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May 23, 2019

Over the years the cars we have owned have been well past their sell-by date and of simple construction. Both the Austin and the Vauxhall had a very low tech system of supplying fuel to the carburettor from the petrol tank. This consisted of a thin plastic pipe running on the underside of the car and held to the body by any number of metal tags. Completely exposed therefor and on two occasions we had the petrol tank drained of fuel by some enterprising person simply cutting the plastic pipe. The annoying thing was that there was only enough juice in the carb to see you a few hundred yards up the road. On both occasions it meant having to abandon the vehicle until a repair could be done. It was annoying that I had to trek to town to obtain a new piece of plastic pipe. Most annoying on the second occasion was that it was raining and I found myself under the vehicle, lying in the roadside gutter with the rain running past my ear! Also, as we have progressed with the upgrading of the quali...

May 13, 2019

The first job I had was working for Age Concern. It was financed by the Manpower Services Commission way back in the early 1980’s. It was simple enough. At their request go and tidy the gardens of the elderly whose situation meant they were no longer able to look after it. The job was for a year only, but I could use and claim mileage for my car. Mower and other tools stuck in the boot and wheelbarrow on the roof. The job went smoothly all year and I was in my final week or so when I was required to attend a house in Lower Compton. During the week, my team had already spent some time there, but this was a Saturday and I was on my own. I turned up on site with my Austin 1100 loaded to the hilt, including the wheelbarrow on the roof rack. Spend most of the day there and eventually finished work early afternoon. Had some paperwork signed by the customer and left. It was my last day with Age Concern as I was starting a new job as a Warehouseman with Marks & Spencer.

A few days later I read...

April 30, 2019

There came a time when, as Council tenants, we decided to evoke our right to buy under the scheme introduced by the Government. We knew we had a substantial discount having been tenants for years. What we had to do was work out whether we could afford to pay off a mortgage. The rate interest was fairly high at the time, about 7% if I remember correctly. So I spent time working out our average annual outgoings and then figured out what the mortgage might be. This gave us a figure which we could reconcile to our combined net salary. Because of our discount the figures were very positive but I was still concerned about the interest rate. Nothing good was said about the rate it was rising and no-one was sure if or when it would stop. I showed Amanda but said I would re-do the figures to show a base interest rate of 10% - just in case we had to face such an (unthinkable) monetary situation. This time my simple calculations did not go well at all and I recall them being very close to the edg...

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