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  1. martin363

    Alien Civilisations like us extremely rare?

    I am sure there are and have been other intelligent civilizations, but it is not just the vastness of space, but also the time, the chances of 2 civilizations coinciding in time? And space? We have been civilized for what, 300 years?
  2. martin363

    Passport renewal time?

    Apparently online application is the way to do it, never touches human hands, as such, unless you make a mistake. I believe from watching TV the main issues are with posted paper applications.
  3. martin363

    Passport renewal time?

    TNT are a nightmare I think. I had them delivering some radiators last year for a refurb, took them 6 attempts and me on the phone a lot... Radiators for god sake, would have thought they wanted rid, but reckon the delivery couldn't be bothered to get them out the van.
  4. martin363

    Finding something you have spent years searching for.

    I lost my wedding ring..... couldn't find it (and boy did I try, the wife was not happy...). 6 months later I went out into the garden for the first grass cut of the spring and there it was sitting on the garden table at the end of the garden. Must have taken it off last time I was sitting...
  5. martin363

    Vangelis has passed away aged 79

    Headlines in Greece. Loved Chariots of Fire.
  6. martin363

    Interest rates increased

    I think with inflation as it is, June is a certainty, I was surprised they didn't go higher last time,
  7. martin363

    Interest rates increased

    I actually suspect they both saw it, but were worried about tipping their economies into recession after Covid, the reality is all they did was delay the recession, and likely make it far worse. Recession is coming, and it is going to be nasty. The one interesting thing is that I am not sure it...
  8. martin363

    Interest rates increased

    The BOE is late, they should have raised interest rates at least 6 month ago, and more steeply than they are. Anyone in manufacturing and shipping could see where things were going, and still are, unfortunately the BOE didn't, which means we are likely going to see a worse situation in the...
  9. martin363

    Interest rates increased

    Exactly this, interest rates will rise until inflation comes down, realistically at least 2 to 3 years, and it is unlikely that interest rates will then return to recent levels again.
  10. martin363

    Interest rates increased

    My first mortgage was 1997, I think 10% deposit and I paid 6%, I thought that was a good deal at the time - that was what was normal then. I can see it going back up there agin in the next 3+ years.
  11. martin363

    Interest rates increased

    Agreed, this is 5 years of real pain, and maybe never go back down, just everything gradually catch up, or not.
  12. martin363

    Interest rates increased

    When the BOE says themselves everything is going to be a mess for the next few years, we should worry. It is not something they say very often. And they have no tools to improve the situation as it is a globally driven issue. All they can do is increase rates, which will just fan the flames.
  13. martin363

    Passport renewal time?

    4 days via a visit to the passport office and delivery by TNT, but had to book the appointment almost a month in advance
  14. martin363

    Do you save money every month?

    I was able to retire early, partly because I saved (and invested) religiously for 25+ years, I suppose a little ‘FIRE’ style. In addition I have a pension to take when I reach that age. Now I draw a monthly income from my invested savings, but find I try to finish with a little surplus each...
  15. martin363

    Interest rates increased

    In his case 2 double, 2 large singles. When he got it all the rooms were enormous. (And I was being a little Sarcastic...) I think that is the point, using bedrooms to value a property is flawed.
  16. martin363

    Interest rates increased

    I agree, in making a purchase decision, i.e. is the home right for you, room configuration plays a role, it has too, but it shouldn't really be used as a defining number for the valuing of a property. For that an assessment of actual property space, or floor area seems more sensible. 20 years...
  17. martin363

    Interest rates increased

    Agree with this, it seems to be a very British way of doing things, overseas most properties are assessed only on SQM and the cost per SQM, which makes a lot of sense. In our block here in the UK there are smart / posh 1, 2 and 3 bed flats. A 3 bed is approximately 20 SQM more than a 2 bed, but...
  18. martin363

    Interest rates increased

    They still do that in Greece
  19. martin363

    Terracotta

    Price is generally driven by 5 things: 1. Quality of raw materials - 10 to 30% of cost. 2. Firing, temperature and time - 40% 3. Transport. where from, how and what size. obviously further and larger usually costs more. this used to be 10%, but has greatly increased recently. 40' container was...
  20. martin363

    Terracotta

    OK, technically terracotta is the 'least durable' of all clay types. Generally terracotta is cheap because the clay is largely unrefined, and the firing temperatures are low - 900 to 950c. Porosity is 7 to 15%, and they are not frost proof as a result. The physical properties of terracotta are...
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