closed down

It seems that someone has caught up with the people behind the Commercial Register Scam and has been closed down.

I have long been campaigning to ensure that as many Small Business owners are made away of the scam as well as reporting it to Action Fraud.

Why was closed down?

The actual reason for being closed down is unknown. Either the scammers had their hosting package and domain name shut down due to the nature of the scam, or they decided to move domain names due to the constant bad press associated with the domain name.

Ingrown Toenail – living with the ugliest toes in the world

ingrown toenail post surgery

My ingrown toenail saga left me with some of the the ugliest toes in the world.

After playing rugby from the age of 11 and having my feet stamped on various times I eventually ended up with ingrown toenails. This would eventually become infected despite my best attempts to keep them clean. The red, swollen skin surrounding the toenail became angry red and eventually turned into a puss-pumping, stinking mess. Gross.

Not only did they look and smell terrible, but they were also very painful to walk with. At times I could feel the nail cutting into the infected flesh at the sides of my toe.

The first attempt at fixing one of the ingrown toenails was at my local GP surgery. It was a time when doctors still carried out minor procedures at their surgeries and after injecting me with anesthetic in both sides of the toe 14 times (which was extremely painful), the doctor placed an elastic tourniquet around my toe and sliced along the edges of the toenail. He then pulled out the offending nails either side and burned the nail-bed with some sort of acid. The release of pain was instant.

Sadly, the toenail would later grow back – wonky and also grow upwards from my toe!



Brights pub, Colchester – Memories

I was recently reading a history of Colchester pubs on the Camulos website when I noticed a brief listing for ‘Brights’; a pub which was situated on Straight Road.

The pub had a relatively short life compared to others being open for just 12 years from 1884 until 1996 when poor trade let to be being demolished to make way for a number of homes on the site.

My memories of Brights

Brights was a really important place for me because it’s where I discovered my love of live music. At the age of 12 I saw my first ever live band – Blade Chain – and was instantly hooked (I’ve since gone on to front a number of bands myself).

I was also the first place I discovered being served alcohol underage, the Landlord when I was 12 seemingly careless about servicing me bottle of Kay’s Cider after I’d played along to a song with the band during an interval!

Sadly, however, a lack of business and complaints from local residents eventually resulted in the demise of Brights.

What are you memories? Leave them below…


Amazon value of the month – April 2017

This month, Amazon have had their usual crazy offers. Here are some of the best purchases I’ve made:

Lenovo Ideapad 15.6 – loads of great features in this laptop, with Windows 10 and a decent sized 500GB hard drive for just £249, delivered free with Amazon Prime membership.



The Moonli Multi tool – everything you need for your every day carry and in a sturdy, strong design. Not bad for less than a tenner.

Decorus UK ‘Whistleblowing’ warning letter

My employer recently received a letter on 9th March 2017 from Cambridge Regional College advising that the company I am currently studying an apprenticeship with – Decorus UK Ltd – are being investigated due to a “whistleblowing allegation”.

The letter was signed by Paul Skitt, Assistant Principle.

As a result, Tutors have cancelled their existing appointments with Learners pending the outcome of the investigation. This is somewhat annoying for me as I am currently studying an NVQ and BTEC in Management with Decorus UK and have almost come to the end of my course.

No contact from Decorus UK Ltd

I was disappointed that the first I heard of this incident was the letter from Cambridge Regional College. One would have expected that Decorus would have made the effort to contact and reassure Learners in advance.

On receipt of the letter I called my Tutor who advised that there was nothing to be concerned about and that Decorus were confident the matter would be resolved very soon. It would later transpire that this was not exactly the case; calls to Decorus UK just rang and rang between 24th and 27th March 2017; I gave up calling at this point.

What next?

The letter from Cambridge Regional College told me to contact Jamie Hall on 01223 226348 or with any questions. Jamie called me back quite quickly and reconfirmed the contents of the whistleblowing letter. He said that I should wait until the investigation was completed and either way either Decorus UK or Cambridge College would be in touch. In the meantime I should hang on to my folder.

He assured me that either way I will complete the course and that if Decorus UK are unable to complete it,the college will provide a tutor to finish the course with me.

How to deal with cold calls in the workplace

Cold calls in the workplace can be annoying, and at worst can stop you answering the phone to genuine customers. Companies are using increasingly technical methods of getting through to the ‘right’ person, so how to deal with cold calls in the workplace?

How to deal with cold calls in the workplace

Most of the time the cold caller doesn’t actually know the name of the person they want to speak to. They’ll usually try and get the name of someone responsible for a particular role, because once they have the name, it’s much easier to get through to them in the future. Here are some scenarios and what you can do to prevent them.

“Can I speak to the person responsible for the companies energy bills please?”

We get at least one of these a day. They are almost always companies trying to get you to change your gas or electric tariff, or to get the next date of your switch so that they can hound you nearer the time.

Best way to get rid of these callers is to say “Sorry, it’s our company policy not to provide this information over the telephone”.

“Can I speak to the person responsible for the companies mobile telephones please?”

Just like the energy companies, anyone who calls you and asks this question is trying to get names and dates. Again, reply with the same response: “Sorry, it’s our company policy not to provide this information over the telephone”.

Sometimes you’ll get an aggressive seller who will ask you why not. Simply respond with “sorry, we don’t discuss that over the telephone. Feel free to write to us with any questions”.

“Before I say anything else, I just want to let you know I’m not selling anything”.

This is almost always a lie. When someone starts the call with this line, they are almost ALWAYS calling to sell you something. The moment you get any suspicion they are selling something just hang up – if they can be rude enough to lie to you about their intentions, you are entitled to repay their rudeness by handing up.

Business Telephone Surveys

These are some of the cheekiest of calls in my experience. A company calls you, want you to spend 10 to 20 minutes giving them loads of information which they will then use to sell to other companies.

If you’re not careful, your employees may give away important (sensitive) information about your organisation. Make it a policy not to answer telephone surveys and instead invite the caller to write to you.

Start a procurement system

Large organisations have a procurement system and starting your own is a great way of dealing with cold calls in the workplace.  By adding a procurement system to your new supplier processes you’ll weed the wheat from the chaff as decent companies will make the effort to fill out your forms and supply you with the information you require to consider them as a supplier. Poor quality companies will rarely bother with this process.

“But they’re only doing their job”

Of course this is true, and there’s nothing wrong with someone trying to earn money. But cold calling is a cheap and outdated method of getting  custom. It’s an old fashion version of spam email.

Decent companies invest in a long-term strategy for marketing. They invest in their sector and want to keep their customers happy. They gain new customers by recommendations and by building on quality service. Cold calling is not quality: it’s random, time-wasting and annoying.

That cold call might have just cost you money!

If you’re a small business or a sole trade, that cold caller may be holding up the telephone line from a genuine customer with money to spend. Learning to deal with cold calls in the workplace is vital to preventing you from losing money.

A12 closed after lorry falls off BRIDGE

Motorists faced another evening of misery as the A12 was CLOSED in BOTH DIRECTIONS due to a lorry falling from a bridge and landing on the southbound carriageway at Coleman’s Bridge, Witham. The northbound carriageway reopened at 17:40hrs.

Police closed the road from Marks Tey to Boreham, and witnesses described hearing a large explosion and seeing smoke. Police advised drivers to avoid the area completely and the Air Ambulance attended.

Witnesses described the scene as ‘unbelievable’ and ‘chaotic’. Delays were reported in the area and Witham is described as ‘gridlocked’.

The lorry on fire – Picture: Joanne Taylor

Sammii G’s | Drinks, Ice Cream, Cake and Snacks | West Bay

If you haven’t already, you absolutely must visit Sammii G’s on your next visit to West Bay, Dorset.

Sammii G’s replaced an old electrical shop and sells fresh coffee, local teas, ice cream, cakes and sandwiches. I visited today (Jan 2017) and had one of their homemade Chocolate Orange milkshakes, and I think it might just be one of the nicest things I have ever drunk. Seriously. If you like milkshakes you really must try one. They’re made using Purbeck Ice Cream.

My wife really enjoyed her cappuccino made with locally roasted coffee beans and the array of cakes on offer looked amazing.

You can find Sammii G’s at: Clarence House, West Bay, Bridport DT6 4EN and they can be contacted on 01308 427944. They can also be found on Facebook.

Angela Merkel ist nicht schuld am Berliner Terrorangriff

Berlin terror attack angela merkel

Es war nur eine Frage von Stunden nach den Terroranschlägen in Berlin, bevor die Presse und rechtsextreme Aktivisten mit dem Finger auf Angela Merkel und ihre Regierung zeigten.

Die Anschuldigung war, dass der Terroranschlag, der Berlin schaukelte, durch die Bemühungen von Frau Merkel verursacht wurde, rund 900.000 Flüchtlinge im Jahr 2015 zu beherbergen. Die Gegner waren schnell auf den Zug zu springen und schlagen vor, dass diejenigen, die in Berlin starb, dies als direkte Folge ihrer Politik.

Incredulous, natürlich. Wie stoppen strengere Grenzkontrollen ein Gehirn-gewaschenes nutcase vom Fahren eines LKWs in eine Menge der unschuldigen Leute?

Es war immer möglich, dass ein solcher Angriff von einem deutsch geborenen Fanatiker durchgeführt werden konnte. Schließlich gibt es viele Menschen, die in nicht-islamischen Ländern geboren sind, die sich in die Religion verwandelt haben und später an terroristische Handlungen teilnehmen. So die Schuld der Angegriffenen so einfach auf Einwanderung ist banal und fehlerhaft.

Dunkle Zeiten für die deutsche Politik

Rechtsparteien in Deutschland ergriffen sofort die Gelegenheit, die Berliner Angriffe zu nutzen, um ihre Ansichten zu bestätigen, dass Migranten aus dem Land verboten werden sollten.

Der Führer der Afd-Partei (Alternative für Deutschland), Frauke Petry, beschuldigte die deutsche Regierung, die Menschlichkeit für politische Korrektheit zu verkennen, nur wenige Stunden nachdem die Leichen der zwölf Toten in die Kühlschränke im Leichenschauhaus gebracht wurden. Petry war auf einem Rampage zu versichern, dass sie die Gelegenheit als eine Möglichkeit, mehr Hass auf Migranten und Asylsuchende zu vermitteln verwendet.

Die schöne Stadt Berlin darf den Terrorismus nicht dazu zwingen, sie zu hassen

Wer Berlin besucht hat, weiß, was für eine schöne Stadt es ist und es gibt viel mehr für Berlin und Berliner als für Gebäude und Menschen. Berlin ist die Stadt der Hoffnung und des Liberalismus für das deutsche Volk. Tatsächlich könnte Berlin die Stadt der Hoffnung für ganz Europa sein.

Berlin eroberte die Trennung der Mauer. Es muss nun weiter die Teilung des Terrorismus zu überwinden.


Ich spreche kein Deutsch, aber ich wollte meine Solidarität für die Deutschen, insbesondere Berlin, zeigen. Frieden und Liebe.


Angela Merkel is NOT to blame for the Berlin terror attack

Berlin terror attack angela merkel

It was just a matter of hours after the terrorist attacks in Berlin before the press and right-wing activists started pointing the finger at Angela Merkel and her Government.

The accusation was that the terrorist attack which rocked Berlin were caused by Mrs Merkel’s efforts to house around 900,000 refugees in 2015. Opponents were quick to jump on the bandwagon and suggest that those who died in Berlin did so as a direct result of her policies.

Incredulous, of course. How do stricter border controls stop a brain-washed nutcase from driving a truck into a crowd of innocent people?

It was always possible that such an attack could have been carried out by a German born fanatic. After all, there have been plenty of people born in non-Islamic countries who have converted to the religion and later gone on to commit acts of terrorism. So to blame the attacked so simply on immigration is trite and flawed.

Dark times ahead for German politics

Right-wing parties in Germany immediately seized the opportunity to use the Berlin attacks as a way of confirming their views that migrants should be banned from the country.

The leader of the AfD Party (Alternative für Deutschland) , Frauke Petry, accused the German Government of mistaking humanity for political correctness just hours after the bodies of the 12 dead were being put into refrigerators in the morgue. Petry was on a rampage to insure that she used the opportunity as a way to instill more hatred of migrants and asylum seekers.

The beautiful city of Berlin mustn’t let terrorism turn it to hate

Anyone who has ever visited Berlin knows what a beautiful city it is and there’s much more to Berlin and Berliners than just buildings and people. Berlin is the city of hope and liberalism for the German people. In fact, Berlin might just be the city of hope for the whole of Europe.

Berlin conquered the divide of the Wall. It must now continue to conquer the divide of terrorism.