Chris Worfolk's Blog

Letters you do not expect to have to write

July 22nd, 2014

Last month I received a set of bank statements for a bank I have never been a customer of.

9 June 2014

Dear Lloyds Bank:

Please find enclosed some documents that you recently sent me out of the blue. I am not sure why these documents were sent to be as I am not, nor have I ever been, a Lloyds Bank customer. I used to have a Lloyds TSB account, but I closed that down several years ago.

Yours faithfully,
Chris Worfolk

A month later and I have heard nothing back. So I sent them another letter.

14 July 2014


To Whom It May Concern:

Following on from my letter sent to you on 9 June 2014, I enclose further documents you have sent to me. I once again remind you that I am not a customer of Lloyds Bank. If you continue to hold my personal details without my consent, or continue to send me unsolicited mail, I will file a complaint with the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Yours faithfully,
Chris Worfolk

After they they called me and said they were sorting out and would be sending me £30 compensation.

Toilet boardroom

July 21st, 2014

West Indian Carnival

July 20th, 2014


Briggate, Leeds. 6 July 2014.

Area Training

July 19th, 2014

Earlier this month I ran the first of two Area Training days for Toastmasters.

We held it at the Holiday Inn Express in Hull. This is a venue that Hull Speakers use for the regular meetings and makes for a great choice – everything ran really smoothly, lunch was good, and it is easy to get in and out of. Hull is usually a bit of a grim place to visit, but at least the M62 is usually quiet and the drive across Yorkshire and down the estuary past the Humber Bridge is comparatively pretty.

Thank you to everyone who attended and made the day a success. A special thank you to Shelagh, Jane and Michael who presented workshops.

Grand Depart

July 18th, 2014

Earlier this month, Yorkshire welcomed the Tour de France to Yorkshire for the Grand Depart. Or “T’ Big Setting Off” as we call it in Yorkshire.

People have gone all out for it. There are bikes, artwork, banners, signs everywhere. Even people nowhere near the route have a bike on the wall and a transfer on their shop window.

The turnout was incredible too. So much so that an hour before the race started the police closed off the road to pedestrians and stopped letting anyone else through. All along the route it was stacked with people half a dozen deep.


You would have to have a heart of stone to suggest seeing that wasn’t worth waiting for.

When I was twelve I spent six hours in 35 degree heat waiting for a Space Shuttle to take off. Finally we saw this little dot disappear into the distance and then in the silence some kid said “is that it?” As good as that was, it can’t really compare to seeing the photo above.

Nevertheless, it makes you proud to be Yorkshire. If you have a fancy bike ride you need hosting, we’re your people.

IMG_4589 IMG_4590 IMG_4595 IMG_4596 IMG_4597 IMG_4600 IMG_4601 IMG_4604 IMG_4606 IMG_4651 IMG_4656

Area governoring

July 17th, 2014


Well this feels a lot more official now.

My Sonos Playbar died

July 16th, 2014


Pretty gutted that after seven months of having my Sonos Playbar, it died.

Sonos were very good about it. I spoke to them on the phone and we tried a few things to no response. After that they send me through a return request that came with a pre-paid UPS sticker, so I just had to wrap it up and schedule a collection from UPS. They even shipped me a new one straight away, though that did require a credit card pre-authorisation.

Pretty annoying though, if that happens just after the warranty runs out, I will be very unhappy.

All the Countries We’ve Ever Invaded: And the Few We Never Got Round To

July 15th, 2014

“Out of 193 countries that are currently UN member states, we’ve invaded or fought conflicts in the territory of 171.” Or so the book’s description reads.

The author, Stuart Laycock, begins by talking about how he was trying to list all of the countries that Britain had invaded. The more he thought about it, the longer his list got, and the longer his list got, the more it would seem to make an interesting topic for a book.

It did. He goes through each country in alphabetical order discussing Britain’s involvement in it. Some of which is extensive, others were just fought a battle there. Importantly, he spends more time talking about these lesser known incidents than he does discussing the history that most of us already know about (World Wars for example).

It is written in a very informal style. This keeps the mood light and prevents it from becoming a monotonous list of events. It perhaps could have done with some editing though. The phrase “you might think we’ve never invaded X country, but you would be wrong” or some variant of that expression seems to appear on every other page. To be honest, given I am reading a book about how we have invaded almost every country, I wasn’t thinking that.

There is some history that I had no idea about, and much that I did kind of know about but had never really heard about in detail, and this filled in a lot of knowledge.

All the countries we've ever invalided

Triple crown

July 14th, 2014


A few weeks ago I attended Toastmasters district training where I found out there was such a thing as a “triple crown”. The way I found it out was that Kevin said “congratulations on your triple crown, here is a prize”. Apparently, if you earn three educational awards in the same TM year, there is a name for that…

The world’s cutest USB drive

July 13th, 2014


Unfortunately it is also the world’s most useless USB drive as it it failed to register the first time I plugged it in and then died when I tried to copy a file to it.