Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire

Today is the day that the UK leaves the EU, and I feel really sad it’s finally come to this. I honestly believe we’re jumping collectively out of the frying pan and into the fire, and the chaos is only now truly beginning. Although ‘collectively’ is perhaps a bit of a misnomer, as the divide between the half of the country that always wanted to leave and the half of the country that always wanted to stay is as deep as it was on the day of the referendum, and is still truly divisive. I accept with heavy heart that we may indeed be exiting the European Union, but I still want it recognised that it is not being done in my name.

When the result of any referendum is that close, to me it’s not a question of re-running it, of re-hashing old arguements, but of the half on the ‘winning’ side of the arguement being gracious to those on the ‘losing’ side. Accept that you may have won the vote, but appreciate that nevertheless only half the country is with you, and act accordingly. You may have a majority, but only just: The result was far from unanimous. So don’t turn it into an uncivil war of wounding words, don’t twist the truth into multiple misrepresentations of fact or expound a nasty narrative of vitriolic extremes. We are not the enemy.

Don’t try to turn half the population into traitors – because if anything, it’s those of us who wished to stay that have been betrayed by your bullying behaviour, not the other way around. Realise that perhaps this is not a propitious time for proposing street parties and national celebration across the board. Don’t be so cavalier with dismissing our dismay, remember there are still puritans amongst us protesting against such flamboyance who prefer taking a more sober approach. It’s bad enough that it’s happening at all without the ludicrous idea of Big Ben chiming in at a cost of a cool half a million – but thankfully at least that plan has now been shelved.

That whole ugly cartoonish image portrayed to the world of puffed-up Brexiteers gloating over whinging Remoaners is an embarrassment. Nigel Farage and his cronies waving their Union Jack flags so disrespectfully within the European Parliament this week is an embarrassment. For those of us who wished to remain, being dragged out of the EU against our wishes is bad enough without having our noses rubbed in it gleefully by people who should know better. Britain should be greater than this.

JusJoJan 31: Chaos

Strange Emails… To Dot or Not?

My personal email account is a gmail account – I’ve used it as my primary email since gmail first began way back when, in the early beta testing days, so probably for around 15 years. I have to say all went well until somewhere along the line, gmail decided any dots within a username stopped being relevant. I remember receiving an email from gmail about it, but thought nothing of it and deleted it straight away.

Ever since then, however, I have occasionally received strange emails that are clearly not for me – not spam type emails, or even hack type emails. Proper everyday emails for someone else, with the intended recipient’s email address being identical to mine apart from there being no dot between first name and last name. I tried to email the person to let them know, using their exact email address as shown, but of course the email I sent turned up straight back in my own email inbox, not theirs, so that didn’t work. How annoying.

So I tried to search online to see if this was a common problem, or if it was just me, and it has shown up as an issue on several forum threads, with the common reply that someone somewhere is probably typing in the wrong email address. Seriously? On the gmail help page it says no-one can have the same email address as you, with or without a dot, because if they try to set it up they will be prompted to choose something else. But did they make this rule back-compatible? What about all the email addresses set up long before the irrelevant dot thing was introduced, when the inclusion of a dot or not mattered a great deal? Did they bother to check? Because clearly there are still some in existence, whatever gmail thinks…

Last summer I received an email from an unknown-to-me medical practice somewhere else in the UK, saying ‘my’ patient access account had successfully been set up, effectively allowing me to log in to someone else’s medical appointment information if I was so inclined. Admittedly I would not have their password, but all I would have to do is click on ‘forgot password’ to have a temporary one sent to my email address, and hey presto, I’d be in. Instant identity fraud, all because of an errant email address. In this case I contacted the very genuine medical practice concerned, who thanked me for letting them know, and no further emails from them have been received since.

At one point (again last summer) I received a flurry of emails from both Facebook and Instagram for accounts that were not mine but that apparently had my email address (again minus the dot) attached to them, and after trying to contact the companies to discuss the issue (and being told that this was not possible, there were absolutely no accounts linked to my particular email address) I eventually became so frustrated I decided if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, and simply logged on to these accounts (using my email address and the ‘forgot password’ system) and deleted them both. No more problem – for me, at least.

I’ve also occasionally received emails from Amazon telling me that sundry items like my order of sheet music or whatever is on the way – nope, definitely not me – but hopefully all goods actually arrived where they should have been delivered to anyway. Yesterday, however, I received what appeared to be an urgent email from the University of Mexico relating to an application for funding or something that is currently in progress. As ever there’s nothing that makes me suspect it is anything other than a genuine email, just yet again not for me, so I’ve decided enough is enough.

I do like the convenience of gmail, so rather than find a new email provider I’ve decided just to create a brand new account for myself, without any dots, with a user name made up of more than just my first and last name to have less chance of overlap with someone else, and I’m going to retire the old account once and for all. It makes me question how many of my emails have gone astray, has the other person received some of mine too? Grrr… Sometimes technology can be more of a nightmare than a dream, more of a hindrance than a help, and it so often seems that everyone except the technology companies can see where things go wrong… 😦

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Strange

Finished

I posted a pic earlier in the month for JusJoJan of some colouring in I had just begun, but realise I hadn’t posted an update now it’s finished – so here we go! This one was done only with coloured pencils 🙂

Occupied by Octopi

Yesterday I was occupied by an octet of octopi.

I spent much of the day resting and colouring in, enjoying watching the design fill up as I went round and round, building it up in layers. I love the intricacies of lines and spaces and shapes, of how it all comes together in the end to create something pretty to look at.

One Liner Wednesday

Share Your World: 27 Jan 2020

What age would you like to live to?

I’m kind of working towards assuming an age of somewhere around my mid-eighties, giving me another 30 years.

What mystery do you wish you knew the answer to?

Whatever happened to Renee MacRae? In 1976 a 36-year-old woman disappeared from Inverness with her three year old son Andrew. I remember the case, and remember that after her blood-stained car was found burnt out, the common assumption was that her body was buried somewhere under the new A9, which was under construction at the time, and that we would never know for sure. However last year after new evidence was found a man (her former lover) was finally charged with her murder, and I believe the case is due to be heard in the High Court sometime this year. So we might actually find out, 43 years later, what actually happened to Renee Macrae.

Does absolute power corrupt absolutely?

Mostly? Can’t think of a case when it hasn’t…

What outdoor activity haven’t you tried, but would like to?

Can I choose gardening? It’s not technically something I haven’t tried before ever, but it is something I haven’t been able to do in nearly 20 years. And when I did have a garden before, I was a working single mum so my gardening was necessarily kept to a minimal effort basis. But now here we are with fully functioning flower beds front and back, and with a real glass greenhouse too, which I’ve never had before! So I’m looking forward to learning to be a ‘proper’ gardener into the future, so that once I retire I can be a contented old lady pottering around in my beautiful garden forever 🙂

Share Your World

TV Winners

I like watching TV, and make no apologies for it. I don’t watch anything and everything, but for those things I do like, I watch TV regularly. I suppose if I had to break it down into genres, most programmes would fall into the following main categories:

Movies – Oooh, I love movies! I’m not a great cinema-goer, so I love watching movies old and new on TV. (PS I include watching DVDs here, as I always watch them on my TV and it feels the same as choosing something on an available channel.)

Detective Dramas – especially movie-length-episode dramas like Endeavour or Vera or Foyle’s War or Lewis, and not forgetting Poirot and Miss Marple.

Historical Dramas – I love well-done historical adaptations of my favourite stories, with authentic costumes and manners and attention to detail.

Documentaries – I sound really boring, but I love factual programmes as much as fiction so find well-made documentaries fascinating, and I learn a lot from them.

Light Entertainment – I love Strictly Come Dancing, and the Great British Bakeoff, and Kirstie and Phil’s Love it or List it, and Long Lost Families, and Who Do You Think You Are? And sometimes old re-runs of Porridge and other similar 1970s sit-coms I grew up watching 🙂

JusJoJan 28: Television

Octet of Octopi

I’m feeling loads better today – still coughing but the sneezing has stopped, so I’m definitely on the mend!

I figured now was as good a time as any to do some more fiddly colouring in – so I’ve made a start on this octet of octopi plus other undersea items and individuals. It’s probably going to take ages to do, but it’s certainly keeping me engrossed for now and I’m having fun.

I automatically picked up the bright neon orange gel pen to begin with – not a very subtle colour but I realise I was probably channeling Hank from ‘Finding Dory’. With six grandchildren I’ve watched this movie (and also the original, ‘Finding Nemo’) more times than I care to remember! 🙂

So this week’s smile from me comes courtesy of spending quality time colouring in while I’m feeling under the weather, and also of having six very good reasons for watching (and thoroughly enjoying) children-oriented family movies so often – what’s not to smile about in that? 🙂

Weekly Smile

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Subtle