I have moved house quite recently and it has given me great insight into the so-called communications advances in Britain.
We are told all about the ‘white hot’ heat of technology and I suppose that this includes the internet, robots etc.
My story is that, although used to using the internet for my contacts with the utilities and other, more official, bodies, my internet connection was delayed in being set up when I moved to my new address, in spite of the fact that I had given my provider good notice of the date of my arrival.
Thus began the saga of trying to contact all my suppliers of services via telephone.
Without exception, each and everyone I phoned, whatever the time of day, was “experiencing heavy traffic” and I would have to wait, sometimes up to 50 minutes for someone to answer the phone.
This included, alarmingly, the GP practice.
You may think I exaggerate but I assure you I do not. In fact, altogether, my time awaiting the good services of my internet company totalled some seven hours.
I know that this may seem a long boring saga but I tell it in the hope that there is someone who may be able to explain to me why, if many of us use the internet connections for our contact with companies, is the phone so busy?
Could it be that organisations have cut their personnel to the bone in order to increase their profits - at the expense of the customer?
Whatever the answer, I know that, however we may complain, it will fall on stony ground.
Marriage will be strengthened
I welcome Theresa May’s decision to extend civil partnerships to heterosexual couples. Civil partnership was designed to give legal recognition to a close relationship without conferring the gravitas of traditional marriage. Gay couples understandably resented being offered only this option while some heterosexual couples would have preferred it.
With civil partnership open to all, it could again serve its unspoken purpose of maintaining the dignity of marriage. This was previously seen as being threatened by same-sex marriage when the real affront to it comes from serial marriage and divorce.
In the future, we will be able to deny marriage to those whose fickleness brings it into disrepute without the bind that this would also deny them the security and stabilising influence of a legal contract.
Looking for information
Please could you help me? I am trying to find the birth place of Terence McKay, who married Joyce Simons in Preston in 1953.
His death is recorded in your newspaper as being on the September 9, 2017 in Preston Royal Hospital. It is possible that his birth was in 1928 – this is substantiated by his obituary.
I understand he was a well respected businessman in Preston and had three children, Ian, Alan and Debra. My research shows there is a possible military connection through his ancestors, together with Irish ancestry, and some of his ancestors may have been born in India.
My interest is through Terence’s grandson Scott McKay, who is a personal friend. Any information at all would be helpful.
Maureen S Lill
Palm oil risk
How can anyone contemplate destroying a rainforest the size of the UK when trees are the precious lungs of our planet and one of our strongest defences against climate change? But that’s what palm oil traders have done in the past three decades.
A Jones via email