Author Archives: admin

Band 5 Bullshitter Update

Since I started spreading the term around a little I have been asked by quite a few people if I am setting up either a band 5 bullshitter discussion forum, name and shame board or band 5 bullshitter ratings board on this site.

The answer is no. Even though I am retired I simply don’t have the time to develop and administer such a thing either on this site or on any other. Any website needs regular administration and maintennance and those based on CMS’ platforms need maintennace on a more regular basis which I cannot commit to.

I am in favour of a ratings board or name and shame board or similar and I think it could be a good thing. The band 5 bullshitters could be ranked from minor bullshit through to cretinous and life-threatening.

If someone developed such an animal they will get an introduction blog written by me, a link in the blogroll/bogroll section and if it is totally anonymous I will add the 100 or so I have on a list in my desk file here.

Remember a band 5 bullshitter dosen’t just have to be a band 5 nurse. It could be any NHS employee from a toilet cleaner right up to a chief executive or chairman.

Belated Happy 9th Birthday To This website

Well its official birthday was 12th June. For 9 years this site has been run on WordPress. Before that it was just a holding page for many years.

In the past year the site has shrunk somewhat. A lot of the old downloads have gone. Podcasts are temporarily away. The old Trade Counter shop has been removed taking with it around 6,000 items of content and a few other things have been removed too. There is still over 8,000 individual items of content on the site which is a good thing. Before the shrinking, there was over 20,000 items of content.

Even though I have retired this has been one of the busiest years for the Court Guinness website as we have already 100,000 visits. There has been a Court Guinness since long before its WordPress incarnation and until 9 years ago this was just a holding page with a few links on it. Since 2012 readership has steadily grown. Mathematics suggests that this site might make 200,000 visits in 2021. I am not too sure but it is certainly a milestone I would love to see reached.

There are no real plans for this site for the next year as yet. A template change may happen shortly but that’s about it. I know from some visitors that they would like to see certain things return including the Trade Counter and the magazine but unfortunately that’s not possible.

I would like to close by taking this opportunity to thank all visitors for popping by. I really appreciate it.

Thanks and best regards

Court

Brucie Bonuses 08/06/2021

I have the following opportunities available on behalf of friends that carry “brucie bonuses”*.

  1. Finance and Mortgage Broker Required who can deal with a complex requirement.
  2. Franchisee Advertising and Recruitment. Wanted is someone who can succesfully advertise for and recruit franchisees for a professional services franchise
  3. HMO’s in the North East of England required.
  4. A good friend requires, holiday comples/Gite complexes in the UK, Ireland and Mainland Europe.

If you can help with any of these please do to contact me using the form below.

  • *Brucie Bonus – A brucie bonus is a fee paid for a referral leading to a successful outcome in the case of the above the people that these are advertised for will discuss the bonus level with anyone concerned.

    Vans

    I was considering some new wheels recently and started to look at the space requirements. For example I need to carry quite a bulky mobility scooter occasionally along with some other stuff such as overnight bags or supplies. I also prefer 4 wheel drive cars. I view 4wd as a safety feature.

    I looked at a few cars and got quite concerned about boot space even with vehicles such as the Peugeot Rifter and Ford Tourneo Connect. The Rifter is my favourite choice here and I do like the look of the GT premium model. Peugeot don’t do a 4wd but they do have grip control, which is close and has some rave reviews.

    I decided to start looking at vans. Now I don’t need a full size Transit, Transporter or Vivaro. A much smaller van will do. This where I started tearing my hair out. Big thing I want the cab or cabin to be as comfortable as a good car. You know, heated seats, a must for my medical conditions and a few other treats.

    This where it started to unravel. You see with all the options I needed the van started to turn out as very expensive and in some cases very difficult to configure using the manufacturer’s configuration tool on their website. Peugeot are a good example. I still cannot work out how to configure a normal length Peugeot Partner with the 130 bhp engine and grip control.

    The next thing is that I cannot get close to getting all the treats I would either expect or want to add as options in the van.

    Maybe I am in a limited market in wanting a small luxury van and I would not be at all surprised if this is the case. But, there must an easier way to specify vans as I found some configuration tools for vans more confusing than configuring a car!

    The other thing I find strange is not being able to specify 4wd with these smaller vans. I cannot really go up to price levels of a Land Rover Defender or Discovery Van (Basic £36,000 ex VAT – which I will have to pay) and I think I would hit the same issue of not being able to specify some of the nicer Land Rover treats to enhance my driving experience. The only thing that would not be in Doubt with the Discovery or Defender are its 4wd credentials.

    Then we get to the next option. Customisation. There are so many after market customisation options available that it seems that a whole industry has grown up around van customisation.

    Again, very confusing.

    So its back to the drawing board.

    With best regards

    Confused of Warwickshire.

    08/06/2021: Throwback Tuesday – Career Changers

    This throwback looks at Career changers and the original article is from 2017.

    I talk a lot here about career changers who want to buy lifestyle businesses.

    I openly advertise for people who want to sell their lifestyle business to contact me as I have buyers available. I receive enquiries on a weekly basis from potential buyers who want to leave their current careers behind to work on a lifestyle business for me to act for them in a confidential capacity.

    Who wants to quit a good career for a lifestyle business?

    Who are these people and what do they look like?

    I took my last 12 months data and extrapolated some figures from it combined with checking some facts with the individuals involved. This data is also compiled into a 27 page report which can be made available to qualified parties.

    So Let us take a closer look at these people and their profiles.

    First of all we can look at age groups:

    Age rangePercentage
    under 302.13%
    30 – 4016.31%
    40 – 5040.43%
    50 – 6029.08%
    60 +12.06%

    Here we can see that the desire for change peaks between the ages of 40 and 50. Much of this age range will have worked for over 20 years. This is one driver for change.

    Nest we can take a small glimpse at life at home.

    Home LifePercentage
    Single7.80%
    Co-Habiting28.37%
    Married21.28%
    Married With Children42.55%

    The full report reveals that the stronger the home life in terms of family the desire for a quieter life away from London life strengthens.

    Let us now take a look at the staff grade of these people.

    GradePercentage
    Non-management Junior Grade2.13%
    Manager51.77%
    Director21.28%
    Vice President6.38%
    Other senior grade18.44%

    At manager level the desire to change career peaks.

    Let us also look at their working locations.

    Work LocationPercentage
    Canary Wharf28.37%
    Home4.96%
    London City35.46%
    London Other9.93%
    London West End14.18%
    Other7.09%

    When I started looking into this I did not expect Canary wharf to show such a high result.

    As we carry on looking at the current make-up of the individual looking to change career in to a lifestyle business we can now take a look at annual salaries.

    Annual SalaryPercentage
    < £50,0005.67%
    £50,000 – £75,00029.08%
    £75,000 – £100,00055.32%
    £100,000 – £200,0005.67%
    Over £200,0004.26%

    We can see from these figures that the desire for change is strongest in the £50,000 – £100,000 pay bracket.

    Just before we move on from who wants to change career let us look at the sectors that they work in:

    SectorPercentage
    Banking24.82%
    Legal10.64%
    Accountancy14.18%
    Professional Services35.46%
    Other14.89%

    I was surprised by the figures here when I added everything up. Professional Services features more highly than banking. However I remember some of my earliest clients in the lifestyle business sector who are also career changers. Mostly 40-50 years of age. Manager Grade. Settled or married mostly with children and earning up to £100,000 a year!

    Now that we have looked at who the career changer is. Let us look at where they wish to be in life.

    First of all let us look how much they are looking to invest in a lifestyle business.

    BudgetPercentage
    Less than 50,0004.26%
    £50,000 – £100,00021.28%
    £100,000 – £250,00024.82%
    £250,000 – £500,00039.01%
    £500,000 – £1,000,0008.51%
    Over £1,000,0002.13%

    A number of people we speak to take into account the difference in price between housing cost within reasonable commuting distance (<1 hour) of their primary working location and their desired location when changing career.

    Lastly for this part of my report let us look at the locations where people are looking to relocate to and base their new lives.

    Preferred LocationsPercentage
    Central England8.51%
    Europe4.96%
    International (Non Europe)3.55%
    Ireland (Northern and Republic)5.67%
    North East England7.09%
    North West England6.38%
    Scotland14.18%
    South East England14.18%
    South West England24.82%
    Wales10.64%

    It is worth noting the following. Those considering relocation outside of the mainland (England Scotland and Wales) generally have very strong family and social ties to their preferred location. Scotland also sees this trend with the South West being an idyllic and profitable choice, whereas South East England is seen as a “safe bet”.

    This is all for this part of my report.

    I have compiled a lot more data and will share this on this website in due course.

    I have a full report available to qualified parties, please fill in the form below.

    I will be giving a talk around this report in London in September, please use the form below if you would like a ticket to attend.

    If you are interested in working with the career changers I work with or would like to sell a lifestyle business to my client base then I would be delighted to hear from you. Again please use the form below to contact me.

    100,000 Milestone Reached for 2021!

    At 11:37 on 02/06/2021 this website recorded its 100,000th visitor for 2021.

    I wish to take this opportunity to thank all visitors for helping me to reach this milestone.

    This equates to an average of 19,655 visits per month. In fact our highest monthly figure has been a sniff under 30,000. The lowest so far is just over 9,000. The average visit takes in an average of just over 5 pages every visit.

    This website is targeted to receive 235,000 visits this year.

    Thank You all once again,

    Best regards

    Court

    Trade House Update 02/06/2020

    The Trade House has not reopened.

    As promised previously The Trade House has now fully closed on time and on schedule. The database has been “locked” and is stored on a very secure server as was promised at the start of my retirement. The database’s only purpose now is to service any Subject Access Request Notices that may arise.

    The tradehouse@courtguiness.com address is closed off and emails are now not responded too.

    Various parts of The Trade House remain available for sale, this includes The Trade House Magazine.

    All public Trade House content is now available in various areas of this website.

    I am sorry to disappoint those who were expecting a more favourable update such as my returning to work! Alas this is definitely not possible. I do wish that this were not the case.

    Any Trade House enquiries can be made by using the form below.

      18 Years of WordPress

      A few days ago WordPress passed its 18th birthday. This truly is one to mark. I doubt 18 years ago that anyone thought that it would become what it has. The recognised leader amongst CMS systems capturing 40-41% of the market.

      Of course I knew about WordPress 18 years ago but dismissed it in favour of Mambo (Later Joomla). When I first came to WordPress in 2009 for a particular task, Mambo had gone and Joomla was on its tail but cracks were starting appear. in 2011 Joomla had problems, big ones. At this point and about version 2.6 WordPress became my go to tool. Replacing Joomla. I only did one site in Joomla after 2011. I have been involved in a large number of WordPress sites since 2011. 10 years ago. This site will reach its 9th WordPress birthday in 15 days time. I will write further about that nearer the time.

      We are now on version 5.72 of the WordPress software which is a far cry from 2.6! I am very grateful to the WordPress development team for the time they put in but also to the teams of plugins developers and to the WordPress community too, who are always happy to provide support in internet forums, their wisdom and sage advice which I always greatly appreciate has helped me a lot.

      From a simple blogging tool to a system that can accommodate pretty much any flavour of website any would care to dream about is an impressive feat. There are only 2 or 3 cases I can come up with where I would not choose WordPress as the core tool or presentation layer.

      I look forward to seeing what the next 18 years of WordPress brings and hope that WordPress builds on its current foundations and becomes even better. There is absolutely no reason why it should not.

      The Rise Of The Band 5 Bullshitter!

      Band 5 bullshitter is a term first told to me by someone else who also had treatment at Harefield Hospital. It is used to describe a nurse that tells lies.

      Bullshit is fairly self explanatory worldwide but some for non UK visitors, please allow me to explain the band 5 bit. Band 5 is the most common pay grade for nurses in the UK.

      I personally now use the phrase for any member of NHS staff that tells lies whether or not they are a doctor, nurse, toilet cleaner or the chief executive.

      Anyway less of the explanation and more of the celebration. I have managed to get this phrase into the hallowed Urban Dictionary and you can see more here.

      This phrase though now applying to the whole of the NHS organisation will always have its roots at Harefield Hospital in Middlesex which is now part of the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust.

      So Working From A Pub Is A New Thing, Yeah?

      So pub companies are now “bigging up” working from the pub like this is something new! Absolute crap! Speaking as someone who done this occasionally since the mid-90’s let me tell you all that this is nothing new. You walk into a pub, order a beer, grab a table, sit down and pull the laptop out and crack on. As I just said nothing new. I have probably been doing this 20-30 times a year since the mid 1990’s.

      Fear not people, you are not missing out on much, except of course a good pint of Guinness, Shipyard or Doombar (other drinks are available and I am reliably informed that some pubs sell a drain cleaner called Bud Light!). A beer can help with a badly drafted document you have been handed or help with the latest tripe from that depressing git Jenkins from HR.

      I am not the only the one. True more people have used this method out of necessity as opposed to choosing to work from a pub, for example being between meetings and needing somewhere warm and dry to check emails when the local Costa or Starbucks is maxed out and doubling as a creche.

      What is changing or so it seems is that pubs are wising up to people using their establishments for work and are adjusting their pubs for this purpose. For example more power sockets available. Some are even fixing or upgrading the usually rather poxy wi-fi. In most pubs the wi-fi is rather poor and beyond hope if you are needing to check in or check out a bulky document with SharePoint or similar. You are usually better off tethering the laptop to the mobile phone in most cases, so it is nice to see pubs addressing this. The same goes for bulky email attachments or large downloads.

      Some pubs are even doing “deals” which includes power, drink and food. This is an excellent move in my opinion. I think in some pubs it will drive new customers in. Nothing wrong with that.

      My real bugbear and the only one is publicans that are telling me that this is a new thing! Like I said at the start I have been doing this since the mid-1990’s! It is not new. It may gain in popularity with the pandemic induced shift to remote working but new it is not!

      That said there are some pubs who I hope can make a success of this to boost their daytime trade. These pubs are in desperate need of the uptick in business since the pandemic started and could really do with the new trade.