BBC Radio York asks me to speak about the CSA

I recently appeared on the radio again speaking about the government’s latest plans to shake up the Child Support Agency. While plans to force parents to pay to use the CSA may lead to more people making private arrangements, the fact that the CSA is answerable to nobody, and is driven by the single goal of ‘collecting more money’, means that the CSA can and will disregard any private arrangements whenever it wants to and force the non-resident parent to pay again.

I personally would love to have a private arrangement rather than go through the CSA, but I have seen evidence of the CSA coming back to fathers after many months have passed and insisting they haven’t paid, even when they have evidence of payments. I know they would do that to me, so I could never have a private arrangement myself – I would end up paying twice and the only people you can appeal to is, yep – you’ve guessed it, the Child Support Agency.

The interview was featured over at, and you can listen to the full interview from BBC Radio York here.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

From Bracknell to Cheshire, via Manchester, Bristol and Cardiff

Within the next few weeks I should be moving house once again (assuming the buyers of my house manage to move in time) and leaving rainy Manchester for the slightly sunnier climes of Ellesmere Port. I’m buying a bigger, cheaper house, to be nearer work and, as it’s a repossession, I need to move fast and complete within four weeks. This isn’t a problem for me, as I’m ready to go whenever, so hopefully it’ll all go off without a hitch assuming my buyers can move quick enough.

What is quite interesting though, and I believe unique, is that in the years I’ve owned property dating back to 2000 in Bracknell, I’ve only sold two properties (my flat in Bracknell and now this house in Manchester) and, when I sold these two properties, I did so with just one viewing apiece. That must be some sort of record?

I sold the flat in Bracknell, where I worked as a web designer for GAME, back in 2003 (just two and a half years after buying it) and moved to Cwmbran to a four bedroom house. I still own that house and let it out (although that’s causing a few issues at the moment with troublesome tenants who can’t budget). In that house in Cwmbran I worked, at first, in Bristol – doing the long commute over the Severn Bridge and paying the scandalous toll to work as a New Media Design for MM Teleperformance, and then I worked for a company called Black Sheep, doing web development and web design in Cardiff.

My gradual move North took me to Manchester, from Cardiff, and now to Ellesmere Port where, hopefully, I’ll actually be able to walk to work in a few weeks.

Of course, just because I ‘can’ walk to work, doesn’t mean I will. I might even get my old Micro Scooter out of retirement and use that to travel to work, as I once did when I lived in Bracknell and worked at GAME.

I’ll have to get pictures this time if I do.

1950’s style public service announcement about SEO

Have you ever wondered just what ‘SEO’ actually is, but were afraid to ask? Fear not, for this video, in the style of a 1950’s public service video, will tell you just what ‘SEO’ stands for, and what it can do for you.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video
Watch the SEO advice video on YouTube

The funny thing about this video, from a technical point of view, is that in order to get the video to look aged, with hairs in the gate and scratches, I had to export it from Adobe Premiere Pro (where it was edited) and import it into the rather basic Windows Movie Maker – which had loads of cool filters.

I feel cheap and dirty after doing that – but so long as you don’t tell anyone, I’ll be OK.

Is this the worst SEO email?

I’ve received a few emails over the years offering ‘SEO services’ for different websites. Actually, I’ve received a few emails today, the use of the word ‘few’ was a serious understatement, but never mind.

Anyway, I received one today and was shocked at, firstly, the poor grammar and, secondly, the fact that the email offers ‘copywriting’ services – at least it would, if the illiterate imbecile who put finger to keyboard to scribe this dross knew the difference between ‘copywriting’ and ‘copyright’.

Check this out:

SEO| Internet Marketing| Website Designing


We are leading SEO service provider and web Development Company. We are expert in PHP,.NET, and many open sources like Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, Oscommerse ,Zencart and Blog Management. We offer best of quality work to our clients at the lowest possible prices. We can quickly promote your website.

We can place your website on top of the Natural Listings on Google, Yahoo and MSN. We do not use “”link farms”” or “”black hat”” methods that Google and the other search engines frown upon and can use to de-list or ban your site. . Price is never a constraint with us because we take pride in handling challenging work.

We would be happy to send you best fit proposal for web development and designing and if you have a SEO requirement we will send you a proposal using the top search phrases for your area of expertise.

In order for us to respond to your request for information, please include your company’s website address (mandatory) and /or phone number.

Aden Clark
SEO – Link Building – Copyright – Web Designing – PHP

He’s offering ‘copyright’ services? What, he’s offering to secure a patent on something for me, to register a trademark? What?

Can someone please offer ‘copywriting’ services to the idiots that offer ‘copyright’ services via unsolicited emails?

Also note the use of a ‘gmail’ email address. They do this so that no actual SEO company can be immediately linked with the sending of spam emails. If I were to reply to this moron (who, admittedly, probably doesn’t exist anyway) I would receive a reply from a different email address, from someone who would say something along the lines of ‘I am taking over from Aden’…

It frightens me that some people would actually fall for this. No wonder the SEO industry has a bad reputation.

Cop on the Edge leaflets and real cops

A while back my portable external hard drive decided to die on me, costing me a wealth of photographs and files that I specifically backed up on said hard drive. Then, a short while after that, my desktop PC contracted a virus (possibly due to some download I may have had going) and it too gave up on life and now cannot be rebooted.

As annoying as this may be to anyone, for me it was especially annoying as I’d saved several of the raw files from the promotional work we did for ‘Cop on the Edge’ onto the two devices. I suspected, with a degree of certainty, that these files were lost forever.

However, a recent attempt to clear up (albeit a half assed attempt in truth) turned up some recordable CDs containing data files that I’d made some time in the last millennium. Could these files contain the documents and files that I wanted? Would these CDs actually have the layered PSDs of the original artwork we’d used for leaflets and posters to promote the film around Newport and Cardiff?

Why yes, they certainly did. On the CDs were the original VCD and VHS covers (this was before DVD) and the files for the posters, leaflets and flyers we’d created.


Upon seeing the leaflet once again I remembered how I’d been almost arrested by the police for ‘fly posting’ in Newport as I’d plastered leaflets for the film around the town using a readymade wallpaper paste. Did you know that posting leaflets on walls was illegal? Well, it was for a film about a cop so I guess I scored points for irony.

I’ll have to remember that for next time; while leaflet printing can be done cheaply, actually posting the leaflets around a town requires permission… dang.

Subway’s sandwiches don’t match its food photography

I’m not usually one to complain, as regular readers will know, but there’s just something that irks me about a product that you receive compared with the picture. This could be anything, whether it’s something from a catalogue that looks decidedly better quality than it does in real life, or in a fast food establishment where the images of the food look much better than the reality.

Yes, I do realise this is a bit of a ‘Falling Down’ complaint as already expressed by Michael Douglas, but this week it did annoy me; not because the food supplied never look like the pictures (because on the whole in Subway, they do) no, this is because this particular sub was a ragged affair as a direct result of the people serving not really giving a monkey’s.

Subway BMT food photographyFirst off, where this rather excellent food photography suggests a packed sandwich with thick bread, my sub was cut, it would appear, by a blind Samurai. The bottom part of the sub was very thick, while the top part was wafer thin. Surely they should have thrown those pieces and started again? But no, they carried on regardless – and weren’t really paying attention either. Despite me telling two different people a total of three times that I didn’t want it toasted, I narrowly managed to save the sub from the fires of the oven – communication wasn’t high on their list of skills.

As the top of the sub was so thin (almost transparent in places) it naturally started to fall apart when picked up too – and didn’t look anything like this picture of a Subway BMT.