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April - Editorial

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There is a General Election on in the UK - very depressing to see the Milliband in the lead in the polls. Sterling at risk in anticipation of a socialist spending spree - calamity awaits the UK as he could so easily led by the nose from Scotland. In a lifetime blighted by Labour governments I am not looking forward to another five years of hell. Meanwhile tragedies unfold in the Med as refugees flee North Africa. There is no easy or humane answer to this and it risks destablising all of Europe and shifting the politics to the extreme right as the number grows exponetially. Clearly the solution lies in political and economic stability in North Africa and chances of that are sadly very slim. How many millions could come? Who knows - how many boats are there?

Shoehouse Testing the Market

Thought I’d see what my house is worth seeing as a nearly identical one across the street sold in one day for the full price.  That’s how things are now – we value ourselves by what our house is worth. 

The first estate agent clearly didn’t like it and spent all of five minutes looking at the rooms.  If I was an estate agent and I had thought about it in my youth, I’d want to know the state of the boiler, whether the built in appliances worked, or if the neighbours play loud rock music at 2am, but he couldn’t of cared less and left. 'I hope you will choose my agency.' Ha!

By chance someone put a note through my door and asked if I was thinking of selling.  I called them up and they came around.  OK the guy was about seven foot tall so I guess finding a home is always going to be difficult when you are that size, but luckily I have high ceilings.  Sadly my driveway was built in the 1930’s when cars were small and narrow.  He has three collector cars and out came the measuring tape…
Well at least they liked the house.

The next agent hit the brick gatepost with his Mercedes and it didn’t go better from there.  ‘Never sell this in a month of Sundays’ I think he said, but I could be wrong.

But meanwhile I’d been looking for somewhere else to live with all the imaginary money I was soon going to have and seemingly was spoiled for choice.  A friend took me to a marina development near Lincoln but I quickly noticed that pretty much all of the houses had their living quarters facing north. Add an ever rising ‘maintenance’ charge and it could get pretty expensive living by a rather rancid looking flat lake, not to mention cold all year around.

Using RightMove.com as my guide I walked around my old hometown for a day looking at properties for sale from the outside.  Going inside is such a waste of time don’t you think when you can see the flaws so much more easily from without.  There's a General Election going on but you'd never know it there. Part of its charm really. I didn't see one election poster. One vast improvement is the demolition of the Stalinist Malt Kiln that used to stand by the station (that too disappeared in my youth). I imagine all the properties in that area got an amazing boost from the grim concrete towers coming down. I tried to remember myself being young and trailing my trunk to the London bound train all those years ago, but it was too depressing to even try to remember being at school and the horrors I have quietly buried to one corner of my mind. I'm sort of glad the past has been bulldozed here. For the record my school was also demolished to make way for an housing estate. My whole life is slowly being obliterated it seems. Rather like myself. Apparantly my blood pressure was 168 yesterday - I left the Doctors in shock as I have faithfully followed the Whole Plant Food diet and it clearly isn't working. Of course I have refused to take statins, but since they make me ill - I don't really get why I need them. Maybe I always had high blood pressure and never knew.

In my search for a new home I couldn't find one place that sort of looked nice for the price on-line. I set Kit to work on Google Earth back in her office and on the phone she finally guided me up a narrow road behind all the turn of the 20th century houses and I discovered a terrace cottage that turned out to be what I can only describe as a chicken run, on 'possibly contaminated land' the website warned. (Unbelievably it sold a day later).

You really can't trust what you see on-line - you have to see it with your own eyes. For example a modern townhouse at a good price was strategically built to avoid sunlight with a solid front door made it darker than necessary, a new block of flats had been built in front of it just to make sure. You can't really see that on-line. A Victorian town house on close inspection had warped windows and in this Lincolnshire town you can’t replace them with double glazing due to extreme conservation - so the town is slowly rotting from within.  A rather nice penthouse flat only has 57 years on the lease and that's no good to anyone, but then again it would be worth three times the money if it had decent milage left on the lease despite the four sets of stairs. New on the market was a 'coach house' with a new roof. Detective Kit revealed that the developer had bought it for £81grand in 2013 and now wanted £299 grand. That's one hell of an expensive roof. But good luck to them. *There's the house next door ready for auction at £88 grand in April - would seem to be a bargain. Depressed I retreated for a muddy cup of coffee from the Wheatsheaf, which hasn't changed once jot since I used to drink there with my father a hundred years ago. I tried to imagine a life living back there again and couldn’t for the moment, although I do like sitting by the open pub fire in winter. *The wasabi salmon fishcakes were delish I might add and I'll go back for more.

A friend asked me the other day what I really wanted and I replied ‘a warm hut in the dunes by rolling waves, a roaring fire in winter, sunny warm summers and a happy dog’.  She looked at me as if I was nuts but it was asked and I answered.  Essentially Atlantic Florida ninety years ago, but not actually ninety years ago as everyone smoked and spat and there were no antibiotics.

I came home to my house by the beach (where the waves never roll), noticed that it was about twice the size of everything I had been looking at and has nice neighbours and I started to clean the windows. Another agent was due to call any moment now... will keep you updated.
* April 22nd - House now on market - no orderly queue forming outside. Looks like it might be a long haul to get out of here. Meanwhile as the pound falls thanks to the election - where I might go dwindles to nothing. Sigh.

© Sam North
Editor - April 2015 -
as ever Hackwriters is supported by sales of our books - so do buy, print or kindle we aren't picky.
*And thanks for those who do. The Heaviness and Repercussions finally selling in some numbers.

download the new novel on Kindle from Sam North
'Life begins somewhere between the fish and the stars’
A mysterious, tragic tale from the wilds of the Lincolnshire coast – a haunting story about a girl who fled the fire into a whole world of trouble. A story about father and daughter and the girl who can read objects...

from the author of Diamonds The Rush of '72 and The Curse of the Nibelung:
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The Repossession

The Repossession by Sam Hawksmoor a fast paced edgy romantic thriller
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The Hunting - the thrilling sequel - order yours from Amazon or ibooks or Kindle
'Without a doubt, one of the best YA Sci Fi series out there.' Evie Seo Bookish

Now read the final thrilling conclusion to the series 'The Heaviness' suitable for any reader who likes to think about such things as betrayal, revenge, relationships and the laws of gravity

If you're looking for an exciting YA book set in WW2 - Kindle download
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The Repercussions of Tomas D
A Hero? Or Englands Greatest Traitor? USA Paperback here

'Disturbing and very poignant YA novel that presents a chilling alternate future for an England that lost the war.'
Marcel d'Agneau
*download the Kindle version or buy the paperback
Another Place To Die

New from Hawksmoor & North - The all new 2nd Edition of 'Another Place to Die'
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Q&A interview with the authors here
A city gripped by fear as a lethal virus approaches from the East. No one knows how many are dying. People are petrified of being thrown into quarantine. Best friends Kira and Liz once parted are scared they will never see each other again. Teen lovers, Chris and Rachel, prepare to escape to the islands. Do you stay and hide, or do you flee? And if you flee - how do you know you aren't taking it with you?

Review from the First Edition:
'Beautiful, plausible, and sickeningly addictive, Another Place to Die will terrify you, thrill you, and make you petrified of anyone who comes near you...' Roxy Williams - Amazon.co.uk

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