Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Life's Little Ironies

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I have always found it mysterious that being a cash buyer for things can be a disadvantage. Witness buying our little apartment.  Thanks to my father's legacy, we were able to pay 3/4 of the amount cash, and put up the rest from our Access mortgage bond, so it was actually a cash transaction.  Despite, the seller agreeing to our paying the balance on day of transfer of ownership, the lawyers were unconvinced that I could be guaranteed to do this and insisted that I pay all the money into their Trust Account at an interest rate that was 2% less than the money was earning in my own account. Clearly, they thought there existed a possibility that I might decide to spend the the remaining money on something else, despite the fact that I would totally forfeit my 75% deposit.  Do they have a point or not?  Anyway, I had no choice but to cough up. I would have done better to have a mortgage bond.  On a related matter, I was fascinated to hear on a program on Sectional Title Property (e.g. blocks of flats) on our radio recently, that the o 50% of the external walls' thickness belongs to the owner and the other half of the brick is regarded as "Common Property", so that if you have a crack develop in an outside wall, the Body Corporate is obliged to pay half of the repair cost. Quite awful in my view, is the last observation I want to make which is about the dubious benefit of leaving one's house to a deserving relative in one's will.  This can unwittingly be a serious burden to someone in a precarious financial position as our law states that the recipient must pay Transfer Fees in order to register the property in the new owner's name. These fees are huge!  Our neighbor is having to sell his house because when he and his wife retired to a new home, they registered it in her name only because he was sickly and 10 years older than her. She died first of a stroke and the laywers are now nagging him for the transfer fee and he doesn't have it. Ergo, he has to sell the house. If a property is registered in both names, you still have to pay the deceased one's half of the transfer.  NB. How do you sell a property that is not actually legally yours?  Catch 22.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Those Embarrassing Gaseous Emissions

Time to lighten things up.  At our ages there is so much sadness, illness and death to cope with (refer many of your blogs recently), I am putting in a humble bid for a few smiles amid the gloom. In my own life, I have nothing of great significance to report, so I thought I would contribute a useful 'coping' tip in this post. I refer to those airy and noisy (but not actually noisome) emissions that catch us off guard (hopefully, but by no means always) in our home environment where, blissfully, we may allow the 'wind to blow free'. This is fine but how do we cope when caught short while out shopping and have no choice but to dive into the nearest Public Convenience to deal with an impending Number 2 ? When I was young, I would rather have died first and simply held on until I got home.  With aging muscles and sphincters, this is no longer an option, so I have had to devise a plan.  Luckily, with advancing science, most public toilets sport the very latest (and noisiest) hot-air hand dryers, so I simply sit down and wait until I hear some-one start up one of these ghastly machines and then I can relax and begin.  Don't ask me what do I do if the toilets are empty.  Well, then it wouldn't matter, would it? (Duh)
I hope you all have a wonderful, happy and healthy week-end. PS - Sextant, I do not think this post will resonate with you.  It is my understanding that gentlemen do not share the same sensitivities as ladies in these affairs.  Something to do with competitions at school? I am now going to raise the tone a little, by listening to Schumann's Symphony No.3