Birds, Sky & Royals – Week 25 : 2018

June 18, 2018

Firstly on the theme of feathered friends then I was painting the jetty earlier today and became very popular with the local wildlife. (No the jetty does not signify that I have a yacht tethered for trips around the Mediterranean but I do have a small part of a very muddy lake near York). I believe that I would have been even more popular had I been a loaf of bread. And before you ask I was wearing waders.

Our second eldest nephew visited from London and asked, whilst sat in the lounge, why we had such an old TV? As a man who prides himself on how hip and cool he is then I was taken aback but eventually regained my composure and said that it works perfectly and the picture, albeit not HD, seems adequate.

In fact one of the reasons for being in the 20th Century is the weary task of sorting out an updated satellite box for HD and buying the TV. As regards the latter then the choice is mind boggling. However, I hacked out time in a busy schedule to put this problem right. We checked out a few HD TV’s and went from no knowledge to a bit more than zero. Regrettably the selecting and organising the replacement digital box did seem like a project akin to scaling Everest. I gathered my rope and crampons and put my first foot onto the bottom of the mountain.

I called Sky and an Irish lad told me that I could get all this plus a new TV at a heavy discount. Apparently an ‘entry level’ (remember where I was born) box was no longer available but this new one that could do lots of things (I cared little about) and would be mine for a one off charge of £199 and then £12 extra per month until Leeds United got back into the Premiership. Well I wasn’t paying that after having been a customer for 19 years. So I went on ‘hold’ whilst he beetled off to talk to someone. In another lifetime he returned and chirpily advised that I was indeed a loyal customer and I could have this for a one off £20 charge. The total monthly subscription would remain broadly the same because whilst the new box attracted a new monthly charge he would reduce the cost of one of my subscription packages to offset. So we then went through the TV UHD deal (£249) and seemed to be making progress until we came across my new friends called ‘HDMI’. Did I have them? How would I know?  I rang off to find someone 35 years younger to discuss it with.

Indeed I did have it! So ten days later I rang back. My first contact heard my story of my understanding of what was the offer and then said would I hold? Of course. He eventually returned to advise that as I was a loyal customer then there may be a better deal in the offing. Where had I heard this before? I was transferred to another department and a nice young lady tried to help me. I say tried because she was in ‘Technical’. Why I was sent here only the first chap knows. We went round the houses with her discussing the merits of buying an additional digital box for another room. I rejected this and talked about the suggestion that there would be no subscription charge changes. This was according to the first chap because he was going to replace one ‘package’ with another ‘package’ to offset. However, I would lose all the Kids channels (will my daughters ever come home again?) She knew nothing about this but because we were talking about deletions put me through to the ‘Cancellation’ department. Still following all this?

(Anna went to fetch alcohol for us at this stage).

Ewan put us on hold four times whilst he attempted to get me the digital box and the TV deal. As he was in ‘Cancellations’ his role in life was to give potentially departing subscribers discounts. I liked him instantly although I never sought a reduction. Anyway after 1 hour and 23 minutes I gave him £289 and he gave me a box and TV and reduced my monthly subscription from £91 to £75. Of course I will only believe all this when it all arrives and I see the first bill.

Also I’m not boasting as I expect someone out there has the Sky Q box, Sports package, Entertainment package, broadband and telephone for a lot less. I’m just hoping that this TV and digital box out live me.

You’ll see elsewhere my blog for a week cycling in France. This was a spin up from Toulouse to the Dordogne River and back. With old time pal Tony Franco we made it! Worryingly then despite the hills, heat and 360 miles I put on weight. 

The present Mrs Ives has little affection for a ride in the Morgan but I lured her into the car and the coast when the Yorkshire branch of the Morgan Sports Car Club organised a lunch and a trip to the Bird Sanctuary at RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) Bempton Cliffs on the Yorkshire coast. Sadly the mission of seeing puffins proved elusive although she said she saw one out of thousands of gannets, guillemots, kittiwakes and a lot of seagulls. I was surprised to see so many seagulls despite the absence of a nearby fish and chip shop!

I must rant about the BBC and the World Cup Football (soccer) coverage. If having several days of presenter Gary Lineker wasn’t an atrocity in its own right then they appear to have literally hundreds of TV and radio presenters over there along with the various engineers and production people. How many ex-footballers does the taxpayer need to fund? They just blather on with such vacuous insights as ‘he’s got a sweet left foot’? However the real unforgivable oversight by the BBC is the fact that Russia has invaded its neighbours, continues to suppress political opposition to Putin, stokes mass migration from Syria (and supports Assad) also has attempted and successfully assassinated in the UK. However this is all right for the BBC as it has won large media coverage rights. So we are really happy to be in Russia for the duration of the competition. Hopefully they will revert to portraying the Russian Government as the children of Satan when it finishes.

Saw the TV interview this morning with Mr Markle – the Duchess of Sussex’s father. Apparently Harry has never met him in person. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to meet your father-in-law in the flesh, not least as he was pencilled in to bring your future wife down the aisle. Apparently they did talk on the phone, which was nice of Hazza to find the time to call long distance.

So when Thomas tells them he’s off into hospital for heart surgery then maybe Meghan should have known about his health? Or if he was a bit suspect at ever showing up then maybe someone should have put in an appearance South of the Border to check him out. Good luck Meghan this is the remote and odd Clown Show you are joining.

Lastly, I like the look of my web site but the provider Wix are pants. The site is very slow to update or move around as regards editing and uploading. Maybe our appallingly slow broadband doesn’t help but this crowd are not people I’d use again if starting from scratch.

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