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The Great Pretender

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About The Great Pretender

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  1. I think the £1.4bn was for housing infrastructure rather than the actual houses themselves. Could be wrong though. Overall quite a good performance, but still the same nonsense about housing shortages and HTB. Sigh.
  2. Just back on the MP thing, I had a reply from mine this morning (or rather his secretary) In case you're wondering, I didn't make any reference to Right To Buy in my letter.
  3. David Dimbleby needs putting out to pasture. The whole BBC coverage seems pretty amateurish so far.
  4. I found out from a representative of my local Parish council that Trafford Council are in real trouble, and it's currently very hard to get anything done. Didn't get any more detail than that, but I'll be watching with interest.
  5. "Let's make Altrincham and Sale West a more affordable place to live" "Labour announces plans to build 200,000 homes each year by 2020 and provide greater support to people renting their home" Anybody else get the 'Labour Today' paper through their letterbox recently? The above headline is the front page. It's all very low on detail of course, and having looked at the website I can't find any other reference to the subject. According to the content though, the Labour candidate James Wright is a private renter - "The cost of buying your own home in Altrincham and Sale West is beyond many
  6. I wrote my first full length stage play last year (performed by my local am-dram group). The plot was about a couple of 20-something girls that decide to get revenge on their slumlord by stealing a valuable painting he owns from an art auction. Couple of not-too-subtle digs about bankers in there too. Seemed to go down well, and was later published by one of the newer online publishing houses. Every little helps. Although I wouldn't bank on seeing it on the West End any time soon.
  7. Altrincham due to get another facelift I see. http://www.messengernewspapers.co.uk/news/whereyoulive/altrinchamnews/11715303.Public_consultation_on___6m_of_improvements_for_Altrincham_town_centre/ They do seem to be making a real effort of late, and the new market food hall is really nice (shame about the fire, but sounds like it was mainly smoke damage). I still think the two biggest problems though are parking, and rent/rates. I know they've made the parking 10p/30p, but the maximum is still 2 hours which just isn't enough. And I was in Oxford Rd Cafe last week (always very good), and the
  8. I think in the case of Altrincham it's that the descent has been so stark, going from a thriving community and market town to being officially declared the most derelict town in Britain a couple of years ago. I remember when I started working there, there was a free car park that just about perfectly accommodated the car-based workforce. Then they built a Tesco on it, and there's been a cat and mouse game of street parking and subsequent restrictions ever since. It's only as recently as about 10 years ago that people would flock to Altrincham on a Friday night, and there'd be a queue of 20 pe
  9. Sorry to hear you didn't get the house. Would you really still call it a 'very good area' though? I think Altrincham is living off past reputation. They keep trying to give it a face-lift, but I can't help feeling the damage is done and it will continue a slow and steady decline. Either way, it offers nothing now that even comes close to justifying the sort of money that house went for. Crazy times. But no - no it can't last.
  10. http://news.efinancialcareers.com/uk-en/152654/mid-ranking-young-bankers-now-priced-out-of-the-property-market/ An article designed specifically to induce anger and hatred I've no doubt. Worked on me. Done a quick Google Images search, but I just can't find a violin small enough.
  11. A friend of mine posted this on Facebook today: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2013/jun/24/who-wants-serve-billionaire-superyachts It's an interesting subject to me, because my current girlfriend is quite high up in the industry, so in the last 10 months or so that I've been dating her, I've had quite an insight into the world of super-yachts. To be honest, I didn't even know the industry existed prior to that. The money involved and level of waste is absolutely eye-watering. Totally disconnected from all sense of reality. I was invited to the launch party of the yacht she's on at the mome
  12. Cloud 23 is the typically pretentious bar half way up Beetham Tower, which I sheepishly admit I've been to twice. I really like Manchester but like most cities, it's not exactly pretty. So the views are impressive in a 'high up' sort of way, but mostly uninspiring. Trying to rent it seems crazy. Talk about a narrow market. Who has a family with young children that can afford £15k a month rent but would choose to rent a flat in the middle of Mcr rather than buy a big family home with garden?
  13. Yes. Yes it is. 10 years of allowing the building of supermarkets literally a stone's throw from each other; putting in crazy parking charges and time restrictions and policing it like Nazis; charging insane business rates etc... and Trafford Council finally had a strokey-beard meeting "I just can't understand why no-one comes to Altrincham any more. Maybe if we spend millions of pounds giving half a dozen shops a weird glass front face-lift that in no way matches the rest of the high-street..." I despair. Had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine a few weeks back about the
  14. I know what you mean, but she's only been running the business around 18 months or so, so she's still building it up and it's viable in the sense that she's at least making profit. She's young (mid-20's) so it's a very good learning curve at that age too. It's things like wedding cakes or large cupcake orders where she actually makes a legitimate profit from what I gather. She clearly loves the creative side of it though, and of course she has the flexibility of working at home - considerably less soul destroying than stacking shelves for minimum wage. Absolutely agree on people handing out
  15. I have a friend who has her own novelty cake / cupcake micro business. From an outsiders point of view it’s easy to think of them as overpriced, but they can be incredibly time consuming. I know for a fact that her hourly rate works out at considerably less than minimum wage for most of her orders. What I find more alarming is the number of people who have advised her in no uncertain terms to ‘get a shop’ (she currently works from home). The only thing that makes her business viable is that it has virtually no overheads. I do think there’s a market for novelty cakes but it certainly isn’t
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