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Everything posted by Cosmicblue

  1. UK Driving licences have to be renewed, every 10 years - if you take a look at the Photocard - the field 4b on the front is the expiry date. If you turn the card over (in VERY tiny text) is the expiry dates for all the vehicle classes you hold a licence for: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/changes-to-the-driving-licence-and-categories
  2. A couple of weeks back my wife and I were sat out in the cool of the garden, late in the evening after one of the really hot days when my wife leapt out her chair saying she'd be bitten by something. She hadn't been on any creatures menu but had brushed a bare foot against a hedgehog lurking under her chair - a large healthy look individual who eventually scampered off. We put some rainwater from the butt out, just in case. The following evening we saw two together in the garden, one large, and one much smaller - haven't seen any in the garden for many years.
  3. Had an ancient Webley air pistol as a kid, around aged 17 I bought a BSA Mercury air rifle and a Scorpion pistol. Roll forward to 2008, so 14 years ago, aged 50, a mate went on some birthday bash and they did clay shooting. The following Monday the guy is asking if I'll go with him for a lesson at Edgehill SG, we had perhaps 5 lessons together, he gave up - and I carried on, absolutely hooked and has cost me a small fortune ever since with zero regrets.
  4. The UK is getting what it deserves - our country has got itself known, globally, for having a system where the government will pay you to sit at home - money for nothing, a life on benefits. Sure, we read that its harder to access benefits and maybe it is however the corners of the world where the society is screwed by corruption/war/famine then the UK is the place to head for - the number one destination where you'll be safe, sheltered and fed. A few years back I managed to get fired (occupational hazard in IT sales roles ☺️ , telling the truth to those that didn't want to hear it) and signed on for unemployment benefit whilst looking for another job - keeps your National Insurance payments up to date if nothing else. Was an interesting experience, I had to go back to the DSS office every two weeks to 'sign on' and discuss what I was doing to secure another role. I discovered I was the highlight of the day for agent, the only applicant she'd see all day who was genuinely seeking another role - the rest were just milking the system. After 3 months I was back in employment, job done. So with the humanity head on for a moment we are talking real people here, heading for a country that's cold and wet for most of the year, they don't speak the language, understand the food or culture and have no idea at all what's ahead but know for sure that it's better than what they left behind. So if you want to look for a target to blame for spending our tax revenue on the migrant issue that the UK nation gets nothing out of you have to look no further than the UK benefits system - a global legend.
  5. I have worked from home since 1998, as has been mentioned already you can claim a little from HMRC. Some bits are almost priceless, no commute stress, wear and tear on your vehicle, freedom to attend to personal stuff as needed. My employer lets me expense internet costs to a max £40/month and my mobile to a max of £70/month - would be worth asking if you can get something like that. You need a degree of personal discipline, when one gets a really naff task then it's easy to find marginally more interesting things to do like emptying the dishwasher! Equally you have to walk away from it when the work day ends - it is super tempting at times to chew a bit more of a task off.
  6. Past: Stevie Ray Vaughan, current John Mayer
  7. Car insurance is always difficult, something you hope you never need and then when you do it needs to be painless. I switched to NFU a couple of years ago, initially for Contents and Buildings cover and then Car Insurance - you won't find them on any comparison site, its old school and involves a telephone call. Sadly, 1st August last year my car got hit whilst parked (fortunately, a month prior and for 1st time ever (held a driving licence for 47 years) I'd had a dashcam fitted and that recorded it all (recommended). NFU were brilliant - called them (weekend) a few quick questions "do you have dash cam footage?" "Yes", uploaded it and within minutes I knew that a franchised authorised repairer had been instructed, a loan car arranged (equivalent to mine), that I wasn't liable for excess and my no-claims discount was intact. Everything was put into writing, no ambiguity anywhere. The car was off the road for a month. NFU also understand that some of us are shooters are carry guns and ammunition, sometimes in large quantities - they have removed the 2000 cart limit now too. Recommended.
  8. The politician has shown that they have the required and possibly mandatory entry requirements for the job...
  9. Cosmicblue


    A competent Brexit needed longer than 5 years to complete - something that had existed for 40 years where it's tendrils of twisted administrative process intertwined with law and commercial trading practices wasn't going to re-engineered into something workable in that time-scale. 10 years maybe - however that's longer for an elected term for any government so would never have been agreed. I do suspect that when Boris and the rest of the wasters have been removed there will be an incremental undoing of the Brexit agreement, even if only to make what's left workable.
  10. Cosmicblue


    A very close friend of mine is an cardio-thoracic ITU nurse, qualified in 2018 and is a Band 5, native Chinese lady holding UK citizenship and I'll pass on your observations, thanks. She and her colleagues go above and beyond every single day, working straight 12 hour shifts, at the end of each shift she'll unwind and recount the events as a de-stress (without names), mostly the patients are unconscious, clinging to life by a thread kept alive by technology and minute-by-minute care. ITU nurses are authorised to administer 1st line drugs without waiting for a doctor to sign off, sometimes every second counts and they lose very few patients as a result. Recently she was looking after a chap who was at end-of-life but conscious and knew it was just a matter of time - she asked the patient if he wanted anything. "a cold coke" was the reply. She went off the unit and bought the drink with her own money, returned and provided something special, a few sips to happiness - the nurses call it compassionate care. The gentleman passed away later that day. It is, as you say, truly humbling. I work in IT and make zero difference to anyone's life and get paid a ridiculous amount of money for doing it - I pay more tax each month than she takes home, even with some bank shifts on top - its not right and the balance in the NHS needs to shift towards those actually delivering the care. A Band 5 nurse (the foot soldiers in the mid blue uniforms with white edges) sit on a salary scale of somewhere between £25 and £31k, a hospital Chief exec will be on around £300k and won't deliver any bed-side care from one year to the next.
  11. Cosmicblue


    Boris will just appoint replacements for his chancellor and health minister I fear. Will be unemployable after this is over, the normal avenues of consultancy/advisory positions that former prime ministers pursue will be closed and I doubt anyone would want him as a journalist either.
  12. HP do a range of machines - for not silly money when compared with an iMac HP All in ones
  13. Cosmicblue


    I rarely use Ebay these days - but when I did I used 'Bidnapper' https://www.bidnapper.com/ , once set up with your Ebay UserID one simply pastes the the Ebay Item number into Bidnapper and the maximum amount you want to bid and leave it to do it's stuff. It waits until the last few seconds of the auction before bidding, offering the lowest possible increment within your set limit to secure the item. You don't have to watch the item, your bid can't be beaten because the auction has closed before the other bidders even realise what's just happened. Naughty and not in the spirit etc but highly effective.
  14. Clay shooting is a non-essential expenditure that follows the household costs that are essential - so the disposable income is being eaten away. For those who where busting clays and already on the borderline of affordability then the general rise in the cost of living plus the increased costs of a round have put the sport out of reach.
  15. Cosmicblue

    BT to EE

    BT's internal structure from an IT point of view is a shambles that stretches back 20+ years, it improved a bit when they binned 'Region 6' which as the dreadful Indian call centres but still left a gaping chasm of capability that's never been fixed. The fundamental problems stem from the fact that the front-end sales systems - i.e. the bit that we see as BT,com and order services from is not integrated with the engineering systems used by the guys who do the physical work, add to that the fact that Openreach was spun off into a separate company that outsources a lot of work to 3rd party contractors and its easy to see why it feels so messed up. As a legacy from the days of dial up broadband I used to have to incoming telephone lines coming into the house - as line rental prices rose steeply I decided to switch the broadband to the home phone number line - big mistake! BT cut us off from Broadband, reallocate the line that had the broadband to another customer... The solution is raise a formal complaint and find someone who will take ownership https://www.bt.com/help/contact-bt/complaints and then find someone to own your problem - the BT employees are as frustrated as the customers. The key thing is to get a name - you'll have to ask for it and a direct dial extension number. BT provide compensation for every day without service...my credit was so large I didn't have a bill for nearly two years.
  16. When the cell signal is poor at home there are work-arounds like Vodafone's Suresignal to route cellular comms traffic via the tinternet - securely.
  17. MFA - Multi-factor authentication is the proper name for it. Yes, you'll have to take your UK phone with you as most MFA authentication systems use SMS - a text message to a device that you have registered with your bank.
  18. Cosmicblue


    Very high risk - using technologies that few genuinely understand, unsecured and unregulated.
  19. As a midlander I was working up in Aberdeen for a Scottish company when they had the last independence vote - was asked for an opinion...."we have had your oil - bye!", they fired me about a month later, really can't think why...🤔
  20. Me too, we have one feeder and have to top it up 3x a day, = 10Kg a month of this:https://www.birdfood.co.uk/hi-energy-seed have bought cheaper but the garden birds drop the cheap stuff to the delight of the ****** pigeons.
  21. That's good to read - maybe Curry's have turned the corner on customer service.
  22. Cosmicblue


    Careful! You'll upset the 'Leave' contingent here...😀
  23. Cosmicblue


    Boris (likeable personality) is doomed because he'll open his mouth without having the brain in gear, saying what seems right at that moment in time. Like a naughty public school boy where life is just one big jolly wheeze - being economic with the truth to a downright bare-faced lie doesn't work when you have the top job. Are there any viable alternatives? Jeremy Hunt perhaps, seems to have integrity - maybe a possibility.
  24. Insurance companies make money by not paying out, private hospitals offer a service where they pick the procedures with the highest return/lowest risk. If you are having a procedure in the private hospital and you take a turn for the worse then you'll likely have a ride in an ambulance to an NHS hospital A&E - with vital minutes (hours?) lost, whereas inside the NHS all the services are close to hand. Private healthcare is OK, but far from perfect - at least now you know the reality. I have private health care as part of my package - but decline it because of the above (wife is a nurse who has worked in the private sector as well as the NHS for 40+ years).
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