Failing to meet

Company secretary. Nolan. Cadbury – no, not the crap chocolate bars. Code of Openness. Standing Orders. Public consultations.

You name it, I knew it.

Health legislation. Dealing with mental health incidents according to the law? That too. Nursing home regulations. Complaints. Serious incident inquiries.

There was little got passed me when I was in a board secretary role ie company secretary.

The only thing I refused to do was run the Audit Committee, boring accountants’ work. I did write new complaints procedures, new standing orders, did all the papers for meetings, set the agendas, ran public consultations and merrily drove around at midnight delivering urgent papers.

At least I got paid (no overtime for driving around at midnight though).

This week, I wrote and printed fourteen sheets of paper for each board member. It was far later than planned because even I have a personal life and last week that had actually got in the way of my board papers.

I delivered the papers personally. I spoke to two neighbours and the two others received them through their letterbox. I’d received apologies from one of my directors who was going on holiday but obviously he still got the papers for information.

The letter to each director specifically asked them to give apologies if they couldn’t attend. It’s basic board policy but it seems people don’t know about that. A bit like one prospective director didn’t realise she had to turn up at meetings. You don’t get to write Director after your name in my block without doing something. And that means reading your papers and turning up to meetings, or at the very least sending apologies for absence.

Oh, there is no money involved here. No non-exec little number because you know the right people and you get a few grand a year for doing stuff all.

Directors, give their time, and get a say in block management. No more, no less. I give a lot more time. I charge for consumables ie paper, cartridges, stamps, drawing pins, envelopes. All at cost. No add on. I don’t charge for my time. The block could not afford my premium rates.

So when people don’t give their apologies for absence from a meeting, I am not a happy chair.

Me and another director sat outside the room, chatting away waiting for the other two to turn up. They didn’t. We discussed a couple of items informally, but obviously couldn’t take any decisions because we were not quorate (we need three directors for a quorum).

I closed the door of the meeting room and informed the reception that we had finished with the room (that we never actually sat in).

So not only did the absentee directors waste my time and that of the other director, I had booked a room for a couple of hours that wasn’t used.

I rebooked the room for two week’s time. I put a somewhat blunt notice on the board pointing out we were unable to hold the meeting, gave the new date and added:

Please note, it is standard procedure at board meetings for directors to send apologies if they can not attend the meeting. It wastes other people’s time to sit around waiting for people who are not going to turn up.

I did show it to the director who had turned up, and he thought it was perfectly acceptable. He immediately went to put the new date on his calendar. Not exactly difficult to do is it? Or set an alarm on your ‘phone, which is what I did.

Yesterday I received an email from one of the absentees. She’d been meaning to go but she forgot. Could I give her a nudge in future? What sort of nudge? I’m not a shepherdess rounding everyone up. I’m already spoon-feeding them as it is.

She’d received the papers the night before, might that have been a gentle reminder that there was a meeting the following day?

We had one director who was appointed at the first meeting and never turned up or sent apologies for any subsequent ones. She didn’t get reappointed.

It’s not as though it’s an onerous commitment. One meeting a quarter that lasts for less than an hour. And they have to read through the papers, because I like a structured meeting. Minutes, I&E, block maintenance, and date of next meeting. We also have a private part where we discuss non-payers as I think it is unreasonable to discuss individuals in public, even if they are scamming the block.

There is no Any Other Business. And there are no tabled papers. Back in my health service days, one person would always table papers at a meeting. It didn’t matter what I did, they never sent them to me in advance. It is plain courtesy to send directors papers in advance and give them chance to read through in case they have issues to raise.

No-one else suggests items for the agenda, nor do they provide any paperwork. The only one who does anything apart from me is the freeholder, who does make a few ‘phone calls to wheel and deal, sends bills for me to pay, and sends me copies of any letters relevant to the block so I’m kept informed.

When he ran the block himself he took 5% commission. When he appointed a managing agency, they charged 35% commission. Our fees went up by 40%.

Now the block gets free management and I can spend the funds on maintenance and refurbishment, which it badly needed.

Our annual meeting is coming up later this year. I’m currently thinking about knocking up some standing orders to allow more leaseholders to stand as director. Currently it can only be one per flat, which excludes my partner. This isn’t to fix any voting as he and I don’t always agree anyway. But if we are going to have problems reaching a quorum, it’s one way of achieving that.

Most of the block isn’t interested in management. They want low-cost charges and to see something for their money which is what they are currently getting.

Apathy eh? The cause of many of today’s problems in society. My block is a microcosm of the world.

About roughseasinthemed

I write about my life as an English person living in Spain and Gibraltar, on Roughseas, subjects range from politics and current developments in Gib to book reviews, cooking and getting on with life. My views and thoughts on a variety of topics - depending on my mood of the day - can be found over on Clouds. A few pix are over on Everypic - although it is not a photoblog. And of course my dog had his own blog, but most of you knew that anyway. Pippadogblog etc
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41 Responses to Failing to meet

  1. Andrew says:

    I sorry, I just can’t be bothered to comment. πŸ™‚

    I guess you knew that was coming, didn’t you.


  2. Ally says:

    Oh how frustrating!


    • Well, I’m over it now, and it helped whacking it out on here. But really, it is a total lack of discourtesy. I wonder if people haven’t been to meetings before. But even so, surely it’s not too difficult to say if someone can’t make it? And just forgetting? It is just not up to me to ask people if they can attend. The default is that they should, and if they can’t, then they send apologies. Bah! Oh and the date is always fixed the meeting in advance, so it’s not exactly short notice.


  3. EllaDee says:

    How frustrating… but you made it entertaining. Nudge huh… might take more than that πŸ˜‰ Convening meetings is often referred to as “herding cats”… the visual image of which always makes me laugh. I hate meetings, hate sitting & discussing, I’d rather be doing, and usually am only involved in showing up but recently volunteered because no-one else did to organize a meeting. There was no set date and even just getting an idea who was available was almost impossible. In the end I set the time & date, and still people who weren’t attending did, and some who were didn’t! And you do it all for free… Great idea, change the standing orders, get A on board and get on with it, as it seems the other stakeholders would be more plan pleased to not have to bother. But yes, definitely microcosm of the world… if only you could try to organize that… I’d try to show up for a meeting πŸ™‚


    • In my last job, you got the syndrome where everyone wanted to attend meetings because then they looked important. Half of them were just yapping about nothing in particular and/or trying to palm work off onto someone else. I did attend/chair a few decent ones but they were all cancer-related with committed people all willing to try and improve our services. I did try to get other people to chair some of them otherwise it looked like a takeover by me which wasn’t clever.

      I could always organise my change the world meeting by skype. Maurice (comment below) wrote an interesting series of posts about the value – or lack of value – of internet gamiing, which triggered an idea for a change the world post. I just wrote this first!


      • EllaDee says:

        I downloaded a free Kindle E-book to my phone shortly after your post and was amused to read this early on, which made me laugh “…It’s human nature. Many of us don’t like to do our own thinking when someone else is willing to do it for us. Whether we want to admit it or not, most of us would rather fail as part of a large group than be separated from the crowd, even if the rest of the crowd think Enron stock looks good…”


        • That’s a good quote. I know you love quotes, but that is so accurate. It’s a long time since I was part of the crowd, so I’ve got used to being different and speaking out. I just need to learn to be persuasive now.

          The Enron mention gave me a laugh. The woman I travelled round the world with, and obviously to Sydney, ended up with a boyfriend working for Enron. Boyfriend isn’t quite the right word, he was married and older than her and had left his wife to live with her. Not quite what I imagined her doing but there you go. They were planning to go to Malaysia with Enron as far as I recall. No idea what happened as the last time we met, they were complaining about local council policies in favour of black disabled lesbian women, so A and I figured we didn’t have a lot in common with them. For someone who had travelled around the world she seemed to have suddenly become very narrow minded.

          Being part of the crowd also reminds me of WMD. Or basically going with government propaganda. I remember reading forums where people were going gung ho about invasion to get rid of non-existent WMD and I couldn’t understand it. There was no evidence. There was never any evidence. And there were no WMD. There was a little teeny bit of oil though. And what does America need?

          Meanwhile, I’m sitting around in somewhat skimpy sleepwear waiting for the electrician to turn up. The communal lighting for the hall and staircase has blown. I put a notice on the board to say I was waiting for leccys to turn up, to save every resident in the block knocking on my ****ing door telling me the electricity was off. One resident still knocked helpfully telling me there was a power cut, and maybe that had caused it. Yes I know that. My printer makes loud noises on the occasion of power cuts and my cooker clock goes off at the exact time. And the electricity had gone off before that anyway.

          This is why I want to sit in my flat with my partner and my dog because I really can’t be arsed with idiots.


  4. I am at first reminded of the quote by Edmund Burke: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” You are completely correct in asserting that yours is a microcosm. Even over here I see it every day. At the moment there are several ‘restructurings’ going on that will ultimately be to the detriment of society and nobody’s talking or doing.
    The one thing I will add is that when you layer in the ‘herd mentality’ it can get even worse: (1) people will all focus on the one thing that everyone else seems to be on, and thus ignore things that really need attention and (2) the herd’s opinion is quite often instinctive (i.e. illogical) and therefore baseless.


    • I read the Burke quote elsewhere recently. Too true.

      As for our microcosm, too true and not just in the respect of apathy. Those who don’t pay, those who pay promptly, those who complain (without justification), and those who give praise. On top of that we have all races, nationalities and religions, can’t remember what the tally was last time I added it up.

      It’s not difficult to run a block. But that’s because I can do the paperwork and Partner or any of his construction colleagues can do the work. It might be different if I didn’t have the contacts and didn’t know who could do good quality work – instead of getting ripped off for shoddy work, for example.

      Herd mentality is one downer without a doubt. We passed one piffling decision a while back. I didn’t agree but as it wasn’t important I let it go through without arguing. It came up again at a later meeting, and the vocal director who had proposed it wasn’t there, so it suddenly became not a good idea!

      Part of the problem for me, is that people are not used to attending meetings and realising their responsibilities. Not just to read papers, attend (or send apologies), but they need to be aware of the decisions they are taking and any financial implications. Easy for me to say when I got paid for doing that, so I have got patience with people who are new to the job.

      The other problem apart from the herd mentality, and people not wanting to be seen to disagree, is (relates to your second herd point), sometimes they basically don’t know what they are talking about. Which probably is when my patience runs a bit thin. Eg, it doesn’t take much to analyse a one sheet A4 of figures and work out percentage and actual increases in costs. Or that when more than four grand of outstanding charges are due, I’m not able to carry out communal work until some of that money comes in. The bottom line is that most (not all, but most) people are just interested in their own corner of the world.


  5. bluonthemove says:

    I was appointed in the 1980s as a school governor in what was then known as the People’s Republic of Brent (that is the London Borough of Brent) supported by my local MP a certain Mr Livingston; after 2 years they made me Chair.

    This was an entirely voluntary position, I had to read all the papers sent to me and attend two meetings a term and received no remuneration or expenses. I also interviewed senior job applicants which meant taking a day off work and travelling to the council offices.

    At least as Chair I had the services of one of the council’s admin assistants who sent out all the papers for me. He also attended the meetings to take the minutes which he’d send to me for approval prior to circulating. I would send him items I received for the agenda and then a week before the meeting we’d have a conversation to agree the agenda which he then sent out.

    I found the parent governors the worst to deal with, unless there was something going that involved one of their kids, they didn’t feel the need to turn up. We didn’t have quorate problems though as the teacher governors used to always turn up as they were at the school anyway.


    • I rememeber the People’s Republic in London under Red Ken. We had a similar one in Sheffield under Mr Blunkett.

      It might have been voluntary, but at least you didn’t have to write all the papers, and you obv got sent some items for the agenda. Tbh, I did get a couple of staff taking minutes at some meetings and it was more bother than it was worth to rewrite what they had attempted. The had no interest so didn’t understand the issues. They wouldn’t would they if they hadn’t read the papers. How would they know what people were discussing?

      When I was board sec I gave my chief exec the minutes for him to check. After two or three times of doing this he just threw them back and said he didn’t need to check them. But compare that with the chair and the other directors who em want to go over them with a fine toothcomb. I had visions of me spending days or weeks on them, so I wriggled out of them, dashed them off and they got sent out with the other papers.

      I was gracious enough to submit the agenda to everyone for approval however. I think there is an understanding of meetings when it is part of your job. If you haven’t done it before, of whatever type, company, public sector, trade union, then I’m sure it’s totally alien – and that’s before you even get into the politics of it all.


  6. cobbies69 says:

    I believe in two way traffic, but it is obvious not happening here. The people would be the first to complain if you did not tell them of dates or even outcomes of meetings that did happen. An entertaining read and no doubt frustrating for you at time of event. πŸ˜‰


    • I do try and keep people informed which includes pre-setting the dates of the meeting and posting agenda and summary of minutes on the board for those who don’t want to attend. It’s the first time neither of these two sent apologies so I guess I was pretty surprised.


  7. It’s the same here. People want a nice neighborhood, but don’t want to show up for meetings, read any proposals and respond ( even by email) – basically don’t want to make any effort to keep good things going well…much less address problems. Very frustrating.
    We deal with the neighborhood board (our neighbor quit his role on the board because it was so infuriating – and the other members seem to love spending other people’s money.) It’s one of those things you hate to get involved in – but don’t dare not get involved. Especially with the rapid growth of the city and developers lobbying to get what they want with no consideration for those who already live here. So now we have to get involved with city matters, too and watch them like a hawk. Tiring, but there’s not much choice.
    Hope you can change the voting requirements/quorum rules.


    • I’m not sure that people understand the issues, I think that’s part of the problem. They don’t understand meeting procedures, legalities, how to run a block, how to allocate finance etc etc. Oh, and how to prioritise, ie essential bills come first. Plus a reserve for emergencies. With what little is left over I can ice the cake. At least we don’t have to get involved with the city. And I hope we don’t have to.

      We can’t put the quorum any lower but if people aren’t going to turn up, I have to do something. Or get the freeholder to appoint me as managing agent πŸ™‚ and just deal with him.


  8. Could you do a Skype meeting or a conference call? Probably not. I used to hate conference calls or video links – face to face interaction is so important. Only face to face can you see the whites of the eyes, get a feel for the body language or smell the fear!


    • Well we could, but a bit silly when we all live in the same block! Apart from the freeholder who lives next door. One of the leaseholders did offer his flat for a meeting but I think that’s a bit unfair. And a bit too informal to be honest. The meeting rooms are free because we aren’t a profit making venture (I wish), and the first time I booked it everyone said how convenient it was. If they can’t walk over the road to the meeting room I doubt they would skype either. Forty minutes or so every three months isn’t exactly demanding.


  9. bluonthemove says:

    I know this is a little off topic, but not really enough for a blog post in itself. Is there a purpose behind building this concrete reef thing in Gibraltarian waters ? As to the Spanish response, talk about a bit of foot shooting. If they charge people 50€ to enter and leave Spain they’ll increase the unemployment in La Linea as it won’t be worth working in Gib.

    As for the online gaming, I don’t know how Gib gets it’s internet, but if its not a land connection via Spain its an empty threat. As for the airspace threat, no idea who provides atc for Gib, but presumably Moroccan airspace is available as a route in.


    • Not really off topic as Spain is failing to meet anywhere, not even in the middle. Bit like Kirchner.

      The reef thing is about the territorial waters dispute. ie Spain claims Gib waters, the three mile limit, and wants to send their fishers in to take fish from Gib/UK waters. The idea is to mark the water boundary and snag the nets πŸ˜€

      Not heard about the 50€ charge but that’s like the previous toll idea. You’re right. All the Spaniards don’t earn that in a day. They’re effectively closing the frontier.

      I’ve heard about the internet thing before. Spain was claiming money from Gib’s online gaming because of the connection. But that got dismissed a while ago. No idea what the current status is, just Spain trying to haul it in yet again.

      Air space? mmmm. RAF provides atc for Gib. Don’t forget it’s a raf airport with civilian usage basically. Morocco has always been an ally of Gib in Spanish probs. Air, water, supplies, whatever. Rumour has it that a few typhoons are flying in shortly to whizz around the place and do a bit of show.

      Anyway, when are you coming here?


      • bluonthemove says:

        Ah, didn’t realise it was still run by the RAF, thats good, as would the presence of a few Typhoons and maybe that nice shiny new destroyer visiting the harbour. I’ll have to look up the Internet topology for Gibraltar and see what routes exist.

        As to the border fee, I suggest a Β£100 surcharge on all passengers leaving any UK airport on a direct flight to Spain, including the likes of EasyJet where it would amount to twice the fare. That would help Spain’s tourist economy Not!!


        • bluonthemove says:

          Sorry forgot your last question. When I sell my ***** house.


          • I’d thought you would be here by now 😦 shame the one last year pulled out. I would probably buy it if I had the money and it was unadulterated. Perhaps you should put it up for one of those ghastly house make over programmes? πŸ˜€


        • Well, I suppose it is a mix as they also have civilian atc, one of A’s workmates’ woman works there. I’m hoping to get some pix of a typhoon or two, they are bloody expensive and seemingly good. And we have more than twice as many than Spain πŸ™‚

          I thought direct flights to Spain had stopped. But they may have reintroduced them. They weren’t popular. Wonder why?

          Gib never retaliates with border controversial policies. No queues due to onerous checking. No proposals of fees. I had a long post written about our trip up and down last week, but I seem to have lost it. Might do a re-write. It was pretty political. Gib could equally propose an import export fee, but why? Spaniards come into Gib all the time for cheap spirits, fags, perfume, chocolate. Not to mention the workers. But perhaps the UK should impose a surcharge on all flights to sunny Spain. Viva EspaΓ±a!


          • bluonthemove says:

            As my comment above. If everybody flying from Heathrow, Manchester where ever knew they were going to be charged Β£100 additional departure tax (its easier to tax people leaving rather than arriving at an airport, you no pay you no get on the plane) as of March 2014, holiday bookings to Spain would probably halve so you could then decide not to implement it come 28th Feb.

            Of course British Airways and Iberia are now the same company, so this is unlikely to happen. both run by that not very nice Wille Walsh.

            House is kind of swings and roundabouts. A house within 100 yards of mine and pretty similar situation is ‘under offer’ at Β£950,000. Its done up to a very high standard but it shows people who might want to buy mine in the Sept auction what can be achieved.


          • Our personal view at the moment re Spain’s border policies tends to be on the lines of ‘nuke the bastards’ and this from two good pacifists – up to a point.

            Whatever happened to freedom of movement eh? And they are talking about extra house taxation yet again. This is wealth tax revisited which was pronounced illegal by the the EU.

            I like Spain, but its government is corrupt, inane and inept. To say it was third world would be an insult to developing countries.
            I happen to loathe done up houses (there’s a surprise) which seem to be all show and new for the sake of it when the old functioned perfectly well, like our various electrical appliances. I’m laughing at the thought of you buying a bright shiny new flat in Gib. New places bring more problems than old ones.

            Anyway, fingers crossed for September.


          • bluonthemove says:

            I’ve never so much as painted a wall or put up a strip of wallpaper in my life. Can’t see an old property suiting me. You’re lucky, Master Partner can do all those sorts of things, you can most likely do them too This house had been done up when I moved in 29 years ago last Sunday.


          • Should be a perfect museum example of 80s decor then. I can’t believe how much fashions and tastes change. I was looking at some properties on a UK web site and just cringed at the interiors.

            I’m more at the apprentice/brushhand level. I can do the measuring and cutting for wallpaper but I def leave the application to him. I don’t fancy ripping paper costing Β£50 a roll. I like watching him stick it though it fascinates me how he can manage a long length of sticky wet paper and move it around on the wall.


          • bluonthemove says:

            You’ve worried me again, you’re quite good at that. I didn’t realise that the build quality of new properties in Gib was so poor that they had more problems than old properties, maybe I need to re think the whole moving to Gib thing. One of my pet hates by the way is sash windows, they always cause problems.


          • Scroll down, reply too long for this silly narrowing format.


  10. I think it is out right rude and immature to not send regrets when not able to attend any commitment.
    My experience has been there will always be about a third of those invited will fail to send an RSVP.
    My worst and most costly experience was my eldest daughters wedding to her high school sweetheart who was a USA Marine.

    So… we had over 200 guests invited, received not one regret so when the catering company asked for a head count I gave and paid for 200 plates, HA!
    We had 2/3 of those invited show to the reception, more attended the church wedding to their credit… I suppose.
    It was a hardship dispersing all the left over food to the kids guest’s and there was in the end a great waste.
    Thankfully my youngest daughter watched this with disgust and said “NO Way” when it came to her turn.
    Another great topic ms. ~


    • Thank you my dear blib. I tend to be a pretty informal sort of person, but I do have a few conventions and courtesies that I like to follow. At the very first meeting of our block, I had said I was interested in being a director but was unable to attend the meeting so sent my apologies by email. How difficult is that? I’ve attended every other one since then. My meetings are run informally, ie first name terms, I will go off the record, and let people have some flexibility in discussion. But I will not have more than one person talking at once (rude), I will not have AOB (disrespectful to other directors because of not giving them notice of an item), and I won’t have anything remotely personal discussed apart from non-payers which is done in private.

      On the very rare occasions I am invited anywhere, I will either confirm my attendance or send my apologies. I didn’t go to a party in the UK and let them know about a month in advance. I did attend a wedding reception in Gib for a neighbour, we said we would be there and also sent a card with some money in (we’d asked what they wanted and they just said money would help to cover the cost of the reception). We attended a funeral of the wife of one of A’s friends. He was very pleased we turned up.

      I will always try and do what I think is required and is respectful of other people on formal occasions.

      Your wedding story is a disappointment. That sort of behaviour really casts a cloud over what should be a wonderful and memorable occasion. I am sure it still was, but the rudeness of the non-attendees would still leave an unpleasant taste in the mouth for me. Let alone the discourtesy, the practicalities, as you have said are cost and waste. If something says RSVP, then you reply. And if you later have to change that, then you let someone know.

      Manners and courtesy. A thing of the past.


  11. Touche to that ms about manners and courtesy It is a decency in community that slowly is deteriorating more & more.

    I am like you in that I like informality, and most often it is appropriate. I belong to a women’s social group where often there are up to 35 of us in one room. I can hear the noise in my head now as I think of when someone is trying to be heard over the buzz of chatting prio to the start of our business meeting. We resorted to electing a Sergeant of Arms to keep the quiet for the business meeting which generally takes up 30 to 40 minutes.
    These are adult women but for many it appears they are back in elementary school when they get together, and I find it annoying the same ones need reminding week after week that when the chair is talking or gives the floor to another, we listen.
    How hard is that?
    I suppose it is as hard as sending regrets when unable to attend a meeting/event.

    The wedding experience was an eye opener for me socially. In the business world I no longer was surprised by ill behavior and manners, But socially I thought there would be more consideration given. So interesting, human nature.


    • The manners/courtesy/respect issue is similar to my permanent gripe and endless bleats about younger people not giving up their seats on the bus to older or infirm people.

      I would have got a slap for not doing that. In fact once I did. I didn’t like the look of the person I was asked told to give up my seat for, so I got a slap when I got home. I was normally incredibly well behaved so no idea what had got into me.

      But the bus scenario is bizarre. You get people from 50 years upwards (ie me), 60s and 70s, all jumping up and down for each other, while everyone younger, fitter and more agile, hogs their seat and gazes out of the window. It’s got to be a generational thing, because I don’t remember seeing young people give up their seats. Why haven’t their parents taught them to do that??I was well young when I was taught to do it.

      I digress on my favourite rant.

      As for your unruly women friends, if I was chairing the meeting, I think they would firstly get a private warning and if they continued I’d dress them down in public and then vote for them to clear off.

      If a lot of people want to speak at a meeting, then it’s up to the individuals to raise their hand, and the chair lets them speak in order. In Spanish bad behaviour lacking respect would be maleducado/a or falta cultura which I think sum it up nicely.

      In the business world, mine was public sector so maybe slightly different, people weren’t too bad about sending apols. To be fair most people did attend meetings that I chaired/organised/whatever. it was the exception rather than the rule for people not to attend/send apols. But that’s because going to meetings Made You Important.

      Socially, I’m not so surprised although a wedding is a pretty big event. We only asked the two witnesses to ours and got three gatecrashers! There are some social events we’ve not wanted to attend (well most really), but we have gone out of politeness and usually had a good excuse to leave early – have dog/s, needs to go out – but at least we’ve turned up.

      It’s rather like blogging in a way. When someone visits, you reply to their comment and make sure you visit back. OK, not all the time, but for me there are some unwritten rules. It’s not about trying to generate income, increase traffic or earn money (I wish), but it is about respecting the time someone has taken to read your post and then add a thoughtful comment.

      The principles are the same. But I suspect principles went out of fashion some years ago.


  12. @ blunotonthemove

    Oh, I didn’t realise. Sorry about that. Gib newbuild is no worse than anywhere else πŸ™‚ How does that sound?

    I personally don’t like newbuild a) for aesthetic reasons and b) I live with someone who points out all the defects immediately, but that applies to UK and Spain as well as Gib. I was cringing at the taste on the websites I was looking at rather than the maintenance, it was just far too trite for me.

    All properties have problems if/when they are not maintained or have badly done jobs done on them. (Should that be to them?) Old ones are invariably better built because, they just were.

    We used some good anti-mould paint here in our flat and the finca, but, because of VOC regs, it’s no longer stocked. So now we have used a dulux treatment, seriously good, I am well impressed with the finish and that takes a lot. Maintenance isn’t difficult, it just takes money or skill/expertise. We know properties in Spain much newer than ours that have mould problems, comes with the climate.

    I love sash windows, you knew that was coming. We’ve had them in a couple of houses. They don’t cause problems. They just need easing, and looking after. You def need newbuild though!

    Why don’t you book yourself a week off and have a look around at some places? Bit warm right now, I’d leave it till Sept.


  13. bluonthemove says:

    Don’t know who I’d ask for a week off, what with being retired and all that πŸ™‚

    The UK end of August bank holiday is 26th Aug, so many of the kids will be back to school on Sept 2nd so that might be a good time to visit. The way my auction works is the auction day is akin to exchanging contracts (end Sept) then a month to completion, so end of October.

    I’m hoping it may be possible to have a new home available by the end of October, if not I might rent something Malaga way for a few weeks and use the bus to keep an eye on the Gib property. Maybe I’ll then need to employ Master Partner as Maintenance Management Consultant.!!

    Didn’t realise it was the 300th Anniversary of the Treaty of Utrecht this year, no wonder the Spanish are hopping up and down, same as the Argies last year with the 30th anniversary of the Falklands.


    • Try nearer. Estepona for example. But you need to be on a bus route. Sabinillas is another option. happy to help/advise for a cheap rate πŸ˜€

      I started writing about Utrecht on roughseas but got distracted!!


  14. bluonthemove says:

    Just saw this in today’s papers:

    From the Independent Newspaper β€œA fleet of British warships will visit Gibraltar this month in what Prime Minister David Cameron calls a β€œroutine deployment”, amid escalating tensions between the UK and Spain over access to the island.”

    Its not an island – stupid reporter.


    • Yeah, heard about that on the grapevine. Must have arrived on Friday night as there was a shedload of noise which always coincides with RN on the razzle. Haven’t bothered looking it up.

      Standards of journalism leave me cringing these days. Why would there be a frontier problem if it was a fucking island?


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