The weeks since I last wrote on here have gone by at a gallop. My younger child has now put his primary school days behind him and has the slouch and scowl of any self-respecting teen. Except he’ll suddenly emerge, all sunlight and giggles. Truly a rollercoaster. My older has had two gigs with his band Delirium. Maybe the music staves off grumps, maybe grumps are yet to come, or maybe losing his dad at the age of 12 has meant he’s sidestepped it because of an unasked for (by me) need to be the man of the house. Who knows?
Just recently, I’ve been engaged in a clash of wills with Amazon over the music subscription for the Alexa. Poor Jeff. He obviously doesn’t have enough billions to sort out the glitch in his system that can’t recognise the bank card affiliated to this subscription is the same as the card I use successfully for other Amazon purchases. I know, I know, I shouldn’t use it at all, but our charity Livestock is registered with them to receive a ha’porth every gazillion pounds spent, so it’s worth it 😊. If you’d like to do likewise, route via www.smile.amazon.co.uk instead of the regular.
I had a long, painful conversation with an underpaid employee at Amazon a few weeks back trying to explain that there was nothing wrong with my card. I’d used it only that day. A week or so later I had the same conversation with another employee, although when he investigated, informed me in rueful tones, ‘yeah there’s something wrong with the system.’ He thought he’d fixed it. He hadn’t, poor chap. So, I would resubscribe through the device, only to receive an email a week or so later informing me the payment had failed. Then I would repeat the process. After about 5 times of doing this, I decided to be a bit more proactive and this time entered a whole new card for the music subscription online. Yay, it worked!
It was only when I happened to look at my account this week that I discovered I’d not been charged the £3.99 per month just for the Alexa, but £7.99 for music to ALL my devices. Sorry Amazon, I don’t HAVE any other devices. I’ve cancelled it, which will happen in a couple of weeks (or probably not). Apparently, I can move down a peg to the cheaper version by saying, ‘Alexa, downgrade Amazon music.’ Eagerly I rushed to the device to instruct it, only to be told that a cancellation was in place. ‘For further information I should consult my Alexa app.’ I tried. The app wasn’t having any of it. I wrote an impassioned complaint on the Amazon feedback. It won’t get looked at. Jeff can’t get out of his bed made entirely of money to sort out the problems of the little people.
All this nonsense about Amazon makes me realise how bogged down the minutiae of life can make one. But the question I must really address is, am I ‘living my best life….?’ Rarely has a phrase put me into a state of agitation more. I delight in my family, friends, interesting work and many other things, but is it ‘my best life…’? I can completely understand in these turbulent, troubling times why people want to cling defiantly to any shred of goodness in their lives, but to my mind, it’s one of those Instagrammy, slightly braggy, social-influencer-with-fluff-for-brainsy type expressions. What does it even mean?! Would anyone knowingly live their worst life?
Whenever I read it, I fret that I’m NOT living my best life, I’ve got FOMO and all that. My late partner used to get all aerated about the expression ‘at the end of the day’, another equally vacuous bit of flim-flammery, an Emperor’s New Clothes of wordage. We used to watch interviews on the telly box, waiting for it to pop up and crowing in derision when it did. That seems to have abated, but ‘living my best life’ is BLOODY WELL RIGHT UP THERE! I’m sure he’d be gnashing his teeth in the great beyond.
I've been reading one of Alan Bennett's diaries (very slowly. Not because I don't enjoy it, but because it's in the bathroom, reserved for my post-shower sit in towel to dry off). It made me realise I would LOVE my own 'What I've been up to this week!' type column in a paper/magazine. So would many thousands of others, I'd imagine. So, I've created my own additional section here. Less ranty, reflectiony or reviewy than the other bits.