Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Property Fever!

Hello, Steven... Hope you're New Year is off to a positive start...Of course, the morale situation at North--- is dire...Our only hope is that the class-action lawsuit levied against our CEO Douglas Steen--- will cause him to drop his effort to neuter us as an airline...Apparently his shareholders are accusing him of (gasp! surprise!)insider-trading... Listen, I need to have your take on something that's been bugging me...After BBC Breakfast, we are treated to a phalanx of home-purchasing, home-revamp-for-profit programmes of every manner, shape, and form. What is this locust-like fascination with property over there? Seems like the Brits(or at least the more affluent ones) are going nuts for the comfy-cozy fantasy of untold riches by way of property-purchasing. It's a breathless feeding frenzy that actually reminds me of the Japanese when THEY get into, well, almost ANYTHING really. They do NOTHING by half-measures... Any insights into this, my friend? I'm just stymied. I know property is the big buzzword on BOTH sides of the pond...but how do you think this plays into the British mindset? Hope you're well, my friend...GaP ______________________________________________________________ Hi Gary, Thanks for the emissive. I am really sorry to see what is happening with North---. We are all in the hands of a mindless few who gather for their own benefit, regardless of the consequences to the masses. Yes, property is the big thing here. There are several TV channels dedicated to nothing else. The programmes tell you how to be a property developer, how to decorate, how to change your property, how to sell the one you have and buy 2 others, one in the country and one in the town. Basically it is a bit of a feeding frenzy. This has, in part, been brought about by the fact that it seems the pension funds we have been paying to (both private and government)for all our working lives are worth almost nothing. Most of them are based on the insurance/pension companies playing the stock markets - badly. The only financial certainty (if indeed there is one) seems to be property, the values keep rising, and rising and.... So, as a consequence those that can are buying properties either to let, refurbish and sell, or just keep buying bigger and bigger ones hoping that when it is time to retire they can sell the big house and buy a smaller one, the difference being their pension. There is logic there somewhere. It is all about the uncertainty of our futures and the pension funds that are failing. It is a big issue here, with some of the big, supposedly sound, pension companies going bust and people being left with no (or very little) income after they retire. It is quite a large and serious matter. So much for the welfare state! Christmas and New Year were fun here. We should have known what t was going to be like. On Christmas eve we had a flat tyre going to get the last minute Christmas shopping. 7 am Christmas morning there was a loud BANG followed by the sound of rushing water. A joint had burst and the water came pouring through our dining room ceiling into the dining room and adjoining lounge. The hot water tank emptied itself onto the tiled floor of the dining room and saturated the lounge carpet. Ho Hum. Clare and I were seen outside in dressing gowns in the cold scrambling to shut the water off by the stopcock in the drive. What a lark! Anyway, fair play to Clare, we had guests for lunch and the dinner was only 20 minutes late on the table. It was a surreal situation, me dangling from the ceiling with an emergency plumber trying to repair the damage, Clare stuffing the turkey and putting it into the oven! The ceiling is a mess; the lounge carpet is destroyed and hacked to pieces. Over the next 3 days we had two more plumbing disasters, none of which were related. Spooky. Great time to have no heating and hot water. And of course I now have flu! This coming Monday I head off to the USA. It is the very exciting 'World of Concrete' convention in Las Vegas and I am attending with one of my agency companies. KLM/Air France couldn't help me so I am using BA to LAX then on to Las Vegas with America West (?). Keep well, keep in touch, let me know if you want to buy any properties here! Ciao! Steven

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