Archive for February, 2008

So…. are we ready to open tomorrow?

The winter close-down ends today. We had an extra day because of the leap year, but the question remains… are we ready to open tomorrow.

 Well, lets look at things one by one.

Owners Lounge & Bar. Decorated, carpeted, furnished, stocked up, ice-maker clinking in the background, but emergency lights and fire alarm need completing. 1/2 day’s work.

Elderberry Cottage. No progress this month. We need to complete the electrical installation, fit internal doors, fit kitchen cabinet doors, hang curtains, install cooker, get gas certificate, clean and equip. 4 days work.

Paths and roads. All damaged paths have been repaired. Main entrance road has been resurfaced, and looks absolutely amazing… the new tarmac is so much better than the old broken concrete.  Parking spaces on exit road marked out. 24 large flower tubs placed by the roadside. All done.

New caravans for sale. All sited, levelled and blocked. All paths moved to new door locations, and wooden steps put in place. All done.

Moved and re-sited caravans. All sited, levelled and blocked. All paths moved to new door locations, and steps put in place. All connections to electricity, water, drains, gas done. TV aerials fitted. All done.

Signs. New signs for the Owners Lounge put up by entrance. Nature information boards re-done for the new year. (There are photographs and descriptions of our non-paying guests – the trees, plants and wildlife that share the Caravan Park with our paying guests). All done.

Office. All this month’s bill payments made. Payroll calculated. Need to put payroll on BACS payment. 10 minutes work.

Me. Tired. Ready to drop. Going on holiday on Monday. 2 weeks of no work.

And I reckon I deserve it……….


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Plane Stupid

As I write, “Plane Stupid” protestors have draped a banner saying “BAA HQ” over the Houses of Parliament.

How stupid is that?

The BAA Head Office is at 130 Wilton Road, London SW1V 1LQ. The Houses of Parliament are at (House of Commons) London SW1A 0AA, (House of Lords) London SW1A 0PW.

If the big clock tower isn’t enough of a clue for these idiots, they may find this useful:

0.00 Start out at SW1A 0AA,Westminster
Central London Congestion Charges Apply Mon-Fri 7am-6pm
A302 0.00
0.00 Turn right A302   0.00
0.06 Turn right A302   0.06
0.06 Turn right A302   0.12
0.05 Turn left onto the A3212 (signposted Trafalgar Square) A3212 0.17
0.44 At roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the A4. onto Cockspur Street A4 0.61
0.16 At traffic signals bear left onto Pall Mall A4   0.77
0.34 Take right hand lane and turn right onto St James’s Street A4   1.11
0.16 Turn left onto Bennett Street Bennett Street 1.27
0.02 Arrive at SW1A 1LQ,Westminster Unclassified 1.29

Thanks to AA routefinder:

Of course, this isn’t the first time this bunch of environmental loonies have protested at the wrong address.

In November 2006 the group attempted to occupy the ‘London Headquarters” of EasyJet, as part of their ongoing national campaign against short haul flights.

So, true to form, this dumb outfit march off to occupy a building in London. Once there, they draped a massive banner on the roof, and formed a human chain around the entrance of the building. However, what this group failed to recognise was the fact they were not standing outside EasyJet’s HQ – that, happens to be in Luton, not London.

Instead, the idiots were protesting at the headquarters of EasyGroup, who are in charge of such things like cinema’s, buses, pizza’s, music, mobile phones and cruises – not aeroplanes. Plane Stupid activists are trying to argue that easyGroup own easyJet, but this is not true.

The truth is that easyJet is a public company of which the Haji-Ioannou family own around 49% (Stelios Hani-Ioannou does own the easyJet name which he leases back to the airline, but that is something very different). easyGroup is a private holding company which is owned by Stelios Haji-Ioannou. The Haji-Ioannou family interest in easyJet is not legally connected with or managed by easyGroup.

Current easyGroup businesses include easyBus… so in fact Plane Stupid are protesting against public transport.

Plane Stupid – they’ve certainly chosen the right name…..

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Some people…

I’ve just had a really enjoyable phone call.

Some prat with a sarcastic voice has phoned up asking for details of a caravan sold 5 years ago.

“I’m just doing my 6-years accounts”… (what the f*** are the 6-year accounts?) “I’ve got this sheet that says you owe me £500. Can you check my file?” He offers to “phone back later”.

This request clearly comes under the Data Protection Act. I ask that the request is put in writing. He asks why. I explain that I need to identify him… because anyone could phone up pretending to be him. This is when the sarcastic comments start.

To hell with that. I don’t need the hassle. I hang up.


From the Act:

A data controller is not obliged to supply any information under subsection (1) unless he has received—

(a) a request in writing, and

(b) except in prescribed cases, such fee (not exceeding the prescribed maximum) as he may require.

(3) A data controller is not obliged to comply with a request under this section unless he is supplied with such information as he may reasonably require in order to satisfy himself as to the identity of the person making the request and to locate the information which that person seeks.


I’ve checked the files… the man on the phone certainly isn’t the data subject… the data subject is female

And the £500 was paid. To her. In 2003.

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Gradually getting there.

I’ve been busy every day for the last couple of weeks, I’ve not had a minute to think about posting an update.

However… we seem to be getting there. Finally.

The bar conversion is almost complete… that’s what’s been taking up my time. Carpet, furniture, stock, lighting, heating, all done. TV screens, sound system, Karaoke machine, all working. Ice maker making ice, fridge chilling beers, glasses clean and racked. Just need to put up the smoke alarms and emergency lights. Oh… and wait for the licence to come in the post… Planned opening is 20th March, so I have 4 weeks plus. Plenty of time… relax… breathe deeply…

Our handyman is due back from holiday… and there’s a full list of jobs waiting for him. There’s a (small) leak in the flat roof over one of the holiday apartments – leaving a nasty mark on the bedroom ceiling – so that needs attending to.

Electrical jobs outstanding (that’s my list) include finishing the centre apartment (1 day) new supply for 4 caravans (2 days), repairing the broken supply post that the siting crew broke (1 day) and finishing the smoke alarms / emergency lights in the bar (1 day). Add some paperwork and the monthly payroll & billing, and that will keep me busy until we reopen on 1st March.

Still waiting for the Tarmac to be laid… the main entrance road is in need of resurfacing… they have promised to come on 25th February… that’s cutting it fine, but they are a well established, reliable, local firm, so I can relax and trust that the job will be done.








Ahhhhhhh…… that’s better.

Maybe if I promise to open the bar for them when they’re done…….

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Light at the end of the tunnel

At last – a day without siting crews.

All caravans are on their bases, all are “jacked & blocked” (supported on solid blocks under the axle, and screw jacks midway between axle and corner steadies) and all the new ones have had their PDI (Post Delivery Inspection – required within 72 hours of the caravan leaving the factory) check.

There’s been far less defects noted than last year… so either Quality Control at the factories is getting better, or the PDI inspector hasn’t been quite so thorough. I can’t believe the factories are improving so much… but I have known the PDI inspector for a few years, and he’s good at his job. Maybe we’ve been lucky this year and not got any “friday afternoon” caravans…

We’ve got to replace a dozen or so broken flags, and there’s a lot of lawn with tyre tracks that needs levelling, but considering how bad things looked a couple of weeks ago, I’m surprised that it’s not worse.

There’s one lamp post to put back, and a broken electricity supply box to replace, and then we can do the annual electrical safety checks.

The tree surgeons have finished… high winds slowed down their job by a few days, but despite struggling with bad weather they have done a very nice job and left the place neat and tidy… we’ll certainly use them again.

Conversion of the old store building into a new lounge bar is now in progress… so it’s freezing in my office because the reception wall has been knocked through…

The chairs, tables, bar stools, drinks cooler and the bar counter have been delivered, and are currently being stored in the health suite… so we can’t nip for a crafty half hour in the hot tub after work…

I’ve changed my mind about the location of the chairs & tables (twice) the bar counter (twice) the big plasma television (three times), the small karaoke television (more times than I can remember), the dart board (four times) the aircon (once… a personal best) and the speakers for the sound system (at least twice) and I’ve just ordered a shelving unit from Ikea for the rear of the bar. All chrome and white, it should look good against a black wall.

All the holes have now been cut for the sunken ceiling lights, so the positions of things can’t be changed any more. That will be a relief for all the staff… as soon as I tell them where something’s going they start a sweepstake on how long it will be before it gets changed.

They say I’m indecisive… I say that I constantly review decisions.

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