August the twentyfirst 2000: Some awful news the jpoc journal
Well, this week saw some disastrous news for us. Regular readers will know that we have been planning a move back to the UK. Everything was in place, a car, somewhere to stay while we look for a house, a job etc. The only missing piece was the visa for Maria. That should have been no problem. EU law means that the UK government must give us a visa without any obstruction so that I can exercise my right to live and work anywhere in the EU.
Sadly, while realising that they cannot keep people out by refusing visas, he government has realised that they can have the same effect by making the visa process take so long that no job offer will be held open for long enough to allow the process to complete.
Having such a major spanner thrown into the works of our lives, we had to make some rapid adjustments to our plans. The first concerned work and that seems now to be secure until the end of the year or thereabouts.
After work was banking. Although I've been in Germany for most of the last decade, it's always been on a temporary "soon be time to move on" basis. I had some bad experiences closing bank accounts when I left Germany the first time and also when I left Belgium. Because of that, I decided to keep all of my banking affairs outside Germany. But now of course that must change. So I've opened a joint account for us in Paderborn with the local Sparkasse. They seem to be nice friendly people and they speak pretty good English.
We are also making plans and arrangements for Andrei to stay on at the school and for Maria to start to learn German as well as English.
The other big problem is the car. I now have a 14 year old Honda here in Germany. It has right hand drive, an MOT and a UK tax disk and registration. None of that is a lot of use to me. So, it is going to have to go back and I'll buy something here in Germany. Ho hum.
We made use of the car for a quick trip out to the woods just to the south of Paderborn. It's a nice place to go for a gentle stroll between the trees. We spotted lots of interesting things ranging from mushrooms to giant orange slugs!
I'm looking around for a new service for ad sales for the web site. There are a few possibilities and it is clear that first I must tidy up some of the ads that I currently run. Most of my pages currently carry full sized banners from tripod, Super-stats and smartage. The first of those pays for the hosting, superstats ads are part of their statistics gathering tools and the last are a banner exchange programme. Now that tripod have said no payments can be made to non US residents, the only income from any of those is from Superstats who pay ten US cents for every time that somebody clicks on one of their banners. I have their banners for the stats and so they are tucked away at the bottom of the page and so of course, nobody clicks on them and they do not make me any money.
The first thing that I must do, if I am to sell any ad space myself is to lose some of those banners. I can drop the smartage exchange programme easily enough and it will be no great loss to me. The Super-stats banners are another matter though. I do not want to lose the information that they give to me and so I need to find an alternative rather than just drop them.
After a quick search of the net, I decided that Webstat offered the best deal. I need to carry a small ad button in order to use their services but that is not a real problem as, as the button is pretty discrete, it does not interfere with any ad sales deals that I may find.