bournemouth

Property Projects

Mrs P and I go for a walk pretty much daily. Some walks are a bit further than others. Some routes we do more than others. Most of them involve walking from home, down through Bournemouth Gardens and on to the pier. There is one route we regularly do which is a little further from home. During Lockdown 1, a year ago, when we had oodles of time to kill, we used to walk there. But it took several hours to walk that loop, so these days we drive to the starting point at Canford Cliffs.

It’s a nice area, affluent, with a smart but small high street. There’s a Mazda dealership on the corner. We bought our little Mazda 2 from the place about a year and a half ago. Baffi Pizza at the other end of the street does the best pizza in the area. In between there is a lovely bakery and a selection of estate agents, selling expensive local flats and houses.

And a bit further down the road is Lochfyne, an excellent seafood restaurant. Their social media feed is currently raging against Brexit. They are unhappy. Our divorce from the EU has seen British fish exports to the continent slashed. Scottish salmon and shellfish suppliers have seen exports drop by up to 98%. Catastrophic. But my sympathy for their plight is rather limited. Their social media feed in 2015 and 2016 argued for Brexit, on the basis it would be great for British fishing.

We walk from the car down to the beach and then loop back through Lilliput, where we often buy coffee and cake from either Mark Bennetts Bakery or Rockets and Rascals cycle shop/cafe, depending upon who has the shorter queue. The road back to the car from there takes us through the gloriously scenic Parkstone golf club.

Just before we get to the golf course are a pair of semi detached properties. A year ago, it was in a bit of a state. But workmen have been busy restoring them, particularly the left hand one. It’s now pretty much finished and is listed on Rightmove. Having spent a year looking at the outside being put right, I can now have a nosy look at the inside. It’s very smart and modern, don’t you think? I like it. And yet. I think it’s lost a lot of the character it once had. Which is a shame.

Mrs P and I have had our own flat valued recently. We would quite like a flat with a large balcony or, better still, a terraced house. We were quite happy with the figure we were given for ours. It’d be easy to sell our flat at the moment, and we’d likely get our asking price. Londoners are desperately seeking to exit the big city. It’s definitely a sellers market at the moment.

Our problem is finding a reasonably priced house with garden or sun terrace. Those are two features that are in high demand, unsurprisingly. We both love the semi detached house we’ve watched being renovated. But at £825,000 it’s well out of our financial reach. Although we didn’t need to see it on Rightmove to know that. The Ferrari parked out front was the real giveaway.

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photography

March

This weeks collection has a more urban feel. There’s a few beach photos in there, but most of the shots were taken in railways stations, Bournemouth and Westbourne. With one in Southampton. I had an afternoon in the port city to go pick up a new work phone. The photos might give the impression the area is deserted. That is far from the case, and things are getting busier. Next month we may get a bit of sun. The town will then be overrun by grockles.

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opinion

Exit Lockdown

The mural is not quite finished yet – Building a Picture. But it’s close to being done. We are also close to being done with our lockdown. On Monday, we can meet up under the Rule of Six regs again, and outdoors sports resume. I’ve got a tennis court booked for Wednesday. Two weeks later, shops and outdoor hospitality reopens. May 17th sees indoor hospitality returning along with, perhaps, international travel. In mid June, we will, hopefully, be mostly back to normal.

Any remaining restrictions are likely to be light. Vaccine passports for use domestically seems awfully unlikely to me. Providing there are very low rates of infection, then I suspect any further regulations on social distancing and mask wearing will simply be ignored into irrelevance. This, I suppose, is the best case scenario.

I’ve pondered what a plausible worst case scenario might look like. I would suggest that this scenario would only require the virus to continue mutating sufficiently to evade new vaccines. Some mutations will be more transmissible, some less so. Some will be a bit more deadly, others less so. Some years, the virus will take ten million souls off to the next world. Other years it’ll be a few tens of millions.

Eventually, a perfect storm will brew. A highly transmissible variant with a deadlier infection fatality rate will strike a global population that is economically broken, weakened through repeat infections, complacent in response. Exhausted health services will collapse before the first wave has barely gotten underway. Over a couple of years, waves of the newest variant could put a billion bodies in the ground. Maybe two.

I am, of course, speculating. Wild, morbid speculation at that. But I’m not suggesting anything that the plague and smallpox haven’t done before. Still. I strongly suspect that reality will be much closer to the best case scenario than the worst. Cross your fingers.

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