Archive for May 2010

On the Move Again

Posted on Wednesday 19th May 2010 at 00:00
It started with a phone call.

Me: Hello?

Woman#1: Hello I'm Random-Babbling-Blonde-With-A-Forgettable-Name from Current-Letting-Agency.

Me: Hi there.

Woman#1: The landlord has asked to have a look round the property on Saturday morning, is that convenient?

Me: I guess we could be in, why does he wish to see it?

Woman#1: .....he...just...hasn't seen it in a while...
Me: ...right...

So Saturday morning arrived and no one showed up. I eventually received a phone call at around 1pm.

Me: Hello?

Woman#2: Hello I'm another Random-Babbling-Blonde-With-A-Forgettable-Name from Current-Letting-Agency.

Me: Hi there.

Woman#2: We've arranged for you to have a visit of your property today, is that still convenient?

Me: It was, this morning, when no one turned up.

Woman#2: Yes, he's been held up viewing another property but should be with you at 2pm. His name is Forgettable-Name-That-Isn't-My-Landlord's

Me: Umm....

At 2pm we get a knock on the door and outside are a man, a woman and a youth.

Me: Hi, come in.

Man: Hi, sorry we are late, were you expecting us?

Me: We were expecting...someone.

Man: Thank you for agreeing to let us look round.

Me: problem.

Woman: So when are you planning to move out?

Me: Pardon?

Man: When are you leaving? Has the landlord said when he is selling yet?

Me: Umm...we aren't planning to move out at all. Are you looking to buy this place?

Man: Yes. You didn't know your landlord is selling?

L: No?!

Man: Oh.*embarrassed pause*

Woman: So, what is your landlord like?

Me: We've never met him.

Woman: Oh.

Me: So, shall we give you the tour?

Youth: Ok.

The tour continued and they left, clearly feeling embarrassed. And that was how we found out that the flat we'd planned to rent for 2 years, and which was a fantastic find, was now going to be snatched from us after just 9 months, thanks to the greed/financial problems/greed of our landlord.

It wasn't until several weeks later that we actually got a call from the Current-Letting-Agent to inform us that we were being given notice that notice would be given. In other words, the landlord had informed them that they were planning to serve notice, which they felt we should be notified about. Only because they needed to give access to the estate agents of course. Not because they felt that being thrown out of your home is something that most tenants would want to know about in advance or anything.

L and I decided that it was a good thing, as we'd have two months to find somewhere new before the notice expired. We could really take our time to look around and find somewhere new.

All this talk of finding a new home got me in the mood for property searching, and so I began trawling through Right Move. Just out of curiosity you understand. 10 minutes later I found out that the flat immediately above ours - identical, save for a much bigger balcony - was available to rent for exactly the same rate that we were already paying. 10 minutes after that, I'd emailed the New-Letting-Agent to express our interest in seeing the property, and by 9 the next morning I'd arranged a viewing for the following day.

And so we are to move. Not today, but at the beginning of June, all being well. We shall move ourselves, our possessions and our furniture, out of the flat, up a flight of stairs and into the new flat, to be put in exactly the same place as they are in now.

It doesn't feel like moving home. Not really. It feels like....a balcony upgrade.

That is all.

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Thoughts On A New Government

Posted on Wednesday 12th May 2010 at 00:00
Well, the effects of the election have sent shock waves across the country and kept the various news services busy for days, but at last it looks like things are coming to an end.

Today is the first full day of the Conservative/ Lib-Dem coalition government, and it seems to me like a good day to express my thoughts on what has happened and what may happen now. 15 minutes, as that is all I have left of my lunch break. *ahem*

In the past I've always voted Tory (yes I'm posh and snobby, get over it), but this time round I found myself curiously torn between Tory and Lib-Dem policies. Each side seemed to present ideas that excited me, and others that seemed like terrifying suggestions.

A few weeks ago I was chatting to a colleague and felt obliged to point out that the ideal government for me would be one that I could customise by stealing bits from the existing ones, but not having to fully subscribe to any of them.

When the result came in, I didn't really know what to make of it. A weak and ineffectual Tory government? The threat of a lib/lab pact and the looming specter of Brown remaining in power? Political and economic chaos for months or years to come? The only thing I was certain about is that we'd be seeing another election before long.

Now though, I don't think we will be. Far from attempting a lukewarm, vague agreement to sometimes not stab each other in the backs, the Tories and Lib-Dems have gone the whole hog and entered a genuine coalition and majority government. In a few days they managed to thrash out all the differences in policy and who said what to who, and managed to agree to stick with each other on everything for the next 5 years.

If they can do that in a week, what can they do together in a month? Or a year? Or 5?

The way the policies have worked out has also been very favorable. The influences of each party on the other has caused both to drop their scarier ideas and stick with the ones that make sense.

This might be a big flop, like every hung parliament has been before. Or it might not be. This could be the first day of a whole new chapter in British Democratic History, where coalitions are the norm, the standard. The trusted option.

I can't claim to know how things will pan out, no one can these days, but if ever a government was formed to suit me and what I want to see happening over the course of the next parliament, this could well be it.

The next few years will be very interesting indeed!

...and that is my 15 minutes! Go back to your lives people :-)

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I've [Not] Got The Power

Posted on Tuesday 4th May 2010 at 00:00
When I started blogging, back in 2004, I tended to spend my free time pretty much glued to my home desktop, and so, naturally enough, that is where I used to write my blogs.

Occasionally I used to venture out to Starbucks in Bristol and tap away on my big clunky Dell Inspiron, as the change of scenery seemed to be good for my blogging. On occasion I'd try my hand at typing out a whole post on my HTC Vox, the first Smartphone I had that came with Wi-Fi, but it was slow going.

These days I find my Asus EEE PC is my prefered blogging tool, even when I'm at home and have access to the desktop (still struggling on, all these years later), but not today. You see, I've forgotten to charge the laptop.

Times gone by I'd never have dreamed of leaving the house without the power cable for the laptop, because with a battery life of less than an hour, it wasn't worth ever using it without the mains. But with the Asus, the battery life is 9.5 hours, which in lunch break terms equates to several days worth of use. And when a battery lasts that long, not only do I not take the cable with me, I rarely even know where it is, so long is the gap between charges.

So, on Friday I may have noticed that my battery was low, but a bank holiday weekend of barbecues, jazz and fish have completely wiped my memory of this, leaving me with a flat battery.

And so I'm typing this on my iPod. And that's all I wanted to say really.


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