Week 12: Stuck
It’s not even been a week, but already I can’t even remember a time before the Ever Given was stuck across the Suez Canal. It’s probably not much fun if you’re involved in global shipping or the running of the canal, but from here it’s been a welcome diversion.
This simulator game is highly accurate and very fun.
We had a survey done on the house we’re buying. We haven’t had the full report yet, but the surveyor called me straight afterwards to discuss what he’d seen. The good news is that there doesn’t seem to be anything particularly worrying.
There might be asbestos in the ceilings, but we won’t know unless we have it tested (or if the vendor had previously had it tested). Honestly, what is wrong with people on this cursed island that they were still putting asbestos in houses in the 1980s and 90s?! Its use wasn’t even banned in until 1999! All to get some ugly rippled ceilings.
The mortgage still hasn’t been approved. I feel like if they turn us down I’m going to give up and move to somewhere where I can buy an entire house outright for the amount that makes up a deposit in London. That’s quite a lot of places, though.
I’m not convinced that these mortgage underwriters are any good at their job. The last thing I heard from them was a request for a “Government letter for the SEISS grant”. I’m not eligible for an SEISS grant, I haven’t applied for one, I haven’t received one, why am I being asked such vexatious questions?
Do you remember when energy-saving lightbulbs were going to save us money? This flat is lit entirely by GU10 spotlights, an exceptionally stupid form of lighting. Originally, these were all incandescent halogen bulbs. They burned out often, but they were at least cheap to buy, if not to run. Once LED versions became cheaper, I switched to those. They provided some advantages, notably that the LEDs had a wider beam angle rather than the tiny pools from the halogens. But they’re still terrible: because the light doesn’t bounce off the ceiling, it’s hard to look at anything without casting it into shadow, and because the LEDs get too hot in the cramped ceiling sockets, they die regularly, only now they cost more to replace. And when they do, they’re difficult to change, because you can’t grasp the bulb.
GU10 spotlights are extremely popular in this country. But at least the new house doesn’t have them! It has boring sensible ceiling roses instead. I refuse to invest in any more stupid spotlights for this flat, so I’ve had to start using my old stock of halogen bulbs to replace the dead LEDs.
I’m still very concerned about the direction of the regime in general and about the new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in particular. I’m not sure whether to feel vindicated or concerned to find a former police chief also criticising it. Mostly the latter. He says:
Surely after an historically unprecedented year-long curfew, in peacetime, the government could show some common sense and gratitude for such incredible forbearance to allow civil liberties to once again flourish. Or are they happy to be linked to the repressive regimes currently flexing their muscles via their police forces?
This video is a very good summary of what’s been happening in Bristol over the last few weekends.
It’s officially Summer Time but today’s weather hasn’t caught up. The forecast for tomorrow is good, however. That’s excellent news as I’m meeting some friends for drinks in a park to say goodbye to a couple of people who are moving away from London. On one hand, that’s sad. On the other, I’m really looking forward to seeing several people in person at the same time.