Tuesday, 8 March 2011


I got my census form through the post yesterday.  32 pages, of which about four concern me.  So I won't have any trouble filling that in on 27 March.  Except for a few things.

Question H14 asks 'In total, how many cars are owned, or available for use, by members of this household?'  I had to think a bit, because I'd forgotten that this is meant to be a snapshot (except when it isn't), and started to try and calculate how many rental cars there are in the country.
The ones about qualifications are pretty confusing.  I've never heard of half the things, so I suppose I'm safe in assuming I haven't got them.  But the the first box asks for 1 - 4 O levels.  Yep, I can tick that.  Then box 3 says '5+ O levels'.  So that's another tick.  That makes somewhere between 6 and 9.  Or should I only tick one or the other?  It doesn't say that.  Luckily I've got a couple of weeks to clear that up - I don't want to mislead the government.
The last one, for now, is about visitors.  Normally, everyone is welcome to come and visit me, even for an overnighter.  But, if you possibly can, please try and avoid the night of 27 March, unless you want to spend the evening filling in forms.

And, at what time am I meant to fill the form in, exactly?  What if the gas central heating breaks down during the day: I'd be lying if I'd already ticked box 2 in H11.  And what if someone turns up at one minute to midnight, begging a bed for the night?

Sorry, I'm getting silly.  This often happens at this hour, especially today.


  1. Well, I'll be there in ten minutes just don't put it in writing.

  2. Isn't it exciting?!
    Is that a census question?
    Is that a question or a statement?
    Is it permissible to place question & exclamation marks together at the end of a sentence? Or at the end of a census for that matter?

    Can't wait to get my form, I might even fill it in online to be super cool.
    Did you have pancakes yesterday & if so is that why you were being particularly silly last night?
    Is that a census question?
    Is this the thing where they ask about our happiness?
    Does Prof. Brian Cox know the answers? As well as when the universe will end?
    I did not have pancakes yesterday

    Just found the help for questions & the answer to your central heating one is:
    "Please select your type of central heating system even if it is not working at the moment."
    So you can't get out of it by wrecking your heating system.

  3. It's arrived!!!!
    Within half an hour of my previous post the massive crash of the letterbox signalled the arrival of the massive envelope & I kid you not 9 pieces of junk mail (& a cheque so that's OK).
    Had lunch (fried egg & mushrooms), poured over the form.

    But why oh why is Question 17 in the person sections unavailable?
    "This question is intentionally left blank, go to 18"
    How can this be? Why?

    The only plausible reason I can think of is that there are 43 questions in the persons section & if they hadn't put in Q17 there would have been 42.
    And we all know what that would have meant.
    Forty two is not the answer they are looking for.

  4. Yes, I too puzzled over why Q17 is intentionally left blank! Is it because 17 is an unlucky number in Italy and the owners of Italian restaurants in the UK might protest? Or maybe it's because 42 is considered unlucky in Japan!
    R,sorry to hear about the egg & mushrooms being poured over the form - hope it wiped off ok!

  5. So my cunningly humorous use of the ambiguity of pore or pour caught you out then. The comma was the give away of course. I must admit it would have been better in spoken media, rather than in print. But pleased to report the form remains as pristine as the Sistine (did you know of these talents of mine?).

    I now know the answer. Wales gets Q17 about the Welsh language.