BANES: Use of open formats

I've only just moved to Bath, and I'm already being an annoying free software weirdo! Here's my email to Bath & North East Somerset Council:

Hi, please find attached my Direct Debit form for my Council Tax.

I noticed that the form was in the MS-Word format. Unfortunately this is a proprietary format that requires software from Microsoft to handle it properly. I don't have the Microsoft software but I managed to decipher it! I've also sent my reply in the Microsoft format (although I may not have been able to mimic their doc format accurately), and I've also sent my reply in the Open Document Format. This is an open format, and so can be read with a variety of word processors, such as LibreOffice or OpenOffice.

Can I make the suggestion that BANES publish their documents in an open format so that users have a choice of word processors to use, and aren't tied to a single supplier (Microsoft)?

Btw, I'm publishing this email on my blog, and hope to publish your reply, so let me know if that's not okay.




First evening in new house

This the first evening that I moved in. Helen and Toby were staying with me for a couple of days. We watched an episode of House and had some Bailey's. It was really cold, and I hadn't worked out the heating properly, so we were bundled up in blankets and duvets. I've just noticed that their photo of me is much better than my photo of them!

Helen and Toby
Me with House MD on the DVD

Helen and Toby stayed at my house in Trowbridge from 2nd Jan after they came back from travelling. They cooked all the evening meals. Here's a photo of some chopping. My chopping board had rarely looked so properly used.

Chopping Board

Things I threw out

I find it difficult to throw things out. This first photo is of a wind-up radio that my parents gave me years ago. It's been broken for ages but I couldn't bring myself to throw it out because it's one of the few things that connects me with my mother. It's gone now, and she would probably have been pleased because she was all for throwing things out.

Wind-up radio

This is a bag of material for curtains that my mother gave me a long time ago. I didn't like the material, so never used it, but it was a precious gift so I kept it. But you can't keep everything for ever, so hopefully this photo will preserve the memory for a bit longer.


House In Bath

On 4th Feb I moved in to the new house in Bath. I took some photos as soon as I arrived:

Western end of downstairs main room
Eastern end of downstairs main room
Door to the outside on the right, and door to cupboard on the left

Door to downstairs loo
Top of the stairs
Upstairs bathroom

Upstairs small bedroom.
Upstairs big bedroom east
Upstairs big bedroom west
Courtyard outside

Net of a Satsuma

This is how Louisa at work peels a satsuma.