December 4th, 2011

spikey eye bw

Leaves and scrolling

I have just raked the leaves out of our garden. There are enough to fill about four wheelie bins, which is a pity because I filled the wheelie bin meant for garden waste with the weeds that I found under the leaves. I might have felt a little bit bad about raking leaves onto the street but for two things. First of all, they're not my leaves! They fell off the three great big trees outside my property and took refuge in my garden where they escaped being cleared away by the street cleaner type ride-on machine that blew all the others away. Also, I am paying for the street-cleaner device and its driver not only through my council tax, but through an additional "estate charge" which came as a bit of a surprise to me last weekend when the bill arrived, backdated to 2009 and demanding payment in 28 days.

That's all fun and games too. I have gone through all my mortgage paperwork and read around the issue. It turns out that I have to pay council tax which would usually cover this kind of thing, but in this case it doesn't because the council don't actually own the street here and the trees and any house owner who isn't the original owner has to cough up. When the previous owners ticked the box on the mortgage paperwork saying "we don't have to pay estate covenants" they weren't lying but neglected to say I would. I have told Gallions they won't be getting the money in 28 days, and could they work out what I actually owe them, since I only moved into the property in the September of 2009. They will then sort out a monthly billing strategy of some sort. Probably. So far, we've got as far as "I can't handle this by phone, could you put the request in writing?" followed by a letter dropping through the door asking me to set up passwords and so on so they can talk to me by phone and be sure it's actually me. Fun. Not.

Meanwhile, though, work has been going okay and they're willing to fund an MSc that I can do related to my work, run by Bournemouth and Bradford universities. Also of interest, I wrote some code for our part of the site ( which is being looked at and may be repurposed for the homepage and for iPlayer (the javascript that makes the content scroll past when you click buttons on pages like Yay me, I'm ace!