Tuesday, January 12, 2021


Thank you for your kind and helpful messages about scams. I’ve had them before, of course. Did I write here about the one? – it must have been more than a year ago, now – when I came closer than I care to remember to falling for one of the classic ones, where they ring you up and say they’re “the bank” and that there is suspicious activity on tour account and you need to move your funds into a new account – in your name, of course.There were details in that one – Waitrose was mentioned, where I often used to shop – that might have been luck or might have meant they were watching. It was like finding rats in the larder.


Since then, my bank has put a lot of warnings up around on-line banking. I can’t pay the simplest bill without ticking boxes to say that the payee is trustworthy and that I reeely reeely reeely want to pay the bill.


But I think what really upset me last night, was when my messages to Alexander and Ketki were blocked. Emails occasionally bounce, of course, for one reason or another, but I don’t think I’ve ever had one “blocked” before. Now calmer, and thinking about it, I think the only explanation is that Googlemail has an algorithm good enough to spot the scam (which I quoted in full, for Alexander to give an opinion on). Since then, other messages have gone through, in both directions. So good for Googlemail. And that probably explains why the scams came as text messages on the phone, rather than emails.


Anyway, knitting. Here is my hap, now festooned with markers. They’re a nuisance, all right, but not nearly as much of a nuisance as unpicking a whole side.


I have reached round 29, of 50. (And I’ve taken 2441 steps.)


Archie came. It was a beautiful, cold, sunlit day. We walked around the garden. But more importantly, he stopped at the top of Broughton Street and bought me some fish. The shop has been shut for a fortnight – not surprising: the boats don’t go out much, between Christmas and the New Year, and for a few days following. But the shop was thoroughly shut, with no notice in the window, and we (Helen and I) feared the worst. Many a small shop has gone down, in these dreadful days. But not Mr. Bee. He came back. I had some tasty haddock for my lunch, a recipe of Hugh F-W’s from my new book. A glimmer of light, on a dark day.


I haven’t had a letter from the dr yet, about my vaccination. I don’t like the pictures I’ve seen of old folks queueing. For several reasons. The dr’s website says not to come without an appointment (so that’s good), and not to phone. I would be happier, I think, if it didn’t say that mobile over-85’s will be done this coming Saturday. What shall I do (if anything), if I haven’t heard by Thursday?


  1. Regarding phone scams, I have trained myself to answer any unidentified call with "This is Cam." The robots can't deal with something that isn't "Hello." so they hang up. If it's a call I want, they say, "What? Who is this? This is so-and-so returning your call." It works very well for me.

    1. I like that when you say "this is Cam" it sounds like "scam". If it were a scammer for real not a robot this might startle them.

  2. Anonymous8:22 PM

    I would be surprised if they could do all their registered, mobile, over-85s in one day, Jean. They'll make a start but there are sure to be lots of you needing another date. A practice in our area started on the first day vaccinations were done in England, and it took them many days to get through the oldest group.

  3. Anonymous4:33 PM

    "Like finding rats in the larder". Exactly, Jean. As always, you come up with the right phrase.
    -- Gretchen (aka stashdragon)