It’s all going to go Pete Tong again?

Daily Mail today:

Britons ‘spend 40% of wages on their mortgage’
By BECKY BARROW and SAM FLEMING, Daily Mail 12:30pm 29th June 2006

More than 40 per cent of a homeowner’s take-home pay is now being wiped out by mortgage repayments, Britain’s biggest building society revealed yesterday.

Nationwide warned that this is the highest level since the dark days of the 1991 recession when house prices fell sharply.

It comes as the total amount owed by Britain’s 11.6 million home-owners soared to more than £1 trillion for the first time.

At this level, people’s massive mortgage debts of £1,006,796,000,000 are nearly equal to the country’s entire economic output, or GDP.

The country’s gross domestic product is £1.2 trillion, but yesterday’s Bank of England figures show the total amount of mortgage debt is catching up fast.

Soaring house prices, which have been rising for a decade, have forced anybody wanting to get onto the property ladder to take out a huge home loan.

The average mortgage has jumped to a massive £115,000, with many people forced to borrow much more to buy a decent home in the South.

In 1986, the average mortgage was just £25,000. Ten years later, it was still just £44,000 but it has now more than quadrupled over the last two decades.

Today’s huge mortgages mean that millions of homeowner’s take-home pay is eaten up by their repayments before a single other bill is paid.

The problem has rapidly got worse, the Nationwide said yesterday as it revealed house prices have jumped £8,000 over the last year to an average of £165,730.

In 2003, about a third of the take-home pay of a home-owner on average earnings was spent on mortgage repayments. Today, it is 42 per cent.

The calculation is based on a person on average take-home pay of £20,500 buying a typical home worth £165,000 and borrowing a mortgage of £125,000. The repayment mortgage would have an interest rate of 5.09 per cent.

Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide’s group economist, said: ‘The deterioration in affordability and its likely impact cannot be ignored.’

She warned that people’s ability to pay their mortgages will ‘continue to bite’ unless the situation changes.

The worry is that if mortgage repayments eat up more of people’s take-home pay, they will have less and less money to cope with the rest of their financial commitments.

Link to full article



Communities use xenophobia to unify their cause, clan, tribe or religion – (guy on Radio 4 in evening 8th June 2006)

The only thing constant in life is the rate of change – (from speech given by guest parent speaker at King’s College Taunton between 1985 & 1987, can’t quite place the year)

Give an energy saving lightbulb for Christmas – Anon; Alternative Lifestyle Fayre, Powderham Castle June 4th 2006


A clever person solves a problem.
A wise person avoids it.

The significant problems we face cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.


You must be the change
You wish to see in the world


A leader is best when people barely know that he exists.
Less good when they obey and acclaim him.
Worse when they fear and despise him.
Fail to honor people, and they fail to honor you.
But of a good leader, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled,
they will say, “We did this ourselves.”

— Lao-Tzu

Ubiquitous Computing: Shall we understand it?

This was the question debated at a Computer Journal Lecture, which began with the following presentation by Robin Milner of Cambridge University, followed by the discussion below…. Read the rest of Robin’s presentation:

  • Modelling Ubiquity
  • Software science for ubiquitous systems
  • Models as languages
  • Two experiments
  • A tower of models
  • Goals for the challenge
  • Projects to meet the challenge
  • Coda
  • Acknowledgements and References


1. Morris Sloman, Department of Computing, Imperial College London
2. Martyn Thomas, Martyn Thomas Associates, UK
3. Karen Spark-Jones, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge
4. Jon Crowcroft, Cambridge University
5. Marta Kwiatkowska, University of Birmingham
6. Paul Gardner, Head of Pervasive ICT Research Centre, BT Group Chief Technology Office, British Telecommunications
7. Nicholas R Jennings, School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton
8. Vladimiro Sassone ECS, University of Southampton
9. Eamonn O’Neil, Department of Computer Science, University of Bath
10. Michael Wooldridge, Department of Computer Science, University of Liverpool
11. Carsten Maple, Institute for Research in Applicable Computing, Department of Computing and Information Systems, University of Luton
12. George Coulouris, Digital Technology Group, Computer Laboratory, Cambridge University
13. Dan Chalmers, Department of Informatics, University of Sussex


Kiss Ya Lips [No I.D.] – Ian Brown
Push the feeling on
The underpants go outside the pants
Two little boys – Rolf Harris
Camouflage – Stan Ridgeway
19 – Paul Hardcastle