Friday, 22 January 2016
It is difficult to think of a blog to put on today after the successful one yesterday (in terms of the comments I received and the 'conversation' it generated.) It is good to come up with an idea which gets everyone joining in, isn't it?
Our local paper comes out on a Friday morning and the farmer (who is of course a real local having been born in the very house he lives in now) reads it from cover to cover. I, on the other hand, tend to rather skim through it just choosing which bits I read.
But a couple of weeks ago a retired local wrote complaining about the minuses of our little market town. He complained that there wasn't enough parking, that the housing was all taken by incomers who had therefore pushed the prices up and how young people could no longer afford to live here, even if they had been born here.
And how the local traders did well from the incomers while the young couples had to go to the supermarket ( four miles away) to shop.
Today one of the journalists on the paper has answered the complaints in a lightly veiled way - saying that a new estate does seem to have an awful lot of young folk with babies on it, and what a shame it is that the car park is always empty - what a waste of space (you have to pay to park there of course) and that it is awful that you can only buy eleven different kinds of olives in our local deli - and so on.
I suppose there is truth in both sides of the argument, depending on one's age, money, and various other factors. But it is interesting to see that four semi detached houses were built in our little town a year ago - each put up for sale at £140,000, which by today's standards is probably not all that high a price - and two of them still remain unsold. I presume that this is because it is difficult for young people to get a mortgage.
As an incomer myself, only moving here upon retirement from teaching in 1987, (early retirement I hasten to add! I am not quite as old as Methuselah), I can see both sides. The farmer is quite philosophical about the whole thing and says that everyone has to find their own level. But I must say there are always plenty of young people, and lots of lovely babies, about. I think we are still a fairly mixed community.
But I do just wonder, with a two bedroomed bungalow to rent costing over £500 a month - how does any young couple find enough money to put down a deposit on a new house, however 'cheap' it is? Do you live in a similar place? I suspect most small towns are the same.