Rather miscellaneous

So – I was planning to give you a lengthy rant in the form of an anecdote.

Yesterday was the Day. The day when some person or algorithm decided it was my turn to be told that my National Insurance number was about to be frozen because I had misused it. This particular scam had not arrived at my mobile before, but I had three phone calls within about two hours, all from different numbers that began 07999566, one of which claiming (before I answered) to be the Burnt Umber Brasserie, giving a number and phone number that bizarrely appear to relate to an actual restaurant in London.

In the days when my mobile number was restricted to close family and friends, this did not happen, but covid has forced me to embrace Whatsapp.

What do such cruel fraudsters deserve? To go on a summer holiday when it rains every day; to inherit a priceless but uninsured heirloom which they immediately drop and smash; to represent the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest and be humiliated on international television… to go to jail for a long time.

You were going to get a much longer rant than this, but I shall simply say: If you want to contact me by mobile, please text first, because my new policy is not to answer. And literally as I type I’ve put this policy into effect, and reported another spam call.

On a much happier note, I would like to introduce you to the Woman Alive Book Club #bookbingo.

Woman Alive is a magazine for Christian women. On Facebook it runs a Book Club discussion page, which isn’t restricted to subscribers, and which I have enjoyed belonging to for several years.

You can discuss or review any book, but only in very exceptional circumstances are you allowed to advertise your own. Obviously many of the books discussed are very specifically Christian, fiction or non-fiction, but many of the group have wide tastes, and I’ve made some very amiable FB friends. It is excellently run by Amy Boucher Pye, whose charming memoir “Finding Myself in Britain” I commented on here: https://www.penelopewallace.com/putting-the-kettle-on/

and to which I gave four stars on Goodreads.

The Book Bingo is a challenge chart for the summer, when we’re all supposed to have so much time for reading. (I didn’t get very far last year.) I think the idea is to read each book for the first time, but I’m going to give myself some leeway, as there’s no prize involved. You can aim for a line, or of course a full house…

The chart is shared below with permission.

I’m amusing myself by wondering how many boxes the Tales from Ragaris would tick. Dorac is certainly a protagonist over 40…


Book outside your normal genre Book with food in it Book to challenge your faith Book set in time of war, famine or plague Book with a protagonist over 40
Book with water, music or a mode of transport in the title Whodunnit Book set close to where you live/have lived Spiritual classic Book with an unappealing cover
Book of poetry or a play Book about a Bible character or book of theology  


Book with beautiful illustrations Book in translation
Book set in a culture you know nothing about Watch a movie based on book (bonus for reading book first) A friend’s favourite book Book about a woman of faith Book that’s been on your shelf for years
Book about a current issue Book you saw someone reading Autobiography, memoir or biography Book you’d not normally try Book recommended in Woman Alive

Love from the PPI Blogger

  • Clint Redwood

    11th June 2021 at 6:55 pm Reply

    I had the same spam call. They don’t necessarily use lists of real numbers, just call all combinations of dialling codes that are valid. I believe we’re supposed to forgive but the eternal conscious torment in the pits of hell seem a reasonable option to me.

    Nevertheless, it occurred to me while reading your comment that if they suspended my NI number I might not need to pay any tax ever again…

  • Stephen Sheridan

    2nd July 2021 at 6:11 pm Reply

    My favourite email scams are the ones which start “Dearly beloved”…

Post a Comment