Archive for April, 2010


Friday, April 23rd, 2010

When nothing in my world is making sense, it’s all violin strings and piano wire, when my heart is bruised and bleeding and for all those moments in between. A savoured sunset, fresh air, big skies. The exquisite pleasure of self-inflicted hurt.

The joy of occasionally getting it ‘just so’. Nailing a corner or the softest of treads.

Giggles that pull my face into a smile, shared with friends or just the birds, no matter which. Adrenalin, unfettered freedom, unadulterated, untarnished *just because* bliss.

Riding makes my heart sing. Nothing else comes close. Unlike life, loves and the weather it rarely fails me.

Dear Orange

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

My trusty Nokia is on it’s last legs, putting it face down in a pool of water the other day didn’t help and to be fair it’s had a hard life.

As if my magic I get a text from Orange as I’m walking past the local Orange shop so I pop in as the gods are telling me it’s time to upgrade and a contract has got to be cheaper than ‘fleece as you go’. I’m travelling light as I’m planning to fill the courier bag with shopping so I’ve just got a debit card and a tenner, rather than a huge wallet taking up valuable room. We don’t get past the telephone/ address check seemingly because I’m ex-directory. No bother, perfectly reasonable. I’ll pop in next week with some utility bills as requested.

This is next week, it’s cold, brass monkeys cold. Two layers below the waist, three up top including a waterproof and I’m still cold. I’m also very tired and sicker than I’ve been in a while but I decide that parking and my waistline are both the stuff of nightmares and the fresh air and some pedal turning will do me good. It’s the only reason I’m riding 12 miles to Amersham and back instead of doing bits and bobs in the village. I’ve got a letter from the bank and a phone bill both with my name and address for all to see and a full wallet as per last week’s instructions.

Strangely the young lad remembers the small girl clutching a cycling helmet wearing a fine splattering of mud. I get through the phone check this time (huh?) and then apparently I have to choose from one of various credit cards I know for a fact I either don’t have or are not sitting in my wallet under the names on the screen. So they ask for the letters. No it’s not a bank statment we can’t accept that. Well I’ve got on-line billing but this letter has my name, address and an account code on it. No dice. Well here’s my phone bill. No that’s an broadband bill we can’t accept that. No it’s my phone bill – Pipex bought out Homecall and like Orange who provide broadband AND landline calls so do Pipex. We’ll we’re sorry…

Okay well I’ve been an Orange customer since 2000 and this card, that you do accept is mine is registered to my ‘pay as you go ORANGE account’ surely that’s enough proof of me and my address? No, we can’t accept that? Why not? They can’t provide a satisfactory answer. I’m losing patience now, not least of all because the shop is freezing. Apparently they have to leave the front door open (so much for globabl warming) for reasons I never get to the bottom of. Perhaps Orange can tell me why they feel it necessary to freeze their staff and customers and heat the outside world?

I leave them photographing the not-utility bill (which is odd as you’d think broadband in this day and age would be classed as a utility) to email it to Orange who ironically they can’t reach on the phone. And here’s me thinking they’re a telecommunications company. Nip round the corner to my bank who helpfully print a page of my on-line statement with my address on it and stamp it with today’s date. The cashier gives me an understanding nod and says that’ll do it.

They’re concede that will do it. How much time has this taken? Nearly an hour or thereabouts, including waiting to be seen. Oh but the phone you want is out of stock. Well given that it’s the one you suggested last week, it’s written on the brochure by you, that I waved at you when I came in and is clearly stuck to your wall suggesting it’s in stock why the (insert expletive of choice) didn’t you tell me before we started this process?

To to add insult to injury you offer me a phone that you actually admit is inferior. Now common sense would suggest you’d offer me the next one up and that way you get a ’sale’ and a signed contract. But no. I ask if you can tell me which of the local Orange shops has *my* phone in stock. No, we don’t have access to that information. Any offer to phone around to check or even to tell me where the nearest branch is well, you’ve guessed it is not forthcoming. Communication breakdown…

I’ve been an Orange customer for *10* years and 3 months. I don’t ever want to know how much money I’ve spent with you. I still don’t have a fully working phone and I’m wondering if I can transfer to another network and keep my number, but thank you Orange for inspiring me to finally update my blog.