In the interests of ensuring that this blog is an accurate record of my search for the next pub I will share the weekend with you.
The current target has taken on a sudden urgency with the vendor wanting to complete before end of February. Given the delays and difficulties in getting this far the sudden urgency is a nuisance that I could do with avoiding but, as they say, if it was easy….
The outsider in terms of reports was the stonemason but he turned it around in record time and has ended up being the only report received in time. I know the surveyors issues and roof work is something that I am more comfortable estimating.
This weekend I managed to avoid the issue of a deadline for offers today by getting stuck into plumbing. Yesterday was D day though and I settled down with a glass of scotch and a calculator. This is the step into reality and, despite the length of the search, it is a big step. Looking at spending every penny on a project that is so far away and in a trade that is so embattled really hits home when you are looking at numbers.
One offer already exists so that pretty much pins the low end of my offer. I could come in below this and hope that the other offer is weak but that is a dangerous move so the question is how much should I raise the bar? Obviously any saving is welcome as it will help the long months of renovations and the slow build of trade. But if I come in too close and the other offer is strong then I may lose.
I generated my number and in it went. This morning I received a call telling me that it’s a positive offer and will go forward with the agents recommendation subject to all of the usual proof of funding etc. There is lots of watch this space but the culmination of all of the first stage work is sitting in a rather simple email the response to which could determine the rest of my life.
The news this morning informed me once again that China has partially lifted it’s one child rule. Of course this was an opportunity for vilification of the state for the evils of birth control. There were stories of the high levels of fines imposed for having a second child and the fact that second children don’t get access to state services. There was even the harrowing story of a woman in a village who had been fined and the state officials were demanding she was sterilised.
Unless I missed something then China is a communist state, so breaking laws is more than frowned upon. The law says that you can only have one child so you get fined for having a second, that makes sense. I would rather travel the M1 at 90 mph but, since the limit is 70, such ‘choice’ will incur a fine. I appreciate that sterilisation is a serious step but let’s be clear, you live in a country that limits you to one child, you have had two. Do you need the ability to have more? You remember the massive fine, the state is helping you to avoid another. That the child does not get access to things like free healthcare may seem harsh but that is because of the way we describe the service. If we call it tax payer funded healthcare then it makes more sense. Everybody pays their tax and as part of the states provision health and education is available to them and a single child, it is free at the point of use. That one person should be rewarded for breaking the law by taking more from the pot than everyone else doesn’t only go against the communist ideal but also democracy.
The news then cut to some African country with starving children dressed in Nike. There are no controls on the birth rate here which is not just a legal gap but, more significantly, a moral one. Breeding when you cannot feed yourself is nothing short of evil. The headlines of “poor manjuta has to walk 3 miles to get water for her baby” are garbage, the ‘hardship’ is inflicted on the young by parents that haven’t got the human decency to stop breeding. But what of the access to contraception and cultural issues the media cry, here’s a thought keep your bloody clothes on!
Then we come to our own backyard, after all the UK is the world’s leading baby producer. Apparently women are leaving it too late to have children, some are reaching 40 without breeding. This makes me wonder if the press reads the stories that it writes, after all anyone that did wouldn’t want to have children. Could it be that these women are educated and caring enough to not want to bring more children into a world where they have no future? Oh no they are just waiting too long.
In that simple interpretation of one fact we can see a lot of what is wrong with the west and certainly the UK. There is no golden right to have children, they are not a commodity. Until we are made to be moraly and financially responsible for our offspring we will continue to breed irresponsibly and that makes us no better than Manjuta. The broadcasters make much of balance so perhaps the next time that they want to criticise the Chinese model they could do a split screen. On one side an industrious but poor couple in China looking after their child an on the other Sharon rocking a baby seat with her foot whilst smoking and watching Jeremy Kyle*
*other daytime television is available, apparently