Friday, 16 January 2009

Friday 16/01/09

A 3rd runway is to be built a Heathrow and the village of Sipson is to be razed. Campaigners from the quaint country village of Sipson, resplendent in their chocolate-box 15th century, Grade I listed, half-timbered cottages are up in arms. They complain that they have lived there all their lives and will now have to move. If you look at Sipson on Google Maps or Live Search (those links are to actual views) you’ll see that on the one side is the M4, on the other is one of Heathrow’s runways and the busy A4 and on the 3rd is the Heathrow spur road. The M25 ain’t that far away on the 4th side.

The reason people have lived there all their lives is because no bugger would be so completely devoid of intelligence as to buy their bloody houses. I’d have thought it a mercy that someone is putting a compulsory purchase order on the place. The whole village can’t be worth more than a couple of hundred quid and I’m surprised it wasn’t buried under concrete 20 years ago. I’ll bet a pound to a pinch of poo that for every campaigner against the 3rd runway there are 10 residents rubbing their hands and thinking, “Thank God for that – at least I’m now guaranteed some money for a house I could never sell and can finally move somewhere decent – like The Bullring in Birmingham.”

Here are some photos of Sipson residents. Number 7 looks as if he needs carting off to sheltered accommodation before he electrocutes himself or sets the place on fire through overloading his electricity supply. Number 14’s house surely contravenes local planning regulations?

An iconic character from the ‘60s has died – Patrick McGoohan, aka Danger man and The Prisoner. You ponder your own mortality when each month alerts you yet another boyhood icon kicking the bucket. You start off thinking these people immortal and the last thing you want to know is that they’ve died. Perhaps obituaries and death announcements for film stars should be banned.

Kate Winslet has been nominated for a couple of BAFTAs. I predict we’re going to have to put up with a brace of embarrassing over-the-top thank you speeches.

I recently asked my solicitor how the financial downturn would affect her business and she told me that when times are tough there’s no money for divorce lawyers and couples tend to stay together, thus lawyers engaged in divorce work see business decline quite sharply. However, government statistics say that lack of money and having to tighten belts during a recession results in squabbles over finances and consequently higher divorce rates. I’m not sure who to believe. Perhaps more people simply split during hard times and leave the legal stuff till the end of a recessionary period.

The reason I’m so interested in the divorce statistics is that a likely market for my boat is husbands who have left the matrimonial home and are about to proceed down the divorce route. After all, it’s what persuaded me to buy a boat in the first place. The benefits were enormous in that for substantially less outlay than a house or flat I had the equivalent of a luxury 2 bedroom apartment that I could move to virtually anywhere in the country along the river/canal network (or by lorry) and also use for my holidays – not that I ever did. Also, given boats have intrinsic value and is not linked to sub-prime mortgages or over-inflated house prices. Boats tend to retain their value. Living on a boat is also cool and gives you a totally different perspective on life. Due to the lack of storage space you tend to become much less attached to objects and hence less materialistic. Owning and living in a boat is the perfect antidote to affluenza and the hedonistic lifestyle of a social security scrounger. There’s a lot of getting back to nature and living off-grid about living on a boat. Christ – why did I ever move into a caravan?

Given my blogging life began as an e-Bay advert to sell the boat, I suppose I should focus a bit more on trying to get it sold so we can progress the house build. If anyone’s interested, then give me a shout.

If there’s one thing I regret about my time living on the boat and that was not installing a wood or anthracite stove when I moved in. Whilst central heating is comfortable and clean, marine diesel boilers do tend to be a bit temperamental (especially when you need a spare part at Christmas) and comparatively expensive to run. Having no moving parts (except for the door), a wood/anthracite stove is so much more reliable.

This brings me on to power cuts. Last week I mentioned something about them becoming more prevalent in the future as sources of fossil fuels become scarce; however, I didn’t think it would be this soon. The company I work for has some 17 offices around the country and during the last week we’ve experienced prolonged mains power cuts in Southampton, Fraserburgh, Lowestoft and now Hull. I wonder what’s causing it.

Not many will be interested in this, but scientists have discovered that we could possibly be living in a hologram. That still doesn’t explain tartan though.

Hay was watching Animal Rescue of TV last night (she must be an archetypal Volvo driver) and we spotted Michaela Strachan. She’s a dead ringer for Hay and could be her twin.

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