Life on hold

I have been wanting to write a new post for days now but what to write that has been the problem. I don’t have an exciting life to write about. I don’t want to be constantly writing about the wild birds we see in the garden (there are not that many at the moment).

I would rather not be writing about the ongoing saga that is my current marital situation. However I can now say that the house is finally up for sale and an open day is planned for this coming weekend. Although my husband has been feeling rather low recently he is now being much more positive.

Personally I am not really living, I feel that my life is on hold. I go to work (which although tiring I do enjoy). I return to the home I am sharing with my mother. I either read or sleep interspersed with conversations with my mum. Sometimes I manage to sort through some of the many boxes and bags that have been transported here to be stored around the perimeter of my single bedroom.

The big news of recent weeks was our outing to a Rotary Club Quiz night. Yes I know I really know how to live the high life. Our team came second (losing by just 2 points).

Next week I shall be taking two days off from my work. The plan is that I will drive with my mother to London where we will visit my son and his fiancee who I am pleased to say will be making me a Granny in May.

I have said for many years that I am not yet ready to become a grandmother as I haven’t yet finished being a mother. I know many of my friends love having grandchildren, for me it has not been something that I have been in a hurry to participate in. However I was beginning to worry that my sons were going to leave it so late that I would be too old to enjoy my grandchildren when they do finally arrive. Having four sons I do anticipate that I will have more than the one grandchild.

I am hoping that by the time the summer arrives I shall have sufficiently recovered from recent events that I will be in a better place mentally as well as financially to be able to start enjoying life again.

life on pause

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It’s in the oils

Back in the summer I discovered doTerra Essential Oils. Since then I have wondered how I managed life before the oils. Today I am in pain, mostly in my hands. I am diffusing Deep Blue oil in the living room to ease this pain.

Did I tell you that my husband has a broken shoulder, he is so grateful for the use of Deep Blue cream to help manage his pain.

I have also made up a roller ball bottle with a blend of Cinnamon Bark, Oregano and Rosemary diluted with Fractionated Coconut Oil. This I apply to the soles of my feet morning and night as a natural antibiotic. Since using this blend I have not had any recurring symptoms of the devastating kidney infection that cursed me for at least  12 months probably more, before I discovered what it was that made me so ill.

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Hiatus

I know I have been absent for many months, partly because I had nothing to say. Partly because I didn’t have the time or energy. That doesn’t mean that I hadn’t thought about writing.

I have had a bad last 12 months or so including much ill health (for me) and accidents (my husband). After months of poor health (almost housebound for months), I suddenly started to get better at the end of June. Nobody is more surprised than I am that after finding it very difficult to just walk from one room to the next, I am now averaging a daily step count in excess of 12,000 steps.

In September we jointly took on a part time job delivering parcels. Ha ha I say jointly, but the reality is that I do this 97% on my own. My husband has been out with me a few times but has never managed to stick it out from the beginning to the end of the round. On the few occasions he has attempted to assist me, I have ended up leaving him in a pub whilst I complete the round.

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Confidence

During the week we had our Christmas get together for the writer’s group that I belong to. Whilst there, one of the other members was telling a new member that I am very self-effacing, unnecessarily so. I was quite surprised by this, but I shouldn’t have been. I do tend to keep quiet during our meetings, not offering many comments on the work of others. Timid about reading out my own work. Partly this is due to being eternally shy.

Today I was having a chat online with someone about life in an abusive relationship. She commented that these relationships knock your confidence and it can take years to get that back.

My first marriage was not violent in any way, shape or form. Yet the emotional abuse that I lived with for so many years took away all my confidence. Years of public put downs and insults take their toll. Being told frequently if not daily that I am.

“Fat, stupid, ugly with a brain like a sieve, nobody else would ever have you.”

Did nothing for my confidence other than to batter it down time and time again.

When I began divorce proceedings he began repeating the popular children’s nursery rhyme.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Well actually, when said often enough words may not just hurt but they can cause lasting damage.

After my marriage ended I went off the rails a bit, a friend of mine told me I was running around like a headless chicken. I began blogging and dating. I can see now that both were confidence tools. I needed to know that I was desirable, and worthy of friendship. I gained enormous validation through my blog and the friends I made there. Through my dating experiences I learnt that not only am I good enough for the men I was dating, but some of them were not good enough for me.

Gradually I learnt to like myself as a person. My confidence began to build. I started a new job, I have been there for seven and a half years now. They tell me that I have grown so much since I first started there. (I know they don’t mean in weight, although that increased over the years I have been there).

One thing I have tried to keep through out everything has been my sense of humour. For a long time after my divorce I would make jokes about myself. I would get told off for putting myself down, but that wasn’t what I was doing. I was showing that I don’t take myself seriously, that I can laugh at myself not just others. Maybe though there was a touch of laughing at myself before others get the chance.

All my life I have been shy, introverted. I do have my moments of bravery. On occasions when I feel confident that I know what I am talking about, then I can come out of my shell.

As for being self-effacing, I believe that is just a matter of confidence. I say very little at our writing group because I am so in awe of the talent I am surrounded by. Maybe in time some of the knowledge and skill will rub off on me too.

The key

It should be so simple. Why do I always fall into the trap of thinking that things will be simple? I am 52 years of age for heavens sake, I should have learnt by now. Nothing is ever simple.

A few weeks ago whilst shopping I stopped at the key cutter’s kiosk. I wanted to get a spare key for our car, we have only ever had just the one key. I was told that because we drive a Chevrolet they were unable to cut a new key, they do not hold blanks for this make of car. They might be able to order one in but it could take a while. Owl searched online and placed an order for two spare key blanks. He had a little trouble placing his order, so we now have four blanks.

Today I took two of these blanks back to the kiosk and asked them to cut the two keys for us. I placed the two blanks on the counter, only to be told.

“We can only cut keys from our own blanks.”

“But you don’t keep blanks for my car.”

“Ah yes Chevrolet, I remember you came in before. Sorry even if you got these blanks from Chevrolet we cannot cut them. We can only cut blanks that we stock.”

“So what am I supposed to do then? If you don’t stock the blanks and you can’t use another blank?”

” You could try an independent key cutter, they might do it for you. Unfortunately we can’t because it’s our Company policy. In the past it has been done and then the key has got stuck in the ignition leading to a claim for hundreds of pounds.”

Oh why had I not known it would be down to this litigious society that we are forced to live in these days.

Thinking about things not being as simple as they should be I had already had a feeling of let down having visited one of the main high street banks. I am sure that I have mentioned before that I am now the new treasurer for our writing group. I have been attempting to get the signatures on the Group’s bank account changed. It took a while to get the relevant forms downloaded and printed. Next the three of us who would be the new signatories had to take our forms into a branch of the bank to get our signatures authorised. I took mine in weeks ago. I was then told that I had to collect these forms from the others and bring them in together. This week I finally had all the forms, took them to the bank this morning only to be told that I now need to get another form signed by two of the existing signatories. Only then can the forms be sent off to the correct department, wherever that may be. I can’t even get a statement of our account until everything has been sorted which could still take a few weeks yet. At least I have been able to pay some money in.

Whilst shopping I picked up a screw thread candle bulb for one of our light fittings on the stairway. Obviously I picked the wrong one. Yes it was a screw thread and yes it was a candle bulb, but the screw thread was the wrong size. I guess that tomorrow I shall be out getting another light bulb as well as finding an independent key cutter.

What did you do today that wasn’t as simple as you had expected?

 

 

Hankeen Gabriel now we know

Thanks to John we now know how Hankeen Gabriel works his scam. After seeing my post he has given us a copy of the email he received from our favourite scammer. I thought I would copy it here in case you have had contact from this person but have not seen John’s comment on my last post.

To recap, I was advertising a car for sale through Gumtree, I very quickly received an sms on my phone from Hankeen Gabriel asking me to email him which I did. A few hours later I received an email from him which struck me as suspicious. Firstly the language was obviously transcribed from google translate or some other such translation tool. Secondly it was curious that not once did he mention my car which he apparently wanted to have shipped to his dad without actually seeing it. He was most concerned that I should have a paypal account.

I have reported this to Gumtree. Now John has reached the next step in the sting.

 

Thanks very much guys – really appreciate this blog. Just had Hankeen Gabriel contact me to buy my car. Initially I didn’t twig it was a scam so sent my paypal email address but nothing else. He replied to me with this email:

I was just about to make the payment when i had this little problem with the pick up agent.. He said he won’t come and pick up the item unless i pay him the agent commission fee first in order to be able to schedule a pick up time ,and my pick up agent head quarters is in the state and all commission payments made for pick up, from anywhere in the world is sent to their head quarters in the state and the only form of payments they accept is western union money transfer and i tried to pay online but i will need a credit card which i didn’t bring along, and there is no post office(there is usually a western union section in have to ask you to help me with the pick up fees, i will include the £450 they charged to pick it up and take it my home(1st class treatment), to the payments i will send through paypal. After i have made the payments and it has been confirmed by paypal, i will need you to help me send the £450 to my pick up agent through western union money transfer, the western union money transfer can be made at a post office near to you,there is always a western union agent in most post offices or online athttp://www.westernunion.co.uk .I will be making the payments shortly and will email you as soon as it has been done.

So the scam in the case it to try and get you to send funds via Western Union. Hopefully anyone else in this position will see this blog and avoid the scammer!

Thanks again for this blog, saved me losing £££ to this terrible scammer.

 

So now we know.

Hankeen Gabriel reply to Gumtree ad

About six weeks ago I wrote this post about the scams we had come across during our efforts to sell our car. The good news is that we have sold our car.

However I have noticed over the weeks that my post about the scams has been getting more traffic than more recent posts. Today I have had two separate comments from people who have been contacted by Hankeen Gabriel following ads being placed on gumtree.

I am sad that these people are being bothered by this person but I am glad that my post which mentioned his contact with us has helped others to avoid him. I don’t know how his scam works but I am sure it is just that.

I wonder how many people have been caught out by this person in the last couple of months since we had our message from them.

I am thinking now that perhaps we should all report them to Gumtree and perhaps the police before they can con someone innocent who doesn’t realise there is anything odd.

I have now emailed gumtree and had an automated response saying they will look into it and get back to me within 6 hours.

I will keep you posted.

 

Here is the reply I received last night.

Thank you for your email reporting this to us – we take reports of this nature and the safety of our users very seriously and use information such as this to help improve the site experience for everyone.

The information you have shared with us does, in our experience, show patterns commonly associated with fraudulent activity.  For these reasons, I strongly advise you not to pursue contact with this person. We will use the information you have provided to further investigate this user’s activity on Gumtree.

I am very sorry that you had to come across this. We try our best to prevent these situations from happening and have a dedicated team of Customer Service agents on hand 24/7, 365 days a year who are available to assist with reports of this nature.  You may wish to re-visit our Safety tips and read up on what we’re working on at the moment at the following link: http://help.gumtree.com/knowledgeSafe

If you have any other information that you feel would be useful to stop this individual or others acting in a similar way, please let me know; you can reply to this email or use the “Report this Ad” function which can be found at the top of every Ad.

I thank you very much for taking the time to report this to us so that we can take action to protect others. If you have any further concerns about any personal information you have shared with this user, please do get back in touch at this email address.

Kind regards,

Andrew
Gumtree Community Team
www.gumtree.com