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Category Archives: Life

A Bouncing Baby Book

Breaking with my tradition of not blogging at all, I decided to mark this day with a blog post.

So. After three years of planning and thinking and a frantic four-month workathon, my new book is finally done. “Done” as in the first draft, which needs editing, polishing, poking and all that stuff. But still, I am sitting atop a pile of 117000 words, more or less in the right order, and they feel very comfy indeed.

I shall not reveal so much about this book, as the title and the idea are pretty unique. Suffice to say it’s an urban fantasy adventure kind of thing with some horror and it’s got a lot to do with dreams.

Some inspiration.

Some inspiration.

The last two weeks I have worked in a blaze and did fully one quarter of the book. That’s 27000 words in two weeks, which for me is a hell of a lot of words. I’ve been getting up early to write before work, going home every evening to write after work, and my son probably thinks I am now part of the kitchen table as whenever he comes home from school, there I am, slouched over, squinting on the screen.

When I put the last word on the page at 7.35 this morning, I stared at the screen, with no idea how to react. And then I started to cry. I’m not sure if it was from relief, or happiness, or exhaustion, but cry I did. Nothing has felt this close to having a baby than actually watching my son’s mother having an actual baby.

Now I’m ploughing right into the next book (not a sequel to this one) which, for once, I will plan meticulously before writing. I suspect this might be the best way for me to work as with a plan I’m free to just write and not look back. And the new-born book will be put in a drawer and allowed to ferment and steam for six to eight weeks like a Christmas pudding. Because that’s what you gotta do.

And finally, here’s some music I listened to a hell of a lot while writing this — a seven-hour long ambient piece called “Somnium”. So put it on, float away and watch this space. (Or, better yet, this twitter space where I tend to post more than once every three months.)

/ paddy

 
5 Comments

Posted by on June 9, 2013 in Life

 

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Agents In The Mist

Literary agents are furtive creatures. In my years of sending stories and novels to them, I never got one to show any interest. This used to concern me. Perhaps they were just stupid, and didn’t see my obvious talents. Or perhaps I was just a talentless hack who’d serve society better if turned into glue. But finally, after another round of head-shakes, I decided to bite the bullet (ow) and go meet them. In London, that is, where all the agents live in a sparkly cave lined with the skulls of failed supernatural romance authors.

Literary-Agent-Cat-Iz-On-Da-Job

I booked passage on White Thrash Airways and bought a ticket for the Getting Published Event. Click the link, and you’ll get the idea — talks, lectures, tips and a chance to meet actual people working in publishing. Now I won’t tell you too much, as you should bloody well go there and find out for yourself, but I did learn many valuable things. Here’s a few of them, minus the best ones which I plan to hold tight and safe in my sweaty grasp.

1. To get an agent just write a good book and don’t be an idiot.

2. If you sent your book to ten agents, and they all say no, it just isn’t good enough. Rewrite, or do another one.

3. You need to know what your book is about, and what sets it apart from others.

4. Stop using bloody adverbs all over the bloody place. Just use a stronger verb instead.

I also met a great group of people who were immediately easygoing and friendly. And I realised how much I miss being always surrounded by my own language. Being an alien does suck.

So what next? Well, I realised the book I brought with me wasn’t good enough, so instead of trying to massage it into shape I’m just going to focus on my new book, which is 60% done, and a whole lot better. Plus it has a central idea that I can explain in a few seconds and make an agent’s eyes glaze over with glee.

There’s nothing more to say, really. I think I’ve finally understood how I am supposed to write, and have a plan for how I will continue. And that information is worth any number of hours in cattle-class on Ryanair, surrounded by ignorant, drunk, farting Swedes from the country, all of them called Lasse.

/ paddy

 
12 Comments

Posted by on March 6, 2013 in Life

 

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Spit Or Swallow

I’ve had a problem with swallowing, for a good many years. It usually went like this. I’d begin to eat dinner (it was usually dinner) and after the first few mouthfuls I would feel the food getting stuck, like there was an obstruction deep in the tubes.

I tried various things to clear it. Waking back and forth, jumping up and down, running in a circle, lying on the floor. Nothing helped. I discovered that drinking water just made it worse, as it piled up after the obstruction and almost suffocated me.

throat3In one of those situations I couldn’t swallow saliva either, and had to spit it out. You’d be amazed by how much spit your body actually produces. Fucking buckets of it.

It lasted about twenty minutes and then, quite suddenly, the obstruction would simply vanish, as if nothing had happened. And everything was normal again. Except that I didn’t really feel like finishing my dinner.

It drove me mad. My son got used to seeing me stomping around the flat during dinner, thumping on my chest, wheezing for air and swearing like a sailor. For years I thought it was because I ate too fast, so I tried eating slower, but it still occasionally happened. It began to feel like a curse. Perhaps God was punishing me for being right in all those theological arguments. Or just for being so damn good-looking.

Then, a few years ago I discovered, because of hay fever, that I now had food allergies, mainly to carrots, apples and hazelnuts. I decided the swallowing problem was an allergic reaction in my throat and tried avoiding suspect foods. That didn’t help much either. It still happened, even with foods I knew I had no problem with.

throat1

Finally, after a lot of research, I realised it might be some kind of acid reflux. The first few mouthfuls, upon reaching an empty stomach, might cause acid to rise and make the tubes swell up. I figured water might help. And, what do you know, it did.

Now if I begin to eat and feel the obstruction happening, I run to the sink and drink a lot water really fast, before the swelling has become too bad. There is a moment of sharp pain, and then nothing. Tubes open, problem solved.

So the solution, after all my worry and effort and discomfort, was simply to drink a nice, cold and totally free glass of water.

How nice it would be if all of life’s problem’s were so easy to solve.

 / paddy

 
18 Comments

Posted by on February 7, 2013 in Life

 

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Erotic Refugees Are Go!


Hurrah! After an unspecified volume of blood, sweat, tears, semen and coffee, my dick-lit novel Erotic Refugees is finally on the kindle ebook store!

Cover2-medium

Writing the bloody book was a walk in the park compared to working out how to publish on the damn kindle store. At some points it was like magic. I mean, who designed this rancid, stinking system? It was insanely hard to use and hid vital information at every turn.

Anyway, now it’s done. So welcome to the humorous and sexually invigorating adventures of Eoin Kelliher and Rob Maher, two love-hungry expats in Stockholm who decide to make a dating website with a nasty twist. With lots of expat jokes thrown in. And shagging, naturally. And Guinness.

So go on, my precious readers. Do the decent thing and give something back for the years of cutting commentary I’ve been handing out for nothing.

If you have a kindle, you can buy it directly from the device. If you don’t you can still read it using the kindle reader app on smartphone or iPad or Tab or whatever you have. However, you’ll have to first buy the book on the amazon website, and when you start up the app, it’ll download it for you.

And hey, some glowing reviews would be very nice too. Assuming you like it. Which you will.

(Here’s the link, if you missed the two up there: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AJ2ZC3O)

/ paddy

 
24 Comments

Posted by on December 10, 2012 in Culture, Life

 

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Roller Coaster Gröna Lund Sunday Bonus Combo

On the last Sunday of September (yes, in the past) I managed to combine all four of my least favourite things. Being around lots of screaming people, standing in very long lines, being very high up and having my cash pulled out through my nose by professional money-extractors.

Yes, I went with the lad to Gröna Lund, Stockholm’s tivoli/amusement park place, where people scream with joy as they spin and gyrate and move up and down. Kind of like in my bedroom. Ahem. Anyway. I hadn’t been there for years and that Sunday was the last day of the 2012 season. And as the boy’s now 13 I figured maybe he wouldn’t want to be seen there with his old man in the future, so it could be my last chance to go with him.

And, what can I tell you, it was fun. I love a good roller-coaster, and we went on four different ones, several times on each. They had a wooden roller coaster called Twister with a near-vertical drop that was increbible. The “Blue Train”, basically a ghost-train, was also excellent. There was a few rides I wouldn’t dare to go on, and you wouldn’t get me anywhere near one of those free-fall towers. But thankfully the crowd was smallish and the number of squealing and identical teenagers (seriously, are they clones?) was quite low.

And now I’m on youtube looking at roller coaster point-of-view videos from all over the world. Which is as good as thumb-up as you’ll get.

/ paddy

 
9 Comments

Posted by on October 21, 2012 in Life

 

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Mars, Spam, Etc.

I occasionally venture into my spam folder on this blog to see what’s in there. I am rarely disappointed. Let me show you what turned up today:

http://www.popandexhibits.com/page/page/1005742.htm Being married might commemoration wherein a couple might be mixed throughout being married and even a the exact same association. Party manners and also fashions will vary to a great extent from countries, ethnic competitors, belief systems, nations around, and also national kinds. The majority wedding parties throw a major turn related to marriage ceremony vows by means of the several, visualization associated with talent (offering, call(s i9000), sentimental asset, fresh flowers, money), or a common public proclamation related to being married at a specialist think in addition to innovator. Individual marriage ceremony shirts can often be worn, in addition to commemoration may be in addition to a marriage event. Tunes, finery, praying in addition to psychic readings by divine scrolls in addition to articles might nearly always utilized in the main commemoration.

Different countries have adopted the average Conventional specialty of your respective processed marriage ceremony, certainly where a girl wears a good solid processed bridal gowns and also veil. Doing this customs was actually accepted with the marriage ceremony related to Cali king Victoria. Many declare Victoria’s array of a good solid processed dress up may well quickly already been a sign of deluxe, but then may well been recently dependent the main ideals he or she possessed which probably emphasised bedroom love.[1] Around the cutting-edge ‘white wedding’ customs, a good solid processed attire and also veil might be scarce ways for a woman’s next in addition to using marriage ceremony. The concept a good solid processed dress up will imply bedroom love appears to have been often digarded, and is particularly belittled at social grace webmasters just like Judith Martin seeing as undesirable.[2]

I cut it here. There was a lot, lot more than that. It went on and fucking on. What the fuck are they one about? No idea. But I’m glad some drunk copywriters in India are getting some work.

I am kind of flattered that random spam merchants will bother to post such drivel on a blog that gets like two and a half hits per day. Perhaps they think I’m a genius. Or maybe the other Paddy Kelly.

Anyway. I just saw John Carter. And despite it’s general low rating, I thought it was extremely good. It didn’t at all deserve to crash and burn to the extent that it did. On the other hand, I also liked Waterworld. Go figure.

/ paddy

 
3 Comments

Posted by on September 11, 2012 in Life, Obscura

 

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A Pad In The Hand

I got a free iPad from work a few months ago. I took it home, thinking I’d sell it on eBay. Because why on earth would I need one of those things? I have enough distractions as it is.

I opened it. Just to check. I turned it on. Just to see. I pressed a few things. They boinged. And then I fell in love with it in the space of two minutes.

The iPad is a strange creature. It does nothing brilliantly, but it does so much well enough that it’s become indispensable. I can check the internet, read books, watch videos, listen to music, take photos, play games, follow recipes, all on the same gadget. And the App Store. Oh baby, the bloody App Store…

Lately I’ve started buying games and apps without thinking about it. When they cost a dollar or two, who really cares? Just press that little button. I now have a dozen apps that I’ve never even used at all. But I’m still happy I bought them. It’s nice to see the little icons, all plump with possibility.

It’s odd how my consumer patterns have changed just because a device has made it so pleasant to consume. Or, actually, it’s not strange at all. It’s the whole point. Apple are extracting my money, but they are doing it in such a terribly nice and enjoyable way that all I can do it bend over and keep on smiling. And that’s the genius of the whole thing.

So app me baby. App me hard.

/ paddy

 
5 Comments

Posted by on August 24, 2012 in Life

 

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Fifty Shades Of No

The jury is in. It’s a “no” on Black Heart’s Blood. 5 no-thanks out of 5. Depressing. You’d think writing a good book would be enough. But no. Then comes the pimping and fawning and waiting. Oh the bloody waiting…

But there was one good part. A nice silver lining (although I’d rather have the silver on the outside, and not in the bloody lining, but that’s just me). The final no, which came today, was actually very positive. As positive as a no can be in publishing. Most positive no ever. And here it is.

Dear WRITER

Thank you for letting me consider ‘YOUR BOOK’ and for your patience.

There are many fascinating ideas (and images) at the core of your novel and I quite like them.
However, I did not feel entirely convinced I could place ‘YOUR BOOK’ on your behalf in the current market conditions.

Please note that this is just my personal feeling, which should not discourage you in any way from submitting your book to as many agents as you can.

May I take this opportunity to wish you and your team the best of luck in your search for representation.

Regards,
THE AGENT

So, an agent is telling me to keep on sending the sucker out, and maybe I’ll get lucky. A professional admits that the book had promise. That’s actually quite huge. There will be fizzy spinny drinks tonight!

However … my team? What team? Do I have a team? How come nobody told me this? And I’ve been beavering away in private on the damn book for ages when I could have had a whole team on it!

You live and learn. And then you go lick some more envelopes.

/ paddy

 
12 Comments

Posted by on July 26, 2012 in Life

 

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The 31 Inch Irish Dilemma

So I’m back from ten days in Ireland. I could say a whole deal about that, and I might even say some of it shortly. But I thought I’d start with this one.

Buying men’s clothes in Ireland is a pain in the arse. I went to Listowel, the closest big town to my parent’s house, and attempted to buy jeans (taking advantage, as you do, of the crashed Irish economy). This was a mistake.

I saw about eight or nine clothes shops in Listowel. Only one of them had men’s clothes. The others sold women’s clothes only and had names like “Young Trend” and “Infinite Style” and “Mortifying Blouse”. I made those names up. But you see where I’m going.

The explanation I was given for this by my family is that men in country towns in Ireland don’t buy clothes for themselves, and when they do, they don’t think about it much. I’m not sure who does buy their clothes. Santa, maybe. Or sartorial leprechauns. It’s an open question.

Anyway, I ventured into the clothes shop in question (and I’d like to link to it but they have no website). It wasn’t a goldmine, let me say up front. It was very much a cheap-suit-and-sweater kind of establishment. The kind of place a greasy country politician might shop. I anyway had a look through the trousers on offer. Where I made an astounding discovery.

Men’s trousers in Ireland come in even sizes only. As in 30, 32, 34 inches. 31 inches doesn’t exist. I asked the man who owned the shop and he told me so. You just don’t get them. In fact he’d never even thought about it. It’s just the way it is.

I confirmed this in several shops in Dublin. Size 31, despite existing in every other country I’ve shopped for clothes in, doesn’t exist anywhere in Ireland. Even for pricey brands like Wrangler and Diesel and the like. Not there, and never has been.

I was advised to buy a 32 and wear a belt. Lovely.

I wonder when this was decided in Ireland. And I wonder why Irish retailers are unaware that odd sizes exist in the world at large. Maybe it’s some kind of conspiracy to prevent men wearing jeans that fit them. I suspect the Catholic church are involved somehow.

And yes, I bought a 32 and wore a belt. Happy?

/ paddy

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 20, 2012 in Life, Obscura

 

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Great Things To Do In Stockholm When Not Naked

Saturday was one of those gold-dust days where everything went right. It might have helped that it was the first day of my official holidays. And that I have a decent income, no diseases, and live in a first-world country. That never hurts either. Anyway.

The day started off with me dragging my reluctant arse to Bodypump. That’s an hour of lifting weights to ridiculously over-the-top music and an instructor who says things like “feel the burn” and means it. There’s also the added bonus of all the nicely toned bodies (both male and female) to check out from my position in the back row. And the marvellous high afterwards from sitting in the sauna. I can recommend it.

That done I wandered by a local bike shop and had a slight but niggling problem fixed on my bike, right there and then, for very little money. Nice. Visit these nice lads here.

Then I wandered into town. Some guys handed me a flier and, for once, I read the thing. It turned out to be for a shop around the corner that sold vintage suits and shoes, on the entirely unpronounceable Östgötagatan. Aha, I thought. I went there and discovered the owner was (mostly) an Irish guy. We had a nice chat about the old country and such, and he showed me his very fine selection of vintage suits, shoes, ties and jackets. Go there, and buy some excellent vintage things. Do it now!

Then I wandered on down to my favourite barbers, Salong Andreas, for a haircut. There are three seats in this barber shop, and seat number two is the guy I always want. I rarely get him, as it’s drop-in only and it is entirely up to chance which guy you get. But today, I got the right guy. And a rather spiffy summer haircut. So, you gentlemen requiring a haircut – away with you to Salong Andreas tout suite!

That done, I went to one of favourite eateries, Cafe Blå. This is a small cosy place run and owned by the lady who always takes the orders. There’s no fucking TV and no bloody radio. Wonderful. The owner will make you up an excellent fresh sandwich on the spot. I also enjoy this place as the owner does tarot card readings for people right there in front of you.

And much as I dislike pretty much anything new-age, I do have a soft spot for tarot. Mainly because I’m a sucker for symbols and it does seem very much like therapy. Slightly half-assed therapy, but still, she’s a nice lady. That’s Café Blå, for a quick bite. Just off Medborgarplatsen. Go on, dance with the devil.

I rounded off the evening with a concert in a park given by my friend Jessica. If this lady gets the right kind of luck, she’ll go far. She’s a singing-songwriting power to be reckoned with. I also, by an amazing co-incidence, built her website. Check it out. Awesome, I’m sure you’ll agree.

And that’s it for day uno of my holidays. This is looking like a mighty fine summer indeed.

/ paddy

 
8 Comments

Posted by on July 9, 2012 in Life

 

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The Chairs At The End Of The Universe

I have, for a week now, being trying to sell some chairs.

I bought these chairs in a second-hand shop a couple of years back. They’re nice and antique-looking, but I always thought they were too soft. So, with an apartment move coming up soon, I decided to get rid of them and placed an ad. Can’t be so difficult, I thought. I’ll just make them cheap, I thought. Some nice person will take them, I thought.

Well. No. Getting rid of four nice chairs for the paltry sum of 25 euros isn’t as easy as it might sound. I put the ad in last Saturday and the madness began immediately.

I had about 6 people contact me. Person 1 and 2 were interested, but not really THAT interested. Person 2 sounded most interested. She asked me if the chairs were in bad shape and needed to be fixed up. I said no. All was well until she revealed that she wanted me to drop them to her in my car. I don’t have a car, I said. I suggested she take a taxi. She said she’d get back to me.

Then person 4 expressed real interest. However, we couldn’t decide a day and time for her to come by and see them. Monday afternoon, she said. I work, I said. Okay then, Tuesday  afternoon. I work, I repeated. Okay, how about another afternoon? I WORK, I pointed out. I have a JOB to go to, which I may not leave until sufficient work had been done. Oh, she said. My brother is coming to get them with me. And he works nights.

Eventually we settled on Wednesday morning, as I’d anyway be home waiting for an official of my landlord to come by, which might happen at any time between 9.15 and 11.45. (More about that in a future post.) At 9:00 Wednesday morning I texted her to ask what time she’d arrive. No reply. At 10:00 I texted again, to say I was leaving shortly. No reply. I went to work and sent her a text calling her a lazy selfish idiot.

No reply.

Person 2 returned from the dead on Thursday and asked me again if the chairs needed to be fixed up. I said no, and anyway it’s all in the ad. Plus photos. She went away.

Next person, number 5, showed interest and wanted to come on Sunday. She suggested three. I said no. I suggested noon. She couldn’t come then. She was going to the gym. I suggested the evening. She didn’t reply. I mailed her twice on Saturday. She didn’t reply.

On Saturday person 2 texted me again. She asked if the chairs were still available. I said yes. She asked me where they were, information which is in my ad. I told her. I asked her if was really interested. She didn’t reply until four hours later, when she said: “Sorry, but I don’t remember what you had … hahaha”.

“Chairs,” I said. “You texted me four hours ago. Do you want them?”

No word until nine this morning. Her reply? “Do the chairs need to be fixed up…?”

At this point I told her I can’t fucking be arsed for 25 Euro if she can’t fucking remember anything I tell her. I’ll just throw them out. Goodbye.

To summarise: What the fuck is wrong with people? Can’t they decide what they want? Can’t they keep a promise? Can’t they show up when they are supposed to and, if not, let me know so I don’t wait for them? What the fuck is this, a sitcom?

I’ve learned my lessons though. In the future, if I sell chairs (or anything) online, I’ll ask for a lot more money. And filter out some of the crazies immediately.

Or just skip it all and set them free in the woods.

/ paddy

 
4 Comments

Posted by on July 1, 2012 in Idiots, Life

 

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Buying The Building

My special lady (I hesitate to call her “girlfriend” as she’s not a girl, nor just a friend) is in a bind right now. She’s been renting a flat for 22 years. She’s seen her kids grow up there. Her entire adult life was spent there, every giggle and tear. And now the morons in her building want to buy it out.

Here’s how. By some strange magic, rental tenants in Sweden can sometimes buy the building from the landlords (usually only from the state-owned rental companies). Basically, instead of owning a flat, you now own a share in a building (as nobody ever really owns a flat in Sweden). And those who don’t want to buy, or just can’t, will have to move the fuck out or stay on as a tenant of their previous neighbours.

A lovely meeting with the neighbours.

The plus in buying a flat like this is that you get it well below the market price and make a bucket of money when you sell it. The minus (besides losing a piece of your soul) is that you are now partly responsible for everything going wrong in the building. Every water leak and rat infestation is suddenly your problem. And you get to have lots of meetings with your neighbours. Which, as you can imagine, is a wheelbarrow full of joy.

Personally I would pay good money to NOT have to go to meetings with my neighbours and endlessly discuss washing machines. But that’s just me

People in favour of this process always want to do it for the money, to get a start in the property market. Oh, they’ll give a raft of other reasons when asked. They’ll go on about having more of a say, of getting a better feeling of community and blah fucking arse blah. But we all know the truth, and so do they. They’re doing it for the profit.

This buying-out process is pushed forward, and usually started, by real-estate agents. They’ll convince the saps about how much they’ll save, when in fact only one group is guaranteed to make money during one of these buy-outs – them. The real-estate bottom-feeders make their promises, take their cut, and disappear.

Does anybody really think real-estate agents do ANYTHING for any other reason than lining their own pockets? They couldn’t give a flying fuck if these people pay more per month after the buy-out or not. They want their cut, and then they’ll fuck off, back under their fucking rocks where they belong.

What stuns me about this process (besides the fact that anybody actually believes anything a real-estate agent says) is the following:

People sign rental contracts, knowing them to be rental contracts. It’s not exactly a secret. The rental system had given you, and thousands like you, a place to live when you need it. A chance to start a life in your own apartment. Since private rentals are very hard to find in Sweden, getting a flat through the official queue is often the only solution besides buying. (Or sharing, which Swedes are very reluctant to do.)

And then, having signed a RENTAL CONTRACT on a flat, what do you do? You buy it up and remove it from the rental market. You deny the same possibility to other people that was given to you. And do you know what that makes you? A selfish prick.

I’ve nothing against buying apartments. I bought one once myself, and I sold it again for a profit. The only thing I dislike about the process is giving money to real-estate agents, who should be soundly whipped and rolled in dog-shit at every opportunity.

People in favour of this will go on and on about “buying out my apartment”. And what, surely, can I have against somebody just buying own their own apartment? Hang on, though - YOUR apartment? In what way, shape or form is a rental apartment YOUR apartment? It’s a rental, you dumb shit. You pay the rent, you live there. What in this deal makes it YOURS?

I never want to do this and I don’t fucking care how much I earn. There are a bunch of people who say this too, that they “don’t believe in it” but then go ahead and do it anyway when the chance pops up. Newsflash, people: if you believe in something ONLY IN THEORY then you don’t fucking believe in it at all. Just take the money and run and wipe your arse with it forever.

If people want to buy and sell apartments, fine. It’s a worthwhile investment, I get that. And it’s nice to paint the kitchen whatever colour you like. So by all means, fire away. But if you go into the rental system with the ambition of removing flats from the rental system, to your own benefit, then you are a dishonourable scumbag. You are destroying opportunities for future generations who have one less rental flat at their disposal. People just like you were when a rental flat came along and saved YOUR ass.

Now my special lady is forced to move, while her neighbours face paying the same as they paid before, but suddenly have a pile of responsibility to go along with it. While real-estate agents grow fat, sticky and flatulent on their grimy little profits. Win-win. Except for the rest of us.

Many people appear to think that owning absolutely everything in the world is a solution. While others like me think it might very well be the problem. And I could be wrong here, but at least I’m not a scumbag.

Or worse still, a real-estate agent.

/ paddy

 
1 Comment

Posted by on June 16, 2012 in Life, Ranting

 

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