Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Estate Agents v Osama Bin Laden

...who is public enemy number 1 ?

...who is the bigger danger to society ?

That's a hard call, I know. I have had the displeasure of, once again, dealing with estate agents. This time, to try and find an apartment for M and I in an area we both like. Easy??? You would have thought so, but NO, not at all! It's turning into a nightmare! Estate agents advertise heavily on their web sites and local media. That's all ok but the trouble starts with their mis-information based advertising. Most (if not all) of the properties advertised have long gone! They cherry-pick the content on display in order to get you to contact them. They "scatter the bait" to get you "hooked". Once you make contact, they simply say "the apartment has just gone..,but we have others. Please come in and register...blah blah".

I am convinced there is a law against misleading advertising, I'll have to look into that.

Another injustice is their common practice of "I'll put your offer to the landlord", only to phone later and say the landlord is considering a higher offer and would I consider raising the offer also.!! The bare-faced cheek!

It's no wonder recent surveys place estate agents as the 'least liked professionals in the land'.

Bin Laden destroys lives...estate agents destroy souls... close call, you decide...

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Postcard from Sweden

Back in the UK after 8 days in Sweden!! What a beautiful place!! Sweden is the last known "wilderness" in Europe, a vast country of some 450,000 Km2 (twice the size of UK) , scarcely populated with 9.3 million people, draped in lakes that resemble small oceans and where every other car is a Volvo...

I already knew a fair bit about Sweden, it's politics, quality of life, etc. but still, I was amazed at it's calmness, it's law-abiding motorists, it's fresh unpolluted air despite the fact that Sweden is a heavily industrialized nation, and last but not least, it's coffee. Yes, coffee!!

Never mind the meatballs and lingonberry jam, the great cakes and cookies, the reindeer meat, the beautiful girls and the vast fairy-tale forests, it's the coffee that impressed me most ...(...hummm!?!)

The Swedish people are the world's biggest consumers of coffee and now I know why. I tried dozens of coffees, in cafes, petrol stations, home and restaurants and failed to get a bad cup! Even machine coffee is wonderful !! How do they do it?? Coffee doesn't even grow in Sweden!!!

The day trip to Stockholm was another highlight. I loved this great uncluttered city, bathed by the sea and soaked knee-deep in history. Culture and tradition pours out of every ancient but proudly elegant building in the Old Town, mingling with the unforgettable aroma of fresh pastries and coffee. Tree-lined promenades, parks, bridges,lakes,canals,14 main islands (and 24,000 smaller isles) and the absence of sky-scrapers makes Stockholm the most beautiful city I have seen.

A return visit is a must as there is so much more to see.
Hejda, vackert land... det var ett noje att traffa Madeleine's familj. Ett sarskilt tack till Mormor och Soren ... Kramar till alla.