Almost a traditional Burns Supper tonight. Had the Haggis (seen here with two of its leg stumps still showing) and had the tatties. The Neeps though were sadly missing - left it too late to buy a turnip and couldn't even bag any in the frozen food aisle either. So it was was Haggis, Tatties, peas and carrot for us. Still tasty though.

Talking of tumshies, I arrived home to find a letter from our bank (strange as we're set up fully for electronic communication with them) threatening legal action on a missed credit card payment. Big Capital letters (after a very nice 'Dear Mr Smith') proclaiming 'YOU HAVE FAILED TO MAKE A PAYMENT' followed by warnings of having to pay additional costs and how this may affect our credit rating in future.

All for the sake of a double-dip inducing £0.92.

I don't even know where the 92p transaction came from as we've not used the card. So, to avoid the threatened late payment fee of £12 being applied I tried to log-in to the ever so helpful online banking system. The one that asks you for everything from your password to the place where your great grandad was born. And in my haste to clear my debt I must've locked the account and had to spend the next ten minutes answering secret questions, checking emails, counting out the second, eighth and twelfth character of my newly set up password (difficult with only ten fingers) then re-setting and re-loggin in. Eventually, after two extra pages of adverts for the bank's products I made it to the 'make a payment' screen. Selected the date I wanted the payment to be made, typed 0.92 in the amount box and clicked submit.

'Payments can only be made for amounts greater than or equal to £1.00'

Bugger. Ok, I'll go for the £1.00 then, they can have my 8p, just get me out of this eighth level of hell.

'As the amount you wish to pay exceeds the balance due on your account we are unable to process your payment.

Please re-enter ensuring that the amount used is either less than or equal to the balance due.'

Bugger, bugger, bugger.

Gave up, slammed the virtual bank door in protest and stormed off muttering. Now it looks like I face the prospect of the automated phone system that never works. Great. What a complete waste of time money and blood pressure. And banks wonder why we moan about them. Being Burns Night I thought this excerpt from one of his poems fitted nicely:

"Some have debt, and cannot pay, and some cannot pay that want it; But we have debt, and we can pay, but the computer says payments can only be made for amounts greater than or equal to £1.00."

Anyhow, I feel better for that now. Happy Burns Night!

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