Update ... The Week Ending July 25

Recently Sarah and I looked into the costs of buying a flat. There are many reasons why we would prefer to own a flat than rent one, and one of those reasons is financial. However, it turns out to be very expensive to own your own flat. Here in England the minimum deposit it 5%. There is a sales tax of 1%. The solicitor's fees are anywhere from 0.5% to 1.5%. The bank requires a survey to be done which costs anywhere from 200 to 500. There is a mortgage arrangement fee, usually around 300. And then there are all the other little fees like land searches and such. After adding this all up it turns out to be a very expensive prospect, so we've decided to put it off for a few months.

Flats here are exceptionally expensive, however they are great investments because London flat prices have always risen appreciably even in the worst of housing slumps. We are budgeting between 100,000 and 130,000 for a one bedroom flat! That's the equivalent to around $250,000 to $325,000 Canadian for one bedroom. Unbelievable.

You have probably read or seen recently the stories of the chimpanzees and orang-utans that can understand English. I found this truly amazing. In my opinion it opens up just as many deep questions as did Dolly, the cloned sheep. One aspect I found odd were two particular sentences generated by these animals. One was something like "I want a hamburger" and the other "Where is my coffee?" The actual sentences are not important, what I found interesting were the nouns, hamburger and coffee.

Both of these things are hot. But in the entire evolution of these animals they have never eaten warm food or drank warm drinks. What must they thing when given a warm beverage? How did that get warm? Or even more basic, What is warm? There is a giant leap in logic there to comprehend at a basic level how something can get hot. For us, for example, we heat our water in kettles. We may not understand exactly how electricity is generated in nuclear power plants, delivered down wires to our homes and used safely in an element in the kettle to heat the water. However, we take these things as given, knowing that if we were dedicated enough we can pour through books and figure out how nearly everything works.

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