Saturday, 14th August, 2010.

First:  The Good News (For Some)

     Aren’t we in Wales the lucky ones?!

     Throughout the British Isles, house-prices are falling.   Not so here.   House-prices in our land – according to the
news at the beginning of this week – are holding “pretty much steady”.

     The implications of that are obvious:  buy a house in Wales and it will become a better
investment than one you might buy in
Birmingham, Bradford, Blackburn or Brighton.

    That dangerous and totally mythical beast,
The Property Ladder, has reared its ugly head a few times this week, too.   Pundits are saying that it has become more
difficult – everywhere – to get onto the first rung of that climb.

     How true is that scripture which
runs:  “The love of money is the root of
all evil.”?   And we poorly educated mugs
are being conned into a system which reveres, more than any other thing, filthy



     Now there’s a big word for you!   Such big words are used – even invented – to
confuse the unwary.   The more syllables
put into a word, the more likely it will trip people up.

     And, in this case, it is being used fairly
often.   Because, though house-prices are
remaining “pretty much steady” in our land, house-repossessions are growing
at a rapid rate here.

     To have one’s home repossessed by the
money-lenders who smile as they encourage us to get into debt in the first
place must be a terrible blow.   It must
take the wind right out of the sails of anyone who, for no fault of their own,
can no longer keep up with the repayments on the thousands of pounds the
lenders “gave” them.

     The reason for the growth of repossessions
is obvious.  
Wales has never been at the forefront
when it comes to available jobs.   After
the closure of mines and steelworks and smaller industries – purposely done, I
reckon – all we have left really are tourism and farming.

     So, before we join in the joyful chorus of
happiness as property values hold steady, we must sing quite another song as we
remember the decent, hard-working people who – for
no fault of their own
– are now jobless.

   Like the man said:  “Only connect.”



     Look – though I am often accused, among
many other things, of writing “quirky pieces”, what I write, say or do seems to
have little or no effect on anything at all!

     Yet readers often tell me of something
they want changing – usually stopping – and expect my deathless prose to stir
all sorts of authorities into some sort of action.

    Over the last few days, I’ve been contacted
by a fair few folk who live in Mid and North
Wales and who are being pestered by
low-flying aircraft (“Oh – here we go
I hear you cry).

     This month, almost every one of the
complainants has experienced a fly-past by one or more of our brave boys-in-blue
skimming through a local valley at altitudes lower than the observer.

     “My two dogs went spare,” writes
Llew.   “And the sheep they were moving
scattered to the four winds.”   A little
poetic licence there, I think, but I empathise totally.

     I, too, have been “buzzed” by an RAF jet
screaming so close that I thought it would hit the mountainside on which I sat
– and it completely ruined my meditative process!

     One or two of you are putting together two
and two and coming up with some interesting mathematical totals.   Surely you must be wrong in thinking
that the sudden hedge-hopping practices are preparing British pilots for a
heavy assault on a mountainous region somewhere on our planet.   That could never happen . . . could it . . . ?

Archie Lowe


About Archie Lowe

Though not born in Wales, I have lived and worked here for many years now. I love the place and love that mercurial thing "Welshness". I have been accused of being "a Taffophile" - which is pretty near the truth. The question I ask whenever some idea comes up for the whole of the UK is: "What's in it for Wales". I believe in an independent Wales and am so pleased that our Assembly is a big step on that road.
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