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Wednesday 19 August 2015

A dustbowl.

I'm having an extension built at the back of the house. For all these years that we've lived in the place we've survived with a narrow galley kitchen and have finally decided to remedy the situation. This is not out of vanity, it's because with an extended family now, we need more dining space. When you have fourteen for crimbo lunch, you'll know why.

We decided to go for broke (I probably will be by the time it is finished), and are having a kitchen space of 30m2.

All has gone well so far. The walls are up, the roof is on, the bi-fold doors are being fitted, and the cabling is now in place.

The downside is that we have come to the stage where we are having the wall down between the old kitchen and the new area. The result so far (they've only knocked out a few bricks in order to fit two RSJ's), is that the downstairs of the house is resembling the sahara desert. Tomorrow will probably be even worse as they are knocking the whole wall down, and opening up for a new back door from the existing kitchen.

Another interesting fact is that the leckies decided I would need a new consumer unit situated in the utility room to supply electrical services to the back of the house. By the size of the cabling I reckon there is one wind turbine that is no longer connected to the national grid!

Right. I need another large whisky to clear the dust from my throat.

Monday 17 August 2015




Last month Mrs FE and myself decided to visit our son who lives in the north. Our preferred route is to join the M25 (spits) travel anti-clockwise and cross over into Essex via the Dartford crossing. As most of you will know, the crossing has changed from a cash transaction at the toll booths to an electronic transaction linked to the car registration number.

A couple of days before we set off I duly registered at the Dart charge website and opted to pay £10 by debit card into an account to be set up for me. So far so good.

Imagine my chagrin when perusing my bank account statement I find that I’d been charged twice. One amount when I opened the account and one when I first crossed the crossing.

I was tempted to tear a strip of the company but luckily I put it of. (Too lazy).

Today I received an email with a link to a statement of my account. Yes, fair enough the two amounts were listed, but what was interesting  was that  the proviso was that if your account fell below a minimum of £10 they would take another £10 from your account.

How dare they, you say.

Well I won’t be saying anything. for the following reason.

Normally for a saloon car the charge is £2.50 for a one way crossing. Imagine my surprise to find that in the summary of crossings, I’d only been charged £1.67 per crossing. Apparently that is the discounted costs for local residents.

Now of course I’ve never lived in that area of Kent and in fact live in the opposite side of the county. Strange.

Until I perceived a reason for the lowered charge.

I bought the car from a dealer in Dartford.

So I don’t think I’ll complain.

Does this make me a bad man? Not in my mind. If they cock it up then that’s their fault.

Sunday 16 August 2015

Public health

There’s a good article over on Dick Puddlecote’s  blog about those killjoys at Public health.

Here is one paragraph that the health zealots think of us, the great unwashed public.

“Lifestyle” is a loaded term that reinforces stereotypes about individuals and a world view that people are majorly or entirely responsible for their own health. Indeed surely the term “death style” would be better because the logical implication is that most individuals in our society are consciously choosing to lead unhealthy lives. Using such a term ignores the many and varied influences on health; the implicit assumption is that all is solved by developing an individual’s rational health decision making capacity.

Go and read Dick’s post. He makes the counter argument better than I ever could.

Wednesday 12 August 2015

Blatant disregard for the law.

Some months ago my aged mother in law was phoned by a distant selling company who persuaded her to purchase from them, some quack herbal remedy. At the time my MIL was registered with the Telephone preference service.(TPS).

So on her behalf I complained to the TPS, cancelled the order, asked for her money back, and returned the dispatched goods with a strongly worded letter.

I might as well have beaten my head against a brick wall.

Today they rang her again and persuaded her to buy another useless product.

So here we go again.

Saturday 8 August 2015

Are you happy?

Here's the simultaneous equation for it.

Thursday 6 August 2015

Plod are EVEN stupider now.


I’m just wondering if they have thought this through.

Leicestershire Police's three-month pilot involved only sending crime scene investigators to analyse forensics at victims homes if they lived in an even-numbered house and not odd-numbers.

I think that the law of unintended could strike here. If I was a burglar I would only break into ODD numbered houses in the short term.

Wednesday 5 August 2015