Every little helps

Thursday March 2, 2006

A good news/bad news day. The good is very good, and the bad only slightly bad so I reckon we came out ahead.

First, the estate agent did his thing and called Graham to inform us that the logjam has been cleared, people are to sign documents tomorrow, and that exchange of contracts is ‘imminent’. We’re much cheered by this news, and reckon the most likely outcome will be an exchange on Wednesday next. Can’t type with crossed fingers but I would if I could.

Next, two blokes drove up, rang the bell, and announced they’d come to collect the goldfish. They were armed with a large plastic bucket and a very professional-looking net. I greeted them with considerable enthusiasm and off we went to break the ice on the pond and start rummaging. And rummaging. And rummaging. Apart from one very deceased fish, and a lot of weed, they caught nothing. It’s clear that our goldfish have flown, most likely in the crop of that pesky heron.

I was most apologetic, for their wasted journey and for their fruitless efforts, but they were really good about it, told me not to worry, that it’d been a good thought, and wished us well in our new home.

The good news part is we no longer need be concerned about the fate of our goldfish at the hands of our incoming buyers, who are not interested in ponds of any kind. While I feel slightly bad about them, Nature has done her thing, and relieved us of a problem.

While the fruitless fishing was in progress a Fed-Ex van drew up outside, delivering the boxes and wrapping materials I ordered the other day. They’re checked out and resting against the bookcase in the study ready for packing to commence. That’s good news, too.

There were several other small blessings to the day, not least the almost constant sunshine from dawn all the way through to dusk, ending in a glorious glow that, had there been some cloud in the sky, would have made for a rather snazzy sunset. As it was I stood in the window gazing out and basking in the last of it.

The bad news came very late in the evening when I received an email informing me that the text ads on my webpages have been clicked too often, giving rise to an unacceptable (to ‘them’) number of ‘invalid clicks’. It was a rap over the knuckles only, and a warning that if things don’t change “action may be taken against your account and payment may be withheld.” The latter part of this warning is academic since they’ve yet to pay me anything at all.

So, dear readers, if you’ve been in the habit of clicking on the ads with the intent of providing me with a few cents rather than from a genuine interest in the goods or services being advertised, now is the time to stop. Please take this as my heartfelt thanks for your good intentions and my apologies for taking your time.

I’m not too upset by this, and take it as a timely reminder of the old saw: “If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.”

What will happen to the laptop fund? I’ll get Graham to sit down and work out a basic bottom-end IBM ThinkPad configuration, and I’ll find the cash somehow to buy it in the next few days. I’ve received a couple of generous donations to the fund (through the PayPal Donate button in the sidebar) which will help and for which I’m deeply grateful.

I’m determined that, during our time in the caravan between houses, I shall stay online and keep the journal going. It’s too much a part of my life now to let a small setback like this make me stop.

What will happen to the ads? I’ll keep ’em going and hope that a greatly reduced click-rate will persuade ‘them’ to let me stay in the programme. As the Tesco’s jingle goes: “Every little helps.”


…ready for packing to commence



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