[Ben Reeve Lewis has got the sniffles …]
A sudden turn in the warmth brought on an equally sudden bout of a heavy cold this week and put me in bed with the sniffles for a morning until I could raise my aches and pains enough to drag myself in to harass another landlord and cheer myself up.
So I was subjected, for the first time in ages to daytime TV, or ‘Benefit TV’ as some call it. What god-awful crap (apart from Frasier re-runs which I love).
I was watching one of those “Move to the country for a happier life” jobs presented by some smiling woman with that harmless, ‘Perfect daughter in law” appeal so beloved of TV Producers and so far away from some of the dodgy birds I’ve dragged home in the past, who caused the polite smile on my Mum’s face to freeze in place for the sake of decorum.
Top friendly towns
So I was interested to read in the Telegraph of the top 20 friendliest towns to live in around the UK.
Number three is Taunton in Somerset. I lived there from 2001 to 2009, bolstered by the advice of programmes like the one I watched this week.
Friendly? ………….well kind of, if friendliness is marked by the ability to walk down the street without getting attacked, then yeah!
But for a South London boy like me it was all a bit Stepford, in fact I had friends who lived in a nearby new estate at a place called Cotford St Luke, known to the numerous London ex-pats, relocated by the same TV programmes, as “Stepford St Luke”.
The night I moved back to London in 2009 I was buying a kebab in a shop in Hackney and a fight broke out, the proprietor leaping over the counter chased the bloke who kicked it off, down the street with that big kebab sword thing.
I breathed a happy sigh and said with relief “I’m home!”.
You can take the boy out of London etc etc. Taunton is nice and safe but it cant beat Rye Lane Peckham on a Saturday morning.
Giles Peaker of Nearly Legal fame this week made the most entertaining reading with his review of the DCLG’s latest info guide on landlords.
The knives were well and truly out as he piled into “Is your landlord incredible” with humour and gusto, pointing out that what makes a landlord ‘incredible’ is simply following the law and due process that is expected of people working in that field.
As he points out:
“When we get to the substantive content, if I can actually use those words, it becomes clear just how poor an opinion the DCLG actually has of private landlords; just how low the bar of expectation is set. Also, it becomes clear that this waste of pixels should never have been signed off.”
Feel free to take a deekers at the original monstrosity if you have the motivation.
Personally I agree with his comment:
“As a whole, the bathos of this thing’s Not Funniness inspires a kind of pity. Whoever produced this, one feels, is in their soul of souls a wearer of comedy ties.”
Nearly Legal changes colour
Regular readers of Nearly Legal will have noticed the site redesign. I never like these things, same as I get annoyed when they move the aisles around in Tesco.
I‘m sure I’ll get used to it in the end. Probably around the same time it gets a make-over again.
I’m not used to change. It still annoys me that the Evening Standard is free and I cant walk out of London Bridge Station without hearing vendors yelling “Eeeen Staaaan”.
Saving money by saving troubled families
In the wake of Cameron’s announcement this week on having ‘Family Friendly Policies’ ably demolished over at inside Housing by the excellent Jules Birch, I listened with interest to a companion piece on Radio 4 whilst driving the dog down for a Sunday Morning walk in the woods at Keston Ponds, about council workers who embed themselves into the most troubled families to get them in charge of their lives again.
Whilst acknowledging the cost to the community of digging these people out of the crapper and supporting them to support themselves I was shocked at exactly how much council money is spent when this isn’t done.
I always thought of these family support type of jobs as something to spend money on if you have it left over from other stuff but I realised, listening to the programme that they save us a fortune and should in fact the vanguard of council spending.
If these troubled families cost us all the millions of pounds that they do then spending a fraction of that on employing teams to help them pull themselves up by their own ‘Onesies’, is surely value for money.
Speaking of which I am seeing a rise in the number of people walking to the shops in their pyjama bottoms these days and it’s rubbing off.
In the rush to get out of the house one morning this week and wrestling the car keys from the dog, I was halfway in before I realised I still had my slippers on and it was too late to go back.
Have you ever tried intimidating an aggressive, criminal landlord in slippers? Doesn’t exactly fill you with confidence.
The ever optimistic Samantha Collett reported this week on her blog “What Sam saw today” of a genuine Tardis for sale in Edinburgh.
It’s priced at between £15,000 and £25,000. Too small to live in of course, unless it’s a real one.
Finally pop a cork for me and Frazzy this weekend. It’s our 5th anniversary and we are off to a wedding in Brighton and a stay at a dog friendly hotel.
Which put me in mind of a statistic I read recently that 80% of men die before their wives. Do you know why that its?………………..because they want to.
Only joking Biscuit.
Here’s a picture of my girl sitting at John Lennon’s Joanna at the Hard Rock Café in Orlando back in May.
See ya next week.