Friday, 24 May 2013

Moving home

Through every nook and every cranny
The wind blew in on poor old Granny
Around her knees, into each ear
(And up nose as well, I fear)

All through the night the wind grew worse
It nearly made the vicar curse
The top had fallen off the steeple
Just missing him (and other people)

It blew on man, it blew on beast
It blew on nun, it blew on priest
It blew the wig off Auntie Fanny-
But most of all, it blew on Granny!

When we lived in a house made of bricks, the wind would make the windows rattle, and the rain would pour through the holes in the roof.

Here in the van, we've had a couple of blustery days. We're pretty much leak free now, although there are a couple of areas that drip when we get the heaviest and most prolonged of rain. The wind though moves everything.  It deforms the walls. It causes the entire structure to sway noticeably on it's supports. Vases rock. Lamps sway. The floor moves beneath our feet. Without having to actually go through a real minor earthquake, I know exactly how a minor earthquake feels. There is no still place I can be within these walls.

The wind whistles. It howls. It shrieks. It moans. It warbles. It wails. It cries Mary. The caravan is not aerodynamic. It has edges and projections and chimneys and vents. A thin door pops it's latch and goes from shut to ajar.

I wonder how winter will be here?

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Friday, 10 May 2013

key to the door.

The money has been paid into our account. We have paid for the caravan, and cleared most of our debts. We now have a fair few thousand in the bank, but are officially homeless.

Later today, we get the keys to our new home.

Officially, we will still be living here, because there are legal issues to consider. But we will be going on holiday to a caravan park in North Wirral for a substantial part of this year and every year for the foreseeable future.

I intend to learn to ride a motorbike with some of the money we have, and I would rather like a midi pickup for my guitar. And possibly an RM1X sequencer.

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Monday, 6 May 2013

colour fields

new pointless task...

find entire spectrum of areas of one single colour.

here's one to start with. It's near Kirtlington in Oxfordshire.

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Sunday, 5 May 2013

Paul Vs TalkTalk

A week or so ago, we started getting silent calls from the number, 0091148. After being phoned repeatedly throughout the night, I tried to trace the number. As well as phoning the organisation responsible, and asking them firmly to take me off their list, I also contaced my phone provider, Talktalk.

TalkTalk claim to be committed to doing what they can about nuisance calls. Here's what their website says:

If you wish to report a nuisance caller to us, the process is quick and simple.
  1. Visit our unwanted calls online form, and enter the number of the nuisance caller.
  2. Enter either your My Account username and password, your TalkTalk account number or the last 4 digits of your payment method so we can confirm your details.
  3. Click Submit.
We will then investigate your request and check if it is legitimate. If so, we will block calls from the number at network level, to prevent all TalkTalk customers from receiving calls from that number. There is no limit on the amount of numbers you can report to us for investigation.
 Well that sounded great. Not only would I be able to block this number, but TalkTalk would take action to prevent perhaps thousands of people being hassled.

So I inputted the nuisance number and my personal details, and got a little pop up telling me the number I had inputted had the wrong number of digits. I had no way of proceding.

So I emailed them. Here's how it's going...

 Customer By Web Form (Paul Sharp)01/05/2013 12.15 PM
Hi. I am getting silent calls at any time of day or night, sometimes many times a day or night from a particular number. This number is non-standard. I was able to access your number blocking page, despite your rubbish non functioning web links, but the page insists I must have the wrong number and will not allow me to proceed. The number that keeps on harrassing me is 0091148 My phone number is 0151 630 xxxx My account number is 200054xxxx Please act on this, as we're having a lot of disturbed nights. Also, are you aware that your web pages don't work properly? Oddly, you don't seem to have the same problem on the sales section of your site.

Anyway, please let me know that you've recieved this.


 Response Via Email (Melanie Naidoo)03/05/2013 06.00 AM
Dear Paul Sharp,

Thank you for contacting us in relation to the nuisance call you are receiving.

I am sorry it has taken a little bit longer than usual to reply, we’re working hard to answer all our customers' queries as quickly as possible.

I understand your concern as you were unable to proceed with the online process.

You can log into My Account and complete the online form by reporting the uninvited numbers that have called you and your details, so we can investigate.

This information will be sent to the Technology team for review. If the claim is valid, they will then block calls from the number at the network level. Blocked numbers will not be able to call any TalkTalk customers and the investigation can take a few weeks.

A nuisance call is any type of unwanted or unsolicited telephone call you receive. Marketing calls from companies that try to sell you various products can fall under this category.

Some of our calling features can help to protect you from nuisance calls. There are also some things you can do yourself to prevent them.

The following calling features will help you to prevent nuisance calls:

- Last Caller Barring: Last Caller Barring enables you to bar incoming calls from the last person that called you. You can block up to 10 phone numbers in your phone directory using this service.This feature is charged at £3.25

- Anonymous Caller Reject: Anonymous Caller Reject enables you to automatically reject calls when the caller's phone number is withheld. This is a charged-for service and must be activated on your line before you can use it. This feature is charged at £3.88

- Caller Display: With Caller Display, you can see the number that's calling you before you pick up the phone. Caller Display is included in the Privacy Pack, which is a free service and is available to be added on your account.

For information on how to activate any of these features on your account, please see:

If you have tried all of the above options, you can also register your phone number with the TPS. The TPS is an independent organisation that helps you to make sure your telephone number is not available to organisations that make unsolicited direct marketing calls. To register your details with them, visit the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) website at

I would like to apologise for the inconvenience this matter has caused, and I can assure you that your comments will be passed on to the relevant department, regarding the concerns you have with our level service.

If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to reply or visit for more information.

Kind regards,

Melanie Naidoo
TalkTalk Customer Relations

You may receive a survey via email containing some questions about how you feel about the way we handled your query. This is used to monitor the service we provide you, we look forward to your feedback.

 Customer By Email (Paul Sharp)03/05/2013 10.40 PM
Hi. Thank you for taking the time to respond.

You said, "You can log into My Account and complete the online form by
reporting the uninvited numbers that have called you and your details, so
we can investigate."

Unfortunately, I cannot do this, because the number that is calling me,
0091148, is not a standard telephone number. When I attempt to submit the
form, a little message pops up, saying "It looks like you've entered too
few digits". There is no "Submit with too few digits anyway" button to

Presumably, if I'd entered what talktalk consider to be a valid number, the
form would have been received somewhere. Perhaps you can forward the
details I've given you here to whoever would have received the webform if
I'd somehow been able to send it?

With thanks,

 Response Via Email (Brandon Singh)04/05/2013 05.36 AM
Dear Paul Sharp,

Thank you for your reply.

If you have already tried our suggested steps in handling nuisance calls, but are still experiencing the same issue, you should contact the police.

Before you escalate a call to the Police for investigation, you are required to trace it by following these steps:

1. Dial 1477 during or immediately after the unwanted call. You need to do this on five separate calls. When you do this, we trace the call.
2. Contact the Police let them know about the malicious call and that you have traced the call with TalkTalk.
3. The Police will contact TalkTalk's Police Liaison team.

Once you have notified the police of this issue, they will provide you with a "crime number". If you wish to receive a new phone number, please contact us and provide us with this "crime number". We will then be able to process your request and ensure you receive a new phone number in order to resolve this for you.

Thank you for your patience in this regard.

If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to reply or visit for more information.

Kind regards,

Brandon Singh
TalkTalk Customer Relations

to TalkTalk
I have not been able to try your suggested steps as your own systems do not allow me to do so.
The web based system you have for notifying talktalk of nuisance calls does not allow me to send the information required because the phone number is not a standard ten digit number.

Please can you escalate this e-mail to a manager or supervisor?
Best Wishes,
Paul Sharp.


I wonder what will happen next?


What happened next was a phone call from a manager, who went through my issue, and made it clear that she understood my concerns, and that she would pass on my request to the relevant department. I've been told to expect contact from them in a few days time.

Fair play to them, although they still might not be able to do anything, due to technical reasons.

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Thursday, 2 May 2013


Bren's just said to me, "This is the last night this house belongs to us".

She'd been out in the back garden, watering the plants, and thinking how nice it was looking, when it struck her. It's been my home too for a decade or more. I've lived here longer than I've lived anywhere in my life. she's been here rather longer.

Tomorrow we do the legal stuff that means we get money and Alex gets this house. We won't be moving out tomorrow, but already we're starting to say goodbye.

It's a little bit like mourning.

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