Yesterday I saw something I never would have predicted - Damian Hirst's name in the same sentence as those of Van Gogh, da Vinci, Rembrandt and Botticelli. As I was recovering from this blow, I read that one can buy in the exit-cum-shop to Hirst's current London 'retrospective' a multi-coloured plastic skull for almost 37,000 pounds (or more than 44,000 euros). Which isn't even made by him but by some unnamed worker in his factory. As if it makes any difference. No wonder they say he's commercially astute. Even if his art is utter crap.
It was pretty warm here in Leeds last week, with students sunbathing in their gardens instead of studying. Today we woke up to a freezing wind and several centimetres of snow. So, I vote for the Minor Ice Age over Global Warming.
Good to know that the one thing economic commentators agree on is that A disorderly break-up of the euro would set off a cataclysmic chain-reaction and a collapse of Europe’s banking system, pushing the world into full-blown depression. So the challenge is to achieve as orderly a break-up as possible. See here for more on this.
More immediately and even more worryingly - Spain's attempts to control its debt suffered a blow when the country's first bond auction since it unveiled a harsh round of cuts came in at the lower end of it target range and at higher yields. More here.
And if you'd like to read a comprehensive, albeit left-of-centre, view on the Spanish government's budget for 2012, click here.
But there is good news. The envoy sent by Angela Merkel to look over Spanish policies said he was convinced the reforms would ‘bring growth’ and ‘are on the right road’. This was after meeting the Prime Minister and the relevant Ministress. So, Spain may well be going to Hell in a handcart but at least the Germans are pleased about it.
I perused my grandmother's 5 year diary at the weekend. Her first entry was in 1928 and her last in 1953. Some five years!
We Evertonians are pretty happy with last week's results - three wins - and with the fact that we're now above Liverpool in the Premier League table. This is all ahead of an FA Cup semi-final between the two teams on 14 April, the same day as Liverpool's famous Grand National horse race. The joke doing the rounds at the moment is that the Liverpool manager is in a quandary over his very expensive but under-performing centre forward. The claim is that, as the centre forward is tall and strong, the Liverpool manager can't decide whether to play him in the team at Wembley or run him in the Grand National. It works better verbally. Honest
Finally and still on football . . . There's a view among fans over a certain age that Tom Finney is the finest English player of all time. The man is 90 on Friday and the only thing I can say about him - not being old enough to have seen him play - is that he stopped to give a young me and a friend a lift to a ground at which he was playing in a benefit match. And never even told us who he was. Another time, another world.