Recently I discovered on FB that a friend of mine from Uni days is now a famous writer and I curled up under the duvet ready to download her e book and enjoy a good read in bed. Thereby ensued a fight (which lasted 2 days) with Amazon. Due to a purchase way back when from amazon.com I had somehow been affiliated to the .com (USA site) rather than the. co.uk (UK one) and was being forced into paying for the book in dollars.
This was further exacerbated by the fact that my Kindle is a golden oldie, where you have to punch your message in rather than the sophisticated touch screen of later models. Slouched in bed trying to resolve what I considered an affront to my British identity I kept hitting the wrong letter and pressing the wrong key, stubbornly refusing to leave the warmth, get up, put on my dressing gown and go to the office where I could have had the whole process done and dusted in a matter of minutes on the computer.I spent half an hour growling abuse at Amazon, my kindle and the whole world before I gave up and switched out the light, my bedtime reading plans sabotaged.
The next day I wrote a reasonable email to Amazon and got no less than two replies; one giving me a list of instructions and confusing links culminating in a forum where questions were asked about migrating accounts and no real answer was given and another asking me to call them. Call them in the States! Of course, in my now unreasonable frame of mind, I completely forgot skype and mistrusted the free phone numbers. Instead I chose to ignore this option and shut the computer off in a strop.
Much later that day I went back online armed with a glass of wine and managed to find my kindle settings where I was advised to change my address (to what, and isn’t Portugal closer to the UK than to the States?). This produced a rant, which I won’t repeat in print and culminated in a second, bolshie and rather incoherent e-mail to amazon demanding that they simply “sort it out”. A very polite reply came the next day suggesting, in soothing tones, that I, wait for it,….change my address. At this point I lost it and typed in my son’s UK address. That seemed to do the trick.
Pointless though really, since I had already run out of patience the night before and paid for the book in dollars anyway! I still felt smug though for having had a good grump and not at all at fault, of course.
My cousin, now back in Australia, was complaining recently that The Australian Open had been temporarily cancelled due to excessive heat. Meanwhile, back here in Guimarães, the rain is back with a vengeance. It started with a wild storm on Christmas Eve that caused sporadic power cuts and continues to date.
To cheer myself up I went to see the National Ballet Company a few weeks ago choreographed by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, which included an incredible uplifting performance by male dancers in black suits and white shirts of “Grosse Fugue” based on Ludwig van Beethoven’s feisty string quartet. Nothing like watching youthful vigour dominating the stage. Exhausted by this spectacle I then dozed off, as usual, during the final performance to the lilting melodies of Schoenberg. It was still raining when the show finished so my friend and I did the sensible thing and went for a G and T in the café concerto bar adjacent, an amicable environment with the added bonus that my friend could smoke. I finally got home close on two pm and dreamt that my mumbling dehumidifier was an air con whirring to reduce the stifling heat. I was planning to take a dip in the outdoor pool before the Bar B Q when the lashing rain woke me up to reality.
Back at work mid week I had an interesting experience. It was a cold day so I dug out some woolly tights I don’t remember buying to wear under my leggings. I was competently supervising some placement testing when I felt a pull of gravity sending my tights and leggings thigh-ward as I wandered back and forth with pens and papers. The slide was gaining speed so I was forced to waddle off to the bathroom just as the ensemble hit top thigh level. There was nothing for it but to remove tights, leggings and undergarments and rearrange them so that undergarments held up said tights for the rest of the work period. I had undoubtedly been caught short.
Christine lives half way up a hill overlooking the historic town of Guimarães the birthplace of Portugal. Although Christine has lived in Portugal for most of her life she is still a Brit at heart.
Until recently Christine ran a trading office working with top high street fashion names like John Lewis, Henry Holland and Ted Baker (where she also managed the production in Portugal for a number years). She now works at the British Council teaching part time, works freelance as a translator and, in between, writes.
To connect with Christine via Twitter and Linked in and find links to her e book and other written work visit her "about me"".