False Registration

A few weeks ago, I got a weird piece of post – a V5 registration document for a vehicle I’ve never owned, to a name I’d never heard of, but with my address on it.

Having asked around a bit (in case the person was just a cretin who put in the wrong address) it turns out that this is a semi-common scam, registering a vehicle to a different address in order to avoid parking and speeding tickets etc.

As such, some people suggest that it should be registered as SORN (Statutory Off-Road Notification) but that still connects the vehicle to the address, and leaves you open to receiving documents, fines etc.

Instead, I decided to instead return the document to DVLA, along with a cover note explaining that I didn’t know the car and didn’t know the person, and had been at current address long enough to know that the person hadn’t lived there any time in the last decade. I scanned in both documents so I’ve also got a record of it, should it be needed.

Yesterday, I got a response from DVLA, which confirms that what I did is the best thing to do. They’ve removed the connection of my address to the vehicle, although it’s still possible that some fines etc. may come to me – but in that case, to send the issuing authority a copy of the letter received, and confirm that It’s Not Mine.

So, interesting to see how things work. Hopefully I won’t get any further issues with it, but I’m as protected as possible if anything does happen.

 


Lockdown – Two Years On

In many ways it’s hard to believe that it’s already two years ago today that the UK’s first Coronavirus lockdown was announced.

Since then, time feels like it’s done some very strange things – some things feel like only yesterday when it turns out they were three or four years ago, but stuff that was yesterday feels like an eternity has passed.

Here, I’ve been lucky, as I still haven’t caught it – although that’s more by luck than judgement, and probably that’s helped by being single, antisocial, and without children, thus eliminating an awful lot of the potential vectors.  I’ve also been lucky in that it hasn’t affected me in the same ways it’s affected a lot of people – I wasn’t suddenly thrown into a world of working from home, with a lot of my social interactions removed, and nor was I suddenly having to be in close confinement with partners or others.

It’s still not been easy, but it’s been OK. It could have been a lot worse – and obviously for lots of people, it was. And is. And will continue to be.

I don’t know how we’ll handle things in the future. I know that “going back to how things were” is a pipe-dream. We’ll find ways to accommodate life with Coronavirus, and it’ll affect us less (much as it’s already doing) but it’s not going to disappear, and things won’t ever be “how they were”.

Onwards, upwards, whatever.


Refridged

As mentioned in the previous post, I also ended up with a new fridge over the weekend.

On about Wednesday my (then) current fridge started sounding unwell, and running constantly – never a good sign. I messed around with the controls, lowered the chill factor to get it to turn off, that sort of thing.  And while it did turn off, it was then back to running within about ten minutes.  Diagnosis : most likely a fucked thermostat.

Now in fairness, I’ve had this fridge for coming up to 15 years, it’s been through at least two house moves, and had also had the issue of being frozen to sod for a while until I cleaned it out last year (which I suspect didn’t actually do it much good) and it wasn’t expensive in the first place, so it’s not like I’ve not had the value out of it or anything.

As a result, I ordered a new one from AO , which went (fairly) smoothly. The order itself was fine, but then over the next two days I got four silent automatic calls, which are distinctly frowned upon by OfCom . By checking the number online I figured out it was AO who were doing them – their “aftercare” department, apparently, which is really just the old “do you want an extended warranty with that?” scam.  I complained to AO, who’ve now said that they’ll investigate, and who have taken me off their call list.

Thankfully, the delivery itself was fine. The delivery people arrived when they said they would, took away the old one for recycling, left the new one with me, and buggered off. Just how I like it.

And now it’s all plugged in and running smoothly again. Happy day.


Refronted

Over the last couple of years, both of my neighbours in our little terrace/block have updated their front doors to modern composite doors, with better security and so on.  That’s left mine in the middle looking like the easiest target of the three, which is never something I’m entirely happy about.  (The other two properties in the block also have the same older front doors, but mine being between two new ones made it feel like that weakest option)

I’ve always worked with the ethos that you don’t bother making your house the safest/strongest on the street (because that just makes people think you’ve got stuff worth stealing) but you do make it harder to get into than those of your neighbours.  It can be a bit of an “arms race” scenario, and it can be a bit selfish (“I’m OK, others can sod off”) but it’s still not a bad structure to live by.

I talked about this a while back with my landlord, and he agreed that it would be a good idea to upgrade it – particularly as it’ll also be *way* more insulated and energy-efficient (which is a consideration for rented properties now, they need to pass a certain grade of energy efficiency) which makes it A Good Plan.

So – after several mis-fires of companies measuring up, assuring they could do it, and then pulling out –  the new door went in yesterday. It was a fairly big job (most of a day to do) and I’m glad that it turned out to be on a day when the temperature was actually quite reasonable (for February) so it all went OK.

Already the differences are noticeable. It’s a lot quieter (better insulation, no gaps etc.) and noticeably warmer.  Definitely A Good Thing.

Now I just need to get my replacement fridge (that’s a story for a different time) delivered tomorrow and sorted, and hopefully things will then run smoothly for a while again.


Going Dark

Weirdly, this week is one of my favourites in the year.

It’s the time when all the exterior Christmas decorations on houses are extinguished again, and everything goes back to being properly dark.

It’s really surprising, just how much extra light pollution those decorations cause, and I just like having things back to normal.

Obviously it’s still pretty heavily grey during the day and so on, and I’ll be far happier as the days get longer again, but it’s nice to have nights back to being properly night-like again.  (Also, as it turns out, I wrote something very similar two years ago)


Chucking Out

I really don’t like waste – but sometimes it still happens.

Over the Christmas/New Year limbo, I spent some time clearing out stuff, as it needed doing. On this occasion, that included clearing out the kitchen cupboard under the sink, and that’s where the waste kicked in.  Various packs of crisps and the like, and they were all out of date (like, well, well out of date) and some part-bake bread rolls that had collapsed and compressed into horrific lumps of nope.

In the great scheme of things, it wasn’t actually a lot of value – maybe £30 all told – but it’s still annoying to throw it out. (Not that there was really anything else I could do with them)

It has, however, shown me the things I think I want to have as snacks and then don’t get round to actually eating, which helps in reinforcing (in my own head) why I won’t buy them again.  So I suppose that at least this is a lesson that will work for longer term better effect.

Still makes me grouchy, though.


Normality (or a Semblance of it)

Now we’re through all the crap of the Festering Season™ and New Year, it’s starting to feel like a return to a version of normality. Past today, people will be back to working ‘normally’ (albeit with the current ‘Work from home if you can’ ethos and so on) and schools will be open again so we’ll be back to more usual levels of traffic and the like.

Personally, I quite like this limbo time – the drive in to the office is quiet, the office itself is deathly, and it all suits me pretty well.

That said, though, I’ve found this year (and last year) that a limbo time within a Covid-driven limbo time is… a bit much.  A step too far. I want to go back to a “normal” limbo rather than this weird fuckery.

Alongside all this, some of the other crap I’ve been dealing with in the background is finally approaching its conclusion, and while it’s not been openly affecting me, I’m also glad it’s nearly done. I’m being a bit enigmatic about it all because it’s now sub judice (and before anyone snarks, I’m the ‘victim’ in it, not the perpetrator!) but I’ll write a bit about it when I know more. The initial court appearance happens later this month, and once I know how the idiot pleads, I’ll be in a better position.

So… yeah, limbo appears to be (slowly) righting itself and becoming a bit more active again. I hope that continues to be the case…