Is anyone listening? Anyone at all?

Sometimes I think no-one at all is paying attention. All right, you may say, why should we pay attention? We have better things to do. But hold on, I say, I’m not talking about me. Well, that makes a change, you say, and I agree; it does get a bit tiresome.

All right, I am talking about me. But mainly I’m talking about a motor insurance company and a certain East Anglian water organisation. Obviously I can’t be more specific, because they might sue me. What I’m about to say is true, but no-one in their right mind would want to believe it.

The water organisation has lost its meter. It has lost it because it is still using an address for it that became obsolete in the 1970s, when all the houses in the street in question were knocked down. That’s roughly 40 years ago.

I have told it about this, more than once and quite recently. I also told it the correct address and how to find it. To be fair someone did find it after that, but omitted to insert the new meter that was required.  After a few weeks they sent a surveyor out to replace the meter. He couldn’t find it. He was still using the obsolete address.

Why did they not change their records? I expect they were too busy. More exciting things were happening.

The motor insurance incident was much more short-term. An accident occurred when a wall pulled out and hit the front of my car. I was not driving it at the time, but that need not detain us.

Because this incident occurred in Suffolk, not too far from Halesworth, there was no mobile phone signal. (I agree, there is no phone signal for most of Norfolk either.) So the driver of the vehicle rang the insurance company from a friend’s house.

After some discussion, the car was towed back to Norwich, where it awaited inspection. This took some time to arrange, because despite our giving the insurance company our home phone number and our mobile numbers, they were unable to reach us. It transpired that they were ringing the friend’s number.

Then the guy doing the inspection turned up at the friend’s house, because that’s where he thought the car was. There were other wrong phone calls, but eventually he turned up, coincidentally, in the right place at the right time and examined our vehicle. He reported back to the company, and they gave the repair the go-ahead.

Fine, I said. I was happy to use one of their approved repairers. Which was the nearest to me? It was in Halesworth. No, I said, thinking they were still labouring under a misapprehension concerning the location of the vehicle. But they weren’t. The nearest approved repairer to Norwich was in Halesworth, roughly an hour away and less than ten miles from where the accident happened.

You know what they say: history repeats itself. It has to, because no-one listens. Well, I think no-one listens to the present either.

We learnt this week that the ice in the Antarctic is actually growing, rather than receding. To my mind this is relevant to the many recent claims that it is receding overall. But no, apparently it’s irrelevant because it’s still receding in some places, though not as much as it’s growing in others.

In London, where the ice has not yet reached, an experiment was made to reduce speed limits to 20mph in the hope that this would reduce accidents. In fact casualty data showed that slight injuries to pedestrians and cyclists were continuing to rise.

So the experiment was a failure, then?  Oh, no. “Given the reduction in average speeds that was measured, it could be argued that the increase in casualties would have been higher or of a more serious nature had it not been for the lower speed limit.”

So the question resolves itself into alternatives. Is no-one listening at all? Or is everyone stupid? Yes, I know that includes me. I’m making a note of it now.