Posts Tagged ‘Bulgaria’

⏮What Yesterday Looked Like.⏮

Posted on: July 7th, 2018 by admin No Comments

Yesterday I took my dementing Mum to the Royal Free for her final appointment. It was a bit emotional really, because we said goodbye to a neurologist who got his head around her bizarre dementedness and agreed on a diagnosis I had flagged up almost 2 years earlier. He’d been super helpful and written a letter for me to send to the creditors when she got herself into a big financial pickle. But there’s no need to see him now, because there’s nothing that can be done for her. There’s no treatment or cure for FTD (used to be called Picks Disease) so it’s just a case of making the best of what you’ve got left.

On the way home, I got a call from an unrecognised mobile number. It was a lady saying she was from UK border control. She had stopped the house sitter who was due to stay at mine so I could head back to Bulgaria today. 😱

The house sitters are not paid. But they do have to look after my cat. Border control said this is payment (to them) as I let them stay at my house without charge. They were holding the house sitter on that basis.

When I got home I had a panic as I realised I’d just told someone all about my travel plans and actually had nothing to prove they were border control at all. They hadn’t validated who they were and had called from a mobile number. So I called the office at Luton and they tracked down the enforcement officer. All they’d tell me is that someone would call me back.

Two hours in and I got a message from the sitter, saying she was being held at border control but if I charged her (like air bnb) they would let her go. So I called them back and said I could do this. The enforcement officer said “but you don’t have Airbnb”
“Actually I do – I set it up before calling you back” (Cos I’m blonde but not stupid😉).

I also called the house sitting site I use, who arrange house sits all over the world and they said they’d never heard anything like it – and they should know!

Meanwhile I was scrambling to make other plans and at the 11th hour a couple who’s landlord decided to make a surprise renovation had been left without somewhere to live; got in touch. It took them another few hours to confirm if they could help and to check their references (and since they’re from the UK I don’t have an immigration issue!)

At 10:00pm the original house sitter got in touch again. She had been given a visa until the end of August but not until she’d been locked in room all day, searched, finger printed, and told that if she stayed at my house she would be arrested. She’s the same age as my Mum and now had no where to stay.

For the last 3 weeks since my Mum went into a home, I’ve been doing house clearance of her old house. It’s now empty. It does me no favours to have someone staying in it (in fact its slightly inconvenient) but I was hardly going to force this woman to stump up the money to stay in a hotel when she hadn’t anticipated her visit to the UK to look like that.

So the UK couple who have had a surprise temporary eviction are looking after my spoilt cat in my house.

The lady who has flown over to look after my cat is now doing me no favours what so ever, and is staying in my Mum’s old house. To be on the safe side, in case my border control officer friend reads this, I’m also charging her. £1. And writing her a receipt.

This afternoon I’m going to attempt to get on an aeroplane!!!

I sense there’s a strong possibility it will crash, be hijacked or land in the wrong country. I just wanted you to know know I can swim, negotiate and I know how to make a compass.

When it all goes fucked up, I can, independently figure out what to do. Even when the faces around me look blank and cannot help with ideas or practical solutions. It doesn’t matter because I will sort it out. Eventually. And sometimes, I’ll even sort things out for others along the way.

But it probably wouldn’t hurt at all if you wished me luck before I board my flight – just to be on the safe side 😆😉

Fun Elm

Posted on: March 2nd, 2018 by admin No Comments

My experience with Dun Elm (which ironically my phone autocorrects to to ‘Fun Elm’) caused a whole series of other unwanted dramas. I’m hoping Karma is going to balance this one out for me. Even though I don’t believe in it.

I sometimes go to Bulgaria where I have an apartment. I’ve had the place a couple of years and although it’s in a good state of repair, last year I accidentally ripped the net curtains. I think it happened because they get a lot of sunlight on them and it weakened the material. Either that or it was my Superhero strength.

Anyway, I realised if I got new nets, my curtains would look shit because they were all sun damaged at the top and the colour had faded out of them. So I decided some investment in the gaff was in order, and bought the nets back to the UK with me for measuring up at Dun Elm.

When I went in, the lady that served me was lovely. Really chatty and friendly. But a bit dippy. I really hoped she knew what she was doing because I had an itch in my brain that was making me unsure if she was concentrating properly.

I got the new nets and curtains ordered then collected them, having to check in luggage to fly them out to Bugs (that’s code for Bulgaria.)

I hadn’t checked them in advance because I hadn’t had time. I’d been working away for months with only one day at home in between school contracts.

When I got to Bugs, I realised that one set of curtains and nets were about 40cm too short. I found this really difficult to wrap my head around since the lady had measured them from the originals that I’d taken into store. Plus they’d not put on any tracks on the nets which I needed in order to hang them. Given they had the originals, I was surprised they missed that too.

Just to be extra ranty, I’ll mention to that I was soooo ill. I was dealing with a really heavy suitcase that I’d paid to fly to another country when I was ill and they didn’t damn well fit.

I bought them back to the UK and Fun Elm agreed to remake them all at no extra charge. I also had to place a new order for the bedroom curtains which I was supposed to bring on my next trip.

The curtains were made but then they forgot to do one of the nets. Then they called about the second set of curtains I’d ordered to say they had been marked by the blackout liner coming through the material, which is light coloured. So wherever there was stitching, there was now also black stripes.

I told them I wanted a discount if they wanted me to take them. Otherwise they’d have to do it all again. They agreed and gave me 50% off.

The remaining nets arrived later than this, and then they were not sure if they were giving me the original wrong size or the corrected size. They couldn’t check as I’d just called in in passing and they’d lost my paperwork (of courses they had)!

I booked in my case for extra luggage (32kg) as I would now be taking all the curtains and nets in one journey instead of two. The scales said they came to 27kg. However the scales lied.

My case was soooo heavy, getting to the coach stop was more exercise that I’d done in weeks. The coach came early (10mins) and drive past me as I’d not quite reached the stop with my caravan of a suitcase. I quickly booked a taxi where I had the most miserable and rudest taxi driver. Then at check-in they said my case was too heavy (40kg which is 7kg off my own body weight!!!) so I had to buy a holdall and pay to upgrade my ticket to include the extra luggage.

Right now I’m on the plane. It’s been snowing. The conditions aren’t great. If the plane falls out the sky I’m going to use a curtain as a parachute. There’s a chance I’ll still be found dead in the Black Sea, tangled in a web or poorly made curtains. I’m telling you so I can be easily identified.

I know people have bigger struggles in life than this (I have those ones too!) and I’m not mad at Dun Elm. They really worked hard to fix the errors.

It was one measurement that was done wrong that lead to a chain of other things.

We’re recruiting at the moment and I see so often in people of all ages that apply, that they see themselves as a small or insignificant cog in a wheel. They think their actions do not matter, that they will be unnoticed, but this is not the case.

There are even people in my family who have a “That’ll do” attitude. I remember giving my Dad a list of records I’d like for Christmas (as I was going to get a record player) and instead he bought me a compilation album that had maybe one of the songs I’d asked for on it. He thought “That’ll do. It’s close enough.” My Mum was furious and I then got upset.

There are times when you can shave off a few inches and it won’t matter. Making curtains isn’t one of those times.

Life is harder when you’re a perfectionist but the time, money and energy it costs to fix a chain of events from one small mistake can be huge.

I’d rather put in the effort to get it right up front, even though that can be bloody knackering.

I just wish I could convince a few more people in life that I’m right!
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