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155003.  Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:46 am Reply with quote

Yes, I’m quite prepared to believe that, but it’s emphatically not “PC gone mad” - it’s “all insurance companies are crooked thieves.” Which is subtly different. I’m insured for millions (literally, and not by choice) against injuries, because I work at home, in a converted garage, writing crap. If someone visits my “workplace” and trips over, I’m covered. Without this, all other forms of insurance (against the house being burgled, for instance) were unobtainable. Of course, as of July 1st it’s illegal for me to have “business visitors” in my house or garage, anyway, but that’s another story.

155078.  Thu Mar 08, 2007 1:35 pm Reply with quote

I think the key words in Flash's entry (above) are "1 April" (sorry, still haven't sorted out how to "do" yellow "quotes"). To me it sounds like a classic April Fool story. I may be wrong, of course...

155084.  Thu Mar 08, 2007 1:57 pm Reply with quote

I spotted that, but the story didn't come out in the papers on Apr 1st, it came out in February. So I think it's for real.

155179.  Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:45 am Reply with quote

That was also my first thought, but I think UK Councils' financial years begin on April 1st, so you'll find that a lot of new incentives come in on that date.

You might notice a lot more roadworks around your way in the next month while the council attempt to use up their budget - if they don't they will be given less cash next year.

155180.  Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:46 am Reply with quote

It's not April 6th, then?

155184.  Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:52 am Reply with quote

I had that exact argument with a council worker a while ago, telling them that they must be wrong when they told me their financial year started on the 1st. I did a cursery google and didn't bring the subject up again.

155192.  Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:01 am Reply with quote

How interesting ... I used to be a council worker, and then became self-employed, so my year at some point jumped from 1st to 6th. What I want to know is, what happened to those lost days? And who's going to pay me for them?

I wonder how many "first days of the year" there are altogether, and why there are so many. Why local gov't doesn't start its financial year on the 6th, for instance, and why the Inland Revenue does ... And does local gov't's tax year begin on the 6th?

155249.  Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:04 am Reply with quote

You're probably aware of the law passed at the time of the Julian/Gregorian calendar switch, which said that the one-off short month which occurred would be treated as short for the purposes of wage entitlements, but as a full month for the purposes of rents. That was before the days of PC gone mad.

155998.  Tue Mar 13, 2007 5:56 am Reply with quote

Eccentricity/ Andorra's criminal law

In Andorra, there still exists a bizarre archaic procedure for starting a murder investigation.
On the discovery of a corpse believed to be that of a murdered man, one of the bailiffs, accompanied by the usher of his court, a clerk, a doctor and the friends or relatives of the dead man, will proceed to the scene of the crime. When the doctor has established that the corpse is, in fact, a corpse, the bailiff will tell the usher to cry three times:
“Dead man, arise, as justice demands of thee!”
If the dead man fails to do so, the usher now cries:
“Dead man, who killed thee? Say who killed thee!”
If there is no answer to this too, the bailiff then announces:
“This dead man is indeed dead, since he neither arises nor replies.”
The corpse is then handed over to the friends of the deceased, who remove it for burial, while the Andorran police set about finding the assasin.

Own research

156005.  Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:11 am Reply with quote

In the meeting, someone mentioned that there had been no murder in Andorra for 60 years.

This table claims that Andorra is the 23rd most dangerous country in the world for homicides, with 9.36 cases per 100,000. That's worse than the USA and Iraq.
(data from 1990-2000)

It quotes its sources as:
UNODC, United Nations Survey on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (Fifth, Sixth and Seventh) (as of December 2002); Republic of China (2003) Statistical Yearbook of the Republic of China 2003.

156049.  Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:31 am Reply with quote

This may be true, yet not very relevant to the subject ("eccentricity")

156053.  Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:34 am Reply with quote

Yet very relevent to our attempt to make our notes as error-free as possible.

162627.  Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:00 am Reply with quote

Two cricketing eccentrics:

David Steele - bespectacled England batsman of the 1970s - had a reputation for being “frugal.” His nickname was Crime (because “Crime never pays”.) During his benefit year, 1975, he persuaded a local butcher to give him a lamb chop for every first class run he scored. He ended up with 1,756.

When Twenty20 cricket began in Australia (season 2005-06), players wore nicknames on their shirts. Aaron Bird, a NSW bowler, chose the name “Flu.” This was banned by the Australian cricketing authorities, on the grounds that it was disrespectful to the tournament's sponsors: Kentucky Fried Chicken.

S: The Wisden Cricketer, January 2007.

165658.  Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:39 am Reply with quote

The fifth Duke of Portland (1800-79), a great landowner in London, gave each of his workmen a donkey and an umbrella, so that they could travel to work in any weather. That makes him sound a bit of a taskmaster, but on the other hand he insisted that none of his employees should ever show him any deference (they were forbidden from saluting their master, for instance), and he “had a roller-skating rink especially constructed for their recreation”.

He would only go out, at night, preceded by an old woman, walking 40 yards ahead of him carrying a lamp. He would never go out without putting on a disguise; he kept a whole room dedicated to wigs, beards, moustaches and eyebrows. You’d probably recognise him, even so: he wore a two-foot high top hat, a huge overcoat in all seasons, and had the bottom of his trousers tied up with string. (“Oh, isn't that the fifth duke? No, can’t be, he's got a moustache ...”)

He was so reclusive that he had two letterboxes fitted to every door in his house - one for receiving notes through, and one for posting replies out of. When he needed the attentions of a doctor, the doc would wait outside the room, while the duke’s valet examined the duke and conveyed the results back to the doctor. He had 80-foot screens erected around his town house, and his country residence was guarded by a 15-mile network of tunnels.

I am delighted to say that, before becoming a duke, he was none other than the Marquis of Titchfield.

Even after his death, the weird just kept on comin’. A Mrs Annie Druce claimed that her late husband Thomas, a shopkeeper on the Tottenham Court Road, had actually been the duke, leading a double life. That meant that her boy, Herbert, was now the rightful duke. Thomas/the Duke had allegedly faked his death, buried an empty coffin, adopted yet another persona, that of Dr Harmer (great name for a doc), and ended his days in a lunatic asylum, where he “danced in the grounds like a bear.” The case eventually reached the House of Lords, where it was dismissed after 11 days - which perhaps suggests that it was at least credible.

S: Characters of Fitzrovia by Pentelow and Rowe (Pimlico, 2002).

Link to Titch; Victorians.

165663.  Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:50 am Reply with quote

none other than the Marquis of Titchfield

Thank you, I'll have that.


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