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Big J

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About Big J

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    Senior Member, Raffle Sponsor 2014

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    East Devon

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  1. Now you're just showing off! 🤣
  2. If you're not in Scotland then it is highly unlikely that they have the right to roam.
  3. Devonian doesn't count Beau! 😝
  4. You make a valid point (and it's funny how much of that I understood without having to Google translate it), but with my mum speaking Swedish and us having family there, it makes sense. We have no conenction to Norway unfortunately.
  5. I am just curious how multilingual Arbtalkers are. There are plenty of people working all over the world who contribute to the forum, so I feel we're a fairly international bunch. I'd also be interested to know how people came to learn their additional languages. Is it through school, living in another country, parents or other? Personally, in addition to English I am reasonably fluent in German, and I'm studying Swedish at the moment. According to Duolingo (which I am enjoying using), I have a vocab of about 1450 words. That is to say, I am very, very far from being conversational, but I can read a fair bit of it. Swedish is like the mutant love child of English and German, so it's probably the easiest third language for me. I'm putting an hour or two into it a day at the moment and we're in Sweden next month, so it shouldn't be too long before I'm reasonably fluent. I do know a fair few polyglots. My mum speaks five languages, her fella about the same, a friend up in Scotland at least 9, an uncle who recently passed away 4. I'm envious, even in this age of ever expanding English permeation into other languages.
  6. It doesn't bother me in the slightest. My wife is a bit more concerned, as she tends to care what other people think! 😄 If the regulations were as they are at the moment, I'd happily take the whole thing to court, asking them to justify why Sweden wasn't removed from the red list when it's case rate is much lower than the government's own threshold. I'm argumentative like that! 🤣
  7. Regrettably, I don't qualify for any of the exemptions, as far as I can tell. My hope is that Sweden will have been taken off the list by then, and if not, well then we just had a nice week in Denmark
  8. Yep. Takes big balls as a small country to do something different to the rest of the world and for it to pay off. That said, the Swedes are a sensible bunch and their emphasis of individual responsibility and intelligent guidelines wouldn't have worked here. I'm over in Sweden next month, and in a quick conversation with a lady at the Swedish embassy, she said she couldn't understand why people in London were having big parties through summer. It seemed reckless, she said. That's another point worth making. Obviously, Sweden is still on the quarantine list (which makes no sense at all - much lower infection rate than us) so I emailed the British government to find out more information, ideally when it would be removed. No response. So I called them. Was told I was through to the wrong department, was given another number. Rang that number. Automated menu with no option relating to my issue. Gave up. Called the Swedish embassy, had a very pleasant conversation with a nice lady called Vanja, got plenty of info, got a follow up email too. Same experience when I called the Danish embassy (as we'd fly to Copenhagen). Why is it that I'm treated with much more respect by staff from embassies of countries that I am not a citizen of than by my own government? 🤔
  9. I'm starting to concede that that is a likely reason. I wish it wasn't. I hate being treated like an idiot, and I have always passionately hated anyone telling me I can't do something without a good reason. The government is becoming the ultimate proponent of the "because I said so" school of thought.
  10. I have absolutely no intention of adhering to the 'rule of six'. It means for us (as a family of 4 with two young children) that we can no longer socialise with any other families. It means that when my brother and his wife have their first kid at Christmas, that we cannot all see them at the same time. We are all young, we are all low risk, we live in Devon where the case rate is 6.6 per 100,000. We are economically active and we have children whose education needs to be maintained with a minimum of disruption. Preventing us from socialising will have no effect on case rates in the area, and will only serve to inflict further damge economically, socially and from a mental health perspective. The national case rate as advertised bears no relation to the reported case rate from the peak of the first wave. It's estimated that (extrapolated from the number of people with covid antibodies) at points during April, 150,000 people a day were becoming infected. With massively increased testing capacity now, we're picking up many more cases but this isn't (and won't) be reflected in the death rate. We now have a permanent shift in social attitudes towards physical contact (I miss shaking hands!) and physical space. We're not going to see a repetition of the first wave spike. Matt Hancock very proudly talked about the pure simplicity of the new law on Radio 4 on the 08:10 interview on Today. Proudly pontificating that the entire complexity of a worldwide pandemic can be simplified down to one number: 6. This is precisely the opposite of what is needed. In order to restart our economy in a lasting and meaningful way, we need a nuanced and intelligent approach to sustaining social distancing and other control measures where it's necessary, and opening up society where appropriate. Soundbites, slogans (like Hands, Face, Space - jesus, how much did they pay for that one?) and misguided oversimplification seem to be the modus operandi of this government. It's been demonstrated not to work. Why do they persist with it?
  11. And now social gatherings of more than 6 people are banned again. I wonder how much of the new infection spike is as a direct result of the Governments flurking stupid "Eat out to help out" scheme? Incentivising millions of people to go sit in rooms without masks on in a pandemic is something we'll look back on and think "eh? that was moronic". Why can the government not distinguish between the different risk factors affecting different demographics? Can it surely not see that further lockdowns will cause more harm than good? That protecting the vulnerable whilst allowing the mostly unaffected to crack on is the most sensible course?
  12. Big J

    Gap in the market?

    Wouldn't have these issues with wider lanes Kevin! 😝
  13. Agreed. I was speaking to my brother in law in Sweden the other day, and the restrictions to travel almost seem bizarre to him as everything is pretty much back to normal there. Almost every other country mocked their approach in the first instance, but they aren't seeing a second wave, whereas the rest of Europe is heading that way. They may have the last laugh.
  14. As Steve says, you're mistaken. You pay HMRC VAT that you collect on their behalf. HMRC refund you the VAT that you have paid other people as it will be collecting VAT from the people you've paid. It's not income, it's a refund.

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