16 February 2011 (Wednesday) - The Morning's Post

The first part of my mortgage endowment matured on Monday. I wonder if the building society got their money. I suppose I could ring them up to find out, but on the other hand I’m inclined to let sleeping dogs lie.

I read an interesting statistic – this morning’s post brought a flyer from British Gas claiming that here in the UK a gas boiler breaks down every fifteen seconds. So that’s four every minute – 240 an hour, 5760 every day, and a staggering 2.1 million every year. Now wiki answers told me there are 23.6 million households in the UK. Do all of these have a gas boiler? Probably not, but if they do, from these figures I’d expect a gas boiler to go west after about eleven years use. So seeing our last one lasted for nineteen years, I think we did all right.
British Gas weren’t telling me about boiler breakdowns for fun - they wanted me to insure my boiler with them Unfortunately for them I once had someone on my doorstep trying to sell British Gas to me: the chap was telling blatant lies. I won’t use British Gas on principle now.
However, in the post was some stuff from HomeServe. I’ve got rather confused recently about payments I’ve been making to that company. I’ve got plumbing & drainage insurance with them, but I also found I had a policy to stump up cash should I be hospitalised for any reason. Heaven only knows why I have that policy – after all in my job I get sick pay. I also had various other policies with them for this, that and the other. They suggested I combined the lot into one policy that covers central heating, plumbing, electricals and all manner of household catastrophes for only fifteen quid a month. Probably a tad pricey, but then that’s the gamble you take with insurance. After all, it’s fifteen quid that I know I’m spending rather than waiting for something to break and getting an unexpected bill of thousands of pounds.

The tax office have written to me to tell me of my new tax code. Presumably this is to account for the free laptop I got off of work. So seeing I’m being taxed on it, it’s not that free, really.

I had a letter asking me to vote in the election of governors for the local hospitals governing board. I suppose that if I don’t vote, then I have no right to complain when I don’t like what’s happening. But in the literature I received I was offered a choice of six candidates, all of which were not flattered by their photographs. And all of which spouted the same platitudes in their personal statements. And I can’t help but agree with the sentiments of Douglas Adams when he said that the fact that someone seeks a public office should be a reason against why they should be considered for that office. I can see nothing to choose between the various candidates, and so I shan’t vote for any of them.
But I will reserve the right to complain about what they do. If anything.

The power company wrote to me to tell me they weren’t doing Nectar points any more. That’s no great loss, but it reminded me that a couple of weeks ago I’d given them meter readings and they said that I should get back in touch with them to see if I could get a refund. My leccie account is seventy quid overdrawn, and my gas account isn’t much better. Whilst it’s no immediate cause for concern (the monthly payments will sort it out) they weren’t very inclined to give me a refund. Which was a shame.

Some days in my life can be quite exciting. Others are on the dull side….

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