Great, I thought. I’ll go and pay it into the bank. Except the bank wouldn’t let me. The cashier glanced at the cheque and said that because it was made out to both of us it had to be paid into a bank account in our joint names. Er, which we haven’t got.
“It’s to counteract fraud,” said the bank cashier. “There’s nothing I can do.”
How crazy is that? We can fly to the moon, transplant hearts from one patient to another and send an email across the world in the blink of an eye. But a woman who’s banked at the same bank for more than 30 years can’t pay a cheque into her own account because it’s got her husband’s name on it as well as her own.
“You can open a joint account,” said the woman helpfully. “Then I’ll be able to pay it in for you.”
I wanted to say that if we’d wanted a joint account we would have opened one when we got married 25 years ago.
But by that time I was speechless. I grabbed my cheque and stomped home.
PS. The walk from Kingston to Chapman’s Pool is one of my all-time Dorset favourites. This was the view that greeted us when we walked to the sea at the weekend. It looked so like a scene from Far from the Madding Crowd that I half-expected Gabriel Oak to appear on the horizon any second.