[Ben Reeve Lewis decides that something must be done about the dog …...]
Frazzy and I have had our Cocker Spaniel Pup Hector for 8 months now.
Adorable, funny, and a complete head-case who thinks he is the one who should be driving the car.
We got so fed up with him only doing as he is told if you have food in your hand that we called in the heavy mob last weekend. Robert Alleyne from BBCs Dog Borstal programme.
Cost us an arm and a leg but it had to be done and what a difference. Even before Robert left the house after a 6 hour session Hector was doing as he was told.
Now we can even leave an ice cream bowl on the floor and he stays away from it.
Never takes his eyes off it mind and occasionally wanders nonchalantly in it’s direction just to see if it is still there but it’s the beginning of control and we look to forward to a future of being able to drive without him perched up between the front seats, a paw on each of our shoulders as he cranes forward to see through the windshield as if he is giving us directions.
Are they SERIOUS?
The other week I commented on the Telegraph’s Alistair Heath who complained that the Tories didn’t go far enough with the right to buy and should actually give council houses away.
At the time I thought he was just being annoying, posh-boy provocateur but I read with open mouthed dismay that this is actually a serious proposal from Iain Duncan-Smith.
Rather than just concentrate on the sheer bloody lunacy of the idea as a whole, Inside Housing rightly pointed to the probable negative effect it would have on investors:-
“Who on Earth is going to lend to an organisation that is potentially going to give up its assets for nothing? No one in their right minds would want to.’
Even a property investor (un-named) said:-
‘I can’t believe [the Conservatives] would want to pull the rug away from investment in housing association stock,”
Plans are a tad sketchy at the moment and even Downing Street declined to comment at all when asked but the only meat on these mad bones that even Hector wouldn’t eat, is that after a year you get given your house and if you sell it within three years you have to pay 35% of the sale price in tax.
OK the election is coming up and politicians get carried away but this is like one of Al Murray’s spoof manifestos, proposing to lock up the unemployed and brick up the Channel Tunnel.
Finding a good news story
When I get up in the morning I do the BBC News red button thing and see what misery has been going on while I slept. Ukraine is starting to bore me now as did Bosnia in the 90s and Northern Ireland as a kid.
When even an interesting story ends up on every news edition I just zone out, preferring stories from the madder, more entertaining end of human life.
But I did notice this week that the sanctions against the Russians over their “We’re just hanging about on the borders minding our own business…..honestly’ foreign policy is affecting our housing market as Russian Billionaires, seeing the Rouble go all wobbly are investing in London Property.
London and the Russian Billionaires
The US Based Carlyle Group have sold 418 luxury student pads to three tycoons for £535m. Each flat apparently tugging in over £22,000 in annual rent.
The article in Global Property Guide concentrates not so much on the foreign billionaire property investors (so what else is new?) but the fact the Carlysle are getting out of the London property game, saying:-
“London’s property market is cooling rapidly. London real estate agents report falling interest, and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reported during January that “London market conditions continued to deteriorate, with prices, buyer inquiries and sales falling. The latest data shows 49% more respondents saw prices in the capital decline and the short-term confidence outlook is negative”
Can this organ be trusted to provide an accurate assessment? Probably, given that serious money types will always be ahead of the game.
Property investment is not my area of expertise. Investment in cookbooks?…..then I’m your man, having 400 of the buggers but most others still talk about London being a buoyant market for investors.
Have the Yanks seen something the rest of us haven’t? Time will tell.
Choosing the furnishings
Ben Brandt over on Rat & Mouse gave us a teasing glimpse at a story where decorative fabric shop Terrys Fabrics had carried out a survey of 3,000 customers and established that most of us still furnish our homes to keep up with the Jones’s.
Maddeningly I couldn’t find any more detail online but its an interesting idea. I have never in my entire life chosen the furnishings for any home I’ve lived in. It must be a bloke thing.
Don’t get me wrong, I like a nice settee but I cant be bothered to choose it and have to make a conscious effort in furnishing shops to look as interested as my partner evidently is, which includes curling up over a pile of catalogues and magazines for weeks leading up to purchase, pointing approvingly at some form of Chesterfield nonsense whilst keep a eye on the news from Ukraine.
So for me it isn’t so much a case of keeping up with the Jones’s, its more a case of keeping up appearances of being interested so you don’t get into a row.
I haven’t been around women this long without learning a trick or two.
What made me smile this week
Quite simply this marvellous collection of clips on youtube of a bunch of wannabe extras in a Kung Fu film.
Hopelessly inadequate and hilarious, especially Afro Ninja in the middle. And I thought I was crap at fighting!
See ya next week