Sky-boshed & other sillinesses

Now I have got round to this post. For some time we have had separate accounts for our broadband and TV. This was because my broadband provider had been taken over by Sky. Now this meant that we could save money by having a single account. In January there was a deal on which meant an even better package including both our phone line and upgrading to SkyQ.ih

One of our sons had spotted this and had rung Sky and specified what we should have. He then rang me to say Sky would be calling me, which they did a few minutes later. After nearly two hours I was beginning to lose the will to live but thought we had got it sorted then the Sky-man said “your new phone number will be”. Hold on a minute, there is no way we are willing to change our phone number. He was quite insistent that we would have a new number until we said we would cancel the whole package. Then off for a conflab with his manager. Yes we could keep our number, so all was good.

A few days later I looked at the details of our order and it showed a new phone number! After a struggle I found an email address on the Sky website and emailed them – I wanted written confirmation that we could keep our number. After a few unsatisfactory exchanges I decided to try a different approach – online chat. This went quite well but I was repeatedly asked the same questions the answer to many of which I included in my initial message. Then they asked for a password but if we ever had a Sky password we forgot it 20 years ago. It seemed that whoever was reading the online message would only read the last message and was incapable of looking at the full picture. In the end I was given a phone number to ring. 

The challenge when ringing Sky is to navigate through the automated system. A charming Scottish voice asks a series of questions – what do you  want to do today, for example do you want to do this or do that. This is fine for 90% of their calls but no good when you say “I want to keep my phone number” – you end up going down a blind alley or being told try online chat.

Eventually after a week of emails and chats I managed to speak to real person. She told me that the only way out of this conundrum was to cancel the phone and broadband order and reorder it the next day  The order was cancelled and a day or so later the order was made again. Nearly there or were we? 

The Sky Broadband had to be in place before the SkyQ TV box could be activated. The router arrived in the post and I installed it on the appointed day. The changeover seemed pretty seamless. I had a sorry you are leaving letter and phone call from BT – I explained that I was getting a better package which included free calls to mobiles (a big chunk of our calls these days). Not far to go? 

A week or so later the SkyQ man arrived, he looked at the location of the Sky dish and left. I had explained when I placed the order that we lived in a bungalow with the Sky dish on the chimney next to a flat roof. Pretty easy access I would have thought but it now needs a Specialist Access Team who could come and sort it in a couple of months. Pardon? A couple of weeks later a two man team with ropes, hard hats harnesses and ladders  turned up. 

They had to put a couple of eye-bolts to secure the ladder in place so that it now became a stable platform not a ladder. Then another bolt on the other side of the house for a rope for the guy taking three steps up the roof to the Sky dish. Putting a new connection on the Sky dish didn’t take as long as setting up and taking down the ladders and ropes. Now it was back inside to set up the Sky Q boxes. Oh dear we live in a bungalow with solid walls rather than plasterboard and studding so the WiFi struggles to get through. This wireless system requires a wire and a booster for both boxes to work! (They have the same problem with any older houses as well) 

A few weeks later I can report that everything seems to be working well although the touch sensitive keypad on the controller is too sensitive and I found the on screen display more confusing than the old one. Hey ho. Such is progress. 

Other sillinesses – outside our house there are a couple of stopcocks for our water supply (one for us, one for our neighbour). A few weeks ago the cover for one of them went missing leaving a hole that was a trip hazard if not worse  So I emailed customer service at our water company and a temporary cover was put in place. I got a phone call to say that they would be replacing the stopcock (which would of course mean turning the water off). Could they have contact details? Yes but it would be more sensible to have my neighbours contact details since it is their water supply that they would be turning off. “Can’t do that because of GDPR. They will have to raise a new issue”. That”s silly I said and left them with my email (which they already had) and my neighbours mobile phone number. 

Customer service failure #2. My son had ordered something via Amazon which needed to be returned. He left it with us on a day when we would be at home and arranged collection with the specified delivery company which I shall call Yohoho. That afternoon he rang to say that their website says it has been collected. Oh no it hasn’t, it still is in the hall! 

The collection was rearranged.. When we had to go out we left it our porch. The next message from Yohoho was they couldn’t find it which was odd since it was four foot tall and eighteen inches square! Fairly obvious to spot you would have thought. 

Try again. The next excuse was that there was no-one in. Again not true. At this point the supplier and my son gave up and decided it should given to charity and if receipt was sent to the supplier my son would be reimbursed. Total failure by white van man (or whatever colour they use).


Post-TURP, not out of the woods yet

In my last post I left you hanging – I had just been returned to the ward. Had the TURP worked? Would I sleep? Would I be discharged on Saturday? Would I be able to pee? Would I be able to not pee? I was obviously hoping for a good string of ‘yeses’. Continue reading “Post-TURP, not out of the woods yet”

Good to go

I was ready to go through into the operating centre. It was weird being able to see my legs but to be unable to do any thing with them. Later on I watched as a nurse lifted my leg but if I hadn’t been looking I wouldn’t have known it was happening. Anyway I was wheeled into theatre where my Urologist  was waiting and I was slid across onto the operating table.

What music would I like to listen to? I said that I would normally go to the cabinet and pull a CD out but Adiemus would be good. It took some time to find it on the Internet. When it (the TURP) was all done the Urologist  said she enjoyed it and she would play it for the next patient. Continue reading “Good to go”


So it’s happened – my first experience of hospital as an inpatient. Although I have seen quite a lot of hospitals over the past few years it has always been as an outpatient or a “quick” in and out at A&E.

This time it was for the long awaited/dreaded TURP – a word to make any male wince. Even my long retired GP said “it’s a bit bloody” before telling us about the heart valve he had just had inserted through his groin. Continue reading “TURP-en-time”

Two weeks to go (and dogs)

Following my listing for a TURP I got a letter asking me to go for a Pre-Op Assessment. Where I had to go was not entirely clear – it mentioned a Pre-Op Assessment and it mentioned Urology so I headed to the Urology wards. “No we don’t do Pre-Op Assessments here, you need to go the old building. My colleague will show you the way“. So off down a series of corridors across a bridge between building, down more corridors and eventually into a small waiting room. Continue reading “Two weeks to go (and dogs)”

TWOC’d and Sky-boshed

The other day I was looking at a letter from my consultant that started “I saw this 71 year old gentleman . . .” and thought I wonder who he is talking about. Anyway it looks as if I am going to add another “-ology” to my list of consultants. A week or so ago I went to Ward 12C (Urology) to be TWOC’d. It is in the hospital’s newer building built on what used to be Wycombe Wanderers football ground (they have gone off to the end of an industrial estate at the edge of town). I was shown into a day room with a balcony overlooking, well, a sort of triangular courtyard and walls with spikes on to keep the pigeons off. Unlike previous hospital visits I didn’t get weighed or measured or checked to see that I still had a pulse.
Continue reading “TWOC’d and Sky-boshed”



Some people just don’t understand. If you have a dog on a long  lead it can be ten foot in front of you or ten foot behind you or even ten foot to the side of you. Its limit is a circle with you at the centre.

I was out with our dog and a woman was walking along the road on the other side with a dog on an extendable lead. Now if you have any sense you lock it in its shortest position when you are walking along the road but I could see that the dog was some way in front of her and able to go to the full length of the lead. When it saw us it immediately ran across the road towards us. Fortunately there were no cars around otherwise it would have been a splatted dog (and probably a rather upset car driver)! The comment from the dog owner was “That is the trouble with these things” as if she had no ability to keep her dog on a short lead when on a road and had forgotten that she was responsible for her dog’s safety. My reaction was “Stupid person” (well actually “Stupid woman” but that is a phrase than can get you into trouble). Continue reading “Misunderstandings”