Monday, 21 July 2008

Great Service

We are all quick to complain when we get bad service so it is only fair to speak up when you have great service.

When Brooke went off to University in January the list of kit she needed was long, very long. Off she went to Buxton with everything on the list and most of it has been used now except her day sac, a 40 litre rucksack had only been used a few times for just a few hours each time. So the trip to Morroco was the first real test. Unfortunatley it failed, the drawstring collar came away from the main bag. Having looked at it the collar was only just inside the sewing line. It happens.

So we have a failed rucksack, 7 months old and no receipt. I know this counts as 'unfit for purpose' and technically the supplier or shop is liable but it can be a difficult thing to prove. Still off I went to Mountain Warehouse in Antrim, who also sell a nice line in 'wick tees', and showed the rucksack to the staff. No problem what so ever, no issue that I had no receipt, no 'did you misuse it', no 'it was too long ago', simply 'we are very sorry' and an instant replacement.

Good service, well done and thank you.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Where are my wellies

So she came back from Morocco on Monday with a bag of dirty clothes and the smelliest feet I have ever come across! But hot water sorted out both.

She has a brilliant sense of achievement and wants to go again; she didn’t find the mountain too difficult but explained that if you climb too quickly you end up with altitude problems.

It is great to have her home, but then I had to go to London. She did ring me on Wednesday but only to ask when I was home, ah she misses me, no; she wanted to know when she had to tidy up by… Not sure why she bothered as when I got home Thursday evening the downstairs was well on its way to matching the upstairs, typical teenage tidiness. Still you have to love them.

She was back at work this week in the leisure centre, not very busy this week as they were filming The Cherrybomb there with Jimmy Nesbitt and Rupert Grint , Ron Weasley from Harry Potter. It actually turned her off any idea of a career in the movies as she found it incredibly boring going over and over the same scene all day.

Today was the start of the next trip she is going horse riding with the Royal Artillery, everything should have been fine we checked on all the kit when we were getting ready for the Morocco trip, so no last minute panics, of course not, ‘where are my wellies’ she shouts 10 minutes before she leaves. No joy, so she flew to Southampton and had to go to the shops before she caught the train. Oh the joys of parenthood…

Sunday, 13 July 2008


Teenagers are put on this earth to bring parents a range of totally unexpected challenges…

My 19 year old daughter is also a great friend, however opening the door to her bedroom does put risk on the relationship – how can you live like that?

Anyway, she finished university for the summer on 3rd May and then set out to have a brilliant summer.

• Trip to London to get her Gold Duke of Edinburgh award at St James Palace
• Accompany me to the OUGF conference sailing between Helsinki and Stockholm
• Renew her Lifesaving qualifications
• Summer Break in Newquay – when students all go to Cornwall and everyone living in Cornwall goes away!
• Trip to South Africa (second trip of a lifetime in 8 months)
• Mountain Climbing in the Atlas Mountains – Morocco
• Horse Riding in Wiltshire with the Royal Artillery
• Inter-rail around Eastern Europe

Between each trip she comes home for a few days to work as a lifeguard at our local swimming pool to top up the bank account.

Had I have known university was this much fun I may have stayed at school and gone myself.

I have to say she is very good with her money, I have donated airmiles but everything else she has funded, and I thought students were meant to be constantly poor.

Anyway back to the challenge, she is currently in Morocco having successfully achieved her mountain climb, and is home tomorrow, but before she went there was the kit list to pack. It included a tent and down jacket which needed to be good quality and fit for purpose not just what is on offer in the local store suitable just for music festivals. So out we went for the day and eventually tracked down specialist shops in Belfast, spent a fortune and came home. Job done? Not quite…

Day before she goes I am helping her to pack and the packing list says two ‘wick tees’, “what is a wick tee?” I ask, (I have no idea about mountain climbing or the equipment needed – except it all seems to be expensive). Brooke says she doesn’t know either so it can’t be important so she will manage without!

A bit like a DBA not understanding Oracle instructions about a patch at install and just ignoring it (hang on I have met some like that).

So mum googles ‘wick tees’discovers that they are very important t shirts that are to keep you dry and draw out sweat from the body. So quick rush out to another shop – did I mention we live half an hour each way from a town with shops!

It probably doesn’t sound too bad to you does it? But on the way to South Africa she rang me in a panic and ended up having to buy a new memory card for her camera as she couldn’t find the cable to download the last set of photos. Probably somewhere in that bedroom!

Home tomorrow, horse riding the following week – now what will the challenge be then?

Still you have to love them and I am so proud of her.