Friday, April 15, 2011

The Spanish property market – assuming we can trust the statistics – grew by 10% between February this year and February last year. Prices, though, fell a little bit more. As if this wasn't bad enough news for us sellers, some commentators feel they should fall as much as 40% more. Not in Galicia, I hope.

As it happens, I'm in the UK at the moment and, as ever, it's such a joy not to be asked to prove my identity every time I use a debit or credit card. Against that, it's so tiresome to have to deal with a speed camera every hundred yards between north Leeds and the city centre. And a constantly beeping satnav.

Which reminds me . . . Just as Spain is reducing the maximum speed on her motorways from 120 to 110kph, there are rumours here that the limit will soon be raised from 70mph(112kph) to 80mph(128kph). Which must make sense to someone, I guess. But it's good to know national governments can still take some unilateral decisions within the EU.

It's a losing battle but, rhetorically, what's wrong with this sentence from today's Independent:- “Spotify is to restrict the amount of songs that users can play without paying.” Not to mention this sentence from young Mr McIlroy, who almost won the Masters at Augusta last weekend, describing the longest drive he'd ever made:- “It must have went 400 yards . . . and it could have went out of bounds.” Perhaps it's the Gaelic influence, as with the Irish 'bring' and 'take' constructions.

Finally . . . I knew it couldn't last. Hits to this blog totalled 250 for each of the last three days, against a pre-absence average of 150-175. Tonight, though, it's back down at 150. Ah, well.

9 comments:

moscow said...

Colin,

About the Pound, there is little I can say that won't disquiet you. I have always felt the worth of the Pound is somewhere between 0,7 to 0,9 to the Euro - if the Euro survives. That is where I see it long-term (and perhaps even short-term). We'll see what the 1st Q growth figures say when they come out next week. If the the GDP growth is equal or lower than +0,5% we will see the Pound sink further from it's already low level. It seems exports have grown somewhat - not eough - but manufacturing is weak. Perhaps, Polly Toynbee was right this time, uhhh?

Colin said...

Hola, Moscow. I fear you are right. But, who knows, Simon Heffer might be more right . . .

"The problem with the unelected, unaccountable people who run the European dream is that they are used to bending the rules to accommodate any little difficulty they might have with reality. You can do that among yourselves, however unjust it might be: but when what you do has a global impact, it won’t work in quite the same way. As Mrs Thatcher once said, you can’t buck the markets. Certain European economies are basket cases. The recent rise in the European Central Bank’s interest rates will help ensure more go that way. The markets will soon see the euro as utterly ripe for shorting, and that will be that."

Which is just another way of me saying I haven't the faintest idea myself. Perhaps I should engage in some hedging.

Remind me what Polly said.

Paddy said...

It's common around here to hear people say, "I haven't ate anything". However, the one that really annoys me is the mis-conjugation of the verb "to text". For me the past tense should "texted" but according to many of the younger generation it is quite simply "text". Definitely ungrammatical, even for a verb created out of a noun.

Colin said...

Like 'to spit' in the USA, perhaps. The PP is not 'spat' (as in British English) but 'spit'. Always throws me.

Of course, the same Irish/Gaelic? bring/take 'confusion' also occurs often in the USA, showing the influence of the Irish there, I guess. Possibly less on the west coast than on the east coast.

If one really wants to hear tortured tenses, one needs only listen to football commentators. And then, if you really want to get suicidal, the interviews with the players. Of course, it's very much a class thing in England.

Colin said...

A propos footballers . . . Have just read this:- "As we suspected, Fabio Capello was right all along in his insistence that a football coach only needs 100 words of English to school the modern player. A researcher at Cambridge University Press, after consulting endless coaching manuals, has filtered some 8.5 million slices of jargon down to a century of salient terms. From “penalty” and “shoot-out”, through “red” and “card” to “defeat”, “humiliation” and the inevitable corollary “sack”, his coach’s phrasebook covers most requirements.

In fact, from my own experience on the touchline, 100 words seems rather a lot.

moscow said...

And you would say Heffer is someone whose views are measured and balanced enough to be considered moderately inpartial?

Colin said...

Who of us is truly impartial?

His views are at one extreme, I guess, but it's always fun to read the views of such people. Time will tell whether he's right or not.

Colin said...

@Moscow

What do you make of this article? Agree or disagree?
Believe Graeme would be supportive.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/apr/15/portugal-debt-default

moscow said...

Colin,
No I don't agree. What Portugsl needs to do is reform its labour market, liberalise its antiquated regulations, privatise the airline TAP (astonishingly still in state hands)....in other words join the modern world.

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