business, politics, property, society

Beat Business Energy Bills with an Open Window and Natural Light

Why have UK businesses become so energy dependent that their entire existence can be held to ransom by recent price-hikes.  Of course, energy is required for most industrial processes including refrigeration and food preparation.  But why this obsession with artificial lighting and air-conditioning?

 I have worked in offices all my adult life.  I have never asked to sit behind tinted glass in artificial lighting and freezing air conditioning.  It has been imposed on me. I’m sure that it hasn’t always been like that.  I would much rather enjoy natural light and the ability to open a window if I feel stuffy.  It means that I won’t have to take a pullover to work because of the air-conditioning, when the temperature is a sunny 100° outside.  Think about the energy cost of creating this unnecessary artificially controlled environment?  Think about the climate.  It’s the same with shops.  Why do shops always have to have the lights blazing to prove that they are open?

A couple of weeks back, I visited my local pet shop to pick up some cat litter.  They had recently moved premises and had not yet had the electricity connected.  But the natural light coming in through the window was good enough for me to find my cat litter and complete my purchase.

Three months ago, there was a power cut at my local Tesco supermarket.  Again, there was enough natural light for me to complete my shopping.  It was just as I could not get it through the till.  Today I went to the local Internet cafe at the end of our road to print out some documents.  I was pleased to see the staff sitting in natural light and only using electricity to power their computers and printer.  At least they are saving some money. 

Going forward, the construction of commercial buildings has to change, with windows that open and which maximize the amount of natural light coming in during daylight hours.  Also, a change of mindset.  Is that so difficult?

Law, protest, society

If You Think You’ve Been Scammed

If you think you’ve been scammed. If you have received debt letters from a mobile phone company you’ve never even heard of. Don’t spend hours of your time breaking your head trying to convince someone in an off-shore call centre. They are not equipped to deal with it. Its off-script. Forget about e-mail. Instead write a FORMAL LETTER to their complaints department and post it recorded delivery. Yes-I know it’s a pain, standing in line in a post office with only one person serving. But is the only way to prove delivery. If you don’t get a reply or can’t find the complaints address, write a personal letter to their chief executive. Make it their problem. It’s all about creating a paper-trail. About covering yourself. About creating the evidence you need to take your complaint to the financial ombudsman if you can’t get a satisfactory response. They can’t ignore that. Just one other thing. Buy a copy of my book, ‘Get Paid’. It contains essential information for anyone being hassled by an unfair claim. It’ll show you what creditors can – and can’t do. Here is the link.

diversity, religion, society, Uncategorized

Happy New Year. But which one?

When you think about it, every day is somebody’s new year. 1st January 2018 is the big one. But what about 16th February 2018, marking the Chinese Year of the Dog and celebrated by 1.4 billion people? Or Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, on 10th September 2018. Followed two days later by Muharram, the Islamic New Year. My friend and co-writer Farida J Manekshah celebrates Nowruz, the Persian New Year, on 21st March 2018.  And they’re the only ones we know about. What new years do the peoples of the Amazon celebrate? Or the tribes of Papua New Guinea?

My new year resolution is to write more books. At least six. In 2016 I co-wrote Farida’s life-story under the title ‘Memory of Beheram’. It was my first book for 10 years. I republished it in 2017 under the title ‘Refusing to Bow’. This year I also wrote ‘Legal Profession: is it for you?’ based on my own 45 years as a lawyer and which I hope will inspire future generations of lawyers, wherever in the World they work. International publishers Taylor and Francis have accepted for publication a technical book I have written on housing regeneration. It is important to me because Britain is in the middle of a housing crisis. Amongst work-in-progress is a self-help book about a distressing medical condition which affects millions of men world-wide. Later on I may indulge myself by writing something about London’s East End, based on my own family history. Several months ago I came across a transcript of an 1884 Old Bailey trial in which my great-grandfather, John Edmund Vivian, was a prosecution witness. It concerned the theft of furs from Blundell Brothers’ warehouse in Cheapside.

culture, diversity, history, relationships, religion, sex, society

Calling all Zoroastrians

Farida J Manekshah’s book ‘Refusing to Bow’ tells the true story of the modern young Zoroastrian Woman who refused to bow down. Not to her family. Not to a violent man. Written up from tapes recorded more than 30 years ago. Provides rare insight into the beliefs and culture of an ancient religion. ‘As a rich man’s daughter, I had everything. But having everything wasn’t enough. I had to throw it all away.’



Daily Prompt: Calling

Law, property, society, Uncategorized

When Neighbours Go to Law

More than 90% of contested cases settle before they get to trial. But the impossible cases to settle are the neighbour disputes where the parties hate each other so much that they can’t even speak. In 2012 John Edwards and Mary Kendrick had to pay out tens of thousands of pounds to cover the costs of neighbours Stephen and Barbara Evans after they wrongly took down the Evans’ new fence, which they said was sited in the wrong place. But the prize goes to Belgravia residents Hameed and Imran Faidi whom in 2009 incurred a £140,000 legal bill after pursuing to the Court of Appeal their complaint that they were disturbed by the sound of high heels tap tap tapping on the £100,000 oak floor of the upstairs flat …..

Extracted from Legal Profession Is it for you? (V. Charles Ward)


via Daily Prompt: Neighbors