Monday 22 November 2010

Oh what a lovely war!

The Boy and The Cat were whisked away by the school on a trip to the 1st World War battlefields for the weekend. The Boy found a grave with the family name on...Bradstock. And then at another site, our surname. Of course it's always good to find these possible historic connections, until you start to think it through and realise that these were little more than boys who gave their lives in the terrible slaughter of the Great War. The school lost 160 former pupils aged between 18 and 24...and given that at the time it was a school of no more than 300, that is a remarkable and heart-rending statistic. It seems to have hit all the participants very hard. And if it teaches them a lesson for the future, then that is a good thing.

Back in the present day, a small battle...

Last week I was sent a council tax demand by Hackney Council. For a flat which had once upon a time been owned by The Boy's mother. For most of our marriage I didn't even know about it. Sometime after we divorced it was sold...about ten years ago. And after her death it transpired that she co-owned it with someone I'd never heard of. When I rang the council to explain, the only response I got was that they had sent the bill because I hadn't told them it had been sold. I tried to explain again. In words of one syllable. I got the same response. I tried to ask what had they been doing for the last ten years. I got the same response. So I explained in traditional English exactly what I thought about them. And put the phone down. I so hope they pursue this one through the courts.

I got another mailing from Hackney Council today. In fact it is for a property I do own. In the envelope was a 30 page colour brochure explaining what they spend the Council Tax on; a six page leaflet explaining what the Greater London Authority spends its money on; a 20 page council tax paying in booklet. And the bill. If you click on the image, and have good eye site, you can see the bill was for exactly £0.00. You may consider this a waste. I do. If you look even more closely right at the bottom it shows the council 'efficiency savings'. I couldn't possibly comment