Blog DOB: 22 Aug, 2006
Name: Mark O'Connor
Me in the Antarctic
Really Annoying Sh##
This is my blog where I can dump all the sh## that really annoys me. It stays here, I can get on and enjoy myself. It's like therapy, and you can join too for free. Just add yourself as a blogger and get rid of all your sh##.
Rather than demonstrating any sense of grit or financial leadership, Alistair Darling, in his exclusive interview with the Guardian, basically tells us we're screwed. Is there any optimism in his outlook? No, in fact, he suggests the economic downturn is "going to be more profound and long-lasting than people thought", and assesses that the economy is "arguably the worst [its] been in 60 years".
These disclosures won't do anything but further decrease consumer confidence and contribute to a continuing economic decline, in the same way his chance remarks about temporarily suspending stamp duty stopped the housing market dead.
Way to go Alistair!
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I find it quite ridiculous that I can visit a National Nature Reserve and not be able to stay there to enjoy it because I don't have £1 in coins to pay the parking charge. I had 60p which I fed in to the parking meter only to be prompted with a digital message asking me to "Pay More".
With £100 in notes, a debit card and a mobile phone I gladly would have - if there was the facility to do so. But there isn't, so the choice is to either turn around and go home or face the prospect of being fined and clamped, no doubt, by a contracted out cowboy service.
At first I thought Butser Hill in the South Downs was owned by the National Trust, but they promptly emailed back to say it was Natural England. I contacted them, both to vent my annoyance and to ask had they any plans to update their parking system.
A spokesperson from NE responded:
"Most NNrs are managed by Natural England but some are managed by other approved bodies. Butser Hill is one of these and part of the site is within the Queen Elizabeth Park, run by Hampshire Country Council."
The email included contact details to address my enquiry to, which I did. A respondent from the Council later answered:
"Hi, thanks for the e-mail. I had already seen a copy passed on by a colleague in Natural England.
Firstly, I am sorry that your visit was not an enjoyable one.
With regard to the parking at Queen Elizabeth Country Park, the whole area is covered by an Off-Street Parking Order and as such our visitors are required to pay a nominal amount for their parking... The O/SPO has to be enforced as per any similar scheme and Park staff will issue excess charge tickets where necessary. "
The email continued suggesting "If on your next visit you are in need of change for the pay and display machines then please do come to the Park Centre, open 7 days per week, and we will happily provide it."
There is no Park Centre at Butser Hill, nor is there any notice in the car park pointing the way to the Park Centre located in the Queen Elizabeth Country Park, a couple of miles away. And I still didn't really have my question answered so I asked again. This time a better response from Hampshire Council:
"The Forestry Commission is currently testing a cash less credit card based system at Alice Holt which we will be watching with interest. We are also soon to errect a new set of large fingerposts based up at the kiosk [at Butser Hill]. This will help with orientation about the Country Park, both to the east and west of the A3."
Boris Johnson, London Mayor, has had his head shaved today to help raise additional funding for the 2012 Olympics. Unexpectedly, under his trademark blonde bouffant was revealed an astonishing birthmark, similar to the warnings found on supermarket grocery packaging.
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Gordon Brown, pictured on his way to a fancy dress party at the weekend, is more "Robbin' Hood" than "Robin Hood". He is the Prince of thieves, just look at the headlines -
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At Fishers Farm in Sussex I got very confused by the animals during a visit last weekend. A case in point was the horse pictured below. If it weren't for the sign advising me not to feed the horses I would have definitely classified this animal as some kind of goat! Just shows you how little I know about the countryside.
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While going through the monthly exercise of shredding all the junk mail the banks, credit card and insurance companies pile through our letter boxes I find a letter from Tesco Insurance saying they have automatically renewed my home insurance. I need do no more!
The letter says:
My first thought was "I've been had", my second was, why did Tesco store my bank details for the year? My third thought was, look at the premium - £456.75. This is over two and a half times more expensive than the cheapest quote I had received for a comparable policy, from Swinton.
My fourth thought was, I'll never use these cowboys again, how can they get away with it - and try to pass it off as though they're doing me a favour and being done in the name of high standards?
What'll it be next? Will I find some of the staff in my living room opening a bottle of wine. "We decided to help ourselves, every little helps!"
The BBC headline read "Brown brings mystery to festival." Of course, this isn't the only place he brings mystery. Although better known for his sleight of hand, Gordan is currently making houses disappear at an alarming rate throughout the UK.
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"I don't think the British people have ever been broken by anything or anyone." says Gordon Brown in an Interview
with Ian Rankin at the Edinburgh book festival. Read the story here.
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"Britain is basically a decent, compassionate society", says Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
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