Year five of the horrendous, sheer utter hell nightmare.
September 2006, I recorded in My Diary: "We
have lift off!...of the site..." It had
cost me over 2,500 hours of my life since
April 2005 - and I had finally done it! The site
The day after, before leaving Paris, I sent a
letter to Human Rights organisations in various
countries planning to give them a headstart
of c. 10 days before doing my next round
of mailings. The second round of mailings
consisted of contacting c. 60 media organisations
worldwide - to which I mailed the attached,
in two batches, three days apart.
Various people had told me that it would probably
take about two months for my site to come
up to a good ranking position following a
search on one of the major search engines.
It suited me fine. I wanted the site to come
up slowly, in order to give a chance to
the organisations I had approached to look
at it, as I anticipated - and was counting
- on the site being closed
Although I did not register
the site with any of the search engines
for at least three weeks, it must somehow
have been picked-up as it was galloping at
great speed up the ranking table (even though,
at the time, only the home page could be picked-up as the others had a 'php' ending). Within a few days it was ranked
around position 1,300 out of more than nine million
results (using the search word 'leasehold'). A week or so later it was ranked
below 100th position. Another few days and
it had reached a position in the 30s.
If you did a search on one of the search engines
using my name, in addition to bringing-up
two-three press articles in which my case
was reported over the last three years, it also brought up the site.
And, if you did the search entering Mr Ladsky's
name (see Owners identity , map of ownership , Advisors to Jefferson House, Headlessors and Directorships ): it brought my site up in first position,
because his name is contained within the
third paragraph on the home
page. (And now: also in the first sentence!)
I think you've guessed what's coming: Mr Andrew Ladsky became aware of my site.
Tuesday 3 October 2006 - Threat of libel action
My US website Host emails me an
notice' to which is attached this 3
October 2006 letter from Mr Jeremy Hershkorn, Portner and
Jaskel, solicitors - which starts with "We act on behalf of Mr Andrew Ladsky"
The letter threatens my website host with "proceedings for defamation and for substantial damages and costs" if it does not "close down [my website] within 48 hours", as well as demands "an apology...along with your suggestion for damages, which must be substantial...", because "[my website] contains suggestions that our client [Mr Ladsky] is guilty of criminal activities and fraud all of which are totally unsubstantiated, outrageous and false... Our client's reputation has been severely damaged..." . Mr Hershkorn concludes the letter with "We will of course, take all appropriate steps to enforce any judgement obtained in the UK against you"
My reaction to it? It gives me a good laugh...
...as I view it as a 'verbal diarrhoea' of unsupported claims with ferocious barking of threats.
It has not identified a single word on my site it considers as defamatory (contrary to requirements under the Defamation Act 1996 ) (NOTE 1)
Also, Portner and Jaskel positions itself as representing other parties as it states "...against a number of law firms and other professional advisors to Steel Services" - but does not actually name any ( NOTE 2)
I highlighted both of the above in my 5 October 2006 reply.
Looks as though Mr Andrew Ladsky has a standard template: see the similarity with the 11 October 2001 identical letter sent by Ms Ayesha Salim, Cawdery Kaye Fireman & Taylor, to Resident A and Resident B
(NOTE 1 : It is Mr Andrew Ladsky and Portner and Jaskel who are making scurrilous and libellous claims against me - NOT the reverse.
(Subsequent note: And THE PROOF:- Considering that, since the 27 February 2007 claim was filed against me (Portner # 6 ) ALL my documents to WLCC and Portner and Jaskel are based ENTIRELY on the contents of my website...
....If the claims on my website are "false", "outrageous", "unsubstantiated" and "defamatory" of 'the good character' of Mr Ladsky: why has he dropped "ALL" of his 27 February 2007 (second) fraudulent claim against me on 6 June 2008? (My Diary - 7 June 2008 ; My Diary - 3 June 2008 (covers my (74-pg) Wtiness Statement, (4-pg) Main Points ; Portner and Jaskel # 29 ) )
While, on probably more than 40 occasions throughout the site, I have stated that I am NOT a lawyer e.g. Home page Note 11 ; Legal section ; Definition of words ; home page to 'Lawyers, courts & Legal Services Ombudsman # 5 ; Cawdery Kaye Fireman & Taylor # 6 , # 8 ; Martin Russell Jones # 13 , # 14 , # 24 ; Pridie Brewster # 21 ; etc., as well as stated, when unclear, "it seems to me" e.g. re Laytons (under 'Notices by landlord' )...
...I put it to you fair minded, reasonable visitor to the site, that it does not require being a lawyer, or a genius, to understand - and accept - the majority of the key 'black on white' evidence contained on this site in support of my position and objectives...
...(subsequent note - Starting with the evidence contained in My Diary 22 November 2008: threat of forfeiture and bankruptcy proceedings, as well as court claims = FRAUD TOOLS)
The evidence contained in this pack (2.3MB), as well as in this pack (1.1MB) - which includes my analysis of the contributions paid by the leaseholders (using the document supplied to me by the ICAEW with its 29 August 2006 letter) ( CKFT # 6.6 )
Mr Lanny Silverstone's letter to me of 7 October 2002 threatening to forfeit my lease and contact my mortgage lender unless I immediately paid the sum demanded. (CKFT # 6.2 , # 1 )...
...v. his letter 21 October 2002 letter (i.e. two weeks later) to one of the leaseholders' solicitors: "We note that you have made no proposal on behalf of your client to pay all or part of the interim service charge. We would be grateful if you would clarify whether your client does in fact have any objection to the cost of the major works."
On the same day, in his 21 October 2002 letter (in reply to mine of 17 October 2002 ) Mr Silverstone wrote: "We are aware that Steel Services has applied to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal"
During the 29 October 2002 pre-trial tribunal hearing (LVT # 1 ) (attended by his client), we, the leaseholders, were told to NOT pay (page 5) until the tribunal had issued its determination and it had been implemented. (This tribunal is part of the English legal system) (see also My Diary 10 October 2002 )
In spite of this, precisely one month later, Cawdery Kaye Fireman & Taylor drew-up a claim against me and 10 other leaseholders - representing 14 flats - filed, by Ms Hathaway, in West London County Court (ref: WL 203 537) for the full amount (1.1MB) demanded in the 15 July 2002 service charge demand (17 July 2002 invoice) - stating - under a Statement of Truth - that: "[I] have failed to pay the service charges... that they are now due and owing from [me] to the Claimant."
In support of its claim, it supplied a lease (contract), 'apparently' for flat 23, claiming that it is representative of "all the leases". This is NOT true, as this lease is materially very different from my lease in relation to Clause (2)(2)(c)(i) as it states "the amount of service charge payable is to be determined by and at the sole discretion of the lessor". It does not require being a lawyer to understand the difference with the same numbered Clause in my lease - which most definitely does not contain this outrageous contract term. (Piper Smith Basham # 7.8 , Mr Gallagher # 1.1 , # 2.2 , # 9)
As a result of my noting this in my 17 December 2002 defence to the claim, in his 23 January 2003 letter, Mr Lanny Silverstone asked me to supply him with a copy of my lease. (I did). Hence, this took place two months AFTER filing the claim against me. (CKFT # 6.7 ) (MRJ # 22 )
The tribunal issued its determination, LVT/SC/007/120/02 (ref #992 on the LVT database) on 17 June 2003 i.e. SEVEN months AFTER CKFT drew-up the claim, and eight months after the tribunal had told the leaseholders to NOT pay until it had issued its determination - and it had been implemented. The outcome was a reduction in the sum demanded of £500,000 (US$882,000) (incl. the contingency fund) relative to the original sum demanded of £736,206 (US$1.3 million) (CKFT # 6.3 ) (LVT # 4 ).
Contrary to legal requirements and covenants in my lease, this determination has never been implemented by 'Steel Services' - opting instead to use bullying and intimidation tactics to force 'recalcitrant' leaseholders to 'strike a deal' (CKFT # 3 , # 3 , # 6.4 , # 6.8 ) (MRJ # 25 , # 26 ). The majority of the residents ended-up paying the full amount (my analysis - based on information supplied by the ICAEW).
As can be seen from their letters (LVT # 8.1.2 , MRJ # 14 ) - and, indeed, the fact that the claim was filed against them - they most definitely did NOT do this "willingly" (Pridie Brewster # 18 )
'Steel Services' 21 October 2003 "offer" to me of £6,350 (US$11,200) in settlement of my share of the cost of the "major works" v. the original demand of £14,400 (US$25,400) (home Overview ; CKFT # 6.3 , # 6.6 ). While , legally, I do NOT even owe this sum, fair minded, reasonable visitor to the site, ask yourself :
would 'Steel Services' i.e. Mr Ladsky et .al. have reduced the original amount by £8,050 (US$14,200) if it believed that I owed the £14,400 (US$25,400) it claimed from me in its 29 November 2002 court claim? (CKFT # 6.4 )
And of course, contrast this offer with what the other leaseholders ended-up paying and consider e.g. the 21 July 2003 reply from the tribunal to Mr Lanny Silverstone, CKFT: "..duty of the tribunal... is to determine the reasonableness... of the service charges as a whole to go on the service charge account from which no doubt you can assess the proportion for that particular tenant" (CKFT # 6.3 ) (MRJ # 20 )
...as well as Ms Hathaway's letter of 30 August 2002 (in reply to mine of 11 August 2002) "There is no separate list. Details of the percentages are included in the schedules to previous accounts. The sum demanded is based on the percentage of your lease..."
Obviously the amount of service charge payable by individual leaseholder is based on their fixed percentage share of a global sum that MUST be the SAME for all.
The evidence in relation to the subsequent invoices I received from Martin Russell Jones which clearly demonstrate that the sums demanded are 'dreamt up' - and hence fraudulent (Pridie Brewster # 12 ) (Martin Russell Jones # 18 )
With the aim of discrediting me, in his letter to the tribunal (point 50) Mr Andrew Ladsky described me as "one lone tenant" objecting to the service charge demand when, in fact, two months later, the 23 May 2003 application sent by his solicitor, Mr Lanny Silverstone, to West London County Court highlights ongoing action against at least four other leaseholders.
Furthermore, ONE YEAR AFTER Mr Ladsky and Mr Brian Gale's 'double act' during the tribunal hearings, Ms Hathaway wrote to "All Lessees" in her 26 March 2004 letter: "Due to extensive delays in collecting the contributions from all (NB!!!) lessees..."
You would have to be either brain dead or unbelievably corrupt to refute the above examples of damning evidence against 'Steel Services ' i.e. Mr Ladsky et. al. and their aides
NOTE 2 : Throughout the site I have stated that none of my complaints have been upheld. Consequently, that my claims are 'alleged' accusations
Fair minded, reasonable visitor to the site, I draw your attention to the numerous occasions throughout the site on which I have stated the outcome of my complaints / that my claims are 'alleged' (Aside from a few amendments, as well as additions (detailed below), I have not changed the content since the initial launch on 19 September 2006 ) (As a back-up measure, I supplied a copy of the site to an independent party at the time of the initial launch). Examples:
- In the home page to the site (NB: removed following reworking of page in 2012 ; see Overview)
- Section on 'Advisors'
- My Diary Year 2003, The year of: ; Year 2004
- In the introduction to 'Definition of words'
- Cawdery Kaye Fireman & Taylor : summary ; # 3 , # 6 , # 7 , # 8 ; My Diary 10 October 2002 , Year 2004 ;
- Legal Services Ombudsman : Law Society and CKFT
- Martin Russell Jones : introduction ; # 49 ; RICS # 5 ; My Diary Year 2004 . I did not write 'allegedly' in the summary - in spite of the fact that its trade association, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors totally ignored my complaint - as I view the evidence as overwhelming
- Pridie Brewster : no need for me to write 'allegedly'. Since the initial launch, I have added more to this section , including re-emphasising, under point # 21 , that I am not a lawyer (see examples below)
- Mr Brian Gale : In light of my experience in relation to my complaint (1.1MB) against Martin Russell Jones to the RICS, I opted to not waste my time filing a complaint with the RICS against Mr Gale. However, in view of the evidence against him, I do not consider that there is a need for me to state 'allegedly'
For 'good measure' : as to Piper Smith Basham/Watton and Mr Stan Gallagher , here are some examples - in addition to those stated on the home page (as detailed above)
- Piper Smith Basham : Summary , # 7.11 , # 7.12 , # 7.15 , # 7.18 , # 7.19 , ; My Diary 28 October 2003 , 11 November 2003 , 12 November 2003 , 14 November 2003 ; Year 2004 ;
- Mr Stan Gallagher : Summary , A - My complaint , C - My evidence , # 6 , # Alleged coercion , Bar Council assessment , 'Piece de resistance' , My Diary Year 2004 ;
- Legal Services Ombudsman : Law Society and Piper Smith Basham ; Bar Council and Mr Gallagher
At times, I have stated "No, I am not going to write 'allegedly" e.g My Diary 9 August 2003 ; 13 November 2003 ; Piper Smith Basham # 7.13 , # 7.13.2 , # 7.20
Please, note also:
Neither Cawdery Kaye Fireman & Taylor nor Martin Russell Jones have come back to me since my complaint (complaint against CKFT 20 December 2004; complaint against Martin Russell Jones 2 February 2005 (1.1MB)) i.e. they have not refuted the content of my complaint. See Piper Smith Basham and Mr Gallagher for their replies to my complaint against them.
In its 3 May 2006 reply to my letter of 30 April 2006 (1.1MB) Portner and Jaskel does NOT address a single point in my letter. Please note that, in this letter, I stated for example that its client (which I knew to be Mr Andrew Ladsky) had committed a criminal offence against me (under Section 10 (A) of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987). In relation to Portner and Jaskel, I accused it of having issued the "notice" with malicious intent; in the process, of having committed, among others, several serious breaches of legislation.
The sum total of Portner and Jaskel's reply to my letter was: “…your letter is irrelevant in places, misguided in others and incorrect in parts…”
(Borrowing a leaseholder's comment about his own landlord), considering that Mr Ladsky et. al. have "turned intimidatory litigation into an industry" - how come that they have not taken action against me....(well, not yet!)?
As I have stated on the home page, as well as in My Diary in December 2005 :
I TOO HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE HEARD (*)
...and by an audience that is independent of the parties from which I consider I have, and continue to suffer injustice, as well as appalling treatment.
I will NOT 'shut-up' ! (As I captured in My Diary at October-November 2005) I am the innocent victim of a scam and I will continue fighting like a demon for justice and redress to the very end - no matter what.
I am NOT a doormat. I do not have the mental make-up that amounts to saying "Yeah, go ahead, wipe your feet all over me. Let me lick your boots. Kick me and abuse me. Take my cheque book. Write yourself a cheque for whatever amount you want - whenever you want"
(*) Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights "Right to freedom of expression" - comprised under the Human Rights Act 1998; Defamation Act 1996 : Definition of libel ; Justification ; Fair comment ; Qualified privilege; Common law privilege )
Note at the beginning of December 2006: although I have had problems with my post (see 9 October and 2 November) it seems that I eventually received most (?) / all (?) of it. I have had no communication whatsoever from Portner and Jaskel, nor from Mr Ladsky since their 3 October 2006 to my website Host. I wonder why... considering the 'ferocious barking' of threats?
(Subsequent note: Unbeknown to me, Mr Ladksy was in contact with my employer [ADD] and, of course, given the profile of Mr Ladsky and his aides, further revenge was being planned: see Portner and Jaskel - with assistance from the 'wider network' - see My Diary home ; 2009 - Introduction)
This 3 October 2006 letter falls right into my
plan. YES! I was counting on this to happen because:
It provides me with the excuse to contact U.K. media
organisations I had intentionally left out
in the anticipation that the site would be
under the threat of closure - leading me
to contact them
Once my site is relaunched, it provides me with the excuse to contact
them again to say: "I am back" (could be a quote from the movie, The Terminator. I like the association!)
Although Mr Andrew Ladsky has always aimed to hide behind his 'aides' (e.g. during the 29 October 2002 pre-trial LVT hearing), all along I have known that he has been the main driver of activities in relation to Jefferson House. While I already have a lot of 'black on white' evidence against him, I was also hoping that whatever action was taken following the launch of my website, it would identify him - in writing - as this would really 'seal the case'.
(1) confirmation that, eight months ago, Mr Ladsky was the instigator of the bogus 10 February 2006 so-called "notice of first refusal" sent by Portner and Jaskel "as agents acting for Steel Services" .
I stated in my 30 April 2006 (1.1MB) reply to Porter and Jaskel that I viewed its sending of this "notice" as a malicious act as it was unlikely that the number of flats met statutory requirements. I was right: see Block sale of flats ; Owners identity ; Headlessors. (See also My Diary 18 February 2006 and 29 April 2006).
No doubt, this was done with the aim of 'having fun' / for vengeance - as with e.g. the invoices (Pridie Brewster # 12 ) sent to me by Martin Russell Jones three months after the exchange of the Consent Order - for which Cawdery Kaye Fireman & Taylor ensured endorsement by the court. Another example, in the 'same vein', is another so-called "notice", dated 13 December 2000 - issued by Laytons solicitors.
(2) confirmation that he was behind what I view as the vicious attack on the Elderly Resident in 2001-2002 - for which he also used Portner and Jaskel. (To these are added the actions against the Head of the Residents Association - in addition to the instances of harassment and intimidation I have suffered from him). (According to Kensington CID, Resident K also complained of harassment by Mr Ladsky)
I have known this all along - and have indeed said it e.g.
point 75 of my 20 December 2004 complaint against Cawdery Kaye Fireman& Taylor
points 244 and 245 of my 2 February 2005 complaint against Martin Russell Jones (1.1MB)
Included in the above examples, I have also said it in relation to other parties. For example, in the context of my 5 April 2004 complaint against Mr Stan Gallagher, in my 29 August 2004 reply - points 106 -117 (see also Mr Gallagher # 4 ; # 5 )
In addition to Mr Gallagher's comment that "[he] and Ms McLean viewed 'Steel Services' 'offer' as offering me something of a life-line [I] would be ill-advised not to accept", my lengthy reply was also triggered by his comment, under point 29 (14) of his initial reply of 2 July 2004 in relation to my having raised the breach of my Human Rights at the 28 October 2003 meeting.
Under this point, Mr Gallagher wrote: “Though I was virtually certain that NKDR did not have a viable claim against the landlord”. As I pointed out under point 22 of my 31October 2004 reply: "Re allegations against Mr Ladsky, as well as the response from Kensington & Chelsea Police: Mr Gallagher is underplaying my reply to his point 29 (14)"
(3) By being identified by his aides:
...it follows that Mr Andrew Ladsky is also the instigator of ALL the actions committed against me by these firms. Hence, I CAN NOW SAY - PUBLICLY - with a massive amount of 'black on white' evidence in support:
MR ANDREW DAVID LADSKY IS DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE...
...for the unbelievable, horrendous, sheer, utter hell I have been going through since the beginning of 2002...
...for totally ruining - so far - five years of my life...
...for losing the major part of my life savings...
...for affecting my health...
...for putting me, five years on, in a desperate situation..
...etc., etc., etc.
(see e.g. Home page - Overview)
And the institutionally corrupt environment of the residential leasehold sector - in its widest sense - can take the blame for this naming in public
...and it might like to remind itself of the root cause of EVERYTHING:
The other benefit of the 3 October 2006 letter from Portner and Jaskel is its 'perfect timing'
This is because within a week or so of launching the site, my
'little voice' led me to have a look at the
site of the supplier from which I downloaded
visuals - in particular, the terms and conditions.
I had a shock: "Royalty free" does
not mean that usage of the visuals is free.
What had further reinforced this perception
was the fact that I was able to download
the visuals. Oh well, better late than never.
First thing the following day, I contacted the
supplier to explain the situation and determine
what I needed to do. It could see that my
explanation was totally genuine as, under
each visual, I had stated "source" with
its name - and even included a 'thank you'
note on two of the sections.
The problem is that I have a large number of visuals,
identified over a period of more than one
year - and the roughly estimated cost of
the total stock is prohibitive. Hence, I
need to cut it down to the 'absolutely
essentials' and find cheaper substitutes.
Although the supplier gave me a generous grace
period, it is proving to be a race against time: there
are over 600 pages of content and, I can
only do this in the evenings and at weekends.
I was beginning to doubt my ability to
meet the deadline and thought I would probably
end-up closing down the site in order to
complete the task. But, Mr Andrew Ladsky came to the rescue! Brilliant!
Over the last two years or so, I have regularly looked at the site Scotland Against Crooked Lawyers (SACL) (http://www.sacl.info) ; About SACL (http://www.sacl.org.uk) ; Latest News (http://www.sacl.info/about.htm) ; SACL links (http://www.sacl.info/links.htm) - partly as a 'reality check' on my perceptions / assessment, and partly for moral support i.e. from knowing that other people are fighting against injustice.
As I have explained in My Diary e.g. December 2005, 16 June 2006, 20 August 2006, the last five years have been an extremely lonely journey.
I view what has been allowed to happen as so incredible that I have needed to talk to other people, in particular other leaseholders as a means of confirming that I was not exaggerating events, putting a bias on my interpretation. These contacts with other leaseholders have certainly proved to be a great help e.g. the C.A.R.L. meeting on 1 November 2003. (Thank you C.A.R.L.!)
Having confirmed that, no, I was not making it up / reading too much into things, the terrible loneliness continued as this realisation made me move further and further away from the majority of people (or: 'out of the matrix' as one of my friends put it).
In addition, I have also been concerned that even the more 'enlightened people' in my circle are suffering from 'project nightmare fatigue'. Imagine hearing about the same thing for five years! (And nothing else, as this all that I have been doing - as evidenced by the c. 9, 000 (*) hours of my life spent on it to date). The outcome has been that I have only been sharing my true feelings with very few people - and only in small doses.
On one of my visits to the SACL site, I saw that it had been closed down - and then reopened. I knew the same thing would happen to my site and that I would end up contacting SACL to discuss alternative ISPs. Well, tonight was the time to do it. I sent an email to the team.
(*) I have updated the 'statistics' as the 6,000 hours I quoted when I first launched the site on 19 September were from the time before I started to develop it. This was back in April 2005!
Back to top
Wednesday 4 October 2006 - Contact of the U.K. media
The task for today is to contact all the major U.K. media. Luckily, the work I need to do can wait until tomorrow allowing me to take the day off from my annual leave. Another day of my annual leave gone down the drain because of project nightmare. In fact, this is how I have used all of my annual leave this year (and I had bought an extra week!)... as I did last year...and so on.
I start off by contacting the journalists who previously wrote about my case: the Daily Telegraph ("It's a feudal form of property ownership and new laws do little to protect us. Everywhere leasehold has us tied in chains", 21 January 2006; The Sunday Telegraph, "My property nightmare - Extortionate service charges", 19 October 2003); the Evening Standard ("Left homeless for £25", 3 December 2003); The Independent, 17 November 2002, "How can leaseholders protect themselves against rogue landlords?").
I then follow with other newspapers, as well as major TV and radio programmes.
I also contact my network to discuss events and strategy. Everybody is rallying. I tell them that I'll draft the reply to Portner and Jaskel and circulate it for their comments.
By the end of the day I send a note to the ISP saying that I will reply fully tomorrow.
I see an email from SACL, giving me a telephone number. I'll phone tomorrow. Best get on with drafting the reply.
Thursday 5 October 2006 - My new friends at 'Scotland Against Crooked Lawyers' (SACL) (http://www.sacl.info) ; About SACL (http://www.sacl.org.uk) ; Latest News (http://www.sacl.info/about.htm) ; SACL links (http://www.sacl.info/links.htm)
I get my friends' 'approval' of my draft reply - with one suggested addition (final version). I'll send it to the ISP at the end of the day - first faxing it to Portner and Jaskel just before closing time. Let it and its client wait for it!
Reply sent. Time to now call the SACL contact. The voice at the other end has this wonderful Scottish accent that has always made me 'go soft in the knees'. We spend nearly one hour on the phone. My 'new friend', tells me that they have around 140 individuals listed on the site, comprising of solicitors, barristers and judges. I had not appreciated that they had so many. I tell him the names of all of the 'merry bunch' that has come in my path in the course of project nightmare - including the name of the judges involved in the case.
He tells me what happened with the site: only a temporary interference as they rapidly found another ISP who is evidently not a mouse scared of a wooden cat. Although I have already identified several other ISPs (it's a big world, comprising of many countries) - and have recommended, named contacts for several of them, I note his suggestion.
My 'new friend' also tells me about 'Rate-your-solicitor.com', an Irish-based site (*). It too has suffered the fate of being closed down under the threat of prosecution for libel but, hopefully, like SACL, not for long.
(Subsequent note: not sure what happened but, I have also come across this other Irish site...
...Crooked Lawyers - http://www.crookedlawyers.com.
Other sites :
Solicitors From Hell (http://www.solicitorsfromhell.co.uk) paints a bleak picture.
Legal Bullies - http://wwww.legalbullies.co.uk
Unjustis - http://www.unjustis.co.uk (closed down)
It's really good to know that the 'uprising' is sprouting all over the place. There is a limit as to how long the legal sector can force the lid to remain on the pressure cooker: the law of physics dictate that if the steam is not allowed to escape the cooker will blow up - and it is in the process of happening.
(*) Note at 28 November: I have just had a look: the site is back on. See www.rateyoursolicitor.net. Well done 'Guys' and 'Girls' (?)
(*) Note at January 2007: it went offline again and is now back on www.rateyoursolicitor.com. It's a 'cat and mouse' game. (*) Subsequent note at February 2007: the ending is back to '.net'
Friday 6 October 2006 - ISP 'caves in': My website is closed down
Well, in spite of my letter, my ISP has 'caved in'. By the end of the day, my website has been closed down.
GREAT! Now I can take my time identifying substitute visuals.
Weekend 7 & 8 October 2006
I spend the whole weekend continuing to identify substitute visuals.
w/c 9 October 2006
Every night I continue doing the same thing. It's a very time consuming process as, at times, the search returns in excess of 200 visuals. Must not complain. At least, there is a choice. Gradually, I cross off the expensive visuals I had used. It annoys me to have to do that but... I can't afford to keep them - only the absolute, absolute essentials. Even that's going to cost me a small fortune. I'll make the sacrifice. I need them! There is saying that 'a picture speaks a thousand words'. In addition, some 'eye relief' is required, as the subject matter is not an easy read... and there is so much of it.
One thing I have made myself do over the last three years (i.e. when I started to become stronger) is to always look on events for the upside - or, to implement the saying "every cloud has a silver lining". What's the silver lining in Portner and Jaskel i.e. Mr Andrew Ladsky's action? I know: I am going to build an even bigger, thicker fortification.
How? While, as I pointed out in my reply of 5 October, its 3 October 2006 letter does not identify a single word on my site as being defamatory, to remove uncertainty as to what I mean, I am going to build-up a dictionary of some of the words I have used on the site - including drawing from the complaints I have filed (e.g. against Cawdery Kaye Fireman & Taylor (CKFT); Martin Russell Jones (1.1MB) ), words which, an honest person above reproach would object to. For each I will give the dictionary definition, and support it by examples.
Examples of words I have used, claims and accusations I have made in these complaints include: fraud; extortion; theft; evil and morally depraved; use of blackmail, bullying and intimidation tactics in order to obtain payment of monies that were not due and payable - thereby committing criminal offences against me under several Acts, etc., etc.
Please note that I did NOT receive any communication from Cawdery Kaye Fireman & Taylor following my complaint, nor from Martin Russell Jones. (To use a leaseholder's comment about his own landlord), considering that they - and consequently their client - have "turned intimidatory litigation into an industry" - I view their silence (so far!) as very telling. (Subsequent note: In August 2008 the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors was predicting that “No doubt Martin Russell Jones will also be taking similar legal [libel] action against you” UNBELIEVABLE! See RICS # 12)
I am going to put the list under the 'Abbreviations-Definitions' section. This triggers another idea: I will also expand the list of legislation already comprised in the section. In fact, I am going to include the relevant extracts from all the Acts and codes of conduct I consider to be relevant to my case. And, in each instance, I will support them by examples. I congratulate myself (nobody else will): neat way of providing an overview of the evidence against all the parties.
Let Mr Andrew Ladsky et. al. and their bunch of 'merry men and women' fight against that one!
I know there is a way of putting 'hooks' allowing to go to a very specific place on a page. Time to get the Dreamweaver guide books out. The proper term for it is 'anchor'. Get stuck on how to link from one page to another. After some fiddling about, I discover the 'cascade' facility. (I have had to learn so much over the last five years. Oh well, there is a saying that "what does not kill you makes you stronger". In that case, I should be able to lift a 40-ton truck with one hand!)
Cracked the anchor business. It now leaves me with the mammoth task of placing them in over 600 pages of text. And of course, once placed, I must link to them. No idea how long these 'brain waves' are going to take to implement. I reckon well in excess of 250 hours. But it's worth it. I had already wanted to use the 'hooks' before when I was referring to a specific event.
Monday 9 October 2006 - The shambolic Royal Mail
On my return to the 'hellhole' i.e. the flat, at my usual well past midnight time, I see something, but cannot believe my eyes: the 'Special instruction' card for internal use by the sorting office has been delivered with - of course - yet more letters.
No amount of incompetence could lead to delivering a double-thickness wallet, measuring c. 22cm x 15cm in size by mistake. Can it?
It happened again! See Friday 9 March 2007
So there I was the following morning, yet again,
on my way to the sorting office before going
to work to complain for the nth time about
the appalling service. The manager, who tells me that he is new to the sorting office, writes down his telephone number suggesting I call him if I experience any more problem.
I am sick and tired of writing endless - and quite clearly, pointless letters of complaint to the Chief Executive of the Royal Mail, Mr Adam Crozier. I have been complaining about the service for more than three years (see May 2003; 1 July 2006).
This latest episode worries me greatly: what is the Royal Mail actually doing with my post? I can see that I am not getting all the post that I should be receiving. Where is it? Who is getting it? What am going to do? Well, for the time being, continue working on the site. Got too much to get on with.
Tuesday 10 October 2006 - The 'thugs' post another invoice
Today Martin Russell Jones posted this invoice. (I only took possession of it in November - see 2 November, 7 November and 15 November).
It states a "Brought forward balance" of £8,665.47.
Well, looks as though Martin Russell Jones and its client are now sticking to this - fraudulent - amount, as the previous one, received w/c July 2006, stated a "Brought forward balance" of £8,621 (US$15,200). The July invoice was similar to that received a few weeks previously, w/c July 2006.
The prior invoice to that received in June was sent in January 2006. It had a "Brought forward balance" of £5,625 (US$9,900). Hence, the more recent invoices amount to an additional £2,995 (US$5,281) - which is fraudulent.
The invoices preceded those were at the end of 2004. I have not paid these invoices - nor any of the subsequent ones because they are ALL fraudulent (see the section on the accountants, Pridie Brewster)
Sending me this invoice now is SO LIKE Mr Andrew Ladsky and his retinue of thugs' trademark: he has succeeded in getting my site closed down so, he, and his thugs take the opportunity to emphasise the point that they are untouchable, above the law, with carte blanche to do exactly as they please - as amply demonstrated by events with:
What else can be expected out of such institutionally corrupt environment?
What is going to happen next?
What kind of punishment am I going to be made to endure for daring to make my story public?
Is there going to be a repeat of the event on 1 August 2006 at 00h30 am when the car looked as though it was going to run me over? Will it now run me over?
Will I find one or more leaks in my flat, other disaster? (see 11 March 2002 , 8 August 2005 and 18 August 2005 ) (Note at 6 February 2007: sure enough, another leak has occured ! - see My Diary 6 February 2007 )
Etc., etc., i.e. the same questions and worries I captured in My Diary on 2 August 2006
I expect having the electricity yet again cut off in my flat (see 8 July and 9 July 2006) as I have not paid the previous invoice because it is a rip-off like all the other invoices, including the most recent one enclosed with Martin Russell Jones correspondence posted on 10 October 2006.
Saturday 14 October 2006 - Martin Russell Jones is repeating its 'formula' in other blocks
A friend has spotted a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal case against Martin Russell Jones LON/00AQ/LSC/2005/0258, 12 August 2006 (printscreen of website) which highlights:
(1) claiming large amounts of expenditure unsupported by invoices, as well as overcharging for services;
(2) failing to produce year-end accounts;
(3) failing to issue a section 20 notice for works.
(4) the use of solicitors to enforce payment of service charges (point 12)
Yep! All of that sounds very much like 'Déjà vu'!
(And there are similar stories in other blocks that Martin Russell Jones 'manages' - see Martin Russell Jones # 18 , # 42 )
As Martin Russell Jones evidently has the full blessings of its trade association, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, as well as that of other parties (see RICS # 8 ) to behave as it does, it is no surprise to discover that it is repeating its 'formula' in other blocks: 'a leopard does not change its spots'. (As also evidenced by events in other blocks)
It's a good find: more support to my case.
If this, and previous administrations, were not so hell-bent on protecting landlords, they would have set-up a search facility by 'managing agents' - and 'landlords' - on the database. But, oh! no! must protect the con men and women in the sector - not to mention the income of the many who feed on the misery of the leaseholders. Must make it as difficult as possible for leaseholders to find information on them. Mustn't kill the golden goose.
Considering the highly misleading summary of the tribunal's determination in relation to Jefferson House (LVT/SC/007/120/02) (reference #992 on the LVT database) - for which Mrs Siobhan McGrath, Head LVTs, twice refused my request to amend "to reflect a more accurate summary of the case", I wonder how the summary for this case is going to read. (Hopefully, my site will encourage accuracy)
Well, that makes it at least two tribunal cases against Martin Russell Jones - and, in the case of Jefferson House, also against Mr Brian Gale, MRICS, of Brian Gale Associates. Are there others? (Mr Brian Gale already had to his 'credit' the High
Court case, Wallace v. Brian Gale Associates, 1994-1997 )
What a nice bunch of people! And what an accolade for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Hooray for 'self-regulation!'
17 October 2006 - Letter to the ISP recommended by SACL
I decide to follow-up on SACL's recommendation on the ISP (My Diary 5 Oct 06). I opt to write a letter to the ISP as I feel that I must be totally upfront. I relate past events, including supplying the 3 October 2006 letter from Portner and Jaskel that led my then ISP to 'cave in'.
When I tell people what I have done, some are taken aback i.e. view it as risky. I don't - and others share my view. I think it's only fair that any new ISP is made aware of what has happened. Up to them to then decide.
Mid to end October 2006 - Anxiously awaiting a reply from the ISP
More of the same: just continuing to work flat out to implement my 'brain waves'. It's a definite improvement, but it means a lot of work.
By the end of October: no communication from the ISP (My Diary 17 Oct 06). Hum! not looking good. I decide to phone and, after an apology for the delay in replying, I am told that an email will be sent to me on that day. Oh! oh! that's not sounding good at all. I can't bring myself to look at my emails. Eventually, by 23h45 I give in.
I can't believe my eyes. I read the email a second time. No doubt about it: the ISP has agreed to host my site.
I feel like my face is not big enough to hold my smile. Oh! brilliant!
That's a turning point.
No more 'project nightmare'.
It is now 'PROJECT SUNSHINE'!
A colleague of mine started to use the name 'project sunshine' a while back. Considering one of my (secret) ambitions, I see this coincidence as another omen that - after five years of sheer, utter hell - events are finally taking a turn for the better. (The clue to my secret is in the Legal section).
Thursday 2 November 2006 - 9 out of 12 items of post not for me
Looks like 'the gods' have yet to get used to the fact that I have now entered the 'sunshine' phase.
On my way to work, I make the large detour by
the sorting office to collect my post. (Another 'benefit' from my case). As
I am handed the bundle, I think to myself that it
is a bit thin considering I have not collected
my mail for the last three weeks. I put everything
in my bag and head to the office.
What do I discover when I arrive at the office? You won't believe it: the bundle contains 12 items; of these 12 items, nine are not for me.
Of the three that are, one is a letter dated 27 June 2005 i.e. 17 months ago! (The gum on the envelop has completely dried up which means that the envelop was open)
Among the nine items, some have the same PO box number, but a different postcode.
It happened again! See
Imagine the state I am in. Where is my post, all my personal and confidential post? Who is currently reading it? I immediately think of the potential for identity fraud.
I phone the number the sorting office manager had given me on 10 October 2006. First time I get an answer phone. I leave a message with a number to call me back on. Needless to say that I am very irate. Two-three hours later, nobody has phoned me back. I phoned the number again. Same thing: I get a recorder. I yet again leave a message with my telephone number.
By 19h00, nobody had bothered to phone me back.
Time to write what makes it my fourth letter to Mr Crozier. (See My Diary 1 July 2006)
As I wrote in the letter, "I have now reached boiling point... I have had it! I am contacting Postwatch, BBC Watchdog and the Daily Mail ".
The best part of another evening wasted instead of working on the site.
Weekend - 4 and 5 November 2006
The issue of my post is prying on my mind. Where is my mail? My bank statement? My credit card statement? etc., etc. To whom have they been given to? Who is currently reading my personal and confidential mail?
I must absolutely find an alternative. I feel trapped at the mercy of the unbelievably incompetent Royal Mail. There are private PO Box suppliers, but the issue is finding one that is reliable. On the web, I find one that appears to offer what I am looking for.
Tuesday 7 November 2006 - Setting-up of a new PO Box
Will have to get in late for work, but I must absolutely set-up this new PO Box. I should have done this a long time ago! Another £175 (US$300) + £50 (US$44) deposit - for which the cause continues to be 'project sunshine'. (Nice name!)
I stop by my bank to explain what has happened in order to alert it to a potential identity fraud.
My whole evening is wiped out writing to all the main organisations I deal with in order to give them my new PO Box. I am at it until nearly 01:00 a.m. With each, I also enclose a copy of my letter to Mr Crozier and supporting photographs. If I suffer from an identity fraud: I will have highlighted events.
Such a waste of my time, and more of my time will be taken up with the follow-up correspondence and changing account numbers. I must also provide the new PO Box address to my family and friends = equal another evening of writing. In the meantime, because there is now only one post office in my area (due to the closure of hundreds of post offices), based on experience, I am likely to spend a significant part of my lunch hour tomorrow queuing to post the letters.
What a mess this administration. It is vandalising so many of the public assets.
Saturday 11 November 2006 - The C.A.R.L. AGM
This afternoon is the C.A.R.L. AGM. I can't really afford the time to go, but I must.
I look around and I see many of the same faces I had seen
at the same meeting three years ago when
I was invited to talk about my case. Three years on, and we are still battling against our landlord / his retinue of thugs. Like me, some of my 'friends in arms' are in a worse mess than we were in three years ago.
Your home is meant to be your safe heaven, the place where you can relax, feel safe.
Ours is a prison from which we cannot escape.
It is an ongoing source of terrible misery, anguish and despair - that is totally ruining our lives - and, ruining us financially. (I have now spent a large part of my life savings, c. £75,000 (US$130,000), fighting the fraudulent service charge demand).
It leads us to spend
our Saturday afternoon to get together and
discuss our situation, update ourselves on
the latest tricks and cons devised by landlords,
their aides and the actions of the surrounding
infrastructure (courts, tribunals, police,
so-called 'regulatory bodies', etc.) that
so blatantly supports the con men and women
who operate in the residential leasehold sector.
Yes: including the police! One of
the members told us that he approached
the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to report the theft by one (or more?) landlord on the insurance premiums charged to leaseholders (see the article in the Mail on Sunday, 30 May 2006, headed " Landlords' £1bn insurance sting" ). Apparently, the SFO replied that it does not deal with landlord-tenant matters. (!!!)
When challenged, it apparently replied
that it only deals with fraud in excess of £1 million (US$1.7 million). The C.A.R.L.
Member said to have pointed out that the
landlord/s in question came in this category.
The Member is currently continuing with his battle... and continuing to face stonewall after stonewall. As he said, to demolish a fortress: find the crack - and keep going at it. I wish him all the best.
(In light of my first-hand experience with
the police, this Member's experience with the SFO comes
as no surprise to me).
(Subsequent note: In its 25 May 2008 issue, the Mail on Sunday reports the appointment of a new Head at the SFO and quotes him as saying "I want to extend the vision of the SFO. What this means is protecting society from fraudsters... What I see is very hard-working members of society, and the fraudsters come along and quickly take away their funds". Does that include the c. 3 million leaseholders who are the victims of fraud by landlords and their aides?)
EVERYWHERE it's the same reply: pushback, misinformation,
don't want to know because: DON'T WANT TO ACT. Because told from high up the 'chain of command': MUST NOT ACT.
The topic of another speaker is the cost to leaseholders of exercising their right to buy the freehold. He relates the recent outcome of a Lands Tribunal case that has the effect of increasing the cost to everybody looking to buy the freehold on their flat. So, here we have just one person, a judge, who makes a decision that benefits the landlord - and it has repercussions across the board. The landlord is a member of the 'elite' part of the landlords club: an Earl. Ahhh! Say no more!
Anyway, why should people be paying anything to get the freehold? The price of leasehold flats on this island are among the most expensive in the world - which are freehold. End of the gravy train! Now, at no cost to the current leaseholders. They've already paid the price of the freehold. (And, in the process, save millions of pounds of taxpayer money )
One of the leaseholders involved in the case happens to be in the audience and says that they are challenging the decision. Of course, doing that means going to a higher court = a lot more costs for the leaseholders. (Subsequent note: 'A lot more costs' certainly proved to be right - see My Diary 22 Nov 08). 'No skin off the nose' of the landlord as they usually find a way of putting all their legal costs on the service charges i.e. get the leaseholders to pay for them. Yep = a double whammy for the leaseholders.
The whole system is geared to test the determination and financial staying power of leaseholders - with the ultimate objective of crushing the dissenters / the "domestic extremists" (?). (In addition to my case, see comments from other leaseholders)
Later on this leaseholder says that his case has totally overtaken his life, including affecting his promotion prospects at work. I know exactly what he is going through. When my horrendous nightmare started in 2002, I was doing client-facing work, which included managing projects.
After several months of frequently being in tears at my desk (among others, the ongoing harassment and intimidation were getting to me), in the summer of 2002 I was transferred to a non-client-facing role. (I am very lucky to have such a fantastic employer). [Different assessment since then].
Four years on, I am still doing non-client-facing work - because the horrendous nightmare has continued, incessantly, year, after year, after year, after year. Writing this brings on the tears - and the anger.
My life totally ruined because of the institutionalised corruption in the residential leasehold sector - in its widest sense - that has, and continues to bar me from getting justice and redress.
While I would very much like to stay with 'my friends in arms', I opt to leave early to go to the office and continue working on the site... for many hours... and I will do the same thing tomorrow, Sunday. Hence, a repeat of 'my typical weekend'.
Monday 13 November 2006 - Postwatch: some initial doubts
My 'little voice' tells me to phone Postwatch.
The person I speak to says that my correspondence
of 2 and 7 November 2006 has been received.
I explain that for one month now I have
not had any post, adding: what if there are
bills that I am due to pay? what if because
I don't pay these bills I end-up with a claim
against me in court? Could I find the bailiffs
turning up on my door step? What if I suffer
an identify fraud?
To all of these, the blanket reply is: I can't
advise you on that. You'll
hear from us in the next 22 days. Hum! 22 days!
to you at...Guess the address she is giving
me on the phone? Yep, the address at Jefferson
House! And yes, the person tells me that she
has in front of her: (1) my letter of 7
November 2006 on which I wrote"NEW
MAILING ADDRESS" above my new
PO Box address; (2) a copy of the 18 letters
I had sent to various organisations
of which I am a customer. On all
of these, the header, in block capital
letters states: "STOP
USING MY PO BOX ADDRESS ( giving the
address details) / MY HOME ADDRESS" . She tells me that she is now going to change the address on their database. I hope so!
When I say that I cannot stay in this unbearable
situation and suggest phoning the Royal
Mail, the reply is that Postwatch will do this i.e. to leave it in its hand.
Tuesday 14 November 2006 - The stonewall from the Royal Mail
In light of my conversation with Postwatch, today
I opt to nonetheless phone the Royal Mail
head office - where I get the stone wall:
a typical reaction from a government department
when its failings have been exposed (or its
tricks e.g. Kensington & Chelsea Housing and the reply from the Local
Government Ombudsman). All the replies are
the person does not know the telephone
number for the sorting office
- "No", she cannot find out the number
- "No", sorting
offices do not call customers
- "No", the acknowledgment
to my 7 November 2006 to Mr Crozier has
been sent to my home address (instead of
sending it to the new PO Box address I
Wednesday 15 November 2006 - Get most / all (?) of my post
I decide to go to the sorting office on my way
to work. I ask to speak to the manager
who previously gave me his telephone
number. He is not in. The other person I
speak to suggests I leave a telephone number
on which he can phone me back.
A large bundle of
post is handed over to me. I look at the
first few letters: they are all for me.
As I must go to work, I take the lot hoping
that the rest is also for me. To my surprise
- and relief - all the post is indeed for
me. And it includes at least some of the
important post I had been expecting. Where
had this post been placed?
Some of the post
is from early October. It includes an invoice from Martin Russell Jones posted on 10 October. Looks like it's sticking to its fraudulent demand (See 10 October 2006)
Saturday 25 November 2006 - Postwatch is on my side :-)
I collect my post from my new PO Box. (Missed doing it last weekend). After my experience with the Royal Mail (My Diary 9 Oct 06 ; 2 Nov 06 ; 4 & 5 Nov 06), it is a very strange feeling to be able to collect all the post I am expecting... and no post for anybody else (My Diary 7 Nov 06). Wow!
No more wondering who is reading my personal bank statement, my credit statement and other personal and confidential information. Just as well as my mobile phones are on 'pay as you go', otherwise 'persons unknown' would have got hold of all the telephone numbers I have called.
Among others, it includes a letter from Postwatch that proves me wrong to have lost hope following my contact on 13 November. As can be seen from xxxxxxxxxxxxx (Note: much to my annoyance, I have misplaced this letter), the person, Ms Melisss Sharples, fully supports my complaint. Amasing the difference in outcome when the party you are referring the complaint to is independent of the party you are complaining about.
If only there could be the same independent review of complaints against members of the Law Society and the Bar Council (see Legal Services Ombudsman), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (see Pridie Brewster)
The 'gods' have finally caught on that I have entered the 'sunshine phase'. Another positive outcome.
I'll need to reply to Postwatch, but... next week. Must capitalise on the weekend as they give me a 'good block' of working time.
Having identified the absolute 'must take action' on from the pack of mail, I start working on the site, doing this until about 02h30 a.m.
In other words, another 12 hours spent on the site. And I will do the same thing tomorrow, Sunday.
27 November 2006
I really want to get on with the site, but I must reply to Postwatch which I do on that day - 27 November letter. In relation to Postwatch's comment that
"...cannot offer any guarantee that Royal Mail will make payment, as they will class these costs as "consequential"...Royal Mail are not obligated to pay these"
I suggest an amount of £3,000 (US5,300) in compensation for what I have been made to endure over the last three years, on the grounds that:
Mr Crozier, the CEO of the Royal Mail gets paid, out of the public purse, a yearly salary exceeding £1 million (US$1.7 million) - equivalent to £570 (US$970) an hour
Had he spent the c. 70 hours that the Royal Mail has so far cost me, his cost would be £39,900 (US$68,000)
"Although a 'mere consumer', I attach a value to my time (as does my employer when I take time off work). Consequently, I consider that the the modest sum of £3,000 would represent a fair amount of compensation..."
I also added: "In the above I have excluded compensation for distress and anguish. If he were me, how much would Mr Crozier claim in compensation for suffering distress and anguish from not knowing who is reading: his personal bank statement; his credit card statement; his mobile phone invoice which lists the telephone number of all the calls that he has made? Etc."
I concluded by expressing my gratitude to Postwatch "We, consumers, certainly need more people like you on our side"
Ms Claire Prescott (on behalf of Ms Melissa Sharples) Postwatch sent me a letter on 5 December saying it was chasing the Royal Mail for a reply. The Royal Mail wrote a letter on the same day, to enquire whether I was still experiencing problems.
See My Diary January 2007 for the follow-up (Doc library # 5.8)
28 November 2006
I have not yet registered with my new ISP as it will probably take me another two weeks to implement the amendments. However, it would make sense to do it so that I can at least have a message. (Some journalists have enquired about my site). I'd like to say "I'll be back" , hoping that people will make the connection with the movie, the Terminator. Very tempting but, best to opt for more standard text. Okay, another task to add to the list.
30 November 2006 - Registered with new ISP
I have registered with the ISP but, after some thinking, I have decided to not set-up a live page. Best to leave everything to the last minute and let Mr Ladsky et. al. wonder whether they've actually managed to scare me off.
As I am getting some strong feelings that I continue to be followed (and some of the events are clearly intended to communicate this message), alerting them to the fact that I will re-launch the site would be an unwise move - considering that I have no protection (as evidenced by events with the police).
Note: Yep! This was most definitely confirmed by the emails from Simon J. Dowling, TDC, of the "Community Safety Unit", Kensington & Chelsea police - see 20 March 2007
The journalists who are interested by my story will no doubt still be interested in two weeks time. Anyway, the site has been down for over six weeks. So, an extra two weeks or so is neither here nor there. Better I keep my cards close to my chest. I want to be around to win the poker game.
First half December 2006
I have continued working flat out on the site, putting in over 40 hours per week. Some of the sections are very long and either Dreamweaver and / or my computer does / do not like them: processing of the amendments is painfully slow. So, by mid-December I invested in some extra RAM, which I placed myself - under 'the supervision' of an IT friend - thereby adding another skill to my bow. The extra RAM appears to be making a difference.
I also finalised the list of the expensive visuals I want to purchase - and obtained the right to use them by mid-December. I don't like the total price but, after all the work I have put in on the site, it deserves this 'expensive icing'.
I am still planning on my target launch date of 'before Christmas' and hope that I can rally some help (as with everything else, setting-up websites is new territory to me... but I'll do it).
In spite of working franctically on the site, I am still some way from having done all that I want to do. So, yet again, I have turned down invitations to spend Christmas with family and friends.
Sunday 24th, I check into a hotel in town for two nights. I can't bare to get back to the hellhole. In the evening I watch TV, which I have not done in probably more than two years. Great to be in an environment where I can finally relax.
I switch off the lights by about 23h45 intending to go to sleep. By 00h15, I switch them back on again because I have decided that being called Noëlle, today, Christmas day : that's 'my day' and that's going to be the day I relaunch my site. (NB: first launched in September 2006; closed down three weeks later)
Hoping that the technology is not going to defeat me in my plan, I go through all the various steps, and wow! my site is live by about 01h30 a.m. I spend another hour exploring various things and go to sleep with a great sense of achievement.
I wake-up at lunch time and work on the site all afternoon. Many people say that they over-eat on Christmas day. I do the opposite, making do with some fruits and a thumb-size Christmas cake I brought with me.
The week is a three-day working week. I am in the office every day using up the last three days of my annual leave for this year, working on the site. I then continue during the weekend. On New Year's eve I hear the fireworks in the distance as I am typing away on my computer.
This makes it my fourth consecutive Christmas break totally ruined.
For the last five years I have suffered what feels like a prison sentence.
What have I done to deserve this?
I believed what I had been told: that I had rights, that there was a system in place to help me in time of need. My moral principles, courage and determination led me to fight for what I had been told I had the right to demand.
Can somebody please explain to me why my acting in this way has resulted in my being sentenced to, so far, five years of unbelievable suffering?