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Ben Madigan

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    On the slopes of sunny Cavehill

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  1. It also covers Clonard, so not necessarily... but why buy anywhere in BT13 if you can rent elsewhere? Actually, the world has changed a bit even in North and West Belfast, and if you if you are an English fella married to a local Catholic girl, most people in the Shankill end of BT13 would welcome you as decent neighbours long before they would welcome a 'local', Protestant, BT13 person who happened to drug-dealing scummer. In BT13, for starters you have Clonard and bits of the Lower Falls (very poor and Catholic), the Shankill and most Woodvale (very poor and Protestant): in all these areas you would be a bit unusual. But I would guess the reaction to you on either side of the peaceline would be like you could expect from my relations in Clonard: you seem to be decent people, decent neighbours and you're actually a bit posh and therefore your kids aren't going to be a problem, either. So, in that case, welcome. But why hunt in the marginal parts of North/West Belfast at the fag end of a dying property boom? There are some very nice areas on this side of the City, but also some places you WOULD NOT want to live in. In BT13, you also have the better parts of the Shankill - along the Ballygomartin Road and, less salubrious but equally respectable in placeslike Dhu Varren. The old properties on the Ballygomartin and the newer housing estates about Lyndhurst would be fine. In BT14, the same would apply in the better bits of the Upper Crumlin Road (more or less mixed), the better bits of Ballysillan (Protestant although not ghettoes, but be careful not to buy estate agent buellsh1t), and the Cliftonville Road (Catholic - really very nice at the top end, genuinely prime 'pioneer' country at the lower end). But as regards Hesketh Park - I wouldn't live there as a mixed marriage with no local roots. That's tough country. Really, tough country - which is, I would guess, why it's cheap. Some have recommended BT15 to you. I have lived here all my life - except for a few years in London - and no Belfast postcode runs the social and religious gamut like here. On the Catholic side, the New Lodge is seen as a hard-core Catholic ghetto, but isn't as bad as people make out. If you and your children seem to be 'good people', people in the New Lodge won't care too much where you're from or what religion you are. The sane applies to much of the Lower Antrim Road area, which is sold as being the poor man's Malone Road, but really isn't any different from the New Lodge. Sadly, the reality is that the Lower Antrim Road areas have the same crime rate with less community spirit. On the Protestant side, there are places you wouldn't want to live in, no matter how much the housing authorities paid you, like Tiger's Bay or Mount Vernon. On the other hand are places like Seaview and York Crescent where your multi-national mixed-marriage would not go amiss except to compliment your children on their good behaviour. And finally, there is the relatively wealthy, middle-class enclave from Dunlambert at the bottom of Fortwilliam Park up to the Upper Cavehill Road and beyond the Castle. Prices might still be too high here but rents are reasonable and it's a very nice place to spend a few years waiting for the bubble to burst. It's where we rent. It is leafy, there is plenty for kids to do, and is the perfect place for renters to wait for prices to come down. And no-one cares where you're from or what religion you are. Or, at least, we think so. That's why we're renting here, waiting for sanity to return.
  2. Iceland has to pay for petrol and food but not for most other energey cost due to both stupendous positioning and (different question) stupendous exploitation vs. the Mid-Atlantic Rift. The UK needs to pay for all energy and most food in foreign currency and with oil prices back below US$40/barrel there will be no sense in tapping the more difficult North Sea veins. The UK is in trouble, and Northern Ireland is a backwoods, subsidy-addled economic colony of the UK whose only other economic support (the Republic) is also in a poor state, I'd guess people aren't going to pay us for not shooting one another after all...
  3. The UK (and Ireland) produces a small proportion of its own food and none of its own energy. Getting Welsh coal mines out of mothballs takes time, and so does getting English consumers used to Co. Tyrone barley bread (hey, it's nutritious! Jamie Oliver will love it!). UK interest rates can't stay too low for too long in that context. Me and Mr. Ben's gay Christmas bum fun weekend in Donegal was gorgeous in the cold winter Sun but severely curtailed by the price of a Mars bar costing more than a month's shop rent in Victoria Square. The same imbalances will apply to the UK economy and they will be with places more critical to the world economy than Dunfanaghy. It is currently cheaper to fill up in Strabane than Ballybofey, despite Sterling's collaps. How long will that last when the futures contracts run out? :angry:
  4. One of my work colleagues who has lived in the Upper Ormeau Road area for many years - )and why not? it's a nice part of town and extremely convenient) - went to look at them after their Belfast Tele splurge. He said they were poorly constructed, and one could hear the few neighbours farting through the crappy plywood walls. If you aren't sniffy about Cregagh, there are plenty of extremely well constructed '50s semis in that area, many of which have been nicely upgraded since. Or have you thought about moving over here to North Belfast? It isn't all riots and drug dealers. And further afield, Newtownards and Jordanstown are also well worth a look. From the latter, the commute is quite reasonable as the Carrick commuters get caught in the Greenisland single lane trap. What's the purpose of that stupid single lane stretch of the A2 at Greenisland? Why darling, to help people in Jordanstown and Fortwilliam get to work quicker!
  5. What a horrible time to get the flu - there is a lot of it about. Get well soon, Sofi!
  6. To be fair, if you look at the trail Sophia posted at the head of the thread, BBC were selling this as a bit of media masturbation all along. I missed it and can't say I'm sorry.
  7. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all.
  8. To be fair, on the trailers they pretty much said it was all about Robert Preston, the man who reported the saving of the world, so I decided not to waste my time and am glad I didn't.
  9. Natürlich - obwohl Ich mit der Geschichte der Nachkriegsdeutschland viel besser bekannt bin. Absoluter Schwachsinn!! Most German Jews could conceive of no other home. Those who emigrated to France, Britain or America spent their time pining for their German home. Invaluable damage was done to German culture through the extiripation of German talent - Jewish and gentile - through the enforced prostitution to Holywood by the Nazis of German musical talent like Korngold and Hindemith. German Jews like Viktor Klemperer sufferes simply because they were Jews who could not conceive of a German state that could be im Grundprinip kontrasemitisch. Du schaust Dir wahrscheinlich Filme wie "Jüd Süss" ernst an. Absolute gibberish. How many of the drug dealers in modern Britain are Jewish? Which attacks, on which dates? I know of no evidence. It sprung up in the midst of Nazi rule in the 1930s? Seriously? Evidence? Sounds like you've been watching too many 'non-anti-Semitic' BNP propaganda videos. Not that they're anti-Semitic. Or racist. At all. Of course. They just want to protect people from 'Cosmopolitan Intenational Finance'. Of course. Evidence? Which immigration flows. When? Definitely. Let's start citing evidence. You know, place, dates, source material?
  10. I earn slightly more money than you - probably in a lower income regional economy than you - similar savings, no mortgage (I rent), drive a better car but also bought it for cash, probably as a result of having no mortgage. Other than the job, about which none of us can predict what will happen - although I'd guess I'm sorted with the job, but might need to take a pay cut to ensure it - don't see the big difference between be and you. But I don't see what the problem is... If the world economy is seriously, armageddon-style farqqued, then you are too but no more than the rest of us. If it isn't, you have significantly better income and lower debt than most people. And even if it is, then you seem to be smarter and better skilled than the average bear, and if we are really living in Armageddon, that's all that will matter. You need to relax, dude. If the sh1t really hits the fan, we are all in trouble, but you are better resourced to deal with it. And if it doesn't - 90k mortgage for feck's sake - then, RELAX!!!
  11. Apologies if I have been extrapolating what I know of Tesco NI to the rest of the UK without evidence. I am genuinely surprised to hear Sainsbury's are doing OK. They seem to be caught between two stool here - overpriced product, mid-market image, budget product and in deep trouble generally.
  12. And many of the luxury UK slaveboxes in North and West Belfast built since 2005 are in places that make Sandy Row look like the site of an ecumenical shrine pilgrimage... I mean, 'luxury aparments' on Carlisle Circus? I grew up round there, and most of the family is still pretty nearby, and what the farque where they trying to do? Let them out to foreign journalists so they could film ethnic cleansing and drug wars from the comfort of their own balcony?
  13. Another gross inaccuracy, propagated by another anti-semitic f4ckw1t ruining an otherwise great forum. Too many assimilated German Jews believed that the Nazis were just a bunch of extremist cowboys who would be well brought to heel when the German ruling class reasserted itself and paid with their lives as a result. Read Viktor Klemperer's incredibly moving diaries for a summary of the fate of assimilated German Jews who wouldn't read the warning signs.
  14. That's what I was thinking here in the 'neece' parts of BT15 three months ago. But in the past month, there has been a big jump down in the best Upper Antrim Road/Cavehill properties, especially 'keen to sell' ones. We were only following where West Belfast, Carrick and Newtownabbey led, and in their turn Lisburn, Ards, BT8, East Belfast and eventually the super-expensive BT7/9 and North Down pockets will follow. If you don't mind being stuck on a dual carraigeway for an hour a day, why buy a house in Bangor when an indentical one in Lisburn will sell for a lot less? And if you want to live near Belfast City Centre, why buy an overpriced house on the Malone Road or in Knock when an identical house in Cavehill sells for half the price? Money is tight. On hundreds of such individual decisions is a property crash built.
  15. As long as you think there will be no overshoot at the bottom...
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