Category Archives: Housing

Nostalgia ain’t What it Used to Be

out with the old, and in with the new

~

There is something satisfying and real about people, places, and things that properly belong in a bygone era.  Somehow the old and familiar can give one a lot of pleasure just by being there.

I like classic cars, classic motorcycles, old Hollywood movies, ancient buildings, and old towns.  I also prefer the classical style of dress, good manners that many think outdated and pointless, and more mature women.

In some ways this Turkish Holiday destination belongs in a bygone era;  the people, the junk cars and busses, the antedeluvian attitude of the men towards women,  the snail slow wi-Fi connection in this hotel, seem more 20th rather than 21st century.

Some older, classical things are worth preserving ~ misogynistic men and painfully slow internet connections should be consigned to the junk pile where they belong.

 Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

steam trains are alive,

electric locomotives are just technology

No Time to Write

Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage.

I need a new plan.  The one I’ve been using this past week doesn’t work.

On the other hand, I’ve been driven by events, rather than choosing my own path.

Having your home broken into kind of does that to you.  In some ways it’s not the invasion, nor the fact that my stuff was taken, it’s all the fucking damned paperwork and admin that follows a burglary that has really been depressing me.  And, I’ll give you one very important piece of advice, never throw away any bill, or receipt, or piece of correspondence.  Keep every fucking piece of paper in organised files for at least 6 years.  If you don’t then you’ll spend forever sorting out the paperwork when some unforeseen event or disaster happens.

I just have, and mine was only a little robbery, not some huge fucking disaster.

Hopefully, things will be better for me in the next few days.

Keep safe.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Burgled

Lying, cheating, and stealing are next door neighbours.

Sometime earlier this week someone got into the garret and stole some of my stuff.

There was no damage to my door, so at first I thought I’d just lost my wallet and cash.  That prompted me to spend a whole day searching for wallet / cash…..

But, I’d been robbed of my wallet with a couple of credit cards, my drivers licence, some other identity cards, and about £100 in cash.  I also lost my cell phone, a couple of hundred US Dollars, about 5,000 Turkish Lire, a watch, and some other bits and pieces

I’ve spent all morning on the ‘phone sorting out my banks and reporting the theft to the police.

Even then I’m not finished restoring my life ~ for example I need a new cell phone.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I feel sorry for Marmaduke, who was alone in the garret at the time of the robbery

Planter

The glory of gardening is having your hands in the dirt and your head in the sun.

I built a planter for my friend in California.

I hope that it gives her many years of pleasure.

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

there’s a handful of dirt from Red Rock country in there

I hope it gives her many years of pleasure

How to Build a Patio Planter ~ Video

There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.  ~  Janet K. Phillips

For me, building a patio planter, or raised bed, out of any materials you like, is a fairly straightforward project.  However, I know that isn’t so for everyone.

Therefore, in a spirit of helpfulness, here are a trio of videos showing how to make a few examples of planters you could use a prototypes for whatever you would like in your yard.  As you can see, it’s a pretty straightforward project.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

this easy wall planter

is one of my favourite ideas

Scenes on Sunday ~ Patio

Sitting beneath the moon and stars, with a glass of wine and thou.
To kiss you, and remember what love is.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

drink wine

smell the roses

feel the fire’s warmth

and talk so softly with thou

Your House Is Worth Nothing

Land is the far greatest of fraudulent perpetual monopolies.  ~  Winston Churchill

As it goes, and speaking as a guy with 30 odd years of banking under his belt, in the long term, financially, your beach home / house / apartment is worth less than nothing.

You may say that it’s been valued at $1,350,000 but what does that actually mean?

It means that if you sell the place, then that’s what you’ll get.  Less all the bloodsucking bankers, lawyers, and realtors fees.

Then what?

You’ll probably plough the $1,350,000 into a bigger place that’s notionally worth $1,450,000.  And, in human terms that new place is worth even less than nothing.  You will work much harder to keep it.

All you are doing is paying rent, and working harder to keep the place…..  And, then you’ll die.

The only way your $1,500,000 place is worth anything at all to you is if you sell up and live in a van.

Real Estate is all about cost.  Look at your monthly / annual bills and you will see that your house is costing you a fucking fortune.  Any bum can have 80% of what you have for nothing.  Trust me, I know, I’ve been there.

Any First Nations elder will tell you that property is expensive theft.

Banking and the real estate industry is built on the notion that your property is intrinsically worth something, and it isn’t.  You can’t take it with you, and when the next Big One comes it won’t even be there.

But, even though I know that the Wizard is a fraud, I will never persuade you.

For the truth means you have too much to lose.

~

jack collier

jackcollier@talktalk.net

I thought about a school bus once,

but then I’d want a woman to share it with me,

 

How to have more spending money

There is scarcely anything that will drag you down like debt.

Basically there are two ways we can have more cash to spend on the things we really like, want, and desire ~ one is to go out and get more money, earn it, marry it, inherit it, steal it….

The other way to have more cash to spend on the things we really like is to spend less on ‘essentials’ ~ the things we have to buy to survive.

For if we remember our Dickens and what Mr. Micawber said in David Copperfield, happiness lies in spending less than we earn, and unhappiness lies in spending more than we actually have.

There are some tried and tested ways to spend less on the boring essentials.  In my quest for minimalistic living, I have personal, (sometimes very bitter), experience of all of these following ideas:

  1. Live in a smaller place.  Smaller homes cost less to buy, attract lower property taxes, and use less utilities; water, gas, electricity.
  2. If you can, switch your utilities provider to a better and cheaper company.  All utilities companies are money-grabbing vultures, but try to choose the best of a bad lot.
  3. Drive a smaller car.  Smaller cars are less expensive to buy and insure, and in general use much less gas than a bigger car with more weight and a bigger engine.  If you buy a classic smaller car, as opposed to the latest model, then you won’t even suffer from depreciation.
  4. Switch your car insurance to a better and cheaper company.
  5. Learn some DIY skills.  You don’t have to use expensive and useless contractors, car mechanics, cleaners, or gardeners.  It’s cheaper and better if you do as much as you can for yourself.
  6. Cut out impulse purchases.  On impulse, too many of us buy too much stuff that we don’t actually need, want, or really like.  All that stuff clutters up our home and convinces us that we need to move to a bigger place.
  7. Don’t marry a sexy trophy wife, (or toy boy), who will also want you to move into a bigger place.  A trophy wife, (or toy boy), will end up costing you most of your treasure, and you’ll end up with a broken heart.
  8. Don’t try to buy love.  It doesn’t work, it will cost you a fortune, and you’ll end up with a broken heart.
  9. Control your addictions….. booze, drugs, gambling, pornography, casual sex, smoking….. All of these will all cost you just about everything you have, including your self-respect.
  10. Resist the urge to have the latest and most expensive technologies.  You don’t need a huge TV, costly cable, the newest computer, the best tablet, the most expensive iPhone with the most expensive contract.
  11. Buy whole foods rather than processed, heavily packaged, and generally bad for you costly crap.
  12. Buy generic brands.  Trust me, I’ve been into factories where the expensive labels and generic brands are actually made on the same production line with exactly the same content.  Only the packaging is different.
  13. If you can, then buy in bulk.
  14. Stop going out to lunch at work, instead take a packed lunch.  Those people you go to lunch with are probably boring and certainly aren’t your real friends anyway.  And, if you’re an average guy the women you take to lunch are never going to have sex with you, so you’re wasting your time and money.
  15. Don’t join a gym.  Most of the people who have gym membership never go there.  For great exercise take a long walk in the sunshine instead.
  16. Visit thrift stores, and if you find clothes you like, then save money and buy ‘pre-loved’ stuff.
  17. Don’t give to a big charity.  (Have you any idea how much the bosses of the big charities pay themselves?  The average pay across the top 100 charities is more than £250,000 a year, plus huge bonuses.)
  18. Don’t spend all your time drinking in pubs and bars ~ the booze is expensive there, and nobody in your favourite pub is your real friend anyway.

And finally, don’t spend on borrowed money, especially credit cards which all charge usury rates of interest.  Credit cards are NOT money.  Really, really, really NEVER use a payday lender, which all charge eye-watering criminal rates of interest.

You can probably think of some other money-saving tips of your own.  For a month try making a note of what you actually spend your hard-earned on ~ I guarantee that you will be surprised and shocked.  Learn what you actually spend your money on, and then you can start to control your finances.

Some say that money can’t buy happiness.  And that a fool and his money are soon parted.  All I know is that having money makes misery more bearable.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

you can take the idea of living in a tiny home to the extreme…..

They Cut Down All The Trees

Life without trees is life without Love.

The street where I live is under serious redevelopment, which involves making a tremendous amount of mess.  It also means that the contractors have cut down all the mature trees which used to line both sides of the street, and surround the old church, (which is now actually an art gallery).

Perhaps the redevelopment is a good idea, and the place will look much better when it’s all finished, but cutting down all the trees is just urban vandalism.

Where I live now looks as though urban riots / a small war has just been through there.

And, the old church / art gallery now looks utterly bereft.  All such a shame.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

As you can tell,

it’s still raining cats and dogs here.

living with less

Having few desires means satisfaction with what you have.

Making radical plans always has more ramifications that one first thinks.  I have this germ of an idea to convert an old school bus into a camper / RV / motor home, and / or find a great plot and construct a home / holiday home out of shipping containers.  One of the ramifications is that the amount of interior space is likely to be limited in either of those projects.

But, there is an axiom; You don’t need more space, you need less stuff…

Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.  ~  Will Rogers

Ergo, the first rule of living with less is to stop buying things you don’t really need.  A lot of us like buying new stuff: kitchen gadgets, clothes, pictures, ornaments and geegaws, books, and other sundry unnecessary crap.  Then we find our spare room and garage filled with the old stuff we have replaced with new stuff, and eventually we have to take all that old crap to the thrift store.

All this costs us time, money, stress, and heartache.  Buy stuff we don’t really need and our lives are filled with clutter, and clutter is incredibly stressful.  The simple answer is; ‘if you don’t absolutely need it, then don’t buy it’.  If there is no clean and empty space on your tables, kitchen counters, bookshelves, dressing table, desk, and in your bathroom, then you have far too much stuff.

Clutter, junk, piles of unused stuff, overflowing cupboards, a garage you can barely get your car into, a spare room full of more unused stuff… all this is bad for your physical, mental, and spiritual health.  If you can’t lose weight, you’re always tired, you’re always late for work ~ then clean up your clutter.

Instead of complications and clutter, consider simplicity and minimalism instead.

If one’s life is simple, contentment has to come.  Simplicity is extremely important for happiness.  Having few desires, feeling satisfied with what you have, is very vital: satisfaction with just enough… and shelter to protect yourself from the elements.  ~  The Dalai Lama

Simple living will benefit your physical, mental, and spiritual health in many ways.  Living simply declutters your life and your daily schedule ~ who knows if you live simply you may even make it into work on time.

Living simply with less stuff, living a clean and minimalistic lifestyle, well it isn’t something that you should attempt to achieve overnight, usually this kind of huge change takes time, effort, and determination.  Take little steps, at least to begin with.  Some good ideas are;

  1. Get rid of all your duplicates.  If you have 2 of something, like 2 copies of the same CD, then you have 1 too many.  Take the duplicate to the thrift store.
  2. Clean out your garage and spare room, (and other places you store unused stuff).  If it’s been in your garage for years, and you’ve never used it, then either take it to the thrift store, give it away, or put it in the dumpster.
  3. Start a clutter-free area.  Have a minimalistic and clutter-free zone or room perhaps your bathroom, or kitchen, and then expand that through the rest of your home.
  4. Travel lightly.  Take half the stuff you think you will need, and twice as much money.  If your garage or spare room is full of luggage, suitcases, bags… then get rid of some of them. Most airlines will only allow one bag anyway.
  5. Dress with less.  If you haven’t worn it in months, and you don’t really like it, and maybe it’s a little worn, and it doesn’t fit you any more ~ then take it to the thrift store.  Have a colour and style theme that really suits you, and try your best to always stick with that.
  6. Simplify and purify your diet.  Go through your fridge, freezer, and larder ~ junk anything past its ‘use by date’ or is of dubious quality, or you shouldn’t be eating or drinking anyway.
  7. Have a £1,000 pound emergency fund, ($1,000).  Money for emergencies reduces stress and makes it amazingly easier to junk stuff you don’t really need.

I live in a 500 square foot loft apartment I call the garret.  The only thing I have too much of is books.  My bookshelves are full, my bookcases, (2 of them), are full, and there are books stacked on the floor…  I’m working on that, all of my books are for sale on Amazon.  In recent weeks I’ve got rid of half my clothes, (see point #5), and replaced some with far better quality stuff.  My kitchen counters and bathroom are totally clutter free, and my refrigerator is only half-full.  I’m not doing too badly on being minimalistic and clutter-free.

Trust me~ discarding unwanted stuff, being clutter-free, creates a raft of good feelings.

Simplicity is the most difficult thing to secure in this world; it is the last limit experience and the last effort of genius.  ~  George Sand

Good design and good quality is timeless.  Always buy the best you can afford, and never buy more than you need.  Remember K.I.S.S. ~ Keep It Simple Stupid…  Simplicity is Good, and Clutter is Bad.  Focus on what really matters to you, and don’t get suckered in to buying cheap bargains you don’t need.

Less is more.  ~  Mies Van Der Rohe

Be clean, simple, uncluttered, and minimalistc, (especially in the bedroom), and I promise you your life will be better.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

click on the book to find out more

 

 

 

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