http://uk.mobile.reuters.com/article/id … 322?ca=rdt
Remember the last demonstration over tuition? The trade unions are upset over government cuts and tax hikes! What do you people on the left want free everything?? Who do you think is going to pay for it???
Do you know anything about the Tory government's cuts? They are systematically targeting the poor and the needy, in typical Tory fashion.
In Westminster they are trying to make it illegal to give homeless people food because "it encourages them" (as if they were pigeons rather than human beings). Meanwhile, they are also trying to make it illegal to be homeless in a public space. But what of the homeless shelters? Oh right, they're cutting funding for them, so lots of them will be shut down. So what are the homeless meant to do? Just die?
I don't know... quit drinking doing drugs and get a job?
And how do you get a job in an economy where there are 10 people to every 1 job (and that's if you're lucky), when you have no access to smart clothes or a shower, no computer and printer for your resume, and no address or phone for people to use to contact you? Do tell.
Exactly!! Just like George Bush Jr did! lol
Alcohol, drugs and general dignity degradation come generally AFTER you've lost all means of subsistence...
Love ? What love ?
I don't drink or do drugs yet due to some unfortunate circumstances spent over a year on the streets in the UK. Never judge people by what the media tells you about them because it's nearly always crap.
Oh, and seriously, I would have got a job if I had any chance of getting one but it's very hard to get a job when you don't have clean clothes and access to a shower! You bash on the left wing liberals, fine, do it, it's your opinion and your choice, but not everyone gets your freedom.
Hey LadyLove, maybe you should stick to the USA, instead of posting things about other countries, which you are not intimately detailed with.
Granted, you're apparently not all that detailed on USA's info either, but at least here you are a citizen and have a right to your opinions. With regards to other countries, it's really none of your business.
They seem to have an opinion on everything in the U.S.
Why can't she have an opinion on things there?
Jim said he's fine and don,t need to take off for a week or so to get his mind right, what about you La Lo? You do get sick days on this job, don't you? Treat yourself and hub pages, don't touch the keyboard for a week. You will be better for it, so take a vacation. Lol
Hey Junko, why are you responding to my post, while talking to LadyLove? I'm just curious.
Who says we want free everything?
We don't want 300% increases in tuition fees making higher education the preserve of the rich.
We don't want cuts that deprive the needy of resources but reward the wealthy for their greed!
We would at least like a level playing field with cuts applied evenly across the country, not 4 and 5% in the rich tory shire counties and 25% in the poorer outlands!
Remind me again how making money makes you greedy? Does that mean it is somehow more noble to be a pauper?
Stealing money from the poor in the form of higher taxes and fees for them so you can take it for yourself in the form of a tax cut, when you are already wealthier than they will ever be, is the height of greed and cruelty.
Making money doesn't make you greedy. Making it harder and harder for the rest of the population to make money, in order to protect the wealth of the elite, makes you greedy.
There are plenty of very affluent people who are condemning Tory policies and who have condemned tory policy in the past, including some of our most successful businessmen. Such as Sir Alan Sugar, the British host of The Apprentice (just like Donald Trump, in your version of the apprentice).
In the UK there is such thing as the middle ground, where capitalism is encouraged but not at the expense of the welfare of British people. That is patriotism at it's finest. The Tory party do not represent 93% of the population, they are interested in protecting the wealth of the top 7%.
That means that their policies would make the vast majority of Hubbers poorer, and make it harder for them to generate wealth. That 93% includes every single member of the true middle classes. The rich-poor divide in the UK is the worst it has been since Victorian times.
There is no benefit to subscribing to a capitalist ideal if you make it so difficult for people ot become a success in their own lives, this is against the true ethos of capitalism; it is in fact corporatism.
The Tory party are backed by the major corporations, the MPs are shareholders of the major corporations, and as such they have a vested interest in ensuring that the labour market is as cheap as possible. One of the ways to deflate the cost of labour is to maintain a high unemployment rate. Students, by the way, are not considered unemployed. More 'unemployed' people equals more people willing to work for peanuts, in turn the corporations achieve a bigger bottom line, directors take big bonuses, shareholders take a fat dividend.
Or looking at it from a different angle... offering people plenty of social services to keep the poor reliant on the government creating a class of voters that elect those that promise them free stuff all paid for by the rich thus eliminating the need or desire to better one's station. The UK is where it is because it's more socialistic than democratic... and now there's no more money to support the entitlement class.
As I have already mentioned, our Government Debt, the one which relates to public spending, is far lower as a proportion of GDP than that of America.
Please explain how our "socialistic" society is the cause of our government debt, which just so happens to be lower than your government debt, despite having recently left 8 years of right wing rule?
We recently came out of 13 years of "left wing" rule, and we are in better shape than America. Only a little, but the fact remains that we are.
The fact that we can claim a lower government debt V gross domestic product ratio and a lower unemployment rate, whilst having offered the national health service that you are so afraid of since the 1950s, suggests that something is seriously wrong with the way that YOUR country is run.
Now, what the right wing (you) fail to recognise is that HALF of your public spending is spent on blowing people up halfway across the world. That is also one of the reasons that your country is so f'd.
The right side of America is pro-war, anti-tax, and blame the government debt on the left. Yet the right has left a situation whereas the left side have to either a) increase taxes or b) increase debt, in order to pay for a war started by the right.
I would sooner see my taxes pay for education and health services, and that is the way that my stance will stay until I die.
The UK is "not where it is" because it is more "socialistic". The figures bear this out. The UK has a lower national debt adjusted for GDP than the US. Countries which are even more "socialist" - as you put it - such as the Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands etc have even lower national debts than the UK. All of these countires also have higher standards of living than the US. And higher employment.
I think you're talking out of your right wing backside about something that you don't undertand in the slightest. If you wish to specifically address my points though you could prove me wrong...
Oh my, Sounds a great deal like the USA!!
Remind me again where I say that making money makes you greedy?
You'll find it difficult because I've never said it.
"We don't want cuts that deprive the needy of resources but reward the wealthy for their greed!"
So wealthy people (translation: people who make a lot of money) are greedy.
Ever heard of inherited wealth?
Ever heard of a sinecure?
You know, were some MP gets paid £600 an hour after tax for "advise"?
Or a banker gets a bonus of millions of pounds when his bank has lost money?
Um, it doesn't matter how they acquired the money....what matters is that it ISN'T YOURS.......
If I leave my kids a million bucks each, it is THEIRS. NOT YOURS.
Are we getting this yet? I'm typing very slowly.....
Money is power, no doubt. The more you have the more you can do. Very simple.
Only people like LMC and John with their daily wealth envy rants would try to convince us otherwise.....
You are right, and there would be no problem with that if all people were honest, caring, and wise. Unfortunately, many people are not, so the powerful but unethical few end up hurting people and the planet. That is why checks are needed to counter the power of the wealthy.
Tell me, if I railed against men who treated women with violence, would you accuse me of being envious of them?
I don't envy anybody, some wealthy I admire, but others who do nothing but gamble with our money do not gain my respect.
I'm sure those who "gamble" are mortified that you disrespect them.....
OK let me type very very slowly.
Take money off the man who earns £20,000 pa and give it to the man who earns £200,000 pa.
Explain to me how that is the rich man's money?
Justify the taking of money off the less well off and giving it ton the more well off, come on, O know that you can do it.
Let me see if I can predict the argument. The rich man will take that money and create jobs, which will benefit the poor!!!! [Note the use of excessive exclamation points, which somehow makes the statement appear more "truthy."]
I might be able to follow your reasoning if it made so much as a single lick of sense, which of course it doesn't.....
Well of course it makes no sense to increase taxes for the less wealthy to enable tax cuts for the super wealthy. Well spotted.
"Money is power, no doubt. the more money you have the more you can do" You don't need a single lick of sense and in most cases the greedy don't have as much sense as the needy.
Hm, somebody steals off you and the money is no longer yours!
Interesting, or does that only apply if the thief is all ready super rich and not if the thief is poor?
Well you do say it doesn't matter how they acquire the money!
I can't believe I'm responding to this since it is such as asinine statement, but then I think most people have the linear thought capability to determine that we are talking about ethical and legal money making methods.....
Oh my, THAT is funny, roadrunner. You do need help if you believe that the huge widening of the income gap over the last 30 years is mostly due to the ethical behavior of the wealthy.
You may be talking about ethical and legal, the people who I'm talking of don't give a fig for ethical and if they are sure that they won't get caught don't give a fig for legal either!
What on earth is ethical about gambling on the price of oil or coffee or wheat?
What is unethical about it? Life is a gamble, particularly when it comes to finances....
I know many many wealthy people and I promise you, they are VERY greedy and selfish and arrogant. I wish I could say otherwise, but in my close experience with them, with few exceptions, this is all I have seen.
Odd, I know many wealthy folks myself and they are some of the hardest working and most humble people I've ever met.
I'm betting our point of view on this matter is largely shaped by whether or not we are jealous of their success and wealth or not. It's called wealth envy....ask LovemyChris all about it.....
Oddly, I know no really wealthy people, they inhabit a different world to me. And I expect that you don't know any either Billy.
Well, I'll thank you to not try and a,nswer for me since you do not know my situation or who I am friends with. Suffice it to say that I am sure by your standards I am probably one of the filthy disgusting rich people that you and LMC love to blast.
You seem to regard the wealthy as some sort of exclusive club where you have to have a membership or something to rub shoulders with. I've got news for you, a great many of them shop at Wal-Mart, eat at McDonalds etc, just like the "commoners" do. I'm not sure I understand this "different world" that they "inhabit".
Which explains why I get such a kick out of your posts......
Yes Billy, here in the UK we often see the Queen shopping in the pound stores and chowing down on a big mac!
Um, most wealthy people are not royalty, my friend. They are actually real people who do get out and move among the rest of us.
I find the fact that this has to be explained to you fascinating. You make it sound as though the rich live on another planet or something.....
They may as well. Or at least, the ability to send a child to university or buy a house of my own or even eat out once every few months is utterly alien to me. Those are privileges I do not have, not because I don't work as hard or as long, but because of the coincidence of the class I was born into.
That's a cop out. Most of us were born into less than ideal "classes". It becomes a matter of how hard you are willing to work to improve your situation.
Don't expect the rest of us to prop you up because you lacked the drive or desire to make life better for yourself.
The sort of wealth that I am talking about has nothing to do with how hard you work, in fact hard work is an obstacle to real wealth.
I did everything you mention and more. God forbid I had the audacity to walk out on a miserable marriage that was slowly ruining my daughter's life and sadly, my own. Three years down the line, still working with the same attitude I always have, I'm floundering.
Lack of effort, opportunity, market? Nope. I was (in fact) making good headway by the fall of last year. Then the coalition grip began to tighten.
Between the raises in taxes, the cost of living and the drop in income I am now no better for having willingly dug myself out of a deep hole.
Despite the fact that that is soul destroying, no matter. I will keep on aiming high and trying to regain the foothold I'd previously gained. It would just be nice (though a pipe dream) if gov inc cut us a little slack for our effort and input into our nation.
Don't assume that the general population sits on its arse whining with their hand out.
Indeed not, some of them are much richer!
I find the fact that you are totally blind to the gulf between the super wealthy and the rest of us, not fascinating, but just a bit scary.
Well, yeah, there's a gulf, but I'm not going to join you in demonizing any group of people just because they have a few more bucks in their pocket than you or I do.
I am of the opinion that anybody can become wealthy if they are willing to put in the time and effort it takes.
Granted you have to first quit bellyaching about those who have more than you, a small step in the process that apparently a lot of people aren't willing to take.....
What, hard work like getting a job in banking with bonuses in the millions not through any merit or ability but because of your parents, going to the right school and belonging to the right club!
I'm not talking about people who get rich through hard work, they never get really rich anyway, I'm talking of those who are rich through privilege. Why are you so supportive of those people who make their money by taking yours?
I am fortunate in that my husband and I have a business that has done well and we are very comfortable so I do not envy anyone. Perhaps it is where I am in New York that is just filled with these kind of wealthy people and when I say wealthy, I mean they have atleast 100 million dollars. A couple are billionaires. Although we could be called "millionaires" we prefer to say we are comfortable.
I promise you, on my childrens lives, these people are what I said they are. I would never just throw something like that out without proof. I have lived among them close up. Sadly, I know what I am talking about.
Actually, I don't......my experience has shown me quite a different picture of wealthy people as a whole than the one Moonchild describes.
Maybe it is different in the South, where I live.....
Hospitality, waving at strangers, and friendly people is a part of the culture in the south. There are many gated communities where the super rich live among themselves in the south. In those caged communities the people aren't as friendly as the common southerner. They are polite but not friendly with other super rich. They are simular to the wealthy of the north east gated urban communities.
This whole gated community thing is spreading. I'm not super-sensitive about wealthy people, but I do wonder about people who are so terrified of exposure to their fellow human beings that they build their own luxury fortresses to hole up in.
The gated community conjurs images of a fortress but that isn't the case at all. The idea is to establish a neighborhood with consistent rules for managing the common property and all the structures within. What this does is preserve the property values of all the members of the community.
Must admit, I have never been a fan. Luckily, the crime rate is practically zero in this part of the world, so we have little need for such things.
I lived in one sufi. Part of what I 'gave up'. Best thing I ever did. Executive residences, executive lawns, every last detail planned to within an inch of it's life. Even had interior designers in before we moved in.
What a load of old rot. The place had about as much soul as the undead. The word 'community' didn't apply. There was none. No warmth, no neighbourly interaction, just a pervading sense of having to keep up with the Jones's (sp?).
Shiny new cars, things and stuff that cost the earth littering gardens and driveways. I used to write in the crud on my car. Ripped the lawn up and dropped a few tons of tarmac on it. The neighbours loved me.
Give me our apartment any day. Real neighbours, a genuine community spirit, love it
Portugal is in default... the UK is in trouble Ireland is on the brink... you want to blame the economy fine but how much of your troubles is the result of unsustainable social programs? The day has come when you can no longer delay paying your notes and everyone is going to feel the pain but of course the rich will be better able to ride through but then this mess isn't their doing!
The UK is actually in better shape than the US.
Lower unemployment, a lower national debt ratio. We are also amongst the strongest in Europe, marginally beaten by the French and Germans.
The UK supports the cutting of unneccessary spending, every party had a plan to reduce the national deficit.
The problem people have is with the way that spending is being cut, the specific ways in which the Tory party is cutting the cloth. It is one which will see the poor carry a much greater part of the burdeon than the rich.
I hope that clarifies. Unless you earn a minimum of $100,000 a year LadyLove then I suspect that you would fall within the "poor" category. This has nothing to do with those who do not wish to work, it equally effects the hard working middle and working classes.
No I get it! Nobody wants to feel the pain but everyone will except the rich of course! We have the same problem here the democrats don't want to cut anything they're afraid it will cost them in elections so they've offered up 4 billion in cuts out of a 4 trillion dollar budget... the republicans are looking to cut 100 billion... sure someone is going to be hurt but neither of these is a big percentage of the total and the democrats proposal is a joke!
The left in the UK had a proposal to cut almost as much as the right.
The difference being that the burdeon would have been shared by the whole of society, rather than giving an exemption to those who would have been least affected by the cuts anyway.
For example, cutting free services in poor areas, leaving them be in rich areas. So, giving less to the poor, keep giving stuff for free to the rich.
The issue that most of us have is not with the cuts, but the equality of those cuts; a TRUE capitalist would have an ideology to create a level playing field.
If YOU subscribe to capitalism, in its true form, then everything would be equal. Otherwise you are being sold down the river.
LadyLove, do you think that if you lived in the UK you would be in the top 7% richest people in the country? I don't know how much you earn, but if you were you would probably have at least $3 million worth of prime London real estate and an expansive stock portfolio, you would probably have a fleet of cars and a nice country retreat for the weekend in rural Britain; probably in Surrey, maybe add another $1 million to that property portfolio.
If the answer is yes, then the Tory party would protect your interests no doubt. If the answer is no then you would be supporting a strategic shift in wealth from you to those in the richer neighbourhood down the street.
The fact that so many people outside of that 7% were once again sold a false perception of their own wealth saddens me, they manage to dupe the middle classes into believing that they represent them.
Lol! No im not nearly that well off! Look its very simple be independent work hard don't expect help from others... life is hard its a competition... you have a responsibility first to yourself to live and prosper but also to society to be a contributing member. You have to recognize some will ne more sucessful for whatever reason luck hard work or their station in birth that doesn't mean they don't deserve it or you're entitled to any of it.
"The UK is actually in better shape than the US. "
That's true; the US has a national debt about equal to annual GDP--90.8%, to be a bit more precise--while the UK is at 68%.
Canada is at 72.3%.
Mind you, all these are 2009 numbers and they aren't always calculated uniformly.
In what way was this not the doing of the rich? There are not many poor bankers who bought debts from the US and not many poor bankers who gave 110-120% mortgages, encouraged borrowing on credit cards and would rather invest in currencies rather than industry.
"The salary of the chief executive of the large corporation is not a market reward for achievement. It is frequently in the nature of a warm personal gesture by the individual to himself"
I'm not sure where you got 'violence' from, but in the UK we are proud of our right to protest, and very rarely does a protest turn into a riot.
In the case of the tuition fee protests, the proportion of people who resorted to violence was miniscule. No more than a few hundred out of hundreds of thousands. Probably a smaller proportion than would get involved in violence at a typical football (soccer) match.
That is a given, irrespective of whether or not you supported their cause. I can tell you where I stand though, if I had been able to attend I would, and if I had happened to have been near the Tory HQ then I would have happily have entered the building to smash up a few computers.
Are you aware that in the borough of Westminster, London is trying to make it illegal for charities to distribute food to homeless people?
Westminster is one of the wealthiest ares on London and a beacon for the homeless because of the help on the streets available. Charities in Westminster offer bread and hot soup as well as help getting into shelters and off the streets, their missionary type work is in danger of being made illegal.
I have every intention of going out to Westminster with any food I can afford if it they make it illegal. I would love to be arrested for for feeding the homeless, I would love it more if this law dies a death of shame without ever making it to the books.
Let me just say, the UK is a very different place then the US politically speaking. In many ways the Brits are more crazy then Americans politically speaking, ever watched a debate in the house of commons? It is shocking! Kids are held to more respectful behavior then that lot, kids at my school would be suspended if they tried that!
btw, news link to the story is:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/2 … -22957295/
There are two sides to every story:
http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/it-takes … 14154.blog
This is the first time I've heard this story, but as the Mirror is a left wing paper with a vested interest in bad-mouthing the Tories, I couldn't help wondering what the other side of the story was.
Thanks for posting that! So often people come up with an idea that sounds good and seems to make sense and they can't see the unintended consequences. Right or left no one wants to see their fellow beings suffer the debate should always be on how best to make them a contributor to society.
The Mirror is not a left wing paper ... at best it's a right wing labour paper ... shows how far to the right the left has gone ... if that makes sense :-)
If you want a left wing daily .. try this
Well, it's left wing compared to the Telegraph and the Times! In any case, I guess my point was that there are always two sides to every story, and this whole thread amply demonstrates that.
Sufi mentioned that he has friends who voted Tory because they hoped to see a pragmatic approach to sorting out the debt crisis. That was also my hope. Problem is that we are deeply mired in debt, and there is no quick fix. I'm looking forward to seeing what the budget has to offer before I write off this parliament as a total failure. The government has only been in place for ten months, and it will have taken them at least that long to properly get to grips with the situation.
Certainly I also have issues with the actions they've taken, but I actually do like some of their policies. Every government has a mixture of good ideas and bad ideas. It's not black and white. There are shades of grey.
In the UK we enjoy having public services and are generally happy to live in what many in the US would term a "socialist" state!
The UK's economy is probably in better shape than most other western countries. The protest is about the speed at which such cuts are being made. But you don't know or care about that.
We also have the right to protest. And it's very rarely violent, mainly hyped; as Charlie Brooker hilariously explains here (I particularly like the bit where he looks at the US coverage):
"We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both"
Louis D. Brandeis, quoted in "Labor," October 14, 1941
Quoted in Harvard Magazine March-April, 2011
I'll only rise to this baiting once, because it's pointless.
Funny how our government fights for freedom throughout the world (on my taxes) but gradually reduces freedoms at home. I am disgusted that my children, and indeed myself, cannot risk attending a demonstration for fear of being kettled, falsely imprisoned or being arrested.
The right to peaceful demonstration is one of our UK freedoms which is being eroded. Morons who claim otherwise, and I don't care who this offends, may one day regret being unable to peacefully march for whatever they hold dear - the right to hunt perhaps, or belong to a dotty but ultimately harmelss right wing organisation.
12 year old kids held captive in freezing temperatures by London police for up to eight hours without toilet facilities or water. Is that the sort of UK we want?
That's one of the reasons I left the UK - they are gradually eroding freedoms, and it is good that the British are exercising their right to protest against corporatism. I have some friends who lie very much to the right wing of the political spectrum, and they will be joining the march.
+ 1 sufi.
I have money, someone forces me to hand it over, therefore what was mine now becomes theirs.
That doesn't matter?
I know people who voted Tory because they wanted to see a pragmatic rebuilding of the economy. Instead, the agenda is ideological and short-sighted, and it does not take the small issue of 'reality' into account - that is what happens when you have a cabinet that has never lived in the real world. Cameron was my MP back in the UK - he seemed to be a nice enough man, but he is part of the Old Boys network that pervades British politics.
If the Tories supported small businesses and local enterprise, my conservative friends would have no problem - instead, the coalition is bending over for the corps. Hence, these protests span the political divide - we all know what happened to the provinces the last time the Tories were in power
Please. Whatever party is in power the agenda seems to be to remove not strengthen freedoms. The Labour party, new or old, has no great record on this. Remember the war hero ejected for trying to heckle Straw (I think it was).
I have long given up with politics - they are lying thieves on all sides. My beef is with a specific issue - 12 year old kids being kettled.
Where's a politician with the guts to say it's wrong? Nowhere - right, left or centre.
I have absolutely no disagreement with that.
The Labour government rode roughshod over the rights of the British people (Didn't they take away the right to protest outside Parliament, under 'Anti-Terrorist' legislation?) The Tories are merely carrying on in the same vein!
I share your view they are all as bad as each other, which is why I have no regrets about leaving the UK - too many CCTV cameras, detention without the right to trial, the ID Card shambles etc.
As for the 'kettling' - That was truly disgraceful and sadly typical of the British police. I remember the Miner's Strike and saw the brutality with my own eyes - what they did to those protesting kids was just as bad.
"Left-wing violence coming. . ." but the right-wing smear campaign is right here, right now.
"What do you people on the left want free everything?? Who do you think is going to pay for it???"
You really don't get it do you .. of course the left don't expect everything free .. but we do expect basic services to be accessible for all and who's going to pay for it .. the taxpayer obviously and it should be based on income so the more you earn the morn you pay
Yup - I have a couple of friends who lived in one. It was full of people wanting to 'Keep up with the Joneses' and curtain twitchers.
I could not live in a place where people tell you that you can't hang your washing out on the front porch or that you can't have a disassembled car in your driveway. Sounds too much like a Marxist dictatorship to me, with a long list of 'Dos' and 'Don'ts' (Mainly don'ts)
Here, I can pretty much do what I want to on my own property, and we have the wonderful Greek tradition of Filoksenia that lies at the heart of this wonderful community.
Glad that you are enjoying your apartment - my Lancastrian ancestors will spin in their graves as I say this, but Yorkshire folk are alreet
Ooooo thank you sufi
We had clauses. No motor homes, no caravans or boats. No fences out front. Um ... I didn't read much past the title. I thought it silly. My ex loved it. I thought we had somehow ended up living in a world filled with pretend money and plastic people.
Your neck of the woods sounds wonderful. Here we're right on the edge of the moors, some great walks, scenery and people. Funnily enough if I walked 45 minutes in that *points* direction with Boo I'd be in your old county, pretty much
That 'community' sounds like Hell on Earth - the good thing about the Spartans is that they pay little regard to social status, wealth, profession, or any other man-made label.
Everybody is treated equally - that is the ancient custom of Filoksenia, and I find that it works far better than any list of rules and regulations or modern political ideology.
Your part of the world sounds lovely - I lived in Haworth for a while, and love the Yorkshire Moors (some cracking beers in that part of the world, too ). However, you should take the 45 minute journey and cross from the darkness into the light
lol sufi I have to agree. You get atop those hills and the sun definitely comes out! I love Haworth, Ilkley, Keighly, anywhere that way. Did you ever have a Wuthering Heights moment?
I've read a lot about the Spartans over the years. That's the ancient cultures and I guess the lover of history in me. Both ficton and non. Currently live near a wonderful little charity shop that turns some right gems up in it, book wise. Anyway, where you are, that attitude - it just got more heavenly
Lucky you - I used to love trawling around charity shops, looking for great books. Oxford was brilliant for that. They tend not to have them here, and my Greek isn't good enough for reading anything too complex
I did have the Bronte moment - visiting the Top Withens in high winds. It is a very nice part of the world
The history around here is awesome - today, I sat on a small piece of Ancient Sparta and ate my cheese pie. History is embedded in the culture, too - so many of the customs we have here can be traced back to the time of Homer.
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