Sunday, December 17, 2006


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I live on a council/ local authority/government housing estate (the nearest equivalent in the US is the projects) but from the early 80's after the government introduced the RIGHT-TO-BUY scheme my house was sold to the tenant, then sold again,then sold to me in 1996. Of the houses(I don't know about the flats) I would say maybe over half are now privately owned. In my block of 10, 2 are still owned by the council and 1 possibly 2 have been purchased by Housing Associations(Google it,way too difficult to explain but part government owned). This is the second time I have lived on this type of housing estate, once in Newbury in England and both estates were designed by American designers in the 70's AND won awards for their designs. YET I would say that practically the designs are CRAP. In theory the houses are back to front, the roads are at the backs of the houses and the fronts of the houses lead onto a pedestrianised area. The council has had to make pavements on the estate as it is not practical to leave from the fronts of your houses, we are on a hill and the front of my house has steps and anyway when I leave the house I go straight to the back of my house into the car. Last night I left the house at 10:30pm to pick up an elderly gentleman who lives in a retirement home who had been for his Saturday night out to a social club, I give him a lift about once a month on a Saturday night. Well it was like the remains of a war zone, there were police and quite a lot of broken car glass AND I hadn't heard a thing from the house. The lounge is at the front of the house and with an extension at the back of the house with double glazing, world war three could erupt and I probably wouldn't notice.

I live at the back of the estate and my house is overlooked by flats, the top flat is rented by the council to the 'burglar boys' who are brothers who are constantly in and out of prison( I think their parole officer must have got them the flat!). Well what a dumb-ass place to put 'active'(oh yes they are active) criminals, the top floor of a block of flats in an intercom controlled access building.
When SnoWhite was still in school she left the house one morning to find the road filled with police(even mounted police) waiting to storm the 'burglar boys' flat.AND why were they waiting? Because the police did not have the access code to the doors! When the 'burglar boys' were in the middle of their last spree the local SWAT team were called out, I kid you not the police came in all their black gear complete with helicopters and search lights. It turned into a light show for the locals, I swear it was more like a Benny Hill show, or A Carry ON film or better still St Trinnians!Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Once the police were called out to pick up a lad who hadn't showed up at his court appearance, the mounted police the works, why the cavalry I don't know, it was a terrified 19 year old with an IQ only large enough to tie his white trainers, hiding in his mothers attic(more a loft space)-the police spent all day trying to talk him down. On their last spree the 'burglar boys' tried to break into my lounge window but I was asleep on the sofa in there and when he started to mess with the window I shouted at him him, it scared him so much he nearly pooped himself and that was the end of their last spree. The local criminals are not scary, most of them are just funny. In the 10 years I have been here I can honestly say that apart from the 'burglar boys' trying to branch out into a bit of 'your money or your life'(they weren't very successful!) there has been no real violence. Yes I would like to live somewhere else but who wouldn't like a bigger or better or better location house. I live 2 minutes from Beauty's specialist school, we literally are on the edge of the city but less that 15 minutes drive to town and yes I do feel safe.
AND I have four bedrooms, a dining room , a middle room(lounge), a sitting room plus the back kitchen where the piano and computer live plus a lot of kitchen storage and a freezer, a downstairs shower/splash room and all for approximately £130,000-now where else in Cardiff would I get a house this size and for this price if it weren't ex-local authority housing? Yes I am grateful.


What a beautiful view of Castell Coch in the winter snow by Michael Conti.






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An Irish Blessing

(A Blessing from St. Patrick)
May the road rise to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back,

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

May the rains fall soft upon your fields,

And, until we meet again,

May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.