Posts Tagged ‘games’

I’ve invented a new game. You can play it on your own, but you have to be in the right frame of mind, or in a certain sort of mood. Son doesn’t reckon it’ll catch on, he says I’m just being embarrassing but I like to think of it as a game we grow into as we age. I’m naming it ‘Beat the Sales Call.’

old Ericsson phone -picture from Wikipedia

old Ericsson phone -picture from Wikipedia

Even though I signed up for the Telephone Preference Service, which is supposed to block unwanted calls from companies trying to flog their solar panelling (with the summers we have – are they kidding?), or charities attempting to sign you up as a direct debit donor, we still get plenty of nuisance calls. Usually at the most inconvenient time.

Occasionally however, I’ll answer and engage with the hapless souls who are trying to sell me something, the game being that I’ll waste so much of their time our number will be put on some sort of blacklist and we won’t be bothered in the future.

Now, regular readers will know about the love-hate relationship I have with my mobile phone. I still regard it as a device to be used in an emergency and not as something to have welded to the side of my face as do most of the people who hog the pavement space on our narrow high street. Or use loudly in restaurants as if the rest of the clientele are remotely interested in hearing their one-sided conversation. I receive and send minimal text messages and hardly ever use it to have a conversation, so when it rang yesterday evening, (just as Son and I were about to unwind with a cup of tea in front of a mindless TV comedy show), I answered it automatically, thinking it was an emergency. It wasn’t. It was Brendan. And poor old Brendan had stumbled unwittingly into my new game.

 So, to give you an example of ‘Beat the Sales Call,’ here’s a transcript of last night’s conversation.

“Hello there Jennifer, how are you today?”  (Jennifer? Whatever happened to good evening Mrs Pellett, I hope I’m not disturbing you? And incidentally, the only stranger I’ve ever not minded calling me by my rarely used full first name was the midwife who delivered my son. She could’ve called me anything)

 “Fine, thank you.”

 “Well, er, good. This is Brendan here, from Yodafone.*  How has your day been so far, Jennifer?” (Give me strength. Full of argumentative stroppy teenagers, actually. I’m so ready for you, Brendan).


“Good, good. Perhaps I can make it even better for you, Jennifer. This is just a quick call to see if I can do something for you today.” (Well, there’s a dishwasher that needs emptying, supper to attend to and about a hundred Christmas cards to write, Brendan, but I don’t suppose that’s what you have in mind).

 “Okay, so what are you trying to sell me then?”

 “Oh, no, no Jennifer, this is to look at the tariff you’re currently on and to see if we can help you out with a few discounts today…”   (Yeah, right)

 “Which I‘ll have to pay for.”

“I must just remind you Jennifer, that all calls are recorded for training purposes.”  (Oooh, goody. I wonder what they call staff trainers these days? Human Resource Furtherment Facilitators? – don’t get me started on that one).

“First up, Jennifer, I see you don’t have a four digit pin number set up.”

“Why would I need one of those?”

“So that I can talk to you about your account, Jennifer…”

“But you are talking to me about my account.”

“Okay, so we don’t need to set up a pin number Jennifer; if I could just have your date of birth and post code then.”

“Why do you need those – you phoned me, remember.”

“It’s just for data protection, Jennifer, I have your details on my screen.”

 “Whose protection are we talking about then? You phoned me, – how do I know you are who you say you are? I can see that if I phone say, my bank, I‘d expect to have to identify myself somehow, but you phoned me, Brendan. So what is the point of this call?” (Note that I’m beginning to sound like Brendan now).

 “Well, Jennifer, as I said, this is to see if we can help you save money on your tariff by offering you discounts.” (I’m beginning to feel sorry for Brendan now. He has such a lovely voice).

 “Yes, but to get to these so called discounts, Brendan, I’m ultimately going to have to spend more money, aren’t I?”

 “In all honesty, Jennifer, yes you are.” (Chuckling good naturedly, bless him).

 “Nice talking to you Brendan, goodbye.”

Of course, there are other ways to deal with unwanted sales calls. You can answer the phone, put it down and walk away or you can just not pick up at all. But neither of these options are nearly as much fun.

*Not a typo

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Over the weekend I was challenged by fellow blogger, Lynette D’arty-Cross, to take part in a circulating question and answer game.

It works a bit like a chain letter – which I always diligently followed through as a child and was frequently disappointed when the mountains of promised postcards from all over the world never materialised. (My best total ever was three: all from Cornwall). However, not being one to bear a grudge I’ll be throwing myself wholeheartedly into answering Lynette’s questions as best I can and then compose some of my own.

Here are the rules of the game:

Me and Favourite

Me and Favourite

1. Post these rules.

2. Post a photo of yourself and eleven random facts about you. 

3. Answer the questions given to you in the tagger’s post.

4. Create eleven new questions and tag new people to answer them.

 5. Go to their blog/twitter and let them know they’ve been tagged.

So, here’s the photo. There was no stipulation that it should be current, and anyway, it illustrates one of the answers to Lynette’s questions.

For anyone still with this, here are eleven (I am intrigued to know why eleven) random facts about me.

I am left-handed; I can’t knit and I hate the feel of nylon. (That’s three).

The only word I know in German is Schildkröte. (Tortoise).

A few years ago I met Peter Osgood, my football hero from the seventies. It didn’t matter that he was old. Or shorter than me. He signed my programme. I was excited for days.

High heeled shoes are anathema to me.

I used to collect pigs but got bored with them.

My index fingers are double jointed.

I have never enjoyed a novel by Jane Austen, or the Bronte’s, for that matter. Even Colin Firth in a wet shirt doesn’t do it for me. Sorry. (Does that count as three separate items? Probably not. Oh well).

I want to ride round London in an open-topped bus pretending I’m a tourist.

My favourite chocolate is the green triangle in a box of Quality Street.


And now to Lynette’s Eleven Questions Time….

If you had a chance to go back five years from today, and knowing what you know, what would you tell yourself?

Not to keep to the same lottery numbers – far too stressful remembering to buy the ticket.  Better still, don’t buy a lottery ticket in the first place, EVER.

Who inspires you?

Absolutely everyone I meet inspires in some way.

What makes you laugh?

I can find humour everywhere and rarely go through a day without laughing. Monty Python’s fish slapping dance never fails to make me laugh out loud.

Why do you blog?

To impose self-discipline and a deadline; to meet like-minded people, share ideas and interests and become inspired.

What is your favourite animal?img001 (2)

The elephant. I have a large wooden one on my windowsill.  Here’s one I drew earlier.

What is your favourite travel destination?

Anywhere in France.  Unlike most of my fellow countrymen I genuinely like the French – even the Parisians – I have a sneaking admiration for them. How dare they display such arrogant insouciance in their own city?

Who would you like to meet (dead* or alive)?

Grayson Perry.  For so many reasons, not least because we share a love of Teddy Bears. His is called Alan Measles, and mine is Favourite, looking pristine in the photo above. (He looks nothing like this now). Grayson’s art works are beautiful, interesting and thought-provoking:  everything a work of art should be. For all his cross-dressing, he remains very blokey and is able to hold forth on any subject with sense, sensitivity and humour. Grayson for PM!

*I wouldn’t like to meet a dead person. That would be just weird.

What is your favourite food?

Anything cooked by someone else.

What annoys you?

Dirty plates on the draining board, not in the dishwasher.

If you could change something in your life, what would it be?

The ageing process. So much to do, so much to see, people to meet. Time’s winged chariot and all that.

What do you do to relax yourself?



Now here’s the bit where I cheat a little. I have a list of questions below (yes, eleven of them), but I’m not tagging anyone in particular.  If anyone feels so inclined to answer one or two, or even all of them, I shall be genuinely interested in the response – I don’t want to turn it into an interrogation. I hope this doesn’t mean that Lynette will strike me off her Christmas card list for altering the game. Did I mention that I’m very bossy? Make that random item number twelve, then.

 Eleven Random Questions for anyone out there who wants to be in my gang:

1. If you could be someone else for the day, who would it be?

2. Is there something you’ve been putting off doing, and if so, what?

3. Name the highest place you’ve ever been to.

4. What gets you up in the morning?

5. When was the last time you were embarrassed?

6. If you bought a present for your next door neighbour, what would it be?

7. What do you consider to be the worst form of transport?

8. What was the last live music gig you went to?

9. What is your favourite film?

10. Whose advice do you regularly take?

11. How many different places have you lived in?

So, that’s me done. I shall avoid the number eleven from now on and await responses forthwith.  Humour me!

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