What is it they say? Death, divorce and dimissal cause most stress and turmoil? Well, just add Disruption by Removal!
When we arrived on 6th May, all but our beds and a few essentials went into the barn – fifty boxes included! And since then we have slowly reclaimed the house room-by-room from the crew who have been re-laying floors, refitting the bathroom and installing new bits of pumbing and wiring for the kitchen appliances. It was all supposed to be done before we arrived but the best laid plans of mice and men…. The main thing is we’re more than happy with the result – a spacious, comfortable farmhouse away from the madding crowd.
And tomorrow we’re promised the arrival of this little puppy:
I thought I’d reassure the cherished non-Cambrians hereabouts that the wild and woolly practices of mountain-dwellers are frowned on by the Courts and it’s best not even to mention them!
Time was when cricketers walked, snooker champs owned up and, yes, golfers retired when they broke a rule. The gentlemen’s code, as far as I know, never extended to tennis or any of the foootball or hockey variants – in which hoodwinking the ref has become de rigueur, nay a practised skill. Remember Bloodgate and the iconic Dean Richards? But luckily hawkeyed gadgetry is slowly replacing the human eye and on Friday a telly viewer caught Tiger woods cheating - not on his latest blonde this time but on the fringes of the 15th green during the US Masters. He later stated he’d chosen to ‘drop’ a couple of yards back to get a better lie. No behavioural change there then.
Do I care? Should you? Not really, except to bewail the loss of honesty among our heroes. But, hey! All’s fair in love, sport and war and you can’t trust a superpower to play nicely with his drones anymore .
It’s an annual phenomenon: the scrubberfest at Aintree, exhibiting some of the social and sartorial fashions of modern Merseyside; ironically known as Ladies’ Day. And who should gainsay them, one asks? A brave man indeed. It’s only to be feared that the PC brigade will insist on a Gentlemen’s Day – when no doubt the even less becoming Merseyside Male would take centre stage.
A lot of financial experts and other commentators are up in arms about the Cyprus Solution, which slaps a 40% ‘fee’ on savers with more than 100,000 euros in a couple of local banks. ‘Poor, unsuspecting savers’, allegedly. Many of them are British pensioners lured to Aphrodite’s Isle by a mouth-watering 5% tax rate; and even more are Russsian emigres from whom (à la Russia’s President Medvedev’s enigmatic quoation from Lenin) “the stealing of what has already been stolen continues”.
Now I’m not anti-capitalist, nor pro-communist but I do wonder how this arrangement is remotely less acceptable than forcing innocent tax-payers to pick up the tab for the profligacy of bankers; because the thing about banks is that we usually rely on them to stay in business and not to mess with our money, but when they fail, we the savers bear some responsiblity for having chosen to let them use it. It’s a business arangement gone wrong – between consenting partners, not between banks and their ‘victims’.
Of course I sympathise with the British pensioners whose retirement bubble has burst so spectacularly – surely the Bank of Cyprus, if not the Laiki bank, was ‘reliable’? It probably was, for many years. But if I were a eurozone taxpayer I would strongly resent having to bail it out when tens of thousands of depositors, attracted by the offer of tax holidays in the sun, held on to their funds.