Posts

The Triangle of Life

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The school summer holidays are upon us once again, and for the first time in 10 years, this parental unit is unburdened by the annual, desperate scramble for six weeks of childcare - and the accompanying guilt, stress, and upset that the summer recess used to impart on us, and millions of other families nationwide. Having one of us working in a school has provided an escape from the awful task of coercing the kids into spending full days at the grandparents (no internet), Tina's office (no fun whatsoever), or the 2-week activity programme operated by the local sports centre (no respite from charva bullies). It would have been particularly difficult this year anyway, as we're not allowed to visit grandparents, the office would have been out of bounds, and the sports centre is shut. I can't start to think about the grief faced by parents who are now being forced back to work premises, with absolutely zero provision being made for the care of little ones. My schedule at this …

A Reminder of Reality.

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The last two weeks have been utterly relentless on the work front, with 14 hour days being the new normal for the time being. It seems to be more of a 'catch-up" than a resurgence in numerous property transactions, with 3 months of marketing being crammed into a single month. That being said, it's still a relief that some sense of "normality" is returning to my routine, and being able to prepare for any eventualities such as local lockdowns or client collapses is the priority for now. We're not out of the woods yet, which was brought firmly to my attention first thing on Monday morning.
My missus has had a bout of "digestive issues" which lasted a bit longer than would normally be expected, and as this was a possible indicator of "The Lurgy", and unsolved by the usual fasting for 24 hours, she decided to take the sensible route of being tested for the virus, and booked herself in at short notice. As part of the household, albeit without sy…

Cover Up

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It's been two weeks since I last put my fingers to the keyboard, due partly to the fact that my schedule has fattened up considerably in that time. The country seems to be slowly resuming it's daily routines, and it's clear to me that nothing will change for the better of humanity, or our environment in the long term - the rich have pulled up their drawbridges, resulting in the poor floundering in the deep, cold waters of the moat. I listen to the talk radio station LBC regularly when I'm out and about, and it was an observation by Majid Nawaz which resonated with me primarily - In the space of 3 months, the UK government has, perhaps unwittingly, created a whole new generation of servants - mostly black, Asian, and poor, white working class folks, who are being forced to work in low-paid, risk-ridden jobs, while the white middle classes enjoy the safety of their own homes at the expense of the taxpayer. I'd never thought of it like this before, but there's no …

True Faith

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As things slowly begin to get back to "normal" in society - (violence, greed, intolerance, gluttony, division, abuse, self-destruction, ignorance, etc), the smoke is clearing, and people are venturing out once again to pollute the world - which was actually having a nice short break from the scourge of the human race. The sheep seem to be programmed with some sort of behavioural trait which involves flocking instantly and automatically, en-masse, to any social or retail facility that opens it's doors. Fast food outlets, local authority waste plants, beaches, and cheap clothes shops were immediately swamped by the ovine idiots who couldn't wait for a couple of days in order to satisfy their insatiable thirst for spending the money that they'll need for important things over the next few months. Anyone who forms part of a queue outside Primark at 3.15am to get some £3 T-shirts from a young girl behind a plastic screen has to be classed as somewhat mentally ill sure…

Not if you paid me

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There are parts of the North East that aspirational people aspire to in their droves. None stick out as much as the horrific Newcastle satellite suburb of Darras Hall. Situated on the North West boundary of the city outskirts, it’s basically one long street with gated houses running it’s entire length. Some of them are older, classically styled things housing the successful consultants/captains of industry etc, some are bungalows housing the decrepit and retired successful pensioner consultants/captains of industry and the remainder are gargantuan monstrosities replete with roman pillars, waterfall features, swimming pools, rooms with scalextric sets, and gold taps housing the footballer contingent, e-wankers, and drug dealers who haven’t quite been caught yet. It’s a place that I would never consider calling my home no matter how rich I get. Living behind a wall, sporting electronic gates, and having to get my milk from Waitrose will never appeal – just not that “aspirational” thank …

Tower of Power

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Welcome back all. The surge in post-lockdown property photography has promptly stalled -after the initial boom caused by the backlog of jobs that had built up at the end of March. The holiday-let part of my working week continues to provide bits and pieces, but the bread-and-butter real estate stuff seems to have slowed down considerably. Out of interest, here'a graph showing my levels of revenue (sales) over the last 14 months. The two main troughs were caused by the current crisis obviously, and last year's few days off to have my neck operation. My income is heavily dependent on a small number of clients, and if any one of them goes under, or decides to drop me for a cheaper option, then things begin to get hairy. That's what happened at the end of 2019, when an upmarket Newcastle estate agency began to pile on the jobs, only to realise that it was actually costing money - resulting in a sudden reversal of policy. Probably a good decision considering current circumstanc…

Precautionary Measures

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In this new working environment, it's important to do my utmost to minimise the risks to everybody involved in the process of photographing building interiors. It's quite clear how this awful virus propagated quickly and extensively in the first place when you look back at how our lives were conducted. In a typical week I'd visit ten to 15 random properties, shake many hands, touch hundreds of light switches and other inanimate objects - including toilet seats, bins, door handles, kitchen implements, towels, mats, toiletries, etc, and then visit cafes, public toilets, shops, and the viral-growing centre of my son's primary school. I would have the opportunity to wash my hands before leaving the house, and maybe once during the day if I was at a service station or whatever. It never crossed my mind that I was constantly being exposed to ultra-microscopic harbingers of misery, and that I may be carrying them myself. I was actually pretty good at ducking the annual wave o…