Life, The Universe and Small Things all covered in one friendly blog.
Remember DON'T PANIC! .

27 September, 2007

British Gas

I moved house a couple of months ago and when I did I told loads of people, like the post office, several credit and banking organisations etc. The thing is none of them actually did anything about it. They all said thank you and sounded like they made a note but even those who send me emails saying they got my change of address still kept on writing to me at the last house.
You may have read the blog I wrote about Barclaycard and trying to tell them about the move, well British Gas are even worse. And the seriously annoying thing is I don't want to be with them anyway, but someone else didn't take note that I moved.
It started like this:-

Dear occupier, we hope you are settled in your new home, tell us who you are so we can update the records.

I phoned them, it took ages to get through and then ages to do battle with the press 1 for a life etc. (Thank heaven for and the 0800 listings they have for just about everything.) I explained I didn't want their gas or electricity but until it was sorted out properly here are my details.

The next day :- Dear Occupier , We wrote to you recently (yes it was yesterday) requesting your details but as we have not heard from you, if you don't contact us within 7 days we will assume the property is empty and disconnect the supply.

Well that's nice of them, I phoned them. I explained that I had explained already and the lovely woman in another country kept telling me it was their gas and electricity and I had to pay for it. Yes dear, I know, that's why I am on the phone to you now.

I got home, a card on the door mat from British Gas - We called to change your meter we will apply for a warrant if you don't let us change it. Oh excellent more grief. I phoned them.

Five days later the man arrives to change the meter, but he can't change it because the house is not shown in my name on his computer, and if I am changing supplier he will have to change it again anyway. Thats new to me.

Today a bill, to "The Occupier" its calculated by someone on the new Government training scheme and works like:- If you use 250 units in 41 days then we estimate you will use 520 units in the next 19 days that's 28 units a day. Oh for heavens sake.

I can't stand to phone again so I filled out a web page, gave them all the explanations and details. I pressed send .........


I don't think so.

26 September, 2007


Baaarrr, went Sally sheep, "come one lets go and get some more."
Baaaaaa, "No my mum said I mustn't it dangerous". replied Liam Lamb.
"Your such a woos Liam I don't know why I hang about with you, you always do what mummy says and never have any fun" said Sally before she wandered off down the field.
I wish I could go, they do look really good, thought Liam
He wandered back up the field to where his mummy was.
Sally stood by the hedge eating, they were lovely, she had never thought about them before but one of her rare breed cow friends had told her about them and since then she wondered why she had never tried them.
"why are you looking so woolly" asked Liams mum. "Its no fun just standing about eating grass all day", moaned Liam, "Sally is off down the field and having so much more fun"
"I have told you its too dangerous" said his mum.
"Oh its only a few thorns our tongues are so thick they don't hurt at all, your such a spoil sport.

Derek from DEFRA shouted to his colleague"hey we got another one here"
The world went black for Sally and she slumped into the grass.
"That's why you don't eat Blackberries Liam" Said his mum

25 September, 2007

Yes Gordon, you told us that before!

The Country waited, trembling with anticipation and excitement, agog with wonder at what this great man would say, how he would change the world, remove poverty and bring happiness to all. No, you didn't? Well just as well because in the end we had to make do with another load of hog wash from Gordon Brown at the Labour Party Conference, a man who has not quite grasped the fact that he is Prime Minister now and no longer Chancellor.

He told everyone, yet again, how he grew up, and oh did I tell you before that My father was a Church Minister, then he really got going.
He is going to remove guns from the streets - they were not there before Labour.
Teach children to read and write and with one-to-one tuition for 300,000 maths and English - that's a hell of a lot of teachers to find.

By 2010 he is going to have 2million more home owners than in 1997, Um, I have a sneaky suspicion that there have probably been just short of that number already or an I just being a sceptic.
Gordon will be tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime and that Education, Eductation , etc etc, you know the rest.

Gordon is going to employ another 5000 hospital Matrons and give them the power to make sure hospitals are clean and the power to order additional cleaning. Really, wow, so at the moment they just stand by the pile of vomit saying I really wish we could get this cleaned up but I just don't have the power.

At the end of his speech Gordon tells us this "
So this is my pledge to the British people:I will not let you down. [well not too much ]
I will stand up for our schools and our hospitals. [And you will stand too because there are not enough beds or school places.]
I will stand up for British values. [After all Britain pays twice as much as anyone else.]
I will stand up for a strong Britain . [With an independent Ireland, Wales and Scotland how strong can Britain be.]
And I will always stand up for you. - Yes of course you will Gordon.

24 September, 2007

Happy Christmas

I went to bed on the 23rd of September and slept so well I woke up and its December. Well I think it is.
I have just been shopping and in one shop a quarter of the ground floor is tinsel and Christmas crap, sorry I mean decorations.
Something is so terribly wrong with my sleep pattern.
No, I have checked, it is still September so what the on earth is going on. This month we have had The feast of the birth of Mary(Christian) Ramadan (Muslim) , Ganesh Chaturthi (Hindu) and Yom Kippur (Jewish) and there are many other religious festivals before Christmas so why oh why are shops setting up 3 months before the event with tons of rubbish that has nothing to do with anything but store profit. If they need to be prepared so far ahead I can see another problem. Next year Easter falls less than 3 months after Christmas so in December the shop will have to clear down and set up for Easter before Christmas, or maybe they will sell Christmas crackers containing chocolate eggs and small bunnies.
Its time to start a new Crusade, against "Retail Christmas "

23 September, 2007

Warning- May Contain Nuts

Earlier this year I took a flight, in order to ensure my carbon footprint doesn't drop too low, and on the flight the attendant informed us that "we will not be serving peanuts on this flight because there is a baby on board that might have a nut allergy and we don't know if it might be airborne". Crazy, this child is to spend its life in a large sealed bag I presume in case someone walks past eating a fruit and nut bar. Which brings me to the point of this blog entry.

This week a well known chocolate manufacturer has recalled thousands of bars of chocolate. There is nothing wrong with the chocolate but they forgot to print on the wrapper that the bars are made in a factory where nuts are also used. We have become a nation of warnings.
Taps that have "Warning- the water from this tap might be hot" where we used to just have a just red cap, "This drink may be hot" printed on the side of coffee cups etc.
No one is expected to think for themselves any more about what could be a danger.
Yet when we undertake something that needs a warning they are rather lacking. Take driving for example. You get behind the wheel of a car and you can do what the hell you like. It doesn't matter if you will injure or kill yourself, or maybe a line of people in a bus queue, there is no warning as you start the engine of the devastation you can cause.
But thankfully as you unwrap your bar of chocolate you will soon do so safe in the knowledge that there might be nuts in Cadbury's factory.

12 September, 2007

Carbon Offsetting Abuse

I know, its boring. Everywhere the hot topic of the moment is carbon offsetting. But it was only recently that I realised what carbon offsetting is all about. I bet you, like me, thought it was all about saving the planet. Well no.
The first thing its about is money, and lots of it. But it seems, and you could not make this up, the other thing is about abusing people in poor areas of the world. For example one company will offset your carbon by buying a foot operated water pump. Sounds reasonable?
The way this offsets the carbon you generated on your holiday flight is to take away a diesel powered water pump from a family in some less fortunate area of the world and give them the foot operated pump. They then work for 3 hours a day to pump the water they need but they don't generate any diesel fumes. Excellent, well for you on your flight anyway.
How can someone in the West ever think taking away powered equipment from a poorer nation is in any way offsetting, its just abuse.
The company doing this justifies their action by saying that the people no longer have to go to work to earn money to hire the diesel pump so they have a better quality of life as well. Tosh.
The next step could be to bring this closer to home, find everyone who can only afford say a 4 year old ford car, take it away from them and give them running shoes to offset the carbon generated by those who can afford a new BMW say.
Or take the heating away from everyone who lives in a flat and give them pullovers to offset the carbon generated by those living in large houses.
Sounds crazy doesn't it, but its exactly how some companies are offsetting your carbon, its just that those getting abused are not in this country.