Posted in Living

Christmas Miracles

Such terrible, tragic, sad news from round these parts with the dreadful accident in George Square on Monday. Really shocked me, and having to watch the news professionally, I don’t easily shock. I’m not ashamed to admit I had a mini weep at my desk as the details unfolded, truly horrific.

It was a funny old day, Monday. On Sunday night, we’d been sat at home, watching something rubbish on telly, when one of those rubbish adverts on STV came on, for the text in the answer to a dead-easy question and win £4,000. The bored-sounding woman drones”wow, imagine what you could do with £4,000,” her tone implying that she wouldn’t get out of bed for any less than 10 grand. As is wont to happen in some households, a brief discussion ensued about what we would do with that amount of money – a holiday, a credit card bill, a drugs binge (I’ll let you imagine which of those my mother said).

Imagine my utter shock and amazement the very next morning to open a letter from my bank about my failed PPI claim from over a year ago, awarding me…


It’s blurry because even my phone was crying with joy. My bank (smile) had been writing to me almost daily last year, telling me to put in a PPI claim before it was “too late” (I had 2 years in which to do it in. They’re prone to exaggerating). Eventually, I gave in and filled in the blasted form, though I couldn’t remember a good deal about the conversation I had when I took out the loan it regarded, given that it was almost 10 years ago.

A few weeks later, a chap rang me up and quizzed me on a few things and I just repeated what I’d written down, that I didn’t know it was optional, that the lady who sold me it sounded quite clear to me that it was a required element and that I couldn’t remember a good deal more than that. A couple of weeks after that, I got a letter saying, “Ah, but look, you signed the form on the loan application, so no, you can’t have it back”. I didn’t think much more of it, to be honest, I didn’t think I’d get anything anyway and had only done it because they were so persistent.

And then, the other day, out of the blue, three days before Christmas, a letter arrived to say they’d reviewed my application for a refund and decided that yes, I should have it back and that they’d sort out the tax and how would I like my £4285.12, cheque or BACS?

I actually cackled out loud in the kitchen, then I re-read it about 9 times and then I had a shower and went to work. Life goes on. What will I do with all that extra bonus cash?! The possibilities are fizzing round in my brain. What would you do with that sort of bonus cash?

And now it’s Christmas Eve and it’s time to get on and enjoy Christmas time. I’ll be sparing a thought for those people who have had their Christmas and their lives turned upside down by Monday’s accident though. Sad times for them, this year and every other now.



I’m Claire and I live near Glasgow, in Scotland. I have strong family ties to Cincinnati, too and regard it as my second home. If I had to describe myself in five words, it would be thus: Does. Not. Suffer. Fools. Gladly. I’ve been cross stitching pretty much all my life, but professionally since 2005, first as Miso Funky, then as The Bellwether and now under my own name. I'm known for my witty, sarcastic and occasionally profane typographic designs. My work has been featured in The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Channel 4 and on BBC television as well as numerous media outlets across the globe. At one point, I was kind of a big deal but I mostly just dabble in it these days when I have time. My website is a repositry of cross stitch charts, travel and food blogging and you'll find it at I also love to travel and eat, ideally travelling somewhere great to eat something brilliant. I'm fascinated by social history, particularly the Victorians and will absolutely beat you hands down in a quiz about the Tudors. Dogs are LIFE. I like being in water and have lots of ideas that will never see the light of day but would definitely be a winner on Dragon’s Den/Shark Tank. I love to give people gifts. I! also! overuse! exclamation! marks! sorry!

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