This morning we have awoken to massive snow scenes. We are due to go to a Winter Wonderland Day at Kielder. It will be interesting to see whether we get there! Everyone in Northumberland/North East has been advised to stay at home today!!
I was thinking that we are either afflicted by floods and/or snow these days. Our hearts go out to everyone who has been caught up in the very recent flooding in Cornwall. We have many friends down in the West Country and it’s an area we have visited many times as a family. Before we decided to stay up in here in the heart of Hadrian’s Wall Country we made several trips to Devon and Cornwall to look at properties to buy with an eye to setting up in business. Mr. H. (Nigel) used to be a scuba diving instructor down in Newquay before the place became ultra fashionable. We also considered buying a self catering and B&B business in the delightful town of Camelford but, in the end, this area kept drawing us back again and again.
Everyone dreads something awful happening to their homes and I freely admit that I am much more conservative (with a small “c”) than Nigel. Given the chance I would have an insurance policy for just about everything. Luckily we do have home insurance for our two properties (and blessedly) they are both situated up on hills.
I was quite taken aback to read an article in which up to a fifth of folk in this country have decided to cut back and not have any home insurance. I can completely understand that money is extremely tight these days and that food and warmth come high on our agendas. I would, however, strongly urge everyone to consider having some home insurance. It is possible these days to shop around and get a good deal.
All sorts of things can happen which surge up out of the blue.
I met a wonderful family locally, a few months ago, who’d had the misfortune of having their boiler serviced only for something to go wrong. Their entire house ended up being covered with oil and its residue. When I talked to them they seemed to be handling the whole situation magnificently. They were being extremely pragmatic and, luckily, they were covered 100% for everything. They were still forced to look for alternative accommodation (potentially for months) and knew that they would have to replace everything in their home.
And it’s not just the big things we have to worry about. Lots of little things can go wrong too…cameras, laptops, games consoles lost or broken and anything electrical malfunctioning. Touch wood - nothing serious has happened to us yet. (Although if I could get my/our lost photos and data back by claiming on my home insurance policy believe me I would!!!)
In ancient Roman times a sophisticated financial system also existed which I am only just beginning to understand. I can imagine that valuable objects, such as works of art and jewellery would be used as “home insurance”. All these ideas brilliantly come together in one of my favourite books – in Dickens’ novel “Great Expectations” particularly when the bill collector John Wemmick, acting as clerk to Pip’s lawyer, Mr. Jaggers, turns out to be very keen on “portable property”.
[Chapter 45 – Dickens – Great Expectations (Conversation between Pip and Wemmick in the latter’s “castle” where they are toasting sausauges for the Aged. P’s breakfast.)]
In fact, Wemmick, advises Pip to get hold of Magwitch’s portable property to ensure that Pip is properly set up for life:
He laid his hands upon my shoulders, and added in
a solemn whisper: "Avail yourself of this evening to lay hold of
his portable property. You don't know what may happen to him. Don't
let anything happen to the portable property."
Ooh! The suspense! I just love it!!! (And I'll let you know if we ever get to Kielder today to see Wintry Scenes, Santa and the Elves!).....