I needed to write a cheque to Old Mrs Patel and so I got my cheque book out, soon I realised that I didn’t have any new cheques left! Typical! Usually the bank in my case, the Royal Bank of Scotland will send a new cheque book out when you are left with just a few but of course these days cheques are considered obsolete so the bank doesn’t send a new cheque book out UNLESS you request for one! As I found out yesterday, it isn’t a straightforward process either!
Rural living is quite “old fashioned”. We still use cash and cheques. I am very happy to use them. Rural cash machines even give out £5 notes something which I have never encountered in cities. However, in a fast moving and ever changing world, those in the minority are left behind. Sad but true.
I was reading this morning that the ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND has been officially renamed to NATWEST. Really? Nobody told me about it after all I bank with RBS. It would have been nice to be informed of such a big change. No, I wasn’t expecting a personal telephone call from the CEO. Just a computer generated impersonal letter would have sufficed.
When I lived in Edinburgh, I used to visit their headquarters often. Up in the highlands, I used to visit their mobile banks. I got such a thrill when I saw these mobile banks on the road. They would be parked in such majestic settings often near the sea. I have such wonderful memories. Now with the change they will always be memories. As I get older, I don’t seem to like changes very much!
Since lockdown, I have been trying without success to send our tithes and offering electronically. It was only yesterday that I was able to complete what should have been a simple task! Why you might ask?
The first problem I faced was trying to get the bank details from the respective church wardens. As we are a multi parish benefice, we try to be fair. I had to wait for weeks before the first parish church came back to me with their bank details. I was even beginning to wonder if church bank details were actually confidential. About a fortnight ago, I received 2 more but one of the bank details was inaccurate. Thankfully it was resolved yesterday.
I sat in front of my laptop and went to the Royal Bank of Scotland’s digital banking page. I was able to log in no bother and I arranged for the money to be transferred. As I was transferring money to a new payee, for security purposes, I needed to use my card reader. The words “No Power” kept flashing every time I turned on the reader. Soon I learned that I either change the batteries in the card reader or request a new one. There was no way I was going to change the batteries so I requested for a new one. Guess what? It will take 7 long days to arrive! So what was I to do in the meantime??? As I related my plight to the Mhinisteir, he reminded me that there is always a spiritual element to everything we do. Hearing his words made me even more determined to complete the transaction. I knew we had a second card reader so I decided to ransack my handbag.
The good news is that I managed to find the second reader and complete the transaction. The bad news is that I am still waiting for the bank details of half a dozen more of our churches. Maybe this is one of the reasons why most churches are poor!
In early December, I got a letter from our bank which is the Royal Bank of Scotland to say that they owe me a few hundred pounds in PPI Claim on a loan that we took almost 20 years ago.
Just this past week, I got another letter from the same bank saying that they owe me more money in another PPI claim. Really?? I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the letter. Another reminder that God is not only generous but that He knows our every needs!
Rural living is expensive as you have to have your oil tank topped up in addition to paying for electricity. It is for this reason that I think that the Church of England should give Rural Living Allowance to clergy who minister in Rural areas. I know for a fact that the Church of Scotland used to give out Island living allowance for clergy who ministered on Scottish Islands. I don’t know if they still do but I hope they do.
Anyway, we hope to use the PPI claim towards our Winter fuel expense as we need more oil top ups in the Winter months in order to keep warm. Oil is expensive and It doesn’t help that the minimum order for oil is 500 litres!!!!
Yes, I am left handed and am proud of it. Since childhood, I knew I was a little different because I was the only child in my class who would draw circles anti- clockwise!!!
However, I didn’t know that this was the reason why I couldn’t tell the time by looking at the analog clock that was in our family home!!!
As I became an adult I realised that most things are not leftie friendly like when I used to go to the bank and when asked to sign documents, the chain that is attached to the pen is never long enough
Recently I was making a mental list of some of the pros and cons of being left handed and the following is how my list looks like:-
- left handed cheque book – courtesy of the Royal Bank of Scotland
- Many famous people in the world are left handed😬
- unable to knit as I can’t follow the pattern.
- unable to use an ordinary potato peeler.
- inconvenient to use Filofax, diaries etc.
- almost impossible to learn Calligraphy as it is more suited for right handed people even though I have just finished learning the basics after a long struggle.
- when greeting someone with a hug/kiss I ALWAYS go the wrong way and it is so embarrassing
We have always banked with RBS.
Here in rural England, there is no RBS branch. In fact, most of the banks on the High Street nearest to us have closed down. Those of us in rural communities are being asked to use the Post Office to do our banking. In theory, it is all well and good. In order to bank in anything, you need a quick deposit envelope, paying in slip etc. I don’t know where I can get quick deposit envelopes. Cheque books come with just a handful of paying in slips and so I quickly run out of them!!! These Post Offices are half Post Offices and half shops so you don’t get the full service of the “proper” post office!
Last week, I had to sadly break open my piggy bank! I was very reluctant to bring the cash contents to the Post Office/shop to deposit. I couldn’t stop wondering if the person behind the counter might be tempted to pocket the contents. I know we will get a confirmation slip but what if the person absconds with the money? I don’t mind depositing cheques but I have serious doubts about depositing cash! I suppose this is when I have to exercise faith!!!!
There was an advert in yesterday’s newspaper to remind the public that the last date to submit any PPI claim is 29 August 2019
As usual, I got reminded of my own PPI story….It happened about 7 years ago!
One day, the Mhinisteir received a letter from RBS. He said it was just another marketing letter and handed it to me for shredding.
As I took it to the shredder, curiosity got the better of me and I started reading the letter. It was a very wordy 2 page letter. When I turned to page two, I read that we were owed over £900 in mis-sold PPI!!!!
I marched back to the Mhinisteir’s study and made him read the letter again. That’s when the penny dropped for him.
Anyway, God works in mysterious ways because thanks to PPI, we were finally able to go on a holiday after 12 long months without a single break!