The Anonymous Widower

The Joy of Flying

This report makes me glad, that I probably won’t fly long-haul for some time.

October 16, 2011 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Is the Metro the New Grauniad?

When I went to Coventry, I found a Metro newspaper with two bad spelling mistakes in headlines.

  1. Chesterfield was spelt Chersterfield.
  2. Exercise was spelt Excercise.

The Grauniad lives!

October 16, 2011 Posted by | News | | Leave a comment

Should We Charge Free Newspapers For the Mess they Create?

As I travel the country, I notice piles of free newspapers everywhere.  Everyone just seems to discard them in the street or on the train.

So should they be taxed, to pay for their disposal.  I think they could be a worse menace than plastic bags. At least they can be reused!

October 16, 2011 Posted by | World | , | 1 Comment

Rihanna Smokes on Album Cover

I wouldn’t know who Rhanna is!  But I certainly don’t want to kow, as she is seen smoking on her new album cover.

What a bad example!

My only satisfaction, is that she is more likely to get the cancer than I am.

October 16, 2011 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment

Zopa in the Sunday Times

Zopa is featured in an article in the Sunday Times today called “Become a Lender and Earn 15 %”.

Two statements about Zopa stand-out.

Zopa has provided £160m-worth of unsecured loans to consumers since it was launched in 2005 and accounts for more than 2% of such new lending.

If that is true, then they have become a significant player in the personal lending market. I checked with Zopa and they told me that it’s between one and two percent and sometimes up to the higher limit.


Zopa said its default rate is 0.9% against an average 5% to 7% for high street banks.

I would go along with that as my default rate has not been at all high. In fact it’s significantly less than 0.9%.

October 16, 2011 Posted by | Computing, Finance | , , | Leave a comment

The Travelling Chef on First Great Western

Some First Great Western services out of and into Paddington now have a travelling chef, who prepares meals to order.

I didn’t try it on my journey to Exeter, but next time I come across one, I’ll find out if they can do anything gluten-free. From the menu it appears they might.

October 16, 2011 Posted by | Food, Travel | , , | Leave a comment

BT Broadband/Vision and Virgin Media Compared

When I first moved, I went the Virgin Media route and subscribed to Sky Sports 1 and 2.

A couple of months ago, I threw the cable out, as Virgin Media couldn’t give me a working landline telephone.

I now have BT broadband, with which I use BT Vision to get the same Sky channels.

I don’t regret the changes one bit.

  1. BT is much cheaper.  Not sure totally how much, as I haven’t had a bill with all my landline calls. It looks like it might be about £70 compared to £130 for Virgin.
  2. The BT service appears to be more reliable.  Virgin cable seemed to go up and down like a whore’s drawers. Perhaps this was partly due to the state of their boxes in the street, which had had the doors removed.
  3. Since I signed up with BT, I think I’ve only had one spam e-mail or leaflet in the mail. Virgin still keep sending them, although in the last week, they seem to have stopped. Perhaps, they’ve got the message.
  4. With BT, if I lose broadband, I still have the TV without Sky through Freeview.
  5. I know this is personal taste, but I think the BT website is easier to use. The login is certainly better.

So bye-bye Virgin and never may you grace my door again.

I suspect though it will be all irrevelant in the future, who your broadband supplier is. You’ll get all your TV channels other than the free-to-air ones on subscription of some sort through it.

I suspect too, that you’ll be able to subscribe to advert-free versions of things like Sky. At a premium of course.

October 16, 2011 Posted by | Computing | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Tracing an IKEA Refund

In mid-September, I ordered some things using their web site from IKEA.  Because they couldn’t deliver at a time convenient to me, I cancelled the order. I’ve done this in the past and usually, I get an e-mail within a few days.

But this time I haven’t, so whilst I was waiting for the football to start, I gave them a call. I did have to wait quite a time for it to get answered, but I’ve had worse delays.

They told me that the refund was on its way and would I check with my bank.

It was on my John Lewis Partnership card and I couldn’t find it.  But have you ever tried to find a trabsaction on the Partnership Card website. Compared to something like Nationwide or PayPal and I suspect many others, it’s a load of old cobblers.

  1. Recent transactions doesn’t seem to include any payments you have made.
  2. You can’t look at a specific time period, like the last three months, as you can on many credit card web sites.
  3. You can’t select just payments in. This meant a couple of months ago, I paid the bill twice.

At least though, I’d accessed the web site recently.  I think if you don’t in 60 days, you need to get a new password, through the post.

I wouldn’t keep the card, but I think it gives me extra benefits when I shop in John Lewis or Waitrose. One of those extra benefits was that I could use the QuickCheck method of shopping, but no stores near me have it and I prefer to use the delivery option. So the reasons for keeping it are quickly getting reduced to the one that I like to have both a Visa and a Mastercard. Especially as my Visa is useless on-line, as it has that awful Verified by Visa security system.

October 16, 2011 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

News on the Health Lottery

I don’t play any lottery, but I am not in favour of Richard Desmond’s Health Lottery.

So I just wanted to see what others thought and typed Health Lottery into Google News.

So what did I find?

There are a lot of articles about hospices worried that they will lose money. There was this piece from the Yorkshire Post for example. And quite a few more too, in the same vein!

This article in the trade magazine, The Grocer, wasn’t very optimistic about sales for their readers. Good!

The only positive articles I can find are in rags, like the Daily Star and the Daily Express, papers which are owned by Richard Desmond.

But this is balanced by articles in more serious papers.

Let’s hope that the good people of the UK soon realise the real purpose of this lottery, which is a money-making scheme  for its owner.

I shall be following this story with interest.

I’m also boycotting shops that sell the tickets for the Health Lottery. As that includes W H Smith, Sainsburys, Morrisons, Tesco and Asda, I now can only do my grocery shopping at Waitrose or Marks and Spencer. I could include the Co-Op, but they don’t have a decent shop near me.

October 16, 2011 Posted by | Health, News | , | 2 Comments

W H Smith on BBC Breakfast

I was pleased that many of the viewers to BBC Breakfast had similar views to me this morning about W H Smith. Especially, about their dishing out all sorts of bits if unwanted paper. I don’t like their involvement with The Health Lottery either.

October 16, 2011 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment