We succeeded in getting our new joint bank account set up at the HSBC branch on the Market Square here in Wells. Our cheque book arrived and our two debit cards. How anxiously we were waiting for the PINs so we could start withdrawing our money!
This morning was our lucky day. Two envelopes arrived (one for Clare, one for me) and with mounting excitement I opened mine. The instructions were as shown below: pull the flap to expose the shaded area; place on a light surface to see the PIN.
It all worked perfectly. The cover came off exposing the hatched area shown above.
Do you see a PIN? I tried holding it against the light. Then I tried shining a bright torch on it. Finally I resorted to working away at the surface with a screwdriver. No PIN.
I called Clare and persuaded her to open her letter. She followed the same procedure with the same result. We looked at one another with a shared thought: security gone mad.
"Call HSBC," she said "and tell them they've made a terible mistake in printing off the PINS." I was more in favour of strolling down to the Market Square.
Adrian (whose penultimate day in England this is before he flies off to Canada) then strolled by. He rubbed at the hatched area for a while and then said: "What did you do with the covers you tore off?"
Humouring him, I retrieved them from the bin and handed them across. He picked one up and held it against the light. Then wordlessly he passed it to me.
OK, so even highly-educated people can make a mistake. Now I wonder: which one was mine and which one was Clare's?