Peter Burton's daily log, covering Peter's personal interests, e.g. jazz, travel and general grumpiness plus (occasionally) the business of Isomatic and its associate companies.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Back from Lake Vyrnwy
Today we returned from Lake Vyrnwy in Wales, staying at the excellent Lake Vyrnwy Hotel
. We were amazingly lucky with the weather and our Suzuki Ignis Sport behaved faultlessly over the incredibly tight and twisty mountain roads. Trips out included Portmeirion
, the Ffestiniog Railway
and the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
To Lake Vyrnwy in Suzuki Ignis Sport
Yesterday we bought a Suzuki Ignis Sport from Town and Country Cars
in Ripley, Surrey. For a cheap, powerful, small, car it is amazingly suitable for loading and carrying three phase converters
Today we are off to Lake Vyrnwy in Wales, staying at The Lake Vyrnwy Hotel
. No more blogs for a week.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Rascals of Rhythm at the Epsom Jazz Club
On Monday night we saw Dave Moorwood
and his Rascals of Rhythm at the Epsom Jazz Club. Great band with special guest vocalist Susan Valiant-Speer belting out Sophie Tucker classics.
Monday, June 20, 2005
Megumi Fujita at the Wigmore Hall
On Sunday evening we saw Megumi Fujita
giving a piano recital at the Wigmore Hall
. She played all 24 of the Rachmaninov Preludes, one in each key. A fine performance.
Sunday, June 19, 2005
Should we buy Toyota, Nissan, Honda or Suzuki
Having viewed more in the last 24 hours, we have made a short list of the following cars:Toyota
Corolla; good ride, expensive, not easy to load goods in backToyota
Yaris Verso; expensive, ugly, easy to loadHonda
Jazz; roomy, medium price, not easy to load from back but possible from sideSuzuki
Ignis Sport; cheap, powerful, small, Recaro seats, easy to load.
The Suzuki looks irresistible on this basis.
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Macintosh trial at Boost Energy Systems
On Thursday we tried an Isomatic UK
iMac computer on the all Microsoft Windows network at Boost Energy Systems
. To everyone's amazement , we just plugged into the nearest ethernet socket and connection to the Internet web and e-mail services was immediate, with no software additions or reconfiguration needed ! Macs really are 'Plug-and-play'.
Sunday, June 12, 2005
Kim Prevost at Cranleigh Arts Centre
On Saturday evening we saw Kim Prevost and Bill Solley
at the Cranleigh Arts Centre
. They were accompanied by the Amina Figarova
Quartet, featuring Belgian flautist Bart Platteau
. Although they were all clearly talented musicians, it was not our kind of music. We like our jazz to be from Trad through to Swing. Also despite having two sound engineers, they allowed the drums to drown out the guitar solos.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Park Farm in the sunshine
We spent today at Boost Energy
's premises at Park Farm. At last the sun was shining and we were able to appreciate the beauty of the location. Our thanks to landlord Ted Gale for the landscaping, including neatly mown grass and a variety of trees. We had the company of a mare for lunch, who consumed my apple core with relish.
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Small Firms Initiative @ SkillsIT
On 25 March I attended an SFI workshop, organised by SkillsIT Ltd.
at a charge of 50 GBP + VAT. As a result of this we produced a Business Improvement Plan and submitted confirmation of this.
All delegates that reached this stage were sent a free Dell desktop computer. We received ours yesterday and were surprised and pleased to find that it included flat screen display, colour inkjet printer and loudspeakers. We have set it up as a dedicated machine for development testing, using the preloaded MS Works spreadsheet for recording results and loading the software that was provided with our Tektronix Oscilloscope.
Sunday, June 05, 2005
Having visited my 92-year-old mother in both Southend and Colchester hospitals recently I have to say I am not impressed. They seem to be in the same state as Royal Surrey in 1992, now improved out of all recognition. Why don't the people of Essex give their hospitals more 'stick'. It is only by relentless complaint and verbal abuse that one achieves anything.
1) Patients just left with no apparent action being taken except prescribing pills that could be just as easily taken out of hospital.
2) No physiotherapy.
3) Mixed messages being given to those who must care for the patient after leaving hospital.
4) Poor food, leading to patients not eating.
5) The evil 'pay-and-display' car parking, making no allowance for lack of knowledge of the time required nor lack of the correct coins.
6) Colchester General does not even have enough parking spaces !
Saturday, June 04, 2005
Flights and car hire for Cape Town, South Africa
We have now booked flights and car hire for our Cape Town holiday in February 2006. We shall be flying with South African Airways, booked through Opodo
, who offered marginally the lowest price.
Car hire proved more difficult as there were snags with the two cheapest companies. We finally booked through CAR RENTAL SERVICES
, a division of RCJM Travel. This company acts as an agent for the big four car hire firms with desks at the airport.
Thursday, June 02, 2005
Anti money laundering regulations = Red Tape !
Yesterday I sent the following to the UK Prime Minister's office via the 10 Downing Street
web site. I would much appreciate it if others could send something on the same point but using different words.
Much has been said about 'red tape' stifling business. The aspect that wastes more of our time than anything else is the 'anti-money-laundering' regulations. These will do nothing to prevent criminal activity but cause us continual problems because we are exporters and transfer foreign currency every week. Can these regulations please be reviewed to reduce the impact on businesses that are the life-blood of the economy.
Anyone who has recently tried to open a bank account will have received a taste of the problems. Imagine how much worse it is if you handle foreign currency !
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Lloyds TSB internet banking
On Tuesday I received a telephone response from Lloyds TSB resulting from my complaint to customer care that Isomatic UK Ltd. still cannot use internet banking for non-sterling accounts and transfers. The answer is that Lloyds has no plans to introduce this much-needed improvement and we must continue to walk to the local branch (in a pedestrianised street) with forms completed in quill pen ! These are then faxed to Chelmsford, who say they cannot read figures that I slowly and carefully produced to avoid such errors.
Therefore we must seek a bank that has a full internet facility for world currencies, not just one used by a single (rather odd) country.