Friday, 25 November 2011

Autumn Leaves

I think this is the last of the autumn, which has eased its way into winter at a gentle pace this year. Do you remember this time last November. There was snow and ice everywhere, I wrote a bit about it here. I notice that this November, the wind has not even stripped all of the autumnal leaves from the branches yet. It still feels good to shuffle your feet through the piled up leaves while walking the dogs. Well, as long as they are dry and not that sort of wet sticky brown mulch that comes with the rain, sleet and snow.

Do you dread the BSS exam, for your boat. Do you really know whats involved in the examination. There is a comprehensive guide to the BSS that you can download. If you go to the BSS site you will find that some of the links to the documentation do not work. I have emailed them about the broken links - However you can download the documentation in a single zip file from Here. The document is in PDF format and contains colour and black and white versions.

I have the dreaded lurgy - sometimes referred to witheringly by the Memsahib as man flu. When you are a finely honed specimen at the peak of your game. Even the tiniest of change in your health can have a significant effect on your Olympian level of day to day performance. She just does not appreciate the difficulty of maintaining my peak fitness levels. Where others only have a paltry six pack - I have a party seven.

Ignoring the fact they were almost impossible to open - no party would have been complete without one. But the Party Seven beer can - a tin holding seven pints of ale - disappeared in the 1980s. Now the hunt is on - for an unopened Party Seven can to mark its 50th anniversary. The Royal Society of Chemistry not only wants a can to celebrate this milestone - it wants to chronicle the scientific advances that led mankind from beer bottle to beer can.

Talking about getting it off your chest. I have been writing to the Charities Commission about my concerns over the future of the Inland Waterways on a charitable basis. I will publish the letters and any replies that are forth coming.

I went to the boat yesterday, she seems a bit forlorn with all the items that could become damp being removed to be kept aired at home. It seems that is is almost impossible to remove all the water from the plumbing - so I have started to insulate the windows and to get the electrical heaters ready for deployment.

I also got a parking ticket yesterday I was so thrilled.  

However one item of news has made my day feel a little better. It seems that in Lewes someone is blowing up parking meters. The town - is famous for its explosive annual Guy Fawkes night display - However, the council parking meter mandarins have been targeted by people systematically blowing up meters in the past. It first started in 2004 after the local council introduced on-street parking charges. In the two years that followed, the culprits caused £300,000 damage by destroying more than 200 meters.

It seems that it has started again all over again with fifteen attacks carried out on 14 parking meters in the past three months with the most recent attack on Monday. Each of the meters are worth about £3,000. Five were in car parks run by Lewes District Council. The council have offered the paying public users of the parking meters a £1,250 reward for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators. The parking meter users and the general public in Lewes so far are saying zilch.


That's the sound of the cash register working overtime down at the local nick.

In a new move to massage reduce the crime statistics the police have come up with a wonderful wheeze. It works simply by discouraging witnesses and victims from coming forward. Victims of crimes will now have to pay to telephone police on a new non-emergency number. Every call to the 101 number, which has been set up for the reporting of incidents such as car thefts, criminal damage, and minor road accidents, will cost the caller 15p.

The Association of Chief Police Officers, which is behind the scheme, said the 101 number should be used  when providing tip-offs to the police about criminal activity. 101 was first introduced by Labour in 2006 but was abandoned after costing £41million when it had failed to reduce the number of 999 calls. Now that you have to pay 15p to make the call to the police. The police believe it is bound to reduce the number of 999 calls made. So next time you spot your local gangs of tea leafs rioting on the streets, burning cars and looting the shops. Ring 101 - have your 15p ready,  or reverse the call charge - you know it makes sense!

However, calls made to the 999 operators, will remain free.
Roy Rudham, chairman of the UK Neighbourhood Watch Trust, said: ‘I can see the downside of a set charge of 15p, in that it doesn’t motivate people to call. It could discourage people from actually phoning in to report a crime.

Two-thirds of calls to 101 in pilot areas were marked as "not appropriate" – callers were reported to have asked for details like the ‘next bus to Southampton’ and tourist destinations. Its the new version of the old maxim "If you want to know the time ask a policeman." After all people will feel that as its a non emergency number, its good to talk.

A Home Office spokesman added: ‘101 gives the public a memorable number that makes crime easier to report.  101 is more memorable than 999?  

Ask any child or adult the number for the police, fire or ambulance service - I bet they don't come up with 101. So in about 4 years when it has failed to reduce the number of 999 calls again. This time at a cost of £100 million plus we will abandon it all again.


1 comment:

  1. Hello,
    Having just successfully gone through the trauma of the BSS, I found the regulations obtained from BW at a cost of £8.00 a great help, I went through it a page at a time ticking off as they were inspected by me. A lot in the regulations is a preamble and an explanation so it looks worse than what it is. Also when making contact with the inspector make sure he will do a free re-examination in case of an item failure.

    Good luck


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