Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7

Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7
My Dad repaired most of our shoes believe it or not, I can hardly believe it myself now. With 7 pairs of shoes always needing repairs I think he was quite clever to learn how to “Keep us in shoe Leather” to coin a phrase!

He bought several different sizes of cast iron cobbler’s “lasts”. Last, the old English “Laest” meaning footprint. Lasts were holding devices shaped like a human foot. I have no idea where he would have bought the shoe leather. Only that it was a beautiful creamy, shiny colour and the smell was lovely.

But I do remember our shoes turned upside down on and fitted into these lasts, my Dad cutting the leather around the shape of the shoe, and then hammering nails, into the leather shape. Sometimes we’d feel one or 2 of those nails poking through the insides of our shoes, but our dad always fixed it.

Hiking and Swimming Galas
Dad was a very outdoorsy type, unlike my mother, who was probably too busy indoors. She also enjoyed the peace and quiet when he took us off for the day!

Anyway, he often took us hiking in the mountains where we’d have a picnic of sandwiches and flasks of tea. And more often than not we went by steam train.

We loved poking our heads out of the window until our eyes hurt like mad from a blast of soot blowing back from the engine. But sore, bloodshot eyes never dampened our enthusiasm.

Dad was an avid swimmer and water polo player, and he used to take us to swimming galas, as they were called back then. He often took part in these galas. And again we always travelled by steam train.

Rowing Over To Ireland’s Eye
That’s what we did back then, we had to go by rowboat, the only way to get to Ireland’s eye, which is 15 minutes from mainland Howth. From there we could see Malahide, Lambay Island and Howth Head of course. These days you can take a Round Trip Cruise on a small cruise ship!

But we thoroughly enjoyed rowing and once there we couldn’t wait to climb the rocks, and have a swim. We picnicked and watched the friendly seals doing their thing and showing off.

Not to mention all kinds of birdlife including the Puffin.The Martello Tower was also interesting but a bit dangerous to attempt entering. I’m getting lost in the past as I write, and have to drag myself back to the present.

Fun Outings with The camera Club
Dad was also a very keen amateur photographer, and was a member of a camera Club. There were many Sunday photography outings and along with us came other kids of the members of the club.

And we always had great fun while the adults busied themselves taking photos of everything and anything, it seemed to us. Dad was so serious about his photography that he set up a dark room where he developed and printed his photographs.

All black and white at the time. He and his camera club entered many of their favourites in exhibitions throughout Europe. I’m quite proud to say that many cups and medals were won by Dad. They have been shared amongst all his grandchildren which I find quite special.

He liked taking portraits of us kids too, mostly when we were in a state of untidiness, usually during play. Dad always preferred the natural look of messy hair and clothes in the photos of his children.

Commercial Lender Changes Hurt Small Business Financing Options

Most small business owners are likely to be severely impacted by recent commercial lender changes. In almost all cases, the business lending changes are permanent and cannot be avoided if a commercial borrower wants to continue their present banking relationship. One noteworthy exception is illustrated by a few new and more flexible commercial lending sources.One of the biggest commercial lending changes involves new guidelines for working capital financing. Most banks appear to be quietly eliminating business lines of credit or severely reducing the amount they are willing to finance to a level which is not helpful to an average business. Very few businesses can survive without a reliable source of working capital, so this change promises to receive the highest priority from most small businesses. To replace the disappearing commercial lines of credit, the most practical options for business borrowers include working capital loans and merchant financing from one of the alternative commercial finance sources still active in small business financing programs.Another business lender change is illustrated by the difficulty of locating investment property financing. An increasing number of banks will make commercial mortgage loans only when the commercial property is considered to be owner-occupied (which means that the commercial borrower occupies a substantial portion of the building). Commercial properties like apartment buildings and shopping centers are often owned by investors that do not occupy the property. For many banks, it appears that they are currently restricting their commercial lending activities to those which qualify for SBA loans (Small Business Administration) which generally exclude investor-owned situations.A third significant business lending change is demonstrated by revised guidelines for refinancing commercial real estate loans. In almost all cases, commercial lenders have dramatically reduced the loan-to-value percentages that they will lend. In some areas and for specific types of businesses, many banks will no longer lend over half of the appraised value. The difficulty for a commercial borrower refinancing an existing commercial loan reach a crisis level very quickly when this happens. In many cases the original business loan was based on a much higher percentage of business value than the bank is currently willing to provide. When a current appraisal reports a decrease in value since the original loan was made, the lending problem is further compounded. This outcome is especially common in the midst of a distressed economy which leads to decreased business income that in turn often produces a lower commercial property value.For a fourth commercial lending change example, many small business owners have already discovered an inflated fee structure from most banks for virtually all small business finance programs. Perhaps the bank perspective for some of the commercial financing fee increases is that they need to find a revenue source to replace the diminishing income from small business loans which has resulted from bank decisions to decrease commercial loan activity. Except for unusual and unavoidable circumstances, business borrowers should seek different commercial funding sources when they encounter suddenly increased business financing fees levied by their current bank.Banks changing their overall guidelines for small business financing produce a final and widespread example of commercial lender changes. Many banks have effectively stopped making any new commercial loans to small businesses regardless of business income or creditworthiness. Unfortunately these banks are not announcing publicly that they have discontinued small business finance activities. This means that while they might accept business loan applications, they do not intend to actually finalize commercial financing in most cases. Whenever it becomes obvious that the bank has no real intentions of making a requested working capital loan or commercial mortgage, this approach has clearly frustrated and enraged business borrowers.The five commercial lending changes described above are unfortunately the proverbial tip of the iceberg. As they approach business lenders to obtain commercial real estate financing, working capital loans and small business financing, business owners will need to be especially skeptical and diligent.

How To Tell If Your Personal Finances Are Out Of Control

Struggling under a mountain of debt is no fun, but it is a way of life for many who do not keep their personal finances in balance. Some people ignore warning signs that they really need to regain control of their finances until it is too late. Here are some quick ways to tell if you are in danger of being buried by debt, along with some tips on how to take charge of your money problems.Have you ever taken a cash advance on one credit card in order to make the minimum monthly payment on another card? This means that your debt load is way too high, and you need to find a way to bring it down fast and restore order to your personal finances. Do whatever is required, whether it is taking a part time job or just limiting spending to bare essentials until your financial picture improves. Commit to paying off the cards with the highest interest rates first, if possible, and the ones with the lowest balances if it is not. Set a specific time limit, such as six months, to reach your goal, and follow through on your commitment to control your finances. And do not add any new charges unless it is literally a matter of life and death.Have you ever taken a cash advance on a credit card to make a bank deposit so that a check won’t bounce? This is similar to using one card to pay another, only worse. This means your finances are so out of control that it is critical you find a solution. Perhaps you have not been reconciling your checking account regularly. If not, start immediately. If returned checks are a problem, start using cash to pay for living expenses until you can regain control over your personal finances. Make all of your regular payments, and then take whatever is left in cash. Divide it up according to how long it has to last and place it in envelopes which are labeled with the purpose, such as lunches or groceries. Pay for purchases out of the appropriate envelope. Some people like this method so well that they continue to use it long after they have resolved any issues with their personal finances.Do you have to check the available balance on your credit card before you can go to the grocery store? Using credit cards for living expenses is fine for your personal finances if you want the convenience and can pay off the balance each month. However, many people who are struggling with their personal finances frequently charge things like groceries and gasoline, and then make only the minimum payments. This is one of the worst mistakes you can make when it comes to your personal finances. You are increasing your debt load for items that are long gone before you even receive your statement, much less pay the bill.Is it a struggle to just pay the minimum amounts due on your credit cards each month? This is creating a personal finance scenario where you will probably never be out of debt. Stop using your cards until you have reduced your balances and regained control over your personal finances, or find a way to earn extra income and dedicate those earnings to paying off your debt more quickly.Some of you may have found the personal finance scenarios described humorous. Sadly, these are actually circumstances that happen more often than many want to admit. As a nation, we have never been more deeply in debt nor maintained so little control of our personal finances. But the good news is that you can remedy your situation with your personal finances and debt. It won’t happen overnight, but if you are willing to work at it, you can regain control over your personal finances and eliminate your burden of debt.