A spot of bother with cold callers

THERE’S plenty I can think of to do during the holiday month of August – and some things I most definitely would avoid if not like the plague but at least like a summer cold.

One of these no-nos is answering the phone to nuisance or cold calls.

I hate them. I know I can arrange to ban some of them from coming through which is good but that won’t stop the ones originating from abroad.

So what can I do when one of these disturbs the silence of the Adams household? My usual reaction is to resort to rudeness. It is easily done, especially if the person at the other end is determined not to listen to anything I have to say.

I reserve my rudest reaction to those who ring and ask – or assume – that they are talking to Mr Oldham. As far as I know and I have done some research into this, a Mr Oldham has never lived at my address.

These calls have been going on for years. At first I was fairly civil, pointing out the facts and asking that the callers amend their records so that they never again dial my number and ask for this mysterious gent.

But all such requests fell on deaf ears and still the calls come, to be met by my own brand of rudeness reserved for them.

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Silent calls are also very likely to elicit a few choice expletives from me.

What really gets me – and is guaranteed to prompt an explosion of anger – are those damned recorded message calls. They used to be easily recognised for what they were but they have become much more sophisticated. I admit I have been caught out and it is when I pop in a question and realise that it is a machine that I am addressing that my rage becomes instantly aroused.

Another thing which I can and will avoid by a country mile this summer is a scheme dreamed up by scientists.

They are inviting families to count and photograph ladybirds they find in their gardens, parks and fields.

The information that these helpful people collect will be used to create detailed ladybird maps for the UK.

They will be looking for 7-spot, 14-spot and Adonis ladybirds (just three of the 47 native species as you probably know), plus the invasive non-native Harlequin which arrived in 2003 and has spread across vast tracts of the countryside.

An ecologist involved in the project said: “We really do need records from all corners of the UK, as some areas such as Scotland, Wales, Lincolnshire and parts of the South West are surprisingly under-recorded.”

Has this person and her earnest colleagues not cottoned on to the fact that people in these areas have better things to do with their lives than chase around after ladybirds.

I know one area of Hertfordshire where the comings and goings of these spotted creatures will go unrecorded. There are much better things to do in the Adams garden.