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Bear Necessities

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Everything posted by Bear Necessities

  1. I think they are trying to blame the weather, not for stopping people going out and shopping, but for being variable so that people don't know whether to purchase swimming shorts or an autumn coat. So the shops were stocked up with Autumnal stuff, but we were still on the beach. Yesterday being a good example - (it was a gorgeous day here in Cheshire). Sounds like a poor excuse if you ask me. As if people HAVE to purchase new clothes every season. Do the majority honestly do that and I'm just a weirdo? Or do people find that the jeans and jumper that they wore last autumn are perfectly adequate again this year? I know mine are, but then I've never been a dedicated follower of fashion because it's all bullsh*t! If I am looking for a good quality new coat, jumper, shorts or whatever, I find it much better to buy few months later - getting shorts in the clearance sale around September time, and picking up a decent winter coat in about march when they are flogging them off then keeping those things until the seasons roll around. I'd imagine that a lot of people around here do the same (those that don't just sit at home counting their gold coins of course!)
  2. We are in a worse position than 2007 Why? Because since then the government has already done all of the interest rate cutting, QE (law of diminishing returns - it gets less effective each time), bank bailouts and other money manipulations, so this time around they have nowhere left to go (hence Help to Buy etc, which are the last gasp efforts to secure another election "win") When it crashes this time it's going Hindenburg.
  3. Having said that, I'f I'd put all my money into gold in 2008 and sold it in 2011 I'd be buying a house for cash. Hindsight is a wonderful thing I guess
  4. I was nearly persuaded to purchase some gold this time last year. Looking at the graph, I'd say I made the right decision (although that was down to luck not any kind of skill or knowledge)
  5. It's a tax on those who don't understand probability. "Oh no, if I want to carry on pissing money into a hole it's going to cost £2 a week instead of £1" (With some people I'm guessing it's more like "going to cost £20 a week instead of £10).
  6. I have no idea how these rating systems work. I'm always getting offers of credit cards. (two or three a month) I do have a credit card but have no need for one as I am not a fan of credit. I pay for whatever I can on my Amazon credit card solely because I get 1% cash back as vouchers which I then spend on ebooks. It's paid off in full every month automatically and so I'm never charged interest. I also don't have a house or any other debts or loans or anything. Surely I should be a rubbish person for them as I never earn them any money beyond the percentage they get from retailers when I make a purchase. I thought they'd be targeting the people who are always slipping into the red. weird
  7. We've had a panasonic breadmaker for years. And he is right (and I don't agree with the man on most things) on the point that it only takes 30 seconds to set up. A minute tops. Scoop of yeast, scoop of salt, scoop of sugar, weigh the flour, the water cup has measurements on the side, a glug of oil, press three buttons on the machine and away it goes. You get approx 3 loaves from each 1.5kg bag of flour (80p a bag in Tesco, sometimes on 3 for 2 so you can stock up and get 4.5kg for £1.60 which makes each loaf about 25p even if you include the cost of the sugar/yeast/oil which are pennies per loaf. Yes you have the electricity cost, and the machine cost (ours was a wedding present) but it's worth it for the fact I can have fresh bread in the morning, make really nice pizza dough in a few minutes, and I know what ingredients are going in there. Better than buying manky value loaves and freezing them, that's for sure.
  8. I must have been lucky with landlords then. Was in one rented house for 3 years with no rent increases at all The one we are in now have been here 4 years, I negotiated a rent decrease when we moved in (paying £25 a month less than the guy I knew that lived here before) and have had no rent rise since although they have had to do plenty of improvements to the walls, bathroom, windows etc. Would be very surprised if he did every try to raise it as he seems to be happy to not have any voids. Of course now we would quite like to move somewhere else so that I can have a home office (another bedroom with a desk in it) but because this place has stayed at the same price, everything else seems to have gone up by another £100 a month (including the next door house that our landlord also owns)
  9. Regarding paying for appointments, I would be interested to see the figures for Ireland in a few years time, for serious illness (cancers, heart disease etc) that are not picked up on at an early enough stage because of people not wanting to spend that money for an appointment because "well it might be nothing" and then waiting too long to get seen. Preventative medicine (including removal of potentially cancerous anomalies early) can save a lot of government money in the long run. Yes, you might have hypochondriacs in there a lot more often if appointments are free, but removing a growth or a mole at a very early stage is a hell of a lot cheaper than leaving it until it is a full blown cancer and being too late to treat it with anything else but chemo and large cocktails of drugs.
  10. You can add the animation industry to the list of things that are state funded in Canada (and Ireland). We had a good history of both games and animation in this country, but the tax breaks in those countries lured pretty much everyone away or resulted in studio closures (just look at the end credits of most CBeebies shows and whilst a lot of the concepts are british, the shows are made in Ireland or Canada.) House prices haven't helped matters in keeping the UK competitive, but then Canada and Ireland weren't exactly known for low house prices when this was going on either...
  11. Oh don't worry there is no fear of me following them. I'm not mentally ill. Just despondent that so many of my friends are jumping head first into a hole. Plus I'm already married and have a kid and renting isn't the barrier to a family life that some people think it is. (Also my wife is on the same page as me about this) and she doesn't watch TV (Breaking Bad on Netflix doesn't count, as his house is paid for with drug money) (as a side note how could there possibility be 1.2 BILLION personal insolvencies in NI? That's a 6th of the population of earth. Unless I missed the hyperbole tag)
  12. perhaps the vendor has asked the estate agent why people keep putting "low" offers in, and the estate agent wants to come back to them with something more than "because I'm a greedy ******* so I overvalued your house on the estimate so that I could get your business"?
  13. Thanks for being the voice of reason. I think it is because they are "real life" friends, that it felt so strange that suddenly people were buying left right and centre. I'll keep on waiting. Until 2015 when the government of the day think of a different scam to keep prices high.
  14. Not sure if there is something in the water supply, but all of a sudden my peer group seem to be jumping into the housing market. We have all recently reached our 30s, so perhaps that has something to do with it? I don't know. Can it really just be the "settle down and have a family thing"? Because of the four of us (the three that have jumped in, and me), three of us are married but I'm the only one with a kid and am currently renting, despite people expressing horror/sadness for me as "everyone knows" you can only bring up a child in a house you own* (*rent from the bank). Or maybe they do all think you have to buy a house at any cost before you can dream of having kids? One of them has bought a place in Lincolnshire (by herself, stretching to the point where she had to sit of patio furniture for months.) One of them (in a couple and admittedly earning more than me) has brought a "doer upper" in Oxford (so at least he can "add value" One of them (in a couple, again with two decent jobs, but formally a total bear!) has purchased a 4 bedroom house for the two of them, OFF PLAN!!! I didn't realise that off plan was even a "thing" any more, surely that's only used in a rising market?!! I'm not sure if it's just that we've all hit 30, or if the world is going mad, or if this is a case of "when the last bear turns bull" and I should be happy because it signifies a crash, or if I'm the one who is mad for refusing to play this stupid game. I was ok (if annoyed) up till now, but when the people that surround you are buying (and off plan at that!) then it starts to feel a bit weird and lonely, I don't know what is going on any more!
  15. In my parents' village (where I grew up in the back end of nowhere) there is now a trend for building on all the lovely big gardens, sometimes cramming 4 or 5 houses onto a quarter acre (or smaller) plot. This leaves the original 4 or 5 bedroom house with barely any garden, and then slowly all the green space within the village is eaten up by (meanly proportioned) houses with no real garden of their own. This despite the fact that there are northing but green fields for 3 miles in every direction, and it's 9 miles to the nearest town. It's insane that this seems to be preferable to the obvious solution which would be to build out of one edge of the village another (perhaps smaller) village style estate with enough houses for a few decades, which could be built in a style in keeping with the old cottages, with decent proportions and decent gardens of their own. The people in the old village wouldn't even have to visit that part if it "upset" them too much to think about their precious village changing shape. Also if the village was able to expand rapidly all at once (rather than a house or two at a time each year over 40 years), then perhaps there might be enough new families moving in to keep the pub going, or reopen the village shop/post office, or keep the cricket club going, or any number of village activities that are dying because 80% of the population is over 50 living alone or in a couple, in a house that is far too big for them, with a garden they have built all over, in a property "worth" half a million quid. (As far as I know the only young people living there now either have parents that didn't pop sprogs till their 40s, or have been left a house by their relatives. Nobody under 40 could even think about buying a place there. (In fact in the village there IS a small estate of a couple of dozen houses built on the outskirts (in the 1960s I think), unfortunately they look awful as they aren't in keeping and have that very dated 60s/early 70s style, but they are surrounded by trees and there is no need to even go up there if you don't want to (it's not on the way anywhere). It's mental that they prefer to fill in the gardens and increase the density instead rather than building out from the edges.
  16. Was looking for a link to his book, it's out at the end of the month £14.99, but I noticed that the ebook version (for those with Kindles etc) is less than £7. Quite tempted as it sounds like there is a feast of bear food in it.
  17. according to his twitter feed we should expect more on the subject from him in the Guardian/Observer over the next few weeks. So that's good news, plenty more bear food on the way!
  18. I don't know if it's already been mentioned on this thread, but for those on Twitter, it might be good to send a tweet to Faisal to tell him what a good read his housing related articles are (and perhaps ask him a short question about where we are headed) People in the media are used to getting complaints and abuse via twitter, but it can also be good for actually connecting with people too. I reckon it'd be good to let him know that this sort of article is what we want to see more of, and that he has support in airing these views in the mainstream media. His twitter address is @faisalislam And you can be sure he is more likely to read tweets sent to him directly than he is to read the hundreds of comments under the articles. (I can vouch for this as I sent him one the other day and he responded.)
  19. Go to Citizens Advice and tell them what you have told us, and show them the paperwork you have and what you have been told. They will be able to advise you properly. The agent sounds like a scumbag (surprise surprise)
  20. A lot of solar technology now only requires light and can work (to an extent) even on overcast days. so the sun going behind a cloud may not be a problem eventually. Also efficiency increases yearly and prices go down yearly, so subsidy may no longer be required soon, especially in sunnier countries.
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