Tuesday 31 January 2012

Amazon & City Link

I just looked on the Amazon forum and in one discussion thread I found 859 complaints about City Link.

The question then leads me to wonder why with so many unsatisfied customers Amazon continues to use the services of City Link.  Sounds a bit suspect to me.

If I was running a business that relied upon using a courier service then I would go to one that had a good reputation, had good customer service, was easy to contact and delivered the items that they were paid to deliver.  If the said courier service resulted in me getting complaints then I would cease doing business with them.

I pay to be a Prime Member of Amazon but now I know how they can send items with free postage - they use an inferior and cheap courier!  I shall be considering whether to renew my Amazon Prime Membership when it is up for renewal.

It also leads me to wonder whether Amazon themselves care about their customers nowadays.  Getting a bit complacent I believe.

City Link AGAIN

City Link Couriers are positively the worst couriers I have ever had the misfortune to come in contact with! They really do not want to deliver your goods, avoid them like the plague.

After one aborted attempted delivery I held onto the phone for an hour while I waited for the depot to answer their phone.  After being told what the terms and conditions of delivery were by some 'woman' I then got allowed to give instructions of where to deliver my goods.  Her reassurance that the driver would do as instructed where to no avail as he took it back to the depot again and this time it will be returned to sender.

There is absolutely no chance of nipping down to their depot as they are 30 miles away and close before I get home from work.

Once again City Link have lived up to their nickname - one I will not put on here as I am too polite.

Customer Service - what service, it doesn't exist anymore!

Friday 13 January 2012

When is a dog not a dog?

Well a dog is not a dog when it is a specialised breed!

At the risk of upsetting all those involved in the Kennel Club, Crufts or pedigree breeders I have to say that sometimes the snobbery amongst different breeders is unbelievable.

To cut a long story short my daughter recently added a rather lovely dog to her family and among our messages and photos to one another on Facebook I added a link to a brilliant video on You Tube where it showed this type of canine doing what it is supposed to do and that is be a gun dog. I joked with my daughter about showing it to her new dog so he would know what to do.

I could not believe it when the “breeder” of this particular dog commented and told me that it was the wrong breed and that her breed was wire haired and not smooth coated!

Well pardon me but I do have eyes and I could see the difference but when it came down to it they were both of the same breed – just that one has smooth coat and the other wire haired and to be quite honest did it really matter!

I was joking with my daughter not asking to be corrected on the intricacies of dog breeding!

To me a dog is first canine, and then group (gun dog/hunting dog etc) then breed and lastly the difference between the breeds (short coated, wire haired etc).

I guess this type of person would have looked down her nose at my old dog who happened to be a Spaniel cross but he was the most loyal, well behaved and easy going dog I have ever met.

So spare me the pedigrees and their breeders, I will stick to good old common cross breeds and mongrels!

Wednesday 4 January 2012

Wind & Rain

Well it certainly has been a lovely start to the year.  With gale force winds and driving rain it makes for an uncomfortable and cold journey to work and back.

I don't know about you but I always find it very hard to get motivated at this time of the year but I guess after having ten days off work that doesn't help.

It is not just the awful weather or the dark mornings/nights but it is also the lethargy that has set in so that I don't really even want to 'play around' on the internet!!

I've always said that we should hibernate and come out in the Spring.

Sunday 1 January 2012

Time for Reflection & Cesar Millan - this is a long post

It has been great having these ten days off over the Christmas/New Year period but they have been tainted a bit by the problems I have had with regard to the migraine and inflammation in my neck.  It has, however, given me time to think!

This year, 2012, is the year when my husband can retire.  He is, however, going to continue working until we have finished paying off our mortgage, and I am not due to reach retirement age for another 5 years 7 months.  But it has led me to think about the future and about my own personality.

For those of you that read my earlier post about wanting a dog this is not, as yet, the same opinion of my husband.  He always said that when Charlie died 11 years ago that he would never want another dog, as he could not replace him.  During that time and since then we have always had cats but since our last cat left this world we have had no pets and he has been quite happy with that because of his desire to move to Spain.

Just lately I have been getting rather restless with this decision (I agreed at first) and due to my inactivity over the Christmas period I have been watching Cesar Millan (Dog Whisperer) who not only gave me a psychological insight into the canine species but he has also made me question my desire for one.

Now I am an impulsive person I know so I have questioned myself quite thoroughly as to why I want one ‘now’.  Why not wait 5 years or so until we have moved to Spain?  Well the answer came over this period of inactivity!

For those that know my hubby they will know a chilled out, relaxed person, who can sleep in until midday – no problem – and although he works dammed hard on whatever project he is undertaking he can likewise be quite content just sitting.  Whether he is sitting at the computer or sitting on a balcony observing life passing by, he is content with that.  Also into this comes the fact that he has trouble with his spine and cannot therefore walk very far.

I, on the other hand, get bored very quickly.  Ok I can sit at my laptop and do whatever I want to do but I can’t sit and watch TV without having my laptop on so that I am ‘doing’ something.  My mind and body needs stimulation.

So what does this have to do with a dog you may ask?

Well all my life I have been a walker.  If I didn’t have a car then I couldn’t be bothered to wait for a bus – I would walk.  If I had a problem on my mind – then I would walk and think it through.  But as the years have gone by then the walking has slowed down.  Work has taken up all my time and hubby’s bad back has even made our long walks on holiday a thing of the past. 

However the thought of retirement has brought with it the thought of “what on earth will I do”? 

I initially thought that I would pass the time working on my computer, but over the passed few days when I couldn’t be bothered to even blog, I realised that I need more than that.

Whether in a house or an apartment after the initial relaxation stage I start to become like a caged animal.  I pace up and down.  Housework only conquers a bit of the surplus energy that I have and working on a computer or painting does not fulfil my need to escape the confines of the four walls.

I am also an early riser and so the ‘waiting’ until my hubby rises is also spent just waiting!

Ok so I could go out and wander around on my own but that all seems without a purpose, also these days it is not always safe!

So my vision of retirement is not to sit around or pottering about in the garden; it is not spent waiting until my hubby arises; it not even spent working on my computer.  All of these I will and can do when I feel like it.  My vision is to have a dog as a companion.  Someone that will wake up when I do, who will enjoy going out for walks to escape the four walls, and someone who will help me to keep fit.  I know I can still do it – the 8 mile hike home from work in the snow last year proved I can still do it!

So why now and not 5 years or so from now?

Well I have always exercised from 5.30 to 6 AM every day before going to work but just lately I have been losing interest.  Exercising along with a DVD starts to get boring.  I am concerned that sitting at a computer at work all day and then sitting at my laptop each evening is starting to affect my health and fitness.  I don’t want to wait 5 years to get fit!

Hubby is concerned about having a pet and going on holiday.  Well the answer to that is easy.  A cat had to stay at home, but a dog is mobile.  My daughter is a vet nurse and has a house full of animals, another dog for a couple of weeks is just “the more the merrier” plus it would get used to socialising with other animals and get to run in the field while she takes care of her horses.  It would be a holiday for the dog too!

Hubby is concerned about when we move to Spain.  No problem there either.  I have already checked out the procedure for a pet passport.  When we move we will be driving there so we just take the dog with us.  Eurotunnel welcomes pets and they stay in the car with you and the ferry has kennels for the overnight journey.  Once in Spain it is not my hubby’s intention to come back to the UK and our children/grandchildren definitely want free holidays!

So there you go.  My reflection on what I want and why.  Sorry to go on so much but I wanted to see it in black and white to clear it up in my mind.  Now all I’ve got to do is 1) find a dog and 2) convince hubby.

Wish me luck!