Busy in Horsham

My goodness doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun – or when you’re busy?

We’ve had to do a lot to the house – even though we thought we were buying something that didn’t need much attention. It’s amazing what you find when you strip out everything: rotten floorboards, insects in the larder, problems with the roof, etc.  So it has been a labour of love but happily we’ve been able to get in the professionals.

Here’s a picture of our recent project to build a patio in our beautiful garden. It has turned a nasty muddy patch into something we can use all year round and provided a restful corner for us. We love it.  The professionals installed the patio, but I managed to erect the pergola (or whatever else you want to call it). Actually it’s a roof that stretches across a useful part of the patio where we house the long table and the other end is the barbecue so one can cook without getting drenched on the typical English summer’s day.

We’re really pleased with it and the transformation it has caused in the garden. Next we plant out some flowers and shrubs to complete the picture. However, we are hardly keen gardeners so these plants must be ones that more-or-less look after themselves and thrive on neglect, otherwise they’re not going to last long here!

The patio has been the project that probably transformed the house the most. Some of the other things we had to do aren’t apparent to the casual observer.

We had a lot of work done on the water system to improve the flow, remove some old lead piping and to accommodate the new hot water system that was also installed. Cost a fortune and although it’s lovely to have it all functioning as it should and know we’re unlikely to succumb to lead poisoning, it’s a benefit that you can’t actually see.  That sort of thing ate up a lot of money over the last year.

Having spent so much time and money fixing basic things, we wanted to tackle something that would look lovely and actually get something physical for the money we were spending.

That’s why we decided to build the patio and hopefully it has also added some value to the property. It has certainly given us somewhere nice and dry to sit during the sunny spells over the last few days. We had begun to think we weren’t even going to get a spring, let along summer. But finally the sun has come out over the last week and hopefully the ground will soon dry. Last year we had nowhere dry to sit, but the winter was a lot dryer so it wasn’t such a problem. If we get more wet weather the patio will prove a godsend for the summer, especially when our friends arrive with their children.

We’re looking forward to entertaining a little this year. It was out of the question last year when we were in so much turmoil so this spring we sent out a few invitations.  As well as the aforementioned friends and their four children, we have family visiting and have also planned a big party for August.

We will have a barbecue on the patio and there’s room for several tables to be scattered around to accommodate everyone.  Really looking forward to it.

Of course, the subject of my blog has been lost over the past year, but fear not – I shall be back as the anarchist before too long, so watch out local politicians – I have my eyes on you!

 

Moving to Horsham

We have been busy for the past four months, organising and then completing our move to Horsham. It’s a lovely market town, where we hope to settle and make many friends.

But you can be sure that I’ll be keeping my eye on the newspapers and little will get past my scrutiny. I shall continue my fight against politicians and petty bureaucrats here in Horsham, and indeed Sussex.

We’ve spent this weekend with a Horsham fencer in the garden making sure that the dogs can’t escape. That was our main priority after moving in, so now we’re going to start on the house. It’s keeping us busy anyway.

I’ve been taking a brief look at the local papers, to familiarise myself with the Horsham press. The County Times seems to be the paid journal, then there are a few free ones, like the Advertiser. I shall be buying the afore-mentioned County Times each week and will be sure to update my blog when I have occasion to take action!

According to this week’s paper, Horsham is set to become a holiday hotspot. And after we just moved here to get away from the seaside tourists in Bournemouth!  Can’t help feeling they’re following us around the country. And quite frankly we’d rather be in a quiet tourist-free area!

Apparently the council has been given a government grant to promote itself. Of course there are some wonderful attractions in the area, including Sumners Ponds, which we love, but we’d rather keep them to ourselves. Selfish I know but who wants to live in a travel hotspot?

Apart from that article, there doesn’t seem to be much local news, so that’s probably a good thing and indicates this is a pretty good area.

The move from Bournemouth wasn’t without its problems!  It’s a good 2 hours drive, so we were ready really early and hoping everything would go without a hitch. The removal company from Horsham arrived in good time and got everything packed in a very efficient manner. Then off we set.

So far, so good and we’d arranged to stop half-way for a quick lunch. That went according to plan, but unfortunately the removal van refused to start when we were ready to leave. Turned into a bit of a pantomime as we waited for the AA to arrive.

Luckily it turned out to be a relatively minor problem and they were able to leave again within the hour.

So we and our furniture arrived in our new Sussex home by 4pm, and most was unloaded before it got dark. Phew, what a difficult day.

We’ve now been here a couple of days and it’s going to take a little longer to get everything unpacked and sorted. But it’s an adventure – and one that I’d better get started!

Parking nightmare

Now we can’t even park in the main Bournemouth town centre carpark without fear of being attacked.

The Echo is reporting that homeless people (they refer to them as beggars) are sleeping rough in the carpark and attacking people for money. One man was barricaded in the lift until he handed over cash and another man was threatened with needles and a screwdriver.

That’s pretty horrible and I shan’t be going anywhere near that carpark soon. But it all comes down to a more basic question, doesn’t it?  Why do we have so many homeless people in Bournemouth?  It’s a relatively wealthy area and we should be ashamed to have this problem. I suppose most of it comes down to drug and alcohol abuse and unfortunately my own family has been familiar with the downward spiral that can occur.

So what’s to be done?  These people need helping, but at the same time, the public needs to be protected from aggressors (whilst realising that the majority of the homeless are not aggressive). We simply can’t let them sleep on the streets, being vulnerable to health problems and potential attack.

Actually I don’t have the answer (for once!)  But I do think it’s something that society needs to get a grip on. One of those things that needs to be a priority because it’s affecting not only those homeless people but also folk going about their everyday business. Nobody wants to be harassed but on the other hand, no-one wants to get into a downward spiral of substance abuse.

It’s one of those problems that we have to tackle and if we don’t it’s only going to get worse.  I wish I could offer a solution.

Bournemouth Football

Well hoorah – some good news about our football team.  Not that I particularly follow football but it’s always nice to read something positive about the area you live.

Apparently, according to the Manchester Evening News, no less, Guardiola, manager of Manchester City has been complimentary about our local team. He’s come out to say that Bournemouth is the best team they’ve played all season. So that means he reckons The Cherries are superior to Manchester United.

Wow that’s praise indeed, though I suspect he’s also playing mind games against his local rivals.

Well let’s bask in the glory while it lasts. Makes a change from moaning about the EU!

Post Brexit

Ok so I’ve been away for a while. Had a building company in for three months, doing some necessary work on the house. And while they were here we decided to have a new kitchen and to have the bathroom updated. It’s cost me an arm and a leg, but well worth it because it’s added a lot to the value of the house I think.

During the time I’ve been away, we’ve had the EU referendum of course!  If you’ve followed my blog, you’ll know what I think about the EU, so it’ll come as no surprise that I’m delighted about the outcome!

What really rankled was all those pompous idiots telling us how the world would fall apart if we vote out. I don’t think any of us thinks there won’t be some sort of price to pay somewhere along the line but really what a load of scare tactics.

I was particularly disappointed by George Osborne. At one time I thought he was a reasonable chancellor but he really blew it with his campaign of fear. Totally disgraceful. So I’m really glad he got the old heave-ho. Not something he was expecting I’m sure.

Also lost respect for David Cameron over the whole issue.  First he quits like a schoolboy having a tantrum after the vote didn’t go his way. Then he went back on his word and even quit as an MP.  Personally I think it’s down to Samantha. She’s put up with Dave and his ambitions for a long while and now she wants her own career. I hear they may be heading to the USA. She be starting her own fashion business and good ole Dave will follow Tony Blair on the after-dinner speaking circuit. He’ll make a fortune of course without a second thought for the British people.

I long ago lost any hope that our “public servants” care a fig about the country – they’re almost all out for themselves.

But I am hoping that Theresa May has a more ethical approach. So far she’s doing OK but it’s very early days. Let’s hope she has some of Mrs T’s grit and determination because she’s certainly going to need it when negotiating our exit.

Of course all the EU leaders are against us, but so far I’ve been gratified that not much of the doom and gloom has come to pass. I believe that the UK is strong enough to show the world – and the US – that we can do well without the EU. There’s something about this little island that comes through and I’m sure we’ll do it again.

So well done everyone for voting us out of that dead-end club and let’s hope the road ahead isn’t too bumpy. I think we should be prepared for a few ups and downs but truly believe we’ll be far better off a few years down the line.

teresa-may

More EU Rantings

I only just got started the other day about some of the disadvantages of the EU to us in the UK. And it got me thinking.

I was reading about another local company – Reidsteel in Christchurch.  They have a completely different view of the EU and its effect on their business.  They want us to leave because they are hampered by red tape – brought about by Brussels.

They claim to be bound up with poorly thought-out directives and rules and to be altogether over-regulated by the EU. They also make the point that these are brought about by unelected commissioners and beaurocrats.

Well said Simon Boyd of Reidsteel. Simon also happens to be the chairman of Business for Britain South West, so he’s speaking for many of our smaller local businesses, not just his own.

Meanwhile Barclays chief executive said he believed staying in would be advantageous for their “consumers and corporate clients.”  Consumers? Who is he talking about? Customers? Clients?  I’ve never heard bank customers referred to as “consumers” but maybe that’s because yet another American is in charge of the bank. And “corporate clients” refers to big businesses presumably, not the local, backbone-of-Britain, smaller businesses that could thrive under less red tape.

And another thing that has sprung to mind. Although we’re not part of the Euro (thank goodness for that anyway), it’s an integral part of the European Union. And it appears to be falling apart.

It was always a mad idea to try to tie strong economies like Germany to very weak and flaky economies like Greece – and quite a few others. But the Euro has tied them altogether and it’s only a matter of time before the whole pack of cards comes tumbling down. And if we’re part of the EU it is bound to have an impact on the UK isn’t it?

We already lost £billions when we were forced to exit to Exchange Rate Mechanism back in 1992.  Some of us have long memories but don’t  as a nation ever learn? John Major doesn’t anyway – he wants to stay in the EU.  But thankfully Norman Lamont, who was Chancellor at the time of Black Wednesday, is in the Out camp.John Major

The Right Honorable Sir John Major – firmly in favour of membership of the EU 🙁

The In – Out argument continues, but I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear that I’ve already made up my mind….

Post script :  I’m now a much happier bunny thanks to Brexit

 

 

 

The EU

Well this subject deserves a whole website of its own – but I shall try to be restrained.

In or Out?

Well I’m currently in the Out camp, unless someone can persuade me otherwise. But I see that Barclays and Sunseeker – those expensive yachts – are declaring themselves in favour of staying in the EU.  Not surprised at Barclays. I used to work for them back in the day, and wouldn’t trust them as far as I can see them. And only yesterday they declared a big drop in profits, so they know what they’re talking about don’t they?

But disappointed in Sunseeker because they’re a respected brand in Poole and Dorset generally. But they’re now owned by a Chinese billionaire. When asked his opinion, he apparently remarked that it was only his opinion but he didn’t think the UK would leave the EU.  Now there’s a challenge!

We Brits don’t like being told what to do by the EU – and we don’t like being told what to do by Chinese billionaires either.

Now I’m sure there are lots of reasons why it would be better to stay in the EU – can’t think of many but I can see that exporters who concentrate on Europe might want to be in.

But I can think of a whole lot more reasons why we’d want to leave.

For a start, there’s a matter of our net annual contribution of about £8.5billion. That’s billion with a B!

On the subject of budget, our national debt is staggering. It’s £1.5 trillion (with a T). If I’ve calculated it correctly (and I may not have because it’s a lot of 000s), then I reckon we could use that £8.5 billion to pay down the debt. At that rate it would take over 176 years – and that’s without interest!  Oh dear, oh dear.

How did we get into this mess?

But back to the EU, because it’s just not going to go away is it?

Next issue, in my book, is immigration.  I don’t think anyone minds helping out refugees, especially since The West caused much of the misery in Syria. But most of the so-called refugees seem to be economic migrants – and we just can’t afford to support them all.

Angela Mercel is to blame, in my opinion, for much of the huge influx, since she invited them. So unfortunately they’re going to drown the EU. So let’s not let them take the UK down with them.

People are flooding into Turkey, then to Greece, and they just can’t cope. Nor could any country. Some of the EU nations are closing their borders. The whole EU is shutting down, becoming a region of turmoil. So why would be choose to be part of that? Once they’re granted entrance to Europe aren’t a lot of them going to head to the UK? And how are we going to be able to afford that?

Beats me.

Then there’s the federalisation of Europe and our growing lack of control over our own laws. Do we really want to be legislated by the Eurocrats and told what we can and can’t do? What our courts should do and how our laws should be interpreted or changed? Well I don’t think so.

It goes on and on ……. and here’s where the anarchist in me starts to show.

We have to stand up to these EU bullies and I’m pleased to see how many Tory politicians are coming out on the side of common sense. Call-me-Dave is showing his true colours, even though he claimed at first to be open-minded. He’s obviously a Europhile and I don’t think he’s objective at all.

I might feel differently if he’d come back from his talks with some real concessions. But I’ve yet to find anyone who thinks they made a scrap of difference. Please don’t treat us as fools Dave!

Ok rant over – time to take the blood pressure pills and have a nice soothing cuppa – until the next time the EU tries to take the p***

 

 

 

 

 

Problems with the Electrics

I’ve been absent from my blog for a week thanks to problems with my electrics. But a big shout out to a Horsham electrician who happened to be visiting friends in our street and came to the rescue. He’s had to rewire part of the house but done a splendid job.

So thankfully I can get back to my “anarchist” blog and what’s happening in Bournemouth.

I saw a Bournemouth Echo headline that says Dorset Tea producers move to Newcastle. Well, as you can imagine, I was boiling over! What! Make our beloved Dorset Tea in the North East?

Then I read the rest of the article…..  Turns out they are moving some of their production to Newcastle, and lots of jobs are being lost, which is a bad thing for the area. But they are continuing to produce Dorset Tea in Dorset!  So I should think. Blood pressure back to normal …

The big news of the day is David Cameron’s so-called reform deal with the EU. Our Dorset MP has said it’s not good enough – and he’s a Conservative.

Jury’s still out as far as I’m concerned but my first reaction is to agree with Chris Chope. Haven’t studied it yet, but seems to me DC hasn’t got anything much – let alone major renegotiations!  Well we’ll find out when the referendum takes place, but I suspect most of the UK will vote to stay in – not least because we have so many immigrants who will never want to get out.

Blood pressure’s up again – I need to have a nice cup of Dorset Tea and a quiet nap.

 

Litter Louts in Bournemouth

Why on earth do people drop litter?Litter in Bournemouth

This is a photo from the Bournemouth Echo today. Rubbish – literally.

Makes my blood boil because it’s so unnecessary. But thankfully the Council (who certainly get a share of my wrath on a regular basis) have done something positive about this horrible problem.

They’ve brought in some “private enforcement officers” to look for people littering and they’ve fined 290 so far in just 3 months. Now multiple that across the country and you’ve got an enormous litter blight.

So these private guys have done quite well and issued 20 times more fines than happened this time last year.

The fine is £75 – the same as for dog fouling (don’t get me started on that).

The Council doesn’t make any money from fines but they don’t have to pay the enforcement company either. The company just keeps the fines. So by my reckoning they’ve made £21,750 in 3 months. There are 5 litter officers so that’s £4,350 each, which is £1,450 per enforcer per month.  That’s not a whole lot, but they may be part-time and I suspect the income will pick up considerably in the summer when all the messy tourists alight on Bournemouth. Probably quite a nice little earner.

Let’s hope it proves a deterrent to those who can’t be bothered to drop their rubbish in the nearest bin.

The other thing that caught my eye today is that Bournemouth Magistrates Court is closing by the end of the year.

What?

Now I agree the building would be better demolished as it’s a monstrosity, but we certainly need to keep a court in Bournemouth. They’re also closing the one in Dorchester, so the only magistrates courts in the whole of Dorset will now be in Poole and Weymouth – not many for such a big county.

And don’t they say the prisons are overcrowded? Doesn’t that mean more cases are being heard? So doesn’t that mean we need more courts, not fewer?

Beats me how these beaurocrats think

 

 

 

 

 

Sir Terry RIP

I wasn’t planning to post as it’s Sunday, but one of my heroes, Sir Terry Wogan, died today and I wanted to say thank you Terry and RIP.

We used to love watching Eurovision when Terry was at the helm. Such a ridiculous show but his acerbic wit made it eminently watchable. And we’ve missed his radio show but loved seeing him make his annual appearance for Children in Need.

Sleep well Terry – one of the good guys and you’ll be sadly missed.

Sir Terry