Site Blocking

The BBC have got themselves a change in the law to charge a licence fee if you use internet devices to watch BBC’s on-demand and catch up content. This was originally written before I restated my No TV declaration. Their web site makes it clear that mobile devices are covered by any licence paid irrespective of the billing address.  Before discovering this, I was considering writing a browser extension to warn when accessing iplayer’s tv sub site, but I came to the conclusion that it will be better to program the hub to block the iplayer site. Here are my notes. Continue reading “Site Blocking”

Buying a Flat 2013

I am buying a flat in London. Some things have changed.

There is a property shortage and so seller’s behaviour is less desperate, although I was buying during the property boom of the early ’80s when a failed offer wasn’t a problem but some things have changed. Most annoyingly a number of vendors wish to leave property on the market even after offers have been made and there’s never any proof of any alternative offers.

As a cash buyer, I need to prove funds, this is best done via a solicitor’s letter, so they need to see the money before the letter is signed. I was in a hurry to get this done and it caused me more work than I wanted. If you need documentation issued from a bank this is likely to be slower than you need. Get it done in advance. Rarely do anything the first time you ask, if it can go wrong it will, or is that just when you ask for a pint of bitter in a pub, that means the cheapest, if you ask for a loan with alternative terms, you’ll get the stupidly most expensive. There was obviously an affordability test taken there and they still have some things only done overnight.

Don’t forget the “Buggering people around in the pursuit of their life Act”. The whole world is going to want to see government issued photo-id. Make these copies in advance.

I shouldn’t imagine that the money will  move particularly quickly either, work out how long it’ll take and what paper work they’ll require in advance. They may exaggerate their speed as well.  I had one case where they took up to 38 hours to scan the fax into their system.

Actually, while they charge more for sending a sum greater than £10,000, actually moving the money to the lawyers wasn’t hard. One cheque to get it all in one place, and one CHAPS transfer, which they asked all sorts of impertinent questions.

I have started reading the lease,  and got to “not to use or permit……to be used for any illegal …purpose”, so much for civil disobedience by piracy… although some of piracy is only a civil infringement. So best not run a web site, but downloading is OK?

No satellite aerials? Is there one? Not that I care, but there’s resale value to consider.

Get them to demonstrate all electrics and windows, preferably before you move in.

Negotiate meter reading for all meters, in the circumstances that you are buying from a letting, you are the only person with a financial interest in getting this done and getting the services continued. The meters are outside, so make sure the keys are handed over.

Bathroom Downlighters

How many Dave’s does it take to change a light bulb? It depends where. We have some down lighters in one of the bathrooms, and they have damp proof enclosures.

Lamp & Collar No 1

Here you can see the internal and external enclosures.

Lamp and Collar No 2.

And here you can see the lamp’s attatchment to the lower collar. The spring is quite stiff so the lower plate needs to be pulled and the upper collar needs to be held so that the spring releases the lower collar.

Sharing my Reading List

I used to use but they’ve gone away.

I revisited this page in January 2014, and added that WordPress have at least one plugin, here is one called Currently Reading Book and this link, How to get an RSS feed out of an Amazon wish list, does what it says which may help on reading next.

When ever I first wrote this, I considered writing my own.


What to do next? Google Books offer a reading list it would seem, and Amazon of course offer a wish list, they offered a Reading List via Linkedin but this seems to have gone.

Goodreads claims to offer one, but I am getting leery about these social networks. seems optimised for facebook.

Think I might build one myself. I have moved some of the requirements to a comment.