Some random UK observations

Your Manchester correspondent has been telling you about this (Post subject: UK: extend and pretend, the commercial property bust) for some months now.

Here are some more odd and leftfield observations; I cant explain them all but I’ll try to put meat on the bone as soon as it becomes obvious.

I know of one property, a house ‘converted’ to offices that sold in 2007 for £275k, on the market now for £172k.
Another, a large house, converted to flats (known as a HMO - Home of multiple occupancy) on the market for 4+ years asking 300k, worth about 180k as a single dwelling, nothing as a HMO.

Make of this what you will; there is a noticable increase in graffitti, even in good areas.

Increase in scumbag-types in good areas. (Think tracksuits strolling around Dalkey).

Pubs are closing at a ferocious rate.

Police are driving around more in singles (ie not pairs) in vehicles equiped with CCTV monitoring equipment, they are also wearing combat-style uniforms rather than bobby-on-the-beat gear.

Power outages have occured recently for whatever reason, probably due to bad weather but I notice everything takes longer; food takes longer to cook, lights are noticably dimmer, microwave takes longer.
Have they turned down the current?

Could be part of the EU “hamonisation” of electricity supplies to 230v 50Hz used to be 240, but as equlpment is being updated the voltages are corrected.
Also in some places the electricity boards have been forced to reset the equipment as some large consumers “heavy industry” have ceased and shed their load causing the voltage in surrounding areas to drift high & out of spec, thus blowing some evectrical devices.

How balanced is the UK grid at the moment? -> dynamicdemand.co.uk/grid.htm

Might be down to the bad weather knocked out some transmission lines that have yet to be repaired.
Though there have been observations for the last number of years that the UK grid may be under pressure in places, but it might be the generators finding fuel (gas) expensive and thus turning down the voltage to limit power consumption??

No reason to speculate about the voltage. You can easily check the mains voltage with a multimeter shoved into a socket.

Everyone should have a multimeter anyway as theyre handy for checking batteries and domestic appliances. They occasionally sell them in Lidl for next to nothing.

Ah screw the multimeter, I often just jam me fingers in when things are a bit low, perks you up no end and doesn’t half straighten the hair out!

https://www.instablogsimages.com/images/2008/05/14/electroshock_NoTwe_183.jpg

This report on PubCos last year: news.parliament.uk/2009/05/mps-p … companies/
identified that

Tough job for less than 15K per year.

Sounds a bit like the medical profession in this country high prices and a closed shop for those in it as GPs

The business model used in UK pubs is similar to the model used by some fast food franchises in the US. Force the franchisee to buy everything at an exhorbitant price from one supplier, and let the franchisee worry about making a profit or loss. It turns out to be next to impossible to a living out of it, never mind a profit. Its a one sided contract that you can never win.

But thats what happens when you do business with private equity. Its rigged so you will never win. Caveat emptor.