Twittered

I seem to have joined the world of twitter although I don’t have the faintest idea what to tweet or even how. I found Skater much to his disgust so I shall try not to follow him  too closely. I actually opened my twitter account back in 2007 but in some things I am a slow learner.

I shall reserve judgement on the world of twitter until I have got my head around it.

Yesterday’s sore throat has morphed into a cold so I have mostly indulged in a sofa day today, although I did venture out to Asda this afternoon before settling down to watch Polar Express (the first time I have ever managed to stay awake through the whole film. Whilst indulging myself I have been keeping a watchful eye on incoming tweets. I had thought it would be a good idea to follow @mydailyinspiration only to my mind it should be called @myhalfhourlyinspiration. If they keep this up they will become @myhourly irritation. I might have to stop stalking them very soon.

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Dealer-offer.com aka fraud

Late last spring Owl bought our beautiful Vauxhall (Holden) Monaro.monaro 1 I had never driven a car with a V8 engine before so I was quite apprehensive. However as soon as I started to drive her I fell in love with her. I love the smooth lines of her shape. I adore the comfort of her immaculate soft black leather upholstery (even when the backs of my legs stick to the leather). The way she holds the road even on bends, is a delight to this woman who had always thought yada yada whenever petrol heads talk about cars in this way.

It wasn’t long before I was claiming her as my daily drive to work car. The comfort, the sound, the feel, she is just the perfect drive. A little heavy on the juice but you can’t have everything.

Fast forward to this spring, our circumstances have changed, Owl was on the way to getting his licence back after losing it last autumn for drinking two pints then driving. We realised that we are never going to be able to afford the insurance for him to drive this car again. We decided to sell her, although we will both be sorry to lose her.

First we had to get her through her MOT, which was not too much of a problem, apart from replacing the tyre that had blistered following my encounter with a pothole. We did need to replace one other part, which led to an extensive search to find the right part. My car might be badged as a Vauxhall but it needed a genuine Holden part. This was located and collected by one of my colleagues who lives in the same city as the garage where the part was.

MOT passed, the next thing was to get a minor scratch repaired, an unknown hooligan in charge of another car had at some point (car parked it). It did take a while to find someone who was willing to undergo this work. By this time another month had passed. I took some photos of our beloved vehicle, composed a couple of ads to go on different websites.

The first website we used was gumtree, a number of people had advocated this site as the best place to advertise. Within a day or so I had a message from a prospective buyer. I replied, but when I received their next message it became clear from what they said that this was not genuine.

 

Hankeen Gabriel (hankeengabriel@gmail.com)
14/08/2014
 
I really appreciate your response to my text message, i am presently working on the sea as a marine engineer  which enable me not make a call that is the reason  i try to send a text message to you via the sms web.i am satisfied with  your ad as it was listed on the site  and am ready to buy for my Dad,i will not be able to come take a look due to my work. I will have the shipper to come pick it up from you and delivered to my dad after i have made the payment to your account.i will make the payment to you via paypal and i hope you have a paypal account  so that you can be able to received the payment, If you are not a paypal user you can set up a paypal  with your bank account you will just go on www.paypal.co.uk and attached your bank account  to your email using paypal so that you can be able to get the money on your bank account .After the payment has been cleared and you have your cash in hand i will have my shipper to  come shake hand with you and pick it up to deliver to my Dad.I will be waiting to have the necessary details to make the payment to you.
Your paypal email..
Price Amount…
You Phone number..
Hope to have a reply back from you
Did you notice that not once did he mention what car I was selling, indeed he didn’t even mention that it was a car.
A few days later we had another enquiry.

Re: car

Nice Hearing back from you..I’m quite satisfied with the condition and price..I want you to get back to me with your PayPal email so i can start with the Payment now….mind you, you won’t release your ad until PayPal credit your account before you will release it so it can be pick and my shipping company will be coming for  pick up so you don’t need to worry about pick up okay. I will need your home address for it to be Picked Up by the Shipping Company.
Both these enquiries appear to have been written with the English that you get when translated directly from another language. Needless to say we didn’t respond to either of these.
By this time we also had our ad on Autotrader. (over the three weeks our ad was live we had over 4000 views). This was surprising when considering the rarity of our car in UK. We did have a few enquiries, one man even came to see the car but his 6’10” frame made things a little difficult for him to get comfortable.
Our good friend (L0rd) came round to take some better photos and make suggestions on selling our car. He buys and sells second hand cars frequently. I replaced some of my photos with his and adapted some of the wording. A new ad went on a more specialist website (Pistonheads).
We had another enquiry from a local man but unfortunately he was about to go abroad with work.
Just 2 days after our ad with Autotrader had lapsed I received a call from them pleading with me to renew our ad, this time with the premium package for 6 weeks. I managed to get them to reduce the price slightly before agreeing to go ahead.
This weekend I had an email through Auto trader from a local man interested in our car. Several emails later we agreed to drive over to his house on Sunday morning so he could see what we had. We decided that it would be a good opportunity to have one last drive out in her before we sell her. Anyway, after a discussion about the cars he and Owl have owned over the years, we left, with him saying he would let us know. Even though I got the impression during our short test drive (OK, he actually said that he liked the sound and feel of her) , I had this feeling that he wouldn’t be buying her. I was right.
So here we are on Monday back to square one. During recent weeks I have received a number of messages from dealers wanting to buy our car, their offers have been just over 50% of the asking price. Today I received an offer which was 95% of our asking price. This would be great if it is genuine, we are open to offers and this is not far short of our price. My instinct though was to check out the website first. I found the website http://www.dealer-offer.com within a couple of clicks. What I couldn’t find were any reviews on the Company. I tried to click on the facebook icon nothing, I tried the same with the Autotrader icon, again nothing.
I decided to call Autotrader as the website claim to be working with them. I had just missed their opening hours by ten minutes. Next I went onto the website for AutoTrader and clicked on the heading Staying safe on AutoTrader. The first thing I saw was this warning.
Beware of Fraudulent Website
Monday 15 September 2014We have received reports of customers receiving a text message asking them to visit http://www.dealer-offer.com to sell their cars quickly for cash. Customers are asked to pay a deposit in order to secure the sale of their vehicle. This website is not genuine and in no way affiliated with AutoTrader. We are currently working to have this website shut down. For more information please contact our Customer Security team on 0330 303 9001.
I am so glad that I followed my instinct to check them out.

I am sure that eventually we will find a genuine buyer for our gorgeous electric blue charriot.
Please if you find yourself wanting/needing to sell or buy a second hand car privately, be aware of the fraudsters out there.
We have since had the same text from a another Company using the web address http://www.best-cash-deal.com. looking them up they appear to have the exact same website as dealer-offer.com, I don’t think I will bother looking into it.

Boxes

Today I am thinking about boxes.

Today Statto and Miss Effervescence are moving into their new home together. They will be sharing a flat in London with a friend of Statto’s from school (Skye) and his girlfriend Kat. I hope that the four of them enjoy their new life together in The Big Smoke. I spoke to Statto briefly a few days ago, he was getting quite excited and had done his packing. So I expect that he is now surrounded by boxes. I have had a box of his belongings, in the back of my car for the last year, since he moved into the house he has been sharing with friends for the last year. This box (I have never delved into it to see the contents) contains items (including family photos) that he had with him at University. Statto will be the third out of my four sons to have moved home in the last four weeks.

Today my living/dining room is littered with boxes. But these boxes are different to the ones Statto will have. These are box files. A few months ago I got fed up with our filing system which consisted of piles and piles of papers all over the office. Owl began to sort the papers into piles.Office So one day I gathered up all the piles and filed them into  boxes according to what went together (in my mind).box files There were some things that I didn’t file as they didn’t quite fit any of the categories I had sorted. Owl in the mean time (being a graphic designer by trade) had decided to design labels for the box files. It took him a long time (several months) to get all the graphics exactly how he wanted them. I could never do what he did, I wouldn’t have had the patience to spend so long on it even if I had the know how.

Finally the graphics were completed, with the utmost of care they were then applied to the spine of each box. The boxes were then transferred to the office shelf where I was sent to admire his work. filed The graphics are brilliant but what I hear you ask are the pink heart shaped post it notes stuck on each box? When I looked at the inspired graphics I had to write out my own translation of what should be in each box. Unfortunately, Owl’s idea of what should be in each box didn’t quite tally with mine.

I have been putting off, what I knew would be a mammoth task, checking each box to ensure that they all contained what the label said should be in them.

Because I have advertised my beautiful car for sale. my carwe spent yesterday making sure that all the paperwork was together. Most of it was but we couldn’t find the latest MOT certificate. There were box files on the dining table, coffee table, dining chairs and sofa. One by one I went through each file, whilst Owl went through stacks of loose papers. This was when I discovered that when Owl labelled the boxes he didn’t look inside them. He just stuck labels on random boxes. I don’t think any of the labels had any relevance to the contents. After about four hours the missing MOT certificate was located. It wasn’t in the box file for Car documents or the one for car insurance. It wasn’t in the one for utility bills or the one for bank statements it was in a file marked up for general household things.

At this moment in time I would say that two thirds of our paperwork is now filed properly.  Later after I have finished working in the kitchen and the house is filled with the aromas of bleach and baking, I shall get around to completing the task of filing all our papers so that I can lay my hands on anything easily.

Once this has been achieved the files can go back into the now tidy office which Owl worked on a few days ago. I don’t believe it has been so tidy since we moved in. office Not only can we now see the floor, I can now also see and best of all actually get to my desk.my desk

Now before I do anything else I shall just check what new emails are in my  Inbox. Then I shall be all boxed out.

Oh Brian

It feels like a life time away now but in reality it was only 3 years ago (just before I met Owl). I was single and chatting here and there on a few dating websites. This particular Saturday afternoon in early March I was chatting when I received an invitation to chat to Brian. He asked me what I was looking for, I told him that I was just browsing to see who was out there. I wasn’t seriously looking as I was quite happy being single. ( I was only on there that afternoon for something to do).

We quickly moved from the site chat to msn where we chatted for hours. Again later in the evening we chatted again. We seemed to be hitting it off.

He told me that he lived in Birmingham, he had his own ‘Real Estate’ business and often worked in Europe and Scandinavia. I asked him questions about where in he lives in Birmingham, mentioning a few areas that I have heard of. He was very vague. He told me that he was divorced and has one son who he sees whenever he can. Within days he was telling me that he loved me and asked if I loved him. I told him that no matter how well we got on online, I couldn’t say that I loved him before we had even met.

Brian told me that he wanted to move to be with me, he wanted me to look for a house for us. He was also going to buy me a new car a Nissan Duke. I am sorry but if someone loves me and wants to buy me a car surely they would ask which car I would like not tell me what they would buy. A Nissan Duke is not a car that I would ever choose, I think they are ugly. (my apologies to anyone who does have one).

I didn’t do anything about looking for a house as I didn’t take that seriously. Why would someone I had never met make that kind of commitment?

Sometimes when we were chatting he would ask if we could chat on webcam. Yes I was in favour of this as I wanted to see who I was talking to. The picture was never clear but I could see that I was chatting to the man in the photo he had sent me. Sometimes we chatted online during my lunch break. These lunchtime chats were very odd as they appeared to be the kind of chat you get when someone has translated what they wish to say from another language. Stilted and grammatically incorrect. Yet the evening conversations were more flowing. I realised that I was not chatting to just one person.

He began to push me about looking for a house. Now I know I can be naive at times but by now I was convinced that this was a scam. I decided to play along and see where  this would go. I printed out about 80 pages of chat, just in case I wneeded to go to the police at any time. I lost count of the times he asked me about how much I earn. How many bank accounts I have etc. I had made it clear from the outset that I was living on very little money.  Eventually I looked at some houses around the £200,000 to £300,000 mark. I sent him the links for these houses saying that I would not want to make the choice alone, if he was planning to live there he should have a say. He told me to aim higher, I asked him what price bracket he wanted to look at. He told me  £900,000+. I found a few, and sent him the links, he chose one that was about 1/2 mile from where I was living.

He then told me that he was going to go away to Africa on business he wanted to buy a diamond mine. (or maybe it was a gold mine). He would then buy a jewellers shop in London and name it after me. Over the next week or so he told me he was busy with looking for the right mine to buy. I did some research on the mines, before asking him a few questions. He was as vague as ever.

The next step was soon apparent, he needed to pay for the house he was buying for us but would be away in Africa, so he was putting his accountant in contact with me to make the arrangements.He had found the mine he wanted to buy and was going over there to finalise the purchase. (Hmm that happened very fast). He gave me his accountant’s name Joe Cole (no not the footballer), who happened to be in Norway at the time.

I then received an email from Joe, I didn’t respond, I just waited. After a day I had a message from Brian, had I heard from Joe? I pretended that I hadn’t. After a while I told him that I had found it in my junk mail. What I didn’t say was that I had already drafted my reply but was delaying sending it.

Hello i am Joe Coleman financier to Mr Brian Boucher. He asked me to contact you so i can know how he will settle the payment of a house he is purchasing  Please contact me back when you get this mail so i can know how to proceed with it okay

Yours faithful
Joe

Dear Joe

thank you for your email, I had been looking out for it as Brian had told me to expect to hear from you. 
Please excuse my ignorance but I do not know what it is that you require from me. As far as I am aware the transaction to purchase a house is to be arranged by yourself on behalf of Brian. Since I have no involvement in this transaction I fail to see what you need from me. 
 
However I am happy to assist you in any way I can.
Yours Sincerely 
Apparently he needed my bank details so that he could send me the money so that I could buy the house for Brian. He need to know how I would prefer to receive the money, cheque or bank transfer?
I declined to answer.
A few days later I had a message from Brian.
I told him that I was very hurt.
Why was I hurt?
Because he thought I would be stupid enough to fall for his scam.
Surprisingly he cut me off.
A couple of weeks later I saw him online so pestered him to talk to me.
Eventually he did.
I can’t remember what I said to him but it ended with him telling me to ‘go away.’
And there was me thinking that he loved me!
I reported him to the dating site giving his username, his email address and that the email address for Joe Cole.
I never heard any more.
I just hope that he has not been able to con any other women, although I expect he has. When I look back at how that whole situation panned out over about 6 weeks, I wonder how any woman can be taken in by men like this, but perhaps if you are very lonely and looking for love you might be less aware. Maybe if I had been desperate to find love I might have been more susceptible.
I will post his photo on here once I find it, as it is on another computer.
 Brian Boucher
Have any of you or your friends had experience of  a scam like this?

Guilt and other stuff

I am feeling guilty that although I have wanted to keep up with my writing both on here and elsewhere I have just been too weary. At first I didn’t think too much about it that I was coming home form work exhausted. It has been a very tiring time in the office recently. However as the days stretched into weeks and I was still exhausted I became concerned.

Since I have been on my weekly injections I have found that my appetite has been greatly reduced, which is a good thing. I began to wonder if this was impacting on my energy levels.  I noticed that I seemed to feel quite poorly on Sunday evenings, once or twice I was even sick. I figured that on Sundays I was having a lazy morning followed by a light lunch then a busy afternoon. By about 6 to 6.30 in the evening when I was thinking about preparing the evening meal,out of the blue, I became unwell. I am a great one for analysing everything and worked out I had probably been going too long with out eating. Now I am trying to eat little and often, instead of little not very often. In the last week I have felt much better and certainly less  exhausted.

Over the Christmas period I was reading Maddie Cochere‘s books. Which are all ebooks. As I didn’t have an ereader, my preference even in these electronic days for ‘real books’ I was reading them on my laptop. I was finding this cumbersome and limiting, so when I bought this new notebook I decided to take the plunge and buy a Kindle Paperwhite.  I read Maddie’s remaining books and then started to download a few more by other authors. I had intended to only use my kindle when away from home, so much easier when waiting for an appointment carry my kindle in my handbag than a proper book. I have always found carrying a book with me everywhere was not good for the book. Even though I had vowed to carry on reading ‘real books’ at home I have found myself increasingly opening my kindle. Where I had always had my nose in a book I now have my kindle open at every opportunity. I go to bed early and read for half an hour whereas for ages I have been reading one or two pages of a book before falling asleep.  I still have my stack of books waiting to be read, but for now it is to my kindle that I keep turning. Instead of writing I have been reading.

I am currently reading  ‘The Deadliest Game’ by H E Joyce. Which I am only 4 chapters in but it has me gripped already.

The previous two books I have just finished reading ‘Silence’ and ‘Broken Silence’ by Natasha Preston were both good reads. Although I do think that as much as I enjoyed reading these two books they did lack a good proof reading. They were littered with typing errors which I found very distracting. Probably because I always read every word aloud in my head, if a word is in the wrong place or missing altogether I have to keep going over the sentence until it makes sense to me.

At work I get very frustrated when I read an email that is grammatically wrong, I have even offered to proof read emails for various members of staff. I get alarmed at some of the things that are sent out that just shouldn’t be.

I am currently working on a course for proof reading. Maybe once I have completed the course I shall be in a better position to tell people where they are going wrong.

The main reason I have not read ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is that I had heard it was not well written, I image that rather than enjoying the story I would have been correcting all the errors. For that reason I decided not to jump on the bandwagon at the time. Perhaps one day I will give in and read it. However I have been told that some of my own writing has been just as good if not better, among other things some of you are aware that I have dabbled in writing erotica in the past.

Oh and I wasn’t sure we would get here but yesterday was our first wedding anniversary. The last 9 months have been a bit of a roller coaster to say the least but we seem to be coming out the other end of it now and I am pleased to say we reached our anniversary without killing each other. Last night we celebrated with the two friends who came with us a year ago. Here’s to the next year.

Making progress

 

Here goes, my first attempt at writing a post on my ibook, if this works bearing in mind that I am using an old version of safari on a wired connection, there will be no stopping me.

 

So here is the latest news from this crazy part of my world.

 

I am really looking forward to seeing Statto next weekend. He is staying with us on Saturday night in preparation  for taking part in The Great South run on Sunday morning before joining us for Sunday lunch. Not only am I looking forward to seeing my boy (who will be 23 this week) but he is bringing his girlfriend with him. It will be the first time we have met her so I am a little nervous, for all of us.

 

On the garden front I have been getting my daily fix of bird warching, sparrows, tits, starlings a plenty and my little Christopher Robin has been hopping around. He was investigating the garden at length which got me thinking maybe I should put up a Robin nest box. 

I have been making progress with my writing. I am thinking about persuading one of my characters to take up keeping tropical fish. To this end I have been researching the topic. I took my husband and my son to a local aquarium to see what is on offer. I am astounded by the amount of enthusiasm shown by both. They both think it could be a good idea but they are less than nonchelante about it.

Whilst out I picked up a Robin nest box which is now in situ.

The scene I am currently writing is now 3000+ words and developing a mind of its own. The characters are developing nicely and I am no long scared of writing conversation.

 

 

 

 

October Weekend

 I have finally managed to email this  post from my ibook using an ethernet connection.

 

This weekend has seen some bird watching, including a few visits from Christopher Robin, mostly on Saturday which was a dry day whereas Sunday has been wet wet wet. Owl blames me for all the rain, after he caught me singing and dancing in the kitchen last night wearing a new top which he says has an Indian pattern, I think it is more Aztec. He recons I was doing a rain dance.

 

The top was an impulse buy when I was in town with Skater sorting out his faulty phone, which isn’t covered by the warranty. I ended up getting him a new relatively cheap pay as you go phone, that he can put his SIM card into, his contract still has 14 months to go. Anyway when we had parked and begun to walk towards the shopping centre, we realised that it was colder than we had expected. I was wearing my zip up hoodie from San Francisco, which I never zip up. I tried to do it up only the zip broke, but when I tried to unzip the broken zip my red top got caught in the zip. By the time I had finished fiddling with it I had a 2” hole in my top around about where my belly button is. I just couldn’t face walking around town like that so headed for a shop that I thought had the best chance of selling cheap clothes big enough for my ample figure.

 

Skater now has a new Huawei Ascend, we had never heard of this make but were told they have been making phones for other companies for years before deciding to make their own. A couple of hours later Skater told me that he loves it, it has great apps. He is now in my debt for the rest of the month and probably beyond.

 

Once home I got stuck into my writing, I have given some of my characters more substance. I now have 8 character profiles, then I put my mind to working out exactly what I want my story line to be. I have written out a 116 word outline which I will try to stick to.

 

Once I had got this done I set to writing my third scene. I am now 1500 words into this, Skater has been reading it for me to and says that he would want to keep reading, from a 17 year old boy (almost 18) I take that as a huge compliment. None of my sons are known for reading fiction.

 

I am very pleased with progress so far.