14 March 2011 (Monday) - Letters and Emails

I seem to have formed a habit of leaving my letters and emails and general household admin chores to pile up until I am on a late shift, and then dealing with all of it at once. Not having done a late shift for a week or so meant I had quite a stack of letters to go through this morning.

Brighton Kite Fliers had written to me to say that their AGM is coming up in a couple of week’s time. I won’t be going – the meeting is on Mother’s Day, and I would probably be dead as ice cubes were I to go off to a kiting meeting on that date.
Whilst I’m on the subject of kites, I’ve had a message from the Kent Kite Fliers about this year’s kite festivals at Teston. They say both are still going ahead, but “there is some pressure on the Country Parks to make a profit or at the very least break even in regard to any costs for any event held. ….KCC have told the rangers at Teston they must seek a charge from the campers at Teston kite events of at least £10 per pitch for the week-end….”. Personally I think that’s quite reasonable. (Provided other campers don’t go and hide in their tents when the rent man comes calling and expect me to stump up… again…)

The water bill for the next year has arrived. Or that is half the water bill has arrived. South East Water have told me how much they will take from me for the delivery of water. Someone else will be in touch about taking it away once I’m done with it.
The leccie people have changed the date on which they plan to take the direct debit each month. It’s interesting how they will charge me if I want to change the date I pay them, but they don’t offer me anything at all when they want to change that date. In a separate letter they apologised that they will be increasing their prices once the current price freeze ends. Dur!!! Isn’t that what happens at the end of a price freeze?
Mind you, my council tax bill would seem to be exactly the same for the coming year as it was for the previous one. Thank the lord for small mercies.

I received my petrol money from the laboratory inspection I did a couple of weeks ago. I must admit that having been doing these inspections for several years, they’ve certainly got more efficient with refunding my expenses.
There was some post for the scout group and for the astro club. I must take those letters to where they belong.

I saved the largest letter until last – our census return. To save farting about, I chose to fill the thing in on-line. Perhaps I’m just getting old and racist, but my piss boiled when I saw that it’s possible to complete the census in any one of fifty six languages, including twelve languages of which I had never heard. Who actually does speak Yoruba or Igbo? I honestly think that anyone who can’t complete the UK census in the language of the UK (English, just to be clear!) is a prime candidate for deportation. (Sorry!)
Anyway…. bearing in mind that it’s the government who is asking for the census data, they have asked some rather stupid questions. Obviously they know where we live –they’d sent the letter to that address. Obviously they know where we all work – they get our income tax from our employers. Obviously they know our marital states, our nationalities and what passports we hold from various government records. I concede that they wouldn’t know about any house guests I may have on a given date, but surely that is a rather trivial bit of information? Who on Earth cares about that?
And as for religious convictions; that question is optional and is a joke. The vast majority of people will claim to be “Christian” without actually understanding what it means to be a Christian. One or two say they are “Jedi” thinking they are being either clever or nonconformist. And now I hear that there is a move afoot to use this question to protest to the Government about fuel prices.
 In short the census was a waste of my time. I have heard on the radio that the whole concept of a national census has already been abandoned as the information is already available. Let’s hope this is true: the Government has wasted half an hour of my time on this one.

And then I had another waste of my time. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, one of the endowment policies to pay off my mortgage has matured. The company with whom I have that policy will not speak to me about that policy because the mortgage company has declared an interest in it. They will only deal with the mortgage company and suggested I got on to them. So I *again* phoned the mortgage company and spoke to Isobel. She was very helpful, but now claimed that the mortgage company have absolutely no record of the endowment policy. As I started crying she said she’d get on to their admin department and phone me back later. An hour later the admin department phoned me back, and on hearing that the mortgage dated back some twenty-plus years they announced they’d have to have a look in their store room, and would write to me within ten working days….


  1. The census set my blood boiling again but not as much as last time - its not a racist as it was last time. What got us was that as you say there are langauges that we've never heard of, but as normal there is no option for Tagalog (Official Filipino), which is Leng's second language, English being her third, and Ilocano her first.

  2. I think I must have received a different census. On mine it can only be completed in English or Welsh but the questions are available in lots of different languages, one of which is called 'Filipino (Tagalog).