Wednesday, November 07, 2007


I caught one of those period dramas at the weekend (“A Room With A View”) and it seems to me that in those days you just have to speak to someone of the opposite sex and before you know it you were “engaged to be married”. The age of such innocence, and downright stupidity, is long gone.

On Monday I received an Armed Forces Veterans’ Badge. I found out , via my work’s Intranet page, that men and women who served in HM Armed Forces before and/or during World War II were entitled to a Veterans Badge. Men and Women who enlisted in HM Armed Forces between 3 September 1945 and 31 December 1994 are entitled to a Veterans Badge. There is no qualifying length of Service. So I sent off for details and got it through in a couple of weeks. I don’t exactly feel like a “veteran” but if I’m entitled to it then I want it. At least it’s free, unlike the Jubilee medal I had to pay £30 for. (I’d put up a picture of the medals but our digital camera is goosed. I’ll see if I can get photos of them off the web!)

Driving to work over the last couple of days (boy, am I loving the independence that that brings) I’ve had The Barracudas as my cool driving soundtrack. When I’ve not been giving lifts I’ve had the volume up and been singing along in a voice a cat’s choir would be ashamed of. Why, oh, why didn’t I learn to drive earlier? My life would be totally different if I had.

At last, I’ve received a lengthy reply to my admittedly equally lengthy letter to Life Property Management, the company responsible for the ground maintenance. Whilst some of the answers are fairly predictable three of the answers have really angered me.

I asked:

1. Why are we being charged for legal costs for the recovery of debts from open and closed cases that have absolutely nothing to do with us?2. Why are we being charged for "Irrecoverable service charges", which, again, have nothing to do with us?3. What constitutes "Management Fees"? And how is our £15 share calculated? "

The replies were:

“1. As per the development deed of conditions, which all residents discussed with their solicitors when purchasing the properties, when the property manager is pursuing debtors the initial outlay in legal costs is charged to the development, once recovery is successful the legal costs/expenses are paid back to the development.
2. When we sue for recovery and the debtor is either made bankrupt by us or are bankrupt when we get to them, the development deed of conditions confirms the debt is split among all other residents on the site. This is a fact that your solicitor will confirm for you.
3. Management Fees is our fee for managing the development and is charged at £30+vat per annum. As we invoice every 6 months your fee will be half £15+vat. Like invoicing the development fund for landscaping etc we invoice for our fee. Our fee includes admin costs, accounting costs, estate management costs which includes fuel etc monthly and like any business an element of profit.”

So if my neighbour doesn’t pay their charges I have to stump up for them, as well as the legal charges to recover those costs!! Unbelievable. I’ve taken steps to find out the legality of this.

Here are my nominations for Sports Personality of the Year; who I want to win and who I think will win:

MAIN AWARD: Want: Ricky Hatton; Think: Lewis Hamilton
TEAM AWARD: Want: Scotland football team; Think: England Rugby Team
OVERSEAS AWARD: Want: Roger Federer; Think Roger Federer
SYCOPHANTS AWARD: Shoe-In: Sue “Gushy” Barker

I am sick to the back teeth of successive British governments trying to ram the idea that “breast is best” down people’s throats (no pun intended) when it comes to feeding babies. Tesco, Boots et al are not allowed to be seen to be promoting formula milk by giving Club Card/Advantage points when customers purchase it, effectively classing it alongside cigarettes and lottery tickets. Hello! Not every woman can breast feed. And for those who can’t, formula milk is a much-needed lifeline.
Still not feeling 100%. Was getting a bit tired today and as a result a bit depressed. I managed to keep it myself though. I've been "up" for most of the week and I'm keeping up the facade.

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