Monday 19th September to Sunday 25th September 2011
18 Miles, 28 Locks, 1 Swing Bridge – for this week
Totals: 796 Miles, 668 Locks, 24 Tunnels, 18 Lift Bridges, 15 Swing Bridges
We left Berkhamstead last Monday and arrived in Watford on Wednesday and started the process to get a bank account sorted out and doctors registration done for Diane.
You would have thought that we were there to raid the country. Diane is still a UK citizen – with valid passport – and with the explanation that she had arrived back in the country and did not have her own address.
Trying to open a bank account with a passport was easy peasy when I came here last year – and I am Australian. All she wanted to do was to put her own money into an account and withdraw her own money out of the account; she wasn’t looking for any bank interest (as if there would be any) – wasn’t even that concerned when she told it could only be cash withdrawals from an ATM.
But no, she was declined by the bank for an account and they would not even explain why – let’s just call them Bank B (for Barclays). Then they wanted a photocopy of her passport for their records because she had made a request to open an account – she told them where they could go.
The doctor local to the address that we have, was the next – we both presented ourselves – essentially for Diane to register – but because she had no proof of address (like a bank statement) she couldn’t register. The clincher was that I could – I had the bank statement and the passport. The irony of it all.
The long walk from the moorings at the bottom of Cassiobury Park into Watford town centre started to have an effect on us after the third or fourth trip in – the legs and feet were deteriorating and we were a wee bit knackered from it all.
We have taken a few steps forward but a few less steps backward this week and will need to spend a little bit more time in finalising everything.
Diane did manage to find a new android phone that she liked and after duly purchasing and going through it with the very helpful Ian at T-Mobile she was set – just like a kid with a new toy – well at least like any teenager walking down the street and pressing buttons on the phone – completely oblivious to anyone or anything around her – just as well she was on her lead and I could guide her along – even if she had to apologise to others along the way for obstructing them.
No amount of playing however prevented her from needing further help and we returned to T-Mobile the next day after discovering that there was a problem with the phone - it wouldn’t allow text messages to be sent or received – so another helpful person Fraser, resolved the situation – the SIM card needed to be replaced.
(Her picture is now up on the noticeboard at T-Mobile under the heading “Beware of this woman”).