Thursday 30 March 2023

Thursday 30th March

I’ve had problems with the bailiffs, or one particular bailiff company.

It’s not what you think, I didn’t owe anyone any money but someone else, who I have never heard of, has been giving out our address as his own, someone who has never lived at our address. For ages I’ve returning letters for him as “Not known at this address.” The three weeks ago we received a hand delivered letter for him, with no return address on it and the envelope was open. Inside was a letter from a firm of bailiffs, saying that over six thousand pounds was owed in fines and court fees. If this sum wasn’t paid within ten days then bailiffs would come to our address and seize property to the value of the amount owed. I was shocked and angry.

I rang the bailiff company, straight after reading that letter, but they weren’t helpful. Their attitude was that it was my fault and I had to sort it out, even though it was someone else who had lied. Citizens Advice were very helpful. They told me the documents that I had sent the bailiff company to prove it was only us who live here. They also told me that the bailiff company had to pause the “recovery” until it was all sorted out. They also advised me that I didn’t have to let any bailiffs into my home. I rang the bailiff company back and told them they had to pause the “recovery”. They said they would only do that for ten days, as it was company policy. All the people I spoke to, at that company, had poor interpersonal skills.

Nine days later, I received an email from the bailiff company saying that they agreed that the man didn’t live at our address and the matter was closed. No apology or anything for the stress and worry they caused me.

The bailiffs were trying to collect a court fine and fees, yet at no point did anyone try and confirm that this man lived at our address. Why didn’t anyone just check that what he said was true?

At least I know what to do if it happens again, thanks to Citizens Advice.

Wednesday 29 March 2023

Wednesday 29th March 2023


On the grass, in front of our house, the crows and seagulls have fallen back into their usual cold war, after all staring at the lorry that came to emptying our rubbish bins. They stand around, glaring at each other, or attacking leftover fast-food wrappers, which the crows always seem better at. Every couple of days the cold war breaks down and they’ll start fighting over something or other, leaving behind the occasional feather on the grass.

Before lockdown, the grass was dominated by pigeons, who wondered around in their lost way, with the occasional crow interrupting them. But something changed during lockdown and a flock of crows moved in, driving the pigeons away. Towards the end of lockdown, the crows were joined by the seagulls and the cold war began.

The crows are now sitting up on the roofs, of our terrace of houses, glaring down at the street like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, as the seagulls just stand around on the grass. They are back into their cold war.

Tuesday 28 March 2023

Tuesday 28th March 2023

Last Friday we had a day out. We went to the London Transport Museum Depot, out at Acton (West London), for one of its open days. It was an amazing experience. It is housed in an old London Transport depot and is full of all kinds of old equipment, trains and memorabilia from the London Underground.

I have always been fascinated by the London Underground, ever since I moved to London. Taking a train across a city, that travelled only underground, was so new and different. Since then, I have found that the history of the London Underground also ties in with so much of our social history.

Then something uncomfortable happened.

We were looking at a restored old tube train and a guide was telling us all about it. I realised that I used to travel in that type of tube train when I moved to London. Then I saw they had, preserved, the ticket machines from the same time, the ones I had used almost daily back then. Looking around the museum, I saw serval other exhibits I remembered from when they were in use.

I remember things in everyday usage, from when I was an adult, that are now exhibits in a museum. I am old enough to remember museum exhibits when they were in everyday use.

When I was a child, exhibits in museums were strange and very old things, things from a different world, an old world that was securely in the past. Now I can go to a museum and find something there that I can remember when it was in everyday usage.

Life can be so complicated.