Monday, 29 June 2015

Indignant of Middle England.

Here I go again.....the equivalent of last week's door-to-door pressure selling. Now someone has found me a buyer so I can move house. Well, not really move house, but move into one of their so-called Assisted Living Apartments.
Extremely thoughtful of them, but the sale presents a few problems, the main one being that my house is not on the market and their hopeful purchaser is going to be disappointed. They might have asked me before they found this buyer, but I guess that someone, somewhere found my date of birth and decided  that at the age of 75 I must be past making any sort of rational decision.
This potential sale offers me a worry and hassle free time with no estate agent fees, no removal fees, free valuations, a guaranteed price and a contribution (unspecified) to solicitor fees. You bet!
I wouldn't need removal fees because I'd have to sell the furniture. None of my Victorian family clobber is going to fit into the tiny retirement rooms. Free valuations? By whom? Presumably by the same agency that gives the guaranteed price. What on earth does it all mean? (Don't tell me, I think I know.)

But it also claims that I can start enjoying 'a more colourful assisted living retirement'. Now this might have its moments?

As with the countless helpful schemes involving computer repairs in exchange for bank details, Nigerian diplomats wanting somewhere to put their money and other too-good-to-be-true offers there must be people who respond to this sort of thing. There must be senior citizens who receive a letter like this and make a decision to downsize and move. Other retirement facilities in the area have been offering M&S vouchers to anyone who will go in and have a look round. Just look round, no pressure, no signatures needed? Enough vouchers to buy a new cardigan.
Similarly does anyone suddenly decide they really, really want a conservatory or double glazing because someone rings up and offers amazing prices in return for an instant decision? Well, they must do, or else people wouldn't keep trying it.

When I was in Madeira a couple of years ago I was puzzled by the boat trips which promised 'No Time-Shares'. Then I learned something of the degree of pressure applied by Time Share Salespersons to visitors when they were captives on a boat cruise.
What with the dish-cloths and the assisted living it's starting to feel a bit like it here.

To cool down I look a a photo my son sent yesterday: It's of the giant waterlily at Kew.

Then I remember how, as a very small child, I loved the photo of this in The Children's Encyclopaedia. There was a little girl sitting in the middle of a leaf.  Magical! My parents took me to see it in its real and humid flesh, and again I was filled with indignation at not being allowed to clamber into the pool and sit on Victoria Amazonica.
Nearly seventy years on.
Still indignant.
Still in Middle England.


gz said...


Zhoen said...

'Solicitors will be shot' sign? Wouldn't help with the mail.

I remember that image, I so wanted to sit in the middle of that lily pad too. Reality is so disappointing sometimes.

Relatively Retiring said...

gz: hello and thank you.

Zhoen: wouldn't really help with the son, either!
Do you remember Arthur Mee's Children's Encyclopaedia? The ten volumes were my essential reading for many years.

Elephant's Child said...

I LOVED Arthur Mee's Encyclopedias. And was miffed when a brother claimed them. And more miffed when he subsequently discarded them.
I would also love to sit on that lily pad. In my dreams.
One of my sisters-in-law started to respond to the people who ring up and say that they have detected that your PC needs work. She was giving them details when the brother snatched the phone away...

Frances said...

The patronising, evidently assuming that age is a synonym for gaga, is most annoying. I'm sure that you are more civil than I am. When a voice on the phone the other day said, in barely intelligible English: "I from the Australian Federal Government", I said "No you're not. You're a liar," and hung up. I rather regretted the intemperance of the second sentence, and assunme that, for me, age has a connection with rage.

Marigold Jam said...

It amazes me that some of us bus pass generation can actually be taken in by this sort of thing. What have all our extra years taught us if not that on the whole people do not offer anything for nothing and my first question is always what is in it for them! I don't mind being old but I do hate the fact that we are seen as easy targets and that "they" seem to think that we have all lost our marbles and are poor helpless old dears who make easy targets and will believe anything we are told!! I remember that picture too of the lily leaves and I saw some of the plants when in America on holiday - might it have been at Longwood Gardens perhaps.

Relatively Retiring said...

E.C: I still have all ten volumes in a specially made bookcase. They probably merit their own blog posting?
I'm glad your brother was around at the right time.

Frances: I have lots of ways of responding to cold callers, so age may be connected with deviousness. Recently I accused someone of trying to steal my money and suggested they try to get a better job. Sometimes I say 'Wrong number' and hang up. Other times I just let them ramble on, put the phone down on the desk and walk away. By the time I remember and come back they have usually gone.

Relatively Retiring said...

Marigold: Sadly, I know that people are taken in by these sort of approaches, and it is worthwhile for the perpetrators to go on trying. Like you, I don't mind the ageing process, but I really do mind the patronising that comes with it.

Jee said...

We keep getting calls from people who want to help us with the recent 'no fault car accident' we had. When? Husband treat every call as potentially criminal and certainly unsolicited - this can cause myriad problems when it isn't either but perhaps a call I've arranged or been expecting and he just wasn't listening when I told him. Time was that if your phone number was unlisted you received no such calls so you knew any call was genuine, these days there's too much information available.
Like you, I'm astonished by how easily people are taken in by the scams.

Relatively Retiring said...

Jee: the worst example of this for me was a call informing me that a member of the family had been involved in an accident abroad. As all the family was abroad at the time this was a truly horrible experience. I was too shocked to speak initially, and then it became clear that it was yet another scam. Appalling cruelty in order to cheat someone out of their bank balance.
Husband not listening is another common problem!

Zhoen said...

We had a Columbia Encyclopedia, bought each letter (or so) each week at the grocery store, Farmer Jack's. Perhaps got it at a discount as a loyalty premium, until we had the whole alphabet, and then got the binding cover for one huge volume. It was actually a pretty good reference book, not the longest entries, but remarkably thorough. I treasured it.

Pam (Isabelle) said...

Oh, me too - I always thought I could sit on a water lily, though our big ones were (and are) at Edinburgh Botanic Gardens.

Glad you're back!

Jenny Woolf said...

I always had doubts about sitting on water lilies but then I was a rather large child.

Don't really mind being pestered by leaflet - it's the machine phone calls. If they're going to bypass the Telephone Preference Service, they could at least put someone on the line when I answer!