Thursday, November 19, 2009

No great surprise to read that lung cancer deaths among Spanish women are growing apace. And at a rate which can only increase as current deaths are of those who took up the habit in the 70s and the 80s. The number of young females smoking is surely much higher now. Back in the 80s, women dying from lung cancer were only 3% of the total, against 10% now. Equality of mortality can’t be too many years away. Which is surely shocking. And very, very sad.

So, Perfidious France then. What a shameful way to qualify for the World Cup. Let’s hope either the match is replayed or the team exits in ignominy. Again. Meanwhile, Thierry Henry should be quietly guillotined, to restore France’s honour.

Which sort of reminds me . . . After months during which the current EU President has valiantly failed to get a consensus on the appointment – sorry, election – of the new ‘permanent’ holder of the position, all will be decided tonight, during and after(!) a dinner for the leaders of the 27 members. If this reminds you of some medieval process involving regional barons, I guess this should not come as much of a shock. That said, there are reports of widespread anger at a Franco-German stitch up in favour of the current Belgian Prime Minister. Whose name again escapes me. So, not really a top-down decision by powerful barons – or caciques, as they’re called here – but an arbitrary decision by two pretty absolute monarchs. But who knows? Perhaps the peasants will revolt tonight. Or at least the barons ‘representing’ them.

Correction 1: The amount which the British state is reimbursing my mother for the service charges on her flat over the last two and a half years is not, as I wrote, a hundred pounds a month but a hundred pounds a week. The logic is that this is cheaper to them than her going into a care home costing them twenty grand a year. As my mother will never be going into a home, this is redolent of my sister’s financial approach of a couple of years ago. When she insisted she was saving 500 pounds by buying never-to-be-used gym equipment on the net for 700 when it was 1200 in the shops. As I told her at the time, people can go bust making such savings. Her reply? “Oh, you are just like my husband!”.

Correction 2: I may have to withdraw my retraction of my positive comment about Telef√≥nica. I now suspect the company that calls me after every overseas call is not them. The number they give is 900 170 000 and I’m checking it out after posting this.

Finally . . . At the wi-fi caf√© today, I was sitting by the door to the terrace. A woman who went out and back again a total of 8 times left it open each time, exposing me to the cold wind. And this was despite the fact I was soon slamming it with a noise I wouldn’t have thought anyone could miss. I wouldn’t be telling you this except that, when the family finally left, the teenage daughter who was (rare here) dressed in punk gear closed the door on the way out. So, there’s hope for the future.

1 comment:

Ferrolano said...

Colin, you got it in one about the new EU president being the Belgian PM, Herman van Rompuy – although I can’t say that I have heard an awful lot from him or about him. The same can also be said for Baroness Catherine Ashton, appointed as the chief of EU foreign policy.

And as far as the “stitch-up”, just remember, for how long did the Gaullists keep the UK out of the EU??

But don’t worry, it has taken the US more than 230 years to become “United”, so why should we in Europe expect to do it any faster!