Thursday, July 24, 2014

Chateau Gnomadville

The Gnomad finally owns a house and the land on which it stands. Huzzah!

It is not, unfortunately, in the Mundane Kingdom. The Gnomads' have come to the conclusion that they really have no realistic prospect of owning property in the UK in the short to medium term. Life in the Land of Sand lacks stability and so it is necessary to have a "country retreat" to retire to in case of emergency, calamity or final failure of sense of humour. This is less of a concern in Peninsular Gulf State (where the Gnomads currently live and work) than in some of the other places they have been, but it is a comfort to be established elsewhere.

The Gnomads' Pied a Terre is situated in the Philippine Islands in a suburban region of the province of Cebu. It is ideally located for the Gnomadette's family, international airport, shopping malls and all of the first world amenities that the Gnomads like to enjoy. It is, however, a little off the beaten track as far as public transport is concerned and so private transportation has taken on a greater urgency. 

The Gnomads' have been quite fortunate on this trip to the Island Republic. The intention was to find and buy a house and lot and furnish it to a reasonable level with a view to this being the permanent Gnomad residence. The Gnomads have been able to find a suitably sized house, albeit with rather small bedrooms, with a large adjoining plot. The property is sound but in need of some cosmetic renovation and so was at a much more favourable price than expected, which the Gnomad bid down still further.

This, fortunately, left just sufficient funds to purchase a car for the Gnomad and a scooter for the Gnomadette. The purchase of transport had not been budgeted for in the original plan but was made possible by the reduced price of the property. Buying a car and scooter did bite into the refurbishment budget somewhat and so the new furnishings for the house will be limited but it does mean that the Gnomad's are now properly established.

The Gnomadette's younger sister will be living in the house as housekeeper, along with her husband and their daughter. This has a lot of advantages for the Gnomads as an empty property is too much of a temptation to the ne'er-do-wells of society and the sister's daughter is of an age with Hababi and so they are playmates.

Holidays to the Island Republic now cost nothing more than the flights to and from, and since these are paid for annually by the Gnomad's employer, the Gnomad's expect to be here quite often.

Guest rooms will be available, by arrangement, once refurbishments are completed.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Another Man's Castle

You would have thought that with a family income(admittedly only just) in the 50,000 UKP bracket (That's about 80,000 USD) and a good credit rating that it would not be too much of a problem to get onto the property ladder in the UK wouldn't you? But no. The Gnomads have explored every possibility they can think of for getting a mortgage and all we can raise is, at best, half the cost of buying a house. It all goes swimmingly with whatever mortgage lender or broker we talk to, oh yes with your income you should be able to get 200,000 over 20 odd years etc etc etc, until we then get to "oh, you have a student loan" *grumpy look* "well in that case the best we an do then is about 110,000". So the Gnomad's are in a position where to buy a house they need a 50% deposit, minimum. Hang on, Gnomad will check his loose change.

How does having a student loan, which is about halfway paid off by now, create such a problem with buying a house? Being a graduate surely means that the Gnomad has a better prospect as an earner than a non-graduate (in general)? Surely the fact that the loan is being paid off means that the Gnomad is an acceptable risk? No, apparently not.

Can it be coincidence that the average age of the UK first time buyer has gone from age 27 just before student loans came in to a little over 37 now? Can the fact that having a student loan more-or-less precludes a person from getting a mortgage have anything to do with the slump in the housing market? Can the de-regulation of the housing market, which means that it's almost impossible to rent and save up at the same time, be a contributory factor too? The Gnomad is , of course, aware of the other gloabl factors affecting the economy but believes that the housing market will not pick up while this state of affairs continues and that is bad for the whole economy. It all seems obvious to the Gnomad, but then the Gnomad is not a politician or a self serving banker.

Oh, and the price of petrol is the highest it has ever been - 7 UKP (11 USD) a gallon. It would almost be cheaper to run the car on cheap whisky, except there's a minimum price being introduced on alcohol too...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Two years on...

Hababi is 25 months old today. She is a strong healthy little girl who her playgroup describe as having a "very strong character". Although Hababi is still very much the focus of the Gnomad's, and especially the Gnomadette's, time, it may be that the Gnomad might actually be getting enough of his life back to actually post occasionally now.

Two years have passed very quickly, but the Gnomad is still appalled at the level of personal taxation in the Mundane kingdom, the cost of every day living and the ludicrously high tax on fuel. The recent devaluation of the pound seems to have passed almost unnoticed, but the Pound sterling is now only worth two thirds of what it was on the foreign exchange markets when Gnomad returned to Mundania. The Gnomad's job is going well and has involved a recent promotion, the hours are long but the holidays are longer. The Gnomadette is learning to drive and is itching to get back to work. Hababi has been taken half way round the world and back to visit the her family in the Island Republic.

Intermittent posts may well resume...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Who's the Daddy?

The Great Day has arrived! :)

On 16th September at 8.55pm BST, the Gnomads became parents for the first time. Hababi, a little girl, weighed in at 8 pounds and one half ounce. Hababi is strong, healthy and beautiful. The Gnomadette, after a serious complication, is now recovering and doing well.

There is much rejoicing in the Gnomad Habitat

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Great Day approaches

The Gnomad is on a high state of alert, Gnomadette's waters have broken and labour has begun. The arrival of Hababi is imminent! :)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

further encroachings of beigeness

The Gnomads have been out buying soft furnishings and domestic paraphernalia such as scatter cushions and picture frames. The Gnomad habitat is becoming very much more "civilised" and, therefore, the Gnomad must be doing the same. Alas, Middle-Age beckons ever more strongly.

It appears that the imminent arrival of Hababi (due on the 22nd of this month) is causing a sudden rush of maturity to the Gnomad's psyche. At least these purchases were not pink.

A previous shopping expedition lasting a marathon 8 hours and causing the Gnomad's credit card to go into meltdown, saw the purchase of every imaginable item of baby related paraphernalia, almost all of it pink, all of it very cute indeed.

The Gnomad wonders if there is a critical mass of cuteness, and also what will happen when this is achieved, as it surely must be, in the next few weeks.

The sonographer had better be right in stating that Hababi is a girl.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

A new habitat

The Gnomads are now safely ensconced in their new habitat, 20 minutes away from a nice big town with all of the shopping malls and other facilities that the Gnomadette could possibly desire. The habitat is less than an hour from the capital, but sufficiently rural that there are frequently wild rabbits and occasionally wild deer in the garden.

The new habitat is more than twice the size of the previous one and so guests will be invited on a regular basis and, indeed, are welcome at any time with just a little warning. The only downside is that the cell phone and mobile internet coverage is practically non existent. Internet will be installed in a fortnight or so, until then the Gnomads will be somewhat incommunicado


Timpson has come good, we have had our ring repaired, and returned, our costs refunded and 20 UKP of gift vouchers to make up for the inconvenience.

Well done Timpson, and thank you.