SILLY SATURDAY – NEWSLESS

Featuring unnewsworthy items that could be happening near you, but probably aren’t.

When banana loving visitors could not come, the obvious thing to do was put them on the local recycling Facebook page. They were snapped up immediately.

Wanted for criminal damage. A flurry of terror and excitement as rogue dog fox digs up lawns. Neighbours have been patching up lawns and fences in a bid to save their grass. Night cameras have been installed to prove his guilt.

…while indoors, home owners fear The Elf has returned.

A supermarket closed its vegetable section for several hours yesterday after a staff member spotted a worrying headline as he read the newspaper during his break. As workers hurriedly cleared shelves he tried to explain that the headline actually said ‘Tornadoes Leave Two Dead’ not ‘Tomatoes Leave Two Dead.’ The manger later explained that once a food contamination alert has been raised the action must be completed and suspect foods cannot be sold until tests have given the all clear.

Chatbot

My TV box is not working.

I am just a chatbox, I am putting you through to a human agent.

I am sorry we are experiencing delays with agent contacting you, we are experiencing a high level of compl… enquiries.

Do I have time to make a cup of tea?

Thankyou for your patience, an agent will be with you as soon as possible, but there may be a long wait.

Does that mean I have time to go to the toilet?

Thankyou for your patience, our customers are very important to us. So our agent can deal quickly with you can you answer sixteen security questions…What is your account number in roman numerals? How much was your last payment in $US?…

We are sorry to know you are experiencing a fault with your services. i see a clear note by our field technician working on site and they have given us a deadline to complete this. We can see there is a fault in the area causing it. As we making some improvements to our network at the moment, so we can make sure we’re giving you the best service possible. This means that you will be experiencing a loss of your Broadband, Voice and TV service(s) in the area for a short time. Everything should be back to normal today on 24th November 2022 09:00 broadband issue will be resolved completely

Today is 17th November…

 This will be complete fixed on 24th of November and most of the customers in your area are facing the same issue as our technicians are working on a damaged cable in the area and we aim to get this resolved soon, we would appreciate your patience regarding this

If there is work going on in the area, why don’t you email your customers to tell them?

 We’re sorry that you’re still experiencing intermittent problems with your Broadband in the ZX6 7XZ area. I am sorry my colleague must have missed out that. We expect our engineers to have this repaired as soon as possible. The estimated repair time is 24 NOV 2022 09:00 It s not only yours the Entire area is facing the same problem. We are working as hard as we can to fix this, however due to the complexities of the issue it may take for ever…

I’m not having problems with my internet, how do you think I’m talking to you? And I keep telling you the entire area is NOT facing the same problem! Okay, you are probably thinking why does she keep complaining when there are people in the world with far worse problems, after all I could have been flooded out, my house flattened by bombs or swept away in a larva flow, yes I am very lucky to have a roof over my head…

I have also cleared the upstream and downstream channels to make sure you are on the least congested band but we cannot guarantee a stable connection until the outage is fixed. I have also registered you for compensation for loss of services. Your patience ….

I thought it all worked by magic. I hope you know what you are doing…

So you can see the compensation applied on your account once the outage issue is cleared as this is applied by our backend team. I can understand how difficult it is to manage without internet even I have experienced the same from my service provider as well and know how frustrating it is. But I kindly request you to manage using mobile hotspot until then.

But it’s the TV box not my internet

We take pride to ensure our customer satisfaction unfortunately we have not met your expectations, Upon through review of your conversation we understand that its not what we follow as our values and standards.

I will come back later, I need chocolate.

We are denying to help you, The reason you are facing issues is because of an outage. We are working as hard as we to fix can this, however due to the complexities of the issue its taking us a little longer than normal. Once te outage is completed, service will be resumed and we make sure this is not repeated. Please be rest assured.

Thursday Tiny Tale – Pastoral Care

‘You’re listening to BBC Radio 4 and on ‘Sunday’ this morning we talk to one of the Church of England’s exorcists, the Reverend Nick De’Vilno. Rev, many people will be surprised to hear the church today still has exorcists.’

‘Actually we call it our deliverance ministry.’

‘Does the Church of England really believe people can be possessed?’

‘We believe some people genuinely believe they are possessed, “deliverance” is part of pastoral care: it is the ministry of liberating, freeing or delivering a person from a burden which they carry.’

‘But do you believe a person could really be possessed by demons or even The Devil himself?’

‘Our Lord talked about casting out demons, but that was the language his listeners would have understood.

‘So you don’t believe Jesus cast out demons into a herd of swine.’

‘I believe the poor man would have seen his troubled mind eased in a way he could understand.’

‘I understand the Archbishop has given permission for the makers of the popular podcast ‘It Really Happened’ to follow your ministry.’

‘Yes indeed, but if listeners are hoping for sensationalism or to be terrified, they will be sorely disappointed. They will hear about our working together with mental health practitioners to help those in need.’

‘Welcome to this week’s special podcast with me Robbie Danson. I am waiting outside a very ordinary suburban house with the Reverend Nick De’Vilno, an exorcist with the Church of England, or as he prefers, a member of the church’s deliverance ministry. Inside the house is the owner, who we shall call David, as that is his name and with him is a mental health specialist who works in close collaboration with the deliverance ministry. When she comes out she will tell us if it is appropriate for Nick to chat to David.’

‘Just chat at this stage Nick?’

‘Of course, this is essentially a pastoral visit.’

‘Ah, the front door is opening now, a young woman is stepping, no running…

‘Oh God help us, run Robbie, I’m not going back in there again, run, let’s get out of here Vicar… I h..hope you really have ggot God on your side…’

‘Wait, wait calm down dear.’

‘Don’t you****ing tell me to calm down, that poor mmman, it’s going to get him…’

‘Okay, okay, I’ll just pop in and talk to him, see, there he is at the door.’

This is Robbie Danson still here, things are really kicking off, the mental health worker has fled and Nick has gone to talk to David… let’s move closer so we can hear.’

‘It’s okay David, what is it you are afraid of…’

‘The television, it was IN the television, like it has been for weeks, nobody believed me, horrible, horrible…’

‘We believe you, are you sure it wasn’t a horror movie, you accidentally knocked the remote control onto another channel. Let’s go inside and check.’

‘I can’t, I can’t get away, but I wwon’t go back in there.’

‘It will be okay, if it’s in the television set it can’t hurt you, look. I’ll go in first…’

‘NOOO you mustn’t … it, it came OUT of the television…’

‘This is the BBC News at Six O’clock, here are the headlines.  A well know podcast has been widely criticised and The Archbishop of Canterbury is to make a statement shortly, after a member of the clergy and a parishioner he was trying to help, were both killed in an horrific unexplained accident.’

A Century of Listening

One hundred years ago today at 6pm, BBC radio officially broadcast for the first time; a news bulletin read twice, the second time slowly in case listeners wished to take notes. The BBC is celebrating its centenary all year and of course including television. But today radio deserves the limelight.

Neither television nor the internet has left radio in the shadows. We got our first television when I was four, so I can safely say only radio has been with me all my life.

‘Lord Reith, first director general of the BBC summarised the BBC’s purpose in three words: inform, educate, entertain; this remains part of the organisation’s mission statement to this day. It has also been adopted by broadcasters throughout the world, notably the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in the United States.’

Whether you turn on the radio for news the moment you return home or don’t even own a radio, BBC radio has almost certainly been part of your life. My son tells me about various interesting podcasts he has listened to, which turn out to be programmes I heard on the radio in the kitchen. My daughter could listen with ear phones on her smart phone to Woman’s Hour in the middle of the night while feeding babies. Surely all of us have been informed, educated or entertained at some time by BBC radio. Even if you have never set foot on these sceptred isles you may have listened all your life to BBC World Service.

It is not an exaggeration to say I probably could not survive without BBC Radio, yes of course we have commercial radio stations and for a while I was a fan of Classic FM, but we were driven apart by advertisements! Radio has been a great companion whilst at home with babies, housework, ironing, cooking, insomnia through to my recent widowhood.

For most of us radio was our first introduction to music, from Faure’s Dolly Suite, signature tune for Listen with Mother to British light music such as Eric Coates’ Sleepy Lagoon, still the signature tune for Desert Island Discs which has been going for one hundred years, or feels like it. It was first broadcast in the 1940’s long before my parents even met, but it was one of the backgrounds to my childhood. If you want something a bit more lively Calling All Workers, also composed by Eric Coates was the signature tune for Workers’ Playtime, broadcast as a morale booster for factory workers in World War 2.  

Now we listen to every kind of music on all the various BBC stations, from your favourite pop song as you drive to work to Radio 3 broadcasting every single concert in the long Proms season.

Radio is above all the spoken word with no need for pictures; our own home theatre, story teller and entertainer. Afternoon plays, half hour comedies and specials such as real time reading all day of the complete Ulysses by James Joyce.

Do you listen to the radio, what music evokes memories? If you do tune in are you listening for news, music, drama or comedy?

The Henchman

Benny ‘Biceps’ Bison, was it really him? Yes it had to be, even bigger than when he was in sixth form, but if there was any doubt in Julian’s mind that he had spotted Benny on his first visit to this new gym, it was dispelled when Benny extricated himself from some weird contraption and came striding over.

‘Hey Julie Ringlets, what brings you here? No need to ask what you are doing these days, you’re never off the news.’

Julian Ringlington, MP, new Minister for Levelling Down, forced a tight smile, perhaps it was not that great seeing Benny again.

‘Long time no see Benjamin, how are you these days?’

‘Never better, but what Are you doing here.’

‘Oh erm, looking round, thinking of changing gyms, is it good here, are you a regular?’

Julian had already decided this was one gym to avoid.

‘You could say that, I own it.’

After a comprehensive tour of the gym with Benny introducing every incomprehensible piece of computer controlled equipment, Julian found himself upstairs in the designer health bar sipping a green smoothie.

‘So Jules, how many ministries have you had this year? Wonder you could get out your front door with all those climate protesters when you were minister for the Environment, now every mob seems to be attacking you. Do you actually enjoy being a politician?

‘I would if I got a chance to make a difference and put all my ideas into action. Between press and protesters I feel I can hardly breathe, let alone speak.’

Julian wondered what was in the green smoothie that had loosened his tongue to confide in Ben, but then Benjamin Bison had been his best friend at school, or the closest thing he had to a friend at school.

Look Jules, I have had an amazing idea, we were always a good team at school, remember that time they were going to flush your head down the lav?’

Julian was hardly likely to forget, one of the many times Benny had rescued him.

‘What you need is a henchman; in my case a sort of cross between a personal trainer and a bodyguard, with a few more tricks up my sleeve than your security chaps are allowed.’

 Julian Ringlington was unsure exactly what the Portfolio for Minister for Levelling Down covered, but with a new found confidence he ploughed his own path and was soon in great demand on high and low brow radio and television.

‘…so that is why we are giving everyone living alone on a tight budget a dog. A dog on the sofa and the foot of your bed keeps you far warmer than an electric blanket or the gas fired central heating.’

‘And where will you get all the dogs from?’

‘Rescue centres are overfull, all the puppies people bought during lockdown and got fed up with. The dogs will be happy and it will also be good for the mental health of their new owners, keep them out of the doctors’ surgeries. It’s all win win.’

‘…so we intend to close down all schools for the winter and return to on line teaching, saving on staff costs and heating bills for school buildings.’

‘But then families will need to keep their heating on longer if the children are at home and they will miss out on school lunches.

‘No problem, the whole family can go to the free warm hubs and enjoy community meals.’

‘Can you guarantee enough of these hubs?’

‘Of course, we will be using all the empty school buildings…’

As more and more press and public gathered wherever Julian went, his new private secretary Benjamin Bison was at his side, parting the crowds like Moses and the Red Sea, ‘accidentally’ treading on toes or knocking large news  camera lens askew. Among press and politicians alike there was covert concern as to who this Benjamin Bison was, but everyone was too scared to enquire.

Scrabbletide

Do you only use two programmes on your washing machine? Do you ever set the timer on your oven to cook a meal while you are out?

When my oven was new it switched itself off a couple of times when I was in the middle of cooking a roast dinner; I had added an extra ten minutes to cooking time when I put the potatoes in, but instead it thought it had to turn off after ten minutes. I now never dare to touch the timer once it’s set or even better use the clockwork timer inherited from my uncle’s house. Yes I know you can set a timer on your iPhone, but I don’t want to interfere with Wordle or Planet Quiz… The clock on the cooker will be remaining on British Summer Time as I can’t take the risk of the oven not going on because the clock has been interfered with.

I use Word Press in a similar fashion, not daring to explore the other ninety per cent of things it can do for fear of annihilating the few things I can do. My greatest achievement is to post blogs at all; no one I know in ‘real’ life blogs or uses Word Press, so it either happened by magic or I set up my blog all by myself.

I have been trying to straighten up my WP dealings. I did manage to change to a paid plan without the blog disappearing; my simple aims were to get rid of advertisements for ear wax and to be able to store more of my photographs. There may be other benefits, but I have no idea what.

I have learnt many things from other bloggers, usually after already making the mistakes.  Beetleypete says he only follows one hundred bloggers, why didn’t I think of that? I also realised along the way that I could turn off email notifications, though I hesitated as I didn’t want to neglect or miss my favourite bloggers. Early on I had started following a blogger who loved reblogging and I would be inundated with hundreds of emails a day. I hastily unfollowed him.

When Beetleypete mentioned checking his spam folder I didn’t even know I had one. It turned out it was full of my greatest fans?

Lucky me I ran across your website by chance (stumbleupon). I have book marked it for later

Your style is so unique in comparison to other people I have read stuff from. 

Amazing how many stumble upon and book mark my blog. As I deleted pages of spam comment I came across one of my regular genuine bloggers, how did she have the misfortune to be mixed with the riff raff?

I have tidied up my list of interesting blogs I follow, but it is sad to remember bloggers you didn’t want to lose. What has happened to Biff Sock Pow! I just had to follow a blog with a name like that and I loved his drawings and funny writing. Kim used to post on Sunday morning three quick questions you had to answer without thinking, that was fun. She had chronic health problems and they sold their house for a simpler life on the road. That was interesting to follow until she decided to stop blogging. I wonder how she is getting on?

How many blogs do you follow? How do you choose who to follow?

Monday Monologue – Fabian’s Fantoms

Fabian? It’s your mother. I know it comes up on your screen, but you do have to be careful who you’re talking to in your job. Yes, dead or alive and I am very much alive. Sorry I missed your Sunday night slot, but I was watching something good on television. But the good news is I have got the hang of BBC Sounds on my iPad and I managed to listen just now. Yes of course, I tell all my friends to listen in to Fabian’s Fantoms at midnight. Marcia wants to know if they’re all true, I told her you never fake the stories. Last night was true wasn’t it? I can’t believe they let you in to number ten…. Number Ten Downing Street… But you were, I listened to it.

Waterworks Cottage in Cumbria? My hearing’s not that bad, it was definitely you talking from Downing Street, nobody else could imitate your voice and I am hardly likely to forget you and the new Prime Minister in the Cabinet Room talking to all those dead Prime Ministers, Chancellors and Home Secretaries…. No not Richie Sunak, the one after that… hmm I was surprised we had yet another new PM, transgender too, or was it non-binary, what was their name, they had just changed it.

I am not playing a Halloween joke, the state of the planet is not a joke, no wonder those past great statesmen decided to manifest themselves and knock some sense into our leaders. Okay, if you don’t believe me look up BBC Sounds for yourself. I shall too, now I am beginning to wonder if I am going mad.

Here it is; episode 666 of Fabian’s Fantoms. Fabian joins the new Prime Minister to investigate their claims that 10 Downing Street is haunted by previous incumbents, broadcast live on Sunday night. Fabian, are you there, are you alright, you sound strange. Read further?

..Sunday night 29th October 2023, but that doesn’t make sense, just a mistake… Broadcast again on Tuesday midnight, 31st October 2023 as a tribute to Fabian Falstaff who died suddenly on Monday morning 30th October 2023.