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Buying a new home in a pandemic

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Buying a new home  is one of the most stressful things you can do and add in the fact that we are now in a seriously tight lockdown simply adds to the difficulty however the property market remains open despite England being plunged back into a world that seems to be in a frozen state. 

It would seem that the government has allowed the property market to continue most likely in order to  aid  the broader economy rather than  doing estate agents a particular favour especially as there is a huge amount of property transactions currently competing to complete by the end of the stamp duty deadline on March 31st although there are rumours that the tax break might be extended.

Restrictions and guidelines are in place to guide people so they  can continue to move home, and do everything needed to complete that process. This includes viewing homes for sale in person,  with gloves masks and vacant viewings right through to allowing removal firms into homes and in necessary cases allowing people outside of a bubble to help with the move itself. 

Lawyers, valuers and agents  are all still working even if from home but with technology at fingertips there is no reason why anything is delayed , indeed with emails and scanned copies of paperwork the whole process in theory should actually be easier, and there will be few reasons for delays to transactions. 

In order to allow this to continue it is important to follow safety guidelines and only attempt to move if it is essential, due to the sharp rise in Covid cases. Agents play  a huge role in allaying concerns over safe viewings for sellers and buyers reducing the spread of the virus by following all relevant guidance on how to safely conduct viewings.

Virtual viewings are available on many properties for sale and buyers are urged to look at those first before committing to a physical viewing this saves time and the threat of Covid as the virtual walk throughs are able to view at home. You can ‘ wander’ through four or five homes in the time just one actual viewing would take. Of course if the property is of further interest then an actual viewing is encouraged with the correct guidelines.

The safety advice from the Government indicates that those viewing a property for sale should wash and sanitise their hands and avoiding touching surfaces, with viewings only able to involve members of a single household. Some estate agents are requesting gloves and masks when entering a property and this seems to be a very sensible precaution.

 

  • Use virtual viewings of properties where possible
  • Properties should be unoccupied when physical viewings take place
  • Follow government advice on social distancing during a viewing
  • The wearing of masks by all parties during a viewing
  • Practice good hand hygiene and ‘touch free’ viewings
  • Thoroughly clean properties before and after viewings.

In these strange pandemic times the property market continuing is necessary for so many people. However the financial situation with furlough ending , unemployment rising and uncertain futures for so many the situation is likely to be unstable. 

 

I'm a slightly deranged middle aged widow, living in the Cotswolds with two fabulously funny little dogs. A mother, grandmother, sister and friend. Determined to survive by writing to remember, to forget and to cope with grief. the memory of my husband supporting me, guiding me and probably laughing at me if there is a ‘somewhere’

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Home & Garden

Dressing for Comfort

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Since the advent of Covid, it is not news that people have been spending a lot more time at home. Social isolation and lockdowns have kept people indoors, some shielding, some on furlough and others working from home. This has inevitably had an effect on the choice of clothing for day wear, track suits replacing smart casual and suits for office workers. The recent heatwave endured in houses without aircon has had an added effect, with as many garments as possible, probably being discarded!
 
The actor Colin Firth recounted on a chat show (VIDEO HERE), an incident that had happened to him.  He said that he was wearing only “non presentation underpants” and fluffy pink slippers, when he had an accident. trapping his fingers in a sash window that slammed down on them,  when he was trying to open it. He tried calling for help to no avail, eventually breaking the glass and screaming for attention! A neighbour then came over the fence and finally rescued Colin, finding time to say how much he and his wife enjoyed his films. Other neighbours then turned up to view the scene! I am sure that many of us have suffered, hopefully, lesser embarrassment, when forced to answer the front door wearing clothes meant for our eyes only. 
I have a friend who always wants to look her best, even when alone in the house. This makes me uneasy skyping with her, as I have become aware of my own shortcomings.  I now feel obliged to powder my nose and change my T shirt, before viewing her from across the miles. 
 
In very cold weather, people experiencing fuel poverty may be forced to wear outdoor clothes in the house, in an effort to keep warm.  They dress for comfort as far as they are able, or at least to mitigate their harsh surroundings.  Extremes of weather can literally be a matter of life or death, affecting blood circulation when cold or causing dehydration during heat. 
 
On a less serious note, some people find comfort in old clothes and don’t mind wearing cardigans with holes in them or baggy trousers!
There are of course fashionable garments sold with holes in them and ripped. One is seen as a sign of poverty and the other of wealth.
 
Dressing for Comfort is essentially choosing clothes that facilitate concentration on work and enable relaxation. 

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Home & Garden

Can we agree that people hate losing things?

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At least I’ve never met anyone who says “I don’t mind if I lose something” in effect “Am I bothered?  However, It doesn’t seem to bother some people that much, as they keep on losing everyday items.  In the case of keys, these need to be found before leaving the house.
For some people, though, even the temporary loss of an item is a big deal and they may come close to “losing it” themselves. Apart from the irritation at being without the item, the loss undermines self-belief in competence and control over life.
 
Recently, I lost a full-length waist slip. This bothered me greatly. “How could such a large garment go missing?” I asked myself reprovingly. I retraced my steps to the last time I had seen it,  draped over a chair in the bedroom and later on a chair in the sitting room.  In hot weather, I had been wearing it around the house. (What people choose to wear when alone in the house, may be the subject of another story) Its loss bothered me throughout the Euro Cup semi-final and while Harry Kane, only had to score a penalty, I had to find my waist slip!
 
 
After the match, I scrabbled about for it under the sofa. No luck, it was nowhere to be found. I convinced myself that in a fit of enthusiasm about tidying up, I had thrown it away without thinking.  Yes, that was it. At some point, it is necessary to draw a line on searching and move on.
Of course, if the item has great sentimental value, such as a wedding ring, the loss will be especially hard to take, for reasons of grief as well as self-annoyance. Stories of rings turning up years later when gardening, sometimes make a news item. “There is the diamond, gleaming among the cabbages” reads the headline, ending years of hurt. 
 
I am happy to report a good result in the case of the slip that gave me the slip. Irritated with seeing it lying around, I had put it in with the items for handwashing. It was with deep joy that once identified, I lifted its dripping length out of the washbasin. I am glad to say that I had not totally lost it!

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Food

Here where you can find the best pizzas in the world

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50 Top Pizza , the most important sector guide has decided to confer an ad hoc prize to the chains of artisanal pizzerias , the Top World Artisan Pizza Chains 2021 – Latteria Sorrentina Award . 20 the brands present in the first edition of this special ranking with at least 5 locations.

The winner is the brand Da Michele , historic Neapolitan sign that counts well 19 sites
around the world, 8 in Italy and the remaining located in Britain, Spain, Germany, USA, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Japan. In second position another high-sounding name of the Neapolitan school, that of Sorbillo , which includes several stores throughout the peninsula, in addition to those in New York, Miami and Tokyo . Third, which arouses a great surprise, is the French Big Mamma Group , with numerous restaurants in France, in London and Madrid.

Pizzeria Da Michele

So far it has two sites in Britain and both are in London (Soho and Baker Street) that were opened a few years ago and have been well received. 

Immortalized in the film Eat, pray, love , with  Julia Roberts, the pizzeria Da Michele is a must-see if you go to Naples. Michele opened his first pizzeria in 1906 in the current headquarters of the Ascalesi Hospital, whose construction forced the pizzeria to move. In 1930 the pizzeria is moved to its current location in Via Cesare Sersale, often described by experts and journalists as “the sacred temple of pizza”.

Here is the best ten pizzeria chains in the world:

Top World Artisan Pizza Chains 2021 – Latteria Sorrentina Award :

1 Da Michele – Italy, Britain, Spain, Germany, USA, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Japan

2 Sorbillo – Italy and World

3 Big Mamma Group – France and UK

4 Berberè – Italy and Europe

5 Pizza Pilgrims – UK

6 Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana – USA

7 Bráz – Brazil

8 400 Degrees – Australia – USA

9 Peppina – Asia

10 Grosso Napoletano – Spain

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