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Markxjr

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  1. I've either lived or worked for long periods in Malaga, Barcelona (Badalona) and Gijon and the above is simply not true, not now. . I recently left Badalona for the last time (closing a very small business). In Barcelona, in high value real estate areas, say in leafy Gracia or Eixample, professional people begging is now common, it's akin to seeing suited gents begging in Westminster or Notting Hill. I never saw a beggar in these areas until the last 18 months, it is shocking and the desperation is palpable. This is Barcelona, the engine room of the Spanish economy. Lingo? It's the easiest foreign language for a Brit to pick up, if a dunce like me can get by there is no excuse. Fluent is another matter but your average Brit should be able to speak Spanish, competently, within 6 months. Trying to sell? Just the same as the older downsizers here in the UK, of course they can sell but not at the price the market is currently offering. Somebody said people can't rent out property even on the coast. Rubbish. A look at any good visible website will show you that you can rent a dismal 2 bed basic apt for good money, yes, even in Torremolinos. People still make good money from the 8 week summer period and will continue to do so. Black economy? The state has always been complicit, it is tacitly accepted and not frowned upon as tax avoidance as it would be in the UK. It removes what would be a problem from the states books.To be self employed is a red-tape nightmare and expensive too, your monthly autonomo payment does not take into account the fluctuations of your business, it's oppressive for a sole trader and sensible fro him/her to work cash-in-hand. Enchufe was probably the hardest obstacle for a Brit to overcome to be able to break out of the coastal service jobs in better times, but I suppose that works both ways,as nearly every gardner or pool cleaner along the costas is a Brit.. You get the odd demo in Barcelona, they are rare though, it's the only place that can attract enough agitators to get things going, like London. In general, IMO, the Spanish are far more civil and sociable than Brits. I am cycling from Bilbao to Malaga (via Valladolid, Madrid, Plascencia, Salamanca, Trujillo & Seville) next month and am going to write what I see.
  2. I started work in the late 70's for a national company, it had no union, the job was what today would be a minimum wage (forever) occupation. However, wages were dealt with at regional level not national level and there was a wage budget not a default rate for everbody regardless of initiative, enterprise, productivity or ability.. I started at the bottom wage level, through hard work and enterprise and having an incentive (MONEY), I was soon earning more than some doing exactly the same job. Why? I was more productive, that is I worked harder, I wasn't grateful either, I deserved it, it was normal, they saw a potential asset and wanted to retain my services. Thank god there was not a MW then, I honestly think I'd have been trapped, just like millions on the not-so-merry-go-round today.
  3. Yes it has and it's lowered productivity too, brilliant!
  4. It is not that simple. As per my previous post, without any incentive people did the bare minimum, I could have done the work of 2 and been happy with the wage of 1.5...................
  5. But that £1.25 is £50 a week, an incentive, for some......... I had the misfortune to work for the MW for 3 months some years ago. I was "green"and finished my work in maybe 70% of the allowed hours. I'd then go help somebody else in my remaining time. Naive or what? I Iearned 3 things very quickly:- I, as the newbie had been allotted the hardest task, the one that nobody else wanted, and one that I would have struggled to finish in the allowed time if I had worked as hard as everybody else. Everybody else finished their alloted work bang on time, never early, never late.. MW and "productivity" don't work together.
  6. That's all very well...........but l live in a village, on the very edge of a large city, all 3 of the nationals that I mentioned are mega sized stores, within this 2 mile radius are also a Nisa, an Aldi and a "smal/local" Asda, Tescos are applying for permission to open one of their smaller depots here too, their mega box store is maybe 3.5 miles away. We don't have any small groceries or village store now and the farm egg van is hanging in there, just....................
  7. Who does their "shopping" in town centres, I thought people went to them for "needs", say, a pair of new shoes? Why would they need to be muscular? "Shopping" to me is essentials, the weekly food trip, for that I'd need to be muscular. However, me and my good lady strap 2 panniers each on our bikes and have a choice of Asda/Sainsbury's and Morrison's all approximately 2 miles from our home. That's how we do our "shopping", have done for at least 5 years, thought it'd catch on, zero cost, keeping fit etc But it must be too wacky for the majority.
  8. My TV went "pop" a couple of years ago, the children were bereft....................I knew bugger all about TV's so took my time, it was maybe 6 weeks before we got a new one. In the interim something wonderful happened, the kids stopped aruging, started going out more and best of all they'd come in grab a book and settle down. I wish I'd never bought a new TV, me and my wife rarely watch anything apart from the news, footie and the odd documentary via the basic Virgin package, when the kids go, so will the TV.
  9. The above plus your other quotes "who doesn't want more money" and "always looking for better if it's out there - you'd be mad not to!" make depressing reading for me. It seems you somehow think you "deserve" more............................Those who want much, are always much in need. You are no whippersnapper at 27, if you haven't struck out by early 30's you then probably never will. But why should you want to? An educated well paid man? Why are you in pursuit of "more"? I started business with a partner, but he was really a company man and he couldn't hack the lack of routine. We are still good friends today, he is much wealthier but I have time and when he is working next June I'll be cycling across Spain. We are both happy and content and I recognise there is lot to be said for being a company man. Tbh If you can't ride a bicycle because your girfriend says you can't (Despite stats showing you are more likley to be injured as a pedestrian) then you can forget about taking big risks.............
  10. That's a belter! Heard it a million times and to me, it still sounds as codswallop as it ever did. Time my friend is what I work for myself for, time, free time, my time, not the money. All I have to do to earn more money is work for more hours. The trouble is I'd have to trade time for the money. I can't buy anything with the "more" money to make me happier and I can't buy back the time that I'd lose, so, no, I don't want more money.
  11. That's it! I had a good stable position, nice car and expenses, but, I was unhappy = nothing of importance to lose. Guitarchappie seems a narrow thinker, most think "What if this/that happens", the few escapees are l;ikily tothink "Why would this/that happen". It's 2011 pal, I work from home, have a shed load of gear that I sell on the internet and install (if I absolutely have to) and others on here will have similar oddball occupations. My neighbour works from home selling gold plated bath taps! Dropping out can also mean that you become unemployable, in anything other than MW positions. My skills/qualifications (electrical) are now very outdated, I've massive gaps in my CV (cyling abroad in the sun takes time) , I am 50 next, there is no way back for me now (couldn't hack a boss/job anyway), am I worried? No, couldn't give a monkeys fart.
  12. Nice thread. I now work from home, business is slow, so I have saved on my unit rental, £300 a month + rates + utilities. Was only really a place for meetings and to keep stock, the meetings now take place in a local hotel for the price of 2 coffees and the stock is in my garage and a new garden shed. I've been self reliant for many years now, I loathed corporate life and when I walked out, I was not secure, but had a mortgage, 2 kids and a new baby, if that office life is not for you then it never will be, I hated being a "suit"and I hated the "suits" I worked with. People don't leave because they are scared, scared of financial calamities, scared of reduced "image" and they'll make all manner of spurious excuses not to leave office life (like the guy too scared to cycle in London), 95% of them never will and they'll spend their entire working lives unhappy. You've got to leave or you never will. Anyway............life, financially, was hard but my legs did not fall off and my children did not fall ill................I've worked as much as I've needed to ever since, if I've made enough to meet the months budget by say, the 22nd, then I'll do nack all for the rest of the month. You can't have it all, money or time, it's always a trade off, I've been with all 3 kids as they grew up and have enjoyed my hobbies whilst in good health. I could, I suppose, have acquired much more money............... Money or time, which do you prefer?
  13. Been a popular topic the USA for a long time as the content value of a nickle exceeds it's monetary value. I think the Sunday Times last week had an article on a Texan banker/hedge fund owner who was hoovering them up. What strange times! Nickels
  14. I 've had to kick out solar "salesmen" from my mothers house, makes a refreshing change from booting out utility guys. To a man, they know FA, I've installed energy saving devices for AC induction motors, a few simple questions and they flounder and bluster, it's embarrassing. They read from scripts but can't explain the figures? These guys are on the loose targetting OAP's all over the UK. I have my doubts that the artificially high (subsidised) sell-on price will remain, and why should it? Aesthetically they are a disaster, anybody seen a good looking solar panel system? Who'd want to buy a house with an outdated solar panel system in 6/9/12 years?
  15. John Steed, Agreed, there are cracking places to live around Huddersfield, Halifax too, not so keen on the East and SE of Bradford, into the West Yorks urban sprawal. "Bradford", "Huddersfield", "Provincial northern City", say those names and peoples minds run wild with connotations and of course, ill informed sweeping, generalisations. BD10, 2 hours ago at my Daughters school sports day, 2 mins walk from my house, it probably doesn't much look like peoples mental image of Bradford. Copydude, yes I hold the council responsible for the pitiful state of the centre, unfortuantely, I mean 60 years worth of councils satring with the early 60's rape of the centre to this years squandering of the airport crash. It's too late IMO for anything to reverse the decline, way past the tipping point now, there aint much left to decline. The non appearnbce of Westfield left the centre like a bombsite, since 2004 in fact, the populace now shops elsewhere, they won't come back for a McMall. I mentioned before that perhaps 100k Indians rather than Mipuri Pakistanis would have had a positive affect on Bradford, I could, and maybe should, have said that 100k Pakistani's from, say, Islamabad, might have had a positive affect. It was a Pakistani journalist who said "These people would be considered backward in their own country" add on the high % of first cousin marriages and we have problems galore. I can't see what they contribute to Bradford tbh, open the yellow pages and you can't find a Pakistani tradesman, it's really strange, the book will be full of Patels and Panesars yet Indians make up only 5% of the asian figures. I don't see any prospect of racial harmony, but fortunately, nor do I forsee any future riots, the sentences handed down after the 2001 riots were draconian, they did the trick. I am not sure what BNW said about "white flight" is entirely correct, the 60's were aspirational times, my parents moved out of the inner city to a new house in a suburb on the outskirts in '61. The inner city was soon populated by immigrant poorly paid mill workers, but, the explosive birth rate made these areas nearly completely "asian" withihn 20 years, and, going back to the Mirpuri problem (My mother gave up the impossible task of teaching in Bradford in the early 80's) only a complete fruitcake would want their child to be taught in a predominantly Pakistani school. Which reminds me! Last summer an "asian" inner city school was oversubscribed. The kids were to be moved to a predominantly "white" school in the outskirts, Queensbury. This school had far higher academic results standards than the inner city one (no surprise there then) and this was a fantastic opportunity for these asian kids, they'd won lifes lottery, but, they didn't get there, their parents demo'd against the move............so it goes on..................
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