Getting dressed in the locker room of the gym today, I was asked something by a half-dressed chap next to me. As I had my earphones in and was listening to a podcast, I had to take one out to ask what he'd said. Somewhat ironically, he'd been asking me whether they were deaf aids. I tried to explain what, in fact, they were - showing him my iPod Shuffle - but he clearly had no idea what I was talking about. So I replaced the earphone and smiled politely at whatever he said next.
Advertising puffery has been around for a long time but I was amused this morning to hear an ad for a company specialising in floor coverings. They were offering "luxurious carpets" and "easy-living lino". Which left me wondering what on earth 'hard-living lino' must be like. Littered with anti-personnel mines?
Talking of meaningless phrases . . . The head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, has praised the ‘good rhythm’ of the reforms being introduced by the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy. Well, I guess she had to say something.
The ECB, as you'll know, has pumped one trillion euros into the banking system. But, as I've asked previously, has any of this cash come out of that system into the world of commerce? Or has this disguised quantitative easing merely served to prop up the banks, to sanitise their balance sheets and to allow them to make a handsome profit on buying sovereign bonds which pay a lot more that the 1% charged by the ECB. I wonder if we'll ever know.
It's very strange; every afternoon, as I read the papers, I have a pot of Earl Grey tea. And every afternoon - about ten minutes after I've finished it - I have a 15 minute fit of yawning. Anyone else?
The better news is that summer returned today, nudging Global Warming back into first place. Over in Spain, though, they seem to be having the rains storms traditionally associated with Holy Week and all its parades of statues on the shoulders of men dressed in the costume which clearly inspired that of the Ku Klux Kan
But to be serious - Ambrose P-E has written his latest article criticising EU economic strategy. The EMU strategy of wage deflation across half Europe is simply not doable. It was tried in the early 1930s, with results of varying awfulness, he writes. More here for those interested.
Finally . . . I bought a bottle of Izadi Rioja 2007 Reserva tonight. A bit pricey, at 12 quid, but an excellent, fruity wine. And vastly better than the 7 quid bottle of Rioja I bought last week. Of course, neither of these would cost anything like as much back home in Spain. Where they don't put a levy on pleasure. Or not as much as here anyway.