• DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 5d
    I badly need to talk to a friendly MP who might support the Renters Reform Bill, which was reportedly introduced to Parliament by the Johnson government, before his downfall, but making no progress because of the change of Tory leadership. The new lot are too busy promoting their own policies, so this socially vital Bill isn't getting the attention and parliamentary time that it deserves. Its primary purpose is to abolish 'no fault' eviction, which was repeatedly suspended during lockdown but is now in force again. The Bill needs to get through the parliamentary process as fast as possible but I don't know how that could be achieved. I've written to my local MP about this but have had only an official auto-reply. Does anyone have a more approachable MP who might actively help to get this Bill into law? It's a cause that all parties would probably support.
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 26d
    These supposed yearly costs of running domestic appliances aren't as useful as the per use sort that I heard too briefly on the radio recently but it's useful to know which are most expensive to run and relatively how much that cost might rise. Fortunately, I have neither a dishwasher nor a tumble dryer but I'd better pull out the fridge etc and clean those coils.... https://www.hackneygazette.co.uk/news/how-to-keep-appliance-energy-costs-down-9252406?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=DM63111
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 29d
    I've been trying to find some material to help tenant neighbours but the best source is Shelter's website (https://england.shelter.org.uk/) - every page of which keeps greying out, so that I can't copy any of the text, use its hyperlinks etc etc. Even its contact page does this and the links for accessibility etc at the foot of each page are unusable, too. No other site that I look up greys out, so the problem can't be with my laptop. Is there any general technical reason why this greying-out might happen to a UK website? I've e-mailed Shelter and tried messaging them but their autoreply on Messenger unhelpfully only says that they aim to reply within 5 working days, which is hopeless for issues like this.
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 29d
    This day of free workshops and demonstrations sounds like an excellent way to get people tackling domestic items that have lost their appeal. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/free-repair-reuse-and-upcycling-event-meet-the-experts-attend-workshops-tickets-403424271857?fbclid=IwAR1HhC16Zw45iwxvBrgC31uFK8mtXlmJwUhfHqJAL-XHZ2tgaIAgU_5FN4Y
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 1mo
    Very heavy rain, like today's thunderstorms coming after many weeks of drought, runs off rather than into the parched ground and therefore overloads the sewer system. UK water companies are then allowed to discharge untreated sewage into rivers and the sea. So, if we redesigned our cities to make them capable of absorbing more rainfall at a time, couldn't we make them more resilient and less liable to street flooding and therefore minimise sewage discharges? I'd never heard of the Chinese notion of a 'sponge city' but it's not as odd as it sounds - and it's the opposite of the concretisation that characterises modern urban development. If the Chinese can make this idea work, to cope with monsoon conditions, then the idea should be capable of being exported to countries where extreme rain has drastic effects because the local infrastructure isn't designed to cope with occasional downpours. On a small scale, this resembles the rain garden approach, where rainwater is used directly in the garden rather than being piped away to rainwater tanks and butts or down into the sewers. A well-designed rain garden can apparently absorb all the rainfall that falls on an average house. So a true 'sponge city' should be able to absorb most of heavy rainfall, thus preventing the flooding of inadequate sewers, the overloading of water treatment facilities and thus the discharge of untreated sewage into rivers and the sea. See eg https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-59115753
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 1mo
    Thames Water has finally announced that its Temporary Use Ban on domestic water use will come into effect in just under a week's time, after midnight next Tuesday night. Its press release this morning says that, "Domestic customers should not use hosepipes for cleaning cars, watering gardens or allotments, filling paddling pools and swimming pools and cleaning windows" and "While the TUB does not cover businesses, Thames Water is asking businesses across its area to be mindful of the drought and to use water wisely, for example, by not washing commercial vehicles or turning off water features on their properties." None of those restrictions is expressed in mandatory terms and there's no mention of fines or penalties, so it's not clear what sanctions (if any) any breach may attract. https://www.thameswater.co.uk/about-us/newsroom/latest-news/2022/aug/thames-water-hosepipe-ban-2022
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 1mo
    Maybe 'Save the Planet' would have been a more appropriate loop in which to post this, but both seemed potentially relevant. https://www.scooploop.com/thread/diy-repairing
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 1mo
    I've been involved with the repair movement for some years now, although my good intentions about fixing broken stuff massively outrun my rate of repair. Nevertheless, when wondering whether some invaluable gadget is irretrievably broken or can be fixed, perhaps with some material or tool that I'd never known existed, it helps to find out whether it's fixable. If so, I keep the item and try to fix it in future, rather than throwing it out and replacing it. The foremost organisation for repairing in the UK is the Restart Project, which invaluably lists all repair events (worldwide). I joined its online repair forum (the Restarters Community) which sends me occasional summaries of recent contributions if I don't visit the website often enough; some of those are really useful. For instance, I knew about Restart's own Restarter wiki and the American site, iFixit, but there's also a French one with a slightly different focus: La Librairie. Since all are word-searchable (and an internet translator can help non-Francophones use that last one, if the others don't produce results), that increases my chances of not having to invent a means of fixing something. So try searching these if something breaks, do: https://wiki.restarters.net/Main_Page https://www.ifixit.com/Guide https://librairie.ademe.fr/
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 1mo
    This is the second awful scam, targeting the homes of innocent strangers, which the BBC's Shari Vahl has managed to uncover in recent months: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-62494987?fbclid=IwAR3Af9GT73cuspLuY4VEn4Vv4pQXLT-ZLaXUEq0DDdqzdBWwrxaowOeD6Dc Exposing the idiotic absence of any verification procedures at Companies House when a new company is registered, so that a fraud can claim that the company is based at a stranger's address without providing any verification at all, makes the British company system look extremely foolish and very vulnerable to fraud. Getting one's address off the Register of Companies in these circumstances has been made extraordinarily difficult and time-consuming. Meantime, the new company and its fraudulent founders are free - indeed, they're being constantly invited by banks - to set up new bank accounts, run up overdrafts and incur debts which the banks assume can be recovered from the owner of the property at which the company has been fraudulently registered. There's a White Paper proposing reforms to Companies House systems but that's six months old and apparently there's been no progress on implementing its recommendations at all. Meantime, the fraudsters are registering literally dozens of new companies daily. So please don't ignore, or just return to sender, any strange letters addressed to an unfamiliar person or company at your home address. Open them up and take rapid action to stop this abuse continuing.
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 1mo
    For anyone who's been sweltering in rooms directly under a roof, it would be worth considering how their roofs are presently insulated and whether that could be changed so as to make them radically more effective at keeping out excessive heat (and, of course, cold during winter). My attic has 'cold roof' insulation, rolled out between the joists above the ceiling of the rooms below, which is fairly effective. At the back of the house, however, there are low-ceilinged rooms with no/almost no ceiling void above them, so their slated roofs have never been insulated. Some of my neighbours in identical houses have had 'cold roof' insulation installed when that part of their home was re-roofed, but my excellent roofer tells me that that wouldn't make a great deal of difference in heatwave conditions. So there's no point having the back of the house re-roofed at enormous expense. When the roofers re-did the flat roof over my stairwell, they installed a 'warm roof' under a felt surface - which they not only guaranteed for ten years but expect should last for 30-40 years. (Apparently those felted flat roofs which notoriously fail within a few years do so because they were badly made - cowboy roofers don't do this properly.) That made a huge difference in terms of insulation against severe heat: I can work on the top landing this morning, while my study (at the back of the house, under an uninsulated slate roof) is already very unpleasantly hot and will become intolerable as the heatwave continues. So it's well worth considering having these sloping roofs re-done with a felt surface, so as to be able to use the 'warm roof' technique to insulate them. (One can't, apparently, do that under a slate roof because it needs to be well ventilated inside.) That won't be easy to do legitimately in a conservation area, unless the local planners have already taken account of the effect of climate change to adapt their policies on retrofitting old houses - but some councils may already have begun moving in that direction. This summer's extreme conditions should provide a means of spurring others (and perhaps even central government) into updating their policies so that people can make even protected old buildings resilient enough to remain habitable in much more extreme conditions than those for which they were originally built.
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 2mo
    https://www.scooploop.com/thread/hosepipe-bans-are-beginning-to-be-imposed
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 1mo
    Southern Water is imposing one in a week's time. Thames Water seems likely to apply one very shortly thereafter - and I'd be surprised if Anglian Water didn't follow suit, too. See https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jul/29/southern-water-announces-hosepipe-ban-amid-uk-drought-fears
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 2mo
    https://www.keepbritaintidy.org/waste-and-recycling-surveyor-east-london-4-posts?fbclid=IwAR3g9q0prFMnswn4cFKsmKtHBFjNeA0k0zNouXDdC6neLsw--xnSf73djmU
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - 2mo
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2022/jul/13/conservative-leadership-race-penny-mordaunt-rishi-sunak-liz-truss-uk-politics-latest-live?page=with:block-62cecb228f0813fe76dde0cf So the new Chancellor of the Exchequer is unsurprisingly out of the running, along with Jeremy Hunt.
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 2mo
    I sent in meter readings as usual over a week ago but still haven't had an energy bill. Perhaps the prospect of this meeting and what was agreed about showing how direct debits are calculated etc has made my provider (Shell Energy) focus harder on revising how they work out the incomprehensible bills that they've been sending me this year. https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2022/07/energy-suppliers-commit-to-offer-more-help-for-consumers-this-wi/
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 2mo
    Fruit flies have a nasty tendency to appear at this time of year, flocking to fruit bowls and kitchen waste bins. So I went looking for ways to get rid of them without using artificial chemicals and found all sorts of ideas. If only I had some wine dregs going to waste, as I'm sure I've used that one in the past ... I might have to use good vinegar instead. https://www.tipsbulletin.com/homemade-fly-killer/
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 3mo
    This ingenious sand battery is a terrific idea. It can't be scaled down for domestic use but helps to minimise the cost of domestic energy supplies. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-61996520
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 3mo
    PayPal has become ever more available, so it's becoming a vehicle for charitable giving as we shop. The PayPal Giving Fund offers one the chance to donate at their checkout. The Restart Project asked me to vote for them to benefit from this scheme but there are various other small charities on the list, so there's some range to choose from. Do please consider responding to this; there are only a couple of days left to submit our views. (The link should show "One Tap Big Impact UK" but it looks annoyingly anodyne.) https://forms.office.com/pages/responsepage.aspx?id=FHkA-yBgdEOXfiG6xfP0yLpJiqalbJRLvNFodrLa3cxUOElMV1YxTUlKVTZYMENTTEtZNlQ0QjJUTS4u&__s=xvassuzkfxqa4c1jja8a
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 3mo
    https://mailchi.mp/0dab2eab9c81/your-may-newsletter-from-london-wildlife-trust-417306?e=b79eada136
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 3mo
    This is a strange new obstacle to switching energy supplier - if it ever becomes worth considering again! The hike in the 'market stabilisation charge' must have gone unnoticed when it was introduced in April, what with all the hoo-ha about the hike in the energy price cap. It does, however, seem fairer on the original supplier. Look beyond the title of the article, to see what this is about. https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2022/05/ofgem-announces-plans-to-change-the-energy-price-cap-every-three/
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 4mo
    I never normally remember to watch formal pageants but this Jubilee one should be the exception. It's a damp and grey Sunday in London, so watching it from home has considerable appeal. Not so much fun for those in the pageant if it's rained on but the thunderstorm forecast for this afternoon doesn't cover the capital any longer. At least it isn't meant to last nearly as long as the BBC's extended coverage; just from 2.30pm onwards. Time to cook Sunday lunch first! https://www.lbc.co.uk/news/how-to-watch-the-platinum-jubilee-pageant/
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 4mo
    This group is invaluable for those who know about it and has potentially a very wide reach, which I hope will expand ever more over time. Many older people find face-to-face support with unfamiliar IT a pleasanter experience than confessing to all one's ignorance in a public forum, however. So I was delighted to find that the perpetually-changing system of local digital support seems to be going from strength to strength. I hope that other areas are able to offer similar support, too. The problem has always been the wildly fluctuating availability of funding but perhaps political appreciation of the need for facilities that promote such inclusivity has become normalised. This new backer is a charity that I hadn't heard of before, which doesn't mention anything about how it's funded, but maybe it's relatively new. https://50pd.uk/
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 4mo
    When I was offered a new boiler under the Mayor of London's Warmer Homes programme, I'd no idea that the grant would cover so much. The existing boiler was installed over 17 years ago and began deteriorating last Christmas, but they're also replacing the hot water cylinder and immersion heater (which were in this house before I came here, so they must be over 30 years old), and redesigning the entire, apparently inefficient system of pipework connections to the boiler that was installed in 1993. I didn't expect the gas meter to be disconnected for this job but perhaps the 30-year-old piping was undersized, by modern standards, and needs upgrading. A lot of long new copper pipes, mostly bigger than one sees on radiators etc, were included in the plumbing supplies. So much for the idea that I might do a lot of cooking (using a gas hob) today, while the engineer got going on this huge job! At least I should be able to microwave something later, with any luck. Meantime, the mains fuse has been flipping off as unpredictably as the internet connection - even though I had all the wiring etc thoroughly overhauled shortly before the pandemic. Yet more complications....
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 4mo
    I've been using this year-old Dell laptop to attend Zoom classes with no connection issues, but trying to attend meetings held via Microsoft Teams is a disaster. The connection drops as soon as the meeting formally begins and I end up spending the whole time struggling to renew the connection and rejoin the meeting, while auditing the meeting by telephone - unaware who's talking, since I don't know this large group. It means having to be muted whenever the connection is restored, and to turn the volume on my laptop right down, to prevent feedback, when I'm asked to speak by telephone. The weird bit is that yesterday's disastrous Teams meeting was at exactly the same time as I normally have a Zoom class - so it's not just the awkward time of day/internet traffic locally that's causing these problems. Is there a substantial technical disparity between the two platforms? Does Teams (in meeting mode) perhaps demand radically more bandwidth, or something like that, than Zoom does?
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 4mo
    Not content with holding Restart Parties and opening Repair Factories to help folk learn to mend their own gadgets, the Restart Project has been collating a Repair Directory of small repair businesses - somewhere to take the gadgets which need more than enthusiastic amateur work to put right. Work on this began some years ago, focusing on north and east London, but has now expanded to cover the west side of the capital, thanks to the sensible collective waste authority over that way. So it should be useful to ever more people as a result, as well as giving more folk an incentive to recommend more of their local small businesses for inclusion in the directory. https://therestartproject.org/news/west-london-expansion/
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - 4mo
    I've been doing the CovidenceUK survey for nearly two years with no problems but some use more difficult formats. Those using Qualtrics - which seems to be much favoured by major academic institutional research studies - remained stubbornly impenetrable for months. Then someone to whom I'd rehearsed the whole problem suggested changing browsers and lo! that finally gave me access to the latest survey I wanted to take. I had looked online in case this system were notorious for incompatibility problems but didn't spot anything this basic. So, if anyone has a Qualtrics-based survey to do, then don't try to tackle it via Microsoft Edge. Google Chrome works - at least for me.
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 4mo
    Don't know how I didn't hear about the public consultation about the draft remit for this inquiry but there you go. At least the resulting recommendations for extending it include the one issue that really riled me at the times I was ill with Covid-19. So this should update everyone who's interested. Given how widespread the infection became - and still continues to be - almost no-one will probably be completely uninterested in what this inquiry uncovers. https://covid19.public-inquiry.uk/2022/05/baroness-hallett-makes-recommendations-to-the-prime-minister-on-the-inquirys-terms-of-reference/?fbclid=IwAR29FWAQNy45nUmnIqHCTGE7Jj7-TMiWzgJ5lN9bzh8J4AkmU_qFi0DUI6A
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 4mo
    I've seen it before but asked someone this morning why her comments kept being littered with tiny dotted boxes containing the letters OBJ. She has no idea - they're not a substitute for any emoticon that she intended to include, for instance - and she can't see them when she looks at the same conversation. Does anyone know what might be causing this - and how to stop it happening?
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 4mo
    I'm very happy not to have had to pay Microsoft a huge subscription for their Office suite when I don't need half of it, just simple word-processing and spreadsheet software, but this Word-substitute has a few tiresome aspects. Even if I've created a new document in LibreOffice Writer, I can't then open it again directly by single-clicking on it. That triggers Word, which I (obviously) don't have, trying to force me to start a subscription in order to use my document. I can only open it from a file manager, using the "open with" option, which is tedious. And Writer persistently displays every long document in a two-page wide format, which is much harder to use than a simple, single-page one that scrolls down (not across and then down). Can these issues be prevented at all, please?
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 3mo
    Martin Lewis has conveniently just published the results of his straw poll about how much DDs were being hiked by energy suppliers, even though we can only be charged 54% more for our energy than before the rise in the consumer price cap. https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2022/05/energy-direct-debit-hikes-mse-survey/ Since my supplier had just announced that it was going to take nearly double from my bank on 1st June what I reckon it's entitled to have monthly from now on - and hasn't answered my original objections, I spent yesterday morning successively objecting to that and complaining. I got back only two shabby autoreplies, blaming high consumer traffic for delay in replying. If they were charging us fair amounts, there wouldn't be a huge hike in objections, complaints etc to keep their teams over-busy, though; it's all their own fault. I'm going to cancel that DD mandate well before 1st June. Easier to deny them access than get back what they steal, I reckon. Next stop, Ofgem - or whoever MSE advise taking this up with, next....
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 4mo
    My elderly next-door neighbour just whispered to me over the fence about the outsized puppy that her resident grandson has been given, supposedly an XX American bulldog. If that's a type of pit bull terrier, which sounds extremely likely, then it would be illegal, cf https://www.gov.uk/control-dog-public/banned-dogs. My neighbour said that I should report it to the police if I were worried about it but it sounds more as if she's scared to have it around. I've seen the creature once and it looks adult-sized - more than knee-high to an adult and very hefty - but it's only 4 months old. One doesn't need to wait until the dog attacks someone to call the police, fortunately. But I've never done this and have no idea what to expect. Has anyone else ever been involved in reporting a suspected illegal dog which hasn't already (to their knowledge) attacked anyone?
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 4mo
    This is the last of a series of articles produced for UK savers and investors, but it's probably far the most useful one because it covers what's already available free, although not well enough known. This is where people who need to fund social care will almost certainly begin their planning. https://monevator.com/free-social-care/
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 5mo
    I've been invited to become a guest on an institution's Microsoft Teams account but run into problems getting to use that. I don't think that I can ever have used this before. Downloading MT onto this Dell laptop initially produced a different setup from the one which downloaded when I tried to use the guest account, so I deleted the first one in case they were incompatible. But I couldn't log into the institution's account when invited to do so, because Microsoft identifies me by an ancient Outlook e-address which isn't, of course, the e-mail address by which the institution knows me. The institution's administrator must have put my everyday e-mail address into the invitation to join as a guest. There's a long error message, quoting the ancient Outlook e-address, which I've sent to the administrator when asking her for help to get this guest status to work. Does she simply have to use that ancient e-address to issue me with a workable invitation? What role does one's e-address have in Microsoft Teams, other than for signing in to use the system?
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 5mo
    The five HealthWatches in north central London (Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington) have surveyed long Covid sufferers seeking medical help. Their experiences weren't positive but let's hope that this evidence might help to change that in future. https://www.healthwatchbarnet.co.uk/report/2022-04-13/new-healthwatch-report-long-covid-north-central-london?fbclid=IwAR2bid5sJfE1dFqz7f5QVz2DJlxzu38xmm-XDOhxZlLPloZicy8FT3_BNzo
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 5mo
    Long Covid support groups contain endless discussions about which supplements people are taking, based more on word of mouth and desperate hope than any scientific reasoning. But a Cambridge research study that I read about recently has produced scientifically-focused supplements, with some clear beneficial effects. What I found most notable, though, is that my breakfast already includes almost all the food elements that they've named, which may help to explain why even two bouts of Covid-19 apparently didn't leave me with nearly such bad after-effects as affect many others. I'll just have to add pomegranates to my regular diet, in case that helps significantly. https://www.itv.com/news/anglia/2022-04-19/a-changed-person-long-covid-sufferer-hails-new-plant-based-treatment?fbclid=IwAR3xoVAqo1-tk-ty4xKL2aXHtyKStBtwl_LRCv-zkd-DYweCL-n2_DXS1Qk
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 5mo
    I finally managed to write an e-letter to my own new supplier about the enormous proposed hike in DD payments that they wanted me to make for the next nine months. Tackling that somewhat slowly gave me the benefit of citing Ofgem's recent warning to suppliers, not to abuse our DDs. (Apparently it took the form of a 12-page letter, so this brief BBC news report is probably much easier reading!) Ofgem's chief executive had even made a guest appearance on Radio Four's 'Today' programme to help publicise this very welcome initiative. If only all regulators were so pro-active in defending consumer rights.... https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-61122210?at_medium=RSS&at_campaign=KARANGA
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 4mo
    The promise of permanent Fixing Factories hasn't taken long to become a reality. The first one opens in Brent on Saturday 23rd April and the Camden one is due to follow suit in a couple of months' time. The Brent one, hosted by the local collective waste authority, won't resemble a Restart event so much but be more focused on electronics recycling. The Camden one, in the high street, will include more familiar functions. I do hope that this pattern takes root in far more of our underused high streets and that the recycling model is taken up by other collective waste authorities. It's just what our big cities need. The Restart Project is asking people for their ideas about how to make the best use of these new ventures, so there's also a comments facility at https://therestartproject.org/news/brent-fixing-factory
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 5mo
    An elderly friend has been receiving calls from irritated strangers accusing her of having called them, which she hasn't done. It sounds as if some nefarious person could have cloned her number and be making the nuisance calls, leaving her number to show up on the recipients' call logs. Is that possible? I've advised her to register her telephone numbers with the Telephone Preference Service and shown her how to report nuisance calls, if she also gets those - but this is a different problem, which I can't think how to help her solve. Any brilliant ideas, you clever techie people?
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 5mo
    I'd just come across this delightful new twist to the Snake Island story when the BBC reported that Ukraine has apparently done potentially fatal damage to that same Russian warship - the Moskva, which is the flagship of Putin's Black Sea fleet - with a couple of missiles. "Up yours, Russian warship" (or however you like to translate the defiant Ukrainian's original comment) has now taken on a new meaning. https://blog.ankerherz.de/blog/sonderbriefmarke-stinkefinger-fuer-russisches-kriegsschiff/?fbclid=IwAR0wmUvaAZyWxsjqj4P_5YCgaTUlJeWz3l-0i98AFzmry17L7_rSMcIqphE
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 5mo
    I've just tried unsuccessfully to order groceries because my Sainsburys Bank credit card has introduced a new complication to the payment process - without notifying me first. Now one has to put in a security code as part of the payment process and that code is sent to one's mobile number - but that's not the number that they have registered on my account. I didn't have a mobile 'phone when I obtained this card (yes, it's that old), so the only telephone number registered on the account is my landline. They think it's a mobile number but of course it isn't, so I can't be sent a security code at all. One cannot change one's registered mobile number online; only by telephone and - as they don't bother to put on the notice about that problem - only during their limited banking hours. So the customer goes through the entire credit card identification process, only to be told to call back tomorrow when the bank re-opens. And of course one can't hold onto a delivery slot overnight without being able to pay for the groceries.... All that trouble could so easily have been saved by notifying customers in advance of introducing this complication, giving us time to ensure that we had registered a current mobile number on our credit card accounts.
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 6mo
    I've often had long periods when my wi-fi didn't work reliably and I had constantly to click to re-connect to it, to get rid of that annoying non-connection icon. My supplier recently suggested doing a factory reset of the router, which they can apparently see has not been reset for some time. I Their instructions are as follows: "There is a small hole on the back of the router and next to this hole it says Reset. The hole is the size of a paper clip or the back of an earring. If you can insert the paper clip into the hole until you hear it click or until all the lights come off. Remove the paper clip. Await all the lights to come on, this will reset the router." This sounds very odd; should this a normal maintenance chore? I periodically get so cross at the wi-fi that I just turn the router off completely, wait a while and then turn it back on again. Does that have a very different and less substantive effect than doing this factory reset?
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 5mo
    I was surprised to find that my replacement energy supplier's new rates are so complicated. They haven't just raised the rates at which they charge per kilowatt hour for electricity and for gas but have also changed the standing charge for each of them - in very different ways. That makes their charges very hard to compare with the capped rate, which isn't (as I recall) expressed in that way. Meanwhile, the MoneySavingExpert website has (unsurprisingly) crashed as people try to understand how their bills are changing and if they can do anything to minimise the effect. Does anyone here have a supplier other than Shell Energy which has notified them of changes to standing charges as well as to rates per kWh, so that we can compare what different suppliers are doing?
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 6mo
    I'm not expecting any parcels but had a text this morning from an unfamiliar number, saying: "Your package is on it's way , c lick the fol lowing link to track: naveenvishwakarma.tech/ [and then a long list of letters and numbers etc]". The illiteracies and the unfamiliar number made me think that this might be a scam but I've never had anything like this sent to my mobile number before. (Lots of scam calls etc to the landline, obviously.) What do you think, people? Has anyone else received a message of this kind?
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 6mo
    Almost everyone condemned Will Smith for slapping the loutish "comedian" for his unfunny crack about Smith's wife's alopecia, but that remark obviously upset her and she had no means of answering back. No-one should be required to put up with abuse but all the criticism has concentrated on Smith's reaction, not on the abusive remark that prompted it. He's now apologised for that reaction, even to the person who victimised his wife - but I've not heard that the "comedian" has expressed any regret at all for his comment. So how should one respond to an abusive remark, especially one made by someone who's abusing their platform to do so publicly?
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 6mo
    I never liked cameras and haven't had to use video on Zoom etc for the past two years but someone insisted that I did so yesterday and I balked; it really freaked me out. The very notion of camera phobia seems barely to have been considered - and then, very poorly, judging by what little I could find on the subject. It's way beyond being camera shy...! After all this time when we've had to meet one another online, I can't be the only person in the world who literally cannot face a camera lens without freezing - can I?
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 6mo
    We talked about this subject a couple of weeks ago but this petition seems to be relatively new and already very well supported. (There's a much less successful one on Change.org too, but why split the vote by using that?) I normally avoid Avaaz' petitions like the plague but not supporting this one would feel wrong. So do let's lend it our support: https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/prosecute_putin_loc/?aPppbdb&post_action=1&cid=45673&lang=en
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 7mo
    A friend just posted this on Facebook, but without showing any source for it. Talk about a picture saving a thousand words....
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 7mo
    There weren't any experts actively supporting this change at the press briefing on today's announcement, I understand. Had the chief medical officer and chief scientific officer supported the change of policy, surely they'd have been speaking up for it. A number of others have spoken up - but against the change, not for it - in the form of an open letter, which members of the public are invited to sign too. I haven't spotted anyone else posting this yet, so here's the link. https://openletter.earth/open-letter-from-uk-scientists-and-medics-re-early-end-to-englands-isolation-rules-14a731a1?fbclid=IwAR04QEx21plnePkXAqaUuK9vMEjvjIXpv-y5AOJcmc6p3VDkGVhB2unPH6I
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 7mo
    Here's another, very topical and invaluable petition - trying to stop the idiot government from ending free public testing for Covid-19. Do please sign and share it as widely as possible, ideally before there's any official announcement of the ending of such testing. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/593320?fbclid=IwAR0nhn37VJz25-ko8zy4cHiONceYIneVSb8bRtZoQ8ZE6IHzgm-ytHr9smU
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston - updated 7mo
    I've just had this person asking to be my friend on this site: catayip782 @catayip782 Sudagala , Sri Lanka - joined quite recently I've never heard of them; has anyone else heard of them or had a similar request? I wanted to block this person, since the request didn't inspire confidence (just the reverse) but there's no option to do so on the basis of their being strangers or seeming untrustworthy. Am I alone in thinking that we should be able to block on such bases?

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