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Tuesday, January 13th

Today’s musings are on utility bills. Last night we watched Watchdog and saw various unfortunate people who had been charged astronomical amounts for their gas, but nothing topped our own experience of receiving a bill from Scottish Gas  for our electricity back dated to 2001 for 3,700 pounds! It was so ludicrous, I just laughed because I have always paid my bill promptly and very rarely relied on estimates, preferring to pay the actual amount. I thought one phone call would sort out the problem, and hours later after being put on hold, transferred, disconnectd etc… Scottish Gas agreed there had been an error, and they would send me an amended bill. This arrived and guess what? they had added on more money. Many more hours spent on the phone, a new amended bill sent, and yes even more money had been added onto the bill! It was now over 4,000 pounds! Noone understood the 5 double side pages of the bill, (each new one with differing figures), and it was sent to an investigation team, who weeks later discovered somewhere in the mists of time the readings had become switched in 2001 who knows how and they had only just discovered it in 2008!! All this was total bunkum because my bills were always about the same amount and if I had been paying greatly differing figures I would have wondered why. They still expected me to pay the 4,000 pounds with 300 pounds knocked off for good measure, but I said I wanted a detailed bill listing all the charges back to 2001, but they said they no longer had them on file – someone had accidentally erased them! What about all my regular payments – did they have these on file – no. Hours and hours, days upon days I spent talking to a different person each time, and finally one girl took it upon herself (like many before her) to solve it for us. She even phoned back with updates and there was light at the end of the tunnel and then when I phoned her personal number she had given me , I discovered she had left the company suddenly! But we did receive an amended bill wiping off the 4,000 pounds and a sort of estimate  of  how much we really owed from the last time I paid, and although after all the upset, stress, anger, days spent on the phone (not a free number either!) I really felt we should not be paying anything at all, in fact we should have been compensated. I couldn’t bear another call to Scottish Gas. Next stop would have been Watchdog!

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Monday, January 12th

It is around 3.30 pm on our ostensibly quiet little street, and yet again there is a police car parked outside, and after much snooping through blinds we can see that they are at our neighbours across the street. No doubt to deal with the noise and aggravation coming from the new tenants upstairs who seem to have no respect for the 80 plus year old lady living below. Last time the police went there, they were there for over 4 hours and a representative from DGHP( housing association)  also arrived on the scene – obviously solving nothing! When will DGHP start realising that most of the problems between neighbouring flats is due to the fact that these supposed sound sandstone buildings have totally inadequate soundproofing – if any at all! We live in a downstairs council flat and the upstairs flat is privately owned by a property developer. We can hear just about every little thing the occupants upstairs do and say (like putting down a cup on a table, sneezing, peeing etc..) and that’s just day to day living so when you get loud  and inconsiderate people  the problems become UNBEARABLE! And dogs in flats…should be a definite no -no. DGHP won’t help us, if we phone up with complaints because the flat above is private and all the landlord upstairs is interested in is getting his money and to hell with us. Charming! We have had everything from 4 dogs (who were never walked and so ran amok every night for 5hrs or more and obviously did their business all over the flat), and their owners  who were agressive and threatening and NOISY -thank god they were evicted for non payment of rent! Then oh joys we had 5 Indian adults (2 doctors of wealthy means) and a toddler who was never taken out and who ran all day and night from room to room – keep in mind this is a small 2 bedroomed flat. In our flat it feels overcrowded with the 3 of us so goodness knows how it felt upstairs with 6 people- growing to over a dozen at the weekends. By the time they left (thank god) we could almost understand their language. Luckily we had our faith restored in humanity by a lovely couple who were considerate and pleasant but sadly for us they have moved on due to work and now we are waiting with trepidation for our next “new” neighbours  – AGAIN! Hopefully they will not need to appear in my blog!

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My first blog

Hello and welcome to the first ever blog from me, Beaulin, based in the toon (town) of Dumfries in the South West of Scotland. I hope through my ramblings you will come to know about myself, my views  and  the place in which I live.

I have lived in Dumfries for over 20 years now and have seen it change tremendously during this time. Is it for the better? Sadly during this time of recession the town is becoming a ghost town like many others in Britain.  With Woolworth’s closing last week, the top end of the High Street is depressingly empty. Last year it was buzzing with a coffee/internet cafe (closed) , a large sit in Gregg’s (closed), Klick Photo (closed), The Works (closed), and of course Woolworth’s. But also, there have been major new developments which have changed the shape of Dumfries. The opening of the new leisure centre DG1 which offers 3 various sized swimming pools, saunas, fitness suite with state of the art equipment, theatre facilities has been very successful with the Doonhamers and visitors alike; the  new state of the art college campus which has been built in the grounds of the  Crichton; the brand new hotel also built in the grounds of the Crichton – leading to some major probems for commuters -more on this later!; brand new Lidl supermarket right next to the newly extended Morrison”s superstore; Tesco superstore at the Cuckoo Bridge; houses and flats  now occupy the former site of the Cresswell maternity hospital (which has now moved to a new building attached to the Royal Infirmary which is also on the same road to the campus/college/hotel)where most of the doonhamers were born. Enough for now,more to follow soon.

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Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

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