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Caravan Monster

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Everything posted by Caravan Monster

  1. If the place is a dump, smoke and CO detectors are something else you can advise the local authorities about when you leave. The regs are quite onerous and I seem to remember the fine is up to £5k. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/smoke-and-carbon-monoxide-alarms-explanatory-booklet-for-landlords edit: amazingly, the requirement for a CO detector is only advisory for gas appliances, but mandatory for solid fuel. So it's ok to get gassed to death by a faulty gas appliance.
  2. My impression is that farms work for many as the base for farmers' lifestyle. The farm was paid for a hundred years ago, so there's just running costs and council tax to pay. Letting land out pays ~ £100 / acre, so a small farm of around 150 acres might bring in £15k / year. Then there is residential rentals in houses on the farm. Then CAP payments, and any other grants such as Natural England environmental schemes. Then anyone with a bit of get up and go is going to find some form of diversification, could be anything from doing a few shifts a week in the local warehouse to having wind turbines built on the farm. Then they could do some actual farming! Anecdotally, pre supermarket revolution, household spending of the average worker was roughly a third on rent, a third on food, with the remaining third for other expenditure / saving. Compare with today, where I would guess average food spending to be more like a tenth of income. So proportionally there was a lot more money to go around food production industries. In my part of the world (Northants), there has been a definite shift away from livestock to arable. The markets for farm produce are volatile and difficult to make long term predictions about. My guess is that this is driven more by the labour involved - some machinery maintenance and a few weeks planting and harvesting as opposed to the daily all hours drudgery of livestock.
  3. What about the people in 30's / early 40's who don't have children because they have been in government caused precarious housing and employment situations for the last 15 + years ? I guess they get an inheritance if they are lucky, but it's entirely missing the point that houses have become a drain on society and successive governments could and should have corrected it, but continually choose not to. Gavin Barwell rapidly becoming new hate figure.
  4. I heard this second hand, so entirely anecdotal; on the night of the referendum result, a middle aged man came into our village pub later on in the evening and started having a go at people he overheard talking favourably about the brexit result. After a while, he was removed. At closing time, there was a police car in the high street and police manhandling the angry middle aged man and a local couple in their underwear. Apparently, the angry man had singled out the couple's house because they had an England flag in the window, got them out of bed and started a fight with the husband on their doorstep, which his wife joined in with on the street No idea who the angry remainer is.
  5. There was a small migrant encampment on a green lane that runs through the middle of the international rail freight terminal and warehouse hub out my way. Anecdotally, the warehouses prefer to use EE agency workers and drivers, so the camp must have been convenient for work They were moved on after a few months.
  6. https://yougov.co.uk/news/2016/03/24/eu-referendum-provincial-england-versus-london-and/ is worth a read. From my blinkered midlands centric view of the UK, I cannot understand why Scotland, Wales and N.I. are quite strongly in favour of EU membership ?
  7. Out. Still haven't heard anyone in real life say that they will vote remain.
  8. The small sample of farmers I have asked for opinions on brexit were suprisingly on the fence about it. Generally they want to buy more land (landowners can often borrow very cheaply) and are only keen to sell for big payouts like residential development. Many are quite old, very conservative and inherently anti eu. They often want to pass the farm onto the next generation instead of selling up at retirement.
  9. Parish (boomer nimbys) and Borough Councils (freemason types) should be removed from the planning process. They have too much local involvement and make decisions within a narrow scope of interests, not that of the wider community. They drag out the process to a ridiculous extent and have spawned new industries by generating expensive and pointless surveys just to be obstructive. There is currently so much money at stake in all but the smallest building applications, appeals will always be taken to the next level, where national policy should be applied.
  10. Nimbys need to grasp the fact that the planning inspectorate will go with current government policy, not the concerns of the lucky few about their property 'values'. Hysterical blanket opposition instead of grown-up negotiation with developers who are going to win is self defeating. They should be concentrating on screwing every possible concession out of the developers in return for cooperation in the planning process. Maybe the dogs on the march would like the developers to provide green communal areas with lots of trees that their owners will actually take them walking on instead of agricultural land with its inconvenient tractor ruts and scary livestock. Or maybe the developers would be more inclined toward lower density better quality housing if they didn't have to spend such a large chunk of their profits on planning and all the other costs that come with it.
  11. The building conservation experts and contractors will no doubt be preparing new forms of tortuous logic to justify screwing as much money as possible out of the public purse for this motherlode of all jobs. Building conservation = making decent repair of historic buildings very expensive. Time Team shows us how
  12. Market gardening is very hard work for very little money, mainly because the cost of food is low in relation to other costs of living. When you add in the inefficencies of small scale production it gets worse, even with premium prices for selling local, top quality produce direct to the end user. I would also be wary of working for dreamers trying to live an idyllic lifestyle. If business is tough, things can get nasty very quickly. A younger and possibly less experienced person suitable for this type of job might not have the confidence, or know when to get out, if things go wrong. It might be good fun for the right person though. There was a great video on vimeo about a grower in a Canadian city, who was renting vacant lots and gardens to grow produce which he mainly sold to restuarants. He did all his transport by bicycle and worked like a slave. He did make a living of sorts.
  13. Varies from council to council, but generally the planners will require accounts showing the farming enterprise to making an income the applicant can live off. Battery hen farming might be workable if you don't have much acreage and don't have a problem with the ethics. It takes knowledge, time, capital and land to be able to make £15 / £20k a year from grazing or arable farming. Even when all that is done, you are still left with a house with an agricultural tie, which can be a tricky problem. +1 I think the majority would prefer a well built home (on a decent size plot if they wanted a garden / out buildings etc) within a non intrusive community. Sadly insane planning permission and land costs make this an unobtainable dream for the majority.
  14. and in more news from the nineties, angry nimbys, a sinister conservative MP and well spoken crusties (Look out for the Sinclair C5 soundsystem) Even protests seemed better in 1994
  15. In 1994 I was a second year undergraduate sharing a decent sized stone built 4 bed terrace in Morecambe. I distinctly remember the landlord saying he had recently bought the place for £9k and the council had double glazed it for free to encourage him to take it off their hands. There's currently a 2 bed terrace in the same street on rightmove, asking £100k. There weren't many jobs in the area then, and I'd be surprised if there were many now. 'Human Traffic' is a good watch for some nineties nostalgia if you are 40 ish now
  16. A lot to be said for the older building techniques and materials used in the uk. The buildings are very repairable and the materials far more reusable. The stone, brick, timber, roofing, even sand and lime, in some old houses was not always freshly produced for that building and could have been used in one or more previous buildings. Modern houses are of a more disposable nature, which seems wrong considering the vast amounts of energy that go into producing building materials. They will also be a pain to dispose of when no longer viable. I suppose buildings describe how relative values of energy, materials and labour costs have changed over time.
  17. I suspect this only applies to domestic vacuums. Some smaller industrial vacuums are similar price to domestic and made from better components, so there will probably be a loophole there for anyone wanting extra cleaning power at home. Was talking to a stove fitter the other day who was very pleased with his triple motored vacuum that could suck brick ends up it's 4" pipe and had accidently removed a customer's living room curtains when he started it a bit too nearby
  18. That was my experience of boarding school (left school early nineties). Had a perfectly acceptable time there and achieved decent A Levels, but didn't have quite the same sort of family background, lacking the networking contacts and probably a bit short on the social niceties that my contemporaries would have been brought up with. But the net result was that both myself and my sister ended up in more or less the same sort of work as we most likely would have if we had stayed at home without the expensive education, which was a shame because without having to graft like slaves to pay the fees, our folks would have undoubtedly enjoyed those years some more.
  19. Not many people in the building trade want to work on large sites. Current methods of site management have created soul destroying work environments and sucked every last ounce of fun out of what was once an ok job. More than likely among site workers there will be an above average number with underlying serious issues such as drug or mental health problems. Much better to find your own niche and work locally for private customers.
  20. There is a new pub in my village. The owner turned the downstairs of his home into a pub. He is free to buy whatever beer he chooses and does not have rent to worry about. I have also heard of another similar enterprise not many miles away being run in a rather less 'official' way. High rents are the main obstacle to village pubs being viable businesses, as I understand it.
  21. Steel is a good material for shipping containers because it is strong and rigid without being too brittle. Shipping containers can contain heavy things and be lifted up with cranes and ride around on lorries without breaking because they are made from steel. These qualities are only really useful for types accomodation like site offices which have to be easy to move ahead of characteristics such as longeveity and efficient insulation. For a permanent home, I would go for building materials with thermal mass that insulate well and can maintain consistent interior temperatures. The steel of a shipping container is all thermal bridge, and although can be insulated with some degree of success, is unlikely to be as satifactory as more conventionally built shelter. For a cut price alternative, I would look toward rammed earth / earth ship / straw bale / adobe type constructions. It's all immaterial anyway because of the planning system and the cost of residential land.
  22. I own a shipping container and a steel container type site office, which serve their purposes, but after best part of a decade of using them, am all to familiar with the causes and effects of damp and insulation problems. I maintain that regardless of stylish alteration, steel boxes are fundamentally unsuitable for living in.
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