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More Old Glasgow

Again courtesy of Jamie O’Rourke I had at least one ‘dizzy’ here. Can any of youse name the location?


Birthplace? Er….Just put ‘Orkney!’

Old Glasgow

I found a fantastic photo album on Facebook recently by someone called Jamie O’Rourke. Jamie has some absolutely cracking photos of old Glasgow. Here are a couple to get the juices flowing.

A User’s Guide to Estate Agents’ Language

* Arguably – A useful weasel word which can be used to preface any high-flown but un-provable assertion. As in “arguably one of the most attractive roads in Hampstead”, “arguably the best 2 bed penthouses in Sheffield”, or this wonderfully prolix example: “Arguably the finest example of an idyllic 16th century grand hall in an elevated riverside setting – in Ribble Valley”.
* Arranged over – (As in “arranged over the second floor”). On – could also mean that it takes up the whole second floor as opposed to just being carved out of a section of it.
* Benefits from – Has. Often applies to something which is not, strictly speaking, a benefit – e.g. “benefits from an open-plan kitchen” – who wants a kitchen in their sitting room?
* Boasts – Has.
* Character – (As in “brimming with character”) Not bland and beige, but may not be to everyone’s taste. May also suggest an impractical layout or other inconveniences. “Quirky” or “unusual” are similar terms.
* Charming – Like “super”, “funky” and other vague terms of approbation, pretty much meaningless. A study by Freakonomics author Steven D. Levitt found that words like “charming”, which don’t refer to anything specific about the property, were associated with a lower sale price.
* Close to/ within walking distance of/ within easy reach of – Vague. Could mean anything up to a fifteen-minute walk. But could also mean “right on top of” (in the way that “convenient for train station” often means “facing the railway tracks”).
* Compact/Bijou – Very small.
* Dining hall – In the absence of a proper dining room, this phrase is used to describe a hallway which is big enough to squeeze in a dining table.
* Duplex/split-level – Officially means a flat across two or more floors; but many estate agents will describe a flat as split level even if it just has a “mezzanine” loo halfway up the stairs, or an entrance hall on a separate level to the main flat.
* Family bathroom – Bathroom which is not en suite. Doesn’t have anything to do with size (as in a “family-sized pack” of something in the supermarket).
* Feature fireplace – Fireplace.
* Ideally located in – Located in.
* Ideal for first-time buyers or rental investors – Cheap but unattractive; if you could afford anything better, you wouldn’t want to live there yourself.
* Neat, tidy – Small. Nothing to do with actual neatness, since – unless it was being sold complete with the previous owner’s clutter – why would it matter?
* Offers the opportunity to create your dream home – In need of a total overhaul.
* Pied a terre – Very small.
* Proportional accommodation – The flat is too small for the estate agent to get away with the word “spacious”, but the layout arguably makes sensible use of what space there is.
* Receiving hall – Square hallway, presumably big enough to greet visitors in.
* Sought-after – (As in “sought-after location”). Meaningless; can safely be used to describe any road, even the cheapest, ugliest or scariest in any particular area.
* Spacious – Usually meaningless. If a property or room is spacious, you can see this on the floorplan, or the estate agent will give measurements. For “deceptively spacious”, see this post.
* Unofficial roof terrace – The roof of the extension to the floor below, which can only be accessed by climbing out of the window. May be decorated with pot plants and a sun lounger to make it look more like an official roof terrace.
* Up and coming – To be fair, this can mean an area which is in the process of gentrification (artists, young professionals, Starbucks, chichi bakeries and everything else that entails). But it can also mean an area which is still resolutely gritty, with no cupcakes or coffee chains in sight; all you can safely assume is that the area is not yet “established”. (Thanks to Everet Lapel at the fabulous Foam and Skies for this update).
* Within this large/imposing/grand building – The word “large” is being used to distract from the fact that the flat itself is not large at all.
* Yards from the amenities of a popular local supermarket – At the bottom of the Tesco car park (This comes from a local ad; I thought it was an impressive attempt at spin).

Thanks to The Inky Fool which is the latest addition to the BLFP blogroll.

Something Fishy

I was talking to a friend recently who enjoys a spot of sea fishing. He goes quite a way up the west coast of Scotland to fish for cod. Remembering my own fishing days as a lad in the Clyde estuary when we’d catch cod and mackerel along with crabs the size of a side plate, from Helensburgh pier, Rhu Point or out in a boat, I asked why he didn’t fish a bit nearer to home.

‘There are no cod left there’ was the reply.

His comment struck me yesterday when I heard about TV chef Hugh Fearnly Whittingstall’s
campaign to end the madness of ‘discards’ where under EU conservation – yes conservation- laws, over half the fish caught in the North Sea are thrown back into the sea dead.

If like me you think that this situation should not continue, please click here to add your name to a letter which will be sent to Commissioner Maria Damanaki, members of the Common Fisheries Policy Reform Group, and all MEPs.

The letter is short and to the point. You can read it here