Sunday, January 11, 2004

I saw a mouse!

by Suw on January 11, 2004

There on the stair.
Where on the stair?
Right there!
A little mouse with clogs on!
Well I declare!
Going clip-clippety clop on the stair.

Right there!

Except not anymore. Yesterday there were stairs going from the first floor landing up to the office in the loft. Today, there are not. And all because the lady loves Milk Tray… er, no, all because the council's planning department are a bunch of tossers and have ordered my parents to remove some perfectly useble stairs from a perfectly useble loft – which hasn't fallen in or collapsed in the seven years it's been in use – because they changed the building regs after it was finished and it's now classified as 'uninhabitable' and 'dangerous'.

How does the lack of 15cm of insulation make a room dangerous? Or a ceiling which is perfectly high enough for even a tall man to stand up under but yet not quite 2m? Or stairs which go (went) round a corner even though there's a landing perfectly large enough to allow three or even four people to stand about having cocktails, if that were to be what they wished to do?

I fully comprehend the need for building regs, but I do not understand why they have become so ludicrously tight, and why a bit of leeway can't be given for building that have been up since before the regs came into force.

Our neighbour here is a builder and has been all his life. He has an excellent reputation, a waiting list of clients, and a thriving business. He's also jacking it all in because the new regs are so extreme that they make business more hassle than it's worth. Half the planning officers haven't got a clue how the new regs should be interpreted and each one you talk to has a different story. You do what one guy says and the next one along tells you you've done it wrong.

This is nanny-state-ism at its worst. Regulations should be there to protect the populous, not to provide little Hitlers with a job for life or put tradesmen out of business.

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Byd bach – Small world

by Suw on January 11, 2004

The internet is really, really wee.

I was talking to Gary Turner the other day and he suggested that I try out Joi Ito's IRC room. Yeah, sure, I thought. I'm always up for meeting cool and interesting people and anywhere that GT hangs out must be full of cool and interesting people.

So I toddled off, downloaded Hydra and got myself all sorted out. True enough, the people in Joi Ito's room are interesting and cool, not to mention friendly and amusing. I felt at home right away.

This evening I pootled in there, only to discover that the nickname I'd been using, 'Suw' – chosen specifically in order to cunningly disguise my identity – was playing silly buggers. It kept coming up as '[1]Suw', which for some reason annoyed me. I changed it instead to Nefi, an avatar I use quite a lot, particularly on the Elliott Smith boards.

To my great surprise, this resulted in the discovery that one of the users there, PatFM, is a member of my Welsh learners' list, Clwb Malu Cachu! Pat is also on the same Elliott Smith mailing list that I'm on. How spooky is that?! What are the chances of meeting the same person, entirely by accident and quite independently, in three such disparate places?

I'm half expecting to bump into him the next time I go shopping too…

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