got on the phone to BT and had a very long phone call getting passed continually to someone higher in authority until somebody had the decency to apologise. Only words but it is a start.

And the internet connection is now back and working albeit some considerable time after the problem began..  I am left with the conviction that I will never willingly have internet connection through BT.

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Monday, March 14, 2016

A good day

It was a lovely day yesterday. My husband had been asked to preach at a church about 20 miles away. They are a small church family and no longer have a fulltime minister. A lady who was at our church for over 30 years retired to this little town to be close to family. So this church asks my husband to preach each year in the run up to Easter. They are a lovely fellowship and we enjoyed our morning with them.

Then we drove on another four miles to a Countrywide store and bought ten sacks of hen food. I reckon we saved about just over £30 on the price that we usually pay at our nearest feed merchant. The fun bit came next. We found a very small lane and parked in the least muddy field gate - and ate a picnic in the sunshine. Oh I did enjoy that! It was so warm that it could have been early summer instead of mid-March. It is amazing how much better life seems on a dry, warm and sunny day after a long wet and grey spell. I had made bread rolls which turned out really well and we ate them with cheddar and salad and cherry tomatoes and followed by some homemade banana cake with chocolate chips. We went for a wander along the lane and picked a bagful of goodies for my rabbit as we went and enjoyed the sunshine.

On our way home, we passed the big Tesco and called in to see if there was anything interesting in the rugby scrum that happens just before closing time and they mark down the chilled goods to silly prices. We managed to find enough meat for 11 dinners for the both of us (ie 22 portions) for an average of 11p per portion.  Those portions are unstretched and there may well end up being a few extra portions when it is served. I also brought home a bagful of goodies for my son and for my friend.  There were so many things on the bargain shelves that people took everything they wanted and there were loads of things left over.  I would like to know what happened to them and hate to think of them being thrown out.

When we first arrived at Tesco and had just parked, I spotted my friends from the farm just getting back into their car so they said to call in on our way home . They had their first calf of the year born on Friday and it is just beautiful.  Mum is a medium black Dexter and dad was a red Dexter and the little heifer is a beautiful red. Mum is not doing too well on the milk producing front and the little calf has to have supplementary feeds and, well, somebody had to do it : ) 

What a lovely day.  A good service at the little church, a really enjoyable picnic in warm sunshine, lots of hen food and Tesco goodies which have saved us lots of money and gladdened the hearts of three families and a cuppa with some good friends to finish. And the icing on the cake was giving that beautiful little heifer a bottle of milk.  This day was good from start to finish and I shall look back on it and remember it with pleasure.

This isn't a brilliant picture but it will have to do.

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Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Mothering Sunday

Mothering Sunday was fun. We were at church, as always, in the morning and every lady was given a bunch of daffodils, which was a nice treat. I can't bring myself to pay the price for cut flowers very often so this was a nice treat.  My husband reacts to the pollen of a lot of flowers so that is the major reason for not having flowers in the house, with the other reason being the price.

We had lunch at home and then my son and our three grandchildren came to visit. This visit was both a treat for me and a treat for his wife - she had a nice long soak in the bath on her own with no interruptions from small children wanting something : )

Unfortunately they had forgotten to give antihistamine to the eldest and he reacts to cats so the visit was not as long as I would have liked or my daughter-in-law either. But it was fun while it lasted. And my present was a voucher for an Indian meal cooked by my son on a date to be arranged.  My husband hates anything even slightly spicy so I never have anything spicy and this meal will be a real treat.  My husband will probably end up with baked beans.

Then we went to dinner with one daughter and her family.  That was good too.  She had baked me a cake for a present. It was nice to sit and have a quiet evening together.  I had seen my other daughter the night before, at a quiz evening at church.  She came to be part of our team for the quiz.  For a present, she had brought me a thoughtful present as she knows that I would far rather have a practical present than another "thing" and the traditional flowers and chocolates are not appropriate because of me trying to lose weight and my husband reacting to pollen. I did have to laugh though as I was given a large bag of recycled jars for my jams and pickles and a large bag of tumble dryer fluff which is great for lighting the woodburner. I also had a box of all the woodchips that she had saved for me from her woodcarving which she has taken up as a new hobby in the last year, also destined for the woodburner. Definitely not a traditional present but one which had a lot of thought put into it.

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