While digging through the various books, papers and momentos I discovered a 1984 edition of the Usborne Computer Fun programming book. My parents got me this book when I was playing with my Dad’s BBC Micro (a model B) and I vividly remember typing these programs into the computer.
I have just returned from a week long holiday in Tunisia and I must say it was bloody marvellous.
Tunisia is a North African country bordering Libya to the east and Algeria to the west. 40% of the country is in the Sahara Desert while the more prosperous and fertile north is divided from the south by the Atlas mountain range.
I stayed in a package-holiday hotel just outside of the tourist town of Hammamet. The hotel was rated four stars and had all the usual things such as pools, bars, sauna, spa and hammam. The beach and the Mediterranean Sea was only a short five minute walk away.
Almost eight months ago a Canadian national, on holiday in the UK, crashed into the back of my old car – writing it off. Today, after many phone calls and emails, I have been told that the claim is closed and I have won. I get my policy excess back (£150) and also get to keep my three years no claims bonus. Yay! Why this took so long to sort out I will never know. I think the third party insurance company was just stringing us along hoping that we would give up. I also get the impression that my uninsured loss recovery company only ever did anything when I rang them up and pushed them into action. Hopefully I will get my cheque in the next week or so.
The whole process has left me feeling quite exhausted and it doesn’t really feel like I have acheived anything other than a bucket load of finance on the new car. I think insurance companies should be given a maximum amount of time in which they are allowed to do certain tasks, especially when in this case it appeared to be such a clear cut claim.
For a number of years I have been helping a local cancer charity, Hope for Tomorrow, with their online systems.
Last week, on Valentine’s day, they launched Britain’s first mobile chemotherapy unit. Over £150,000 was raised by selling original art work, through charity fundraising events and corporate sponsorship.
Run by the oncology team from the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the unit will begin treating chemotherapy patients in Cirencester and Ross-on-Wye in March this year. It is hoped the unit will eventually travel further afield, bringing the life-saving treatment to patients throughout Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
The Mercedes-Benz unit has a bespoke body designed and built by Conestoga and WHF Ltd, who build many of the Formula One hospitality units. It will be able to treat five people on board at any one time – up to 20 patients a day. It has been fitted with the latest technology to provide a hygienic, safe and comfortable environment for patients and staff.
Christine, who runs the charity, said: “This is a ground breaking project and our most ambitious to date. Along with Dr Sean Elyan we share the same vision for this unit. I feel I have done the easy part – it is the commitment to this project from the oncology team at the Trust that I think is incredible”.
The new flat is starting to look slightly less like someone came along with a dumper truck and deposited a load of furniture and boxes randomly in each room. While waiting for the cable guy to come round, thankfully he was not like Jim Carrey, I managed to hang up all my clothes which had exploded all over the bedroom. The process of going through all your clothes is not only a moment of discovery (I forgot I had that t-shirt, etc.) but also one of great horror (what was I thinking when I bought that…).
I would like to talk briefly about coat hangers. Who the devil invented these things? They are appalling. You can’t pack or store them apart from on a rail, as soon as two touch each other they get tangled up, put several in a pile and you have no hope.
I don’t know how I manage it but whenever I move my computer desk a small bit of wood almost invariably snaps off. Luckily this appears to be the only major damage sustained to any item of furniture this time round. I also have the wood glue that I bought the last time this happened.
I am going to have to replace the comedy shower head that the bathroom features. It sprays water in all directions and is especially good at hitting people in the eyes. In the words of Greg who had the pleasure of using it on Saturday:
<Greg> standing up after turning it on. ARGHBLURGHSPLUTTER
<Norm> I know some girls that go ARGHBLURGHSPLUTTER too
The flat is now hooked up with cable TV, phone, and Internet. This is basically Telewest re-branded as Virgin Media. Home is very much where the Internet is. It was almost a pleasure to delete the 300 spam emails that had accumulated in my inbox over the weekend. I have yet to really have a good look at Cable TV yet, the quality of the picture as I watched BBC Breakfast this morning while eating a bowl of cornflakes looked acceptable and I had a quick play with the Virgin TV on demand service last night.
Tonight I start the long and boring process of cleaning the old flat. It was looking fairly clean when I left so fingers crossed it won’t be too bad. I bought some Mr Muscle oven cleaner from Tesco last night which should help.
Oh, and someone has given me a winter cold. Damn them! At least I think it is just a cold. It might be bird flu. I haven’t eaten any turkey since Christmas so I should be safe. I was in Tesco last night and spotted that they were selling Bernard Matthews on a two for one deal.
Tune in tomorrow for pictures of the view from my bedroom window!
After some talk about birthdays and things I have come up with a way to work out when you will be 10000 days old. I am going to be having a 10000 day old birthday party on the 22nd April!
Calculate your 10000 day birthday with this little script I wrote.
How long does it take to fully settle a car insurance claim where you were the totally innocent party?
No. My claim still isn’t settled a full six months after the accident. Here is a quick timeline:
August: Canadian crashes into my car, I get given a hire car, my car written off, cheque from insurance company arrives, I start shopping for a new car
September: Begin uninsured loss recovery process so that I can keep my three years no claims bonus and get my policy excess back, also buy new car
October: Third party (TP) insurance company claims that I crashed into the back of their vehicle. This is odd since the damage was to the rear of my car.
November: TP insurance company finally admits liability but dispute that there was any damage to my vehicle (note: my vehicle written off).
December: TP insurance company want to see my written off car to assess damage. Note that by now it has been scrapped by my insurance company.
January: TP insurance company demand to see the assessors report of damage to vehicle. Finally accept that they are not going to be able to see the vehicle.
February: My insurance company being really really slow.
I am going to have to start chasing this up every day. £150 isn’t a huge amount of money and at this rate I will have spent that in phone calls and time to sort it all out. However it is the principle of it all that bothers me. It really shouldn’t take over six months to sort a rear end shunt out. Secondly I don’t really want to lose my 3 years no claims bonus as that really will cost me a lot of money when I come to renew my insurance.
I am moving flat again in less than three days now. I feel completely unprepared for this, however packing is going well. I have signed up for Cable (4meg broadband, free tv including skyone, phone) for £28 a month which I thought was rather a good deal. Thank you Stewart at Telewest for sorting that out for me.
I have invited Becky and Dave round on Friday evening to eat what is left in my fridge and freezer. I have also just heard that Nick and his girlfriend Tiffany are in the country and will be in Bristol from Friday too! It will be good to see Nick again, not seen him for ages. Greg and his new girlfriend Phoebe are going to be around at the weekend too which should be fun. Rosie and James are having a joint Birthday party on the Saturday evening so there should be lots of people around to help me move.
A new flat calls for a flat warming which I will be having on Saturday 3rd March. I’ll send invites out and stuff when I have moved. I am wondering if I need a party theme or not.
I am also trying to get cheap tickets to see the Guillemots at Bristol Acadamy on Sunday night. Ebay is proving frustrating. Please don’t bid on stuff I want.
Oh, and I have signed up to Facebook.com
and Claim ID: http://www.claimid.com/dunos
Bit of a random blog post today.
After a year in my current flat I have decided that I need to save a bit of money and therefore decided that I needed to move to a slightly less expensive flat. I am staying in Bristol for the moment, I like the vibrancy of the city, and will continue to commute to Chippenham for work.
After several weeks of fruitless searching I finally found a flat only a few minutes away from my current home. It is a first floor two bedroom flat, one double and one large single, with a kitchen, bathroom and large lounge. It is a bit bigger than my current place but less expensive per month and has gas central heating which will also cost less. The decoration isn’t as nice but once I have my own furniture in it should be ok. I will have to buy myself a freezer and washing machine as the new flat doesn’t have these. What it does have is use of a shared garden, perfect for summer BBQs, and amazing views over Bristol from the two bedrooms.
My moving date is hopefully going to be the 10th February. Then I guess I will have to organise some sort of housewarming!
I just placed an order for a new (second hand) car!
It will (should) be arriving in about two weeks and will be a year old silver Vauxhall Corsa 1.2i SXi with a ’05 number plate. I am getting quite excited about it.