Monthly Archives: April 2011

Wedding-Day fun!

Naturally most of today’s fun and games is to do with ‘The Wedding’ and rightly so. But one or two stories are there to give a giggle if you look.
For instance ten members of a Nepalese choir – bound for Cornwall via Heathrow – went through customs at the airport and then vanished.
They were to appear/sing at a festival in Cornwall and then tour the country – the show’s organiser says, “I’m furious! We’ve had to re-arrange the show entirely.”
Depending on which type of visa the singers arrived with will determine whether a crime (which will neccessitate police involvement) has been committed.
Watch out for them soon on Britain’s Got Talent!
But don’t forget, The Wedding is apparently attracting about 1,100,000 other ‘visitors’ to London for the weekend…
At the sharp-end of actually paying for all this I must do as that nice Mr. Cameron says and ‘Calm down’.
You only need pull £42,000 and a bit nowadays to qualify for a wallet-draining 40% tax-steal – as over 600,000 new ‘qualifiers’ are now discovering.
The problem is, once you’re on a (higher?) tax-rate, getting off it, regardless of how earnings fluctuate, is bloody difficult. So some folk opting for lower-paid jobs will still stay on that rate for the full tax-year or longer…
For many a ‘co-ordinator’ being bit by the hand that feeds you must be frustratin’ to say the least.

Day-off fun!

This wedding thingy is really getting the backs of some folks up. Some want a day-off some (mainly the employers) don’t.
Many sheep posting at the mail ask, “Why can’t it be on a Saturday?”
Sadly, is it that registrars have refused to graft on Saturdays? If so I wonder who pays their salaries? (Need I friggin’well ask!)
And, as any self-respecting Mail-Order guru will tell you it’s not about product, not about price – it’s all about getting the blanket advertising as cheaply as possible.
Full-marks this week go to this establishment featured in the mail:
Yes, I am on about The Community Safety Office of course!
To reinforce that concept (about product & price) the Olympic Committee folk have got 20,000,000 punters gagging for only 6,000,000 tickets! With £20,000.00p fines for touts!
And we’re led to believe that there’s no £ about.
Good news is reported on the e-bay front as paypal account numbers are up by 16% and also the general sales volume of e-bay auctions (excluding vehicles!) is at record levels.
This actually means that rather than being used as land-fill or shipped abroad to be used as land-fill, or photographed by councils as ‘recycle-able’ materials at local tips (recycling-centre’s), $14,500,000,000.00c of the world’s shite is actually in the post! (I can’t be arsed converting fourteen point five billion dollars into pounds) – it’s a waste of time.

Cash fun.

There are one or two fun snippets in todays ‘news’ if you dig a bit. A while back I suggested, due to lack of (affordable!) mortgages from broke banks, that folk simply buy with cash – you know, that stuff that, unlike plastic, actually folds.
Well, apparently, loads of folk must have had a read here because that, according to beeb blog, is happening. Yes, folk are buying houses with cash. (40% of present market)
Naturally the beeb blog quotes from one Ray B., a mortgage-broker, for his view, which is, “…those without access to family money will be increasingly squeezed out of the market if this is allowed to continue.”
(He was apparently on his way to invest in Delsey!)
The beeb said that the government recognises the problem and is taking steps to help. It also said that hmrc (tax-office) also records house-sale types, numbers etc. etc. I wonder why?
Meself, rather than ‘family members’, I prefer to obtain money by working. Like that nice man that actually runs the beeb. He could buy a house every two months on his salary…and still put a nice car in each drive!
Mr. R. Bartlett, ceo of C.H. estate-agency says, “There is a finite stock (of houses to buy/rent) and a desperate need to build new houses in the UK.”
You have identified ‘a need’ Mr. Bartlett. What are you waiting for? Go ahead and build…
Erm, what’s up? Have you got a teeny-weeny problem with anything entrepreneurial?
A bank in India is going ballistic as termites are eating their money! Yep, it’s true, termites have eaten umpteen billion ruppees (about £12) and the bank staff have had a right telling-orf.
Will UK bankers ear-mark this novel, empty-vault excuse for future use I wonder?
Some folk are up in arms because that nice Mr. Blair and his mate Mr. Brown haven’t been invited to ‘the wedding’. Yikes! Shock Horror!
Mind you, have you seen how much it costs to post a bloody balloon lately, the price escalated on their watch.
All the other guests, (I’m reliably told), are simply ‘List A’ or newsletter subscribers! (List B was sold to the olympic games committee! COH!)

Public fun?

Not being paid on a ‘work or play’ basis I can slip into my penthouse head-office (upstairs back-bedroom) and cobble a post together – unlike the vast majority of workers, who, because of a glut of public bank-holidays will be in bed until about next Tuesday! The Private Sector has little to do and doing it costs more than it makes so many company owners don’t mind shutting for an overdraft-calming rest at all. The public sector simply can’t be arsed; with some of them out in their (NHS funded) Porshe Boxsters (or Jags) while the sun shines.
Head Teachers will be on beaches enjoying the fruits of £100,000.00p per year (or more) appointments (some part-time) and eu staff will be looking forward to retirement that’ll cost GB tax-payers another £170,000,000.00p in additional funding next year to give them yearly pensions of about £60,000.00p.
So, it’s all looking good – until you realise that all this is paid for by borrowing – which has, for the past few months gone down – which is simply an indicator of how much taxation has gone up and ‘services’ have ‘been adjusted’!
A few (thousand?) ‘entrepreneurial’ Personal-Trainers, Dog-Walkers, Children’s Nannies etc., that use public parks as a freebie work-place are being brought down to Private-Sector reality with a bump as councils begin to charge for ‘licences’ for public-park business use. The licence-fees range from £350.00p to £3,500.00p per year.
Users will have to apply for a licence using special forms with various numbers but can, of course, offset the cost, as a business-expense against tax. This may mean, if turnover exceeds a certain amount, that the ‘short’ self-assessment tax-return cannot be used and the ‘longer’ one must – which usually means employing an accountant (or ten) if you have to charge vat – which is now 20%. At the end of all this, if any folk can still afford you, resulting profit may be less than benefits and so…
For a real monetary shock try a high-street shop or even a market-stall! Both are record-breaking wallet-drainers!

Holiday fun?

Yep, I’m on holiday today.
Years ago, when a youth on a bike, or in now ancient but once great Ford Anglia (van), I’d maybe go north for those rare and wonderful days when ‘clocking-in’ and later, ‘clocking-out’ was excused on the grounds of ‘Bank Holiday’.
So here’s a link to some of my old ‘days-out’ courtesy of Tony @ Lakelandcam
Scroll down a bit for his recent pics and further down for the week’s pics.
Even virtually this is an awesome place.

Sum fun!

Yesterday, I believe, was St. Georges Day, and whatever he really has-been St George is now the Patron Saint of England. Fair enough. Today is Easter Sunday, and whatever the concept of ‘Easter’ may have been, it is now a major event and holiday in our calendar. No problem.
These concepts, over the years, have literally shaped our lives by their importance – especially our earlier years that we spend at school.
Again, no problem at all, it is simply a part of our national heritage.
As was, at one time, mathematics or, originally, arithmetic. This subject too was at one time vitally important yet, for most kids and learners, me included, the most unfathomable and boring.
Until, that is, I met, at a Technical School, (which would have made Hogwarts look modern!) a mathematics teacher by the name of Markham. (Yes, that really was his name.)
Now this six-foot ex-army (I think) man was brilliant at his subject and rather than hide at the back of the classroom with my scratch-pen and inkwell, I would sit at the front to watch him explain all with a bit of chalk on the blackboard.
Pythagoras (oh! such simple stuff! making right-angles with a bit of knotted string!) suddenly became interesting; addition, subtraction, multiplication easy-peasy and far more logically enlightening than football or (heaven forbid) cricket! A simple semi-circular protractor, with Mr. Markham, became as absorbing as a modern-day Nintendo DS – a slide-rule our Wii!
“There is nothing,” Mr. Markham would say, “remotely difficult about maths. It is simple logic. The base-line is a nought, two is really plus two, take away four and you’re into the minus side – with minus two!
Later in life, when you’re adding-up your company accounts, the minus side is to be avoided at all costs!”
This man reduced the whole strategy of ‘business’ to a logical algebraic equation that, albeit simplicity itself, was, at the same time, awesome.
I just wish that he could have addressed the NUT at their recent conference where ‘strike-action’ was apparently voted upon.
Or address a confederation of bankers and m.p.’s, today, when a three-piece-lounge-suite costs more than what a house had cost when Mr. Markham was actively teaching.
He would, I’m sure, use another of his classic and timeless catch-phrases:
“Don’t worry if you get things at first wrong – remember the modern adage, ‘Trial and Success’, if you use the old one, ‘Trial and Error’, you’ll never get it right!”
For many of us kids, at that old Technical School, later in life as problems of every type arose, a quick think-back to the teachings of old Bill Markham and the foundation layout, or the lathe-gearing, or the height measurement (of a church-steeple say), or the accounts book, and the problem became one of simple and exceedingly pleasurable mental logic that added immense interest to otherwise mundane days.
For whatever else he had been, for those few still living-by logic, old Bill would, today, be regarded as a saint.
Just for interest: another teacher at that school, Mr. Gough the science and chemistry man, simply relished giving short expose’s on the home-growing of Tobaccum Nicotiana; the drying and curing of its leaves, and then, most brain-stimulatingly, its smoking in a heavy briar pipe – in the classroom!
Needless to say there was always rapt attention – and, at the back, on occasion, the furtive scratching of a match, the composition of which also warranted a lesson or two!
Also just for interest: keep an eye on petrol-price – not here but in U.S.A. – it’s getting interesting there now as well.

Fun, on tick?

At one time, when you ‘borrowed’ to get something, the term used was ‘on tick’ or ‘on the tick’.
Nowadays almost everything is obtained on tick – until you get the money. Even further education. And now some degree-course fees will be over £50,000.00p of which most or all will be on tick.
Which means that students will, over three, four or perhaps five years, amass such debts.
What I can’t figure is: who (or where) do they borrow, on such a scale from?
And, if this is so easy-peasy, why is getting a mortgage so bloody hard?

Outdoor fun!

The present good and rather warm weather means that a little work is being done outside. When weed-clearing work started the seating for a brew, pipe or just a breather was a modest upturned builders-bucket; basic, but it did the job.
But now here, amid the blooming greenery, far better provision for sitting has been (temporarily) erected.
Doubtless Time-Team would read into this all sorts of ‘ritual meaning’.
Readers using Amazon’s ‘Kindle’ electronic reader (and other brands) will soon be able to ‘borrow’ books etc. from libraries.
This will increase an already massive new market-type for authors. All types of writing can and is being bought already but being able to ‘borrow’ will cut reading costs further, making it ever easier for a new, possibly unpublished author, to get that first few ‘reads’.

Pension fun!

It looks, on the face of it, as if the Old Age Pension and its calculation, is being simplified but I’m not so sure.
What appears to be happening is that soon certain pensioners will get a fairly hefty pension while those already pensioners will not – the old adage ‘Divide and Conquer’ immediately springs into this old and wary mind. (where anything ‘govern-mental’ is concerned)
So what might actually happen is this: The new higher pension will be introduced for some pensioners (although even this is only conjecture really at the moment!) which will mean that millions of existing pensioners will go ballistic, which will allow the government (whichever) to say, “We can’t afford to pay everyone this amount…unless we increase income-tax (or national insurance) by a large margin.”
Sadly (?) the government will bow to ‘public-opinion’, raise income-tax by a bundle, and then pay all pensioners the higher amount – which is still only a bloody pittance – and by the time it’s brought in inflation will have wiped it out anyway!
But with income-tax again increased the government will simply and quietly say; job done!
Gold cleared $1500/ounce yesterday. Momentous! Particularly for the, ahem, ‘faithfull’ that latched in the mid-nineties!! It was $300 – $400 then – not worth, apparently, pallet-space in the BoE, so they erm, sold it cheap. Govern-mental stuff again.