Friday, June 01, 2007

Leisure

Forgive me readers, for I have sinned. It's been ten days since my last post.

Ten days! Where did the time go? (Little Me Too! reference there for the fellow parents)

Well ironically enough I've been busier than usual at work, due to some impending leisure time. I rejected an option to renew my current contract, which meant it expired at the end of May.

Cue a period of frantic activity, wrapping up loose ends and doing a handover of my activities to some guys based in a different part of the UK.

I wasn't totally desperate to get out of the job, and I liked my workmates, but when someone else offers a rate rise equivalent to the annual mortgage payment, it's pretty much a no-brainer. The life of the contractor.

I've got a few weeks before the new contract starts, which incorporates a pre-planned holiday to the Scottish Highlands with wife and child.

Neither K nor I is keen on taking E on any long trips, particularly not flights, so a few hours in the family car suits us fine.

This prospect of this sort of trip was one of the reasons we went for a big diesel car. We've booked some time at two 'family friendly' hotels, and I'm praying the weather cooperates.

In the meantime, I've got a few free days. Day one of which I spent stripping down a silicone coated bath, tiling, and filling and sealing a damp affected floor.

The tenant in the flat I let out in Glasgow is on holiday for a week, so I'm taking the chance to do some repairs to the property.

Consequently I actually got home later today than I would if I'd been at my 'proper' job.

Not that I minded. It's good to escape from the office PC for a while, and I do enjoy the occasional opportunity to do some physical work. A change is as good as a rest, as the saying goes.

The plan is to finish the job tomorrow in time for her return from holiday.

On the property theme, I caught a little bit on TV tonight about the Spanish property crash. This seems to have particularly hit the holiday village type developments, frequented by Brits and other northern Europeans.

No doubt there are some aspects of the Spanish property system that are open to criticism. The experience of one couple under the Spanish 'land grab' rules was genuinely terrible.

What gets me is the sympathetic treatment handed out by the media to people who are effectively failed business people. One couple had bought two off-plan properties on the same development, planning to sell one on at a profit pre-completion, to fund the purchase of the other.

When the market tanked, they were in the mire. Such is life!

Yet they get TV time and a virtual hug over their predicament. Why!?

They borrowed to invest; invested unwisely; and lost. Maybe they were unlucky, maybe they didn't do enough research, or maybe they just got $$ signs in their eyes and plunged in without a second thought.

The British attitude to property is a peculiar thing. So many seem to see it as a cure for all ills.

Often there seems an expectation that bricks and mortar are a magical financial instrument, offering reward for no risk. The reality is, where there is potential reward, there must be a risk of some type.

If people can't understand this, they shouldn't be trusted with credit. The lack of self awareness is truly staggering. One can't help but wonder how some of these people managed to raise the deposits on their purchases.

Probable answer - remortgaging their home in the UK!

1 comment:

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