Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bank card difficulties

Alltangledup, I appreciated your suggestion that I remove the name of my bank from yesterday’s post – but I didn’t do it, because I wanted to be as rude as possible about the RBofS who have disgraced Scotland. The bad men out there still have far less information than could be gleaned from any cheque I write. The cases of identity theft I have known personally all involved paper cheques and all could most easily have been perpetrated from within the banks involved, although that was strenuously denied.

Angel, I have had a phone call like yours from my credit card company. It was this time of year and they were raising eyebrows about my reckless on-line present-purchasing. But last July when I went to Theo and Jenni’s wedding, it didn’t seem to bother them that I, the permanent Edinburgh stay-at-home, was suddenly paying for hotel rooms and a hire car in CT. (I am glad to be reminded, by your blog, of the Tulip sweater. All I need is a great-grandchild…)

And Tamar, no, it happened at mid-day, at a cash machine inside a branch of another bank. I tried twice, in astonishment. We have a reserve account at that other bank – you see, Alltangledup, I’m being at least reasonably careful here -- so I then used the other card and got the money I needed to continue shopping. The machine certainly seemed to be functioning. Maybe the Royal Bank’s mighty computers had suffered a temporary glitch? I drew £10 later in the day from one of their machines, just to reassure myself. The episode remains odd.

More non-knit

We should hear C.’s test results soon. After these few happy days, becalmed, are we about to find ourselves back on the open seas? I’ll phone our niece this evening for news, and to book ourselves in for another visit…

…since we’re still here. The weather forecasts continue abominable – Accuweather now predicts a total of 8” of snow for Blairgowrie over the next five days. But nothing is actually happening except that it’s very cold, and we feel we’re being a bit wimpish.

Knitting (at last)

Eight wurms done. Not long now.

My 65p copy of Sandy Black’s “Original Knitting” turned up yesterday. I can see why I didn’t snap it up the first time around – sui generis to a fault.

And here is the Winter 2010 issue of IK! All my magazines within a week! I think Eunny is really hitting her stride as editor. As with VK, there’s much of interest. Lodinsky’s “Prism Pullover” would be fun to knit but absurd, I fear, in wear. I learned from this issue of Margaret Stove’s new book, “Wrapped in Lace”, and ordered it at once.

She and her husband were here in Drummond Place a few years ago, leaving very fond memories behind. He is a countryman, and had never been north of the equator before. He said over Sunday lunch how odd it felt to him to find the sun so consistently in the southern sky. I wonder, would I have noticed its displacement had I ever reached New Zealand?


  1. Wrapped in Lace is very interesting - I accessed a copy yesterday. There are not a large number of patterns but those that are there are also not your average patterns. The construction techniques tend to be quite unusual.
    I am unlikely to knit any of them because I prefer to design my own but I am very pleased to see charts for her "Thistle and Fern" shawl and will be guiding a Kiwi through the knitting of it.
    It was a little irritating to find that you are directed to the Knitting Daily site to download one pattern - not all knitters have access to the internet, especially in Australia.

  2. Re banks. Last year I found myself suddenly deprived access to funds in Cambridge, whence I had gone specifically to Christmas shop. My card was suddenly blocked at the cash point, with no reason given. Subsequent conversations with their representative brought the reason: I had bought £30 worth of crockery on-line from Robert Dyas. This was seen as so exceptional that I was denied access to my account.

  3. Dawn in nL9:45 AM

    Jean, I laughed at the comment about the sun's position - I have been in NZ and didn't notice anything different about the sun. I did notice the difference in the stars in the night sky, though.

    Looking at the Milky Way in a very remote (i.e. no lights) place gave me vertigo, and a memory that I treaure.

    Wishing your SIL well,

  4. We moved six months ago from Canada (where I've lived my whole life) to India. I notice that the sun is over head a lot. Of course, it rises in the morning and sets at night, but there seems to be no lingering of the sun near the horizons. It is just overhead, or down, it seems. There feels to me to be no eveningtime.

    Much more than that, though, it is the lack of change in the seasons that throws me off-kilter. It turns out that I am only able to keep track of time here with careful attention to calendars and schedules. I know, from tracking the days on paper that it is almost December, but if I don't stop to think about it, it could still be June for all I know. Desperate, I watch for the little things in nature - the African Tulip trees are blooming, for example, but the Hibiscus seem to be resting a bit - to try and restore that sense of time passing, but with little success.

    I'm wishing that the news of your sil is the best possible.

  5. I spent some time in Texas one January, and what threw me off was that it got dark very early but was warm. I have lived far north of the equator all of my life, so it felt quite strange. Must check out Margaret Stove. Your comment on the pullover being fun to knit but not to wear reminded me of Franklin's little animation of the Queen and Albert Einstein, which I am sure you watched. (I confess I've watched it a few times.)

  6. I was cruising the Guardian's website today and found a lovely gallery of snow pictures up in the north of England and Scotland. Lots of pretty pictures of sheep standing on snowy fields, but I imagine that driving in it is tough. I always avoided driving in the snow when I lived in Oberlin.

    When I first moved from California to go to school in Boston is struck me how weak-looking the sun was in the winter. A sad, watery-yellow thing. I will say, nothing signified the holidays more to me than getting off the plane in Los Angeles and looking up to a bright yellow sun. That was Christmas for me. (I never did get into the White Christmas thing- maybe because I never had one. My dad always used to say "Jesus was born in the desert." Heh.)

  7. The only time I had my card blocked was when I tried to get cash in San Francisco. This was my debit card, so I was then on pins hoping nothing would go wrong with the credit card, when it came to settling the hotel bill.
    When I got back they said they had telephoned my home number, and sent a text to my mobile, and got no response, so they considered they had done the right thing. Of course they got no response - I was in San Francisco. For goodness sake!
    I gather it is now possible to notify your debit card provider when you are going to be abroad, to prevent this kind of incident.

  8. Forgot to mention that the bank in question is the one whose current slogan is "for the journey". You can guess my response to that one!

  9. I wouldn't call your caution "wimpish" but rather "prudent."

    When I lived in Miami during graduate school, it seemed that the moon was much bigger compared to at home in Wisconsin. Also during summers, the sky would still be light at 10 p.m.

    Angel from California - it's funny how what we grow up with stays with us - after 30 years of a white Christmas, it was very strange to be in a holiday-decorated store with Christmas music playing, then go outside into the 80 - 90 degree weather and into the car (which would be 100-110 inside). Seeing a santa and reindeer on green lawn was always a bit jarring.