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Welcome - The International Writers Magazine - May Editorial 2011
The Repossession The Repossession - a fast paced edgy romantic thriller
The Repossession out now.
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'The Repossession... will blow your mind and keep you guessing until the very end'. A Dream of Books (SJH)
'Smart, dark and graceful, this story is sure to send chills down your spine...one of the best, and most fascinating, debut novels I've ever read'. Evie-bookish.blogspot

May 2012
It's going to be an interesting month (In the Chinese form of 'interesting times'). Governments are falling all over Europe and uncertain about how to stop the increasing panic about the Euro. Sarkozy went down in France. Under President Hollande (lightning permitting) the left is probably going to upset the balance of power in Europe but they are very exposed to a Greek default. Market reaction has been relatively calm so far but all that money flowing out of Greece must be destabilising the situation still further. Spain is in meltdown having to nationalise debts and the regional areas refusing to accept the 'austerity' programme set by Madrid. (See James Skinner's article on that) If Spanish banks go under it may drag the Euro with it (already local councils are withdrawing money deposited with Santander over here.) Meanwhile Golden Dawn fascists scored 21 seats in the parliament in Greece. There is no one is strong enough to pull the different factions together to form a government. In any case they want to 'renegotiate' with Germany over the bail-out and that Greek default from the Euro we have all been expecting could happen much faster than we all thought. (With ramifactions for France who leant them all that money to start with). New elections in Greece now set for June 17th. Will the result be different or even worse? William Hill the bookies have already suspended bets on Greece defaulting from the Euro so it is just a matter of weeks now and everyone is running scared.
*The one curious thing is how calm the gold market is. Just goes to show I know nothing.

It's looking like 1938 all over again. All we need is for Cameron to declare 'Peace in our Time' and all hell will break loose. (It seems politians are already asking Germany to re-arm to take more responsibity for European defence and our mis-adventures in the middle-east to add fuel to the moment). Meanwhile London is awash with rich French and not so rich French piling into the jobs and property market here to escape Socialistas, (kind of ironic then that most voted for Hollande) whilst Russians are arriving in droves in a last ditch escape from Putin as well. Trouble is - where do the English flee to as people elected Socialists here on May 3rd to run their town halls and run up massive debts all over again. (Voter turnout only 32% is not exactly a ringing endorsement however.) No one remembers anything apparently. Ed Milliband seems to be just two years away from being prime minister here with Ed Balls, one of the architects of our woeful financial state and debts as Chancellor. (Although best to recall that a week is a long time in politics).

We are certainly in a time of change but the thing for people to remember is this - no matter who you vote for - the Government always gets in. There are no quick fixes. We are all in the merde together.

Meanwhile I seem to have spent the last six months entirely looking for somewhere to live.  It’s been torture. You make offers, solicitors get involved, they find reasons why you can’t buy and it all falls down and everyone is disappointed. I have begun to loathe Right Move.

On my journey at looking at property you get a very good feeling for what is happening in the British economy.  First of all pretty much everything worth buying has sold.  In the South at least.  I get excited about something, then as soon as I can move on it, it has gone.  Why?  Simple reason people are taking money out of the banks and piling into property to rent it out.  With the shortage of houses in the UK, particularly in the south, this could be a one-way bet.  On the other hand, renting is fraught with problems, bad tenants, voids, etc.

I have found amazing flats (one I saw in Littlehampton with a bath in the middle of a bedroom (no loo, just a bath) others with lovely spiral staircases, but in all cases the crux is maintenance charges, which seem to go up relentlessly.  I have set my heart on a ‘house’ and after seven years of living next to the worse drunken, screaming neighbour from hell, I want detached. Unfortunately in my meagre budget I am competing against cash buyers and they can move really quickly.

house I have finally settled on a small high-risk detached house right beside a river that has flooded at least twice in the past (but this house hasn’t flooded).  My second critereon is to own a home that I can walk to everything and ignore the car.  I need a sunny terrace, right in the heart of town.  Oddly enough it turns out that there was one such home in my hometown of Louth in Lincolnshire. It’s a small market town at the edge of the Wolds and on Fridays you can still hear the mooing of the cattle in the market. (I remember when I was a kid cows and other animals being walked through the streets to market). 

I kind of miss the casualness of the past, even the smells, but not the traffic that strangled the town.  Now a by-pass has taken the strain and Louth, unlike many places in the so-called North, has not suffered economic collapse because the town council has resisted out of town stores. Tesco will not suck the life out of this small town.

The one curious thing about Louth is its resistance to tourism.  You’d expect that there would be a statue to Tennyson (the poet) who was schooled at the Grammar school and published his first poem here (an Oxfam shop occupy the old printers). A shame, because if more tourists came it would help the local economy.  Louth is a pretty town dominated by a huge Spire on the church. (The local vicar was hung drawn and quartered at Tyburn for leading a rebellion five hundred years ago). Oliver Cromwell's brother lived in the old gunshop. The Wheatsheaf pub is still in place and lots of quaint tea-rooms. Who knows Miss Marple may live next door.

I am learning that buying is no longer a straightforward procedure. The mortgage company will have first say - then the dreaded 'Search' and Environmental impact assessment... it is endless. Worse the insurance companies are withdrawing cover from river properties. I suspect this may not be the final solution to my homelessness after all.  *And since the property doesn't seem to conform to an actual post code my worries are mounting as of 19th May.

Sam - Editor of Hackwriters May 19th 2012
Author of Diamonds – The Rush of 72 (Print)
ipad (iTunes version)
Mean Tide
& Mean Tide

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