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frankief

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  1. Whoever planted the tree 25 years ago smack on the boundary line didn't seem to appreciate that trees don't just grow upwards! Maybe in another 25 years the tree cover will start blocking the neighbours light? And wait till the roots start breaking through the neighbours block paved driveway.
  2. Yes, I think maybe at one time most of the top UK clubs were run by UK based owners with some local interest. But alas, some of them didn't make enough profit. Often heard complaint as they drove from the ground for the last time was 'If you've got a lot of money to spare don't buy a football club!'. Then we got the foreign owners buying clubs up. No doubt TV money made it more attractive. Still many clubs are not balancing their books, some may be struggling financially if they don't stay up. You could suggest that they cut their wages bill for their top players, but then they won't attract the best players. That will lead to pitchfork like demos chanting 'Chairman Out, Out!' The same people who were demonstrating this week no doubt - they love their club, but don't want to be a global capitalist product, yet they need to recruit and keep the best players to have any lasting success. Conundrum.
  3. A flat with mouldy/ damp bathroom and kitchen in the private sector will most likely not get fixed by the landlord for one important reason - as soon as one tenant leaves and after a bit of cosmetic paintwork, he can find another tenant straight way, usually at a higher monthly rent. I speak as a long time renter who has spent years of my life in these places, trying to keep it at bay with ventilation and bleach. I did once raise it with a landlord who gave me the grand advice to keep the window open and heating turned up - this was in the middle of one of the coldest winters I have ever experienced! In fact with my latest tenancy I was issued with printed information on how to deal with mould! Concerned LL, or tying up the legal ends 'just in case' maybe? So I reluctantly acquiesce, like many others, and do my regular clean ups of the stinking bathroom. At least I don't spend much time in there - it's not big enough for a bath! You might say 'just move' but there is such a shortage of 'reasonable property' that rental prices for anything reasonable are too high. And so I find myself looking amongst the 'not so reasonable', which again is in demand, given the past years immigration to my town, this also putting upward pressure on rent prices.
  4. https://www.constructionenquirer.com/2021/03/31/planning-rules-relaxed-for-commercial-to-resi-conversions/
  5. £1K fine for not taking part. What next? Fines if you don't vote in an election?
  6. Yes, see a lot of TV reports about 'roll out' of broadband to the countryside. But there is always a limit on the capacity of a new system. Majority of the locals may only need basic phone/ Tv access and will be quite happy with a basic installation. But say some big shot moves in from the city. He's bragged to his old city mates that he's going off grid and enjoying the quiet life. Then he gets bored and sets up an online business requiring dominant heavy use of the local infrastructure. Not sure how this works, but won't that affect the speeds that his neighbours get? Just saying, i've lived in a semi rural area. It's different - some people are wary of 'progress' and why not, picture Luddites taking a sledgehammer to the weaving looms.
  7. Let's face it - every government for as far as I can remembered has failed to look after the basics: Food/ Shelter/ Heat
  8. It's more or less ubiquitous now on job applications. Age/ sex/ race/ nationality/ religion/ disability etc. questionnaire. Although there is an option to decline to answer these questions.
  9. Yes, some people talk of Manchester (the city) when they mean (Greater) Manchester - as you say totally different with boroughs quite a distance from the City centre. I've not seen the programme but there are areas some people have mentioned eg Eccles which is not in the City of Manchester but in the City of Salford - a large and expansive place itself, on the other side of the river Irwell to the City of Manchester. Greater Manchester, metropolitan county in northwestern England. It encompasses one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country and comprises 10 metropolitan boroughs: Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, and the cities of Salford and Manchester.
  10. I read your post and it set me thinking about any locations which might suit you - say in the North of England - where you could get a quiet, remote place without paying a fortune. Sadly I realised that there are not many options. The ever growing cities are getting more densely packed and the countryside now attracts a premium price. So, the coasts? West side you have Cumbria (Lake District - v.expensive) then the holiday resorts, then you hit the metropolises of Manchester and Liverpool, then Wales. East side you have Tyne & Wear, North Yorks (v.expensive), more holiday resorts, then Hull. As a writer you will know about Phillip Larkin of course - he found Hull inspiring. Best bet might be South of the Humber on the Lincolnshire coast. Fishing ports and holiday resorts again, lots of caravan parks. Landscape I remember as flat and uninspiring. Windy and rainy. I reckon the caravan parks may be empty this summer. Perhaps you could negotiate a rental on a caravan for the remainder of summer and take it through the autumn/winter. Or a bungalow on the cliff tops - say you'll take it till it drops! Might put some suspense into your writing! I can't suggest any web sites - just choose an area and go down there for a couple of days and root about. A lot of locals still advertise in the local paper or in shop windows. Good luck.
  11. The usual construction of these garage conversions is timber battens fixed to existing structure/ dpm/ rigid insulation/ plasterboard for walls & ceiling and ditto with chipboard for floors (that might account for the change in level/ heights). Any new internal walls will most likely be timber stud partitions built off the garage concrete floor - you can find out by tapping them. So it should be easy enough to strip out, you could probably do it yourself. You would then need a plumber for isolating where any pipework has to come out and an electrician to rewire where necessary. Where they took out the original doors might have been filled in with cavity blockwork - demo will be a bit heavier there. New garage doors no problem if standard size. I think you will need some sort of planning permission for change of use. Starting point is to look on the LA planning site and search for the original application for these works, there may be a drawing which will give you some clues on the construction etc. Listen, that's my off the cuff view - I have some experience in construction. If you are serious, I would get a local builder or two in to have a look and give a quote - I think there are plenty of people looking for work at the moment!
  12. Yes, but on holiday it's easy isn't it - you are dealing with people who are trying to sell you things - food, hotel, transport etc. They will bend over backwards to help you part with your money. It's their job. I just think that if you have ambitions of settling and working in a foreign country that you should be aiming for real fluency. PS -'do omissions' - I don't understand what that means!
  13. It depends what you mean by 'learning a language'. If you just want to learn how to order a beer and some chips and ask for directions to the train station that's usually basic level 1 stuff you will see in a phrase book which you can look up as required. But to work and live in a place where there are possibly not many English speakers. To be able to converse with locals, often with strong accents not heard on language lesson CDs, to defend yourself in an argument, to get your message across clearly, you need a deep understanding of the language. As adults we don't have the advantage or the time to be able to learn slowly and daily with personal tuition over many years, that means plenty of studying of vocabulary and grammar - past, perfect, imperfect, future, imperative, subjunctive etc etc. Quite a task for anyone.
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