I Have a Question - Volume 147 - Dynamic Dave

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Work permit advice please - Avant
A young lady from the Seychelles who camr and visited us as part of a choir exchange trip wants to get out of the Seychelles and live and if possible work in the UK.

Has anybody any knowledge of whether it's been easy to get someone in this position into employment? I know the employer has to apply, but how likely is she to find an employer willing to go through the formalities (probably depends on how short they are of staff)?

She is a Seychelles (therefore Commonwealth) citizen - has been working as a swimming instructor but has no international qualification. Before anyone says this is the wrong time of year for a swimming instructor, she is looking to come over early next year.

Any advice appreciated.
Incompetent estate agents - Statistical outlier
I?ve been having issues with the estate agents whom I sourced my current rented house from.

When we first signed up for the house, prior to signing the lease, we paid £180 for services involved in drawing up the lease; credit checks, referencing, drawing up the lease etc. We arranged to sign on the Saturday of a bank holiday, and all seemed well.

We got a call the week before signing to tell us that the branch would not be open on the Saturday, so we could either come in on the Thursday before or following Tuesday. As we wanted to move in over the weekend, we chose the Thursday, and as she had no leave left, my partner had to take half a day?s unpaid leave to go and sign, incurring loss of wages as a result. No problem, it let us move in on schedule.

Imagine my surprise on the Saturday when, as I was driving my rented truck up from London, I received a call from the very much open estate agents, telling me that they had made a mistake on the lease, naming the wrong landlord, and this would have to be corrected.

Now, up until now I have been demanding half my £180 back; as a direct result of their incompetence we have lost money, and have had no lease with our (very understanding and sympathetic) landlord for the last six months. I had given up trying to get any response from the estate agents, ignoring their letter offering to convert our Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement into a periodic tenancy for a mere £60 (something that happens automatically and without anyone having to take any action by the way).

I got a phonecall from the estate agents yesterday, wondering why I had not responded to their letter offering to extend my lease. I explained to the rather confused minion that, due to their incompetence, I didn't actually have a lease with my landlord, and that even I did, I wouldn't have to give them any more money for it to be extended into a periodic tenancy. After a few moments I was put through to one of the owners of the estate agent.

I explained the situation from the beginning, commenting that it wasn't so much the error on the lease that I was annoyed about, more the loss of earnings that was completely unnecessary given that the branch was open on the Saturday. I explained that as a result I wanted a refund of half the original fee before I was willing to sign the corrected lease documents. The owner very generously offered to waive the renewal fees, which are entirely unnecessary anyway as no action is needed, but justified all the costs that the estate agent had to incur in preparing the original lease. Because of these costs, she declined to make any refund.

At this point I suggested that, given my partner had incurred the costs of half a day's lost earnings, perhaps we should indeed leave their fees in place, and instead I should charge them the four hours at £140 an hour that my partner is charged out at. There was a protest that we should remain reasonable, to which I replied that I was remaining reasonable and hence wasn't demanding this sum. Instead, I wanted my original fee returned.

To cut a long story short, today I've spoken to the other owner of the business, and have been told to take a running jump. As far as he's concerned, they are offering to correct the lease and renew it at no cost, and ?the way we manage our diary is none of your business?. He's also refused to concede that the office was open on Saturday, saying that they may have had cancelled viewings that meant someone would be back in the office. He wouldn?t respond to my question about them being willing to undertake viewings, but not signings from people who they?d already had money from, on that day.

So my question is, is there any way that I might be up to get my money back from these people? They are refusing to refund it, and I can't think of any way that I can extract it. Anybody got any thoughts? If not, I'll obtain a little satisfaction from naming and shaming them on the Internet, (don't panic mods, not on this site).
Incompetent estate agents - yorkiebar
If I read all this correctly.

You were happy with the estate agent until they appeared to be open on a day they had told they were not open.

They run a business and it is a distinct possibility that they had not planned to open that day. if they had not informed you of that and you had turned up; then there would have been an issue.

They kept you informed and you got annoyed?

Incompetent estate agents - Statistical outlier
I agree, that's one way of looking at it, and would make their actions seem reasonable.

Another way of looking at it is that they were willing to take bookings for viewings from people that day, as they didn't already have their money. They were not willing to take a booking from me to sign the lease as they already had my money. My inconvenience and financial loss was of no concern to them. That annoys me intensely, yes.
Incompetent estate agents - yorkiebar
They needed you to sign the lease whatever day it was whether they had your money or not?

Sorry but I don't really understand what you are so annoyed about.

if it's monetary loss, then if you have a claim use the appropriate channels if they are not forthcoming? I am not sure where your claim comes from though.

I relate it to having a customer of mine who wants buy a car after it has been serviced for him. I tell him that i won''t be open a particular day so does he want to come in a day before or after?

If he comes in before and then i have to open up the garage because a breakdown has been brought in that wasnt planned is that my fault for not telling him in advance? If he has incurred expense in visiting me on a different day. how is that my fault if i tried advising him in his interest?
Incompetent estate agents - Statistical outlier
They admit that they had people working that day. Therefore they could have honoured their commitment to allow us to sign that day. They did not. I find that annoying.

I don't think it's analogous to your example above. If you had mechanics but not receptionists working on a day when a customer wanted to pick up a car, it would be unreasonable for you to not allow them to do so, as someone would be there to allow that to happen.
Incompetent estate agents - yorkiebar
But being open that day or not did not affect your money loss?

And if my garage was not going to open at all was my example. if it opens unexpectedly should I not advise my cusrtomer that the branch is going to be closed on a particular day?
Incompetent estate agents - Statistical outlier
Yes it did affect my financial loss, had we been able to sign that day, we would have not lost half a days wages.

They had staff working that day, they could have allowed us (as previously arranged) to sign the lease on that day by using the staff who were already working that day. They chose not to.
Incompetent estate agents - yorkiebar
|Put a small claim in via the court if you feel they cost you money unnecessarily?

From what i can see the agent tried to advise you against attending on a certain day in case they were closed (trying to help you?). You have got annoyed because they ended up being open. If you had attended and they had actually been closed then I would understand the annoyance.

No offence meant, but if you were a customer of mine your rates would be dearer if you came back for another job.
Incompetent estate agents - Statistical outlier
No offence taken, but had you acted in a similar way, then I wouldn't be coming back.

Your garage example is entirely reasonable, and entirely sensible. It doesn't compare to this situation, where they had people at work on the day concerned. Opening to attend to an unexpected event is completely different.

Anyway, we're getting nowhere, I'm no more convinced of your argument than you are of mine. Shall we agree to disagree? :-)
Incompetent estate agents - Andy P
"instead I should charge them the four hours at £140 an hour that my partner is charged out at."

What does your partner do for a living? Rob banks?
Incompetent estate agents - Statistical outlier
She's a patent attorney, and sadly sees nothing like the £140 her company gets for her time.

I might suggest the banks idea to her tho.....
Incompetent estate agents - Altea Ego

Bank robbery PLC has a very poor ROI.

£100k income every 4 years (enforced non trading period in Brixton) = £25k PA. (£15 hour)

Seriously Gordon, you are hung up on this closed or not closed argument. They stated they could not sign the lease that day, thats the end of the matter. you accepted it or walked away.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Incompetent estate agents - bell boy
Its not been mentioned that the person dealing with the matter was available on the saturday anyway, maybe he only had the keys to the safe safe? and as such bob sue and mary too couldnt deal with your legal document on that particular day?
Incompetent estate agents - defender
from my reading of your original post you accepted to sign on thursday so end of that story,however you are living in a property you have no lease for as they made a mistake therefore you have the upper hand on this .they are trying to get you to sign a new upgraded lease to cover up the mess and charge you for it ,they dont have a proper lease signed by you saying you will abide by the t&c of lease or will vacate the premises and they cant put you out for this. I certainly would not pay them any more money for what you should get automatically (carry on of the original lease)but its not worth getting upset about but maybe not hurt to let them know that you know they are wrong
Incompetent estate agents - Pugugly {P}
I wouldn't be a happy bunny as a Landlord either.
Incompetent estate agents - Martin Devon
I am led to believe that the term, estate agent is actually latin for incompetent!

Incompetent estate agents - deepwith
Just on a point of information, I understand that if a landlord has accepted monies, deposit and/or rent and given out the keys, then the contract has been accepted, even if neither side has signed the lease. I am sure some legal eagle with clarify this but this is information we were given when helping a group of young people with a problem landlord and ineffectual estate agency.
Incompetent estate agents - IanJohnson

Sounds like you are a tennant with the agreement being as laid down in the appropriate acts and with none of the permitted exclusions which would be in the document you signed for the wrong landlord.

Was the document signed already signed by the (Wrong) landlord or did it just have a place for them to sign and could they complete it now if they corrected the name? If not you could be in a very strong position WRT the tennancy.

I ALWAYS advise our directors/ managers NEVER to take money for rent without a written agreement. BTW I am not a lawyer but work in the "field".

Suggest you speak to CAB on what your tennacy agreement is and what your rights/obligations under it are likely to be if there is no signed lease.
Mains lighting for garage - BazzaBear {P}
I'd quite like to fit some additional strip lighting in my garage, but it'd be far more convenient for me if I could just plug one into a normal socket, rather than having to wire it into the main lightswitch.
If I get a common-or-garden strip light from a DIY store, is it as simple as fitting a 13-amp plug to the end of the supplied wiring?
Mains lighting for garage - artful dodger {P}
Yes. If the cable is to be permanently in the socket then I would use lighting 3 core cable (1mm square), if constantly moved then use flexible 3 core cable (woven core 1mm). If the light fitting is to be from a fixed place then use cable clamps to keep it neat and tidy.

I read frequently, but only post when I have something useful to say.
Mains lighting for garage - Rover25
You 'could' just fit a standard 3 pin plug and use a light that way, however the plug MUST have the correct rated fuse for the light, proabably 3 amp fuse depending on the wattage etc.

How about buying an inspection lamp instead? dead cheap, have a protective cage around the lamp and will come with a hanging hook and a decent amount of flex, ready installed plu- easy to move around and use elsewhere too, in the loft, garden under the car etc.
Mains lighting for garage - Altea Ego
One point

your strip light wont come with supplied wiring. you will have to make up the connection lead yourself

Three amp fuse max in your plug.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Mains lighting for garage - BazzaBear {P}
Cheers people. Be assured, I wasn't going to just slap a 13-amp fuse in, I would have checked rating first, honest.
Looks like I have a small project (the best kind) for this weekend then.
An inspection light might not be a bad purchase too actually, but I definitely need another strip light.
Mains lighting for garage - BazzaBear {P}
Oh, and thanks for the wiring pointers, I wasn't sure how they came. I take it some form of terminal block connection at the light end?
Mains lighting for garage - Altea Ego
yup thats the baby usually,
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Mains lighting for garage - Cyd
An ordinary strip light is not designed to be used as portable lighting. Depending on the type of light doing so could be dangerous. Neither is twin & earth cable intended for this purpose.

Why not buy something intended for this kind of use? Have a look at this from screwfix or check out your local B Q warehouse (I got an inspection lamp from B Q for about £6 - and use rough service bulbs).

tinyurl.com/l5wu3 {Link to www.screwfix.com shortened - DD}
Work providing transport - Royal Mail - Zippy123
Anyone work for the Royal Mail (Post Office)?

My mate (not me honest) has to work in another office for a number of weeks and does not have a car. He does drive.

It is a very difficult commute (2hrs plus) on public transport.

He is having difficulty getting information from his manager.

Does anyone know if hire cars or alternative transport arrangements exist in these circumstances ? specifically with regards to the Post Office?
Work providing transport - Royal Mail - BigDai
I used to work for RM until a couple of years ago. At that time there was a contract with a hire firm (I think it was Avis but senility is setting in now & the memory is fading fast).
It all depends on why he has to travel. If it's for the employer's benefit (i.e. they have asked him to go) it's up to them to provide the means to travel. If it's for other reasons (e.g. disciplinary) I think he's on his own.
One other idea is that some offices had "pool" cars so that could be an option.
My suggestion is that his best bet is to speak to the person who has asked him to go to the other office or, if no joy there, speak to the transport manager (used to be called the VAUM - Vehicle Asset Utilisation Manager but I think they have changed the job title now).
Work providing transport - Royal Mail - NowWheels
speak to the transport manager (used to be called the VAUM - Vehicle Asset Utilisation
Manager but I think they have changed the job title now).

I would hope so!

"Vehicle Asset Utilisation Manager" is a title worthy of Private Eye's attention.
Work providing transport - Royal Mail - Altea Ego
I know those guys, they spend all their time gazing out of the "outside awareness panels"

(windows to you and me)
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Work providing transport - Royal Mail - BigDai
Tell me about it - I used to be one !!!! The job title was too big for the badge !!
Work providing transport - Royal Mail - Armitage Shanks {p}
The fair option would be for them to provide free transport OR to pay him for his door-to-door time ie an 8 hour shift + 4 hours travelling time. I am afraid I don't see the latter happening!
Work providing transport - Royal Mail - Stuartli
>>+ 4 hours travelling time.>>

The cheque's in the post....
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Work providing transport - Royal Mail - R75
When I worked for them about 4 years ago you used to be able to get pool cars, we would also be allowed to start the shift from our usual point of work, so if his temp role is 2 hrs from current role then he would only work the 3hr 48min on his temp site and 4 hrs would be travelling - either that or claim the 4 hrs as overtime - afaicr they have to provide the transport for the alternative location, but he might want to check with his union rep!!!!!! It has been a while since I took their money and ran ;o)
Laser Eye Surgery - Adam {P}
When determining whether you're suitable for it or not, this crops up:

Please note that people with a perfectionist nature are not good candidates for laser eye treatment.

Why's that then?
Laser Eye Surgery - Altea Ego
Cant see whats wrong with that?
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Laser Eye Surgery - Adam {P}
I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it. I'm asking why.

The only thing I can think of is that you'd have it done but then go "Do I really have perfect vision now?".

Is it really as simple as that?
Laser Eye Surgery - Altea Ego
>>I cant see whats wrong with that
>I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it. I'm asking why.
>The only thing I can think of is that you'd have it done but then go "Do I really have perfect vision now?".
>Is it really as simple as that?

see see

Sigh - never mind
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Laser Eye Surgery - Adam {P}
Sorry RF - it's been a long day!
Laser Eye Surgery - Altea Ego
Seriously (and I think you have asked these types of questions before)

Laser treatment is not perfect. It can leave artifacts in your vision, and in a large majority of cases causes problems with night vision. It also does not cure the root cause of sight defects ie the the hardening, muscle weakness or changing shape of the eyeball - these things carry on getting worse to a greater or lesser degree, and You cant keep on having laser eye treatment every 3 years to fix it.

Plus if they make a mistake and screw your eyes permanently, they stayed screwed,

You cant get a job as a pilot, or train driver if you have laser corrected surgery, and there are lots of other jobs where its frowned upon.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Laser Eye Surgery - Adam {P}
Like I said a while ago, I was all for getting it done so I could join the Police but I've been completely dissuaded. My eyes are too precious to have someone shine a laser into them.

I only asked this because someone else asked this on another forum and one of the reponses was a list of suitable candidates. I saw that and wondered why on Earth it was the case.
Laser Eye Surgery - Gromit {P}
Also consider that if you are short-sighted when you are in your teens/twenties, that will tend to correct itself (partially, at least) before your forties as people generally become more long-sighted as they grow older.

So says my optician, anyway. I'll come back in ten year's time and tell you whether he was right!

I am in no way certain how laser surgery affects this process and, on that basis, I've decided its not for me, though SWMBO is considering it.

- Gromit
Laser Eye Surgery - artful dodger {P}

What they do not tell you is that about 2% of all cases is they screw up and leave you with either very poor correction or blind. I would not take that risk when good correction can be made with glasses or contact lenses.

My eyesight is poor, but I have worn soft contact lenses for over 25 years. Initially these were worn during the day and cleaned overnight, with replacement every 6 months. Then I moved on to 6 day continuous wear before disposal (yes I slept with them in), then wear glasses for one day. This was fine until I had an eye infection and was advised after a course of eye drops to change to wearing daily, removing at night and disposing after 2 weeks. Finally my eyes continued to change and I now wear bi-focal lenses. I should mention I always keep a spare pair in the car, just in case I ever have a problem (never needed them ever) but I do go swimming and keep my lenses in!

In 25 years I have only had 2 eye infections, the second being very mild as I knew what eye drops to buy over the counter at the chemist, and I see my optician twice a year. The cost is certainly affordable at £32.50 per month for lenses, solutions and eye checkups. When I compare this to laser surgery it does seem reasonable.

So if you, or a friend, want to stop wearing glasses go to your optician and try out some contact lenses.

I read frequently, but only post when I have something useful to say.
Laser Eye Surgery - drbe
To follow on from Artful Dodger's post. I use daily disposables, put them in, in the morning, throw them away at night.

About 37p a go, if I remember correctly. No cleaning, no solutions. If one feels uncomfortable when I put it in, take it out, drop it in the bin; use another brand new one. At 37p a time you can afford to1
Laser Eye Surgery - Stuartli
I seem to remember an article (Which? magazine perhaps) that tested one famous brand of disposable and normal contact lenses and discovered they were, for all intents and purposes, the same product.

This is the nearest I can find:

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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Laser Eye Surgery - Adam {P}
Thanks for the advice folks. Don't worry Roger - I won't be getting my eyes lasered.

I have been thinking of contacts for some time now though. Just wouldn't be sure what type to get.

Thanks again,

Laser Eye Surgery - Rebecca {P}
2% or so might not make it to driving standard post lasering, but it's a bit misleading to lump 'blind' in there. Even those who don't get to driving standard can often get a great improvement with another treatment. Worldwide the incidence of blindness is thankfully very low (can't remember exact figures but could find out).

I'm not sure why I'm defending laser treatment, I have no axe to grind, my prescription is too strong for laser treatment, but I have researched it quite a bit.

They won't treat people with a perfectionist nature because there are no guarantees for 20/20 vision. If someone is left with a residual correction of 0.25 or something, that doesn't warrant retreatment, and the person probably wouldn't need glasses/lenses, but they could still be disatisfied and have to live with the disappointment. Just the same as cosmetic surgeons who may decline to treat patients who are convinced their life will change post-surgery.

Athough it's true to say people with short sight may find the need for reading glasses comes later than for those with 'normal' vision, the two don't eventually cancel each other out as long sight due to age has a different cause than long sight due to the shape of the eyball/lens. Laser surgery has no effect apparently.

Just for the squeamish, at the end of this month I am having surgery to implant artificial lenses in my eye in front of my own lens. It's not that I mind wearing contacts/glasses but the fact that without them I am like Velma in scooby doo, and I don't like being so reliant on glasses/lenses. As I get older I will need reading glasses like everyone else. The surgery doesn't help that.
Laser Eye Surgery - Adam {P}
Contact implants?! Ouch! Good luck!

I guess I don't mind glasses because I've worn them for ages and ages and I spend hours on end decided which ones to get so I really like them.

Good luck with the implants though.
Laser Eye Surgery - Altea Ego
Anyone seen the new new contact lenses? Your eye is measured by computer and lenses are made up. You wear the lenses in bed over night, and they change the shape of your eye, Next morning you take them out, and you have good vsison that starts to go late at night as your eyes go back to normal shape. Then the whole thing starts again.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Laser Eye Surgery - andymc {P}
Rebecca, that was something I had thought of as a possible alternative to the laser surgery, as I also have to rely on glasses all day. Makes being out in the rain quite irritating. Would you mind if I ask what the ballpark cost of that op is, or do you have any links to independent information about it?

Vroom, vroom - mmm, doughnuts ...
Laser Eye Surgery - Rebecca {P}
The major laser providers offer this surgery (but not at all their locations, mostly London, Birmingham and I think Manchester). You can also go to specialist hospitals such as Moorfields. If you call any of these places, such as Optimax or Ultralase make sure you speak to an implant specialist as the call centre people are mostly useless beyond conventional laser options.

For more info google IOL - Intra Occular Lens and ALI Artificial Lens Implant. Same thing. A major manufacturer of the implants is a company called Ophtec, they have a website.

Costs vary from around £2500 (optimax) to around £5000 (Moorfields) and implants that also correct astigmatism can be a hundred pounds or so more expensive (and have about a two month lead time to be made to order).

In the UK the healthcare commission inspect providers procedures and premises and publish their findings online. I am not aware of any truly independent research on outcomes, but then there isn't for laser procedures either as far as I'm aware. Ultralase have their laser results independently audited apparently, but I don't think they include IOLs.

In the end I suppose its the individual surgeon's record that you need to find out about, but there is no obligation for any surgeon to publish this. Unlike laser surgery, IOLs are completely reversible and could be removed at any time if needed. The biggest risk is infection which is usually treatable. There has been one recorded incidence worldwide of someone losing their sight due to post-op infection (not in the UK). The incision with the latest flexible implants is smaller than that needed for cataract operations (the most common operation there is). Oh - they also do one eye at a time, at least a week apart.

It's a risk I'm prepared to take, but it's not for everyone!
Laser Eye Surgery - IanJohnson
Laser eye surgery is for those who value form over function.

For my eyes the function in all important!
skin care with splint - BazzaBear {P}
I've got a mallet finger, so have to wear a plastic splint for the next 6 weeks. I can take it off with my hand pressed against a flat surface (so the finger end stays straight) and have done this each night in order to clean the finger and the splint. While doing this though I've noticed that the skin on the back of my finger isn't looking too good. I've not had it on for a week yet, so I hate to think what it'll be like after 6!
Anyway, I thought that someone on here must have had similar problems in the past, so I wondered if anyone had any suggestions? The skin has gone white, I think basically the nature of the splint is meaning that it's getting and staying damp. Because of this I've discounted any kind of moisturising cream.
skin care with splint - Pugugly {P}
Well I use some Norwegian stuff to keep my hands soft and nice.
skin care with splint - Altea Ego
The skin has gone white, I think basically the nature of the splint is meaning that it's getting and staying damp. Because of this I've discounted any kind of moisturising cream

No no wait. Moisturising cream* is exactly what you need. It keep moisture off the skin and keeps the natural oils in the skin.

Could be barrier cream if you want to be manly.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
skin care with splint - cheddar
I tend to agree with TVM however I am not sure that a motoring related forum is the pace for medical advice, medicine is not an exact science, we are all different and react differently to various treaments, IMO if you have any concern over your finger then you should see your GP.
skin care with splint - bell boy
sounds like end of finger is dieing go back to hospikal
skin care with splint - horse
Basically, a moisturising cream isnt going to make that much difference. If it is a soft white that the skin goes (like after a long bath but more grimy) rather than scaly (like dry skin on your feet) - which is consistent with an immobilised digit , then the moisturiser might make it worse.

When you clean it each night, try swabbing it with surgical spirit on a cotton wool bud, and see if it gets better over 3 days. If it doesnt, then yes, see your GP. If it does look more normal after applying the surgical spirit, then you can reduce the frequency of applications, but don't stop altogether or it will go back to how it was (stating the obvious a bit... just making sure)
Ye Olde English - wotspur
English as a language is constantly evolving, how far back in history could I go and still be able to understand what my ancestors were saying, and do other langauges change equally
Ye Olde English - Round The Bend
From what I can recall of a supposedly authentic reading of Chaucer that we were played at School ( a sort of Franglais) , you would struggle prior to 1400.
Ye Olde English - Gromit {P}
I think you would understand English from the era of Elizabeth 1 onward without too much difficulty, once you get used to the differences in spelling and idiom - its not too unlike reading "legal-ese".

Other languages do evolve in a similar manner - Quebec French, for example, has remained much closer in its grammar and style to the peasant French that would have been spoken by early settlers. The German spoken in northern Germany (middle German, the closest equivalent of King's English), Bavaria and Austria are sufficiently different - the Austrians have different names for many everyday things - that a friend of mine from Hannover has more trouble understanding Austrian German than I do! Equally, among Celtic languages, Scottish, Welsh, Manx and Irish all stem from a common ancestry, but are different enough that, for example, I couldn't read Welsh having studied Irish through all my school years.

Latin and Scandinavian languages seem (to a casual observer such as me) to have diverged less as they evolve - Spanish and Portugese or Spanish and Italian are about 80% common such that most people from either country can conduct a conversation, each speaking their own language, and still understand each other. Same goes for Norewegian and Swedish and, to a lesser extent, Swedish and Finnish. Its quite disconcerting when you hear it happening for the first time!
Ye Olde English - Altea Ego
English as a language is constantly evolving, how far back in
history could I go and still be able to understand what
my ancestors were saying, and do other langauges change equally

launguage evolution is fine for those at the fore front alive and using it now. For example, turn this question on hits head and ask:
"How far back in history would I need to go to not understand English as it is spoken today" IE if my long dead grandparents suddenly came back, how flumoxed would they be.

Computer? whats that then exactly
Text speak? what does that mean?
Phone? whats that (let alone Mobile Phone)

The funny thing is all that in all languages all new words added are english (well American)
like Le Weekend, or Le Big Mac.

Esperanto is coming, but its called Global American

TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Ye Olde English - adverse camber
Chinese coming up fast on the rails though...

(yes I know there are lots of flavours, but still)
Ye Olde English - Altea Ego
The chinese however are bright enough to not care about their "cultural heritage" unless its a money earner.

Mandarin isnt, so they have no compunction about protecting it, all their bright little kiddies are learning american believe me,
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Ye Olde English - andymc {P}
The funny thing is all that in all languages all new
words added are english (well American)
like Le Weekend, or Le Big Mac.

Not strictly true. That does happen a lot, but different languages come up with different solutions. For example, I speak Irish pretty fluently and while some Irish speakers might use the word "fón" for "phone", most of those I know use "guthán" - it stems from the word for voice, "guth". Likewise mobile phone is "guthán soghluaiste" - "gluais" is one of the verbs indicating motion in Irish, and the prefix so- equates to the English suffix -able or -ible, so this is a literal translation of the phrase mobile phone. I could cite several more examples but I might lose the will to live ...
On the other hand I have heard French speakers talk about "le mobile".

Vroom, vroom - mmm, doughnuts ...
Ye Olde English - Altea Ego
Thats because all Irish people are multilingual. They have to be, you dont survive in the world being just a gaelic speaker.

The french however think they can
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Ye Olde English - andymc {P}
What, all of them? ;-)

The education system when I was growing up introduced Irish as a second language from age 4. However, very little emphasis was placed on communication skills and actually using the language - instead it was taught much as Latin would be, i.e. as a dead language would be. A foreign language (usually French) would be introduced either towards the end of primary school or else at the start of secondary. I suppose picking up French at that stage may have been helped by language learning having been addressed, after a fashion, from a relatively early stage. The ideal time in human development to pick up a second language is between the ages of 3 - 5 ... after that it becomes increasingly difficult to acquire another language, which is why a curriculum introducing second languages at age 11 is such an exercise in futility.
In reality Irish people tend to be linguistically rather poor when compared with Germans, Dutch, Spanish, French etc. There are only maybe four or five hundred thousand truly fluent Irish speakers and fluency in any foreign language, let alone two or three is pretty rare. Still not as bad as over on your side of the water though! Having said all that, there has been a substantial growth in recent years in the popularity of bilingual "immersion" education in Ireland, where children are taught all subjects through the medium of Irish and are brought up to be truly bilingual. The effect of this is to increase not only language skills but an improvement in academic ability across the board - maths in particular stands out as a subject which shows higher levels of attainment in bilingual education.

Anyway, I've diverted a bit from the original topic so should probably leave it there!
Vroom, vroom - mmm, doughnuts ...
Ye Olde English - GregSwain
On the other hand I have heard French speakers talk about
"le mobile".

I thought the french for mobile phone was "un telephone portable"?

They still have "le weekend" at the end of each week, and will eat "un hotdog". Funnily enough, in Canada, the pro-French purists have banned those two terms, replacing weekend with "la fin de semaine", and hotdog with "le chien-chaud" - literal translations of the english!
Ye Olde English - cheddar
How about Gromit's post translated into Cockney!

Uvver 'am sandwichs do evolve in a similar manner - Quebec French, right, for example, right, has remained much closer in its grammar and style ter the peasant French that would 'ave been spoken by early settlers. Yer can't 'ave a knees-up wivout a joanna. The German spoken in norffern Germany (middle German, right, the chuffin' closest equivalent of Kin''s English), right, Bavaria and Austria are sufficiently different - the Austrians 'ave different names for many evryday fings - that a mate of mine from 'annover 'as more Barney Rubble understandin' Austrian German than I do! Oi! Equally, right, among Celtic 'am sandwichs, Scottish, right, Welsh, Manx and Irish all stem from a common ancestry, but are different enough that, for example, right, I couldn't read Welsh 'avin' studied Irish frough all me school years. Latin and Scandinavian 'am sandwichs seem (to a casual observer such as me) ter have diverged less as they evolve - Spanish and Portugese or Spanish and Italian are about 80% common such that most blokes from eever country can conduct a conversation, each speakin' their own 'am sandwich, and still understand each uvver. Same goes for Norewegian and Swedish and, right, to a lesser extent, Swedish and Finnish. Its quite disconcertin' wen yer 'ear it 'appenin' for the first time! Blimey!
Ye Olde English - andymc {P}
It may be, but the French students staying with me a couple of weeks ago referred to the "mobeel" - when they were speaking French!
Vroom, vroom - mmm, doughnuts ...
Squirrel Problem - El Hacko
help pse - how do I get rid of (permanently) squirrels in bungalow loft - use poison? They eat wiring, don't they!

El Hacko
Squirrel Problem - Lud
They gnaw all sorts of things, but what they do in roofs is tear up the fibreglass insulating matting and stuff it down near the eaves to make a nice bed and keep the draught out.

What you need is an Asian ratsnake in your roof. Harmless to humans, but you hear them catching stuff up there from time to time. Doubt if one would survive our climate though.

Short of ferrets or a Jack Russell terrier, perhaps a bruiser tomcat would be the answer. Could you give a moggy permanent access to yr loft, or would that just encourage the squirrels to come downstairs and watch football on TV when you're asleep?

I wouldn't poison them. You don't want them dead in remote corners up there. If all else fails, go up and chase them out or kill them, then go round the eaves of your house with chicken-wire netting. May take them a month or two to work their way past it. Another useful ploy is to hang around outside with a gun and when you see one, shoot it. After a while there won't be so many near yr house. But they'll work their way back eventually, the evil little brutes.

Squirrels only look cute from a distance. They are not your friends.
Squirrel Problem - helicopter
Hacko - Call in the professionals like Rentokil to trap and shoot them.

As Lud suggests, you then need to ensure that they cannot get back in by using chicken wire to block up the ways into your loft that they are using.

When they got into our office - see the recent squirrels thread - they were in the roofspace and got in via the warehouse and we got builders in who used chicken wire and expanding foam to block up the gaps.

It has proved effective as of the last four years.

Its not the chewed wiring that was the problem although we did have some , but the 'deposits' we found left behind after the Christmas break when they got in. Our office cleaner was not amused.
Freezer problem - BazzaBear {P}
We have a fridge freezer, and seem to have started getting a strange problem with the freezer. The top shelf doesn't seem to be cold enough any more. We keep ice-cream in it and it's always a bit soft. All other shelves seem fine. It's a frost free freezer with a fan behind that top shelf, but that seem to be running fine. ANyone got any suggestions before I call out a repair-man?
Freezer problem - psi
kids played with thermostat? is there a defrost switch on there?
Freezer problem - Martin Devon
For ten years or more we've only used a commercial fridge and freezer at home. When the weather hots up a bit they struggle, but that is the UK carp spec' as is everything else in GREAT Britain.

Freezer problem - Armitage Shanks {p}
Surely "commercial" should work loads better than "Domestic"? This is certainly the case with microwaves.
Freezer problem - Armitage Shanks {p}
At 10 years old and presumably in continuous use, they are shot. You wouldn't expect a car a/c system to run 10 years of even intermittent use - why should a domestic fridges be better? That said, you say you are using commercial items - surely they should be man enough for the job vis-a-vis domestic quality?
Freezer problem - Dulwich Estate
Bought mine in 1978 - 28 years ago! All the warning light bulbs have died and the insulation has broken down on one side so very occasionally I get a tiny frost patch on the outside - but so far it's still going.
Freezer problem - Stuartli
We have a 20+ year old Lec - if anything it freezes everything too much...:-)

Just takes slightly longer for stuff to defrost and, before you ask, yes we have tried checking it out with a thermometer and adjusting the controls.

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Freezer problem - Dynamic Dave
You wouldn't expect a car a/c system to run 10 years of even intermittent use - why should a domestic
fridges be better?

Because domestic fridges aren't generally subjected to pot holes, speed bumps, and other car nasties.
Freezer problem - Armitage Shanks {p}
Quite right! Fair comment DD - as ever!
Freezer problem - mjm
Bazza, to return to the original question.

I would suggest that you have a very small gas leak. From your description of the problem, that shelf is probably at the "tail end" of the evaporator and is reacting to the lack of refrigerant first.

You don't say how old the fridge is, but if it is pre 1990, then a re-gassing may be impractical.
If you can get acess to the back of it, the compressor will have the gas used printed on it.(It may also be quoted on the serial number plate. If it says R12, you are stuck. It is now illegal to use this.(There shouldn't be any available anywhere, anyway). If it says R134a or R600, then a re-gas is possible.
If the fridge is a few years old, then the leak may be too small to detect. It may also be in a totally inacessable place.
If the fridge is still in good all round condition, all plastic bits unbroken, etc, and you want it repared, then the cost is probably going to be about the same as a car aircon repair, ie, vacuum out, leak detect, re-gas.
The fact that it is still cooling says that the compressor and thermostat are ok. (The compressor is the expensive bit).

Freezer problem - mjm
How long do they last?

Works experiences says between 2 days and 15 years!
Freezer problem - Another John H
Frost free freezers need a significant free airspace inbetween each and every shelf, and some gaps inside the shelves too, so that the cold draft which cools the contents down can circulate.

We have problems with ours from time to time as SWMBO jams things into all the available space in the centre of the freezer and it starts to thaw, top down.

I wouldn't buy another "frost free" because of this problem.
Freezer problem - wemyss
Does anyone remember John Bloom in the early sixties who was the first to mass produce twin tub washing machines." Rolls Washing Machines"?.He had a factory down the Edgeware Road.
He had continual adverts in the papers selling them for £39.99 and you rang the number and a rep called in to demonstrate.
Of course he convinced you that you would be better off with the £59.99 one which had two motors instead of one.
And the other attraction was they gave you a free refrigerator which was unheard of in ordinary homes at that time.
The name on the fridge was Prestcold. It travelled with us through the years and was passed down to one of the daughters.
Eventually it finished up in my site cabin on building sites and when I retired in 1996 was passed on to the Fitters shop and probably still going today.
Rolls washing machines went bankrupt after only a few years and John Bloom frequently appeared on TV. A kind of Freddie Laker entrepreneur and I seem to recall he went into some other business of a similar nature.
Freezer problem - Pugugly {P}

As if by magic.
Freezer problem - Stuartli
I remember John Bloom very well - he was everywhere it seemed at the time. Some info:




Reason for his decline:


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Freezer problem - Onetap
Try defrosting it first.

I've got a frost-free freezer. It works by a fan blowing air through an evaporator coil and then around the freezer cabinet. If the door is left ajar, the coil will freeze up, as the water vapour in the air condenses on it and freezes. This will block the air paths through the coil.
There is a defrost cycle I believe, but this won't shift a large accumulation of ice

Conventional freezers have a flat plate Roll-bond evaporator in the freezer cabinet; this freezes up in normal use as air gets in when you open the door. Domestic fridges & freezers have a hermetically sealed compressor and don't usually leak. Car AC compressors have a shaft coming out for the drive pulley and the refrigerant gradually leaks through the shaft seal.

If that doesn't work, I'd chuck it out and buy a new one
Freezer problem - Martin Wall
Agree with the defrosting solution. Over time they build up ice just normally in places where it can't be readily seen e.g. behind plastic panels. I generally defrost the so-called frost-free fridge freezer every year or two.
Camp coffee sequel - Stuartli
A BR member recently asked whether Camp Coffee was still on sale in a recent I Have A Question thread.

I suspect this Daily Mail story today will be of interest:

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Camp coffee sequel - Pugugly {P}
Thanks Stuart ot was me. I also read this in Private Eye, I honestly thought they were joking.
Camp coffee sequel - Stuartli
I honestly thought they were joking.>>

The poltically correct brigade never joke.....
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Camp coffee sequel - Pugugly {P}
Funny they;ve been allowed to keep the word Camp as well. Private Eye do joke (and probably the final resting place for the Nation's sense of humour)
Quick mobile phone question - Xileno {P}
I have bought a Nokia 1600 dual band but have put my old SIM card from my old Nokia single band in it.
My question is, is my new Nokia still dual band? Is the dual band aspect linked to the SIM card?
Quick mobile phone question - Altea Ego
my gawd, what phone did you have? how old is your sim card?
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Quick mobile phone question - Xileno {P}
It's six years old. It's a Nokia 3xxx series I think. SIM card the same age. SIM card works fine in the new phone which is just as well because I wanted to keep my number and credit.
Quick mobile phone question - Altea Ego
well, its accademic really - you wont be able to use the dual band bit or any other network without a new sim card. Vodaphone/O2 on one band, Orange and T mobile on the other.

(or whatever your partner carrier is abroad)
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Quick mobile phone question - SpamCan61 {P}
>> well, its accademic really - you wont be able to use
the dual band bit or any other network without a new
sim card. Vodaphone/O2 on one band, Orange and T mobile on
the other.
(or whatever your partner carrier is abroad)

IIRC Voda and O2 were allocated a small amount of GSM1800 spectrum each but I'm not sure if they're actually using it at this point in time. I suppose the dual band functionality could be useful if the need to make an emergency call arose, but that's about it.
Quick mobile phone question - Stuartli
Nokia still provides the full specifications and features of its earilier models on its website at: www.nokia.co.uk Just key in the model number into the searchb box.
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Quick mobile phone question - Xileno {P}
Thanks for the replies. However, I am not sure I've explained my problem very well since I am useless with gadgets such as phones. Let me explain the situtation. I was in France last year with my mother, she has a dual band Siemens and I have an older single band Nokia. She was able to pick up more networks than me which was very useful. So with my new dual band Nokia I was wondering if my phone would also pick up these extra networks if I use my old SIM card from the single band Nokia. Or do I have to put my new SIM card in, lose my number and credit?
Quick mobile phone question - Gromit {P}
"So with my new dual band Nokia I was wondering if my phone would also pick up these extra networks if I use my old SIM card from the single band Nokia. "

No, I don't think so. Your old SIM is only capable of connecting to GSM 900 networks. The extra networks your mother's phone picks up are GSM 1800.

"Do I have to put my new SIM card in, lose my number and credit?"

Yes, but 1) don't swap over until you've used the credit from your current SIM and 2) enquire from your service provider whether its possible to keep your current number. In principle there's no reason why not, and they may prefer to allow you keep your number because it'll discourage you from switching to another pay-as-you-go operator (try making that point and see how you get on).
Quick mobile phone question - Xileno {P}
I understand now, thanks.
Quick mobile phone question - Gromit {P}
You're welcome!

PS: Some phones (but I don't know which models off-hand) can be fitted with two SIMs. If you want to keep your old number but need a new SIM for GSM 1800 compatibility, one of these might do the trick if its not too late to return your new phone (on the basis that it doesn't actually do what you need it to).

- Gromit
Quick mobile phone question - Stuartli
My Nokia 3310 is dual band.....
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Ask Honest John

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