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Bear Necessities

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Everything posted by Bear Necessities

  1. I ususally send an email to the agent via rightmove to report a problem with the listing and say something like: "I see that this property was on at 495K and has since been put up to 525K. Thought I should email you about this typing error as it should clearly read 425K (or possibly 325K?). Cheers!" Have not had any responses as yet....
  2. Thanks for the link, according to the local library website they have a copy of his book currently on the shelf, so I may go and borrow that tomorrow! Whereabouts in the country do you live, out of interest. We (Me, Wife and Young Son) are based in Chester but have family in West Yorkshire and Northamptonshire and since I quit my job to do freelance illustration, we have no ties to anywhere in particular. Was thinking of having a few short breaks in various parts of the country as I haven't seen a lot of it to be honest beyond the places that friends or relatives live. Want to find somewhere lovely to build one of these cob or straw houses!
  3. That's the one. I still tell anyone who will listen about that house and about that construction method! (They usually yawn and change the subject!) If I recall correctly, he was a charcoal burner/woodsman wasn't he and as such had a special dispensation to be allowed to build in the wood, with the condition that he could not sell the house on if he ever decided to move away (why would you!?) I would love to get together with some like minded people and spend a year building a half dozen unique houses like this on a decent sized piece of land, everyone pitching in. Would need to be somewhere suitably rural and beautiful though. Do you think that the new tory planning proposals make it more likely to happen or are they going to be skewed so as to make sure the only people that can build in good locations are the mega slave box building firms?
  4. Similar to cob building, I've always fancied a straw bale house. Cheap material, really good insulation, no fire hazard as it's too tightly packed to burn (not enough oxygen). The benefit of straw bale over cob is that you can put the walls up in a few days rather than a few months, and shape them with a chainsaw. The disadvantage is that you really need to build a timber frame as the main structure, the bales are just infill. but even so, the bales are a lot cheaper than bricks and mortar and easier for a newbie to work with. Not sure what the mortgage situation is like for cob or for straw bale builds? I guess you might need to fund it in cash. Although certainly in the case of straw, the house is as robust as any "traditionally" built house, so I can't see any reason why they should be treated differently for mortgage purposes. The best one I ever saw was on one of the grand designs programmes. Beautiful when it was finished.
  5. Was feeling a bit down today, but that's cheered me up no end!
  6. I've always considered myself to have a rather acerbic wit, but I take my hat off to your reply. still laughing.
  7. So how long roughly between losing SMI support and repossession (or forced selling) do you reckon? and how many people are in receipt of SMI?
  8. If you type Library Closures into google pretty much the entire page is taken up with local and national stories about protests at library closures.
  9. there have been lots of protests at library closures and quite a bit of media coverage on them. The most popular version seems to be to get as many local people as possible to get their limit of books (usually 20) out of the library in order to completely empty the shelves. This does have a certain visual impact, as local papers are quite keen to get a photo of the desolate library as a heavy handed metaphor for the cuts and subsequent reductions in services. Personally I use the library a lot. We take my young son there to choose four or five new books a week (he's only one and loves picture books) and then swap them each week. Most children's books are in the £5.99 or more category, even the picture books, and the charity shops around here seem to charge at least £1.50 each. When you get through them at the rate he does, then it makes a lot of sense to borrow them from the library. My wife always has a novel on the go from the library and a couple of non-fictions (cookery etc) And I spent all day in there on Wednesday researching. I'm a freelance illustrator and the range of work I need to produce means that I'd be penniless if I actually purchased all of the reference books on all the different subjects that I illustrate! (might only need to read a few chapters on an obscure topic for a single illustration. I do use the internet for a lot of research but is is very handy to be able to get down from the shelves a 1978 book of comic book illustration by Art Spiegelman, a 1955 book of nursery rhyme origins and a book on British clothing from the inter-war period and have them all open on the desk at the same time. OK, so I admit that may not be typical family usage! Also it keeps the other nutters off the streets as well.
  10. I was going to say that it looked like Mr Tumble's house from that CBeebies series that my one year old watches, but actually Mr Tumble's house is a dam ned nice house (if you like big colourful spots stuck everywhere).
  11. thanks for the flood warning. Re: the tourists, I've gotten used to them, they are in Chester all year round although worst in the summer. Know all the shortcuts through town though, so usually able to avoid them. Worst thing about Chester is the 12 race days a year, where the entire town is flooded with drunk liverpool chavs (orange with bleached hair) and london toffs (usually called Penelope and Tarquin) wo treat you like a country bumpkin. On those days it's advisable to get the hell out of town!
  12. If anyone was thinking for even a micro-second about living in Middlesbrough can I advise them to stop thinking that right now! It's H O R R I B L E. I lived there for three years for uni. *Shudder* One of my housemates got beaten up by a group of 8 year olds, and they stole his cash-and-carry fizzy cola bottles! (I think they only won because he was worried that he would be in trouble if he defended himself, that and the fact he was a wuss) We also had a lad climb in our window on the rob. Got stuck halfway in and then cra pped himself when my other housemate got a baseball bat out from under the bed. Never seen someone go from cocky to crying so quickly!
  13. Might have a look at that then. I've lived amongst northerners for a while now and a few of them aren't that bad! (I try and avoid the ones that only wear vests in the winter)
  14. Your comment about "having to live" there got me thinking, Which cities have the best houses AND living environment for the least money. For example we live in Chester which (despite a LOT of shop closures) has a lovely feel, lots of history, everywhere is walkable and we enjoy living here, it the right size for us, plenty of restaurants but not polluted. However the house prices (and rents) are far higher than you would find in the surroundings - it's like a little bubble of Southern prices. So we could not afford to buy a house here and the rent is a bit steep. So any suggestions for towns or cities with good houses (big gardens) good town (preferably historic, pleasant and walkable) but better value? I was wondering about Durham and York, anyone live near either of those?
  15. This is the problem. I think it is built in to all of us. A while back I mused (only mused not actually seriously considered) setting up a commune/art community somewhere cheap or perhaps self build. My first thought was that it would be a proper little hippy commune. Everyone pitching in with their skills to build everyone's homes, a carpenter to make the furniture, a plumber to plumb all the houses, a chef to make the hummous!, Everyone get's a vote on what happens. My SECOND thought (within seconds of the first) was, "well as long as I can over rule the decisions I don't agree with", and "as long as we live in the nicest of the houses!" Was only minutes away from designing my own statue for the village square! Oh boy, either I'm particularly screwed up, or we all are!
  16. If an agent was to ask to see proof of funds from me, (say a bank statement) my main worry is that they might see I have additional money in the account. What is to stop them coming back after a fake conversation with the seller, to then say to me "well the seller wants another 20K, they just won't budge", (with the subtext being that they know I can "afford" it?)
  17. You make some interesting (and depressing!) points. Thanks for your input.
  18. I was just hoping to invest in a little bit of gold to hedge against the inflation that is eating my savings. I'm not looking to make super profits on it, I just want something that will compensate for the 2 or 3 (or 5 or 6) percent erosion of my savings as they sit in the bank. I'd be happy to maintain position to be honest, at the moment seem to be swimming against the current and losing ground with every new announcement. I'm not convinced by the near apocalyptic scenarios that would require me to smuggle gold to the continent in my bottom in order to sell it. If we got to that stage I think I'd be one of the first people to get eaten. (not that there is much meat on me, but I'm rubbish at running and don't own a shotgun)
  19. I second that. Don't want to hold physical myself but do want something that they hold on my behalf (so it's actual gold not just the promise of some fictional gold (stored at the end of a rainbow probably). Also how quickly can you sell it, is it as simple as clicking "sell". Wow I know next to nothing about this subject (so probably shouldn't be investing)
  20. I remember my mum telling me that when she had a short period of unemployment (30 years ago) that she went to the job centre and they offered her a job working in the job centre! (which she did for a few months until she found herself something better.) Would be good to write a comedy sketch where every person lined up at the job centre gets offered a job there, and then the job centre manager getting an OBE, but the place is heaving with people and they have to shut it down because nobody needs a job! (then you could loop the sketch again from the beginning!)
  21. I heard them use the words "liar loans" on the BBC1 News at 6 last night, so not sure if this is some sort of deliberate decision to start using that sort of terminology to raise it in the public consciousness or just coincidence?
  22. Amazing. Although I would wonder what the horses were doing trapped in the sunny conservatory in the first place!
  23. I'm quoting the original post and I appreciate that it's not RealistBears words but whoever did write it has two serious maths fails! £129.9 a litre, I don't think so...£130 a litre! (decimal point fail) Then the entire, "if ten people send this on, and ten more do, then we can reach this many..." which is so flawed I hardly know where to begin!!! (for a start it assumes that the ten people you send it to are ten NEW people, which is pretty unlikely) Not to mention the fact that I agree with several on here that petrol should be more expensive, to discourage unessential driving.
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