Tenement Repairs and Thanklessness

A decade ago someone from Edinburgh Council’s Statutory Repairs body looked at the back wall of the tenement flat I live in and pointed out a bunch of repairs to the stonework that needed fixed.  They wouldn’t fix them because it wasn’t a danger to the public, instead they did the equivalent repairs to the front which cost about £15000.

Earlier this year one of my more useful neighbours had got some repairs done to the roof and the scaffold meant we could do these repairs easily.  So I got the quote and got a majority of neighbours to agree to it and the repairs were done.  It was a patch-up job with cement rather than whole new stones so the cost was less than £3000.  Do I get thanks and prompt payment from all the owners who’s property I have fixed and in many cases who have taken on the job of maintaining the property? Let’s count, out of my 10 neighbours I had:

3 who paid and said thanks

3 who silently paid at the last minute after sending grumpy sounding e-mails

1 who spent a month saying his agent would pay while his agent spent a month saying they hadn’t heard from him and who eventually paid late

2 who paid late after I had to call a meeting with them at which they complained about everything they could think of but nothing relevant to payment of these repairs

1 who paid silently at the last minute just before I was about to take him to court

This last chap is Robert Fyfe who came to me before he bought the flat from property shark Charles Lovatt who sold his flat off quick while blocking the repairs that needed doing so he didn’t have to pay.  I told Robert about all the repairs that needed done and he bought the flat anyway.  Companies House shows a string of failed businesses of his and he seems to have moved into being yet another property shark and is now renting out this flat.  To rent it out you would need to do a property survey before the start of the rental to ensure the building complied with the Repairing Standard so assuming he’s complying with the law he will be more than aware of what repairs needed doing.  On sending the bill he complained that I had “taken the lead” in this, which is true enough and that he would be speaking to his lawyer (which is just his sister).  When no payment arrived I spoke to his tenant and got a grumpy e-mail from Robert saying that I shouldn’t ever speak to his tenant, I replied that I would speak to my neighbours whenever I liked.  I tracked him down at another property he was selling and asked why he hadn’t paid, he just said it was “in the hands of my lawyer”.  I gave him two weeks to pay before I would fill in court papers and sure enough today I checked and he has paid without thanking or informing me and without the interest that is due on late payments.

I’m exhausted.  We live in a society where we can’t even look after the buildings we own and share.  Those who do get hassled and left out of pocket for it.

The law needs changed to make owners responsible to their neighbours for maintenance and to make landlords policed by the council as part of their registration.  The sense of self entitlement is too big for neighbourly repairs to work otherwise.


Resolving Tension

A post on the Fridge today claims “both councils collaborated and resolved any tensions together”.  The Ubuntu Community Council bullied me for asking questions that made Canonical feel uncomfortable and this is the only response to that.  That bullying someone until they leave a project is the UCC way of resolving tensions leaves me speachless.  That nobody else has commented in the Ubuntu project in public (I’ve had people in private tell me they’re wanting to leave Ubuntu and/or Canonical) confirms to me the project has a culture of fear.

Canonical still claims restrictions on Ubuntu software which do not exist and which are against Ubuntu policy.


BC UKCC Polo Support Module

I went on a coach’s polo support module training day kindly organised and subsidided by the SCA. It was delivered by Zoe who came up from Wales for the day to 10 people who were mostly experienced polo players but at least 1 was new to the discipline. The idea being to train up coaches in how to coach polo so coaches will go a teach other people.  Here’s some notes about what happened for my own memory and anyone else who cares.

We started with introduction bingo, Zoe had written some features in a square such as “has paddled on the sea” or “has paddled internationally” and we introduced ourselves by finding people to put names to for each box.

We looked at warm ups on the land.  2 people standing back to back passing the paddle over the head and down to feet, then passing it round the side in a mock bow rudder movement. We stood in a line one infront of the other and passed the ball over head, through legs then both alternatively.  We played paper, scissors & stone with warm up forfeits.  Then the two lines faced each other and we passed the ball to the front of the other line then ran to the end of that line.  We passed the ball between two people facing each other being mindful to throw with a loose wrist following the ball and catch by slowing the ball down during the catch.

Always warm up slowly especially when passing, it’s very tempting to throw the ball as far as possible which will over-exert the muscles.

On the water we did more passing concentrating on accuracy with finger pointing at end of throw and catching 1 handed taking the speed off the ball.

Tig, in an area, catcher with ball has to hit the opposition’s boat, can be defended with paddles and body, if the player gets hit then they join the catcher team.

Two lines facing each other of paddlers side-by-side then 1 person paddles down middle passing in zig zag to each boat.

Passing on the move paddling side-by-side to hands.

We used the static 2&2 formation with 1 goal keeper, 2 defenders in a ^ shape infront and 2 more infront of that.  The attacks against this are “overload” where several players attack all from 1 side, “split” where 2 attackers try to get into the middle and move the defenders apart and “star” where each attacker goes to 1 defender to draw them out and they pass it round in a circle between them.

We did ball control, you can bring the ball towards you by putting the blade on the ball then pushing down on your paddle to roll the ball towards you and up the shaft. You can also pick up the ball with your paddle blade.  We did the exercise of moving the ball around the boat, first without going over the deck and then with going over the deck.

We looked at shooting, blocking and tackling.  Shooting we all faced the goal with 1 keeper and took turns to shoot.  Follow through with hand, aim at a square in the net (not the keeper’s paddle). We tried to shoot in sequence each corner and the centre of the net.  We did shooting when receiving the ball from the feeder who was sitting at the side.  For blocking we did passes to the side of players who then blocked it with their paddle, as with catching try to slow the ball down so it drops by your side.  We also did this with a piggy-in-the-middle style game passing around the middle player who would try to block. We didn’t have time to look at much tackling but there are various ways to keep the opposition off you.

We had a go at making our own training sessions and trying it out.

And we had some slides to show us the basics of the rules and the structure of polo.

There was a lot in this but also a lot missed out.  I would have appreciated some training in how to do a flat-3 formation which we don’t often get to do on our narrow pitch on the canal.

A great day’s learning, I recommend it to anyone.