Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Today, I nearly got my knickers in a twist!

At the weekend I booked a coach tour to Ningaloo Reef, up the coast from Perth.  This is a 5 day tour, costing around $1200.  I wavered about booking it, because that is a lot of money for a student, but decided to book it as Jim is back in the UK for another two weeks so I'm on my own until university starts on 27 Feb, and it's probably my last chance to do a tour before I return to England.  Ningaloo Reef is a place of outstanding natural beauty so I really wanted to see it, and I am unlikely to have the opportunity again.

So when I received a phone call from the tour company reservations clerk, stating I had been undercharged, I was staggered.  Then the clerk informed me the tour cost was actually $1700 and I had been undercharged by $500!  I was appalled at this, stating as a student, if I had know it was $1700, I would not have even considered booking the tour.  I did not have this money available, and would prefer a refund. The clerk stated the brochure had the wrong figure, because the prices for 3 and 5 day tours had been confused.  Fortunately I queried whether it was legal for the company to impose the price increase as it was not my fault.  (I know my UK consumer law, but was not sure about Australian consumer law).  The clerk started hedging, saying he did not know about whether it was legal to hike the price after the tour was booked.  At this point I got on my high horse, and told him it was his job to know whether it was illegal or not!  I said it was illegal for him to change the contract terms, after the brochure was published and after I had booked the tour via the tour company agent.  He went off to refer to his manager, and about half an hour later, the Company Sales Director rang me back confirming the tour was sold at $1200 and they had to honour it.  I was relieved and pleased.

I was quite surprised at my reaction to this incident.  I have been very hard working and dedicated to my studies since I've been here, and by my standards, quite calm and placid.  But the moment someone sprang an unexpected situation on me, all my old volatility returned.  I'm so glad my life is mostly peaceful now.  I don't need hassle or grief - I just want a nice life with my husband, being creative.

So, back to the subject of a nice life with creativity. 

I had my Drawing summer school assessment today.  I was delighted with 78%.  I said to Michael, the tutor, that I would probably put the work in the bin as it was too heavy to take back to the UK.  He advised me to select the best bits to take home, as some were good, rather than bin it.  Then I spoke to my friend Lisa, via email.  She gave me an idea to take the work and turn it into a handmade sketchbook, by cutting, cropping and rejoining the best bits.  Some pieces to portray the whole object, but others to focus on details.  And this gave me an idea for some new formats for the postcard project.  Chinese books can be made by cutting and folding A4 paper, so I might try this on bigger paper, then sealing the edges and using them as postcards.  Just need to create some isolating bars so I can identify the most interesting parts. 

This will keep me occupied for the next few days.  Yippee.  Life is SO exciting.

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